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HomeGeopolitical CompassWest & Centeral AsiaWhy the Taliban Have Been Successful in Afghanistan

Why the Taliban Have Been Successful in Afghanistan

Author: Donovan William Fox

Affiliation: University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA

Organization/Publisher: University of Central Florida

Date/Place: Summer 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Undergraduate Thesis

Number of Pages: 42


Keywords: Taliban, Afghanistan, US Army


The author’s thesis evaluates the reason behind the Taliban’s success in Afghanistan. The author’s hypothesis is that the Taliban’s victory is from the wrongdoings committed by US forces towards Afghan civilians, i.e. that the wrongdoings committed by the US pushed the support of Afghan civilians towards the Taliban. The civilians saw US forces as an invader and sought protection under the Taliban. In order to test the theory, the author interviews American veterans who have served in Afghanistan. Interviews instead point out that it is coercion and pressure that forces civilians to join Taliban. While doing the literature review on how insurgencies succeed against the great military powers like the US, the author finds a lot of explanations, which include variables like economic, societal or military. The author identifies the cell phone as one of the modern factors benefitting an insurgent against an occupier. Research done on cell phone usage in Iraq indicates that it can alter the course of conflict. The insurgents use cell phones for the same purpose as the military occupier. The author states that his research is inconclusive; in none of his interviews with US veterans did he find the US army as being the primary influencer of civilians joining the Taliban. 


By: Ruby Clayton, CIGA Research Associate



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