The Christian Science Monitor reports that the United States and its allies have persistently failed to list the Taliban as a terrorist organization, even as it continues to fight in southern Afghanistan. Supposedly this is to allow the Afghan government to appeal to Taliban fighters for reconciliation. But the Taliban has largely recovered its military strength, and the United States military has focused on al Qaeda. Meanwhile, according to former National Public Radio reporter Sarah Chayes:
The steadily worsening situation in southern Afghanistan is not the work of some ineffable Al Qaeda nebula. It is the result of the real depredations of the corrupt and predatory government officials whom the United States ushered into power in 2001, supposedly to help fight Al Qaeda, and has assiduously maintained in power since, along with an “insurgency” manufactured whole cloth across the border in Pakistan – a US ally. … [People in] much of [Kandahar], the Taliban’s former stronghold, [are] disgusted with the Americans not because of their Western culture, but because of their apparent complicity with Islamist extremists.