View Full Version : Old Front & Enemy Made New

02-18-2008, 09:50 AM
Afghanistan/Pakistan new al Qaeda and Taleban. Lots of links. I'd be interested to hear Jeff's take on this:


Resurgence of Taliban and al Qaeda
BY Herschel Smith
9 hours, 10 minutes ago

Admiral Michael Mullen recently made serious and ominous predictions in recent congressional testimony. “Defense Department officials told members of Congress on Wednesday that Al Qaeda was operating from havens in “undergoverned regions” of Pakistan, which they said pose direct threats to Europe, the United States and the Pakistani government itself. Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, predicted in written testimony that the next attack on the United States probably would be made by terrorists based in that region.”

In order for this testimony to be seen in its proper context, some background is necessary. Relentless kinetic and nonkinetic operations in Anbar by U.S. forces has accomplished two things throughout late 2006 and 2007. First, al Qaeda has taken a heavy toll among its numbers. The recent capture of an al Qaeda Emir’s diary catalogs the decline in fighers in one area of operation from slightly less than a Battalion to less than two squads. Prime Minister Maliki recently announced that al Qaeda had been routed from Baghdad due to the security plan the U.S. launched a year ago. The second affect of intensive U.S. operations is the co-opting of erstwhile indigenous insurgents into the concerned local citizens program. There are still ongoing operations in Mosul, but the al Qaeda campaign in Iraq is an abysmal failure.

There has also been an increased difficulty in deploying to the Iraq theater. According to General David Petraeus, the influx of foreign fighters into Iraq is down, but not just due to any actions by Syria. “Much of the fall in numbers was due to countries barring young men from flying to the Syrian cities of Damascus and Aleppo on one-way tickets.” Conversely, Admiral J. Michael McConnel recently testified before Congress that “we have seen an influx of new Western recruits into the tribal areas [in Pakistan] since mid-2006.” But Western recruits are not the only ones who have traveled to the tribal regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan to join with Taliban and al Qaeda fighters (the so-called Federally Administered Tribal Areas).

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has recently released Issue 3 of the CTC Sentinel, which includes an important article by Brian Glyn Williams entitled “Return of the Arabs: Al-Qa’ida’s Current Military Role in the Afghan Insurgency.” Within the context of the Iraq campaign, Williams sets up the coming Taliban / al Qaeda operations in Afghanistan as beginning in Iraq....

02-18-2008, 10:15 AM
Just saw this. There are reasons for the military being upset with NATO:


Car bomb kills 35 Afghan civilians

2 hours, 59 minutes ago

A suicide car bomber targeting a Canadian military convoy killed 35 civilians at a busy market in southern Afghanistan, a police official said.

At least 28 people were wounded in the attack in Spin Boldak, a town in Kandahar province near the border with Pakistan, said Abdul Razeq, the Spin Boldak border police chief. Three Canadian soldiers were lightly wounded, he said.

The attack comes one day after Afghanistan's deadliest bombing since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. More than 100 people were killed by a suicide bomber outside Kandahar city on Sunday.

The back-to-back bombings could indicate a change in tactics by militants. Though attacks occasionally have killed dozens, insurgents in Afghanistan have generally sought to avoid targeting civilians....