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Why is America Failing in Afghanistan?

- DR. Abdul-Qayum Mohmand

Analysis of “CIA World Factbook” (1981-2012): Dimensions of anti-Pashtun Conspirac

Afghan Fury at Planned Pakistan Pact
What Happens When the U.S. Leaves Afghanistan?
Trying to leave Afghanistan proves to be as troublesome as being there: A Closer Look
Afghanistan: “It’s Just Damage Limitation Now”
Zero Dark Thirty Review-Analysis; Eleven Instances of Disinformation
Why is America Failing in Afghanistan?
 
 
 
US forces in Afghanistan nearly destroyed vital airfield
We Are Those Two Afghan Children, Killed by NATO While Tending Their Cattle
Former Islamist Warlord Vies for Afghan Presidency
Pakistan releases top Afghan Taliban prisoner in effort to boost peace process
Losing the War in Afghanistan
Obama’s troop increase for Afghan war was misdirected
Afghan security vacuum feared along "gateway to Kabul"
Objections to U.S. Troops Intensify in Afghanistan
The Great Afghan corruption scam
War zone killing: Vets feel 'alone' in their guilt
Was Osama for Real? And Was He Killed in 2001?
Afghanistan withdrawal: The risks of retreat
The Real Reason the US Invaded Afghanistan
The Definition of a Quagmire
Huge Uncertainty' in Afghanistan
Controversial ID Cards Expose Ethnic Divisions In Afghanistan
Afghanistan: The Final Curtain Call for NATO?
Afghanistan After 9/11: A Mission Unaccomplished
Why Should Taliban and Other Insurgents Refrain from Negotiation With the US & NATO? By: Dr Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, Ph

Exclusive: Karzai family looks to extend boss rule in Afghanistan.

Intrigue in Karzai Family as an Afghan Era Closes
For Afghans, Two Outrages, Two Different Reactions
Double blow to west’s Afghan strategy
Does the Taliban need a diplomatic voice?
Afghanistan: Lessons in War and Peace-building for US
Afghan women opposed by former allies
Q+A - Haqqani: From White House guest to staunch U.S. enemy
Haqqanis: Growth of a militant network -BBC
Afghanistan shelves plans for ambassador accused of fraud
Afghan nominated as ambassador to Britain was accused in US of fraud
U.S. deal with Taliban breaks down
The Loneliness of the Afghan President: Karzai on His Own

NATO's Third Alternative in Afghanistan

On the Road: Interview with Commander Abdul Haq:- The Tragedy of Abdul Haq
When the Lion Roared: How Abdul Haq Almost Saved Afghanistan
AFGHAN WARRIOR: THE LIFE & DEATH OF ABDUL HAQ
Pakistan’s ISI: Undermining Afghan self-determination since 1948
Mineral Wealth of Afghanistan, Military Occupation, Corruption and the Rights of the Afghan People
M. Siddieq Noorzoy
Why Isn’t the UN Investigating and Prosecuting the U.S. and NATO for War Crimes Committed in Afghanistan?
Corruption and Warlordism:
Abdul Basir Stanikzai
In Afghanistan, U.S. contracts aren’t crystal balls, but they come close
The great Afghan carve-up
Anatomy of an Afghan war tragedy
Terry Jones Actually Burns a Qur’an and No One Notices
Q+A-Are Afghan forces ready to take over security?
Guantánamo Bay files rewrite the story of Osama bin Laden's Tora Bora escape
Winning Afghan hearts, minds with explosives
Afghanistan’s Mercenaries
KABUL’S HORIZONS
Who is winning Afghanistan war? U.S. officials increasingly disagree
Afghanistan: The Trouble With The Transition
From the Archives: In Quest of a ‘Greater Tajikistan’
The 1980s mujahideen, the Taliban and the shifting idea of jihad
Afghanistan's Karzai complains about interference
Karzai, US ambassador at odds over private security

