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America’s New Nightmare

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by X-PASTER, Jul 28, 2009.


    X-PASTER Moderator

    Jul 28, 2009
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Messages: 11,651
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    If you thought the longtime head of the Taliban was bad, you should meet his no. 2.
    Soon after 4,000 U.S. marines flooded into Afghanistan's Helmand River Valley on July 2, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar called top Taliban regional commanders together for an urgent briefing. The meeting took place in southwestern Pakistan—not far from the Afghan border but safely out of the Americans' reach. Baradar told the commanders he wanted just one thing: to keep the Taliban's losses to a minimum while maximizing the cost to the enemy.

    Don't try to hold territory against the Americans' superior firepower by fighting them head-on, he ordered. Rely on guerrilla tactics whenever possible. Plant "flowers"—improvised explosive devices—on trails and dirt roads. Concentrate on small-unit ambushes, with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. He gave his listeners a special warning: he would hold each of them responsible for the lives of their men. "Keep your weapons on your backs and be on your motorcycles," Baradar exhorted them. "America has greater military strength, but we have greater faith and commitment."

    In all likelihood, you’ve never heard of Mullah Baradar. The only Taliban leader most people know is Mullah Mohammed Omar, the unworldly, one-eyed village preacher who held the grand title amir-ul-momineen—"leader of the faithful"—when he ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s. Omar remains a high-value target, with a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head. But he hasn't been seen in at least three years, even by his most loyal followers, and rarely issues direct orders anymore. In his place, the adversary that American forces are squaring off against in Afghanistan—the man ultimately responsible for the spike in casualties that has made July the deadliest month for Coalition soldiers since the war began in 2001—is Baradar. A cunning, little-known figure, he may be more dangerous than Omar ever was... Read more