Apr 14 2008

Updates On The War On Terror 04_14_08

Published by at 11:54 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT,Pakistan

Some interesting news on the war front in Pakistan and Afghanistan. One piece that caught my eye was an LA Times article that claims this is the year to finally get Bin Laden. It notes the drop in support for al-Qaeda and their ilk in Pakistan and Afghanistan as the key change that could expose Bin Laden:

This welcome change in probabilities has almost nothing to do with the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism strategy, which remains rudderless and starved of resources because of the war in Iraq. It is a consequence, instead, of dramatic political changes in Pakistan, where Bin Laden is believed to be hiding and where Al Qaeda’s local mistakes and the restoration of civilian democracy have combined to make him considerably less safe.

Bin Laden’s personal approval rating in Pakistan, as measured by a number of international polls, is plummeting. Beginning last year, Al Qaeda began to support an unprecedented wave of suicide bombings on Pakistani soil; the campaign culminated in the murder of two-time former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December. Before, when Bin Laden targeted the United States and Europe, many Pakistanis saw him as an Islamic folk hero. But although Pakistanis remain deeply skeptical about the United States, they have changed their thinking about Al Qaeda as hundreds of their own innocent civilians have become its victims.

In a poll released in February, Terror Free Tomorrow, a Washington-based nonprofit group, found that Bin Laden’s popularity had fallen by half over just six months, to about 24%. In the Northwest Frontier Province, along the Afghan borderlands where he is most likely to be hiding, it fell into single digits. Recent British polling in the most radicalized border areas is less encouraging, but there is no doubt that the general picture in the Northwest Frontier is one of increasing anxiety and resentment toward Al Qaeda.

These souring attitudes are important because, in the past, hunts for terrorists hiding in Pakistan have almost always ended when a disillusioned (and generally greedy) local resident has dropped a dime on the fugitive for reward money. During the 1990s, for example, it took a number of frustrating years until the United States tracked down Mir Amal Kasi, a Pakistani who killed two CIA workers outside the agency’s headquarters in 1993. It took about as long to locate Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the architect of the first World Trade Center bombing; colleagues ultimately betrayed both men. Now that a larger number of Pakistanis see Bin Laden as a nihilistic killer, the chances that such a walk-in informant will surface have grown.

Confusing determination and patience when dealing with an ally’s sovereignty is not rudderless leadership – it is dealing with reality. Everyone wants an easy button when it comes to this war. We clearly are not the greatest generation – we don’t have the patience and resolve to see things through to the end. Well, not all of us. Bush and his small cadre of supporters (like myself) have helped hold our resolve in the face of partisan defeatism. And now it is paying off.

Bin Laden is ‘a guest’ in Pakistan, which is not an Arab country. He has worn out his welcome there just has his thugs did in Iraq. I agree, this year could be the year, conditions are definitely trending in the right direction.

In fact there is continued pressure on the terrorists in Pakistan, who were dealt a huge blow in the latest elections in that country. They are being continuously rolled back into ever shrinking enclaves.

Pakistan security forces arrested three suspected Islamic militants Thursday and gained control of a fugitive pro-Taliban cleric’s stronghold, the military said.

The three men were detained during a “search and cordon” operation in the northwestern militant stronghold of Imam Dheri, a village in the Swat Valley, a military statement said. The army, paramilitary Frontier Corps and police have set up a joint check post there, it said.

Imam Dheri was the base of a pro-Taliban cleric, Maulana Fazullah, and a mosque and a seminary there served as his headquarters. He used a pirated FM radio frequency to call for Taliban-style Islamic laws in Swat and for taking up arms against the government.

Fazullah’s fighters battled security forces in Swat for months before the government sent in troops in November and gained control of the former tourist destination. Fazullah is in hiding and on the run.

But the Daily Times newspaper, citing unidentified officials and residents, reported that militants have reappeared in Swat. It quoted Sirajuddin, a Fazullah spokesman who goes by one name, as saying the cleric would return to his stronghold to relaunch his “mission.”

Lots of bluster from a group of thugs who have big red targets on their backs. We shall see, Pakistan is still in flux with a lot of violence still popping up in various locations in the tribal lands. For example:

There appears to be no end to the bloody sectarian clashes going on between the rival groups for the last about few months in restive Parachinaar Kurram agency as the fresh fightings on Saturday left eight more people dead and serious injuries to 10 others raising the number of those killed in the short span of one week to 35.

