NYT: NATO escorting top Taliban leaders to Kabul for peace talks

posted at 9:41 pm on October 19, 2010 by Allahpundit

Not Mullah Omar — he’s been cut out of the process — but a bunch of others, including members of the Taliban leadership council (the Quetta shura) and the Haqqani network. WaPo first reported two weeks ago that “peace” talks were ongoing, but it was unclear whether they were serious and whether the Haqqanis were involved. Answers to both questions: Yes, sort of.

Talks to end the war in Afghanistan involve extensive, face-to-face discussions with Taliban commanders from the highest levels of the group’s leadership, who are secretly leaving their sanctuaries in Pakistan with the help of NATO troops, officials here say…

American officials said last week that talks between Afghan and Taliban leaders were under way. But the ranks of the insurgents, the fact that they represent multiple factions, and the extent of NATO efforts to provide transportation and security to adversaries they otherwise try to kill or capture have not been previously disclosed.

At least four Taliban leaders, three of them members of the Quetta shura and one of them a member of the Haqqani family, have taken part in discussions, according to the Afghan official and a former diplomat in the region…

The discussions appear to be unfolding without the approval of Pakistan’s leaders, who are believed to exercise a wide degree of control over the Taliban’s leadership. The Afghan government seems to be trying to seek a reconciliation agreement that does not directly involve Pakistan, which Mr. Karzai’s government fears will exercise too much influence over Afghanistan after NATO forces withdraw.

At the White House’s request, the Times is withholding the names of the Taliban leaders involved in negotiations because, you see, Pakistani intelligence will have them killed if they find out who they are. (Says an Afghan official, “The ISI will just eliminate them.”) In fact, don’t be surprised to find stories on the wires over the next few weeks about Taliban capos disappearing or dying in murky circumstances: The last time a Taliban leader ended up trying to talk to the U.S. without Pakistani permission, he ended up under house arrest. This time, if the talks are as serious as the Times claims, the punishment will be harsher. Since not every jihadi faction (starting with loyalists to Mullah Omar) is party to these negotiations, I assume the Times is right that Petraeus is using these talks to try to drive a wedge among the enemy. Which would make sense given his new strategy in Afghanistan — i.e. directing massive firepower at the enemy on the one hand, replete with hundreds of special ops raids on Taliban commanders and a 50 percent increase in air raids on Taliban positions, and outreach to the enemy for a negotiated political settlement on the other. Carrot and stick, in other words. Or, as David Ignatius calls it, talk and shoot:

The diplomatic side of this game depends on Petraeus’s ability to pound those who resist — with devastating firepower. That’s why he has been pushing Pakistan so hard to step up its operations against the Haqqani network, sheltered in the tribal areas of the northwest, and against the Quetta Shura Taliban fighters, who operate from Baluchistan in Pakistan’s southwest.

Interestingly, as Petraeus pushes his talk/shoot offensive, we’re hearing less about the counterinsurgency strategy that supposedly was his great contribution to military doctrine. Though Petraeus helped write the doctrine in 2006 while he was on a stateside tour as commander at Fort Leavenworth, it is a more basic approach than the wily strategy he has actually used both in Iraq and Afghanistan…

But the real action has been “enemy-centric” — in stepped-up operations to capture or kill Taliban leaders, along with support for Karzai’s attempt to cut a political deal with them. President Obama, having signed off in December on the counterinsurgency approach, is now watching his commander execute a strategy whose biggest successes have come from hard-nosed counterterrorist tactics — the midnight raid, kick-down-the-door ferocity of the Joint Special Operations Command.

Fred Kaplan wrote about the same strategic development at Slate a week ago. CBS describes it as Petraeus trying to kill his way out of the war, which is obviously a simplification but contains a kernel of truth: Not only is The One’s July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawal approaching, but Petraeus knows that public support for continuing the war much longer is flagging and unlikely ever to recover. His only option while he’s on the clock is to punish the Taliban so egregiously that they beg for a settlement, even though both sides know that the “settlement” will be largely a face-saving gesture aimed at letting the U.S. leave from a position that looks like strength.

