Just a reminder: Success of U.S. airstrikes on AQ depends on U.S. presence in Afghanistan

posted at 7:07 pm on October 1, 2009 by Allahpundit

A superb point from Tapper, playing off my post yesterday about the unusual spike in successful Predator strikes over the past 18 months.

Sources say this success is largely because of better intelligence, stemming from greater cooperation by the Pakistani government and a stronger U.S. counter-insurgency program on the other side of the border in Afghanistan.

That added pressure creates the conditions for better intelligence on the ground as to where Taliban and al Qaeda forces are, sources say.

“They’re squeezed,” a Pentagon source says of individuals on the border region. “And when people are squeezed, they talk.”

But military officials who support Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s proposal for a larger counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan are concerned that some in the White House interpret this success as a reason to focus entirely on counterterrorism using drones…

Military sources worry that the success of the predator strikes will be seen as “happening in a vacuum,” with insufficient credit given to the counterinsurgency in Afghanistan.

In other words, the White House debate over counterterrorism versus counterinsurgency is a false dichotomy. If you want to succeed at the former, you had better succeed at the latter first, at least well enough to scare jihadists across the border into staying out of Afghanistan. I think Bob Gates does a tremendous job at Defense but I hope that message is trickling up to him, especially now that we know he’s wavering on securing Afghanistan too.

As a further follow-up to yesterday’s post, Bill Roggio has released updated stats on the success rate of U.S. airstrikes through September. Note how low the number of civilian casualties is; if you wanted more proof that our intelligence has gotten unusually good lately, there it is. The one lingering question I have about U.S. decapitation strikes is why none have been tried in southwest Pakistan in or near the city of Quetta, which has been Taliban HQ for ages now. WaPo ran a profile of the jihadi presence there just this past weekend, calling it the Taliban’s “new haven” inside the country and quoting intel officials as saying we have no presence there — which is, er, mighty alarming considering that newspapers have been writing about how the city’s crawling with terrorists since forever. Here’s a snippet from a New York Times magazine article published all the way back in 2006:

Today, Quetta has assumed the character of Peshawar in the 1980’s, a suspicious place of spies and counterspies and double agents. It is not just the hundreds of men in typical Afghan Pashtun clothing — the roughly wound turbans, dark shalwar kameez, eyes inked with kohl — who squat on Thursday afternoons outside the Kandahari mosque in the center of town, comparing notes on the latest fighting in Helmand or the best religious teachers. Rather, as I wandered the narrow alleyways of the Afghan neighborhoods, my local guides would say, “That’s where Mullah Dadullah was living” or “That’s where Mullah Amir Khan Haqqani is living.” (Haqqani is the Taliban’s governor in exile for Zabul Province.) Mullah Dadullah is now a folk hero for young Talibs like A. And all the Taliban I met told me that every time Dadullah gives another interview or appears on the battlefield, it serves as an instant injection of inspiration.

A Taliban spokesman captured by Afghanistan claimed that Mullah Omar himself was living in the city — under the protection of Pakistani intelligence — in early 2007. That’s how open a “secret” it is that the Taliban are based there. And not just the Taliban, maybe: There have been reports of Zawahiri being in the area too, which makes sense given that it’s a no-go zone for U.S. intelligence. Why infiltration isn’t a top priority for our side, I simply don’t know, but now that that WaPo piece was published, maybe it’s becoming more of a priority. Keep your eye on the upcoming Pakistani offensive into southern Waziristan, a.k.a. the Taliban’s “epicenter,” which borders Quetta’s province to the north. If the jihadist leaders there bug out in the teeth of the offensive and head south, it may finally force the U.S. and Pakistan to get serious about action inside the city. And once that happens, some very big fish are likely to get caught.


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OT but a very big deal…

Organizing for ObamaCare: The Office of Public Engagement’s Secret Participation at Convention of College Democrats

http://www.verumserum.com/?p=8888

ninjapirate on October 1, 2009 at 7:10 PM

We need to demand Buffy Wick’s calendar….

ninjapirate on October 1, 2009 at 7:10 PM

I think Bob Gates does a tremendous job at Defense but I hope that message is trickling up to him, especially now that we know he’s wavering on securing Afghanistan too.

Huh? Based on what, exactly?

AUINSC on October 1, 2009 at 7:10 PM

I think Bob Gates does a tremendous job at Defense but I hope that message is trickling up to him, especially now that we know he’s wavering on securing Afghanistan too.

