Archive for the 'Tehrik-i-Taliban' Category



The Taliban Goal Of Global Islamic Domination

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 5 months ago

From Pakistan Today:

One of the top leaders of the movement of the Taliban in Pakistan said the terror group sought to overthrow the Pakistani government, impose sharia, seize the country’s nuclear weapons, and wage jihad until “the Caliphate is established across the world”.

The statements were made by Omar Khalid al Khurasani, the al Qaeda-linked leader of the Taliban in Pakistan’s branch in the Mohmand Agency, in a video that was released on jihadist web forums.

The video, which also discussed the history and evolution of the Taliban Movement in Pakistan, was released by Umar Studios and has been translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

As we have previously observed, a decade or more of exposure to the transnational religious insurgency has inculcated globalist ideologies and intentions within a group that, whether these intentions existed before, certainly owns them now.  The Afghanistan Taliban isn’t far behind, and they swim in the same waters as the Pakistan Taliban.

Mohamed Merah, the French citizen of Algerian origin, perpetrator of the Toulouse shootings, had trained with the Taliban despite French denials of connection.  There may be some question whether he was incarcerated in Kandahar, and it appears that it may have been an indigenous Afghan by that same name that escaped in 2008.  But his radicalization, or at least part of it, occurred during two trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan.  He was also on the U.S. no-fly list because he had been in custody in Afghanistan.

As for other potential shooters?

More than 80 French nationals are training with the Pakistan Taliban in the law-less northwest of the country, according to an insurgent commander, raising fears of a renewed campaign against Western targets. A senior commander with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, an al-Qaida-affiliated group that has its stronghold in North Waziristan, said 80 French citizens were training “mostly in North Waziristan but some in South Waziristan.

Perhaps this is just bluster to hide the fact that their reach doesn’t yet match their ambitions.  But perhaps not.  “French intelligence sources said about 30 French fighters trained by the Taliban were believed to have taken part in attacks on Western forces in Afghanistan.”

At a time when most of America has tired of the global Islamic insurgency, it would appear that “the long war” is just beginning.

Ron Paul on the Taliban

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 7 months ago

I just heard Ron Paul in the S.C. GOP debate say that we mustn’t mix the Taliban and al Qaeda – the Taliban were our allies in the war to evict the Soviet Union from Afghanistan, and are only concerned with ensuring that there are no foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Just to cover again what we’ve previously discussed concerning the Pakistani Taliban:

… they have evolved into a much more radical organization than the original Taliban bent on global engagement, what Nicholas Schmidle calls the Next-Gen Taliban. The TTP shout to passersby in Khyber “We are Taliban! We are mujahedin! “We are al-Qaida!”  There is no distinction.  A Pakistan interior ministry official has even said that the TTP and al Qaeda are one and the same.

Nick Schmidle – who is also a genuinely good guy and a scholar – gave us a learned warning shot over the bow.  It was reiterated by David Rohde who was in captivity by the Taliban.

“Living side by side with the Haqqanis’ followers, I learned that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious. Contact with foreign militants in the tribal areas appeared to have deeply affected many young Taliban fighters. They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world.”

As for the Quetta Shura, Mohammed Omar’s group, to whom the Pakistani Taliban have pledged fealty, we’ll let Omar speak for himself from a BBC interview – never officially released – done just after 9/11.

Ron Paul is wrong.

Taliban Cross-Border Raid Into Pakistan

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 2 months ago

From The New York Times:

At least 28 Pakistani soldiers have been killed after two days of intense fighting with militants who crossed the border from Afghanistan  into northwestern Pakistan, local police officials said Thursday.

As many as 45 militants were killed, the officials said. The figures could not be independently verified.

Three civilians, including two women, were also killed in the clashes, and three Pakistani soldiers were missing. It was unclear whether they had been killed or had been abducted by the attackers.

At least 200 militants crossed the border on Wednesday morning and attacked a police post in Barawal, a village surrounded by rugged mountains and forests in the Shaltalo area of Upper Dir, a district in northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Shaltalo is near the border with Kunar Province of Afghanistan.

The fighters took up positions in the surrounding mountains and also attacked troops from hide-outs in the thick forest outside the village. They destroyed at least two schools and set several houses on fire. By Thursday afternoon, the intensity of the fighting was diminishing, and by the evening the troops had regained the advantage, the police said.

“The situation is under control,” said Jawahir Ali, a junior police official in Barawal.

Pakistani officials lodged a protest with the Afghan government late Thursday. Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir conveyed “strong concern” about the matter, according to a statement from the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The statement said that as many as 400 Afghan militants had been involved in the attack. Mr. Bashir demanded a strong response from the Afghan Army and United States and NATO forces against militants in Afghanistan, the statement said.

The border with Afghanistan in Dir district is porous and unguarded at most of the crossings, making infiltration easier. An army border checkpoint is located at Shahi, about 19 miles from Barawal.

But wait.  I thought that there were only a few al Qaeda affiliated fighters left in Afghanistan, and that the Afghan Taliban were interested only in an independent Islamic state in Afghanistan and were completely uninterested in anything but Afghanistan.  An Islamic version of the noble savage, as it were.  This incident doesn’t seem to fit the current narrative.

Furthermore, the Taliban have taken credit for the raid.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility on Friday for a cross-border attack on a security post that appeared to signal the group was adopting a new strategy of large-scale attacks on government and army targets.

In the pre-dawn raid on Wednesday in the village of Shaltalo in Dir region, up to 400 militants crossed from Afghanistan. More than 24 hours of clashes ensued, the government said.

