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Old 08-21-2010   #1
davidbfpo
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Default Former jihadist predicts Taliban victory

Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den, who have found this article on Jamestown Terrorism Monitor, with the full title: 'Former Egyptian jihadist predicts Taliban victory' by:
Quote:
Dr Fadl (real name Sayyid Imam Abdulaziz al-Sharif) was a leading member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, along with al-Qaeda No2 Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, but recanted his beliefs while serving a life sentence in prison in Egypt. He later criticised the 9/11 attacks as both immoral and counterproductive..
Link:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....-predicts.html

Quote:
....12 reasons why the Taliban will win:
1. A successful jihad must be accompanied by a religious reform movement. The religious motivation of the Taliban (as opposed to tribal loyalties or the pursuit of wealth) meets this criterion.
2. The Taliban cause is just, as it seeks to repel foreign occupation.
3. Cross-border tribal bonds with Pakistani Pashtun tribesmen are vital to the jihad’s success; “Loyalty of the Pashtu in Pakistan to the Pashtu in Afghanistan is stronger than their loyalty to their government in Islamabad.”
4. Jihad has popular support from the people of Afghanistan, who provide fighters with support, shelter and intelligence.
5. The nature of the terrain in Afghanistan and the inaccessibility of Taliban refugees make it eminently suitable for guerrilla warfare; “He who fights geography is a loser.”
6. The backwardness of Afghanistan favours the success of jihad. The Soviet experience proved that even a scorched earth policy has little effect on people who are tolerant, patient and have little to lose in the first place. There is little in the way of cultural establishments to be destroyed – Afghanistan’s monuments are its mountains and “even atomic bombs do not affect them.”
7. As the battlefield widens beyond the Taliban strongholds in the south, occupation forces must face increasing financial and personnel losses.
8. Both time and the capacity to endure losses are on the side of the Taliban, who “do not have a ceiling to their losses, especially with regard to lives…”
9. Suicide operations make up for the shortage of modern weapons.
10. After three decades of nearly continuous warfare, Taliban fighters and leaders have the necessary experience to prevail against the occupation.
11. History is also on the Taliban’s side. Despite being world powers, both the British Empire and the Soviet Union failed to conquer Afghanistan.
12. Pakistan’s support of the Taliban provides the necessary third-party refuge and supplies to any successful guerrilla struggle.

Can anyone argue with his logic?
Yes, this could fit in a number of threads, but as OEF-Afghanistan is now really the 'Long War' it deserves exposure in its own thread.
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Old 08-21-2010   #2
Rodin
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It is interesting to note how much western thought, both good and bad, pervades his points. Setting aside the overtly religious notions, were a western author to base a book on those arguments they might justly be accused of orientalism.

From this summary it apears 'Dr Fadl' may be re-imagining jihad as a kind of Islamic way of national resistance.
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Old 08-21-2010   #3
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I just find that the author, Dr Fadl, was being praised for his writings when countering AQ's version of the Jihad and one can hardly expect his views on the Taliban to be greeted enthusiastically, let alone given greater publicity.
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Old 08-21-2010   #4
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Default Points can be argued

1. What he refers to as a religious reform movement is actually religious based terrorism, where the Taliban are "imposing" their extremely cruel form of Sharia Law (IAW your local warlord who can't even freaking read, much less have a knowledgable grasp of Islamic law). Most importantly, most Afghans don't this form of Sharia law, but they do want the fighting to end, which they may believe a Taliban victory would provide.

2. Unfortunately I can't argue this point, and I bet the vast majority of Afghans see us a foreign occupation force, while we still see ourselves as the cowboy wearing the white hat. Just here to help you little people out. Jihad has a degree of popular support because we are seen as occupiers.

5. “He who fights geography is a loser.” All wars take place in terrain, and while the terrain is challenging, we're not fighting the terrain, we negotiating it. The enemy does enjoy some protection offered by the terrain, but also faces many of the same terrain challenges we do.

6.
Quote:
The backwardness of Afghanistan favours the success of jihad.
Since we're not employing coercive strategy against the people of Afghanistan I'm not sure this is relevant. However, if our vision of victory is modern and stable state, then it is.

7.
Quote:
As the battlefield widens beyond the Taliban strongholds in the south, occupation forces must face increasing financial and personnel losses
. What's new here, but we need to remember that the other side is also taking casualties and is financially strained.

8. Both time and the capacity to endure losses are on the side of the Taliban, who “
Quote:
do not have a ceiling to their losses, especially with regard to lives
…” That is his opinion, but I think every group/nation has a breaking point where they lose the will to fight.

9.
Quote:
Suicide operations make up for the shortage of modern weapons.
Suicide attacks make for good propaganda, but realistically from a military viewpoint just how effective are they? They do not "in military terms" make up for the shortage of modern weapons; however, they're an effective political/psychological weapon.

10.
Quote:
After three decades of nearly continuous warfare, Taliban fighters and leaders have the necessary experience to prevail against the occupation.
Both sides are learning, so while important three decades of warfare doesn't equate to the "necessary" experience required for victory. More than experience is required.

11.
Quote:
History is also on the Taliban’s side. Despite being world powers, both the British Empire and the Soviet Union failed to conquer Afghanistan
. The Taliban didn't defeat the Soviets or the British Empire. The Taliban are a Johnny come lately in Afghanistan history.

12.
Quote:
Pakistan’s support of the Taliban provides the necessary third-party refuge and supplies to any successful guerrilla struggle.
Sadly this is true, but the winds "seem" to be changing in Pakistan ever so gradually. If Pakistan quits providing support to the Taliban, would the Taliban stand even a remote chance of winning? I see a lot of talk about strategy, seems to me that the strategic center of gravity isn't in Afghanistan, but Pakistan and if we get that right the Taliban will lose.
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Old 08-22-2010   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post
Sadly this is true, but the winds "seem" to be changing in Pakistan ever so gradually. If Pakistan quits providing support to the Taliban, would the Taliban stand even a remote chance of winning? I see a lot of talk about strategy, seems to me that the strategic center of gravity isn't in Afghanistan, but Pakistan and if we get that right the Taliban will lose.
I think we lose sight of the real problem when we say that "Pakistan" supports the Taliban. If support for the Taliban were a policy of the Pakistani government, the possibility of changing that policy would be open. It might be more accurate, though, to say that portions of the Pakistani populace, the Pakistani military, the ISI, and other government entities support the Taliban, and the government lacks the capacity to control these portions or to compel them to stop supporting the Taliban. This is a bit more complicated: we may be able to pressure the Pakistani government into changing its policies, but if that government lacks the capacity to enforce its policies it really doesn't matter.
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