Yeah, being Obama’s little yes man concerning missile defense and stopping of the F-22′s was a TREMENDOUS job!

upinak on October 1, 2009 at 7:16 PM

But what’s the point. It’s just whack-a-mole. There is an infinite supply of islamic men. They can replace them faster than we can kill them. In 10 years, they will have just as many islamic militants. In 20, in 30 and forever. Islam, unfortunately is here to stay, those countries will continue to be islamic, and the women will continue to have babies. So the whole exercise is pointless. It’s just a money pit. There is never any way of defining victory. It will just drag on for decades. And the benefit to national security? None. The terrorists that will attack us are already living in the US. They are being born here. Raised here. Educated here.

keep the change on October 1, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Probably helps to have more birds in the air as well,
oh ya,with hellfires onboard too!!(Sarc).

canopfor on October 1, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Stop firing those damn hellfires, or the dude from Sesame Street gets it!

Allahu Akhbar

ted c on October 1, 2009 at 7:17 PM

If the jihadist leaders there bug out in the teeth of the offensive and head south, it may finally force the U.S. and Pakistan to get serious about action inside the city.

Uh huh, maybe three months from now when Ogabe finally makes a decision on what to do, but far too late to make a difference.

Bishop on October 1, 2009 at 7:18 PM

check out Ron Paul’s deceitful video on Iran

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YGiuF97fRE

idiot

jp on October 1, 2009 at 7:18 PM

If you want to succeed at the former, you had better succeed at the latter first, at least well enough to scare jihadists across the border into staying out of Afghanistan.

I think this is what is called a “circular argument” or some such thing. If lots of AlQ are in Afghanistan then we need to keep lots of troops in Afghanistan. If there are hardly any AlQ in Afghanistan then we need to keep lots of troops in Afghanistan.

Reminds me of “Climate Change”. If the temperature goes up it is “Climate Change”. If the temperature goes down it’s still “Climate Change”

History repeats, first as tragedy, then as farce. Or maybe in this case that is reversed.

MB4 on October 1, 2009 at 7:19 PM

Yeah, being Obama’s little yes man concerning missile defense and stopping of the F-22’s was a TREMENDOUS job!

upinak on October 1, 2009 at 7:16 PM

upinak: Killing the F-22 Raptor was a monumental F-up
for the Community Organizing Socialist Engineer!!
-:)

canopfor on October 1, 2009 at 7:19 PM

*~@:{(>

Seven Percent Solution on October 1, 2009 at 7:19 PM

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Spines.

ted c on October 1, 2009 at 7:22 PM

upinak: Killing the F-22 Raptor was a monumental F-up
for the Community Organizing Socialist Engineer!!
-:)

canopfor on October 1, 2009 at 7:19 PM

It’s only an F-up if you think Messiah believes defending the US is worth the effort.

AUINSC on October 1, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Nah, the F22 wouldn’t do us any good. We’ll never have to dogfight the Chinese who are just coming over here to land on their own runways that they own….

/s

ted c on October 1, 2009 at 7:26 PM

As I recall, wasn’t Mmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Barack Hussein Obama going to snag Osama Bin Ladin from his hidey-hole from that neck of the woods? What happened to that plan?

CC

CapedConservative on October 1, 2009 at 7:29 PM

If Quetta is that safe,then it should be Target Number 1,
the only thing Jihadys really fear is US Airforce Airpower,
and having that town flattened would send a message to the
terrorists to re-model their caves for a new-coming!!
============================================================

And,since when has David AxleBrokenRod become a Military
expert,heres a piece from HLSNews!!
———————————————————-

http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/single.php?id=8369
————————————————————

The current fight over the F-22 notwithstanding, David Axe writes that an Air Force study, released without much fanfare last Wednesday, suggests that tomorrow’s dogfighters might not have pilots in the cockpit. The Unmanned Aircraft System Flight Plan. which sketches out possible drone development through the year 2047, comes with many qualifications, but it envisions a radical future. in the 82-page study, the Air Force explains how ever-larger and more sophisticated flying robots could eventually replace every type of manned aircraft in its inventory — everything from speedy, air-to-air fighters to lumbering bombers and tankers.

Axe notes that the emphasis is on “might” and “could.” While revealing how robots can equal the capabilities of traditional planes, the Air Force is careful to emphasize that an all-bot air fleet is not inevitable. Rather, drones will represent “alternatives” to manned planes, in pretty much every mission category.
————————————————————So,I take it,that AxleRod,going with the AntiWar Moonbat
sentiments,is concerned that they don’t want anybody in
harms way getting hurt!!

