Recently a secret ISAF report titled ‘State of the Taliban 2012’ was leaked to the BBC and Daily Mail*. Based upon 27,000 interviews of 4,000 captives over the years, the report describes a rather bleak picture for the coalition.
We still have problems with knowing which side the ISI is on.
t notes: “Pakistan’s manipulation of the Taliban senior leadership continues unabatedly”.
It says that Pakistan is aware of the locations of senior Taliban leaders.
“Senior Taliban representatives, such as Nasiruddin Haqqani, maintain residences in the immediate vicinity of ISI headquarters in Islamabad,” it said.
From the AAN:
ISI officers tout the need for continued jihad and expulsion of foreign invaders from Afghanistan
And the winning comment:
It quotes a senior al-Qaeda detainee as saying: “Pakistan knows everything. They control everything. I can’t on a tree in Kunar without them watching.”
Allow me to try to spin this in the best light I can find. We’ll start with this quote and mash it up with the one above (and if I had to guess, they’re probably closely located in the original report):
“The Taliban leadership controls nearly all insurgent activity in Afghanistan. Outside groups such as al-Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and others must receive permission from Taliban leaders prior to conducting operations on Afghan territory. Despite public statements suggesting distance between the Taliban and international extremists, no formal split has yet occurred. However many with the Taliban appear prepared to enforce a separation from these groups should they receive orders from the Taliban central shura in Quetta, Pakistan.”
Official TwShiloh ‘glass is half full outlook’: This might be an indicator that we need not worry about an organization which has the intent and develops the capability to launch sophisticated international terrorist attacks coming out of Afghanistan for awhile. Assuming the government (ahem) of Afghanistan collapses shortly after the coalition leaves (and let’s remember, the government survived the departure of the Soviet Union by a couple of years) the Taliban and ISI will probably be so focused on consolidating power that we might have several years before another al-Qaida can pop back into the game.
Of course, the likelihood that our next terrorist threat will look like the last one seems to be pretty slim.
*Just a side rant. This thing was quoted like crazy in the press and on Twitter but no one would release the danged thing so we could see the original document? It’s hard to evaluate reporting without having the original and we here at TwShiloh are frustrated at the press for playing both sides of the fence on this. Either it’s too sensitive to reveal or release it. Sorry, I’m not confident in trusting the press to know what is safe for me to know and what they should protect me from.