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It says that in areas where Isaf has withdrawn, Taliban influence has increased, often with little or no resistance from government security forces.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.