|Taliban wrests control of Zambul from US|
|Monday, 11 August , 2003, 10:51|
|Washington: The Taliban has wrested control of most of Zabul province in southeastern Afghanistan-- for the first time recapturing a province since being ousted from power by the US military in November 2001-- geopolitical analytical firm Stratfor reported. |
Stratfor said its sources have confirmed reports first published on a Web site maintained by Muslim jihadists, jihadunspun.com, that Taliban fighters, in concert with al Qaeda forces, have have retaken Zabul.
The advance also underscores the stalemate between the United States and its Afghan allies against the Taliban. It indicates that the alliance formed in early 2002 between the Taliban, al Qaeda and Hizb-i-Islami -- the party led by Afghan war lord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar -- is paying off for the militants, Stratfor said in a report.
It said Zabul is of strategic and military importance for a number of reasons. Taking Zabul cuts off US troops stationed to the south in Kandahar from the bulk of US troops located to the north toward Kabul, it said, and given that Helmand and Oruzgan provinces to the north of Zabul already are Taliban strongholds, the group can better try to isolate US and local provincial troops in Kandahar and eventually attempt to retake Kandahar as well.
Also, controlling Zabul gives the Taliban a way to cut lines of logistics, troop supply and communication between US and coalition troops in Kandahar and in Paktika and Paktia provinces to the east and along the border with Pakistan.
The Taliban's ability to retake virtually all of a province of such strategic importance is partly explained by the fact that the south has been the Taliban's traditional stronghold, Stratfor said.
Beginning in late March and early April -- expecting the United States would be preoccupied with the war in Iraq -- the Taliban perceived an opportunity to begin regrouping, particularly in Zabul, Oruzgan, Kandahar, Helmand, Nimruz and Farah.
Playing a key role in the Taliban's success has been disaffection among southern Afghans helping the ousted group to recruit fighters and to garner support from the local population. This disaffection stems partly from a sense that development promised by the central government and the United States is proceeding at a snail's pace.
Taliban attacks have halted virtually all work by international aid agencies, the report said. Also, many Pushtuns reportedly feel they are underrepresented at the national level, even though President Hamid Karzai is an ethnic Pushtun.
The US does not seem as interested in Afghanistan and as committed to rebuilding it as they once made out and the "decisive victory" now appears less so.
What does this mean to Iraq which surely is an even bigger problem and more difficult nut to crack?
Just announced, Canadian peacekeepers will be sent to Afghanistan, on what could be, a dangerous mission.
It's probably the first major peacekeeping mission from Canada to this part of the world in recent memory.
As I had suspected, several months ago, that this would happen.
I wish the Canadian peacekeepers luck, and the Afghani people, success at rebuilding their nation.
Any chance I could get the link to the original report?
Thanks Razor, but no. I was hoping for Joanna's link. I can find stuff about the UN suspending road travel, which they do from time to time, and some stuff about taliban attacks in the south but I cant find the article she is showing. Not that I doubt her veracity its just I would like to know where this is coming from.
We'll drop a few bombs on loads of innocent people
Destroy a few homes,
Kill a few children
All under the false pretense of 'looking for Bin Laden'
Then we will back up out of there !!!!
GO USA !
Georgie boy didn't finish the war in Afghanistan and is now too preoccupied with Iraq. He promised to rebuild that country and didn't do anything now he wants us to believe he will help rebuild Iraq!!! Can you say "quagmire" anyone?
Palestinians are blowing up busses and restaurants under the pretense of fighting Israel in the name of Allah - so how is that any better than dropping bombs on the heavily armed Taliban?
By looking at your photograph, I can tell that you wouldn't have lasted very long in Afghanistan unless you grew your beard and went to the nearest mosque three times a day. Do you think it's fair that someone point a gun at your head because you don't believe in Allah? Do you think it's fair that women in Afghanistan are treated with less dignity than livestock?