Background to Afghanistan and the Taliban

  • Yoshinobu Nagamine


This chapter provides a brief background to Afghanistan and the Taliban movement, which is indispensable to the understanding of the context in which the Code of Conduct was produced. The chapter is divided into two parts—the first deals with the origin of the Taliban movement and the subsequent Taliban governance prior to 2001, while the second part examines the phenomenon of insurgency after 2001. The specificity of the Taliban movement with regard to the nature, structure, and legitimization strategy will be highlighted.


Suicide Bombing Suicide Attack Civilian Casualty Religious Student Legitimization Strategy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Amin Saikal and William Maley, Regime Change in Afghanistan: Foreign Intervention and the Politics of Legitimacy, Colorado: Westview Press, 1989, p.13; Andre Wink, Al Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1990, p.120.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Walker Thomas Arnold, The Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith, New Delhi: Aryan Books International, 1998, p.217.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Louis Dupree, Afghanistan, Princeton: Princeton University, 1980, pp.104–107.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Michael Barry, Le Royaume de l’Insolence: La Resistance afghane du Grand Moghol a l’Invasion sovietique, Paris: Flammarion, 1984, p.57.Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    Yoshio Endo, Afugan 25 nen Senso (Afghan War for 25 Years), Tokyo: Hebon sha, 2002, p.45.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    For Pashtunwali, see Fredrik Barth, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries, Oslo: Universitetforlaget, 1969; Akbar S. Ahmed, Pukhtun Economy and Society, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980; Raj Wali Shah Khattak et al., “The Pashtun Code of Honour,” Central Asia, Research Journal of Area Study Centre, 65 (1), (2009), pp.81–125.Google Scholar
  7. 16.
    Jun Matsui, “Pashuton Yubokumin no Bokuchiku Seikatsu (Stock-farming Life of the Pashtun Normads),” Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, Kyoto, February 1980, pp.3–12.Google Scholar
  8. 21.
    Ahmed Rashid, Taliban—The Power of Militant Islam and Beyond, New York: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2000.Google Scholar
  9. 24.
    Rashid, Taliban—The Power of Militant Islam and Beyond.Google Scholar
  10. 25.
    Hiroshi Takahashi, “Taribaan shutsugen no haikei to Saikoshidosha Mullah Omaru (Background of Taliban’s Emergence and its Commander Mullah Omar),” Afuganisutan wa do natte iruka (What’s Really Going on in Afghanistan? ), ed. Shuji Hosaka, Kyoto: Center for Islamic Area Studies at Kyoto University, 2010.Google Scholar
  11. 40.
    Conrad Schetter, Ethnizitaet und ethnische Konflikte in Afghanistan, Berlin, Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 2003, p.524.Google Scholar
  12. 41.
    Amin Saikal, Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival London, New York: I. B. Tauris & Co, 2006. Rashid, Taliban—The Power of Militant Islam and Beyond, pp.196–206; Zalmay Khalilzad and Daniel Byman, “Afghanistan: The Consolidation of a Rogue State,” The Washington Quarterly, The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000, p.68; Endo, Afugan 25 nen Senso, p.103.Google Scholar
  13. 46.
    Robert Crews, “Introduction,” The Taliban and the Crisis ofAfghanistan, ed. Robert Crews, Amin Tarzi: Harvard University Press, 2008, p.45.Google Scholar
  14. 47.
    Peter Marsden, The Taliban—War and Religion in Afghanistan, London: Zed Books, 2002. p.70; Muzhdah, Afghanistan wa panj sal sulta-ye Taleban, p.20.Google Scholar
  15. 55.
    Heike Bill, “Country Without a State—Does It Really Make a Difference for the Women?,” Afghanistan: A Country Without a State, ed. Christine Noelle-Karim et al., Lahore: Vanguard, 2002, p.107.Google Scholar
  16. 57.
    Indian writers, in particular, are said to be fond of this view. Abdulkader Sinno, “Explaining the Taliban’s Ability to Mobilize the Pashtuns,” The Taliban and the Crisis ofAfghanistan, ed. Robert Crews and Amin Tarzi, Boston: Harvard University Press, 2008, p.69.Google Scholar
  17. 66.
    The poor quality of teachers, the exclusive focus on religious matters, and the reclusive life away from the opposite sex were at the origin of the poor knowledge of secular affairs, the narrow worldview, and the misogynistic attitude of the Taliban. See Amalendu Misra, “The Taliban, Radical Islam and Afghanistan,” Third World Quctrterly, 23 (3), (2002), p.582; Crews, “Introduction,” p.35.Google Scholar
  18. 80.
    Frederick S. Starr, “Rebuilding Afghanistan,” Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq, ed. Francis Fukuyama, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006, p.111.Google Scholar
  19. 82.
    Bob Woodward, Bush at War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004, p.314; Nabi Misdaq, Afghanistan—Political Frailty and Foreign Interference, London: Routledge, 2006, p.250.Google Scholar
  20. 88.
    Larry Goodson, “Lessons of Nation-Building in Afghanistan,” Nation-Building, ed. Francis Fukuyama, Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2006, p.153.Google Scholar
  21. 94.
    Antonio Giustozzi, Koran, Kalashnikor, and Laptop—The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan, New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, chapter 4.Google Scholar
  22. 95.
    Ibid., also Tariq Elias Mohammad Osman, “The Resurgence of the Taliban in Kabul,” Decoding the New Taliban, ed. Antonio Giustozzi, New York: Columbia University Press, 2009, p.51.Google Scholar
  23. 100.
    Giustozzi compared the strategy to the “War of the Flea” as defined by Robert Taber, War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare, Dulles: Potomac Books, 2002. Large-scale conventional battles, such as Operation Medusa (September 2006), have been rather an exception to the norm.Google Scholar
  24. 130.
    Christoph Reuter and Borhan Younus, “The Return of the Taliban in Andar District,” Decoding the New Taliban, ed. Antonio Giustozzi, New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, p.111; Tom Coghlan, “The Taliban in Helmand,” Decoding the New Taliban, ed. Antonio Giustozzi, 2009, p.148.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Yoshinobu Nagamine 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshinobu Nagamine

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations