Taliban collapsing in Pakistan?

posted at 5:20 pm on August 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The death of Baitullah Mehsud appears to have done even more damage to the Taliban terrorist network in Pakistan than first thought.  Without their charismatic leader to unite them, the Taliban has begun to splinter across ideological and tribal lines, and the council Mehsud founded is dissolving into power plays and parochial interests.  The infighting might prove more deadly to the network than the Pakistan Army:

Pakistan’s extremist Taliban movement is badly divided over who should be its new leader, and analysts and local tribesmen say the al Qaida-linked group may be in danger of crumbling.

A wave of defections, surrenders, arrests and bloody infighting has severely weakened the movement since its founder, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed Aug. 5 in a U.S. missile strike. The announcement this weekend that Hakimullah Mehsud, a 28-year-old with a reputation as a hothead, would succeed him is likely to further widen the split. …

Pakistan authorities arrested the Taliban’s high-profile spokesman, Maulvi Umer, in the tribal areas, while a key interlocutor between the Taliban and al Qaida, commander Saifullah, was also detained at a house in Islamabad where he was receiving medical treatment.

Separately, 60 Taliban fighters gave themselves up in the Swat valley in Pakistan’s northwest. Many Taliban in Waziristan have defected since Baitullah Mehsud’s death.

In a further sign of internal discord, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed Sunday that militants had killed Baitullah Mehsud’s in-laws, including his father-in-law, on suspicion of giving away his location. The former Taliban leader had been staying at his father-in-law’s house in Waziristan when he was killed by a missile fired from a U.S. drone.

Any time one side can decapitate the leadership of the other, recriminations and feuds usually follow in its wake.  That would be especially true for a movement based on tribal politics like the Taliban.  Mehsud managed to keep a lid on rivalries and petty jealousies, presumably on the strength of his personality and success.  But Mehsud was nothing more than a warlord at best, and when warlords die before they prepare their succession, infighting inevitably results among the remaining players.

The two heirs apparent are Haikmullah Mehsud, Baitullah’s hot-headed son, and Waliur Rehman, a more level-headed lieutenant of Mehsud and more connected to the Waziristan base for the Taliban.  Mehsud claimed the top spot in Orakzai, well away from Waziristan, which indicates his weakness in that area, according to McClatchy reporter Saeed Shah.  The Waziris want Rehman, whom they claim was Baitullah Mehsud’s favorite before his death.

Shah notes that the infighting could ratchet up the danger for Pakistan, as both factions try to prove their mala fides by launching a rash of attacks, especially the hot-headed younger Mehsud.  However, there is also opportunity, as both sides fight with each other, and create more splintering and factions in the Taliban.  Shah doesn’t mention that the various factions may try to gain advantage by supplying Islamabad with intel to get the Pakistani Army and the US to do their dirty work in this regard.  That is an old, old story in insurgencies and factionalization that goes back centuries if not millenia in all parts of the world.  While the danger for Pakistanis could certainly rise significantly, the opportunities for further destruction of the Taliban rise much higher.

Meanwhile, Michael Yon gives us a front-line report from Afghanistan:

The mission was an obvious success.  It was surprising that we endured no fatalities or serious injuries.  The mission was well-executed and since many of the soldiers have substantial combat experience from Iraq and Afghanistan, major dramas were averted.  Murphy had smiled upon us.  The only injury to my knowledge was the soldier who fell off the ladder.  Soldiers who had previously fought on Pharmacy Road said we had sustained about twenty fatalities and injuries in that general area.  And though at least one IED has been placed on the road since last week, C Coy and the ANA are now regularly patrolling and the freedom of movement has resumed.

This is a brutal fight.  Since that mission, eight more British soldiers and two interpreters have been killed in this area.  That’s ten KIA plus the wounded.  The soldiers keep going.

Be sure to read it all, and to hit Michael’s tip jar when you get the chance.

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Good, the Pakis can join us in Afghanistan to wipe out the rest of the scum.

izoneguy on August 24, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

All Bush’s fault.

Del Dolemonte on August 24, 2009 at 5:25 PM

If this is true, at least in Pakistan, why is it going so badly in Afghanistan?

