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The Taliban is taking its fight into Afghanistan’s cities. In recent days, it has staged offensives in Herat, Kandahar, and Lashkar Gah, with other cities in its crosshairs as well.

These assaults in urban spaces have already had a terrible impact on civilians, with reports of people being killed and displaced amid the fighting. The Taliban’s urban offensives also signal a new phase of the war, as in previous years the insurgents’ influence and control was largely restricted to rural areas.

Why is the Taliban entering cities, how successful might it be in its efforts to seize cities, and what does this all mean for Afghanistan and the Afghan people?

The latest episode of The AfPak File examines these questions and more. Joining the debate are Mariam Solaimankhil, a member of Parliament in Afghanistan; Heela Najibullah, a writer and researcher; and Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center.

Muhammad Tahir, Washington DC media manager at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, moderates the discussion.

This podcast originally appeared on RFE/RL.

Moderator

Muhammad Tahir

Media Manager, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more