Taliban Shift to Suicide Bombings Equals Defeat?
The editors of StrategyPage believe the Taliban is on the road to extinction:
The Taliban has admitted defeat, in their own unique way. In recent media interviews, Taliban spokesmen announced a shift in emphasis to suicide bombings. The Taliban also admitted that the Americans had infiltrated their high command, which led to the death or capture of several senior Taliban officials, and the capture of many lower ranking ones as well. There have also been some prominent defections recently, which the Taliban spokesmen did not want to talk about.
Terrorism is a step back for the Taliban, and an admission that they have failed, in the last two years, in their effort to march into Afghanistan and take over. Suicide bombing is suicidal in more ways than one. Most of the victims, so far, have been Afghans, and this has turned many likeminded (Islamic conservative) Afghans against the Taliban. But at this point, the Taliban have no choice. They must either step back, or step aside. By choosing to proceed with a terror campaign, they are also selecting extinction.
One hopes. Certainly, suicide bombings are a sign of desperation and no way to win consensus for returning to power. On the other hand, suicide bombings are an incredibly effective way to achieve smaller political goals, like breaking the will of foreign powers to sustain operations in one’s country and preventing the national government from interfering in the drug trade.
If mere chaos is their goal, then, the Taliban is not close to defeat. If, however, they aspire to governance, this assessment is right on the money.