For example, a recently-promoted Sadar quietly turned over his military command to Zakir after only a few months in 2014, and both subsequently deferred to Yaqub when he took over as the Taliban’s defence minister.
By the same token, it is not surprising that Baradar deputises for the lesser-known Hasan, in spite of some media conjecture that this represents a point.
In the Taliban structure, often rotated and not especially formal, losing an official post does not equate to losing one’s influence: an ousted official is still part of the same level of Taliban leadership, and may well recover his former position in the next rotation.
Most speculation over Taliban appointments, which darkly warn of impending internal struggles, misses the key point that rotation is a typical function; only the Taliban emir is considered exempt.
This does not mean that the Taliban structure will withstand any pressures; every movement has a shelf life, and every political group breaks down at some point. But the history of Taliban organisation, during emirate and insurgency alike, shows a level of flexibility, sophistication, and adaptability that bely their homespun roots and has so far served them well as an organization.