Death Of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor: A Major Blow To The Taliban?


 

It has been reported to the whole world that the Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, has been killed in a US strike in Pakistan on May 22nd, 2016. Many news channels and site professionals are analyzing and reporting on this recent incident. The ultimate confirmation has yet to be made, but currently, it is highly likely that Mansoor is dead from the attacks. There are some surrounding controversies, whereby some Taliban commanders are denying that Mansoor was present in the area of the strike, whereas some have confirmed his death on social media. The American army has yet to give a final confirmation. For example, Brig. Cleveland, a spokesman for American forces in Afghanistan has stated that they are “confident, but do not have indisputable facts that he is dead.” 

This recent attack raises two major questions: How much authority do the American forces have over Afghanistan and what will happen to the formation of the Taliban? It has been known that Mansoor took over leadership in 2015 after the death of the former Taliban leader, Mullah Omar. Most likely, the Taliban group will choose a new leader in place of Mansoor.

His death has brought more challenges for the Taliban, but it is important to consider what kind of changes it will ultimately bring? Additionally, some sources cite that the Pakistani government was never officially informed about the drone attacks. This brings up the question as to how much power or influence do the American Forces have in Pakistan and how will the Pakistani government analyze this situation? As of now, the “government in Islamabad did not immediately respond to the news whilst Pakitan’s media, which often follows directions from the country’s security establishment, did not rush to condemn the strike as a breach of the country’s sovereignty.” One of the major criticisms that the drone attack is receiving is that the peace talk between the Taliban and the Pakistani government has become much more challenging and, perhaps, unattainable. For example, “Islamabad has long argued the only way to end the war in Afghanistan is to try to coax a united Taliban to the table for peace talks.”

With that said, it is important to be aware of the dynamic between the American forces and the Pakistan government, especially within Pakistan itself, may become more complex. The death of Mansoor may or may not become a beneficial step for the establishment of peace.

Jisue Shin
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