Friday, April 16, 2010

McChrystal: Signs some Taliban trained in Iran

From the AP:
The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan says there are signs that some Taliban fighters are training in Iran.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal also says some weapons and ammunition have entered Afghanistan from Iran. But the numbers "are not operationally significant (and) they have not changed the fight."

McChrystal said Friday at France's IHEDN military institute that he has no proof that the Iranian government is channeling fighters or equipment to Afghanistan.

He says he would be concerned if flows increase.
Hmmm... I'm not sure why McChrystal seems so intent on playing down the Iranian/Taliban alliance. Here's what the US State Dept., in its annual report on State Sponsored Terrorism, wrote in April of last year:
Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism... The Qods Force, an elite branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.... Iran’s IRGC Qods Force provided assistance to the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Qods Force provided training to the Taliban on small unit tactics, small arms, explosives, and indirect fire weapons. Since at least 2006, Iran has arranged arms shipments including small arms and associated ammunition, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107mm rockets, and plastic explosives to select Taliban members.
Clearly, Iran’s IRGC Qods Force, "the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad", has been channeling a significant supply of weaponry to the Taliban. For McChrystal to say "he has no proof that the Iranian government [regime] is channeling" arms to Afghanistan and that the number of weapons and ammunition entering Afghanistan from Iran "are not operationally significant", seems a bit odd.

It is highly unlikely that Iran's support of the Taliban could have changed so dramatically since the State Department issued the aforementioned report last year. Perhaps the General's been hanging around Obama a little too much. The Iranian appeasement bug, after all, can be quite contagious if one does not take the necessary precautionary measures to avoid catching the dreaded disease. Excessive consumption of the Obama Koolaid has also been found to cause catastrophic side effects. I'm not a physician, but nevertheless, I would advise Gen. McChrystal to get plenty of rest and, in the future, to avoid any kind of direct - or indirect - contact with Obama administration officials.
Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused Iran of "playing a double game" by nurturing relations with Afghanistan while supporting insurgents to undermine U.S. and NATO troops.

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