The Taliban is gaining confidence and power that is extending past their traditional stronghold in southern Afghanistan. This resurgence, which so far is limited to the countryside, depends directly on the support of everyday villagers, many of whom are welcoming back the Taliban, despite fresh memories of its strict Islamic law and crushing oppression.
So why do many Afghanis support the Taliban? Unlike the official government based in Kabul, the Taliban pays attention to the concerns of the poor and is bringing overall order to the chaotic country. The BBC quotes a Taliban commander, who explained:
People are taking their cases away from the government courts and coming to us. Now there is no robbery in our area.
Fed up with official corruption, slow war reconstruction, and the presence of foreign troops, Afghanis are turning to the Taliban as a necessary enforcer. So far, there is little indication that the support is based on ideological affinity. Thus, the central government must make stability and order its primary concern and find practical ways to address the people's daily problems. Unfortunately, good governance is easier said than done.