Skandia Recluse on August 24, 2009 at 5:26 PM

What qualifies as charismatic in the Taliban?

Cindy Munford on August 24, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Good work soldiers, keep arranging those meetings between Taliban and Allah.

johnnybgood on August 24, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Nooo… We’re losing and need a TON of more troops.. haven’t you read the papers?

Skywise on August 24, 2009 at 5:28 PM

What qualifies as charismatic in the Taliban?

Cindy Munford on August 24, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Ohhhhhh… never mind… :)

Skywise on August 24, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Not to worry, the ISI will make sure that things stay hot in Afghanistan; can’t have the Yankee imperialists getting too comfortable right next door.

Bishop on August 24, 2009 at 5:30 PM

If this is true, at least in Pakistan, why is it going so badly in Afghanistan?

Skandia Recluse on August 24, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Was thinking the same thing. Seems like the Pakistan situation creates a good opportunity for the hammer and anvil military strategy.

WashJeff on August 24, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Ha! Obama doesn’t have a damn thing to do with these operations other than staying out of the way. For that I am thankful but “doing well” is oxymoronish in this situation. It works because he “does nothing” to screw it up.

Guardian on August 24, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Maybe Osama Bin Hiding will finally take over.

Cindy Munford on August 24, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well

Snort. Obama is too busy hunting CIA agents. And too willing to surrender in Afghanistan. Just back search to see talk of “We are losing” from the Admin.

William Amos on August 24, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

How is Afghanistan working for you blue?

Wade on August 24, 2009 at 5:31 PM

I inherited this Taliban from the previous administration.

jukin on August 24, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

How is Afghanistan working for you blue?

In another five years, Obama will have had as much time to clean up Afghanistan as Bush did. Ask me then.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.
Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Yep. That’s why the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullensaid over the weekend that

I think it is serious and it is deteriorating, and I’ve said that over the past couple of years — that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated

Yep. Barry’s a military genius.

kingsjester on August 24, 2009 at 5:33 PM

If this is true, at least in Pakistan, why is it going so badly in Afghanistan?

Skandia Recluse on August 24, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Seeing they are next door, do you think it is possible they have migrated to Afghanistan to fight?

Wade on August 24, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

I guess you haven’t heard about what’s been going on Afghanistan since Barry sacked the theater commander.

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.
Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Fortunately Hillary had given him a “Keep doing what you’re doing” Button.

Patrick S on August 24, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.
Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Yep. That’s why the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullensaid over the weekend that

I think it is serious and it is deteriorating, and I’ve said that over the past couple of years — that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated

Yep. Barry’s a military genius.

I’m sorry, remind me who was in charge most of “the past couple of years?” And when did the effort in Afghanistan finally begin to ratchet up?

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.
Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

So when do you enter boot camp? Marines or Army? You know, that whole “If you support Bush’s wars then why haven’t you enlisted” thingie we had to listen to for eight years.

What are you, a chickenhawk?

Bishop on August 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

In another five years, Obama will have had as much time to clean up Afghanistan as Bush did. Ask me then.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:33 PM

I am asking you now, be consistent, you want to credit BO for Pakistan and credit Bush for Afghanistan. That Blues blows.

Wade on August 24, 2009 at 5:37 PM

About as likely as Mohammadism becoming a religion of peace.

The Taliban is one tentacle of the global Islamoctopus, and little will improve until the core dogmas of this dismal deathcult are overthrown through an implacable pressure, from the infidel world, to reform them out of the Sharia system.

Pakistan, meanwhile, created the Taliban, and can easily refresh the jihad herd with more brainwashed madrassa maniacs.

profitsbeard on August 24, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.
Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

So when do you enter boot camp? Marines or Army? You know, that whole “If you support Bush’s wars then why haven’t you enlisted” thingie we had to listen to for eight years.

What are you, a chickenhawk?

I don’t think they take people of my advanced years. Otherwise I’d be down at the recruiter’s office right now. My son’s about the right age, but he has a bit of an attitude.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:38 PM

I’m sorry, remind me who was in charge most of “the past couple of years?” And when did the effort in Afghanistan finally begin to ratchet up?

