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October 30, 2008 · Gen. David Petraeus, who once led U.S. troops in Iraq, becomes head of the U.S. Central Command Friday. That position includes responsibility for the war in Afghanistan. Petraeus already has endorsed reaching out to less-extreme Taliban elements. He also is expected to send more troops and air power to support the war in Afghanistan.
"If you had the luxury of a peacetime environment," Fallon says, "you could focus on long-term strategies and have a reasonable time to phase them in. But CENTCOM is pretty hot. You become in many ways a hostage to current events."
High Profile Creates A Backlash
He also displayed some of the traits that have made him unpopular among some fellow officers, including intense ambition and competitiveness, qualities that have earned him the nickname "King David."
Gen. David H. Petraeus, who most recently served as commander of multi-national forces in Iraq, will assume command of Centcom, which is at MacDill Air Force Base, in a ceremony scheduled for Friday.
Petraeus team to review CentCom
In addition, some of those involved worried that if the initiative became public too quickly, “people could get their knives out and try to undermine this thing,” the source added. “There could be the suspicion that this is kind of a military takeover of policy, which it’s not. The idea is to take enduring interests and policy, and then figure out how to be more effective at applying a whole-of-government approach to the problem sets across the [area of responsibility].”
“We all know what needs to happen,” Nagl said. “The question is whether we’re going to commit the resources required to resource the strategy.”
“It validated some things, it brought other things to light,” the officer said. “Not all the recommendations were taken at face value, but it’s very useful to have those kinds of, so to speak, external looks to bring new ideas [and] new sets of eyes onto the problem.”
U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Robert Holmes, Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)
Foreign Press Center Briefing
New York, New York
May 24, 2007
Now, in having said the security operation continues, we see successes, I would be disingenuous with you if I said that, yes, there is still violence. We see violence that we want to assist the Iraqis in curbing because that is essential that we do that.
In Afghanistan, NATO remains committed. Their operations are well underway in continuing to route and engage the Taliban, which creates the conditions for continued development and reconstruction and the economic development of Afghanistan as that nation also stands up its very fledgling government.
If the government of Afghanistan, as they have now publicly expressed the desire to, wishes to step up its reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, that is their prerogative,'' Geoff Morrell said in Washington yesterday. Omar, because of his support for al- Qaeda ``has the blood of thousands of Americans on his hands. We do not reconcile with al-Qaeda.''
VI. The Covert-US Taliban Alliance
Western motives become clearer when one recalls that it was the US that originally trained and armed the faction in Afghanistan - even “long before the USSR sent in troops” - which now constitutes the “leaders of Afghanistan”. The record illustrates the existence of an ongoing relationship between the United States and the Taliban. AI reports that even though the “United States has denied any links with the Taliban”, according to then US Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphel Afghanistan was a “crucible of strategic interest” during the Cold War, though she denied any US influence or support of factions in Afghanistan today, dismissing any possible ongoing strategic interests. However, former Department of Defense official Elie Krakowski, who worked on the Afghan issue in the 1980s, points out that Afghanistan remains important to this day because it “is the crossroads between what Halford MacKinder called the world’s Heartland and the Indian sub continent. It owes its importance to its location at the confluence of major routes. A boundary between land power and sea power, it is the meeting point between opposing forces larger than itself.
VII. US Policy Shifts Against the Taliban
The shift in US policy in Afghanistan from pro-Taliban to anti-Taliban, has not brought with it any change in the tragic condition of the Afghan people, primarily because the policy shift is once more rooted in America’s own attempt to secure its strategic and economic interests. Since the Taliban no longer plays a suitably subservient role, US policy has grown increasingly hostile to the faction. The shift has also, unfortunately, occurred “without public discussion, without consultation with Congress and without even informing those who are likely to make foreign policy in the next administration.”
Before its ouster by U.S.-led forces in 2001, the Taliban controlled some 90 percent of Afghanistan's territory, although it was never officially recognized by the United Nations. After its toppling, the Taliban has proven resilient. In November 2007, the Senlis Council, a London-based think tank, estimated that the Taliban maintained a "permanent presence in 54 percent of Afghanistan" (PDF), and continued to exert influence on regions outside the central government's sphere of control, predominantly in southern and eastern provinces. In rural regions where government or coalition aid has not materialized, the Taliban continues to "rally popular support" for its policies, Senlis says.
Western military analysts say it is difficult to gauge the number of Taliban fighters under arms in Afghanistan. In October 2007, the New York Times reported the group might field as many as ten thousand fighters, but a much smaller fraction—less than three thousand—are full-time insurgents. Those numbers inched up in June 2008, when coordinated suicide bombings freed roughly four hundred Taliban fighters from a prison in Kandahar.
After the Soviet withdrawal, Afghanistan ceased to be a priority for U.S. strategists, but Saudi Arabia and Pakistan continued their support.
Originally posted by Allred5923
reply to post by undermind
... we have to understand of how the affiliations of the US and the Taliban had emerged.
VI. The Covert-US Taliban Alliance
Western motives become clearer when one recalls that it was the US that originally trained and armed the faction in Afghanistan - even “long before the USSR sent in troops” - which now constitutes the “leaders of Afghanistan”.
The record illustrates the existence of an ongoing relationship between the United States and the Taliban.
AI reports that even though the “United States has denied any links with the Taliban
So, implications? It means the talibs could never have official links with the US unless it proclaimed itself an official enemy of foreign wahabist insurgents in both afghan and iraq, with a view to forming a coalition with the present afghan government after NATO withdrawal. This is their alternative to civil war after withdrawal.
The fort is 12 miles outside Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, a tribal region considered a hub for al-Qaida and Taliban fighters involved in attacks on U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
In a statement Sunday, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the suicide attack in South Waziristan, saying he "deplored the loss of innocent lives."