Fallout from Taliban Leader’s Death by Drone

This morning, the White House confirmed the death of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike on Saturday in southwest Pakistan. Mansour had assumed the position of Taliban leader in July 2015, replacing the group’s founder, Mullah Omar. The fallout of his death could have significant ramifications for the ongoing Taliban spring offensive, the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, and potential peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

“Mullah Mansour’s death, if confirmed, will present challenges and opportunities to the various stakeholders, depending on who is chosen as Mansour’s successor and how stakeholders perceive meaning in this strike,” explains Jeff Eggers, former Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affair and a Cipher Brief expert. “For the Taliban movement, they will struggle to retain cohesiveness, which could present a military advantage for the Afghan Army while making political talks more complicated.”

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