Wednesday, November 21, 2007
"THE Taliban is back in control of "vast swathes" of Afghanistan and its influence is growing fast, an influential think-tank warned today.
Despite the massive international financial and military effort, insurgents have established a permanent presence in more than half of the troubled country.
The situation is so bad that it is a question of "when not if" the Taliban will reappear in Kabul, and there is a "serious" danger they could regain control of the state.
The damning assessment comes in a report by the Senlis Council, one of the few research groups with a base in Afghanistan.
The think-tank warned that the security situation has reached "crisis proportions" and the Taliban's resurgence across the state has been "proven beyond doubt".
The report said: "The insurgency now controls vast swathes of unchallenged territory including rural areas, some district centres, and important road arteries.
"The Taliban are the de facto governing authority in significant portions of territory in the south and east, and are starting to control parts of the local economy and key infrastructure such as roads and energy supply.""