In this episode, I spoke with Obaid Ali, assistant country director & researcher at the Afghanistan Analysts Network. Obaid just returned from a research trip through northeastern Afghanistan, including Badakshan and Kunduz provinces on the border with Tajikistan, and we talked about his observations of the state of the insurgency in the north. The Taliban have pressed an offensive across the north this year in provinces traditionally thought outside of their main area of influence. Some reports stress their support from foreign fighter groups driven from Pakistan's tribal territories since June 2014 ("the North Waziristan operation").
Questions in this episode include: What is behind the success of the northern insurgency this year? How important are foreign fighters in the insurgency? How much are the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and other groups of foreign fighters dependent on the Taliban in northern Afghanistan? What is the prognosis for the northern insurgency this year? Will the insurgency take Kunduz city?
PS - Apologies for some audio issues in this episode. It's been a couple months and I'm a little rusty.
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