Karzai Tells Washington Post U.S. Should Reduce Afghan Operation Intensity

Excerpts from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's interview with The Washington Post
What the Afghans Want
New US approach to Afghanistan insurgency: Vindication for Pakistan?
Putting Some Fight Into Our Friends
Afghans 'abused at secret prison
Why We Won’t Leave Afghanistan or Iraq
Indo-Pakistan proxy war heats up in Afghanistan
Canada’s elite commandos and the invasion of Afghanistan
U.S. retreat from Afghan valley marks recognition of blunder
Five myths about the war in Afghanistan
Marine who resigned over ‘conscience’ speaks at MU
The Afghan media may have grown since Taliban rule ended, but not so press freedoms
Mystery holes and angry ants: another Afghan day
Kabul Bank's Sherkhan Farnood feeds crony capitalism in Afghanistan
Marjah War
Operation Moshtarak: Which way the war in Afghanistan?
Q&A: Why Marjah, why now?
In Jalalabad, hope is fading
Seeking reconciliation, US units meet remote Afghanistan tribes
Once Again, Get the Hell Out! "Ending the War in Afghanistan"
Blackwater Kept a Prostitute on the Payroll in Afghanistan; Fraudulently Billed American Tax Payers
Wild West Motif Lightens US Mood at Afghan Bas
In southern Afghanistan, even the small gains get noticed
 Afghanistan war: US tries to undercut Taliban at tribal level
 Soviet lessons from Afghanistan
Are actions of 'super-tribe' an Afghan tipping point
Taliban: Terrorist or not? Not always easy to say
Q&A: Who else could help in Afghanistan?
Vietnam Replay on Afghan 'Defectors'
Washington's Refusal to Talk about Drone Strikes in Pakistan Meets Growing Opposition
Afghanistan summit: Why is the US backing talks with the Taliban?
Taliban's leadership council runs Afghan war from Pakistan
Why buy the Taliban?
2 Afghanistan conferences: No solutions
An Alternative to Endless War - Negotiating an Afghan Agreement?
Do the Taliban represent the Pashtuns?
Afghanistan asks ex-presidential contender to tackle corruption

Tehran Sets Conditions For Attending London Conference On Afghanista

Pakistan says reaches out to Afghan Taliban
Taking It to the Taliban
The Afghan Taliban's top leaders
How significant is Mullah Baradar's arrest?
Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban’s Top Commander
What's the Quetta Shura Taliban and why does it matter?
What's behind latest Taliban attack on Kabul? See Images of the Attack By WSJ

Pakistan Version of Islam and Taliban ?????
Lahore fashion week takes on Talibanization in Pakistan

Loyalties of Those Killed in Afghan Raid Remain Unclear

After Attack, Afghans Question Motives or See Conspiracies
Gates: Taliban part of Afghan ‘political fabric’

IG: Afghan power-plant project ill-conceived, mismanaged

Taliban intensifies Afghan PR campaign

Taliban Overhaul Their Image in Bid to Win Allies
Karzai plans to woo Taliban with 'land, work and pensions'
Peace scheme mooted for Taliban
Bombs and baksheesh
But By All Means, Continue the Happy Talk on the Afghanistan War
Karzai Closing in on Taliban Reconciliation Plan
Last Exit Kabul
How To Get Out Without Forsaking Afghanistan's Stability
Afghan Recovery Report: Taleban Buying Guns From Former Warlords

'Jesus Guns': Two More Countries Rethink Using Weapons with Secret Bible References

Gun bible quotes 'inappropriate'
Text of Joint declaration of Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan trilateral meeting
Garmsir Protest Shows Taleban Reach
Rugged North Waziristan harbors US enemies
The Arrogance of Empire, Detailed ( The Untold Story of Afghanistan )
Appointment of Afghan counter narcotics chief dismays British officials
In Afghanistan attack, CIA fell victim to series of miscalculations about informant
Rebuilding Afghanistan: Will government take hold in this post-Taliban town?
Rare bird discovered in Afghan mountains
Blackwater, now called Xe, in running for work in Afghanistan despite legal woes
How Soviet troops stormed Kabul palace
Afghan children 'die in fighting'
Afghanistan war: Russian vets look back on their experience
U.N. Officials Say American Offered Plan to Replace Karzai 
Learning From the Soviets
U.S. faults Afghan corruption body's independence
Intensify fight against corruption, says Afghan meeting
Afghan ministers cleared of charges
Drone aircraft in a stepped-up war in Afghanistan and Pakistan
U.S. Air Force Confirms 'Beast of Kandahar' Secret Stealth Drone Plane
Kissinger's fantasy is Obama's realit
Taliban shadow officials offer concrete alternative
Talking with the Taliban
20. Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart
'Yes, there was torture and people were certainly beaten': Afghan warden
Why we should leave Afghanistan
US pours millions into anti-Taliban militias in Afghanistan
Pakistan to US: Don't surge in Afghanistan, talk to Taliban
A Plan C for Afghanistan
Finding decent cabinet is Karzai's big challenge
A way to get around Karzai in Afghanistan
Corruption fight boosted by 'Afghan FBI'
US demands Afghan 'bribery court'
Afghanistan plans court for corrupt ministers
The man leading Afghanistan's anti-corruption fight
Win hearts and minds in Afghanistan to win the war
Gates blocks abuse photos release
New U.S. Afghan prison unveiled, rights groups wary
War in Afghanistan: Not in our name
How the US Funds the Taliban
Afghan gov't says UN representative out of line
Cabinet of Warlords
Afghanistan and the lessons of history
Clinton says Karzai ‘must do better’
Recognizing the Limits of American Power in Afghanistan
After Afghanistan election, governors seek distance from 'illegal' Karzai
Karzai was hellbent on victory. Afghans will pay the price
Matthew Hoh: Please refute what I'm saying, we are stuck in the Afghan civil war
As US looks for exit in Afghanistan, China digs in
America's Top Diplomat Tells 'Nightline': 'Not Every Taliban Is al Qaeda'
Obama Can’t Make Russian Mistake in Afghanistan
10 Steps to Victory in Afghanistan
Will Obama change Afghan strategy?
Does the U.S. still have a vital interest in Afghanistan?
Pashtuns and Pakistani
The Afghan '80s are back
Pashtun peace prophet goes global
Afghan Road Builder's Dream Thwarted by Violence
A white elephant in Kabul
The Afghan Runoff: Will It Be a No-Show Election?

