The Afghan Taliban leadership operating out of Pakistan has surprised the US military by countering its offensive in southern Afghanistan with a shrewd expansion into the north and west of the country. “They’ve outmaneuvered us time and time again,” an intelligence official tells the New York Times. “The Taliban is trying to create trouble elsewhere to alleviate pressure” caused by the southern offensive, the official says.
The group also appears to be specifically aggravating German and Italian troops in what one source calls "strategic planning." Though Pakistan denies the influence of the so-called Quetta shura, the expanded Taliban activity has American officials toughening their calls for cooperation. In his assessment of the war, Gen. Stanley McChrystal specifically tied the Taliban to “some elements” of Pakistani intelligence.