Twenty-seven Pakistani servicemen were killed and 45 militants died in the clashes in the northwest, security officials said. There were contradictory accounts of casualties and how many militants fought.

“Up to 40 to 50 of our fighters took part in the operation,” Ehsanullah Ashen, spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Taliban Movement of Pakistan), told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. “None of our fighters were killed.”

The TTP has previously brought fighters from across the porous border with Afghanistan — where it has allies — to attack Pakistani security forces, but none were on the same scale as the Dir operation.

Deputy TTP leader Fakir Mohammed said the group with close ties to al Qaeda had changed strategy and would now focus on large-scale attacks only on state targets like the one in Dir.

Huh.  Hmmm … doesn’t comport with the narrative.

The Morphing of the Taliban

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 3 months ago

Joshua Foust is both a genuinely good guy and an expert on the affairs of Central Asia.  I am neither.  With that said, I strongly disagree with the theme of his analysis of the question of whether all militants are the same?  He weighs in thusly.

Max Boot thinks all militants are the same.

Of greater immediate concern are al Qaeda’s allies: the Quetta Shura Taliban, the Haqqani network and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HiG), which among them deploy thousands of hardened terrorists. These groups, in turn, are part of a larger conglomeration of extremists based in Pakistan including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (the Pakistani Taliban), Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed…

The major difference among them, at least so far, has been one of geographic focus. The Taliban, the Haqqani network and HiG want to seize power in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Taliban aspires to rule in Islamabad. Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed are primarily focused on wresting Kashmir away from India, although there have been reports of the former’s network expanding into Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Only al Qaeda has a global focus—so far.

Apart from rightly noting that al Qaeda is the only one of these groups that poses even a remote threat to the U.S. homeland, this is basically all wrong—so wrong I’m curious if it is the result of maliciousness or just laziness. Boot engages in some worrying conflations and conceptual fuzziness. Assuming the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban groups work together, are equally associated with al Qaeda, or pose an equal and in some way interchangeable threat is, put simply, dramatically at odds with our understanding of those groups, their goals, and their methods. There is no ” a larger conglomeration of extremists,” as he asserts, as that term implies an interoperability that just doesn’t exist in the real world.

Mullah Omar, contrary to what Boot writes, was not closer to Osama bin Laden than Hafiz Muhammed Saeed — and that sort of formulation misses the point anyway. Similarly, and again in contrast to Boot’s portrayal, there ARE a number of signs that the Afghan Taliban (NOT the Pakistani Taliban or Kashmir-focused terror groups, all of which Boot confuses) is seeking a way to break with al Qaeda — and we have reports of these signs going back at least to 2008.

We’ll start with this bit.  I am of the opinion – based on what I have studied – that most of the so-called Afghan “Taliban” who have sought to “reconcile” with the Karzai government are washed-up has-beens who want an easier life as they go into their golden years.  They play us and the Afghan government for fools, and they don’t legitimately represent either the Quetta Shura or Tehrik-i-Taliban (or any allied or affiliated or similar group).

Moving on, it might have been legitimate to have discussed divisions, subdivisions and categories of Taliban and al Qaeda ten or even six years ago.  Things have changed since then.

… they have evolved into a much more radical organization than the original Taliban bent on global engagement, what Nicholas Schmidle calls the Next-Gen Taliban. The TTP shout to passersby in Khyber “We are Taliban! We are mujahedin! “We are al-Qaida!”  There is no distinction.  A Pakistan interior ministry official has even said that the TTP and al Qaeda are one and the same.

Nick Schmidle – who is also a genuinely good guy and a scholar – gave us a learned warning shot over the bow.  It was reiterated by David Rohde who was in captivity by the Taliban.

Living side by side with the Haqqanis’ followers, I learned that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious. Contact with foreign militants in the tribal areas appeared to have deeply affected many young Taliban fighters. They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world.

More recently we have a report at the Asia Times from Syed Saleem Shahzad on Maulvi Nazir.

Extremely loyal to Taliban leader Mullah Omar and a part of the Afghan Taliban, Nazir began as a conventional Talib guerrilla and a follower of the populist traits of the Taliban movement.

This changed in 2006, when, like many others including Sirajuddin Haqqani, Nazir became inspired by al-Qaeda and realized that fighting a war without modern guerrilla techniques meant draining vital human resources for no return.

That led to the advancement of the skills of Nazir’s fighters, and it also came with rewards.

In Afghanistan, if a commander sticks solely to his relations with the Taliban, he will never climb the ladder to prominence and the Taliban can only provide a limited number of local tribal fighters and meager funds. But if a commander allies with al-Qaeda, he is given the opportunity for joint operations with top Arab commanders who arrange finances for those operations.

Similarly, breakaway factions of Pakistani jihadi organizations like the Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Laskhar-e-Taiba and the Harkatul Mujahideen also supply an unending stream of fighters to those commanders associated with al-Qaeda.

Nazir’s affiliation with al-Qaeda seems to have passed unnoticed by the United States and NATO, which are investing heavily in a reconciliation process with the “good Taliban” and they appear not to understand the drastic changes that have taken place among the top cadre of the Taliban …

“What is the rationale of dialogue after NATO’s withdrawal?” Nazir asked rhetorically. “Then, the Taliban and NATO can hold a dialogue on whether the Taliban would attack their interests all over the world or not, and what treaties should be undertaken in that regard.”

