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The Starving Journalists Of Afghanistan (Maybe Good News?)
Strategy Page ^ | September 11, 2010

Posted on 09/11/2010 8:43:44 PM PDT by Pan_Yan

September 11, 2010: Lately, the Afghan government has not been as loud about reducing civilian casualties. Partly, that's because these casualties are at a historic low, and trying to drive them any lower will mean less effective operations against the Taliban and more dead Afghan and foreign troops. But the main reason for the reduction in anti-American invective is that the Taliban are having cash flow problems. In the last year, NATO forces have concentrated on doing as much damage as possible to the heroin production and smuggling operations. The Taliban provide security for the drug gangs, and the security has not been too great lately. The Taliban assured the drug lords that a massive roadside bomb campaign would stop the foreign troops. That hasn't worked out too well for the Taliban. That's not the only problem. In the past, the Taliban and drug gangs have mobilized (via bribes or threats) local media to protest the deaths (actual or otherwise, no rumor is wasted) of Afghan civilians at the hands of foreign troops. But with the drug gangs taking huge financial losses, less cash is being passed on to the Taliban. This money is needed to pay, and support (with food, ammo and the like) the thousands of Taliban gunmen. Most of these guys simply go home if the Taliban doesn't come up with the cash. Nearly as bad is the shortage of cash to bribe politicians, journalists, soldiers and policemen.

Even when flush with cash, the Taliban are pretty unpopular throughout Afghanistan. The NATO effort to shut down the drug operations is enormously popular worldwide, and especially inside Afghanistan and neighboring countries. That because the local nations, despite their poverty, find themselves with millions of drug (usually the cheaper opium) addicts. While the drug gangs bribe many local officials and security forces, the majority of the population is firmly against the drug operations.

Even among their core supporters in Helmand province, and around Kandahar, the Taliban are losing support. This region was always the heartland of Taliban support (the original Taliban came from the Pushtun tribes in this area), but the Taliban have been having a harder time recruiting fighters from these Pushtun tribes because, despite the high pay (several times what an Afghan policeman or soldier makes), Taliban tactics gets these guys killed too easily. To make matters worse, the Taliban leaders tend to get out of the way when NATO is coming, leaving behind the local hires, with promises that all they have to do is delay the foreign troops a little. Hasn’t been working out that way, with the rear guard often getting shot to pieces. While the Taliban will pay the families of these dead gunmen, other potential recruits are not encouraged by this generosity. Getting revenge for their dead kinsmen is a bigger draw, but since the Taliban gunmen are killed by anonymous foreign troops, most Afghans are content to simmer, and not court certain death for the sake of family honor. Not now anyway, maybe later.

Besides, there are more immediate revenge issues, as the majority of Afghans (the Tadjiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and so on), are still seeking vengeance from the Taliban for past murders. The biggest problem for the Taliban is not foreign troops, but angry and vengeful Afghans. The Taliban leadership have no strategy for this, other than establishing another Taliban dictatorship in Afghanistan, and using that to keep the vengeful tribesmen in line.

The Taliban leadership are true believers, or tribal politicians eager to find some opportunities to increase their power. Many of the hustlers in the Taliban leadership are either becoming strictly drug lords, or switching allegiance to the government. That's another problem with Afghanistan. There's never been a real national government, and there's always been a lot of corruption in the tribal governments that have ruled the area for thousands of years. But at least the tribal leaders would pass the loot around. The current effort to create and sustain a real national government is crippled by the corruption. But the Taliban rule of the late 1990s was also corrupt, and not even as successful as the current gang of thieves and wannabe bureaucrats. There are no easy solutions, or victories, in Afghanistan.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; drugwars; taliban

1 posted on 09/11/2010 8:43:46 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Pan_Yan

It’s all bush’s fault.

Obama however won’t blame him though.

he will claim credit.


2 posted on 09/11/2010 8:48:08 PM PDT by cableguymn
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To: Pan_Yan
Something I never see is reports about the effectiveness of the Afghan government troops.
3 posted on 09/11/2010 8:54:32 PM PDT by highlander_UW (Education is too important to abdicate control of it to the government)
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To: SunkenCiv

You might be interested in this.


4 posted on 09/11/2010 9:16:58 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: highlander_UW
Something I never see is reports about the effectiveness of the Afghan government troops.

Showcase Afghan Army Mission Turns to Debacle

5 posted on 09/11/2010 9:22:28 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Pan_Yan
The biggest problem for the Taliban is not foreign troops, but angry and vengeful Afghans.

And this is the opportunity we're missing.

Hire these "angry and vengeful Afghans". Pay them handsomely for every Taliban scalp they bring in. Make killing Talibani the most profitable profession in Afghanistan.

Keep tightening the noose, backing them into a corner...until the Taliban is exterminated.

Make it perfectly clear that any group of gangsters that targets the United States of America will be exterminated just as ruthlessly.

Then leave.

6 posted on 09/11/2010 9:45:01 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: Pan_Yan

Until they see defending their nation as a religious duty they’re going to lose to fanatics who see killing them as their religious duty. Very few Westerners have a clue how people think outside of the US and Europe.


7 posted on 09/11/2010 9:58:50 PM PDT by highlander_UW (Education is too important to abdicate control of it to the government)
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To: Pan_Yan; AdmSmith; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; blueyon; Convert from ECUSA; ...
Thanks Pan_Yan.
Lately, the Afghan government has not been as loud about reducing civilian casualties. Partly, that's because these casualties are at a historic low, and trying to drive them any lower will mean less effective operations against the Taliban and more dead Afghan and foreign troops.
The real reason is, they've *already seen* the recent rise casualties, and have seen the total chaos that has been unleashed here and there in Iraq immediately after Zero's stupid announcement. :')
8 posted on 09/12/2010 3:24:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Democratic Underground... matters are worse, as their latest fund drive has come up short...)
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