Anand Gopal, who is Bernard L Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, has written an interesting article on splits within the Afghan Taliban. Based largely on interviews with Taliban figures in the UAE and with others interviewed via telephone or skype calls in Pakistan, the article, published by the Combating Terrorism Center suggests that the Taliban leadership is fracturing: "Certain commanders have been dismissed from the insurgents’ top brass, spats have erupted between leading figures, and a growing number of field commanders are contravening the orders of their superiors. In the process, a political struggle between blocs favoring and opposing talks with the United States has emerged."
Gopal says there are three reasons for the recent disagreements: the arrest and detention of Mullah Barodar by the Pakistanis; the US military strategy of killing mid-level Taliban leaders; and the initiation of peace talks by Washington.
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