Taliban Rethinks Strategy With Civilians

During its reign as the government of Afghanistan, the Taliban imposed a strict sharia law that compelled men and women to adhere to rigid rules and regulations concerning their daily lives. Women were beaten if the veil was not entirely on or if their dress revealed an element of color, but today, the Taliban have somewhat relaxed. They realize forces opposing them have the power to inflict defeat if civilians turn toward the government or foreign forces. Even as US, Afghan and NATO forces advance step by step into Marjah, the Taliban is being compelled to accept changes in their philosophy of rule.

The battle is proceeding much slower than anticipated by American military leaders. The real issue is whether the Taliban can be defeated without civilian casualties in order to win the population away from the Taliban.