• Taufiq -E- Faruque University of Dhaka


Taliban, Afghanistan, insurgency, United States, peace deal


The 2020 United States (US)-Taliban peace deal has essentially made the Taliban movement as one of the most durable and resilient insurgent groups in today's world. Following the 'levels of analysis' of international relations as an analytical framework, this paper explores the reasons behind the survival of the Taliban insurgency in an integrative framework that organizes the individual and group, state, and international level dynamics of this insurgency in a single account. The paper argues that the defection of politically and economically marginalized individual Afghans, the multilayered and horizontal structure of the Taliban insurgency, regional power configuration in South Asia, and the lack of a coherent post-invasion strategy of the US and its allies factored into the survival of the Taliban insurgency that resulted in a peace deal between the Taliban and the US.


Download data is not yet available.


[1] Akbarzadeh, Shahram, and Niamatullah Ibrahimi. 2019. "The Taliban: A New Proxy for Iran in Afghanistan?". Third World Quarterly 41 (5): 764-782. doi:10.1080/01436597.2019.1702460.

[2] Bulut, Firdevs. 2020. "Rise, Fall and Resurgence of Taliban in Afghanistan". Anadolu Agency.

[3] Coll, Steve. 2018. Directorate S: The C.I.A. And America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. New York: Penguin Press.

[4] Egnell, Robert. 2010. "Winning 'Hearts and Minds'? A Critical Analysis of Counter-Insurgency Operations in Afghanistan". Civil Wars 12 (3): 282-303. doi:10.1080/13698249.2010.509562.

[5] Firstpost. 2017. "'No Indian Troops in Afghanistan': Narendra Modi Govt Continues Non-Interventionist Policy of Vajpayee, Manmohan."

[6] Giustozzi, Antonio. 2017. "Afghanistan: Taliban's Organization and Structure." Landinfo

[7] Giustozzi, Antonio. 2019. The Taliban at War. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

[8] Gopal, Anand. "Rents, Patronage, and Defection: State-building and Insurgency in Afghanistan." Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 2017.

[9] Ibrahimi, S. Yaqub. 2017. "The Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (1996–2001): 'War- Making and State-Making' as an Insurgency Strategy". Small Wars & Insurgencies 28 (6): 947-972.

[10] Jones, Seth G. 2009. In the graveyard of empires: America's war in Afghanistan. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

[11] Linschoten, Alex Strick van. "Mullah Wars: The Afghan Taliban between Village and State, 1979-2001." PhD. diss., King's College London, 2016.

[12] Nojumi, Neamatollah. 2016. The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

[13] Rahi, Arwin. 2009. "How the Taliban Won America's Nineteen-Year War". The National Interest.

[14] Rashid, Ahmed. 2010. Taliban. New Haven: Yale University Press.

[15] Roberts, Adam. 2009. "Doctrine and Reality in Afghanistan". Survival 51 (1): 29-60. doi:10.1080/00396330902749673.

[16] Saunders, Elizabeth N. 2019. "What We Learned from The Afghanistan Papers". Washington Post.

[17] Smith, Andrew R." Belling the Cat: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan." Master's Thesis, University of New Hampshire, 2011.

[18] Taddeo, Valentina. 2010. "U.S. Response to Terrorism: A Strategic Analysis of the Afghanistan Campaign". Journal of Strategic Security 3 (2). doi:10.5038/1944-0472.3.2.3.

[19] The Indian Express. 2020. "Pieces of Peace."

[20] The Times of India. 2019. "India's Development Aid to Afghanistan Exceeds $3Bn."

[21] The Times of India. 2020. "Pakistan PM Imran Khan Meets Qatar's Emir.”

[22] The Wire. 2019. "In Jibe at 'Friend', Trump Belittles Indian Assistance to Afghanistan".