Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Taliban being 'decimated' in Helmand, Petraeus: tough spring ahead, but Afghan draw down on
Despite expected occasional setbacks and victories for the Taliban this just keeps getting better and better:
American soldiers in January found a Taliban bunker in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. They later destroyed it with explosives. Recent defeats and general weariness after nine years of war are creating fissures within the Taliban. I just love it! I keep being told I am too optimistic but I am not, I am a realist and victory is up to us. Declare victory and leave.
That is all they want, they are sick of this fight. More than 500 mid level commanders were killed last year and they are forced to move every other day. The Taliban will continue to answer the call to fight as long as we remain on their soil. They have safe haven in Pakistan protected by the military and some in the ISI and they will continue to go to Afghanistan and fight us even though they have had enough as long as we remain there.
A Mutiny Grows in Punjab
Midlevel Taliban Admit to a Rift With Top Leaders
Both Pakistan and Afghanistan are benefiting from Pakistan's military operations, better surveillance by law enforcement agencies and the death of key militants in U.S. drone strikes, a think tank said Sunday. Pakistan's anti-terror efforts are a key focus of the Obama administration, which wants the country to do more to target Taliban militants who regularly launch attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
U.S. officials have also expressed frustration with Pakistan's unwillingness to launch an offensive in North Waziristan, part of the country's lawless tribal region that hosts a large number of militants who wage attacks in Afghanistan. The Pakistani army says its troops are stretched too thin by other operations in the tribal region. But many analysts believe the military is reluctant to cross militants with whom it has historical ties and could be useful allies in Afghanistan after foreign troops withdraw. Attacks down almost 20 percent in Pakistan
Pakistan's unwillingness to go into North Waziristan home of the Haqqani's is in my mind what is keeping the attacks down for now but the U.S. has responded by more than doubling the number of drone strikes in the tribal region. There were close to 120 such strikes in 2010, most of which occurred in North Waziristan. Prime target, the Haqqani's
For now NATO appears to be smoking the Haqqani's and have them on the run but we have to capture or kill them and their followers. The deadliest group of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan "the Haqqani's" has not conducted a complex large-scale attack in the capital city of Kabul for seven months, its momentum stymied as elite American-led commandos have escalated raids against the militants’ bomb makers and logisticians. In three months alone, commandos have carried out 1,784 missions across Afghanistan, killing or capturing 880 insurgent leaders.
New and increased drone attacks come in Khyber, an area abutting Afghanistan’s Nangahar province, that’s been notably drone-free. It has become an area for militants fleeing military action in South Waziristan. They also bring the drone-strike tally for this year, more than twice last year’s 53 strikes. But those figures don’t begin to tell the whole story.
So far over 900 low level Taliban fighters have given up arms and decided to work for peace in the last month and the pace is picking up. However the blood bath continues as the Haqqani's remain defiant.Hundreds of Afghan fighters to lay down arms: NATO Those that have signed up for reintegration have been promised protection and there are at least 45 armed groups or possibly more were in talks with the government on lower-level or local reintegration.
Those who want to sign up must stop fighting, cut ties with other militants and embrace the Afghan constitution. They provide the government information and surrender heavy weapons but are allowed to keep arms deemed essential for self-defense. That said at least a dozen so far have been attacked or killed.
Mullah Sangin of the Sangin province where the tribal uprising is taking place against the Taliban.The notorious Taliban stronghold has been bitterly contested by insurgents and drug traffickers ever since British troops arrived in 2006, but the government revealed that tribal elders, backed by some local insurgents, have agreed to stand up to the Taliban.
It was also announced that that one group of insurgents have already handed in their weapons in an attempt to join a local peace process in Sangin. They are fighting back, this is what has been happening in Pakistan and what had to happen in Afghanistan. Under the arrangement, local Taliban fighters will stop attacking US and Afghan forces and will keep non-local insurgents out of the Sarwan-Qala area of the upper Sangin Valley, according to a spokesman for the Helmand governor Gulab Mangal.
Foot patrols by government forces will continue and local people will be expected to help clear areas of homemade bombs and tip off local police as to their whereabouts.
"There was no signed agreement but we believe this will create the opportunity for other Taliban fighters to come and join the government," said Daoud Ahmadi. He said that the Afghan army, police and US forces were all represented at the traditional tribal Shura on a recent saturday and some of the tribal elders had been given authority by the local Taliban to speak on their behalf. Afghanistan hopes tribal uprising will bring peace
I was listening to ex Taliban fighters and their Commanders who fought NATO and the US for 6 years saying they figure the Government now cares about them so they have now stopped, They point out besides they are sick of fighting and we are leaving anyway. Great! That Is what I was hoping for from the beginning. At least long enough to let us leave then they can kill each other again.
Around Spin Boldak we have Col. Razzik and his force of some 250 men who have become invaluable to the U.S.-led operations to seize Taliban redoubts in Kandahar province, U.S. commanders say. Unlike other Afghan security forces—often ineffectual, reluctant to fight or simply unfamiliar with Kandahar's terrain—his men have wowed American commanders with their tactical skills and determination.
"I have a clear strategy: When the enemies are killing us, we shouldn't be giving them flowers," Col. Razzik said in an interview, as he awaited a visit by the American ambassador to his fort-like base in the border town of Spin Boldak.
Col. Razzik's ability to safeguard the strategic Spin Boldak crossing from the Taliban in recent years has allowed him to stay in office. That job security comes despite what officials in Kabul and Washington say are well-founded concerns that he has been enriching himself and his patron, President Hamid Karzai's brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, with revenue from heroin smuggling, customs-skimming and bribes. people from his own tribe are scared to death of him and leaving the area. In Afghanistan, U.S. Turns 'Malignant Actor' Into Ally
I wish we would quickly kill the Haqqani's, both Jalaluddin and Sirajuddin and leave the rest to Pakistan. We are getting closer hitting a nerve and I can finally see success if Pakistan and the ISI cooperate. We have been taking down one key leader after the next for the last 6 months but with their rate of regeneration this is just beginning and we can not relent now nor think any form of victory is at hand. I wish we would get out and leave the rest up to Afghanistan and Pakistan, keep an eye on events, and see what they do from here on in. Our job as a ground force is done if we are smart enough to leave starting this year like we said we would.
* I know spring is coming but we don't hear too much about Afghanistan lately do we?