Who could have expected…?

This is breaking news, apparently:

The Taliban in Afghanistan are being directly assisted by Pakistani security services, according to a secret Nato report seen by the BBC.

The leaked report, derived from thousands of interrogations, claims the Taliban remain defiant and have wide support among the Afghan people.

It alleges that Pakistan knows the locations of senior Taliban leaders.

Seriously, this hasn’t been “breaking” news since about 2005. More interesting would be a breaking confession from some D.C. insider as to why U.S. foreign policy makers has bi-partisanly looked the other way for so many years.

But let’s talk Saint-General and DCI David Petraeus’ favorite subject: momentum.

In a damning conclusion, the document says that in the last year there has been unprecedented interest, even from members of the Afghan government, in joining the Taliban cause.

It adds: “Afghan civilians frequently prefer Taliban governance over the Afghan government, usually as a result of government corruption.”

The report has evidence that the Taliban are purposely hastening Nato’s withdrawal by deliberately reducing their attacks in some areas and then initiating a comprehensive hearts-and-minds campaign.

It says that in areas where Isaf has withdrawn, Taliban influence has increased, often with little or no resistance from government security forces. And in many cases, with the active help of the Afghan police and army.

Time’s John Wendle doesn’t believe that “The Taliban’s momentum has been broken” either, even if Obama takes Petraues’ word for it.

Still, two more years until the combat troops get relabelled as non-combat advisors and the war officially ends.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • the ISI has been playing both sides of the fence for decades, notably in Kashmir. To hear that they’re helping the Taliban is no surprise at all..

    “It’s no longer IOKIYAR….It’s OK If You’re A Republican, but IOKBYAR–It’s OK BECAUSE You’re a Republican.” — Me

  • Now that’s good money we’ve spent on intelligence gathering and analysis there.

    It’s like someone picked up a history book and realized that Pakistan has been funding the Taliban since the 90’s when it helped them all but win the civil war, post Soviet withdrawal. And then a lightbulb went off above someone’s head and they thought, “Holy shit! What if they never stopped?!”

  • Pakistan has started air strikes in the Pashtun region today.

    So there’s this, the acknowledgement by Panetta of drone strikes…and now attacks by Pakistan on its own insurgents.

    Seeing a pattern?

  • NATO’s meeting this week, SecDef is messaging on winding down in 2014 while heading to said meeting and the Administration has been talking up the Qatar initiative. I’m more of a mind to not be surprised if they mean to do exactly what they seem to be messaging on and head for the exit on sked.

    In combat one should be very suspicious of painless moral choices. When you are confronted with a seemingly painless moral choice, the odds are that you haven’t looked deeply enough.” ~ Karl Marlantes

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