Ashraf Ghani- Afghanistan's Disputed Election Complicates U.S. Strategy

On Assignment: Into the Maw at Marja

Patrick Witty & Tyler Hicks
The New York Times


Afghanistan Cross Road CNN


The last frontier


Bruce Richardson
 

Articles

CIA: Buying peace in Afghanistan?

With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan
CIA Ghost Money: Karzai Confirms U.S. Gives Funds To Afghan National Security Team
What the CIA’s cash has bought for Afghanistan

Khalilzad: A Satan Whispering in the Hearts of Men
The Afghan trust deficitt
Will We Learn Anything from Afghanistan? Part 1
Getting Out of Afghanistan: Part 2
William R. Polk
General’s Defense on Afghan Scandal Ducks Key Evidence
Afghans want Taliban peace talks
Bombing Weddings in Afghanistan: It Couldn't Happen Here, It Does Happen There
Hekmatyar's never-ending Afghan war
Covert American Aid to the Afghan Resistance; A Top-Secret U.S. Foreign Policy Plot to Induce and Effect Soviet Military Intervention
Afghan brain drain fears as Karzai urges education reforms

US considers launching joint US-Afghan raids in Pakistan to hunt down militant groups

Real security in Afghanistan depends on people's basic needs being met
Intractable Afghan Graft Hampering U.S. Strategy
Former Taliban Officials Say U.S. Talks Started
Taliban ready for talks with US, not Karzai government
Emboldened Taliban Try to Sell Softer Image
Leaked NATO Report Shows Pakistan Support For Taliban
Insight: Few options for Afghan, U.S. leaders after Kandahar massacre
Presenter: Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Daoud Sultanzoy, Tolo Television
NATO’s measured exit plan in Afghanistan faces new obstacles
BFP Exclusive: Karzai Clan Attorney Threatens US Journalist, Uses Intimidation Tactics
Afghanistan Chronicles
Arduous path to Afghan 'end-game'
Fear in the classrooms: is the Taliban poisoning Afghanistan's schoolgirls?
A comment on the recent events of student poisoning in Afghanistan
Rape Case, in Public, Cites Abuse by Armed Groups in Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Peace Talks Hit Brick Wall
THE ANATOMY OF US’S DEFEAT IN AFGHANISTAN
VOICES OF EMPIRE: FROM CIA’s CULTURAL GREAT GAME TO GLOBAL GREAT GAME TODAY
WHITE PAPER FOR THE PERMANENT PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN
King Karzai
A Federal System of Government is Not Suitable for Afghanistan
CHINA AMO DARYA OIL DEAL
Analysis: Where Afghan humanitarianism ends and development begins
U.S. Envoy: Kabulbank Was 'Vast Looting Scheme'
Speaking with the enemy: how US commanders fight the Taliban during the day and dine with them at night
Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Musery
How to Win Peace in Afghanistan
For Karzai, Stumbles On Road To Election
Cruel human toll of fight to win Afghan peace
Criticism of Afghan War Is on the Rise in Britain
Troops 'fighting for UK's future'
Operation in Taliban hotbed a test for revamped U.S. strategy
Covering Crucial Afghanistan Operation
Afghans still skeptical about Obama
US Defence Department struggling with public release of report on bombing in Afghanistan
Afghanistan on the Edge
Q+A: Who are the Pakistani Taliban insurgents?
Afghanistan Past & Present
Bombs for Pashtoons and Dollars for Punjab
Help! I'm being outgunned on K Street!
ANGELS CHASING DEMONS: “Jesus Killed Mohammad”!
U.S. tested 2 Afghan scenarios in war game
America's Top Diplomat Tells 'Nightline': 'Not Every Taliban Is al Qaeda'
Obama hearing range of views on Afghanistan
What Do Afghans Want? Withdrawal - But Not Too Fast - and A Negotiated Peace
Will Obama change Afghan strategy?
What Do Afghans Want? Withdrawal - But Not Too Fast - and A Negotiated Peace
Afghans tricked into U.S. trip, detained
In the Afghan War, Aim for the Middle
Obama pulled two ways in Afghanistan
Obama Can’t Make Russian Mistake in Afghanistan
10 Steps to Victory in Afghanistan
Gates: Mistake to set time line for Afghan withdrawal
Afghans question what democracy has done for them
High stakes in Afghan vote recount
