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Afghanistan – Interesting Report.

Posted by QB on October 26, 2006

There was a report few days back that UK troops pulled out from province and press conference held by British Commander Brigadier Ed Butler had said they defeated Talebans in Helmand province. The British Commander said in his press conference that their pull out is done to honor the wishes of tribal elders who assured them that they have the capability to handle Talebans. According to my own analysis for the pull out was that the Afghans don’t want the foreign troops in their region and they themselves are Talebans who had no sympathy for these foreigners. This is the eye witness report by David Loyn who traveled to that province and find out that Talebans had the total control of the area where they are moving freely displaying their arms in open trucks.

According to David Loyn Talebans are confident and well-armed, all with AK 47s, and many carrying rocket-propelled grenade launchers, which they use with lethal effect against helicopters as well as armoured vehicles and supply convoys. We shot past the burned-out remains of a Spartan armoured personnel carrier, destroyed on August 1 with the loss of three British lives. The Taleban said that when British troops first came to northern Helmand in the northern summer, they would try to go out on patrol every day. By the time they pulled out, they hardly left their bases at all.

Last week the British were forced to abandon their northernmost “platoon house” at Musa Qala, and were only able to get their vehicles after a deal brokered by local tribal elders. The plan to spread goodwill from these “inkspots”, and provide an environment to deliver aid, has had to be radically reviewed in the face of heavy Taleban attacks.

The Taleban always valued speed and mobility. It was the secret of their success when they swept aside rival mujahideen to take the capital and most of the country 10 years ago. Few carry any possessions other than weapons. They clean their teeth with pointed sticks, and carry only long shawls to cover themselves at night.

When we stopped for the night, they broke into groups to eat in different houses in a village. They demand and get food and shelter wherever they stop, but it is impossible to say how enthusiastic the villagers really are. The villagers are enthusiastic for the simple reason they still believe that they had the security under Taleban rule and the other reason for their enthusiasm is the religious and cultural brotherhood.

The Taleban commander also said that they are against the growing of opium crop which is true because they very successfully control this drug problem during their rule. Taleban believe that growing opium is un Islamic and leads to crime and the recent rise in growing opium and exporting drugs because British troops turned blind eye to this problem and by giving warlords support against Talebans.

What is clear is the Taleban are now far more numerous than the “200 core fighters” dismissed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai not so long ago. Thousands of young men, including more prosperous urban Afghans, as well as villagers, now see them as a national resistance force against international troops who have had five years and are not seen to have delivered results.

Driving around the region during the next day with a local commander, Mahmud Khan, was a little like visiting villages in Britain with a popular local politician. He knew everybody and stopped often to chat. He made a virtue of the fact that he walked around unarmed, although he carried a discreet 9mm pistol in a belt slung over the driving seat of the car.

He had gathered together an impressive display of captured weapons to show, including two American heavy machine guns – one now mounted on a wheelbarrow – that the Taleban have been using against British forces in Helmand. Driving around the region during the next day with a local commander, Mahmud Khan, was a little like visiting villages in Britain with a popular local politician. He knew everybody and stopped often to chat. He made a virtue of the fact that he walked around unarmed, although he carried a discreet 9mm pistol in a belt slung over the driving seat of the car.

He had gathered together an impressive display of captured weapons to show, including two American heavy machine guns – one now mounted on a wheelbarrow – that the Taleban have been using against British forces in Helmand. Meanwhile, the scale of institutionalised corruption carried out by the newly trained and armed Afghan National Army is shocking. They demand money at gunpoint from every driver on the main roads in the south.

The Afghans will be happy to pay to Talebans instead of paying money to people who are part of US and NATO occupation. The Talebans are gaining the strength and control of Afghanistan slowly with promises to increase the intencity of their attacks. David Loyn also think that Talebans regrouping is due to Pakistan peace pact with tribals in Waziristan. Pervez Musharraf government signed this peace deal because the conflict was affecting the stability of their country and his goernment was in great danger of losing next elections to religious parties.

Talebans are reorganizing since the US occupation and there could be doing the same without any peace deal with Pervez Musharraf government because Pakistan’s military had no control of these tribal areas. Mullah Omar recent messages shows that Taleban had the feeling that they are in control of Afghanistan. Talebans according to analysis will keep control the Afghanistan except Kabul which they will do it when it is convenient for them, they don’t like like in any rush or hurry to take back Kabul now.

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