Taken aback by this statement from a Taliban stalwart who is not perceived as being a global jihadi but simply a guerrilla fighting against occupation forces in Afghanistan, I intervened. “Hitting Western targets abroad might be al-Qaeda’s agenda, but it is not the Taliban’s, so why should the West negotiate that with the Taliban?”

“Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are one and the same. At an operational level we might have different strategies, but at the policy level we are one and the same,” Nazir said, surprising me further.

I’m usually hesitant to cite Syed Saleem Shahzad since he is a mouth piece (witting or unwittingly) for the Taliban.  But occasionally he scores significant interviews, and those tend to be very productive and informative.  For this particular interview, the only thing that surprises me is that Syed Saleem Shahzad is surprised.

To be sure, there are factions within the TTP, and in fact, the Taliban are an amalgam of groups, subgroups, factions, leaders, and so on and so forth, some of whom disagree and even level threats at each other.

So what?  We all knew that.  The question redounds to threat, or some approximation thereof.  And so here is the crux of the issue.  Back to Foust as he opines “If these groups do not pose a threat to the United States, then it is not our problem to “fix” them. Period.”  And he summarizes.

I had hoped that the death of Osama bin Laden would at least temporarily tamp down on the irresponsible fear-mongering over a few crazies with guns in mountains whose names we cannot pronounce and who cannot and do not pose an existential threat to our existence. I guess my hope was mistaken.

Well, yes, no and maybe, depending upon point and inflection.  Let’s dissect.  I agree that it’s not the task of the U.S. to fix all of the world’s problems if there is no national security interest.  In fact, I couldn’t agree more.  While it’s laudable that we might want women treated better in Afghanistan, that’s not a reason for war.  We cannot be the policemen of the world, nor does the world want us as policemen.

But this issue of threat is more complex.  Don’t forget that the Hamburg cell headed for Afghanistan intent on receiving training and returning to Germany to perpetrate violence there.  It was OBL who persuaded them to pull off an attack in the States, and we know it as 9/11.  It was actually a fairly simple attack, and if there is any mistake that the AQ leadership is making at the moment it is that they are focusing on big, flashy attacks when they should be focusing on the simple.  I am thankful for this error in judgment.

I have already described an attack that America simply cannot absorb despite the ignorance of the current administration (who claims that we’re just fine).  The unfortunate truth is that American infrastructure, from bridges to malls, from buildings to roads, from airports to power plants, from water supplies to electrical grid, hasn’t been hardened since 9/11.  It would cost too much money to do it, far more than waging a counterinsurgency campaign in the hinterlands of the earth for the next decade.

As for threat, I never really believed that Baitullah Mehsud could actually pull off an attack on Washington, D.C.  What’s important is that he wanted to.  With enough time, money, motivation and several hundred dedicated fighters, I could bring the economy of the United States to its knees.  So can any smart Taliban leader.

Unlike Josh who believes that Max believes that all militants are the same, I see his mistake differently.  Max Boot makes the mistake of subdividing the Taliban, as if these are neat, clean, Aristotelian categories into which we can drop an organization.  This is wrong in my estimation.  They have swam in the same waters for the last decade with globalists galore, and this ideology has morphed the Pakistani Taliban into something they weren’t.  To a lesser extent this has happened with the Afghan Taliban.  Lesser extent, I admit, but it’s still there.  The mistake Joshua makes is that he sees no threat.  Again, this is wrong in my estimation.

I can play the subdivision game too.  I know the various groups of militants in the Pech River Valley, Hindu Kush, Kandahar, Helmand, FATA and NWFP.  It just doesn’t matter as much as it might have a few years ago, and to some extent I see it as pedantic and braggadocios to list out all of the names (and it’s even more impressive if you pronounce the names right – and for heaven’s sake, pronounce “Pech” correctly as “Pesh”).

But at some point I think this is all being too smart for our own good, and fiddling while Rome burns (or in this case, Central Asia).  The death of Bin Laden will have little affect on the global insurgency.  He and his ilk were but one manifestation of the globalist Islamist movement, the larger framework being the Muslim Brotherhood.  With the air of respectability, the MB will proceed apace.  Their military manifestation will still be seen in AQ, the TTP, Hamas, Hezbollah and others.  Bin Laden is dead.  The war continues.

So much for the Pakistani military offensive in Waziristan

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 9 months ago

As we discussed in Pakistan Crumbles, the Pakistan Taliban have melted away into the mountains of the Hindu Kush in the face of the Pakistani military offensive against them.  More detail:

… there are those in the diplomatic circles of Islamabad who say the Pakistani military leadership would soon realize that the troops in South Waziristan are actually chasing shadows because the TTP militants have simply melted into the vastness of the inhospitable surrounding territory. It appears that the militants in Waziristan, headed by the Pakistani Taliban – the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan – are bent on a long-term insurgency against the security apparatus. Although tough resistance was expected from up to 10,000 well-trained Taliban guerrilla fighters from the mainly ethnic Pashtun Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan, the military operation has been relatively proved easy so far, to the surprise of many. Fighting small rearguard actions, the Taliban deserted their bunkers and posts in the major towns, leaving space for the troops to occupy. An intelligence official overseeing the spying operations in Waziristan has been recently quoted as saying that many groups of Taliban were spotted moving to Shawal, a remote and inaccessible area near the Afghan border. Dense forests and ravines make the Shwal valley in North Waziristan a perfect terrain for a lethal guerrilla war. “Our troops will not enter the area, at least for now. It is a very difficult area”, the intelligence official was further quoted as saying.