Two Perspectives On Resolving The Afghan Postelection Crisis
Does the U.S. still have a vital interest in Afghanistan?
Pashtuns and Pakistanis
The Afghan '80s are back
How to Lose in Afghanistan
US in Afghanistan proposes revamped strategy
US 'needs fresh Afghan strategy'
US looks to Vietnam for Afghan tips
Lessons from Vietnam on Afghanistan
Afghan Pres. Skips Country's 1st TV Debate
A proud moment for Afghanistan
Rival to Karzai Gains Strength in Afghan Presidential Election
Afghan presidential candidate withdraws in Karzai's favor
America and international law
Hamid Karzai pulls out of historic TV debate just hours before broadcast
Karzai says no to first Afghanpresidential debate
Afghan election: Can Karzai's rivals close the gap?
Karzai opponents hope to beat him in second round
Afghanistan's Election Challenges
For Karzai, Stumbles On Road To Election
Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan
Cruel human toll of fight to win Afghan peace
Karzai’s gimmick
Well-known traffickers set free ahead of election
US president sets Afghan target
U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died
Why the Pentagon Axed Its Afghanistan Warlord
Earn our trust or go, Afghans tell GIs
The Irresistible Illusion
Running Out Of Options, Afghans Pay For an Exit
We've lost sight of our goal in Afghanistan
$2,000 for a dead Afghan Child, $100,000 for Any American Who Died Killing it
The strategy is sound – but success is not assured
Operation in Taliban hotbed a test for revamped U.S. strategy
Covering Crucial Afghanistan Operation
Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan
Echoes of Vietnam
A Response To General Dostum
Obama orders probe of killings in Afghanistan
Obama admin: No grounds to probe Afghan war crimes
US president sets Afghan target
U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died
Afghanistan's Election Challenges
The Irresistible Illusion
Earn our trust or go, Afghans tell GIs
Running Out Of Options, Afghans Pay For an Exit

We've lost sight of our goal in Afghanistan

The strategy is sound – but success is not assured
Stakes High in Afghanistan Ahead of August Elections
$2,000 for a dead Afghan Child, $100,000 for Any American Who Died Killing it
Ex-detainees allege Bagram abuse
Petraeus Is a Failure -- Why Do We Pretend He's Been a Success?
Fierce Battles and High Casualties on the Frontlines of Afghanistan
End the Illegal, Immoral and Wasted War in Afghanistan, says BNP Defence Spokesman
Outside View: Four revolutions
Pakistan's Plans for New Fight Stir Concern
France: liberty, equality, and fraternity – but no burqas
 

 

 

 

 

Echoes of Vietnam

Even the Coalition commanders in Afghanistan wonder if they can win the war
Will history repeat itself in Afghanistan?

British military intervention in Afghanistan has a chequered history, making it easy to conclude that British forces will fail again


 


Mullah Baradar, Afghan Taliban No. 2 Captured
Source: ABC News By: By NICK SCHIFRIN and JAKE TAPPER  

Senior U.S. Official Confirms Mullah Baradar Captured and Providing Intelligence

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Afghan Taliban's deputy leader was captured about a week ago in the Pakistani city of Karachi in a joint Pakistani-American operation and is now cooperating with authorities and providing intelligence, according to Pakistani officials and a senior American official.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was detained using Pakistani information, a Pakistani intelligence official says.

"This operation was an enormous success," the American official said. "It is a very big deal."

Baradar is second only to Mullah Mohammed Omar, the spiritual leader of the Afghan Taliban, who U.S. officials also believe is hiding in Pakistan. But Baradar has essentially been running the Afghan Taliban, responsible for the day-to-day military operations and for being Omar's consigliore. The story of his capture was first reported by The New York Times.

