From Jonathan Broder at the reliable SpyTalk.
You can’t understand Afghanistan without understanding the role of the Pakistani spy agency known as Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI.
Islamabad publicly distanced itself from the Taliban, proclaiming Pakistan a loyal ally in the U.S. war on terror. But the ISI covertly continued its support for the group, giving its leaders and fighters sanctuary, more weapons and training in the southwestern Pakistani border city of Quetta. Refreshed and rearmed, the Taliban slipped back into Afghanistan to wage their insurgency against the Afghan government and the U,S. troops that propped it up.
With the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s return to power last month, Pakistan’s investment has now returned substantial dividends with the appointment of Haqqani network leaders and ISI proxies to top positions in the Taliban’s new interim government.