Other Taliban fighters have slipped away into at least four other tribal districts – Orakzai, Mohmand, Bajaur and Kurram – where the TTP controls large swaths of territory. “The militants started to shift their kin and cattle, and ammunition to other tribal districts after the government announced an operation in South Waziristan in May”, said the intelligence official on condition of anonymity. However, according to Javed Hussain, the former commander of Pakistan’s elite commando force – Special Services Group (SSG), the force involved in the offensive is too small to block the secondary routes and traditional smuggling channels used by the Taliban to flee. The troops have so far focused on securing the main town along the three main roads and the bases lost to the Taliban in previous encounters during their three-pronged operation, he added. And the Pakistani government maintains that forcing the Taliban militants to flee has been a success, pointing out the rebels have lost dozens of training facilities, including one to groom suicide bombers. But intensified suicide bombings and raids on civilian and sensitive military installations across the country in recent weeks definitely tell a different story. Security experts in Islamabad are of the view that the Taliban militants’ ability to hit at will has not been minimized – over 300 people killed in such attacks in October 2009 bear testimony to this.

Azam Tariq, a Taliban spokesman, has already vowed to orchestrate a long guerrilla war by early next year, after an end to the snowfall that blocks the important passes, making the movement across the mountainous South Waziristan region of around 6,620 square kilometers very difficult. Analysts, therefore, warn that the Taliban strategy could have dangerous consequences for the Pakistani forces as the militants might regroup and return to South Waziristan with more force and make the troops continually bleed with deadly ambushes, raids and roadside bombings. The Taliban circles say the TTP militants are applying the same strategy which they were trained to use by the Pakistani security forces against the Indian army in Jammu & Kashmir during the 1990s. That included a pattern of not confronting a regular army once it was mobilized; rather, the militants dodged it and opened a new front far from the point of the army’s concentration. And much the same has happened in Pakistan over the past month, with a string of deadly suicide bomb attacks in various parts of the country, including in Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).

The Shawal area is a historical staging point for attacks into Afghanistan, and is considered to be a no-man’s landdue to the terrain and inhospitable conditions.

Pakistani_Shawal

Under-resourcing the campaign, failing to cut off escape routs, failing to engage in the chase, ceding the rural terrain to the enemy, and under-estimating the longevity of the fight.  These are all errors in judgment made by U.S. strategists too.

Yet another bungled attempt to defeat the insurgents … yet another opportunity crashes and burns.  So much for the Pakistani military offensive in Waziristan.  As a concluding thought, Shawal is just South of Parachinar where it is theorized that UBL resides.

Parachinar1

Parachinar2

The enemy doesn’t feel threatened in this region, a place right on the Afghanistan - Pakistan border.  Does it make any sense to continue to ask the question why we are in Afghanistan?

Pakistan Crumbles

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 9 months ago

Pakistan’s military offensive against the Taliban in Swat has not produced the desired effect, as commander Maulana Fazlullah and many of his fighters have escaped the region (Fazlullah is in Afghanistan).  Much the same thing is happening with the Taliban in Waziristan as a result of the Pakistani offensive there.

On Tuesday, the military escorted journalists on a tour of the area, where it closely restricts access, showing piles of things they had seized, including weapons, bombs, photos and even a long, curly wig. “It all started from here,” said Brig. Muhammed Shafiq, the commander here. “This is the most important town in South Waziristan.”

But lasting success has been elusive, tempered by an agile enemy that has moved easily from one part of the tribal areas to the next — and even deeper into Pakistan — virtually every time it has been challenged.

American analysts expressed surprise at the relatively light fighting and light Pakistani Army casualties — seven soldiers in five days in Sararogha — supporting their suspicions that the Taliban fighters from the local Mehsud tribe and the foreign fighters who are their allies, including a large contingent of Uzbeks, have headed north or deeper into the mountains. In comparison, 51 Americans were killed in eight days of fighting in Falluja, Iraq, in 2004.

“That’s what bothers me,” an American intelligence officer said. “Where are they?”

The Pakistani military says it has learned from past failures in a region where it lost hundreds in fighting before. It spent weeks bombing the area before its 30,000 troops entered. It struck alliances with neighboring tribes.

But the pending campaign was no secret, allowing time for local people and militants to escape, similar to what happens during American operations in Afghanistan.

“They are fleeing in all directions,” said a senior Pakistani security official, who did not want to be identified while discussing national security issues. “The Uzbeks are fleeing to Afghanistan and the north, and the Mehsuds are fleeing to any possible place they can think of.”

Rather than fight the Pakistan military in a conventional operation, the Pakistan Taliban have declared a guerrilla operation against them.  The proliferation of bombs and terrorist attacks against Pakistanis and their own infrastructure, combined with an almost pathological preoccupation with India and a host of other conspiracy theories, almost surely contributes to the troubling (and pathetically amusing if not so serious) results of a recent poll of Pakistanis.

A majority of Pakistanis see the United States as a greater threat to their country than traditional arch-rival India or the dreaded Taliban, a new opinion poll has revealed.

According to Gallup Pakistan’s poll, 59% of more than 2,700 people surveyed across the country consider the US a threat. “Eighteen percent believe India is the threat while 11% say the Taliban are a threat,” said Gallup Pakistan chairman Ijaz Shafi Gillani. He said the survey findings show that some of the most vocal anti-Taliban groups were equally opposed to the US. Some Pakistanis believe that if the US is committed to eradicating militancy, it should try to solve the Kashmir issue to help Islamabad move its troops from the eastern border with India to fight the Taliban in the northwest.