He is by far the most senior Taliban leader detained since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and his capture marks an important step in Pakistan's cooperation with the United States to hunt Afghan Taliban who use Pakistan as a safe haven to launch attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Senior Pakistani military officials have long denied American claims that they were turning a blind eye to Afghan Taliban militants inside their country, and the raid is one of the most significant steps Pakistan has ever taken to capture senior Afghan militants.

U.S. Official: Barader Capture 'Major Setback' for Afghan Taliban

A U.S. counterterrorism official, while refusing to confirm the news of Baradar's capture, told ABC News that "if he were taken off the battlefield, it would deal a major setback to the Afghan Taliban and be a personal blow to Mullah Omar, who has relied heavily on him for years."

His importance was highlighted by Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the former Taliban regime's foreign minister, in a Newsweek interview last summer. "Mullah Omar has put Baradar in charge," he said. "It is Mullah Omar's idea and his policy to stay quiet in a safe place, because he has a high price on his head, while Baradar leads."

The Afghan Taliban is denying that Baradar has been captured, saying he was still helping lead military activities across Afghanistan, including in Marjah, Helmand, where U.S. marines are leading one of the largest military campaigns against the Taliban since the war began.

"If it happened I would have known about it, and I haven't heard anything, so it must not be true," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told ABC News.

A member of the Pakistani Taliban in Karachi also denied any knowledge of Baradar's capture.


Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban’s Top Commander
Source: The New York Times By: MARK MAZZETTI and DEXTER FILKINS  

WASHINGTON — The Taliban’s top military commander was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials.

The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranks second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mullah Baradar has been in Pakistani custody for several days, with American and Pakistani intelligence officials both taking part in interrogations, according to the officials.

It was unclear whether he was talking, but the officials said his capture had provided a window into the Taliban and could lead to other senior officials. Most immediately, they hope he will provide the whereabouts of Mullah Omar, the one-eyed cleric who is the group’s spiritual leader.

Disclosure of Mullah Baradar’s capture came as American and Afghan forces were in the midst of a major offensive in southern Afghanistan.

His capture could cripple the Taliban’s military operations, at least in the short term, said Bruce O. Riedel, a former C.I.A. officer who last spring led the Obama administration’s Afghanistan and Pakistan policy review.

Details of the raid remain murky, but officials said that it had been carried out by Pakistan’s military spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and that C.I.A. operatives had accompanied the Pakistanis.

The New York Times learned of the operation on Thursday, but delayed reporting it at the request of White House officials, who contended that making it public would end a hugely successful intelligence-gathering effort. The officials said that the group’s leaders had been unaware of Mullah Baradar’s capture and that if it became public they might cover their tracks and become more careful about communicating with each other.

The Times is publishing the news now because White House officials acknowledged that the capture of Mullah Baradar was becoming widely known in the region.

Several American government officials gave details about the raid on the condition that they not be named, because the operation was classified.

American officials believe that besides running the Taliban’s military operations, Mullah Baradar runs the group’s leadership council, often called the Quetta Shura because its leaders for years have been thought to be hiding near Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan Province in Pakistan.

A spokesman for the Taliban insisted on Tuesday that Baradar was still free.

“This is just rumor spread by foreigners to divert attention from the Marja offensive,” said the spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid.

“They are facing big problems in Marja. In reality there is nothing regarding Baradar’s arrest. He is safe and free and he is in Afghanistan.”

The participation of Pakistan’s spy service could suggest a new level of cooperation from Pakistan’s leaders, who have been ambivalent about American efforts to crush the Taliban. Increasingly, the Americans say, senior leaders in Pakistan, including the chief of its army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, have gradually come around to the view that they can no longer support the Taliban in Afghanistan — as they have quietly done for years — without endangering themselves. Indeed, American officials have speculated that Pakistani security officials could have picked up Mullah Baradar long ago.

The officials said that Pakistan was leading the interrogation of Mullah Baradar, but that Americans were also involved. The conditions of the questioning are unclear. In its first week in office, the Obama administration banned harsh interrogations like waterboarding by Americans, but the Pakistanis have long been known to subject prisoners to brutal questioning.

American intelligence officials believe that elements within Pakistan’s security services have covertly supported the Taliban with money and logistical help — largely out of a desire to retain some ally inside Afghanistan for the inevitable day when the Americans leave.