As always, as always, the wild card is Pakistan. I have no idea why either side here thinks a deal is sustainable if Pakistan is cut out of it. They have all sorts of material and ideological leverage over the various jihadist outfits in Afghanistan; if they want to play spoiler, whether by killing the conciliators, arresting them, buying them off, or punishing them in some other way, there’s no reason I know of to think they won’t. In fact, as this news is breaking at the Times tonight, two other stories about Pakistan are swirling online: The Guardian reported this morning that Pakistani intelligence had a major role in the Mumbai terror mega-attack two years ago that killed 160 people and CNN cited a NATO source for the claim that Bin Laden and Zawahiri are living in comfort in northwest Pakistan, sheltered by local jihadis — and ISI. Unless and until the jihadist elements of ISI are neutralized, whether by coalition espionage or by some sort of internal Pakistani purge, I don’t know why anyone should take these peace talks seriously. But then, I also don’t know why Obama hasn’t been bolder in threatening to bring India into Afghanistan in order to check Pakistani ambitions. That’s what this is all about, after all — Pakistani fear of its neighbor. If The One’s thinking is that it’s simply too risky to promote that kind of tension between two nuclear-armed enemies, okay, but in that case we’re really just wasting time. Until ISI has a reason to play nice in Afghanistan and not turn it into another fanatic Islamist client state to check India, it won’t.


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Send in the Drones

Kini on October 19, 2010 at 9:44 PM

Remember when liberals cared about “pounding enemies with devastating firepower?”

They used to call it warcrimes.

Now they call it … … … … … … hey! Sarah Palin said “Party like it’s 1773! WHAT AN IDIOT Lolzz!!1″

Good Lt on October 19, 2010 at 9:45 PM

I think that itchy trigger finger needs to be scratched.

HornetSting on October 19, 2010 at 9:45 PM

In other words, we’ve lost the war in Afghanistan because we were too PC to fight a real war and destroy the enemy.

Gabe on October 19, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Hey little girl, want a lolipop?

fogw on October 19, 2010 at 9:47 PM

What could go wrong?

bernzright777 on October 19, 2010 at 9:47 PM

This is a disgrace!

MCGIRV on October 19, 2010 at 9:48 PM

So… when do we stop pretending that Pakistan is an ally?

Karzai isn’t going to survive an American withdrawal and not a thing we say or do is going to change that.

sharrukin on October 19, 2010 at 9:49 PM

Has the helicopter pad circle been painted on the roof of the US embassy yet?

Wethal on October 19, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Ahhhhh…..Pakistan isn’t the only wild card here:

But on Monday Iranian diplomats were seated at a NATO conference in Rome at the invitation of the Obama administration to discuss the way forward in Afghanistan.

“We recognize that Iran….has a role to play in the peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan,” Holbrooke said.

Bishop on October 19, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Not only is The One’s July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawal approaching, but Petraeus knows that public support for continuing the war much longer is flagging and unlikely ever to recover. His only option while he’s on the clock is to punish the Taliban so egregiously that they beg for a settlement

Let them come and talk, then send them a Hellfire missile to send them off.

Kini on October 19, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I could never do this or be a “reporter” getting an interview with an opposing side. Poof be gone!

Cindy Munford on October 19, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Why not just remove all the liberal ‘Rules of Engagement’, use the full force and power of the United States Military to turn the sand into glass…

… then see whom ever is left if they want to talk about ‘Peace’ or not?

Seven Percent Solution on October 19, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Maybe the Taliban can contact the North Vietnamese and find out how the “negotiations” are done.

GarandFan on October 19, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Not only is The One’s July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawal approaching, but Petraeus knows that public support for continuing the war much longer is flagging and unlikely ever to recover. His only option while he’s on the clock is to punish the Taliban so egregiously that they beg for a settlement

Gee, it reminds me of Vietnam, December, 1972. Linebacker II.

Ward Cleaver on October 19, 2010 at 9:56 PM

His only option while he’s on the clock is to punish the Taliban so egregiously that they beg for a settlement

SO WHY THE @#$%@ HAVENT WE BEEN DOING THAT THERE SINCE 2001??????

Look, I’m of the opinion that we do it like Grant: blow up as much, destroy as much, and kill as much as we can so that the people we are killing beg us to stop.

