The Taliban Revival Violence and Extremism on the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier Hassan Abbas

Publication date:
15 Sep 2015
Yale University Press
296 pages: 235 x 156mm
16 b-w illus.
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In autumn 2001, U.S. and NATO troops were deployed to Afghanistan to unseat the Taliban rulers, repressive Islamic fundamentalists who had lent active support to Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda jihadists. The NATO forces defeated and dismantled the Taliban government, scattering its remnants across the country. But despite a more than decade-long attempt to eradicate them, the Taliban endured - regrouping and reestablishing themselves as a significant insurgent movement. Gradually they have regained control of large portions of Afghanistan even as U.S. troops are preparing to depart from the region.

In his authoritative and highly readable account, author Hassan Abbas examines how the Taliban not only survived but adapted to their situation in order to regain power and political advantage. Abbas traces the roots of religious extremism in the area and analyses the Taliban’s support base within Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In addition, he explores the roles that Western policies and military decision making - not to mention corruption and incompetence in Kabul - have played in enabling the Taliban’s return to power.

Hassan Abbas is professor and chair of the department of regional and analytical studies at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs in Washington, D.C.

'Hassan Abbas is one of the world's leading experts on the militant groups of South Asia. In The Taliban Revival he charts the resurgence of the Taliban on both sides of the Afghanistan–Pakistan border. The book is well written, deeply researched, analytically sharp and is an important contribution to our understanding of the Taliban.' - Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: From 9/11 to Abbottabad - The Ten-Year Search for Osama bin Laden


'A comprehensive, wise, and highly readable assessment of how mistaken policy choices have led to the revival of the Taliban. Hassan Abbas, one of the world's leading experts on the region, shows how regional powers, donor nations, and NATO have pursued their own narrow, short-term interests in the region, often to the detriment of the Afghan people. The result is that Afghanistan still lacks the schools and law-enforcement personnel that are required to fight the distorted version of Islam, and the crime, that the Taliban spreads. Anyone interested in the Taliban and south-west Asia will be saddened, fascinated, and instructed.' - Jessica Stern, author of Terror in the Name of God: Why Religios Militants Kill