As the US attempts to strengthen its own government of choice in Afghanistan, they are in a race not just against time, but against Taliban forces which are increasingly setting up credible alternative governments.
Once seen as something relegated to the more remote border provinces, this seems to be a nationwide phenomenon now, and the Taliban insists that it actually has a controlling presence in around 80 percent of the country.
In fact Taliban officials insist they are doing so well in reclaimed the country that they have abandoned Pakistan entirely, saying they don’t need to flee into the neighboring country.
Though the Taliban’s claims appear incredible on the surface, it must be remembersed that the ICOS think-tank had determined the Taliban had a “permanent presence” in 72% of the nation a year ago, and the resurgent Taliban has surely increased its holdings over the past year.
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