Strategy Page argues that the Taliban's own tactics are working against them in Afghanistan:
Kidnapping the 23 South Koreans eleven days ago is turning out to be a public relations disaster for the Taliban. First, the Koreans were there to help with reconstruction, to do good works. In that role, they are supposed to be treated as guests, and guarding the safety of guests is a big deal in Afghan culture. But worst of all, 18 of the 23 are women, and most Afghans see it as shameful to threaten women in this fashion....One Korean, who was apparently ill, has already been killed by the Taliban. Two Germans were also kidnapped by the Taliban, and one killed, as the Taliban demanded the release of some Taliban from jail.
If the government does not give in, which is apparently the strategy, the Taliban will have suffered yet another defeat. This, coupled with the war going on back in their Pakistani base areas, the continued NATO military pressure on strongholds in Afghanistan, leaves the Taliban looking like losers. This is not a good image to have in this part of the world.
In yet another catastrophe for the Taliban, Pakistan announced that it would close all Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan by 2009, sending some two million Afghans back to Afghanistan. Most of the camps are in the tribal areas along the Afghan border, and have long been used as Taliban bases, and centers of Islamic radical activity.
If the Taliban thinks these are catastrophic developments, wait until Barack Obama is elected president and the U.S. invades Waziristan province in Pakistan.RLC