The poll group said Pakistanis were suspicious that Washington was working to control Islamabad’s strategic assets. “Earlier, anti-Americanism was confined to supporters of right-wing groups. But over the years, young, educated Pakistanis, left activists, people you’d normally expect to be pro-American modernists have turned against America,” said columnist Sohail Qalandar.

The trouble doesn’t stop there.  There are serious internal political challenges soon to be faced within Pakistan and its Army.

Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders are tangling in a series of political confrontations that could lead to a constitutional crisis or worse after the New Year, officials in both Islamabad and Washington tell NBC News.

With the tenor and volume of debate rising over America’s commitment to Afghanistan, that struggle is complicating U.S. strategy to stabilize the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

It’s not only that dozens are dying every week in suicide bombings or that there are concerns that the Pakistani military will not be able to hold the territory it has won in hard-fought battles in South Waziristan. The more profound issue, say Pakistani and U.S. officials, is the fate of President Asif Ali Zardari, who is engaged in a seemingly never-ending battles with the country’s powerful military and intelligence establishments.

On Nov. 2, legislators opposed to Zardari, along with the military and intelligence community, thwarted an attempt by his Pakistani People’s Party to hammer through an extension of the National Reconciliation Ordinance.

The innocuously named law, pushed through at the behest of the U.S. in 2007, froze criminal prosecutions against Zardari, his late wife, Benazir Bhutto, and their allies … on Nov. 2, other parties in the PPP-led coalition, along with the parliamentary opposition and the military, thwarted Zardari. Analysts in Pakistan and the U.S. say there is no chance the NRO will be renewed by the deadline, and in fact, Prime Minister Yusef Reza Gilani said this week it’s dead.

One potential issue is whether Zardari has presidential immunity for any crimes committed before he was elected. He may have it for his time in office, but it’s uncertain that he does for any crimes alleged before he assumed office … U.S. officials are said to be alarmed by the development.

The Army figures significantly in this power struggle, in that the campaign against the Taliban will recede in importance and a refocus on India will occur if a power shift occurs.  Zardari has driven the campaign against the Taliban, and without him the Army likely won’t continue the operations – at least, not to the same extent.

At the same time that Pakistan is undergoing internal turmoil, the salient American question is why we are focused on Afghanistan when the danger is in Pakistan.  Strange question indeed, when pressure from either side of the imaginary thing called the Durand line causes the Taliban to flee to the opposite side.  Even raising the question about Afghanistan is tantamount to telling Pakistan, already crumbling, that their best military efforts against the Taliban will be met with nothing on the Afghan side when the Taliban relocate.

With Pakistan in deep trouble, we are telling them that they are the key to defeating the globalists and in the same breath that we intend to abandon them to that very enemy.  Pakistan is crumbling within and harbors neurotic conspiracy theories about the threat America poses, while America is planning to place even more pressure on them to perform because we are searching for an exit strategy from Afghanistan.  These are not good days for Pakistan.

Taliban and al Qaeda Ideological Alignments

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 10 months ago

In Connection Between the Taliban and al Qaeda we discussed the first hand account by David Rohdes of the New York Times after he was kidnapped by the Afghan Taliban, transported to Pakistan, spent time among both Afghan and Pakistan Taliban, and then finally escaped some seven months later.  His experience, coupled with data we had previously cataloged and analyzed, is convincing and compelling evidence of the hardened and more extremist theological alignment of the Taliban, and thus of their alignment with transnational insurgents and global actors such as al Qaeda.

Over those months, I came to a simple realization. After seven years of reporting in the region, I did not fully understand how extreme many of the Taliban had become. Before the kidnapping, I viewed the organization as a form of “Al Qaeda lite,” a religiously motivated movement primarily focused on controlling Afghanistan.

Living side by side with the Haqqanis’ followers, I learned that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious. Contact with foreign militants in the tribal areas appeared to have deeply affected many young Taliban fighters. They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world.

But questions remain.  There are some (not identified in this article) that have weighed in saying that Rohdes is merely offering perspective or speculation, not facts.  There are others who have gone on record with analyses (parsing the Taliban into many different factions) that seems at the outset to cast doubt on Rohdes’ observations, at least, in a normative sense.  Myra MacDonald, for instance, outlines the main insurgent groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and weighs in questioning whether some of them share the global aspirations as al Qaeda.  In this same analysis she links Vahid Brown writing for Jihadica who even questions whether the Taliban and al Qaeda may be diametrically opposed.

Mullah Omar’s Afghan Taliban and al-Qa’ida’s senior leaders have been issuing some very mixed messages of late, and the online jihadi community is in an uproar, with some calling these developments “the beginning of the end of relations” between the two movements.  Beginning with a statement from Mullah Omar in September, the Afghan Taliban’s Quetta-based leadership has been emphasizing the “nationalist” character of their movement, and has sent several communications to Afghanistan’s neighbors expressing an intent to establish positive international relations.  In what are increasingly being viewed by the forums as direct rejoinders to these sentiments, recent messages from al-Qa’ida have pointedly rejected the “national” model of revolutionary Islamism and reiterated calls for jihad against Afghanistan’s neighbors, especially Pakistan and China.  However interpreted, these conflicting signals raise serious questions about the notion of an al-Qa’ida-Taliban merger.

We covered the al Qaeda rejection of the nationalistic model for jihad in The Globalization of Jihad in Palestine, and there is no question that the infighting between insurgent groups can become deadly.  It’s this supposed rift between factions of the insurgency that the U.S. administration wants to exploit.