Worked in the civil war, worked in WWI, worked in WWII (dresden, hamburg anyone?)…

…but no, we have to give soccer balls to taliban ministers so that their children will choose us over islam when they are older. or something.

gimme a break.

once OBL was in pakistan we should have said “we are flattening one taliban village per day. if you dont want to be flattened, kill the taliban among you or hand them over to us”

we could have been home – and many more home alive – by about spring 2003…..

picklesgap on October 19, 2010 at 9:56 PM

I predicted Obama would f**k this up. He is. Just like he’s f**k’ed up everything else.

AUINSC on October 19, 2010 at 9:57 PM

With Obama setting the withdrawal time line, the Taliban only need to make nice until we leave.

Then it’s back to Dirka Dirka Mohammad Jihad. Soccer field executions of women and guys dating goats.

Kini on October 19, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Just wait until we see the pictures of Obama bowing to the Taliban.

FloatingRock on October 19, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Did y’all hear on Special Report tonight that Iran has been invited and accepted a seat at the negotiating table for Afghanistan? I hope we have enough white flags.

Cindy Munford on October 19, 2010 at 10:03 PM

“At the White House’s request, the Times is withholding the names of the Taliban leaders involved ”

Nice that the Times would heed the White House request. They wouldn’t if the President was Republican

DougV on October 19, 2010 at 10:03 PM

we could have been home – and many more home alive – by about spring 2003…..

picklesgap on October 19, 2010 at 9:56 PM

I suspect that like Iraq, Bush had to find a General that could get the job done, and while Petraeus has been busy fixing that mess, Afghanistan sat on the back burner.

The other maybe was funding. One war at a time.

Kini on October 19, 2010 at 10:05 PM

support for continuing the war much longer is flagging and unlikely ever to recover.

It’ll recover if we’re attacked from there again. Hopefully next time we’ll take our response more seriously.

Unfortunately, the best possible time to have taken care of the problem was right after 9/11 before Pakistan had had several years to build up their nuclear stockpile. The longer we wait the costlier the solution will be.

FloatingRock on October 19, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Sickening all around. Vietnam redux.

Grayson on October 19, 2010 at 10:08 PM

I see the future…… The Taliban has completely taken over and all the soldiers that died, did so in vain….. Whoa what happened… What did I say?

The Expert Knows
http://theexpertsblog.blogspot.com

HotAirExpert on October 19, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Surely this surpises no one, right? Y’all actually think Obama wants to beat back islam? Really? Really?

SouthernGent on October 19, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Has the helicopter pad circle been painted on the roof of the US embassy yet?

Wethal on October 19, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Thank God ‘Afghanistanization’ is just too cumbersome to use.

slickwillie2001 on October 19, 2010 at 10:16 PM

Libs don’t understand God, governments, nations, peoples, or cultures. The life of a conservative is spent undoing the damage that liberals do.

Mojave Mark on October 19, 2010 at 10:17 PM

As a woman ANY ‘discussion’ with the Taliban makes me livid.
Since those 13th century misogynistic goat defilers want to go to paradise the US military should help them achieve their goal.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 19, 2010 at 10:18 PM

You guys are missing the bigger picture here. If Obozo is able to negotiate a drawdown, public support will crumble here at home for any further involvement. Once that happens the Taliban will reneg and put on a big push. That will cause two things:
1: Howls from the “Liberals” to get out immediately. And
2: Taliban rejoicing at the “victory Allah has delivered to them”.

We will forever live with the shame of it being all for naught. This really is just another vietnam. Thanks to the pathetic empty suit we have as CIC.

KMC1 on October 19, 2010 at 10:21 PM

It’s pretty amazing how many people fall for the line that Israel-Fatah peace would have a critical effect on peace in the region, while you rarely hear anything about what benefits Pakistan-India peace might reap. I’m not saying it would solve anything, but so many of the people in charge seem to have a completely wrongheaded view of which conflict is doing more to drive regional instability. Hint: Osama never had training camps in the West Bank.

calbear on October 19, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Well, at least it gave ‘the real pros’ some good target practice under realistic conditions.

If they don’t quit the service in disgust, at least it will have been good training for the next time.

LegendHasIt on October 19, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Victory for Political Correctness!

