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Shows & Panels
Search Tags: Taliban
Yesterday was Osama Bin Laden's 53rd birthday. Where was he? Few people know. Where ever he was, there was probably no celebration. U.S intelligence and military forces have tightened the noose around his organization significantly since Taliban number two Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested several weeks ago. Baradar, allegedly came carrying phone numbers, email addresses, plots and plans and being a fairly young, charismatic man who was rumored to be on the outs with the Taliban leadership, perhaps open to make a deal and give up information about Al Qaida.
The U.S. offensive in Marjah, Afghanistan appears to have been a success, so far, says Rear Admiral Greg Smith. "There are probably several more weeks of what we call clearing operations. Meanwhile in other parts of Marjah, bazaars are opening, life is beginning to return to pre-operational sort of levels of activity." Smith says this campaign was not designed to go after the Taliban. "The Marjah operation was not about trying to go in and kill the Taliban. It was really trying to separate the Taliban from the people."
The counter-insurgency strategy the President has ordered in Afghanistan is designed to protect major Afghan population centers along with agricultural areas and transportation routes. By designed the plan, if it works according to military analysts, will make Afghans more comfortable with the Karzai government and with their lives and give them desperately needed services and improve their quality of life. At the end of the day, experts say it will give Afghans strength and reason to tell the Taliban no when they come to recruit.
A senior al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan is blaming the Xe security company, formerly known as Blackwater, for being behind a string of deadly attacks in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. In an audio message from Mustafa Abu Yazid said Muslims could not have been behind the attacks, because they are fighting to protect the honor and lives of other Muslims. Peshawar has been under heavy attack in recent weeks. Pakistani and U.S. intelligence officials says the Taliban are behind the attacks.
Reuters is reporting a U.S. drone aircraft fired two missiles into North Waziristan a major al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuary in northwest Pakistan, killing two people on Wednesday. Pakistani intelligence officials say the United States has launched 44 such strikes on suspected militants in Pakistan this year compared with 32 last year. Pakistani forces launched an offensive against militants in the neighboring South Waziristan region on the Afghan border in mid-October.
The Pentagon has been seeking with little success permission from Congress to transfer used military hardware from Iraq to the Pakistani army but American lawmakers have so far balked at the request, citing concerns that Islamabad could use the equipment against India. Pakistan is mobilizing forces now for a long awaited ground offensive against Taliban militants in their South Waziristan stronghold near the Afghan border.
Is Iran providing weapons to the Taliban? The U.S. military thinks so. The Pentagon has recovered evidence in western Afghanistan, near the border with Iran, of weapons and explosives bearing markings indicating they were made in Iran. These are the same types of weapons that flowed into Iraq during the height of the war. Experts think the weapons actually come from Iran's Revolutionary Guards and their Quds force. The question under examination now is the extent to which the Iranian government is involved.
The Pentagon says U.S. troops didn't follow proper tactics and procedures during an air assault on Taliban fighters last month that's been linked to the deaths of a number of Afghan civilians. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell says there were problems in the way "in which close air support was supposed to have been executed in this case." Morrell said it appears a B-1 bomber "had to break away from the target" for some time. He says there's no way to determine whether it had anything to do with the civilian casualties, but he says investigators determined that it was "one of the problems associated with how this all took place."
President Barack Obama said he got the commitments he wanted yesterday from the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan. What he got were promises from them to take the fight to the Taliban and al-Qaida. The terrorist organizations are growing in stature and are becoming more brazen. At the same time the U.S. military is dealing with reports that U.S. forces accidentally killed dozens of civilians in Afghanistan. In the middle of the chaos, there are reports the Taliban killed civilians and paraded them around claiming U.S. forces did it.
National Security Correspondent JJ Green speaks with Army Reserve Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who explains the strategy the US has been using against Taliban.