Two months after the 9/11 attacks and little more than a month after the Oct. 7, 2001 American-led invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban were forced from Kabul and appeared to have been crushed.
But the fundamentalist movement proved surprisingly resilient and is now openly active in 70 percent of the country, according to the results of a January BBC survey.
Meanwhile, the occupation of Afghanistan has become the longest war in US history.
“Taliban Narratives: The Use and Power of Stories in the Afghanistan Conflict” by Thomas H. Johnson explains how and why the Taliban’s clever use of propaganda has enabled the insurgency to flourish.
As well as running their own websites and magazines, the militants have used everything from simple graffiti to poetry and self-produced DVDs to publicize their cause. In doing so, they have proved highly adept at rallying large numbers of Afghans to their side and outwitting the far more sophisticated propaganda campaigns of the US and NATO.