The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people."

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835)

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Who are the (young) Taliban?

According to Newsweek, there is a clear generational divide within the Taliban. Young fighters apparently have nothing but contempt for older leaders based in Pakistan and are not afraid to show it.

This article makes for an interesting follow-up to the report by Anne Stenersen (largely based on Antonio Giustozzi's book Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop) which Frederik posted recently.

Amidst all the talk of reconciliation and reintegration, this article raises two questions:

1/ What is the point of reconciling with a leadership that does not control its rank-and-file?

2/ How do you reintegrate young fighters who have never been integrated into anything... and who apparently don't want to be?

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