The sectarian uprising in the Kurram agency headquarters Parachinaar, it may be recalled had started in November last and the since then the intermittent clashes between the rival groups according to cautious estimates have crossed well over 500.

Reports reaching from Parachinaar speak of high tension in the region and the fresh bloody violence erupted between rival groups in parts of the Kurram Agency Saturday claimed eight more lives and injuries to many others.

More here and here. This may be a power struggle between terrorist groups and it could be locals fed up with the extremists. This infighting was one of the first signs that the Anbar Awakening in Iraq was coming into fruition. Let’s keep our fingers crossed something similar is happening in Pakistan and the authorities will use it to their advantage.

The reporting on progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan is always overshadowed by the Surrendcrat and SurrenderMedia hand wringing over Iraq. But if you step back (and get some data) the picture is not bad for us, and horrible for the extremists:

BRITISH troops are to scale back attacks on the Taliban after killing 7,000 insurgents in two years of conflict, defence sources said last week.

British paratroopers have returned to southern Afghanistan in increased numbers this month. For the first time, members from every battalion of the regiment will be fighting together on one battlefront.

The paratroopers of 16 Air Assault Brigade killed at least 1,000 Taliban during their first deployment to Helmand province in 2006. Since then another 6,000 Taliban insurgents have been killed by British troops, the sources said.

No force can survive clashes that decimate on the order of 10 to 100 for every 1 killed on the opposing side. It is not sustainable. And it explains why the extremists are losing support. They are losing the fight and only bringing bloodshed and tears for all their efforts.

And now that forces have circled the last refuge for al-Qaeda and their Taliban cousins the situation is going to get much worse. Over the last year Pakistan has mobilized 80,000 soldiers south of the tribal regions and has cleared areas while pushing northward. In Afghanistan NATO and US forces have done the same thing, but pushing southward. And now the enemies of the free world are caught in an ever closing vise.

Al Qaeda and Taliban militants on the Afghan-Pakistani border are increasingly facing pressure on two fronts and they can be squeezed with more coordination between the neighbors, a U.S. official said on Monday.

The Taliban have been battling U.S. and other foreign troops in Afghanistan since 2001.

Pakistani forces have also been fighting the militants, based in semi-autonomous tribal regions along the border, who have unleashed an unprecedented wave of violence in Pakistan since the middle of last year.

“To some extent, the extremists in those areas are now fighting on two fronts,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher told a news conference in Kabul.

“They have to deal with pressures from the Pakistan side and the pressure from the Afghan side. The more we can do that in concert with each other, the more squeezed the al Qaeda and Taliban supporters in those areas will feel,” said Boucher who makes regular trips to both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Bush has this entire summer to decimate the remnants of al-Qaeda’s fighters. He will end his second term more victorious than defeated, and probably victorious outright in Iraq. The Surrendercrats in DC and the SurrenderMedia have no control on the events that will be unfolding. They picked the wrong side, cheer-leading our enemies and extending the war by giving the thugs hope we will lose our will. There is only one side that will surrender, and it is not our side.

29 responses so far

29 Responses to “Updates On The War On Terror 04_14_08”

  1. kathie says:

    The surrendercrates will never believe that an idea can be proclaimed, that it can be carried in the ether to places in need. The idea of freedom, choice, courage were set in motion by this President and some Iraqi’s caught on right away, others were a little slower and then caught on with the “awakening”, the Shea are beginning to catch on and so are the Pakistani’s. It is slow because it comes from the bottom up. I don’t believe for a second that it had nothing to do with the leadership from our President and the military, just not in a way the MSM can comprehend.

  2. Mata says:

    AJ, you are correct in the rifts between jihad groups, and the increase of intolerance for jihad movements – not only in Pakistan, but Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. The only thing I would disagree with you is about the timing. This rift and interal battles started last year to my knowledge, and has only been increasing.

    Some really revealing stuff here to read, if you’re all inclined.

    I first started catching wind of the rifts with Ray Robison’s American Thinker analysis in Sept 2007, A Quiet Triumph May Be Brewing

    Then Bin Laden himself started whining to his flock about the infighting in Oct 2007.

    Robison came back in Nov with more on the widening rift between the old Taliban and AQ… not to mention the rift between old and new “neo-Taliban”, which includes displaced AQ fighters and Pakistani Taliban, i.e. Baitullah Meshud – involved in Bhutto’s assassination with AQ.

