The LA Times wrote a pretty interesting piece on the Taliban’s intelligence networks:
The Taliban uses the information it gathers to probe for openings for suicide bombers, to monitor the movements of Western and Afghan forces and to stymie efforts to improve public services that help the government build credibility with civilians.
But analysts also point to a key weakness: Even though a new generation of militants is more adept at employing the Internet, cellphones and social media, the Taliban’s decentralized structure makes it difficult to synthesize information and act in a unified manner.
Indeed. I’m not just hyping this because the reporter quotes me later in the piece. It is important to keep in mind that the Taliban also has collection and analysis efforts in play. Even if they’re not as organized and corporate as American intel, it is effective. And, almost as importantly, operates at 1/100 the cost.