Due to the dominance of the Taliban the media are increasingly using the term "Talibanistan" to describe the region which stretches from the Eastern border of Iran to Kashmir. By discussing the socio-economic structures of Talibanistan this article aims to contribute to the ongoing debate on "failed states" and the "war on terror". Talibanistan has thus not only developed into a region characterized by the failing or absence of modern state functions; furthermore, the behaviour of local elites expresses anti-state attitudes derived from local amalgamations of tribal and Islamic norms and values as well as from the dominance of illicit economies. The case of Talibanistan therefore illustrates that the academic debate on failed states is too much influenced by the ideal type of a Weberian state and takes too little into consideration that political developments in many regions of the world (e.g. Horn of Africa, Afghanistan) are targeting the modern state order per se. Moreover, this contribution attempts to go beyond typical military analyses, which focus mainly on the combat operations in the "war on terror" between NATO and the Taliban movement and often enough ignore the socio-economic dimension of this conflict.