Shameful;Da* the politicians

Sandybourne on October 19, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Desperate DOTUS trying to get something to crow about before the TEANAMI on 11/2

PappyD61 on October 19, 2010 at 10:39 PM

The Haqqani network is responsible for a substantial number of IED attacks on US troops. They also had a hand in the attack on the CIA Khost base. This is a disaster. It makes us look weak by capitulating to them, undermining our efforts in the country.

As for the theory that the general is applying less COIN and more kinetic strikes, that’s only true to an extent.

First, we don’t have the same number of forces we had in Iraq and more ground to cover. That new Woodward book made that abundantly clear. Secondly, do these people actually think there were no kinetic strikes (i.e. search and destroy) during the surge? Breaking the enemy’s will to fight has invariably been essential. Finally, Al Qaeda isn’t as alienated as they were in Iraq. They’ve intermarried into the Pashtun area, thus the adapted tactics.

Sickening all around. Vietnam redux.

Grayson on October 19, 2010 at 10:08 PM

It’s starting to look that way.

Cr4sh Dummy on October 19, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Why not just remove all the liberal ‘Rules of Engagement’, use the full force and power of the United States Military to turn the sand into glass…

… then see whom ever is left if they want to talk about ‘Peace’ or not?

Seven Percent Solution on October 19, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Petraeus is using more special forces raids, I don’t think the problem is with the ROE.

Cr4sh Dummy on October 19, 2010 at 10:54 PM

The new october surprise: The Afghan war is over! Obama might be so politically craven he could do it.

JavelinaBomb on October 19, 2010 at 11:02 PM

At the White House’s request, the Times is withholding the names of the Taliban leaders involved in negotiations because, you see, Pakistani intelligence will have them killed if they find out who they are.

I’d like to point out that if the Bush WH had ever asked them to withhold names those men would all be … dead.

Sad, but incredibly obvious point on how the media treats one WH over another.

One Angry Christian on October 19, 2010 at 11:08 PM

We need peace talks despite the supposed death of a senior HVT and the fact that Al Qaeda has been decimated in recent months, with Taliban members tied to AQ being knocked off…

Yeah, we really should sue for peace. That’s sounds like a great idea.

Cr4sh Dummy on October 19, 2010 at 11:10 PM

At the White House’s request, the Times is withholding the names of the Taliban leaders involved in negotiations because, you see, Pakistani intelligence will have them killed if they find out who they are. (Says an Afghan official, “The ISI will just eliminate them.”)

Is this the same Pakistan that we are giving billions to?

I assume the Times is right that Petraeus is using these talks to try to drive a wedge among the enemy.

He has been sleeping with the enemy, Islam, for quite some time now.

Which would make sense given his new strategy in Afghanistan — i.e. directing massive firepower at the enemy on the one hand, replete with hundreds of special ops raids on Taliban commanders and a 50 percent increase in air raids on Taliban positions

What? He has done a 3200? Mister Islamic Hearts and Minds/COIN has gone all Jeckle and Hyde? He needs to be given a full psych work up.

Luka on October 19, 2010 at 11:19 PM

So… when do we stop pretending that Pakistan is an ally?

sharrukin on October 19, 2010 at 9:49 PM

Probably the same day we stop pretending that Islam is a Great Religion of Peace where only misunderstanders of Islam and Mohammad do anything bad.

Luka on October 19, 2010 at 11:26 PM

Surely this surpises no one, right? Y’all actually think Obama wants to beat back islam? Really? Really?

SouthernGent on October 19, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Bush didn’t. No surprise that Hussein doesn’t want to either.

Luka on October 19, 2010 at 11:29 PM

What? He has done a 3200? Mister Islamic Hearts and Minds/COIN has gone all Jeckle and Hyde? He needs to be given a full psych work up.

Luka on October 19, 2010 at 11:19 PM

COIN has never lacked a kinetic element, it’s just now with the lack of manpower there is a greater emphasis on breaking the enemy’s will to fight.

Surely this surpises no one, right? Y’all actually think Obama wants to beat back islam? Really? Really?

SouthernGent on October 19, 2010 at 10:09 PM

In all honesty, I thought he was doing a pretty good job, that is until that Woodward book came out. Then I started to question if he was committed to winning. Now I definitely question his commitment to win this war.

I just wish we could impeach him before he does irrevocable damage.

