Nation-Building >> mission accomplished | return to front page

"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

Add to Google Reader or Homepage Subscribe in Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online Add to netvibes

website stats

Previous Posts
Netflix, Inc.
ThinkGeek T-Shirts will make you cool!
illy coffee - 2 cans, 2 mugs for just $26.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

 

mission accomplished http://sev.prnewswire.com/magazines/20070225/CLSU00425022007-1.html#

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, February 27, 2007 permalink View blog reactions
Mullah Omar, who deserves to burn in hell for appropriating the title of Amir al-mumineen for himself alone, is back. He's spent the last five years building up the Taliban infrastructure and alliances:

After the Taliban's fall, Mullah Omar effectively vanished. Still, he did not quit the jihad. As his men regrouped, he gradually emerged from hiding and in 2004 began traveling from camp to camp in remote Taliban-held areas. Only a few trusted assistants know where the fugitive leader is now. But wherever he is hidden, he is closer than ever to many of his followers-not only to long- neglected fighters like Ghul Agha, but even to members of the Taliban's ruling council, the Shura, Newsweek reports. In the past, according to Mullah Rahman, the group's deputy commander in Zabul province, it could take six weeks for senior Taliban officials to send a message to the leader and get a reply. Now, thanks to the Taliban's military gains and growing network of messengers and mobile phones, the Shura can send Omar a question and get his answer within 24 hours.


It is worth remembering a speech by Al Gore on September 23rd, 2002, on the eve of war against Iraq:

To begin with - to put first things first - I believe we should focus our efforts first and foremost against those who attacked us on September 11th and who have thus far gotten away with it. The vast majority of those who sponsored, planned and implemented the cold-blooded murder of more than 3,000 Americans are still at large, still neither located nor apprehended, much less punished and neutralized. I do not believe that we should allow ourselves to be distracted from this urgent task simply because it is proving to be more difficult and lengthy than was predicted. Great nations persevere and then prevail. They do not jump from one unfinished task to another. We should remain focused on the war against terrorism.

[...]

Two decades ago, the Soviet Union claimed the right to launch a preemptive war in Afghanistan, we properly encouraged and then supported the resistance movement, which a decade later succeeded in defeating the Soviet army's efforts. Unfortunately, however, when the Russians left, we abandoned the Afghans, and the lack of any coherent nation-building program led directly to the conditions which allowed the Taliban to take control and to bring in Al Qaeda and give them a home and a base for their worldwide terrorist operations. That's where they planned the attack on us a year ago September 11. Incredibly, in spite of that vivid lesson, after defeating the Taliban rather easily, and despite pledges from President Bush that we would never again abandon Afghanistan, we have done precisely that. And now the Taliban and Al Qaeda are quickly moving back in.


Read that whole speech and marvel at his prescience. And a complete excerpt from the Newswire is below the fold.

UPDATE: Losing the war in Afghanistan - the troops themselves speak out. Excerpt:

[T]he troops in Nuristan have also suffered from sheer isolation and the topography of the Hindu Kush. At Lybert (altitude 6,500 feet), the 3-71’s Charlie Company had gone 70 days without a hot shower or a hot meal. They have sustained deaths and injuries from hiking and falling. Soldiers who have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan before said their current living conditions are much worse. “Leadership doesn’t care about us,” said one officer, who requested that his name be withheld to avoid punishment for his comments. “We’ve gone on mission after mission after mission where we’ve gone black [run out] on food and water. They tell us, ‘Pack light, your mission will only be four days tops.’ But then we end up stuck on a mountaintop for two weeks. We didn’t have anything, not even tents. If you can’t get us off a mountain, don’t put us on there.”

Several soldiers and officers I spoke with told me they were unprepared for their mission in the north of Afghanistan. No one, it seems, told them they would have to fight a Vietnam-style war at high altitudes. One officer told me the 10th Mountain’s limited resources and poor planning frustrated him. (He also asked that his name be withheld for fear of retribution.) “Leadership has failed us,” he told me. “They don’t give a shit about us. We’ve been shorted everything we needed. Our training didn’t prepare us for this terrain or this mission. We’re doing the best we can but we’re not getting support.” He said the summer of 2006 had been filled with air-assault missions in which Chinooks delivered 20 to 30 troops to a ridgeline with little food or water, and no plan to pick them up.