Or,is the Lefty mindset that of,oh ya,were still fight’n
the war,and nobodys getting killed,therefore no political
backlash!!

Jus sayin!!

canopfor on October 1, 2009 at 7:36 PM

It’s only an F-up if you think Messiah believes defending the US is worth the effort.

AUINSC on October 1, 2009 at 7:25 PM

AUINSC: Or World Security!!:)

canopfor on October 1, 2009 at 7:38 PM

Off Topic—Breaking:

Reported on Fox News—Brazil prepared to spend three times what Chicago is offering.

Vacation to Copenhagen another waste of taxpayer dollars. You can come home now, Mr. President and try doing something “presidential” like winning a war.

Rovin on October 1, 2009 at 7:40 PM

check out Ron Paul’s deceitful video on Iran

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YGiuF97fRE

idiot

jp on October 1, 2009 at 7:18 PM

jp: Sounds like Ron Paul is discussing the VRWC that doesn’t
exist!

Bottom line,Iran will never,ever give up its Nuclear
Weapons program,nor its eventual mass-production of its
war-heads that will be mass-produced under da mountain
that is reminiscent of the V-2 Rockets that Germany had
in WW2!!

canopfor on October 1, 2009 at 7:48 PM

Off Topic—Breaking:

Reported on Fox News—Brazil prepared to spend three times what Chicago is offering.

Vacation to Copenhagen another waste of taxpayer dollars. You can come home now, Mr. President and try doing something “presidential” like winning a war.

Rovin on October 1, 2009 at 7:40 PM

They got their own money to spen , not borrowing from the Chinese.

the_nile on October 1, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Off Topic—Breaking:

Reported on Fox News—Brazil prepared to spend three times what Chicago is offering.

Vacation to Copenhagen another waste of taxpayer dollars. You can come home now, Mr. President and try doing something “presidential” like winning a war.

Rovin on October 1, 2009 at 7:40 PM
They got their own money to spen , not borrowing from the Chinese.

the_nile on October 1, 2009 at 7:49 PM

It sure is easy to spend three times as much on the Olympics when some toolbag in another country is willing to drill for oil off your own coast that you’ll turn around and sell to him for three times as much.

Head Fake.

ted c on October 1, 2009 at 7:56 PM

The intelligence gathered from captured terrorists is what makes the predators strikes so efficient.

Sven on October 1, 2009 at 7:58 PM

It sure is easy to spend three times as much on the Olympics when some toolbag in another country is willing to drill for oil off your own coast that you’ll turn around and sell to him for three times as much.

Head Fake.

ted c on October 1, 2009 at 7:56 PM

Ted, the irony is that we’ve got ten times the reserves ON OUR OWN SOIL than Brazil could possibly begin to explore or sell. The “toolbag” is the liberal left that has driven this nation back to the stone ages in three short years of power.

Rovin on October 1, 2009 at 8:07 PM

ain’t that the troof.

ted c on October 1, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Al qaida is in Pakistan right now and we’re getting them with drones. Why can’t we do that in Afganistan if/when they come back?

B Man on September 23, 2009 at 10:57 PM

From where are the drones coming that are getting the Al Qaeda commanders?

unclesmrgol on September 23, 2009 at 11:14 PM

Thanks for the hat tip, Allah.

unclesmrgol on October 1, 2009 at 8:15 PM

Crap,should be, for a new-home coming!Ugh.

canopfor on October 1, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Obama wants the Afghan war to just go away. I’m sure the only thing he is trying to figure out is exactly when and how to get us out.

WisCon on October 1, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Glad to hear their success…now if only we could follow it up with boots on the ground unleashed to kick @$$, take names and not worry about some libtard reporter(s) or politician(s) backstabbing them.

Dark-Star on October 1, 2009 at 8:33 PM

I assure you the decision has already been made. Mark Lippert quit today to return to active duty. He wants no part of it. It’s going to get really messy over there. Obama is going to be responsible for 911 x 100 as well as WWIII beginning on his watch. End results; 2010 is going to be a massacre. 2012 is going to be a second holocaust.

Griz on October 1, 2009 at 9:05 PM

OT

ninjapirate343 on October 1, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Cleanup on aisle 3 needed.

Del Dolemonte on October 1, 2009 at 9:28 PM