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

The worst month of deaths of the 8 year war by a wide margin was last month.

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 5:39 PM

I’m sorry, remind me who was in charge most of “the past couple of years?” And when did the effort in Afghanistan finally begin to ratchet up?
Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Is ratchet another word for the insurgency that Admiral Mullen described?

kingsjester on August 24, 2009 at 5:39 PM

What are you, a chickenhawk?

Bishop on August 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Blow is not old enough and 10 grade starts soon.

Wade on August 24, 2009 at 5:39 PM

I’m sorry, remind me who was in charge most of “the past couple of years?” And when did the effort in Afghanistan finally begin to ratchet up?

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Quit while your ahead poofter.

DanMan on August 24, 2009 at 5:40 PM

mala fides

Nice, Ed.

Time to make some more popcorn.

rbj on August 24, 2009 at 5:45 PM

In another five years, Obama will have had as much time to clean up Afghanistan as Bush did. Ask me then.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:33 PM

I am asking you now, be consistent, you want to credit BO for Pakistan and credit Bush for Afghanistan. That Blues blows.

In all seriousness:

Bush clearly screwed up in Afghanistan and Obama is taking steps to improve the situation. It is too early to tell if he and the troops on the ground are succeeding or not.

In Pakistan, Obama’s swearing in has been accompanied by a more energetic counter-insurgency effort by the Pakistani government and successes like the killing of Baitullah Mehsud. Whether either of these would have happened with McCain in the White House or (or Bush, speaking hypothetically) is debatable, but some credit surely accrues to Obama as CiC, just as blame would be assigned him if the situation was deteriorating, even due to circumstances beyond his control.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Hit the Mike Yon tip jar this morning (he needs your help and may be off the air come September) and then received a public email from Mike that his embed with the British has been terminated by the Ministry of Defence aparently after he published his latest dispatch. His latest post “Bad Medicine” is a good read and he has about the only actionable intelligence coming out of Afghanistan. It will be a long, long fight on all fronts over there. Go read and give him your support. He’s off to embed with US troops next – perhaps with the newly arrived Marines.

Simonsez on August 24, 2009 at 5:47 PM

I don’t think they take people of my advanced years. Otherwise I’d be down at the recruiter’s office right now. My son’s about the right age, but he has a bit of an attitude.
Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:38 PM

A lot of kids do, that’s for sure, but the military is great for adjusting attitudes; it worked for me, no doubt.

Still, if you are too old to serve, you should at least encourage your fellow liberals to join-up and serve in Ogabe’s wars, at least those who are now staying quiet about the rank imperialism currently on display.

Bishop on August 24, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

The only war the current CIC seems to be fighting is to kill as many Americans as possible. Based on the number of abortions to date, his team has inflicted more deaths on US citizens than all our enemies since this land was discovered. The ones he misses at birth, he’s trying balance out with elderly and vets.

Hening on August 24, 2009 at 5:47 PM

I’m sorry, remind me who was in charge most of “the past couple of years?” And when did the effort in Afghanistan finally begin to ratchet up?

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

The worst month of deaths of the 8 year war by a wide margin was last month.

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Right — just as casualties climbed in the early months of the Surge.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:48 PM

on one of the Virginia blogs, there was a troll called “i bleed obama blue”. do you think “bleeds blue” is the same person?

if so, you will have fun with him.

kelley in virginia on August 24, 2009 at 5:49 PM

That’s funny, all the bad things that are happening in the country are the left over failed programs of the Bush administration but an uptick on the war in Pakistan is due to the military genuius that is in the White House now.

Cindy Munford on August 24, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

only cause he’s following in dubya’s footsteps on this issue…everything else he sucks at.

SHARPTOOTH on August 24, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.
Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Obama is taking steps to improve the situation. It is too early to tell if he and the troops on the ground are succeeding or not.

Hypocrisy apparently bleeds blue.

Guardian on August 24, 2009 at 5:56 PM

on one of the Virginia blogs, there was a troll called “i bleed obama blue”. do you think “bleeds blue” is the same person?