Cr4sh Dummy on October 19, 2010 at 11:40 PM

COIN has never lacked a kinetic element, it’s just now with the lack of manpower there is a greater emphasis on breaking the enemy’s will to fight.

Cr4sh Dummy on October 19, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Obama has increased the number of troops in Afghanistan from 43,000 to 100,000.

Luka on October 19, 2010 at 11:46 PM

Obama has increased the number of troops in Afghanistan from 43,000 to 100,000.

Luka on October 19, 2010 at 11:46 PM

That’s significantly lower than the amount we had in Iraq (around 150,000), which is what the generals wanted to begin with.

Cr4sh Dummy on October 19, 2010 at 11:59 PM

Probably the same day we stop pretending that Islam is a Great Religion of Peace where only misunderstanders of Islam and Mohammad do anything bad.

Luka on October 19, 2010 at 11:26 PM

That will be a steep learning curve for a lot of people and some will never give up that dream.

sharrukin on October 20, 2010 at 12:25 AM

That’s significantly lower than the amount we had in Iraq (around 150,000), which is what the generals wanted to begin with.

Cr4sh Dummy on October 19, 2010 at 11:59 PM

…but they got more troops for a longer period than the original plan. That was a reasonable compromise. I really think you would have a hard time faulting Obama’s Afghan policy aside from the exit date.

lexhamfox on October 20, 2010 at 12:33 AM

His only option while he’s on the clock is to punish the Taliban so egregiously that they beg for a settlement, even though both sides know that the “settlement” will be largely a face-saving gesture aimed at letting the U.S. leave from a position that looks like strength.

This is a military trying to squeeze success into some arbitrary time line laid down by a President more focused on “not losing the whole democratic party” than he is about conditions on the ground and victory.
The enemy knows Obama just wants out so any “truce” laid down without the capitulation of a defeated Taliban is nothing more than window dressing…

As always, as always, the wild card is Pakistan. I have no idea why either side here thinks a deal is sustainable if Pakistan is cut out of it.

It is not…..General Kayani and the ISI hold to much power and influence in the region.These bit players being shuttled by NATO are either marked for death or playing the coalition for fools with the ISI pulling the strings behind the scenes.

These US Soldiers know how much of a farce this “Peace agreement” with the Taliban is:

the fear that the Karzai government, with the prodding of the administration of President Obama, will negotiate a peace with the Taliban that wastes all the sacrifices by the U.S. here. Those fears intensified when news reached the enlisted ranks that the Karzai government, with the backing of senior Obama officials, was entering a new round of negotiations with the Taliban.

“If we walk away, cut a deal with the Taliban, desert the people who needed us most, then this war was pointless,” said Pvt. Jeffrey Ward, with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, who is stationed at Forward Operating Base Bullard in southern Afghanistan.

“Everyone dies for their own reasons but it’s sad to think that our friends, the troops, have given their lives for something we’re not going to see through.”

…….Obama wants to surrender with as much political cover as possible…..smart power you know.

But on Monday Iranian diplomats were seated at a NATO conference in Rome at the invitation of the Obama administration to discuss the way forward in Afghanistan.

“We recognize that Iran….has a role to play in the peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan,” Holbrooke said.

Welllll of courseeeeeeee they do.
Just like the Obama administration is watching Sadr/Iran take control in Iraq….they are going to hold the door open for them in Afghanistan also.This combined with their acquiring a nuclear bomb apparently does not bother Obama in the least.He is more concerned about getting out so that he can have more money for his socialist agenda in the US.

Let there be no doubt….

Obama has surrendered to Iran

Baxter Greene on October 20, 2010 at 2:27 AM

Stop wasting men and money to nation build in Afghanistan, get out, and use drones to take care of business.

V-rod on October 20, 2010 at 4:40 AM

Maybe the Taliban can contact the North Vietnamese and find out how the “negotiations” are done.
GarandFan on October 19, 2010 at 9:53 PM

That’s like totally uncalled for!

Sen. Kerry will show the Taliban “negotiations”

DSchoen on October 20, 2010 at 4:50 AM

[Petraeus'] only option while he’s on the clock is to punish the Taliban so egregiously that they beg for a settlement

Gee, it reminds me of Vietnam, December, 1972. Linebacker II.

Ward Cleaver on October 19, 2010 at 9:56 PM

This is nothing like Vietnam. In Vietnam, America didn’t announce our surrender date BEFORE we started the negotiations.

