Who is The Taliban?
The Taliban is a terrorist organization that developed from the Mujahideen in Afghanistan during the 1980s. This group resides in Afghanistan, and has recently become more prevalent since the US pulled out of the country in 2021. The Pakistani sect of the Taliban has the goal of overthrowing the Pakistani government. They operate primarily on the parts of Pakistan close to the Afghan border and hold strong ties and allegiance to the Afghan Taliban. Recently in 2015, they attacked a Pakistani Air Force base Minhas in Kamra housing connected to their nuclear program.[i] Global leaders have voiced concern that with the Afghan takeover by the Taliban in 2022, that it will put Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal at risk if Pakistan were to be overwhelmed by the Taliban.
The Taliban inherited Stinger and SA-24 Igla-S MANPADS from their time fighting against the Soviet Union and from the leftover equipment from the US, of which the RAND Corp. estimates up to 4,500.[ii] In 2021, they discovered a cache of ballistic missiles containing Scud B and FROG-7 artillery rockets.[iii] With the unfettered operation in Afghanistan, the Taliban may use this opportunity to develop a precision strike arsenal for deterrence capabilities of their areas. Global leaders are concerned that their developments could threaten security of the region if they use their weapons to pursue Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile.
|Weapon||Range||Country of Origin|
|Scud B||300km||Soviet Union|
|FROG-7/9K52 Luna-M||68km||Soviet Union|
Missile Defense Systems
|Missile System||Range||Country of Origin|
|Stinger MANPAD||8km||United States|
|SA-24 Igla-S MANPAD||6km||Soviet Union|
[i] Taliban Attack on Pakistan Air Base Kills 29; Including 16 in Mosque (nbcnews.com)
[ii] New Kabul Scare: Terror Groups and Anti-Aircraft Missiles | Washington Monthly
[iii] Taliban find dozens of ballistic missiles in Panjshir Valley (defence-blog.com)