a Someone should care, maybe not you....: Resurgent Taliban .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

11 October 2005

Resurgent Taliban

I have been hearing alot in the American press and on anti-Bush blogs about the "resurgence" of the Taliban in Afghanistan in the last year and a half. What exactly defines a resurgence? If that means there are more encounters, fights, and casulties then yes, you might say there has been a resurgence. If you mean the Taliban is regaining power and influence again, then no, there has not.
Now why, you may ask, would there be more fighting if the Taliban is not regaining influence? Well there is a very simple answer to that. We are making them fight more. After the initial invasion and conquest we set up posts in certain areas of the country, mostly Kabul, Bagram, Kandahar, and scattered firebases in the P2K provinces. (Paktika, Paktia, and Khowst) In the rest of the country we would go on periodic raids or patrols. About the time I was leaving Afghanistan we were extensivly expanding our presence across the country. We were expanding our PRTs (Provincial Reconstruction Teams), ISAF (International Stabilisation Force Afghanistan) which is currently headed by NATO was establishing new PRTs, new firebases were established in provinces around the south and east of Afghanistan. In short, in many places where previously we had periodicly strolled through to show the flag, we now stuck a realtivly large contingent of troops. Many of these provinces contained Taliban supporters and/or others who were opposed to the Karzai government. The fact taht we were now sitting on their doorstep, collecting intel on them and activly hunting them down forced them to quit sitting in their mountain villages bitching about us to activly defending themselves. Which they do, of course, by attacking. And then we kill or capture them. There are very few new recruits coming into the Taliban in Afghanistan. The majority of their new fighters are young men recruited out fo the Madrasas in Pakistan, who are then armed and sent into Afghanistan to die. Alot of these guys have become very discontented becasue they see that they are going in to fight while thier leaders are staying (relativly) safe in Pakistan.
The Taliban's absolute failure to disrupt the parlimentary elections or the Presidential elections demonstrates their impotence. they are fighting now to try and maintain a sense of legitimacy among the Afghan people. It is an effort that is failing. The fact that many of the junior leaders of the Taliban are accepting Karzai's amnesty and are returning to Afghanistan demonstrates this. Remember where I talked about the Afgahn habit of changing sides?( PKZ and confusion in war ) They are changing. They can see the writign on the wall. the Taliban in finished as a major force. It will continue to hang around and fight for a long time simply because there will alwasy be a few fanatics and idiots who will pick up the cause but the Taliban has no chance to restablish themselves in Afghanistan. (this is of course assumeing we continue to support the new government of Afghanistan, if we pull out, all bets are off)
Now there is a second issue that concerns the "resurgence". Namely the US press calls anyone who fights against the Coalition Forces in Afghanistan the Taliban. this is not true. There are alot of minor and a few major warlords running around out there that are actively fighting the establishment of a central government in Afghanistan. They in no wise are Taliban, they may be allied by convenience but they are not Talibs. They don't want a strng central government because that will cut into their power and influence. they can't be the god boss of their valley if the government can come in and arrest them or tax them So they fight.
A good example of this can be seen in the ambush of an Afghan National Police convoy on the 10th of October. IN the village of Bahram Shah in Helmand province a police convoy was ambused, several cars were destroyed, 18 officers were killed. The battle lasted for hours. The Taliban claimed credit for the attack at once and the press quickly passed on the information. But, (you knew there was a but coming didn't you?) when General Abdul Rahman the chief of the Helmand police was asked about it he said taht the ambush was probably staged by the smuglers that operate in that area along the Pakistan border.
"Here in Bahram Chah, people don't have any [legitimate] businesses or sources of income," he said. "The only way for people to earn a living is through smuggling. And these smugglers don't want the [central] government and administration to be established here. So, of course, [people of Bahram Chah] are involved [in this attack]. But we are still investigating [exactly who took part]."

Police Chief Says Smugglers Helped Taliban With Ambush
the taliban will continue to fight, lives will be lost, (mostly thiers)damage will be done. But Afghanistan is on the path to real peace for the first time in more than 25 years. Let's keep them on that path.


Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

But Afghanistan is on the path to real peace for the first time in more than 25 years. Let's keep them on that path.

Agreed here. This war was clear, more clear than the Iraq War. I wish the press would cover this one more though. I guess the press is obsessed with trying to find us making mistakes, rather than journalistic integrity.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Good point about much of the opposition that's called Taliban is really factions of warlords that don't want to loose their grip on the power they've got.

I wish there was more reporting and that it was less sloppy than it often is now.

4:45 PM  

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