I have a new article out today at Foreign Policy magazine's AFPAK Channel. It discusses the interwoven nature of the militant landscape in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a particular focus on the personal and professional relationships between many of the region's militant groups. These include the Afghan Taliban, Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkestan Islamic Party, and Al-Qa'ida Central.
The introductory paragraph reads:
"A recently published jihadi Internet magazine, Azan: A Call to
Jihad, produced by a group calling itself the "Taliban of Khurasan," has led to speculation about disappearing lines between Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Afghan Taliban, and other affiliated groups in the region. The numerous "Taliban" groups operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, from the TTP umbrella movement to factions of the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, pay allegiance to Mullah Muhammad Umar, the founder of the original Afghan Taliban
movement. However, the degree to which this rhetoric translates into active cooperation and coordination on the ground remains hotly debated. Using available primary sources, it is possible to sketch out the complex militant milieu in Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal regions, and get a picture of the types of cooperation and inter-group dynamics at play among the different organizations."
Read the rest at FOREIGN POLICY.