Taliban Reclaiming Afghanistan
Now established in 54% of country and headed for Kabul
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2007 4:49 AM CST
A U.S. soldier of the Provincial Reconstruction Team distributes relief items among Afghan boys at Spera village in Khost, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Taliban is rapidly regaining control of Afghanistan, according to a report released by the Senlis Council, an independent think tank. The insurgency has established a permanent presence in 54% of the country, including "important road arteries," and the Taliban's goal of reaching Kabul in 2008 seems "more viable than ever," the report concluded.

The Taliban is currently exercising a "significant amount of psychological control, gaining more and more political legitimacy in the minds of the Afghan people who have a long history of shifting alliances and regime change," said the Senlis paper. In a separate report Oxfam warns that deteriorating security and government corruption are adding to a "humanitarian disaster" facing millions of Afghanis.