The ability of the Taliban’s top leaders to operate relatively freely inside Pakistan has for years been a source of friction between the ISI and the C.I.A. Americans have complained that they have given ISI operatives the precise locations of Taliban leaders, but that the Pakistanis usually refuse to act.

The Pakistanis have countered that the American intelligence was often outdated, or that faulty information had been fed to the United States by Afghanistan’s intelligence service.

For the moment it is unclear how the capture of Mullah Baradar will affect the overall direction of the Taliban, who have so far refused to disavow Al Qaeda and to accept the Afghan Constitution. American officials have hoped to win over some midlevel members of the group.

Mr. Riedel, the former C.I.A. official, said that he had not heard about Mullah Baradar’s capture before being contacted by The Times, but that the raid constituted a “sea change in Pakistani behavior.”

In recent weeks, American officials have said they have seen indications that the Pakistani military and spy services may finally have begun to distance themselves from the Taliban. One Obama administration official said Monday that the White House had “no reason to think that anybody was double-dealing at all” in aiding in the capture of Mullah Baradar.

A parade of American officials traveling to the Pakistani capital have made the case that the Afghan Taliban are now aligned with groups — like the Pakistani Taliban — that threaten the stability of the Pakistani government.

Mullah Baradar oversees the group’s operations across its primary area of activity in southern and western Afghanistan. While some of the insurgent groups active in Afghanistan receive only general guidance from their leaders, the Taliban are believed to be somewhat hierarchical, with lower-ranking field commanders often taking directions and orders from their leaders across the border.

In an attempt to improve the Taliban’s image both inside the country and abroad, Mullah Baradar last year helped issue a “code of conduct” for Taliban fighters. The handbook, small enough to be carried in the pocket of each Taliban foot soldier, gave specific guidance about topics including how to avoid civilian casualties, how to win the hearts and minds of villagers, and the necessity of limiting suicide attacks to avoid a backlash.

In recent months, a growing number of Taliban leaders are believed to have fled to Karachi, a sprawling, chaotic city in southern Pakistan hundreds of miles from the turbulence of the Afghan frontier. A diplomat based in Kabul, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in an interview last month that Mullah Omar had moved to Karachi, and that several of his colleagues were there, too.

The leadership council, which includes more than a dozen of the Taliban’s best-known leaders, charts the overall direction of the war, assigns Taliban “shadow governors” to run many Afghan provinces and districts, and chooses battlefield commanders. It also oversees a number of subcommittees that direct other aspects of the war, like political, religious and military affairs.

According to Wahid Muzhda, a former Taliban official in Kabul who stays in touch with former colleagues, the council meets every three or four months to plot strategy. As recently as three years ago, he said, the council had 19 members. Since then, six have been killed or captured. Others have since filled the empty seats, he said.

Among the council members killed were Mullah Dadullah, who died during a raid by NATO and Afghan forces in 2007. Among the captured were Mullah Obaidullah, the Taliban defense minister, who reported to Mr. Baradar.

“The only man more powerful than Baradar is Omar,” Mr. Muzhda said. “He and Omar cannot meet very often because of security reasons, but they have a very good relationship.”

Western and Afghan officials familiar with the workings of the Taliban’s leadership have described Mullah Baradar as one of the Taliban’s most approachable leaders, and the one most ready to negotiate with the Afghan government.

Mediators who have worked to resolve kidnappings and other serious issues have often approached the Taliban leadership through him.

As in the case of the reclusive Mullah Omar, the public details of Mullah Baradar’s life are murky. According to an Interpol alert, he was born in 1968 in Weetmak, a village in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan Province. Terrorism experts describe him as a skilled military leader who runs many high-level meetings of the Taliban’s top commanders in Afghanistan.

In answers to questions submitted by Newsweek last summer, Mullah Baradar said that he could not maintain “continuous contacts” with Mullah Omar, but that he received advice on “important topics” from the cleric.

In the same interview, Mullah Baradar said he welcomed a large increase in American troops in Afghanistan because the Taliban “want to inflict maximum losses on the Americans, which is possible only when the Americans are present here in large numbers and come out of their fortified places.”

Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mullah Baradar was assigned by Mullah Omar to assume overall command of Taliban forces in northern Afghanistan. In that role, he oversaw a large group of battle-hardened Arab and foreign fighters who were based in the northern cities of Kunduz and Mazar-i-Sharif.

In November 2001, as Taliban forces collapsed after the American invasion, Mullah Baradar and several other senior Taliban leaders were captured by Afghan militia fighters aligned with the United States. But Pakistani intelligence operatives intervened, and Mullah Baradar and the other Taliban leaders were released, according to a senior official of the Northern Alliance, the group of Afghans aligned with the United States.

