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Afghan insurgents 'on brink of defeat'
The Telegraph ^ | 6/1/2008 | Thomas Harding in Lashkar Gah

Posted on 06/01/2008 5:25:38 PM PDT by bruinbirdman

Missions by special forces and air strikes by unmanned drones have "decapitated" the Taliban and brought the war in Afghanistan to a "tipping point", the commander of British forces has said.

The new "precise, surgical" tactics have killed scores of insurgent leaders and made it extremely difficult for Pakistan-based Taliban leaders to prosecute the campaign, according to Brig Mark Carleton-Smith.

In the past two years an estimated 7,000 Taliban have been killed, the majority in southern and eastern Afghanistan. But it is the "very effective targeted decapitation operations" that have removed "several echelons of commanders".


A member of 2 Scots acquires a personal escort as he patrols the town
of Lashkar Gah, in Helmand province

This in turn has left the insurgents on the brink of defeat, the head of Task Force Helmand said.

"The Taliban are much weaker," he said from 16 Air Assault Brigade headquarters in Lashkar Gah.

"The tide is clearly ebbing not flowing for them. Their chain of command is disrupted and they are short of weapons and ammunition."

Last year's killing of Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban chief, most likely by the Special Boat Service, was "a seminal moment in dislocating" their operation in southern Afghanistan, said Brig Carleton-Smith, 44, who has extensive operational experience in Afghanistan and Iraq and has commanded elite Army troops.

"We have seen increasing fissures of stress through the whole organisation that has led to internecine and fratricidal strife between competing groups."

Taliban fighters are apparently becoming increasingly unpopular in Helmand, where they are reliant on the local population for food and water.

They have also been subjected to strikes by the RAF's American-made Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle and the guided Royal Artillery missile system, which have both proved a major battlefield success.

"I can therefore judge the Taliban insurgency a failure at the moment," said Brig Carleton-Smith. "We have reached the tipping point."

The task is now to regenerate the economy to win over the civilian population of Helmand, the base for 8,000 British soldiers.

Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, appears to be a town on the cusp of an economic boom if security remains stable.

A new airport will be ready by the end of this year and a packaging factory by the end of next year.

This could enable the soil-rich "fruit basket of Afghanistan" to export its food.

Alternative crops, such as wheat or rape, could prove a greater attraction than Helmand's massive opium trade, especially as international prices continue to rise.

Much of the Taliban operation is run by Mullah Omar and to a lesser extent al-Qa'eda from their headquarters in Quetta, across the border in Pakistan.

The ability of what is known as the Quetta Shura leadership had been "hugely reduced" and its influence "increasingly marginalised", the brigadier said. Michael Ryder, the senior Foreign Office official in Helmand, agreed that intelligence assessments suggested that the Taliban had become "fractured and fragmented".

"There's a lot of suspicion from southern Taliban commanders of the agenda of Quetta Shura," he said, with the leaders trying to draw in an estimated £20 million a year from the opium trade.

The number of Afghans involved in the insurgency has also fallen, with increasing numbers of Pakistanis, Chechens, Uzbeks and Arabs found dead on the battlefield.

However, with the shortage of helicopters still a problem, most movement is by road and Brig Carleton-Smith warned that British forces must prepare for an increasingly Iraq-style insurgency as the Taliban modified its tactics from pitched battles to ambushes and roadside bombs.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; alqaeda; isaf; mullahomar; oef; progress; taliban; uktroops

1 posted on 06/01/2008 5:25:38 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman

SOF bump.


2 posted on 06/01/2008 5:27:03 PM PDT by roaddog727 (BS does not get bridges built - the funk you see is the funk you do)
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To: bruinbirdman

Mullah Dadullah

Try that one in the Name Game


3 posted on 06/01/2008 5:30:46 PM PDT by Rennes Templar ( Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts.)
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To: bruinbirdman
...they are short of weapons and ammunition."

"And sheep and goats and little boys as companions for lonely evenings in desert."

4 posted on 06/01/2008 5:32:19 PM PDT by LiberConservative ("Typical" White Guy)
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To: bruinbirdman

SOOOO....LETS SEEEE.....

THIS WOULD BE NO TIME TO TURN TAIL AND RUN?

i wonder if the libs are listening?


5 posted on 06/01/2008 5:34:25 PM PDT by flat
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To: bruinbirdman
The only reason he believes that is because he doesn't have enough Arabic translators to apprise him of the actual situation. The war's lost. Move on.
6 posted on 06/01/2008 5:37:08 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Why _was_ the Blind Imam blind, anyway?)
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To: bruinbirdman

I don’t thing the country can stand much more of this good news.


7 posted on 06/01/2008 5:38:53 PM PDT by SaxxonWoods (If you don't vote, you don't matter.)
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To: bruinbirdman

With all due respect, one cannot decapitate a bunch of cockeroaches. All one can do is kill enough of them to keep the problem under control.


8 posted on 06/01/2008 5:41:19 PM PDT by Nachum
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To: bruinbirdman

more bad news for the defeatocrats....


9 posted on 06/01/2008 5:41:21 PM PDT by God luvs America (When the silent majority speaks the earth trembles!)
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To: bruinbirdman

have no fear, our libs will come to their rescue.

NO SARC TAG


10 posted on 06/01/2008 5:47:01 PM PDT by tired1 (responsibility without authority is slavery!)
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To: bruinbirdman

bump


11 posted on 06/01/2008 5:47:35 PM PDT by Skooz (Any nation that would elect Hillary Clinton as its president has forfeited its right to exist.)
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To: bruinbirdman
and made it extremely difficult for Pakistan-based Taliban leaders

Huh? Don't they keep telling us the Pakistanis are on our side?

