Book Report – Not


I am reading Afghanistan’s Endless War by Larry P. Goodman.  While I have never read a doctoral dissertation, this book reads like I would expect one to read.  Dry, with an extreme attention to detail.  And it was published before September 11, 2001.

With all the reading I have done on the Afghan-Pakistan area, the below excerpt from the book is the first time I can recall seeing this assertion.

From pages 80 and 81 (my bolds),

Following their brief success in Mazar-i-Sharif in May 1997, the Taliban government was recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but the rest of the world has continued to recognize the Rabbani regime as the legitimate government of the country.

[ . . . ]

Other regional actors, especially, Russia, India, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, have grown increasingly uneasy with the Taliban’s continued success, for these countries view the Taliban as merely Pakistan’s proxy. Indeed, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, along with the Rabbani government, all alleged that the recent Taliban victories in northern Afghanistan were due in part to direct Pakistani military involvement, including more than 1500 troops and numerous combat sorties by the Pakistan air force in the 1998 Mazur-i-Sharif campaign.

[ . . . ]

Thus Pakistan, with the financial support of Saudi Arabia and the earlier tacit approval of the United States, is responsible for the existence and maintenance of the Taliban.

For all my reading on Afghanistan and the Taliban, this is the first time I’ve read of Pakistan being behind the Taliban.

Did I miss something?  Is this common knowledge?

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