May 3, 2008

THERE IS NO AFGHANISTAN:

An Enemy on the Run: In Afghanistan, the Challenge Beyond al-Qaeda (David Ignatius, May 4, 2008, Washington Post)

The most interesting discovery during a visit to this city where Osama bin Laden planted his flag in 1996 is that al-Qaeda seems to have all but disappeared. The group is on the run, too, in Iraq, and that raises some interesting questions about how to pursue this terrorist enemy.

"Al-Qaeda is not a topic of conversation here," says Col. Mark Johnstone, the deputy commander of Task Force Bayonet, which oversees four provinces surrounding Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. Lt. Col. Pete Benchoff agrees: "We're not seeing a lot of al-Qaeda fighters. They've shifted here to facilitation and support."

You hear the same story farther north from the officers who oversee the provinces along the Pakistan border. A survey conducted last November and December in Nuristan, once an al-Qaeda stronghold, found that the group barely registered as a security concern among the population.

The enemy in these eastern provinces is a loose amalgam of insurgent groups, mostly linked to traditional warlords.


No one has ever quelled the tribal warfare there. Nor will they.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 3, 2008 11:21 AM
Comments

OJ,
Your closing comment is spot on. Even tho' I'm not quite sure you know why.
In that vein, maybe you could quit hawking the horrible "Sins" and begin offering the non-fiction "Lone Survivor" as a book worthy of reading/awarding.
http://www.amazon.com/Lone-Survivor-Eyewitness-Account-Operation/dp/0316067601/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209866997&sr=1-1

Posted by: Mike at May 3, 2008 9:10 PM
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