Little is known about the Taliban. About 90 percent of the people confuse the Taliban and Al-Qaeda on a daily basis. These are two similar groups on the surface. However, the two groups under the surface are actually very different. Contrary to most beliefs, the Taliban did not attack the United States of America on 11 September, 2001. Yes, they are a crucial part in the Global War on Terror and later it was revealed that they aided those who did attack the United States of America; however, they did not plan and execute the attack. Another misconception is that the Taliban are all just a bunch of extremists out to cleanse the world. Most are what we consider right wing thinkers who only want what is rightfully theirs. But there are those within the organization who are extremists, and these are the people I am focusing on during this paper. These, in my opinion, are the people we [the US military and US government] should pay most attention to and attempt to eradicate before they do any worse strike on the USA or any nation worse than 11 September, 2001.
History Did you know: contrary to most people’s thinking, the Taliban leadership is the only part of the organization that is institutionally taught? Most members of the group/ organization/ terrorist cell are taught only in madras’s (religious school) in local camps or tribal areas in Pakistan. When conversations turn to the Taliban, many questions are raised, for instance; who are the Taliban? Where did they come from? Why the heck are they so angry with us? Who is the real enemy, the Taliban or Al-Qaeda? Didn’t we support them a few years ago? Do we even need to be afraid of them, and if so, are we doing enough to stop them and others like them? These are just a few of the questions the United States of America (USA), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders, and numerous Intelligence agency members are faced with on a daily basis. Yet with all of these questions being raised, the general public still seems to understand very little about the Taliban, what they stand for, and why they are tasked with eradicating the West. This paper will discuss the Taliban and why we should fear them as a terrorist organization and continue our efforts to eradicate this dangerous group. This paper will also discuss their background and organization, the differences between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, their ties with many nations which the USA and NATO are currently at odds with, and finish up by touching on the future of the Taliban. So, let us dive into the depths of the unknown of this terrorist group, or at least the misunderstood world of the Taliban. First, we must define exactly what a terrorist group is. The most basic definition identified was “a political movement that uses terror as a weapon to achieve its goals” (Dictionary.com, 2009). Now that we understand exactly what a terrorist group is, we can continue with the discussion and understanding of the Taliban, why they are considered a terrorist group, and the threat they pose to the world. The Taliban is a very unique group, in that they were not a well-funded group in the beginning. In fact, the majority of founding members were descendants of refugees who fled Afghanistan to Pakistan just prior to the outbreak of the Soviet invasion in the late 1970’s. While living in Pakistan the refugees were receiving basic schooling, aid, military and defensive training, and organization from outside nations. All this assistance in combination with the extremist schooling they received from religious parties and local madras’s allowed the group to organize and attempt to reclaim their country and homeland from the Soviets. With USA and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) support, the group named themselves the mujahideen – “holy warriors” or “freedom fighters” - against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-89). After the departure of the Soviets, due