[QODLink]
INSIDE STORY
The Taliban's new code of conduct
Will it help them to win the hearts and minds of the local civilian population?
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2009 13:05 GMT

As the Taliban have grown in strength in recent years, individual commanders have had a fair degree of autonomy - often deciding what operations to conduct and how to run the territory they control.

Now it appears that Mullah Omar, the Afghan Taliban leader, wants to centralise the way the movement is run.

Every single Taliban fighter is being issued with a code of conduct - regulations that offer a rare insight into the Taliban's structure, organisation, evolution and goals.

It talks of limiting suicide attacks, avoiding civilian casualties, imposing restrictions on engaging foreign forces and ironically, like their enemies, trying to win the battle for the hearts and minds of the local civilian population.

Does this code of conduct signal a shift in Taliban ideology? Are they hoping it might help increase their popularity with the Afghan people? How will it affect the Afghan elections next month? Is it a PR campaign, a sign of discipline, strength, or weakness?
 
Inside Story presenter Imran Garda is joined by Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, the former Afghan prime minister, and Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress and former assistant secretary of defence in the Reagan administration.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, July 28, 2009.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.