Mark Mazzetti reported from Washington, and Dexter Filkins from Kabul, Afghanistan. Carlotta Gall contributed reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan.


Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar: Are other Taliban leaders hiding in Karachi?
Source: The Christian Science Monitor By: Huma Yusuf  

The No. 2 Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Omar was captured in Karachi, where many Pakistani militants have been reported to be hiding. Police say there are 150 Taliban fighters in the city now.

Karachi, Pakistan — Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Omar and many Pakistani militants have been reported to be hiding in Karachi, where the Afghan insurgency’s No. 2 was captured last week.

The arrest of a senior Afghan Taliban commander in Karachi, made last week and revealed on Tuesday, adds to growing reports that militants are using the Pakistani city as an organizational hub and safe haven.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the second in command to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was apprehended in a joint raid by Pakistani and American intelligence agencies, though a Taliban spokesman denied this.
Home to top Taliban members?

In recent months, local and international media have reported that Taliban commanders fleeing military operations in Afghanistan and in Pakistani tribal areas have relocated to Karachi, which is the country’s largest city and has largely avoided the bomb attacks that have struck the northwest and other major cities.

Karachi also has a large population of Pashtuns, the ethnic group to which most members of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban belong. Though the city’s ruling party takes a tough line against the Taliban, militants are able to conceal their activities within the city’s sprawling slums.

In recent months, US intelligence officials quoted by the Washington Times and a diplomat based in Kabul have said that Mullah Omar himself was hiding in Karachi, but the Pakistani government denied this.

Earlier this month, Taliban sources told the Los Angeles Times that Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who had been injured in a US drone strike in January, died en route to Karachi for medical treatment. Uncertainty still swirls around Mr. Mehsud, however. US and Pakistani officials have said they believe Mr. Mehsud is dead, but Taliban sources say he's still alive.
A network of militants

According to a police investigator with the Special Investigation Unit, tasked with counterterrorism operations, not only leaders but also other militants are present in Karachi.

“There is a network of [Pakistani] Taliban fighters scattered across the city,” the SIU officer says, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He estimates that about 150 Taliban militants from the tribal region reside in Karachi. They include recruiters and financiers, who coordinate with local criminal gangs and sectarian groups to smuggle arms to the tribal areas and arrange funding, he says.

Some Taliban members also visit Karachi to recruit locals for an attack or theft, the officer continues. “The Taliban here are like fixers. When they’re planning an attack or robbery [in Karachi] men are brought in from the tribal areas” to carry it out.”

A few dozen suspected militants currently sit in police custody awaiting trial in the Anti-Terrorism Court, he adds.
A place to raise funds

Since 2008, Pakistani police and intelligence agencies have claimed that the Taliban use Karachi, the country’s financial capital, to raise funds for militants based along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Last December, the main suspect in the largest bank heist in Pakistani history, which occurred in Karachi’s financial district, was found to have links to the Taliban. According to a recent statement from the Interior ministry, of the dozen bank robberies that occurred in Karachi in 2009, 80 percent could be traced back to individuals based in the tribal areas who were believed to have links with the Taliban.

Those responsible for the Nov. 26 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, reportedly left from Karachi and phoned a coordinator here during the assault.


Profile: Mullal Baradar - father of the roadside IED
Source: Times Online By: Zahid Hussain  

A Pakistani policeman searches a pedestrian at a security check point

Regarded as brilliant and charismatic Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was the second most powerful figure in the Afghanistan Taleban.

The military commander who is said to have developed the Taleban tactic of planting "flowers" - improvised explosive devices (IEDs) - along roadsides has been described by terrorism experts as even more cunning and dangerous than Taleban supreme leader (his old friend) Mullah Omar.

Mullah Badar has been credited for rebuilding the Taleban into an effective fighting force and has been running the group’s daily affairs for many years, since Mullah Omar was forced to take a less active role in the organisation due to his failing health.

Besides heading up Taleban military operations and running its budgets, he also ran the group’s leadership council, known as the Quetta Shura, named because its leaders have been thought to be hiding near Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s western province of Baluchistan. A photograph of him has yet to surface.

Born in 1968 in Weetmak, a village in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan Province, the young Mullah Baradar participated in the Afghan Mujahedeen war against the Soviet forces.

It was during this war that he came to know Mullah Omar; the pair fought alongside each other against the Communist forces and some reports suggest the two even married a pair of sisters.