Different person. Though fun…

That’s funny, all the bad things that are happening in the country are the left over failed programs of the Bush administration but an uptick on the war in Pakistan is due to the military genuius that is in the White House now.

Cindy Munford on August 24, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Actually, although Bush is in fact the source of all evil, who dumped a number of crises in Obama’s lap upon leaving, Afghanistan being one of theme, I did admit that it was too early to tell if Obama was a military genius or not. Given the dire predictions of surrender and defeat that accompanied his inauguration, though, it’s worth pointing out that he is leading a muscular effort and having some modest early success.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:45 PM

The credit for the counter-insurgency has nothing to do with Obama (or McCain or Bush for that matter). The reason it is on the defensive has everything to do with the Taliban trying to overthrow Islamabad. The need for self-preservation is just as strong there as it is over here.

txaggie on August 24, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Cindy:

yeah, in spite of the fact that 7 in 10 Democrats do not even support the war in Afghanistan.

I hope they keep up the pressure over there.

Terrye on August 24, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Bleeds Blue:

You do not know what you are talking about. Bush did not dump anything in Obama’s lap. The Democrats who have been in control of Congress for years are the ones who screwed things up. Until they came along, the economy was doing pretty damn well.

And Clinton dumped Saddam and AlQaida in Bush’s lap.

The smartest thing Obama did was to keep people like Gates and Patraeus around from the Bush administration.

Terrye on August 24, 2009 at 6:04 PM

In another five years, Obama will have had as much time to clean up Afghanistan as Bush did. Ask me then.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Obama will have us out of there long before the five years are up. He’s just looking for the right excuse.

a capella on August 24, 2009 at 6:05 PM

txaggie:

There is truth in that. Pakistan tried to cut a deal with the Taliban and the Taliban turned on them..they had little choice but to finally go after them. If the Taliban had stayed in Afghanistan, or left urban areas like Islamabad alone…the Pak offensive would not have taken place.

Terrye on August 24, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Cindy:

yeah, in spite of the fact that 7 in 10 Democrats do not even support the war in Afghanistan.

I hope they keep up the pressure over there.

Terrye on August 24, 2009 at 6:01 PM

I am almost surely not as wired to the right wing echo chamber as most here, but it seems that I’m starting to pick up some right-wing dissatisfaction with the war as well, that it’s unwinnable nation-building and not worth the effort? True?

That 51% of Americans say the war is not fighting is a trenchant argument against government by polling — something to remember in the health care debate.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Separately, 60 Taliban fighters gave themselves up in the Swat valley in Pakistan’s northwest. Many Taliban in Waziristan have defected since Baitullah Mehsud’s death.

Not surprising. Consider that the culture there is much like feudal Europe. Just as a knight or squire might swear an oath of fealty to a prince or a lord, so these people swear such an oath (bayaa, or bayat) to their warlord. Once they swear that oath, they are honor bound not to break it until they die or their “commander” dies. Once Meshud died, all those who had received the bayaa from Meshud were free from it and can now change sides without dishonoring themselves, their families, or their tribe. They basically become free agents at that point.

This is why killing the commanders is so important. Simply capturing them will not do as their men are still bound to be loyal as long as they live. If you know who is linked to whom, you can shatter entire alliances of warlords and tribes by taking out key links that tie them together through oaths and marriage.

The Pashtun are a feudal system and needs to be looked at that way in order to better understand it. Maybe not exactly like our feudal system, but thinking of it in those terms gets you closer to what is going on than thinking of it in the “nation state” sense that we are using to dealing with.

crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 6:12 PM

Right — just as casualties climbed in the early months of the Surge.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:48 PM

I don’t recall the commanders saying they didn’t have enough men to pull off the surge.

Do you?

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Not too mention that violence is getting worse in Iraq since the Capitulator-in-Chief has withdrawn troops.

kirkill on August 24, 2009 at 6:20 PM

that it’s unwinnable nation-building and not worth the effort? True?

