According to a New York Times piece, the Taliban are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attacks on NATO troops. Not only have they begun spreading their geographic scope– attacking beyond their stronghold in the south–but they have become adept at strategic communications with both Afghans and NATO member states. The Taliban are naturally far more successful at getting their message across to Afghans. They are also exploiting elections in European states, having recently lured a German air strike that killed nearly 90 people just as parliamentary elections are underway in Germany. The Taliban is, moreover, receiving strategic support from the “Quetta shura” based in Pakistan, which the article asserts is backed by the Pakistani Inter-Intelligence Services agency.

The New York Times article quotes various anonymous American intelligence and military sources, which begs the question of why the administration has chosen to do this. In Washington, and for that matter capitals everywhere, foreign policy leaks are a common tactic to say things out loud without incriminating any actual officials. Is this part of a new move to put greater pressure on Pakistan’s ISI to do more? Or an effort to scapegoat Pakistan for a fledgling war in Afghanistan?