Who is QST?

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ISW’s Jeffrey Dressler and Carl Forsberg have jointly produced a new report in the Afghanistan Project series which analyzes the Quetta Shura Taliban’s (QST) organization, operations, and shadow government lead by Mullah Omar. (Download your copy of the report on our website). As additional Marines and soldiers arrive in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in 2010, this report on QST is a must-read for understanding the complex insurgency facing the U.S. Military.



This report explains that the simplistic view of the Taliban as a group of rag-tag fighters is inaccurate; they see themselves as Afghanistan’s only legitimate government. As such, QST has established a sophisticated shadow government in the southern Afghanistan provinces and evidence suggests around Kabul as well.



Many have underestimated the Taliban’s operational capabilities and symbolic importance. Mullah Omar is still understood to be the “Amir-ul-Momineen” or Leader of the Faithful while Mullah Barader handles day-to-day operations against US, Afghan and NATO forces. Jeff and Carl’s new report makes it clear that Mullah Omar wants to once again rise to prominence in Kabul.


For further reading, download the QST report on ISW’s website. Please keep checking www.UnderstandingWar.org for more updates on all things related to Iraq and Afghanistan!



Many Thanks,

Megan Ortagus
Communications Director, ISW


<div><span style="font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 7.5pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">A U.S. Marine with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment provides support by fire during Operation Cobra's Anger in Now Zad, Afghanistan, on Dec. 5, 2009. The Marines are clearing buildings occupied by insurgents. DoD photo by Cpl. Albert F. Hunt, U.S. Marine Corps. (Released)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA"> </span></div>
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