zondag 12 september 2010

Return of the Taliban

After the fall of the Taliban five years ago, some experts warned of a nightmare scenario in which the Taliban and Al Qaeda would escape from Afghanistan into neighboring Pakistan and set up new command centers far out of America's reach.

That nightmare scenario has now come true.

The Taliban controls large parts of the lawless tribal areas along the border. In a video obtained by Frontline, the Taliban demonstrate their brutal brand of justice. After executing 17 people, said to be thieves, in front of a crowd of hundreds, they hung the bodies on poles for three days. "We have killed these people and sent them to God," a Taliban gunman says to the camera. "God will bring them to justice."

Frontline reports from the lawless Pakistani tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and reveals how the area has fallen under the control of a resurgent Taliban militia which uses the territory as a launching pad for its attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Little understood because it is off limits to most observers, Frontline investigates a secret front in the War on Terror.

"The United States is beginning to recognize that its project in Afghanistan will fail unless it addresses the sanctuary and support that the Taliban enjoys in Pakistan," says Steve Coll. "But the United States has not yet reached the point where it knows what kind of ... policy it is prepared to carry out."

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