Violence once again grips Afghanistan, with the Taliban, the Islamic State and other terror groups carrying out deadly attacks and kidnappings across the country. Last month, the Taliban announced the beginning of its annual “spring offensive,” and this past weekend bombed a mosque that was being used as a voter registration center, killing 14 and injuring dozens more.
What follows is a section of The Cipher Brief’s 2018 Annual Threat Report, which breaks down the greatest threats facing the United States and the world at this point in time. For more information on the full report, please click here.
Bottom Line: The Afghan Taliban is mounting an increasingly lethal insurgency across Afghanistan, as both U.S. troops and Afghan Security Forces face near-everyday violence throughout the country. With the Taliban gaining momentum and reasserting control in remote, loosely governed parts of the country, the window for reaching a negotiated peace to end the ongoing conflict is rapidly closing.
Background: The Afghan Taliban was formed in September 1994 in the predominantly Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan under the leadership of Mullah Mohammad Omar, along with a group of Afghan clerics and religious students with ties to hardline mujahedeen rebels that had fought against the Soviet Union during its invasion of Afghanistan.