The Taliban have no recognized command structure and no territory to concede. There is literally nothing to negotiate, and no one to credibly negotiate with.

This drives no wedge between Pakistan and the Taliban – no “agreements” made at this meeting will effect either of them. As long as the surrender clock is ticking, the only real power play going on is between Obama and Petraeus.

logis on October 20, 2010 at 5:39 AM

Regardless of whatever worries Obama may or may not have about distressing the Pakistanis, India has been involved in Afghan politics for a long time – and, like Pakistan, her involvement hasn’t always been particularly charming or popular.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4188462.stm

Grunchy Cranola on October 20, 2010 at 6:47 AM

Wonderful new strategy this country has . . .pander, give up and quit.

rplat on October 20, 2010 at 7:57 AM

In reality, Obama has done more to carry out Bush’s policies in Afghanistan then he’s given credit for. I know conservative pundits don’t like to admit it, but I”m going to say it. While I disagree with Obama on every front, he’s not done much different in executing the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq (the troop pull out there is right on time with the Bush timetable).

This latest move might benefit us in the long run and I think people are failing to look at the big picture. The Taliban is not AQ, they’re different entities. Besides, what do we care what happens in Afghanistan? It’s of no use to us and I can’t think there is any sort of gain for us being there. If we pull troops out and step up SF and drone operations there I see no problems with that. Besides, AQ has all but tucked tail and run into the mountains of Pakistan like cowards. I say we hunt them there like the dogs they are and kill every last one of them. If it means not having to worry about the Taliban then so be it. There is a reason Afghanistan is called the gaveyard of empires.

bentman78 on October 20, 2010 at 8:15 AM

The frontline trigger pullers don’t think this is funny, decisions like this put their lives in grave danger.

“If they use rockets to hit the [forward operating base] we can’t shoot back because they were within 500 meters of the village. If they shoot at us and drop their weapon in the process we can’t shoot back,” said Spc. Charles Brooks, 26, a U.S. Army medic with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, in Zabul province.

Word had come down the morning Brooks spoke to this reporter that watch towers surrounding the base were going to be dismantled because Afghan village elders, some sympathetic to the Taliban, complained they were invading their village privacy. “We have to take down our towers because it offends them and now the Taliban can set up mortars and we can’t see them,” Brooks added, with disgust.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Troops-chafe-at-restrictive-rules-of-engagement_-talks-with-Taliban-1226055-105202284.html#ixzz12u4oaOK2

Alden Pyle on October 20, 2010 at 9:02 AM

(the troop pull out there is right on time with the Bush timetable).
bentman78 on October 20, 2010 at 8:15 AM

That time line was based according to conditions on the ground.

The up-tick in violence,instability of the government,and escalation of Iran’s influence was more than enough reason to slow down withdrawal and step up efforts behind the scenes to ensure a stronger government that does not carry Sadr’s stamp of approval.

This latest move might benefit us in the long run and I think people are failing to look at the big picture. The Taliban is not AQ, they’re different entities.

Looking at the big picture involves knowing that the Taliban and Al-qaeda work hand in hand to achieve their goals of a modern Caliphate.Al-qaeda merely serves as the “point of the spear” in the jihad.
Osama declared his allegiance to the Taliban years ago:

The strong relationship between al-qaeda and the Taliban:


Bin Laden then made a pledge of personal fealty,much like the one that members of al-qaeda swore to him.He acknowledged Omar as the leader of the faithful.
“We consider you to be our noble Emir”.
Bin Laden wrote.
“We invite all muslims to render assistance and co-operation to you,in every possible way that they can.

The relationship between jihadist groups is vast and strong.They have no problem uniting under the banner of destroying the West:

http://www.tnr.com/print/article/world/the-front

But the last time the Taliban controlled a state, it was not so interested in realpolitik; after September 11, the group made clear that it was prepared to lose everything (and it did) rather than betray bin Laden. Since then, the Taliban’s leadership has grown more closely aligned with Al Qaeda’s worldwide goals–not less.

