American & Taliban Relationship
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Created by Walter Senne, Chamera Robinson, & Shainiece Johnson

The Taliban: A Brief Overview
Introduction - Who Are the Taliban?
  • The Taliban are islamic militants that brought tyranny to Afghanistan. (8)
  • Taliban is the plural form of Talib, which means an islamic student seeking knowledge. (1)
  • They are fundamentalists that practice a hard line form of Sunni Muslim - people that accept the first four caliphs as successors to Muhammed. (1)
  • The Taliban emerged in the 90's after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. (8)
  • Their promises was to restore peace, security, and enforce their version of Islamic law or to cleanse their society instead of grab power. (8)
  • They are known to have grown beards and scarves around their faces with weapons on their sides. (8)
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  • The Taliban are responsible in harboring and hiding the terrorist groups that were wanted by many countries including, Bin Laden and members of Al Qaeda. (6)
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  • Their current leader is Muhammed Omar. (6)
  • They rose to power with a totalitarian government in the mid-90's, with a genocide against Shiites and Hazaras. (8)

United States & the Taliban

A History
  • The Taliban is an ‘Islamic extremist group, [who] took control of Afghanistan's government in 1996 and ruled until the 2001 U.S.-led invasion drove it from power.’ (3)
  • After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut diplomatic ties with the Taliban. (4)
  • ‘Before its ouster by U.S.-led forces in 2001, the Taliban controlled some 90 percent of Afghanistan's territory, although it was never officially recognized by the United Nations.’(3)

The End of the Taliban?
  • In September, 2001, the U.S. placed significant pressure on the Taliban to turn over bin Laden and al-Qaeda in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (4)
  • On October 7, after the Taliban refused to give up bin Laden, the U.S. began bombing Taliban military sites and aiding the Northern Alliance. (4)
  • By November 21, the Taliban had lost Kabul and by December 9 had been completely routed. (4)

After September 11, 2001
  • "In 2003, after the United States shifted its military efforts to fighting the war in Iraq, attacks on American-led forces intensified as the Taliban and al-Qaeda began to regroup." (4)
  • "President Hamid Karzai's hold on power remained tenuous, as entrenched warlords continued to exert regional control." (4)
  • "Remarkably, however, Afghanistan's first democratic presidential elections in Oct. 2004 were a success." (4)
  • "Ten million Afghans, more than a third of the country, registered to vote, including more than 40% of eligible women." (4)
  • "Despite the Taliban's threats to kill anyone who participated, the polls were reasonably peaceful and the elections deemed fair by international observers." (4)
  • "In 2005 and 2006, the Taliban continued its resurgence, and 2006 became the deadliest year of fighting since the 2001 war." (4)
  • "Throughout the spring, Taliban militants infiltrated southern Afghanistan, terrorizing villagers and attacking Afghan and U.S. troops." (4)
  • "In May and June, Operation Mount Thrust was launched, deploying more than 10,000 Afghan and coalition forces to the south." (4)
  • "In Aug. 2006, NATO troops took over military operations in southern Afghanistan from the U.S.-led coalition, which put a total of 21,000 American troops and 19,000 NATO troops on the ground." (4)
  • "In September NATO launched the largest attack in its 57-year history." (4)
  • "About 2,000—the vast majority Taliban fighters—were killed in military operations during the year." (4)

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After the Resurgence of the Taliban

"In March 2002, ISAF troops and pro-government Afghan militia joined together for Operation Anaconda."(4)

  • "It was the first major battle in Afghanistan since the Battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, and the first to involve regular US army troops since the invasion began."(4)
  • "Operation Anaconda began late Friday evening on 1 March 2002, in the mountainous Shah-i-Khot region south of the city of Gardez in eastern Afghanistan. Operations by US forces including the insertion of Special Operating Forces from several other nations to set up observation posts."
  • "They attacked a concentration of several-hundred Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters south of Gardez in eastern Afghanistan."(4)
  • "On 17 March 2002, Operation Anaconda concluded. A total of 8 American Servicemen had been killed and 82 wounded in action. US troops had suffered at least eight dead and 40 wounded during the first four days of action in Operation Anaconda in early March.(4)

More Recent Events
  • February 2010:
        • The US launched mass attack on the Taliban(9)
  • February 2011:
        • In an undercover sting involving drugs and weapons, two US citizens and five other men were charged with plotting to help the Taliban fight American troops in Afghanistan.(2)
  • February 2012:
        • US Soldiers were seen dumping books into a garbage pit to be burned, Qurans and other religious materials were among the trash.(2)
        • The top US and NATO commander, Gen. John Allen, quickly issued an apology and telephones President Hamid Karzai and various news organizations to explain that the different religous materirals had accidentally been sent to be incinerated.(2)
  • March 2012:
        • The Quran burning was "tailor made" to the Taliban's argument that the US is trying to desecrate and destroy Islam. (9)
        • "...a suicide car bomber launched an attack against the gates of a coalition base in Jalalabad, killing nine Afghans. The Taliban said the attack was revenge for the Quran burning..." (5)
        • Moving from house to house, a U.S. Army sergeant opened fire on Afghan villagers as they slept, killing 16 people, mostly women and children (5)
        • Taliban threatens to behead US soldiers. (2)

The Kite Runner & the American/Taliban Relationship
  • "People were celebrating at Chaman, at Deh-Mazang, greeting the Taliban in the streets, climbing their tanks and posing for pictures with" (p. 200) (10)
  • "The conversation inevitably turned to the Taliban. "Is it as bad as I hear?" I said. "Nay, it's worse. Much worse," he said. "They don't let you be human" (p. 198). (10)
  • "Brezhnev is massacring Afghans and all that peanut eater can say is I won't come swim in your pool". Baba believed Carter had unwittingly done more for communism than Leonid Brezhnev" (p. 126). (10)

Discussion Questions:
  1. Should the Taliban be regarded as saviors?
  2. Where do you think Afghanistan would be currently with out U. S. involvement?
  3. Should we have let Afghanistan alone?

  1. Bbc News South Asia. (2012, 01 03). Retrieved from:
  2. Clark, M. (2011, March 13). Taliban: We'll "behead" US troops over massacre. CBS News. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from
  3. Jayshree Bajoria (2011). The Taliban in Afghanistan. Retrieved from
afghanistan/p10551 (1) 4. Laura Hayes, Borgna Brunner, and Beth Rowen (2012). Who Are the Taliban? Their history and their resurgence. Retrieved from 5.Michaels, J. (2012, February 28). Quran incident 'tailor-made for Taliban. USA Today. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from
6. n.a. (n.d.) History of the Taliban: Who are they, what do they want. Retrieved from:

7.Sunni Muslim. (n.d.). WordNet® 3.0. Retrieved From: muslim
8.Tavernise, S. (Augu). World. Retrieved from:
9.Winter, M. (2010, February 12). AP: U.S., Afghan forces launch big attack against Taliban.USA Today. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from Hosseini, K. The Kite Runner (2003). Penguin Group: New York