After the withdrawal of the Soviet forces and collapse of the communist regime in Kabul in 1992 , Mullah Baradar and Mullah Omar both settled down in southern Afghanistan district of Maiwand where they ran their own madrassa.

When Mullah Omar started a revolt against the local warlords in 1994 with a force of some 30 men, Mullah Baradar was among its first recruits. This was the beginning the Taleban movement which swept Kabul in 1996, establishing a hard line conservative regime.

Mullah Baradar became Mullah Omar’s most trusted military commander. He first served as Taleban corps commander for western Afghanistan, and later as the Kabul garrison commander, where he directed the fight against rival mujahedin commanders in the north of the country.

He was at the side of Mullah Omar when U.S. bombs pounded Kandahar in November 2001. According to some reports it was Mullah Baradar who hopped on a motorcycle and drove his old friend to safety in the mountains.

Many terrorism experts described Mullah Bradar as the most skilled military leader who spearheaded the fighting in southern Afghanistan. His forces were responsible for inflicting heavy casualties on the Western forces last year.

He conducted the Taleban's day-to-day operations, both military and financial. He allocated Taleban funds, appoints military commanders and designs military tactics,

Mullah Baradar was quoted last year as telling his fighters to not to confront US soldiers with their superior firepower, but to operate using guerrilla tactics.

Mullah Baradar was believed to have often travelled to Karachi to meet other members of the Quetta Shura who had moved to the port in recent months.

The sprawling city on the Arabia sea coast with a population of more than 16 million has become a haven for the Taleban leadership.


How significant is Mullah Baradar's arrest?
Source: BBC News By: M Ilyas Khan  

Islamabad: The capture of top Taliban militant commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in the Pakistani city of Karachi is the most important catch for the American CIA and the Pakistani intelligence service since March 2007.

Back then, operatives of the two intelligence services collaborated to arrest Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, a former Taliban defence minister and a close aide of the Taliban's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Both Mullah Obaidullah and Mullah Baradar held supervisory positions in the 10-member leadership council which Mullah Omar set up in 2003 before going into hiding.

All major Taliban commanders in southern and eastern Afghanistan were asked to directly report to that council.

First-hand knowledge

But following Mullah Obaidullah's arrest in the city of Quetta in 2007, Mullah Baradar emerged as the man in charge of the Taliban's insurgency in Afghanistan.

“ This may indicate a serious move towards a negotiated settlement of the Afghan imbroglio ”

Such was his dominance over the movement that there was even speculation that Mullah Baradar may have either killed or scared Mullah Omar into permanent hiding in order to minimise any challenge to his authority.

As such, his arrest is seen by analysts here as a crucial intelligence breakthrough for the Americans.

According to analysts, Mullah Baradar not only has first-hand knowledge of the nature and the extent of the Taliban network in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he also knows details of their linkages with the Pakistani intelligence corps.

But will he talk? And how quickly can the Taliban shift positions to render his information obsolete?

These are difficult questions to answer.

We still don't know, for example, if Mullah Obaidullah conveyed any useful intelligence to his interrogators after his capture.

If anything, things in Afghanistan have grown worse since he was arrested more than two years ago.

Many in Pakistan believe Mullah Baradar's arrest has come at a bad time for Taliban, who were hoping to hold their ground against a major push by Nato forces as part of a strategy that would culminate in their ignominious exit from Afghanistan.

But some say the Taliban may yet regroup and deny the Americans a final victory.

'Brought in'

Another aspect of Mullah Baradar's capture revolves around proposed talks which Western commanders and the Afghan government hope to initiate with Taliban leaders who are willing to work within the framework of the Afghan constitution.

Some quarters here indicate that the arrest may have been "orchestrated" by elements within the Pakistani establishment to facilitate back-channel talks with "willing" Taliban commanders.

This line of thinking presupposes a scenario in which the Pakistanis "brought in" Mullah Baradar under a pre-arranged pact with the CIA to pave the way for negotiations.

If true, this may indicate a serious move towards a negotiated settlement of the Afghan imbroglio.

It may also mean a fundamental shift in Pakistani strategy - from promoting its own proxies in Afghanistan to seeking an arrangement that can have wider acceptance.

But if the arrest was purely the result of CIA intelligence-gathering, then it apparently leaves little room for the Pakistanis to do anything other than to tag along and satisfy the demand of the Americans for a joint operation.

In such a scenario, one can easily imagine the tensions it may have caused both within the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan and their Pakistani backers.

It may also prove highly embarrassing for the Pakistani government, which is extremely sensitive to allegations that it is Washington's poodle.

But at the moment there are more questions than answers surrounding this most murky of affairs.

 

 

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