[...] Adding to Charlie Company’s frustration, it cannot go on manned patrols in the villages below. Capt. Mike Schmidt, the commanding officer, told me the location of the base and size of his troop limited how much he could do. “We depend a lot on locals walking up from the neighboring villages to give us information,” he said. “We can’t leave the base and do patrols or visit the villages. We don’t have enough soldiers. We’d come back and there would be nothing left—the Afghans would steal everything and the insurgents could take the base.”


UPDATE again: Hey, the band is getting back together! Bin Laden is re-establishing training camps in Pakistan:

In the most definitive statement in years, America's top intelligence official said Tuesday Osama bin laden is in Pakistan actively re-establishing al Qaeda training camps.

The newly appointed Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell made the assertion about bin Laden and his No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.


Al-Qaeda Pakistan, Taliban Afghanistan... can we get Billy Joel to write a few more stanzas for We Didn't Start the Fire yet?

 

The Taliban's Supreme Leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, has emerged from the shadows, his field officers say, and with his inspiration they're planning a military push against U.S.-led forces like never before, Newsweek reports in its March 5 issue (on newsstands Monday, February 26). "We respect him even more than we did five years ago," says one Taliban field commander, Ghul Agha Akhund, speaking to Newsweek by mobile phone from his redoubt in Afghanistan's Helmand province. "He refuses to give up, no matter what the odds."

Ghul Agha says he has received two communications from Omar this year- after not one word since the U.S.-led 2001 invasion. The most recent communication was a dark photocopy of a handwritten note congratulating the group's fighting forces on "getting even with infidel invaders" last year and urging them to launch "a more intensive jihad." "This message from our leader is like tonic medicine," Ghul Agha tells Newsweek. "It makes us stronger." The commander and his men are energetically preparing to launch an offensive as soon as the snow melts; he hopes this year they will cut off the provincial capital.

Newsweek has viewed a new recruiting video in which the Taliban's most notoriously cruel commander, the one-legged Mullah Dadullah Akhund, addresses an audience of some 400 men who are described as trained suicide bombers, ready to die on his order. "Our suicide bombers are countless," he says in a videotaped response to questions from Newsweek. "Hundreds have already registered their names, and hundreds more are on the waiting list." Those claims, while impossible to verify, can't be discounted, either. In an interview that aired on Al-Jazeera last week, Dadullah claimed to have more than 6,000 armed guerrillas in underground hideouts and other staging areas, awaiting the moment to strike. "The attack is imminent," he told the Arabic TV channel.

Western forces are certainly bracing for one, report Special Correspondent Sami Yousafzai and South Asia Correspondent Ron Moreau. Thousands of reinforcements have deployed to Afghanistan, bringing the Coalition's total armed strength to nearly 50,000, including 15,500 Americans in NATO's ranks and 11,000 others under direct U.S. command. NATO's chief spokes-man in Kabul, Col. Tom Collins, says his force intends to head off the militants' assault with pre-emptive attacks against Taliban strongholds and sanctuaries in Helmand and Uruzgan provinces.

The Coalition, with its enormous superiority in firepower, sees no way the Taliban can capture and hold any significant target. "They may hold a small place for days," Collins allows, "but they'll get run out at a high cost." An estimated 3,000 Taliban fighters died in last year's engagements alone. But replacing those losses has been easy-thanks largely to the 47-year-old Mullah Omar.

After the Taliban's fall, Mullah Omar effectively vanished. Still, he did not quit the jihad. As his men regrouped, he gradually emerged from hiding and in 2004 began traveling from camp to camp in remote Taliban-held areas. Only a few trusted assistants know where the fugitive leader is now. But wherever he is hidden, he is closer than ever to many of his followers-not only to long- neglected fighters like Ghul Agha, but even to members of the Taliban's ruling council, the Shura, Newsweek reports. In the past, according to Mullah Rahman, the group's deputy commander in Zabul province, it could take six weeks for senior Taliban officials to send a message to the leader and get a reply. Now, thanks to the Taliban's military gains and growing network of messengers and mobile phones, the Shura can send Omar a question and get his answer within 24 hours.


Labels: ,


Discussion

Post a Comment

Archives

View blog top tags
The Assault on Reason

Obama 2008 - I want my country back

I want my country back - Obama 2008

About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.