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 6:06 PM

No. And likely 99.999% of everything else you know and believe is wrong too.

kirkill on August 24, 2009 at 6:22 PM

I don’t recall the commanders saying they didn’t have enough men to pull off the surge.

Do you?

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 6:17 PM

yes

crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 6:23 PM

“Sometimes I wish all the readers could just come out here for a single day. Readers would never forget it. Look at that dog. What’s he going to do against Taliban with RPGs? – Michael Yon”

If any of you haven’t………

……. I suggest you take Ed’s advice and read Michal’s post.

God Bless the United States and Coalition forces…….

Seven Percent Solution on August 24, 2009 at 6:27 PM

yes

crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Active commanders?

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 6:29 PM

that it’s unwinnable nation-building and not worth the effort? True?

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 6:06 PM

No. And likely 99.999% of everything else you know and believe is wrong too.

kirkill on August 24, 2009 at 6:22 PM

Actually, the folks at CATO are pretty down on the whole thing, I was just wondering if it had gone beyond them.

Not too mention that violence is getting worse in Iraq since the Capitulator-in-Chief has withdrawn troops.

kirkill on August 24, 2009 at 6:20 PM

The violence comes in cycles. Our continue presence is never going to “win” that war. The Iraqis are as ready for us to leave as they are ever going to be.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 6:30 PM

A wave of defections, surrenders, arrests and bloody infighting has severely weakened the movement since its founder, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed Aug. 5 in a U.S. missile strike. The announcement this weekend that Hakimullah Mehsud, a 28-year-old with a reputation as a hothead, would succeed him is likely to further widen the split. …

Hotheaded Talis are a good thing…it makes them that much easier for Predators and laser-guided munitions to see, track and make go bye-bye, n’est pas?

Mike D. on August 24, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Active commanders?

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Never would be such a thing. One would have to resign before publicly criticizing the policy. A commanding officer publicly criticizing General Petraeus while serving in theater would probably find their career over anyway.

You are entitled to an opinion but you do not have the right to jeopardize a mission or gut the moral of the troops by blabbing it all over the press. At least not while you are serving as a part of that mission.

crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 6:37 PM

yes

crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Active commanders?

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Obama has doubled troop levels since January. Ne commander McChrystal is in the midst of an assessment and it is likely that Obama will follow his recommendations. I’m not sure what else one expects.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 6:39 PM

If Hitler had died in 1939-40 would there have been a WWII?
If Mao had come to an early death in his leadership would millions have died in China under his direction? Ditto for Stalin in Russia.
Take out the strong, charismatic leader and the movement withers away.

albill on August 24, 2009 at 6:44 PM

Never would be such a thing. One would have to resign before publicly criticizing the policy. A commanding officer publicly criticizing General Petraeus while serving in theater would probably find their career over anyway.

You are entitled to an opinion but you do not have the right to jeopardize a mission or gut the moral of the troops by blabbing it all over the press. At least not while you are serving as a part of that mission.

crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 6:37 PM

I’m still not seeing the parallel between a handful of retired captains complaining about the Iraq Surge on an editorial board and an Admiral on the Jt Chiefs of Staff saying Obama’s surge in troops was insufficient.

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 6:44 PM

Pray for our troops. May God grant them victory, bless their families and bring them safely home. Shout out to hawkdriver. Thank you for fighting for my freedom.

Christian Conservative on August 24, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Obama has doubled troop levels since January. Ne commander McChrystal is in the midst of an assessment and it is likely that Obama will follow his recommendations. I’m not sure what else one expects.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 6:39 PM

My worry is that Obama took it upon himself to fire an active theater commander during wartime and replace him with a man with a spotty record. Not since Truman canning MacArthur in Korea has this happened.

And I think we can agree Obama ain’t no Truman.

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Chuck, how familiar are you with the war in Iraq? Practically every general in the Army thought the troop levels in Iraq were woefully inadequate. In fact, Rumsfeld basically bypassed the Joint Chiefs and had Gen. Franks reporting directly to him, for all practical purposes.

What they wanted was a “surge” right after Baghdad fell so they could establish security and secure the borders while things were being put back together. Instead, Rumsfeld started drawing them down almost immediately and we had 3 years of playing “whack-a-mole” as a result.

