July 6, 2008

The Taliban has a PLAN!

Only problem is that it sucks strategically... From Strategy Page:
The Taliban Have A Plan That Sucks
While the Taliban get all the headlines, the main source of the violence in Afghanistan is the money from the heroin trade. This is what pays to arm and encourage (with payments to the gunmen, or to their families after their sons die in action) young men to get involved. The Taliban also take advantage of the ancient Pushtun tradition of fighting outsiders. The result of all this has been a few thousand Taliban and al Qaeda fighting wandering around southern Afghanistan, terrorizing locals into supporting them (with food, and no cell phone calls to the police). Because most of the Pushtuns want nothing to do with more violence, more and more of the gunmen are foreigners. Most are from Pakistan, but hundreds are from outside the region, mostly Arabs.

The majority of Afghans have nothing to do with all this. Partly this is because about 60 percent of the population are not Pushtuns, and consider the Taliban another example of Pushtun madness they want no part of. The rest of the country still has the usual problems of corruption, banditry and tribal politics, but nothing as nasty as the Taliban and their murderous religious fanaticism.
And a bit more:
Getting those additional troops will be difficult, largely because of domestic politics in the West. Europeans, in particular, are eager to find a way to not get involved. The Europeans have allowed their armed forces to waste away since the end of the Cold War in 1991, and the general attitude is more receptive to making some kind of deal with the Islamic radicals, rather than hunting down and killing them. The Islamic radicals know this, and are willing to say whatever the Europeans want to hear in order to get Western troops out of Afghanistan. To help that process, al Qaeda is concentrating suicide and roadside bombing attacks on European troops, because of the potential political payoff back in Europe.
The article cites a couple examples of poor management by Taliban including this gem from June 27, 2008:
Increased Taliban attacks on trucks that move most imports to land-locked Afghanistan, has caused Pakistan to go after Taliban fighters who have set up shop along the highways into Afghanistan. It's Pakistani trucking and trading companies that are losing money, trucks and drivers from the Taliban attacks. Religion is one thing, losing your livelihood is an even greater motivator.
These scum will be sent back into the sewers from whence they crawled forth but it will take time and will. Posted by DaveH at July 6, 2008 9:04 PM
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