    Also in Nov came a nasty slap on the hand to Zawahiri by Sayd Iman (jailed in England). Sayd was the commander of Egyptian Islamic Jihad just before Zawahiri. EIJ and Zawahiri, you will remember with the latest Pentagon IV report, were direct beneficiaries of Saddam’s regime since 1993. Sayd condemned Zawahiri’s and AQ’s method of jihad and wrote a new rules of engagement manual. More battles between the troops and powerful leaders.

    Then, Dec 2007, old Taliban leader Mulla Omar makes a denial of rifts in the organization. The story wasn’t about the infighting, but a NATO victory in Musa Qala. But after all the reports of infighting, I zeroed in on that denial. If it were not true, why make a point of saying it was not true?

    Come Jan 2008, the infighting even extends to the more established MMA in Pakistan, where the Maulana Fazlur Rahman (JUI-F) splits with his MMA over boycotting elections. Rahman is closely aligned with Mulla Omar, and one of the founding fathers of the original Taliban with Bhutto’s PM ministry. JUI-F has forged a seat sharing agreement with PPP. Rahman’s group seeks to turn Pakistan back to Islamic law, but by legislation instead of violence now. Still a bad guy, but held in check by Pakistani majorities who do not desire Shariah as law of the land.

    Needless to say, a divide and conquer weakening has been occuring, and is ongoing, among jihad elements. And this is only good for us.

    Another unheralded sign of quiet progress. Jihad has falled from favor. They are no longer viewed as freedom icons. Encouraging the young to jihad is also on the decline. Interesting article from a female Saudi journalist, profiling a released and reformed Camp Gitmo jihadi who was captured in Tora Bora. I’ve seen others stating the same attitude of Muslims towards jihad recruiting.

    Bin Laden wore out his welcome in Sudan, then bolted for Afghanistan in mid 1990s. When driven out there by the coalition forces, they split like the cockroaches they are, with the head honchos backing their cowardly arses into Pakistan to hide. Great place as a hole in the ground, but lousy as a main base of operations for geographical logistics. They have failed to gain a more rich location in Iraq, as they desired.

    Where they have also failed is to gather Muslim support for their jihad. Instead the particularly bloody year in Iraq gave the jihad movements (AQ and all affiliated in ideology) the opportunity to show their brutality against fellow Muslims to obtain their jihad quest.

    Many Iraqis gave their lives last year for this to truth to be revealed to the Muslim world at large. And my personal opinion is that the Pakistan election had nothing to do with Bin Laden, AQ and jihad falling out of favor. It’s been happening for a while, slowly but surely. And their rules of engagement in Iraq have proved their undoing for unmitigated recruitment.

  3. truthhard2take says:


    Never fear. Allied overkill air war tactics keep the insurgencies blossoming.

  4. Rick C says:

    I really do enjoy Truth’s efforts. But, once again, they fall quite short. In this case he sends us to the site of a co founder of the American Empire Project who has also written a book “The End of Victory Culture”. So, Truth’s reference is a guy who believes the canard that the US is attempting to build an Empire and the author’s belief is that those who believe in Victory are a culture that will fall. Gee, I wonder what his point of view on Iraq will be. So, we get a series of the author’s beliefs (more rightly, hopes) as a list of “Truths”. We then get a series of “incidents” that are taken as accurate, even though the author himself notes “In most of these cases, the facts remain in dispute”. They may remain in dispute or they may be merely propaganda, but out intrepid author is going to run with them anyway.

    Truth, you really ought not to provide references if you don’t expect someone to actually chase them down and show just how weird they are. Your reference is nothing more than propaganda from the anti war side.

  5. Mata says:

    Yep… went there myself to check it out and came back with the same, RC.

    However, in Truth’s larger point, it can be said that collateral loss of life – or even friendly fire – is a regrettable and unhappy reality of any war. Our technology today has dropped that number significantly from previous wars. But each loss is to be mourned… assuming those innocent civilians were indeed innocent. Hard to tell in this urban warfare.

    However it’s only anal analyst with an agenda that can gleefully point to US collateral deaths, while deliberately ignoring the massive death toll of civilians attributed to suicide and car bombs by the jihad and militant movements. Civilians that are intentionally targeted for death by their fellow Muslims. Compare the 40 “US caused” deaths in Truth’s linked story over over a month, then the unearthing of 33 bodies in a mass grave just this past few weeks. Where is is the equivocal outrage?

    The different intents of deliberate targeting and murder vs incidental deaths during warfare may be lost on Truth and ilk, but it is not to the larger Muslim population at large. Thus the reason the glow of jihad is wearing thin.

  6. truthhard2take says:

    “trying to build” an Empire? I didn’t realize the author was behind the times-or more likely you are. Read “New American Militarism” by Conservative Andrew Bacevich; the Empire is here, but tottering.

  7. truthhard2take says:


    Good news. Across America, Republicans are pressing for a 6 month limitation of military service unless war is formally declared.

  8. Rick C says:

    Ron Paul guys in Washington State. Now there is a movement. I am sure Truth will be voting for him. I am certain he will move the Republican party. Right…. Truth, why do you continue to offer these weird references?

    Are you seriously arguing, though, that Hadley does not know the difference between Nepal and Tibet. I am sure you feel the swam then about the speech errors of Obama and Clinton. They must be idiots to you, too. Beside, who really trusts George Stenopolis. I know I don’t.

  9. truthhard2take says:


    Pretty bad Iraq, injury/casualty stats out by CBS news today.

    Another soldier killed (at least,) but perhaps the notable news is
    the big hit on the Peshmerga today! I notice Strata has not called for the dismantling of the only pro-US militia in Iraq, this Kurdish crew.

  10. truthhard2take says:


    Taliban on retreat? Not hardly.

  11. Whippet1 says:

    Every US soldiers death makes you simply giddy…you are a truly vile creature.

  12. Rick C says:

    It does seem true that Truth revels in all deaths in Iraq.

    Now, has anyone else noticed that Truth gives us a reference and, if anyone actually checks the reference and then challenges the reference, Truth abandons that line and tries another? He is is certainly a slippery kind of guy.

  13. Whippet1 says:

    All the time. On another thread he asked someone if they were jewish.
    Never did answer me when I asked if he was a muslim…apparently he has a need to know but not a need to disclose. Who’d of thought?

  14. truthhard2take says:

    You love to sweep the losses under the rug, don’t you whipped?
    Nice clean war the small town boys fight, the ones whose potential jobs have been outsourced, limiting their options.
    You’ll need a draft to dominate the Mideast, so get ready to retreat or meet the mass protests.

  15. VinceP1974 says:

    I saw this from Michael Totten. Just imagine if the Democrats got their way and the surge was blocked. We would have left it to the Iraqis alone to fight a brutal savage war against Al Qaeda, amoung other things. The dishonor on this country would be unforgivable. You think the Jihadis are stirred up because we’re in Iraq? Just imagine how many more of them there would be if our dishonor resulted in the savage disintegration of Iraq. Instead we did the honorable right thing and you can bet that our integration into their cities has proved to the people of Iraq that we are not thier enemy.

    The Democrats are.

    “When Petraeus surged additional troops to Iraq in January 2007, the light footprint model was replaced with aggressive counterinsurgency operations that, perhaps counterintuitively, prioritized the protection of local civilians over American forces. …

    The barriers also divide each section of the city into intimately patrollable precincts. Inside these precincts, U.S. Marines and Iraqi police have forged a straightforward agreement with civilians: we’ll keep you safe if you identify insurgents and lead us to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and weapons caches. Americans no longer patrol in Humvees, as they did at the peak of the insurgency. Instead, the Marines have embedded themselves, so to speak, in Fallujah’s communities. They have transformed large rented houses into Joint Security Stations that look and feel like low-budget university co-ops, where they share sleeping quarters, eating areas, movie rooms, and makeshift gyms with Iraqi police. They live together, work together, study Arabic and English together, and, above all, patrol their own neighborhoods together. …

    “The al-Qaida leadership outside dumped huge amounts of money and people and arms into Anbar Province,” says Lieutenant Colonel Mike Silverman, who oversees an area just north of Ramadi. “They poured everything they had into this place. The battle against Americans in Anbar became their most important fight in the world. And they lost.””

  16. AJStrata says:


    The funny thing is it has become clear since the Surge is that when the left says they don’t see how America can win it no longer means America can’t win, just that liberals have no clue how to make it happen.

  17. VinceP1974 says:

    AJ: Not only are they clueless about the how. they’re also clueless about the why.

  18. 75 says:

    AJ and Vince, the left has no intention of America winning.

  19. truthhard2take says:

    Sure Vince -they “lost” which is why Ramadi was hit again today like several other places in which they “lost.”

    More to the point, too bad the majority of non-jihad Iraqis don’t agree with you about the US “staying.” They have consistently pollled since 2004 their wishes the US troops leave,no matter what ensues,believing Iraqis can clean their own house better than American barbarians.