Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Taliban Make Nice? Really?

There is no such thing as a "stalemate" in guerrilla warfare.

That overly generous term is being used by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan to describe the state of affairs between Afghan, US and NATO forces and the Taliban.

Why can there be no stalemate? Because of the time factor. As the insurgents say, we have all the watches but they have all the time. They have nowhere else to go, they can simply wait us out.

There's a stalemate only in the sense that neither side is capable of a military victory over the other but that reflects a totally false view that this is a military war rather than a political war. It ignores the fact that the insurgents are on the offensive, not us. Every now and then they get a breakaway and go on to demolish a prison or blow up an embassy or storm a government ministry.

Now, negotiating from strength, the Taliban have announced they want peace with the Afghan people. From the National Toast:

The Taliban are willing to work with all Afghan groups to achieve peace, but the problems of Afghanistan can only be solved if foreign troops withdraw from the country, a senior insurgent leader said.

The Taliban have made a strong come-back in the last three years, extending the scale and scope of their insurgency across the south and east and up to the fringes of the Afghan capital.

"We would like to take an Afghan strategy that is shared and large-scale, in consultation with all the Afghan groups, to reach positive and fruitful results," Mullah Mutassim, a former Taliban finance minister and member of the group's political council, told al-Samoud magazine in an interview conducted on Feb. 25.
But, he said, the United States "has to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan as soon as possible, because the real starter of crises and complication of matters is the presence of foreign forces in the country.

"If these forces leave, the problem will be over, the question will be finished, and peace will prevail," he was quoted as saying in the interview translated by the U.S.-based Site Intelligence Group which monitors jihadi web sites.

Mutassim is regarded as close to fugitive Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar.

The Taliban are clearly using their newfound power to outmanoeuvre us. They know the Afghan people are turning against the Western forces and their hopelessly corrupt central government. They know the Afghans want the insurgency/civil war ended at almost all costs. The Taliban know that, with an election looming in August, they have an ideal opportunity to influence the vote - and the Karzai government.

Where we failed to take the opportunity as far back as 2002 to drive a wedge between the Taliban and the al-Qaeda terrorists, the Taliban are now in a position to drive a wedge between the Afhgan people and the Western backed-Karzai government. That's the ultimate strategy of any insurgency.

This could pay huge dividends for the Taliban and there's nothing we can do about it, nothing.


Anonymous said...

Is this blog supposed to be progressive? ;)

yes, afghanis are teh enemy. they want to come to canada and dirty bomb you.

i swear its true.

The Mound of Sound said...

The "Afghanis" are the enemy? Not just the Taliban but all Afghanis? And they have nothing better to do with their time than yearn to come to Canada and dirty bomb me with nuclear material they don't have?

Sorry chum but your circuits are overloaded. Go home and have a lovely cold shower.