America at War

Taliban Returns to Northern Afghanistan

Has a new front opened in the Afghan war? NPR reports that the Taliban has been cropping up in parts of northern Afghanistan that were previously thought to be free of its influence. "Actually, the enemy is back that side of the river. They are 50 [people], and we are like five people," says one police officer in Kunduz province. The Taliban’s presence in the north is particularly troubling because ethnic Pashtuns, its traditional supporters, are a minority there. German forces were responsible for the region for eight years, but American forces returned there this spring. "Afghan national police were sent in; they robbed people,” says one expert. “There were accusations that they'd been dealing dishonorably with local women—exactly the sort of things that will drive the insurgency.”