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Old 06-02-2006   #1
SWJED
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Default Ambassador Predicts Taliban Ferocity

2 June Washington Times - Ambassador Predicts Taliban Ferocity.

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The Taliban will wage its fiercest campaign of attacks in the coming months in an attempt to hamper the transfer of security duties in Afghanistan from the U.S. military to NATO, Kabul's ambassador in Washington says.

"During the upcoming months, the Taliban will resort to the utmost violence to prevent reconstruction and discourage NATO countries from further deployment," Said Jawad told The Washington Times...
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Old 06-09-2006   #2
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From USIP: Afghanistan and its Neighbors: An Ever Dangerous Neighborhood
Quote:
...a military-focused partnership with Afghanistan may be the wrong way for the United States to demonstrate its commitment to Karzai and Afghanistan. It slights the contribution of reconstruction and improvement in the lives of most Afghans in making the country secure from its enemies. Many Afghans view a concession to Washington on long-term military basing as akin to those demands associated with an occupying power, having little relation to Afghanistanís own needs. A strategic partnership could also undermine what has been the Afghan presidentís largely successful personal rapport withmost of the regionís leaders. As this study has shown, Afghanistan is unlikely to succeed without coming to terms with its difficult neighborhood.

The United States is frequently accused of lacking a holistic approach to this turbulent region. Its regional policies on security, democracy, and development are said to be often inconsistent if not contradictory. The decision by the U.S. State Department to incorporate Central Asiaís Islamic states into the same bureau as Afghanistan can contribute to a strengthened region-wide perspective. Along with the international community, the United States might also begin to address how it can benefit Afghanistanís quest for security and recovery through aid projects and other policies specifically intended to promote regional cooperation and integration. For this to occur, U.S. priorities that are now so unidimensionally focused on counterterrorism must be better aligned with the aspirations of citizens of Afghanistan and those of its neighbors.
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Old 10-03-2006   #3
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Default Frontline: Return of the Taliban (Oct 3, 2006)

FYI

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Return of the Taliban
coming Oct. 03, 2006 at 9pm (check local listings)

(60 minutes) FRONTLINE reports from the lawless Pakistani tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and reveals how the area has fallen under the control of a resurgent Taliban militia. Despite the presence of 80,000 Pakistani troops, the Taliban and their supporters continue to use the region as a launching pad for attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Off limits to U.S. troops by agreement with Pakistan's president and long suspected of harboring Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, the area is now considered a failed state. President Pervez Musharraf tells FRONTLINE reporter Martin Smith that Pakistan's strategy, which includes cash payments to militants who lay down their arms, has clearly foundered. In a region little understood because it is closed to most observers, FRONTLINE investigates a secret front in the war on terror.
This documentary is already playing in the Canadian press.

Marc
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Old 10-03-2006   #4
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Default Pulling Taliban leaders into government?

QALAT, Afghanistan - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said yesterday that the Afghan war against Taliban guerrillas could never be won militarily and urged support for efforts to bring "people who call themselves Taliban" and their allies into the government.....

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/n...t/15664062.htm
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Old 10-03-2006   #5
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Default Regarding the Taliban.....

I was astonished this morning, as I was going through my morning email subscriptions to find that The Philadelphia Times printed an article stating that Senate Majority Leader Frist was quoted as saying the Taliban will never be defeated militarily. I quite agree with that assessment, and although late in coming, perhaps our civilian leaders are beginning to grasp the concept of counterinsurgency operations? As we all know, it is just as much, if not more a political and idealogical fight than it is military, that perhaps inviting the Taliban to be represented in the new Afghan government might be a tactic worth testing? I posted the article here.....http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=1292
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Old 10-03-2006   #6
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Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but one central tenants of the Taliban is rule by Theocracy which is not terribly compatible with democracy. Don't get me wrong I am happy hear a Senator saying that neither a pure military solution nor a cutting and running is the answer. I'm just not sure that trying to get former Taliban into the government is the answer either.

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Old 10-03-2006   #7
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Default Yes....

IMO, yes, the Taliban were absolutely a "dictatorial" Islamic Theocracy. And you might be right in that they won't play well with others. But I'm heartend to at least hear a civilian leader talking about this....finally.
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Old 10-03-2006   #8
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Default Got it tagged already

Marc,

Thanks, mate. I had it tagged on my cable box already and put a notice out at work yesterday it was coming on. I meant to put up one here.

Best

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Old 10-03-2006   #9
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Hi Tom,

No probs . A friend of mine in the feds sent me a link to the Globe & Mail story on it and I thought that it showed some of the spin coming out in Canada now after the visit by Karzai and Hellier.

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Old 10-03-2006   #10
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It's certainly something that does need to be on the table. We've had some experience in Ontario with attempts to get parts of Sharia law introduced as "optional" (e.g. in some adjudication proceedings). So far, it has failed, mainly due to action from moderate Muslims and questions as to which law, Canadian or Sharia, would have ultimate precedence.

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Old 10-03-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSG Rock View Post
IMO, yes, the Taliban were absolutely a "dictatorial" Islamic Theocracy. And you might be right in that they won't play well with others. But I'm heartend to at least hear a civilian leader talking about this....finally.
Question - were more people victims of murder, rape, sectarian and religious violence under the Taliban or since Oct. 2001?

What was the level of heroin production under the Taliban? What has it been since?
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Old 10-04-2006   #12
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You mean in terms of executions, or collateral damage?

