Taliban Learns From Al Qaeda’s Mistakes
Noah Shachtman at Danger Room notices an ominous development. The Taliban appear to be relaxing their most severe doctrinal demands in order to increase their cohesive capability among the Afghan insurgency. Noah remarks:
In Iraq, we saw that Sunni jihadists’ extremism eventually repelled average people in Anbar province — and pushed them into American arms. The Taliban are trying not to follow that same path, it would appear.
If true, this would give a certain immediacy to any effort to fracture the insurgency. The Taliban have a proven ability to sustain itself over the short term. What this apparent development indicates is that it’s a learning, adaptive organization — we already knew that, I suppose, but still — and the lessons of Iraq are already being absorbed by Al Qaeda’s allies.