Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bin Laden files show the obvious: Al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in close contact

From the Guardian-UK:
Documents found in the house where Osama bin Laden was killed a year ago show a close working relationship between top al-Qaida leaders and Mullah Omar, the overall commander of the Taliban, including frequent discussions of joint operations against Nato forces in Afghanistan, the Afghan government and targets in Pakistan.

The communications show a three-way conversation between Bin Laden, his then deputy Ayman Zawahiri and Omar, who is believed to have been in Pakistan since fleeing Afghanistan after the collapse of his regime in 2001.

They indicate a "very considerable degree of ideological convergence", a Washington-based source familiar with the documents told the Guardian...

The news will undermine hopes of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan, where the key debate among analysts and policymakers is whether the Taliban – seen by many as following an Afghan nationalist agenda – might once again offer a safe haven to al-Qaida or like-minded militants, or whether they can be persuaded to renounce terrorism.
In truth, this report is not shocking at all. Back in January, while the Obama administration was conducting so-called "peace negotiations" with an emissary of Mullah Omar, Mr. Omar, with the help of a senior Al Qaeda leader, was creating a new alliance to battle the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

No doubt the Obama administration was cognizant of this and was also aware of Taliban's ongoing relationship with Al Qaeda. But sadly, the White House is desperately seeking an exit strategy, at all costs. And the Taliban, after hearing President Obama, in 2009, announce a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, while simultaneously announcing his troop surge, was fully aware that Obama was [desperately] seeking an exit [surrender] strategy.

In an interview with CNN, shortly after Obama announced his perilous exit strategy, Zalmay Khalilzad, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, told CNN as follows:
Today, the president of the United States... announced an escalation of the war... But he also coupled that with an exit strategy, including a goal of when the troops can start coming home...

If you [establish] a time line, you encourage the enemy to out-wait you, to regard the strategy as not enduring.When I was the ambassador in Afghanistan, the Taliban sent me a message saying: "You have all the watches, but we have all the time!.."

I think the emphasis on an artificial time line may encourage the Taliban to persist, to endure and for the region to assume that we do not have the staying power and, therefore, make the job of succeeding harder.
Perhaps the Guardian finds these documents shocking, but there's nothing shocking here; it's not much of a revelation at all.

The President is fully aware of the ongoing Taliban/Al Qaeda communications, but he continues to seek an exit strategy at all costs because: he "can't lose the whole Democratic Party!"

No comments: