Friday, January 7, 2011

Earlier this week

I posted on the truce signed in Sangin province with the Alikozai which is the largest in the area. At the time I speculated that it might be due to the beating the Marines had been giving them recently. Well it seems these thoughts might have some merit to them as the Marine Corps Times bloggers have followed up.

You beat someone with the stick (Marine Corps) hard and long enough they come around to get the carrots. This is what happened in Fallujah and the surrounding area in Iraq and seems to be happening in Helmand which has been nothing to a hell hole since 2002 for ISAF forces.

Well You Don't Say

Members of Pakistan's security services having ties with the Taliban and al-Qaeda? No really former Pakistani President Musharraf said today in an interview that there are some elements in Pakistan that support the above groups.

According to Imtiaz Gul who wrote an excellent book called "The Most Dangerous Place" the ISI's relationship with the Taliban and al-Qaeda ended in 2007. What has happened since then the attacks in Mumbai, the 2008 Indian Embassy attacked in Kabul which the U.S. has Signals Intelligence linking the attacks to the ISI.

Again folks we know where the problems are Tehran, Riyadh, and Pakistan.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The plot thickens in Pakistan

The police officer who murdered Punjab Gov. Taseer may have had help within the security detail. As I posted earlier this is a spreading problem inside of Pakistan who cannot control the radicalization of their people. Also this shoots a small hole in the theory that only unemployed and hopeless people become terrorists.

The assassin was a member of a supposed non-political, non-violent religious group in Pakistan. Why the the Pakistanis cannot admit Islam is a political system is either naive or flat stupid. Islam has been part of Pakistan's religious landscape since the country is formed and the reason for the blasphemy law as it stands. As it stands the murderer may have had help/non-intervention on the part of the whole squad of bodyguards in addition lawyers in Pakistan showered this guy with rose petals and 500 imams and scholars praised the killing. This incident may expose wounds in Pakistan they might not wanted to have admitted. If there is a majority shift to wahhbism and deobandism in Pakistan then the world and the region are in big trouble.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


For those that continue to believe that Pakistan is a moderate Muslim country please take note that today the Governor of Punjab province was assassinated today by one of his police guards. Governor Taseer's crime, supporting changing or getting rid of Pakistan blasphemy law. The Punjab is where modern moderate Islam is supposed to exist in Pakistan. I fear there is less and less hope that Pakistan can continue to be a trusted partner in the war on Muslim terrorism.

Pakistan has said that an investigation by the ISI and the IB has already started to see if there was a group behind the killing or just an individual act. Letting the ISI investigate this is like letting the wolf guard the hen house. Of course nothing will be found unless of course they decide to pin it on the TTP which would make since considering that groups fondness for making war against the Pakistani government. I do not see this going much past this was an individual act.

Update as I continue to read about this case. There may have been at least another person involved. As I said above I will be stunned if one of the good Taliban groups is accused of being involved it will probably be linked to the TTP.

Monday, January 3, 2011

This could be huge

The Alikozai tribe has agreed to stop fighting ISAF primarily Marine forces in the Sangin district of Helmand Province. In this agreement the tribe has pledged to also kick out foreign fighters from their area of control. What this will mean in the short term is a need for greater security for this tribe as the Taliban will if history shows try to kill the elders and otherwise intimidate the tribe.

During the Awakening in Iraq the terrorists were successful in killing several leaders of the movement however U.S. forces were quick to beef up security and applying kinetic operations against al-Qaeda in Iraq(AQI). Also as learned from Iraq the need to let the tribesmen keep their weapons this is vital for two reasons one defense Afghan and ISAF forces cannot be every where at once and two weapons ownership is seen as a sign of manhood. We want these people to cooperate with us and become integrated into the Afghan government.

This agreement may have come from the tribe tiring of losing its young men that are hired by the Taliban to fight the Marines there. Killing people until they say enough has some merit to it.