Bill Roggio updates the Afghanistan situation with some somber, but expected, news. Members of al-Qaeda are training the Taliban:
“We also have seen some indications that there have been foreign trainers that have come to train the local Taliban who are fighting here in Andar,” Lieutenant Colonel David Fivecoat, commander of 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, recently told TOLOnews. The report stated that “foreign trainers” are “Arabs, Chechens, and Pakistanis.” US military officials often describe members of al Qaeda and allied terror groups as foreign fighters.
Al Qaeda operates in conjunction with the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and the Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin network throughout Afghanistan. Al Qaeda operatives often serve as embedded military trainers for Taliban field units and impart tactics and bomb-making skills to these forces. In addition, Al Qaeda frequently supports the Taliban by funding operations and providing weapons and other aid. [See LWJ report, Al Qaeda’s paramilitary ‘Shadow Army’ for more information on al Qaeda’s role in Afghanistan.]~~~
The Andar district in Ghazni is a known Taliban and al Qaeda hub in the southeast. Since October 2008, the US military has conducted seven raids against al Qaeda cells in Andar, according to press reports compiled by The Long War Journal. Senior Taliban and al Qaeda foreign fighter facilitators are known to operate in the district.~~~
Al Qaeda’s extensive reach in Afghanistan is documented in the body of press releases issued in recent years by the International Security Assistance Force. Looking at press releases dating back to March 2007, The Long War Journal has been able to detect the presence of al Qaeda and affiliated groups such as the Islamic Jihad Union in 70 different districts in 21 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
Furthermore there is talk from the US soldiers on the ground that Pakistan’s ISI is attempting to sabotage the security situation in the district of Ghazni.
“They want to destroy the plans for the government to become stronger. They don’t want these people to have government.”
General Petreaus wrote yesterday that victory can be achieved, but it will entail a much more “expansive” effort:
The general’s assessment, in the form of a letter to troops posted on the NATO Web site, outlined a fight in which troops and the military machine here had gained the edge or was on the cusp of doing so on every front. He described victory as attainable only through a vast, coordinated effort to bring Afghanistan security, good governance and economic development.
Ensuring that Al Qaeda never again uses Afghanistan as a haven requires “that we help Afghanistan develop the ability to secure and govern itself,” the letter states. “This in turn requires the conduct of a comprehensive civil-military campaign.”
Given all that, what did we get from Obama last night during the SOTU? A few sentences and then on to more choo-choo “Sputnik” ridiculousness.
It’s clear that the Taliban, and al-Qaeda, need only play a waiting game to win. They understand that with this President they are in no danger of being militarily defeated. All they have to do is hold on for a few months more and the troops will be on their way out and just like that….they will be back in the game. Deja-vu 1996.
And we all know what happened five years later.
Having a President that is more concerned about keeping power in order to keep his domestic agenda on track, rather then worrying about losing Afghanistan to the Taliban, and Iraq to Iran, we have to ask ourselves….how long until the next massive attack on our soil?