Afghan Resistance Groups Eye Spring Offensive

But internal divisions and the Taliban get a vote, too.

Armed resistance against the Taliban is picking up momentum across Afghanistan, with militias run by former political and military leaders of the collapsed republic recruiting and arming fighters, notably from the ranks of the former republic’s U.S.-trained security forces. Some are trying to drum up international support for forcible regime change, according to sources among the groups, who have eyes on a spring offensive.

But the lack of unity among leaders of the armed opposition groups, who regard each other more as rivals than comrades, could mean they are unlikely for now to make much progress in their shared ambition to overthrow the Taliban, a movement that has been galvanized by the extremists’ repression of women, girls, and ethnic groups.

“The Taliban have proven they cannot govern, cannot address their own differences, and cannot address the concerns of neighboring countries, so there is an awareness of new geopolitical dynamics and realities,” said Mirwais Naab, a former deputy foreign minister working with the National Resistance Front, the most prominent of the opposition groups.