The Taliban forces that proceeded to advance through Afghanistan in the winter of 1994–95 were equipped with tanks, APCs, artillery, and even aircraft, but however much equipment they may have acquired in Spin Boldak, Kandahar or elsewhere, they could not despite energetic denials, have operated without training, ammunition, fuel, and maintenance facilities provided by Pakistan. . . . Within no more than six months, they had mobilized possibly as many as 20,000 fighting men . . . many [of whom] were Pakistanis. (2002, p. 255)
By 1998, the Taliban controlled 80-85 percent of the country, keeping pressure on the Northern Alliance of Hazara, Tajik, and Uzbek peoples. This pressure continued until the US invasion in 2001. The Taliban had the support of al Qaeda and foreign trained fighters. One nation that Taliban did not have the support of is Iran. As Collins tells us, “On the Taliban’s second capture in 1998, seeking revenge for past massacres against its own cadres, its forces massacred Hazara defenders and also killed Iranian diplomats, causing an international crisis that drove a deep divide between the Sunni Taliban and the Shia regime in Tehran” (2011, p. 38). The Taliban set up a deeply religious government that was only recognized by three nations: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. For international organizations, the pre-Taliban government maintained a presence.
The government of Afghanistan under th...
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...ction efforts in Afghanistan:
Since the onset of ISAF operations, reconstruction and development efforts have made measurable, yet tenuous, progress in several areas. For example, numerous infrastructure projects have resulted in the construction or repair of approximately 20,000 km of roads and over 3,500 schools (with over 7 million children now in school). In addition, development programs, many of which are Afghan-led, have decreased infant and under-five mortality rates, and more Afghans have access to health care. (2010, p. 33)
To deal with the weak interim central government the United States and other international actors began utilizing Provincial Reconstruction Teams. As Collins describes:
The generic purposes of the PRTs were to further security, promote reconstruction, facilitate cooperation with NGOs and IOs in the area, and help the local authorities in
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