An excellent article on Afghanistan by Tamim Ansary:

Who’s responsible for all this violence? Taliban remnants” usually get the blame. But that phrase optimistically suggests a single organized entity, of whom the last few are now being killed. Actually, the violence stems from structural instabilities that keep generating new militants as fast as (and partly because) the old ones are killed.

… With little aid to offer, the Kabul government is losing the battle for hearts and minds, especially in the south, where it faces its sternest challenge.

… Calling these marauders Taliban masks the underlying social dynamics. President Karzai illuminated this point recently when he called the current militants “Talibanists.” Indeed, this is not an organization but an attitude, an idea with particular force throughout that long belt of embittered Pushtoons.

Via Body and Soul, who also links to this depressing story about girls’ schools continuing to get attacked.