… the Obama administration has indicated that it intends to make a fresh attempt to engage more moderate Taliban groups in talks with the Afghan government – in a determined effort to woo at least some of them away from the fighting that is claiming increasing numbers of American and other Nato forces’ lives.

Mullah Mutawakkil, once a confidant of the one-eyed Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, was held at a US base in Kandahar in 2002 after he gave himself up to American troops.

Now he is being politely wooed by a stream of senior US officials who make discreet visits to his villa, which is guarded by armed police, to hear his thoughts on what the Taliban mood is like and whether any of its leaders are ready for talks.

A soft-spoken and intelligent man who was one of the Taliban regime’s youngest ministers, Mullah Mutawakkil is cautious about what can be achieved, but even so his thinking is music to tired Western ears.

He believes that the Taliban would split from what he called their al-Qaeda “war allies” if a deal was within reach. Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph in the guest room of his Kabul home, he insisted that a settlement to end the war was possible – and that it would be the West’s best chance of stopping terrorists from turning Afghanistan back into their base again.

“If the Taliban fight on and finally became Afghanistan’s government with the help of al-Qaeda, it would then be very difficult to separate them,” he warned.

But there is, he says, another option. Taliban leaders are looking for guarantees of their personal safety from the US, and a removal of the “bounties” placed on the head of their top commanders. They also want a programme for the release of prisoners held at the notorious Bagram US air base in Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay.

In return, he says, the Taliban would promise not to allow Afghanistan to be used to plan attacks on America – the original reason for American invervention (sic), and the overriding aim of US policy in the region.

A Morton’s Fork to be sure.  Settle with Taliban who might bring back al Qaeda safe haven, or send more troops in what may prove to be an increasingly unpopular war.  But perhaps not.  Perhaps the choice is clearer.  Commenter Amm Sam at Jihadica offers a clear and unvarnished view of the debates between the globalists and the nationalists.

The Taliban’s statements of late have to be understood in the context of the US debate on what strategy to pursue in Afghanistan. Mullah Omar is trying to influence the debate by signaling to the Obama Administration that they aren’t a threat – but should we take Mullah Omar’s word for it? Of course not. If you look at the discourse of the Taliban, from spokesmen and commanders to the footsoldiers quoted in David Rhodes’ excellent 5-part NYT series, you see that the Taliban as a semi-coherent movement has drifted into the global jihadist perspective over the last several years. They are still primarily focused on the region, but less so now than ever.

Only now do we see this shift from Omar in the heat of Washington deliberations on Afghanistan.

In fact, the Haqqani group, the Taliban who held foreign al Qaeda fighters in such high esteem in the Rohdes account with the New York Times, is operationally allied with Mullah Omar who is said to be ready to jettison al Qaeda’s presence after a return to power.

Most violence in the province has been linked to the Haqqani network, which operates out of havens on both sides of the porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border and has taken responsibility for dozens of attacks around Afghanistan.

The group was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, who made his name as a leader of the Islamist uprising against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s. More recently, the militants introduced the use of suicide bombings to Afghanistan.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, Jalaluddin’s son, said his fighters didn’t want to capture heavily populated areas because the operations would likely result in significant casualties among insurgents and civilians. Still, he made clear his group had no intention of abandoning its focus on Khost. “Every now and then we want to carry out coordinated group attacks,” he said.

An American military official who recently served in eastern Afghanistan said the U.S. had intercepted communications suggesting the Haqqani leadership was closely coordinating its activities in Khost with Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s leader, who is believed to be in Pakistan. “It’s a division of labor, with each group focusing on a different part of Afghanistan,” the official said.

The official said some U.S. intelligence officers suspect that the Haqqani leadership had offered to conquer Khost in exchange for a promise from Mullah Omar that the family would be allowed to rule large swaths of eastern Afghanistan if the armed group eventually retook control of the country.

And it’s now believed that the Taliban and / or al Qaeda are helping the Gaza insurgents to fabricate much more sophisticated bombs for use in their terrorist efforts.  The battles between certain factions of the Taliban and al Qaeda must be seen as internecine spats – as intramural struggles.  They don’t represent a terminus.  They are quite public debates over strategy and tactics rather than policy and doctrine.  It’s important not to conflate one with the other.  Believing that any faction of the Taliban would actually risk their lives to battle al Qaeda because of the former’s focus on the region and the focus of the later on the globe is not only unwise, it is profoundly bad logic.

As for David Rohdes, everything and everyone else takes second place (or less) to direct, first hand knowledge to someone who has been there and seen these things first hand.  Rohdes is now in the position of being a subject matter expert – perhaps the foremost and most knowledgeable one in the world.  Rejection of his analysis because it creates discomfort for one strategic option (i.e., separating the “good” Taliban from the bad) is paramount to rejection of the preeminent scholar in the field of study.  From his time with the Taliban, Rohdes has earned the equivalent of a Doctorate in Jihadist Islamic studies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Finally, the fact that certain jihadi web sites may be “abuzz” with emotion over a coming split between the Taliban and al Qaeda simply isn’t important.  It’s as irrelevant and insignificant as the silly and gross exaggerations of U.S. and NATO casualties inflicted by the Taliban at the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Voice of Jihad).

The Connection Between the Taliban and al Qaeda

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 10 months ago

David Rohde with The New York Times was kidnapped months ago by the Afghan Taliban while attempting to gain an interview with a Taliban commander.  He is writing about his first hand experiences in The New York Times in what may be the most compelling reading I have done in months.  I highly recommend that you set aside some time and study his account.

There is much to be learned from David, but one thing in particular has stuck out in his articles thus far.