I think the commanders in theater were happy just to be getting ANY additional troops. As Rumsfeld was so dead-set against increasing troop levels, any public statement by an active commander saying troop levels were too low would have been a career ending move.

You will notice the timing between the decision to surge and Rumsfeld’s resignation. That is pretty much because having a “surge” would have been validation that Rumsfeld’s strategy had been wrong all along and if the surge worked, it would have emboldened his subordinates to buck him. Basically the surge cut the legs out from under Rumsfled. He had no choice but resign.

But commanders had been saying all along that there weren’t enough troops. Even in the planning leading up to the war, anyone saying more troops were required to maintain security were accused of “old think” and were bypassed, fired, or “resigned”.

crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 6:57 PM

I’m not sure what else one expects.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 6:39 PM

One expects that you STFU, as all you’ve got is talking points and leftiod Crap. Doesn’t you wrist get tired ??

Janos Hunyadi on August 24, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Chuck, how familiar are you with the war in Iraq?
crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 6:57 PM

I lost someone over in Anbar in 2006, so I’d say better than average.

I don’t dispute any of what you said about Rumsfeld and Iraq… my original point was that I don’t recall the call for more troops came from the Jt Chief after the Surge in Iraq began.

Obama clearly is trying to mimic in Afghanistan the Surge that he once opposed in Iraq. ~20k more troops and a new commander thought as “Petraeus”-like. This is what Obama promised as a candidate.

Now I loathe Obama, have always thought of him as a fraud, and his diving poll numbers show others are waking up as well… but I sure as hell don’t want to see him fail in war.

I’m just hoping his foray into military strategy is a little more thought out and less impetuous than his forays into everything else we’ve seen.

Chuck Schick on August 24, 2009 at 7:16 PM

“my original point was that I don’t recall the call for more troops came from the Jt Chief after the Surge in Iraq began”

Agreed. But I don’t have access to all of their congressional testimony during that time.

crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 7:18 PM

Oh. here you go. That is about as close as I can find right now. Would love to have been a fly on the wall during “closed” testimony, though.

And sorry for your loss in Anbar :(

crosspatch on August 24, 2009 at 7:23 PM

In another five years, Obama will have had as much time to clean up Afghanistan as Bush did. Ask me then.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:33 PM

In another five years, your boy Obama is going to be back walking the streets of Chicago, bullhorn and clipboard in hand, agitating net tax consumers (that means societal leeches) into frenzies.

Dave R. on August 24, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Good work. Apparently the Commander-in-Chief is doing well.

Bleeds Blue on August 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Obama hasn’t got the foggiest clue of what he is doing as CIC.

This completely unqualified fraud of a POTUS is well on his way to boogering things up royally in both Ashcanistan and even Iraq.

Hell, even Qaddafi is defiantly laughing at Obama, and the whole world is seeing this.

What color is the sky where you reside?

Dave R. on August 24, 2009 at 7:31 PM

obama is the worst CinC I served under in 33 years or military service.

hawkdriver on August 24, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Taliban is now a community organizing entity and has been rebranded. It will now be known as

T The
A Army of
L Losers and
I Islamic
B B@$t@rd$
A Atyourservice
N Now

macncheez on August 24, 2009 at 8:21 PM

That’s funny, all the bad things that are happening in the country are the left over failed programs of the Bush administration but an uptick on the war in Pakistan is due to the military genuius that is in the White House now.

Cindy Munford on August 24, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Yep, that’s about right. Why does this surprise you? After all, this is the smartest president evah!

TopLawyer on August 24, 2009 at 8:50 PM

Are they going to fall apart before Obama can negotiate with them?

Are they trying to destroy his Presidency?

NoDonkey on August 24, 2009 at 11:03 PM

Ed,
You may want to read Bill Roggio’s analysis of the situation over at LWJ

His views are more nuanced and tempered.

nagee76 on August 24, 2009 at 11:16 PM

Taliban collapsing in Pakistan?

Way to hedge your headline :(.

Kevin M on August 25, 2009 at 11:16 PM