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Global Issues: Changing Nature of Conflict - ‘Asymmetrical’ Conflict in Afghanistan

Saturday, December 03, 2011
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On December 5, foreign ministers from some ninety countries will converge on the Rhineland city of Bonn to discuss Afghanistan’s future. They will be meeting exactly ten years after an earlier Bonn conference appointed a new government for the country in the wake of the Taliban’s retreat from Kabul.  Interesting article in Chatham House’s World Today entitled : Afghanistan - More harm than good?

Beyond giving a snap shot of Afghanistan’s ongoing complications, it has a quick reference to the nature of the ‘asymmetrical’ nature of the war being waged:

As the conflict is one of ‘asymmetrical warfare’, the Taliban always slip away from direct confrontation with ISAF troops and use other methods to exert their power. Assassinations of government officials continue at a high level and, in a new tactic this year, the Taliban and the other insurgent groups started to impose an evening mobile phone blackout in more than half the country’s provinces. They warn the four mobile phone network providers to shut down from dusk to dawn or have their masts blown up; a simple but psychologically effective tactic that reminds every frustrated would-be mobile phone user just how extensive the Taliban’s reach has become.


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