Over those months, I came to a simple realization. After seven years of reporting in the region, I did not fully understand how extreme many of the Taliban had become. Before the kidnapping, I viewed the organization as a form of “Al Qaeda lite,” a religiously motivated movement primarily focused on controlling Afghanistan.

Living side by side with the Haqqanis’ followers, I learned that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious. Contact with foreign militants in the tribal areas appeared to have deeply affected many young Taliban fighters. They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world.

[ ... ]

The trip confirmed suspicions I had harbored for years as a reporter. The Haqqanis oversaw a sprawling Taliban mini-state in the tribal areas with the de facto acquiescence of the Pakistani military. The Haqqanis were so confident of their control of the area that they took me — a person they considered to be an extraordinarily valuable hostage — on a three-hour drive in broad daylight to shoot a scene for a video outdoors.

Throughout North Waziristan, Taliban policemen patrolled the streets, and Taliban road crews carried out construction projects. The Haqqani network’s commanders and foreign militants freely strolled the bazaars of Miram Shah and other towns. Young Afghan and Pakistani Taliban members revered the foreign fighters, who taught them how to make bombs.

[ ...]

After about 15 minutes, the guards returned to the car and led me back to the house. The missiles had struck two cars, killing a total of seven Arab militants and local Taliban fighters. I felt a small measure of relief that no civilians had been killed. But I knew we were still in grave danger.

Baitullah Mehsud’s threats against Washington and London may or may not have been bluster, but there is no doubt that they would have eventually attempted to pull off an attack directly in the homeland.  As I have previously noted:

… they have evolved into a much more radical organization than the original Taliban bent on global engagement, what Nicholas Schmidle calls the Next-Gen Taliban. The TTP shout to passersby in Khyber “We are Taliban! We are mujahedin! “We are al-Qaida!”  There is no distinction.  A Pakistan interior ministry official has even said that the TTP and al Qaeda are one and the same.

We have known about the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) for some time, but what we learn from David Rohde’s report is that the TTP swims freely among the Afghan Taliban, and vice versa.  And so does al Qaeda.  They swim freely among both groups of Taliban, and are even revered by them.

If anyone has been harboring secret hopes that the Taliban (Pakistan or Afghan) would reject the presence of al Qaeda if they returned to power, those hopes should be forthwith abandoned.  David Rohde has given us a clear enough picture to reach this conclusion with certainty.

Safe Haven for the Taliban

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

One of the good aspects about blogging with really smart readers is that I get to let some of them do the writing.  Consider TSAlfabet’s comment concerning McChrystal Releases Counterinsurgency Guidance and Requests More Troops.

OK, let’s just cut right to it.

The heart of the problem is that the U.S. has been and continues to be unwilling to do what it says it is going to do to protect itself and that is why we are having problems in A-stan.

To elaborate: the U.S. got hit on 9-11 and we declared, as a sort of Corollary #1, that we would retaliate against and pursue those responsible wherever they could be found.

The U.S. did, in fact, go after AQ and the Taliban in Afghanistan and pretty much took care of the initial problem. The INITIAL problem. Predictably, however, AQ scattered like roaches. Some to Pakistan, some to Iran, some to Yemen, etc.. Rather quickly they found a more-or-less willing host in Pakistan where they could re-group, re-fit, re-form and re-commence their war against the U.S.

Did the U.S. then employ Corollary #1 against Pakistan? No, we did not. And we still refuse to do so. Same for Iran who hosts AQ leadership and has been actively at war against the U.S. since 1979.

I am sure that there are many cogent arguments as to why the U.S. cannot employ Corollary #1 against P-stan and Iran, but once the U.S. has surrendered the principle or otherwise limited its application, say, to only those countries that are too weak to defend themselves such as A-stan and Iraq, then we are in an untenable position.

To close the circle, the reason that we are struggling in A-stan is because we refuse to eliminate the havens in P-stan where the enemy takes refuge. Same as the Soviets. Without that vital sanctuary, AQ and the Taliban collapse and become a primitive curiosity, dwelling in remote caves, a threat to no one except perhaps the local goat population.

COIN is nice and good and McCrystal’s document is all nice talk, but it is not serious. We are willing to allow our military to die and suffer in A-stan because we will not go after the P-stan sanctuaries. (Sorry, little decapitation strikes with Predators do not count). In so doing, we violate a primary rule of counter-insurgency: cut off the insurgent’s base of supplies and support. If the Paks don’t like it, then they can pull some divisions off the Indian border and exercise the proper control over their own territory that a sovereign nation is obligated to do. Otherwise, the U.S. is coming in and wiping out every camp and stronghold. We are not staying to occupy, but we will ensure that AQ is going to spend all of their time re-building and re-constituting rather than attacking into A-stan (or New York, for that matter). As soon as our intel says there is a whiff of AQ in an area, we go back in and wipe them out again. It will become clear to the local population (and potential recruits) that enrolling in or supporting AQ and the Taliban is a death warrant and is the losing side. (If a villager knew that he would be paid well for reliable information on AQ whereabouts AND that the bad guys would promptly get whacked as a result, we might have more good intel than we could handle).

Until such time as the U.S. goes after the enemy in its base of operations, we are just swimming in quicksand.

Consider his comment within the context of the recent targeting of Baitullah Mehsud.  Of course, I had issued a clarion call to assassinate the bastard, since I (correctly) saw him as the strong man who held the Tehrik-i-Taliban together in their protection of al Qaeda.  Baitullah (if he is indeed dead) is in hell now, and that’s just fine with me.  But make no mistake about it.  Drink a glass of wine to his demise, but this is neither the end of the Taliban nor the Tehrik-i-Taliban.

