This wikipedia article shows that Taliban still control a significant portion of Afghanistan. How are they doing it and and what has the government/US done about it?

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    What makes you think they aren't doing anything? They are doing what they can and failing. The only reason they are still clinging to the perch is because America hasn't yet abandoned them completely.
    – NSNoob
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 6:25
  • For an entertaining presentation of the current situation in Afghanistan I recommend watching the movie War Machine on Netflix. Yes, it's a satire, but it's one very close to reality.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 8:30
  • @NSNoob Question updated. Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 15:38
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    From a western perspective, the supporting a group like the Taliban might seem incomprehensible, but the behaviors of warlords, tribal leaders and corrupt government officials (often the alternative available to Taliban) is sometimes beyond the pale, as well. Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 17:16
  • The issue can be very hazy on the ground. Control doesn't always mean direct control, but it might mean a neutral stance or some working agreement with the local town or tribe. The Taliban can offer government and social-type services, which competes with the Afghan government, and the Afghan government isn't known for doing a good job at anything except for being a historical oddity. Insurgencies exist in the vacuum of a poor local government as groups try to fill that need. FYI-I was there in 2012.
    – Smith
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 21:29

3 Answers 3


I am an Afghan national and I have worked 6 years with US Army Marines, British Army and private contractors. The truth is that our government is corrupt and no soldier is going to die for 200$ a month for a corrupt government.

The second reason is NATO leaving Afghanistan. At the beginning there were almost 150,000 soldiers from different country now there are only about 14,000. They mostly stay in camp and do not fight. The Taliban are on the offensive against weak Army with no morale with corrupt leader.

There are a lot more reasons why Taliban are gaining more.

When civilians are killed by Americans and NATO, the Taliban use it as propaganda to gain more support from the local villagers.

  • Welcome to Politics.SE. Unfortunately, your answer does not seem to add more information to what Denis de Bernardy has already provided and it also lacks any reference.
    – Alexei
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 8:49
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    @Alexei: the answer might arguably be missing some more meat, but insofar as references are concerned it reads like a first-hand account -- which, to me, seems like a reference all by itself. :-) (Like this answer.) Commented May 27, 2019 at 9:09
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    @DenisdeBernardy - OK, not sure about what to do with this kind of answers, so I guess you are right to keep it here. I have fixed minor things and improved readability.
    – Alexei
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 9:13

The Vice documentary "This is what winning looks like" might give you a few helpful pointers:


It lays bare the unfortunate inadequacy and corruption of Afghan troops, their low discipline, and their lack of support within the population in the countryside.

The takeaway and answer to your question might best be summed up by the documentary's author:

All it is now is about getting out and saving face. We're [U.S. forces] not leaving because we achieved our goals. We're leaving because we've given up on achieving those goals.

Put another way some parts of Afghanistan never were under control to begin with; the Afghan troops that are fighting the Taliban are - if only at times - poorly trained, undisciplined, and corrupt; and the US is basically drained of any motivation to help. (See for instance 1:17:00 in the video for an arresting account of how the US' financial aid was being wasted.)

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    It's also worth noting that distrust cut both ways. Afghanistan is a tribal society where national identity counts for little. The new military equipped by the US and allies started acting like another tribe, and was used to get rid of opponents, extortion, rape, and murder. So support for the Taliban increased because they were perceived to be clean (if brutal). Many local warlords also distrusted the US as they didn't think they were able to achieve even small things, like building a road without wasting money. So the people distrusted the US because of Afghani government corruption.
    – user8398
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 11:57
  • @inappropriateCode, that is really a BRILLIANT comment. It describes situation fully, and above. No socialism or democracy can be built in tribal society, and that explains both withdrawals from Afganistan, by USSR and US. Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 12:08

we down sized our armed forces and so did nato. the afghanistan army could not hold there own, so the taliban over ran the areas. same with the iraqi army they could not hold there own. both countrys army could not hold there own in battle and ran leaving all these combat supplies to use against them another day. our soldiers payed with there life for these countries to run from battle. loner


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