The Taliban in Afghanistan have expanded their presence and acquired more reach in the country than at any point since the toppling of their regime as a result of the United States - led intervention in 2001.The resurgence of the Taliban fighters poses a critical challenge for the Afghan government and the remaining US and NATO forces. There is a multi - pronged strategy behind the Taliban’s recent violent campaign and territorial gains. Their objective is to establish " permanent " sanctuaries and strongholds to form functional administrative systems. They also want to capture big chunks of the country to get the upper hand in the stalled peace process, which is likely to start in 2016.Security deterioratingThe Afghan security situation has deteriorated significantly since the launch of the Taliban’s 2015 spring offensive. Afghanistan has never been as insecure in the past 14 years as it is now. More Afghans have been killed in 2015 than any year since 2001. The Taliban planned their resurgence in 2014 and aimed to expand their territorial control in order to change the momentum in their favour. They reportedly moved a large number of their fighters from Pakistan into Afghanistan. In addition, three other major factors contributed to their recent resurgence in Afghanistan.
- The end of the US and NATO combat mission in Afghanistan, which was completed at the end of 2014, and the withdrawal of most foreign forces from the country emboldened the Taliban.
- Several thousand mainly Uzbek, Arab and Pakistani fighters based in the North Waziristan Tribal Agency crossed into Afghanistan after the Pakistan military launched its Operation Zarb - e - Azb in June 2014. The contribution of these foreign fighters further intensified the fight against the Afghan government.
- Since taking full responsibility for security from the US - led international forces, the Afghan security forces have shown resilience and courage, but they are under strain. They are under - resourced and under - equipped.