This is a great breakdown of how these talking points about “the Taliban is not al-qaeda” is more about creating a narrative in support of heading to the exits instead of being based in reality.They share the same radical ideology and work hand in hand together:

The Long War Journal: Analysis: Al Qaeda is the tip of the jihadist spear

Written by Thomas Joscelyn & Bill Roggio on October 8, 2009 2:12 PM to The Long War Journal
Available online at: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/10/analysis_al_qaeda_is.php

This fight against the jihad is not about name semantics…..the enemy that is he!! bent on destroying the West is right in front of us and has made their intentions clear……they want us dead.

We have a clear choice of standing strong against the most ruthless enemy we have ever faced or capitulating in faux peace agreements that do nothing but provide political cover for surrender.

The Obama administration is making it clear that Iran and the jihadist can have their way if they will give him some political a$$ covering as he heads for the exits..

Baxter Greene on October 20, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Its so frustrating!!

We should be trying to WIN this war, not build a so-called “democratic” nation in Afghanistan.

Bottom line – Crush the Taliban – utterly destroy them wherever they are, wherever they hide, wherever they run to. No guarantees of safety, no ROE’s to avoid the slightest possibility of collateral damage. No pussy-footing around. Just WIPE THEM OUT until they wet their pants and cry “No mas!!”

Cut off ALL aid to Pakistan and let them know that, while we are taking out the Taliban, any assistance of any kind, including allowing them safe harbor within Pakistan, will result in us doing our utmost to degrade Pakistan’s ability to make war or defend themselves (and back-channel to IRAN that THEY ARE NEXT if they keep on trying to undermine us in ANY way, shape or form!). The ISI – gone, the leaders of the ISI – gone, their nuclear capabilities – gone, and then we start taking out their military infrastructure while reminding them that we will soon be gone and we will NOT interfere if India sees fit to take advantage of their weakened condition.

Then, once the Taliban is nothing more than a few scared fools cowering in their caves afraid to ever step outside knowing a drone is just waiting to target them and Pakistan shakes in fear every time they even think about defying the U.S. THEN, and ONLY THEN – we withdraw, declare victory and leave them to their own best efforts to determine what kind of country, nation, sh*t-hole they want to live in WITHOUT any assistance from us whatsoever.

THAT is what victory will look like, but unfortunately, to actually WIN this war requires two things – the willingness to actually fight and the balls to follow through.

Fatal on October 20, 2010 at 12:32 PM

OK, a semi-long post of mine disappeared and I’ve waited 30+ minutes to see if it was in moderation or ? ? ?

I can only assume I hit a wrong button, or it got lost or something, so if this is a semi-repeat, I apologize in advance.

What we should be doing in Afghanistan is actually trying to WIN the war and NOT chasing some unrealistic etheral goal of building a “democratic nation” there.

Bottom line, to WIN means destroying the Taliban. It means pounding them into dust regardless of where they are hiding and it means getting rid of ROE’s that tie our hands for fear of any slight possibility of causing collateral damage.

We need to hammer them until those few who remain cower in their caves crying “No Mas” and are afraid to ever come out into the light of day knowing an armed drone is just waiting for the opportunity to target and obliterate them.

At the same time we need to stop ALL aid to Pakistan, tell them that if they aid the Taliban in any way, including merely allowing them to remain within Pakistan, that the U.S. will begain degrading Pakistan’s military abilities. It means the ISI – gone, the leaders of the ISI – gone, Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities – going, going, gone, and then we start in on their military infrastructure (while back-channeling the same information to IRAN, telling them to back off or they are next). Oh, make sure Pakistan knows that we won’t interfere in any fashion whatsoever if India decides to take advantage of Pakistan’s reduced capabilities.

Once those things are done, then we can withdraw, declare victory and leave them to determine what kind of country, nation or cess-pool they want to live in. No aid from us, no interference, no nothing. And, if the Taliban ever even starts to raise its stinking head again, we will be watching, we will react and they will get no warning!

That’s victory. Of course, the only problem is that it takes the willingness to actually undertake such actions and the balls to follow through! Not something we can expect to have happen under the current administration.

Victory is possible, an end to this war is possible, freeing the people of Afghanistan (and Pakistan) from the tyranny of the Taliban is possible – But DO WE HAVE THE WILL to do what it takes?

Its so very say, but unfortunately I believe the answer to that last question is – no.

Fatal on October 20, 2010 at 1:29 PM