TSAlfabet has recommended some serious action against states that harbor enemies.  But it appears that we cannot even take the minimalist approach with some of them.  Talk about talk with the reconcilable Taliban has been noisome, while the head of the snake, Mullah Omar, sits with his shura in Quetta, Pakistan.  Where are the CIA drones?  Where are the black operations to target him?  Why hasn’t serious pressure been brought to bear on Pakistan?

Consider the situation.  Mullah Omar is the head of the Afghan Taliban who are fighting and killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  Pakistan is willingly giving him sanctuary.  Pakistan has even dropped their supposed war against the Tehrik-i-Taliban which was begun with such fanfare and artillery fire.  Do you doubt it?

Al Qaeda Safe Haven in the Hindu Kush

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 2 months ago

Rich Lowry with National Review is encouraged at the signs of tribal uprising against the Pakistan Taliban.  The Captain’s Journal is far less encouraged.  We have pointed out that Baitullah Mehsud specifically targeted tribal elders in his rise to power, killing some 600 elders after they spoke out against him.  Mehsud has globalist intentions, and now the distinction between al Qaeda and the Tehrik-i-Taliban has been all but erased.  The Taliban fighters shout to passersby in Khyber “We are Taliban! We are mujahedin! “We are al-Qaida!”

Philip Smucker recently observed that al Qaeda has essentially chosen Baitullah as their front man in Pakistan, and further observed that:

Most Afghanistan-Pakistan insurgent groups, led by Mahsud and Mullah Omar’s Afghan Taliban, have not officially adopted the “al-Qaeda” brand name, but they have essentially sworn their allegiance to bin Laden, say leading experts on the terror network.  They claim that al-Qaeda has learned from the mistake of going into business under its own name in Iraq and it prefers, instead, to remain behind the scenes, protected by local gunmen on the one hand, but capable of influencing the fight against US and foreign “infidels” in South Asia on the other hand.

This alliance knows no borders, and hence it’s pointless to refer to the campaign as Afghan, Pakistan or otherwise as pertaining to nation-states.  Syed Saleem Shahzad has recently described the safe haven that al Qaeda has created for itself throughout the Hindu Kush.

The Eastern Hindu Kush range, also known as the High Hindu Kush range, is mostly located in northern Pakistan and the Nuristan and Badakhshan provinces of Afghanistan.

This chain of mountains connects with several smaller ranges, such as Spin Ghar, the Tora Bora, the Suleman Range, Toba Kakar, and creates a natural corridor that passes through the entire Pakistani tribal areas and the Afghan border provinces all the way to the Pakistani coastal area in Balochistan province.

By 2008, al-Qaeda had taken control of the 1,500-square-kilometer corridor – something it had planned to do since fleeing Afghanistan when the Taliban were defeated by US-led forces in December 2001.

Al-Qaeda decided then to build a regional ideologically motivated franchise in South Asia to thwart the strategic designs of Western powers in the area.

While US forces were vainly trying to hunt down al-Qaeda in the Tora Bora mountains, the group was focused on establishing links with organizations such as the Jaishul al-Qiba al-Jihadi al-Siri al-Alami and Jundallah in the Pakistani tribal areas and organizing the recruitment of Pakistanis and Afghans to those organizations. The underlying reason for doing this was to destroy the local political and social structures and in their place establish an al-Qaeda franchise.

The plan worked. Today, in many parts of the Hindu Kush corridor, centuries-old tribal systems and their connections with the Pakistani establishment through an appointed political agent have been replaced by a system of Islamic warlordism.

The old breed of tribal elders, religious clerics and tribal chiefs, loyal to Pakistan and its systems, has been wiped out, to be replaced by warlords such as Haji Omar, Baitullah Mehsud, (slain) Nek Mohammad and (slain) Abdullah Mehsud. They are all al-Qaeda allies, and allow al-Qaeda freedom of movement in their areas within the corridor.

Al-Qaeda members from abroad also use the corridor to enter the Pakistani tribal areas.

This sounds very much like our observation in Games of Duplicity and the End of Tribe in Pakistan, and serves as an even more recent warning that the desired tribal military action against the Taliban probably won’t materialize.  Dead elders, a separate political system, a separate legal system, and terror plus patronage have almost ensured that if the Taliban are to be defeated, it won’t be at the hands of indigenous fighters.


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (675)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (28)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (6)
Ammunition (13)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
AR-15s (34)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (34)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (25)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (44)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (15)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (4)
Body Armor (16)
Books (2)
Border War (6)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (25)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (1)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (5)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (214)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (114)
Department of Homeland Security (9)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (5)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (1)
Featured (160)
Federal Firearms Laws (14)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (247)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (38)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (187)
Guns (518)
Guns In National Parks (2)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (32)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (377)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (33)
Islamists (37)
Israel (17)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (71)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (8)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (2)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (1)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (11)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (7)
Logistics (47)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (229)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (22)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (20)
Mexico (24)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (10)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (13)
NATO (15)
Navy (19)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (204)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (17)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Police (103)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (133)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (72)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (74)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (27)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (135)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (22)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Survival (9)
SWAT Raids (47)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (86)
Thanksgiving (4)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (10)
TSA Ineptitude (10)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (4)
U.S. Border Security (11)
U.S. Sovereignty (13)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (2)
Uncategorized (38)
Universal Background Check (2)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (2)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (5)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (11)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2014 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.