12 posted on 06/01/2008 5:48:48 PM PDT by null and void (Capitalism=>Audi, BMW, Porsche, Volkswagon. |WALL| Communism=>Trabi. Any questions?)
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To: Nachum

I think that your point is reasonable to an extent, but cockroaches don’t need weapons, money, ammo, resupply, intelligence, coordination of command or foreign recruits. But yes, the Taliban can largely survive without it, go inactive and wait for it to be rebuilt.


13 posted on 06/01/2008 5:53:36 PM PDT by elfman2 ("As goes Fallujah, so goes Central Iraq and so goes the entire country" -Col Coleman, USMC ,4/2004)
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To: bruinbirdman; Allegra; big'ol_freeper; Lil'freeper; TrueKnightGalahad; blackie; Larry Lucido; ...


14 posted on 06/01/2008 5:54:24 PM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: SaxxonWoods
"I don’t thing the country can stand much more of this good news."

No worries, This is not being reported in US media.

If we found a cure for death it would not be reported in the MSM here.

15 posted on 06/01/2008 5:54:26 PM PDT by NoLibZone (When Shall We Have The Courage Our Founders Had? It's Time For The 2nd American Revolution.)
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To: Nachum
With all due respect, one cannot decapitate a bunch of cockeroacher

With all due respect, someone has to plan and direct operations, organize the supplies and intelligence, propaganda etc. Even with the terrorist cockroaches

16 posted on 06/01/2008 5:55:35 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (http://www.iraqvetsforcongress.com ---- Get involved, make a difference.)
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To: bruinbirdman

nothing good comes from claiming ‘imminent defeat’ of this or that opponent if you are a Republican.

Two things will happen:

1. The defeat won’t come soon enough and then any disruption, complication, aggravation or anything else even short of violence will cause liberals and the DNC to claim that you were wrong and there everything you ever said is in question - forever. (Oh, and you were also wrong before)

2. You do wipe out your opponents and then the entire existence of the conflict you won becomes a footnote in history and nobody ever mentions it again (like the Marine victory in Fallujah or the 21 day routing of the Taliban in 2001).

It’s a no-win situation in the media world. You still should go ahead and win, by all means. But there is no point in telling the media you are winning or planning on winning since they just don’t give a crap.


17 posted on 06/01/2008 6:04:48 PM PDT by bpjam (Drill For Oil or Lose Your Job!! Vote Nov 3, 2008)
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To: bruinbirdman
Hang on, Taliban! Obama wants to talk to you.

(With no preconditions.)

18 posted on 06/01/2008 6:27:46 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Given such dismal choices, I guess I'll vote for the old guy.)
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To: bruinbirdman

I’m getting ready to go on a 6 month deployment to Kabul in a few months. Please freepers, pray that we have a president that does not cut and run.


19 posted on 06/01/2008 6:31:50 PM PDT by An American in Turkiye
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To: Rennes Templar

Mullah mullah Dadullah
Banana rana fofullah
fi fie fo fullah
Dadullah


20 posted on 06/01/2008 6:37:45 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Straight Vermonter

LOL! I like it!


21 posted on 06/01/2008 6:42:31 PM PDT by MplsSteve
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To: Nachum
Sorry you are wrong. A bunch of crazies over in the sandbox is no concern of mine. On the other hand, an organized bunch of crazies with petro-dollars and skilled leadership is a cause for concern.

If we want peace here we have to go there and kill the leaders, kill the money men and put the fear of western steel into the average Haji.

22 posted on 06/01/2008 6:58:41 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: null and void
The Pujabis are about 2/3 of the population of Pakistan and are generally friendly or at least tolerant of the west. The Pashtus and Balochs are primitives and are very anti-western and even anti-Punjabi.

Of course the where means as much as the who since the guys who hate us are on both sides of the Durand line.


23 posted on 06/01/2008 7:09:13 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: bruinbirdman

What great news !...an outstanding job done by our own American troops and their British counterparts...

Just wish there was a better solution to eliminate the danger of roadside bombs...maybe someday they will develop just the right weapon..

Prayers continue for the troops ‘over there’ and for our own good President...


24 posted on 06/01/2008 7:43:37 PM PDT by billmor (The American Voter--the Sleeping Tiger. Kicked in the back end.)
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To: An American in Turkiye

Thanks for your service. I will keep you in my prayers.


25 posted on 06/01/2008 8:21:01 PM PDT by notaliberal (Christ Our Hope!)
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To: bruinbirdman

“insurgents” = murderous, subhuman, lowlife muslims/islamists/arabs filth/garbage/shit/trash/crap/junk/scum etc etc etc.

Just a little ‘definition clarification’, btw.


26 posted on 06/01/2008 8:27:57 PM PDT by do not press 2 for spanish
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To: elfman2
But yes, the Taliban can largely survive without it, go inactive and wait for it to be rebuilt.

Exactly.

27 posted on 06/01/2008 9:07:25 PM PDT by Nachum
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To: Straight Vermonter

Right you are!


28 posted on 06/02/2008 7:12:24 AM PDT by Rennes Templar ( Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts.)
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To: Bender2

You’ve done it again, my man ~ good job!!!


29 posted on 06/02/2008 8:50:11 AM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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