Pakistan and Afghan Taliban Close Ranks


#1

Pakistan and Afghan Taliban Close Ranks
By CARLOTTA GALL
Published: March 26, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan[/URL] — After agreeing to bury their differences and unite forces, Taliban leaders based in Pakistan have closed ranks with their Afghan comrades to ready a new offensive in [URL=“http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/afghanistan/index.html?inline=nyt-geo”]Afghanistan as the United States prepares to send 17,000 more troops there this year.

In interviews, several Taliban fighters based in the border region said preparations for the anticipated influx of American troops were already being made. A number of new, younger commanders have been preparing to step up a campaign of roadside bombings and suicide attacks to greet the Americans, the fighters said.

The refortified alliance was forged after the reclusive Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, sent emissaries to persuade Pakistani Taliban leaders to join forces and turn their attention to Afghanistan, Pakistani officials and Taliban members said.
The overture by Mullah Omar is an indication that with the prospect of an American buildup, the Taliban feel the need to strengthen their own forces in Afghanistan and to redirect their Pakistani allies toward blunting the new American push.

Rest here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/world/asia/27taliban.html?_r=1&th&emc=th


Thanx to the prior Administration who turned the “eye of Mordor” away from Afganistan toward Iraq; allowing the Taliban to regroup and become stronger. Now our troops will be walking into a hornet’s nest. Sigh!

To borrow a line from the movie “Aliens”

“I say we take off and nuke the whole site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure”

Too bad innocent civilians would be blown away in such a blast.


#2

I’ll bounce back with this then…

Afghan leader welcomes US review

[B]Afghan President Hamid Karzai says a US review of strategy in the region - announced by President Obama on Friday - was "better than we were expecting".[/B]  	  	

Mr Karzai praised the review’s focus on countering militant activity in Pakistan, and the US offer to Iran of a role in seeking a political solution.
Mr Obama described the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan as “perilous”.
US officials later spoke of alleged links between Pakistan’s military intelligence, the ISI, and militants.
Announcing the US review, Mr Obama proposed a big spending programme on infrastructure projects, and said 4,000 extra troops would be sent to Afghanistan to train security forces.
Pakistan’s president reiterated his welcome for Washington’s new strategy, in a speech to parliament in Islamabad on Saturday.
Asif Ali Zardari said Mr Obama’s offer of development aid for border areas in Pakistan was an endorsement of his own government’s counter-extremism policy.
Pakistan’s leader also said his country would not allow use of its soil for terrorist activity, and would not let anyone violate its sovereignty.

 	Afghan leader welcomes US review

   	But he did not specifically criticise US missile attacks on Pakistani territory as he has done in the past. 
  	Cross-border operations by US-led forces have angered Pakistani authorities in recent months. 
  	In Kabul, Mr Karzai told journalists he was "in full agreement" with the strategy. 
  	"It is exactly what the Afghan people were hoping for, and we're seeking," he said. 
  	"Therefore, it has our full support and backing... and we'll be working very, very closely with the US government to prepare for and to work on implementing all that was laid out in this strategy. 
  	He added: "This is better than we were expecting, as a matter of fact." 

Click the title for the full article.