I'm not sure what kind of correlation heroin production has to do with anything. We might be better served to ask who is growing the poppies and why?
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Old 10-04-2006   #13
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Poppies were wide spread under the Taliban until about '99 or so when they ban their production.

I agree with the idea of letting the Taliban in the government, if they had a good democratic vote I am sure some of them would get elected so while they may not support democracy I am not sure you can really have a democracy without them.

Of course my real reason for wanting to let them in is the simple logic that we canít kill them all so we better find a way to live with them.
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Old 10-04-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu-6 View Post
Poppies were wide spread under the Taliban until about '99 or so when they ban their production.

I agree with the idea of letting the Taliban in the government, if they had a good democratic vote I am sure some of them would get elected so while they may not support democracy I am not sure you can really have a democracy without them.

Of course my real reason for wanting to let them in is the simple logic that we canít kill them all so we better find a way to live with them.
Ah yes, now I remember. The Taliban did not allow poppies to be grown under their watch.

The idea of bringing the Taliban into the government I think, is something that should most definately be explored. The idea while kind of novel in and of itself, is a take on classic counterinsurgency operations. Unless I'm way off, an insurgency is rarely defeated in the classic military sense rather, you take away it's support and if you can't do that, diluting it might work too.
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Old 10-04-2006   #15
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Frontline: Return of the Taliban

Excellent documentary. Essentially it turned out to be a long indictment of Pakistan. I was surprised that Musharraf and his generals allowed themselves to be interviewed in that manner as well as filmed squirming in the hot seat making weak denials. I was especially interested in the video of the Pakistani general giving the anti-American speech to the tribesmen in Waziristan.

The full documentary, as well as transcripts of the interviews, is available on the website - along with a few extras.
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Old 10-04-2006   #16
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I'm still thinking about what I saw last night.

On the issue of Pakistan, I'm not surprised they allowed the filming or interviews. Musharef and his crowd are walking a tightrope and, in view of the recent shift in Musharef's interviews, it looks like he is playing it safe with the jihadists at the moment.

I think I may need to take an old friend and ex-coworker out for coffee. She is a Pashtun and related to the Minister of the Interior.

Marc
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Old 10-04-2006   #17
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There is a group inside Pakistan called the MMA (which is a re-named and re-packaged version of the Taliban). Two years ago, they won popular elections in two of Pakistan's provinces. The more you treat these folks as something dangerous, and thus to be avoided; the more over-informed and under-educated young Pakis and Afghanis are going to turn to them. Dont young people tend to want to go places and with people their parents warn them against?
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Old 10-04-2006   #18
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...and this just in from CRG:
Quote:
...An explosion on 4 October took place near the Army House in Rawalpindi and was followed on 5 October by the discovery of three rockets near the parliament building in the capital Islamabad.

Previous bombings and security incidents in these cities have been related to opposition to President Gen Pervez Musharraf within the military and intelligence agencies and from Islamic extremist groups. Although there has been speculation that Baluchi militants were involved in the latest incidents, Baluchi rebels have not tended to operate outside of Baluchistan. Meanwhile, the incidents do not fit with Islamic extremists' usual modus operandi. Several additional factors support the assessment that these incidents may be linked to elements within the military and intelligence services who wish to send a warning to Musharraf to express their increasing disillusionment:

* Islamabad and Rawalpindi have strong security measures in place, making militant infiltration difficult.

* The two incidents were well planned, showing tactical sophistication and apparent knowledge of Musharraf's movements.

* They coincided with Musharraf's highly controversial efforts to sideline and replace a corps commander.

Opposition to Musharraf

Musharraf has recently returned from a trip to the US, during which he launched his controversial autography and made highly critical comments about elements within the military. In addition, the president on 5 October appointed new 10 Corps Commander Lt-Gen Salahuddin Satti as Chief of General Staff (CGS) at the General Headquarters (GHQ). These developments have increased speculation that Musharraf's political and military support base might be becoming increasingly disillusioned with the personalised nature of his rule.

There have been three assassination attempts against Musharraf and one against his close associate Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. In December 2003, two assassination attempts were carried out against the president in quick succession in Rawalpindi. They were initially linked to Islamic extremists, but subsequent investigations revealed links to elements within the military and intelligence services.

Rawalpindi and Islamabad incidents

The explosion in Rawalpindi's Ayub Public Park (1.3 miles (2km) from Musharraf's residence) appears to have been caused by a rocket. The following day, bomb-disposal experts defused three rockets that were found less than half a mile (1km) from the national assembly and were
aimed towards the building. The rockets were attached to mobile (cell) phones to enable remote launching, and were positioned in woods near to the diplomatic enclave, providing an opportunity to target several buildings in the area. This area has high security measures in place because of the presence of the national assembly, several government ministries, the prime minister's office and the president's office. Musharraf was addressing a press conference in the area at the time of the discovery.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the incidents, which are likely to be linked. The authorities have provided little information apart from these basic facts...

Last edited by Jedburgh; 10-05-2006 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 10-05-2006   #19
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Let them into the government, show their asses or do something stupid the people don't like, and then they'll get voted out.

That's democracy.
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Old 10-05-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTK View Post
Let them into the government, show their asses or do something stupid the people don't like, and then they'll get voted out.

That's democracy.
Then how do you explain Ted Kennedy and John Murtha?

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