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Shades of Jefferson Davis
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A cross-dressing Taliban Mullah (not that there's anything wrong with that) was captured today in Afghanistan:
Afghan soldiers have captured a Taliban leader who tried to flee a security operation in the south dressed in a burqa, NATO said on Wednesday.

Tuesday's capture in Kandahar province came as NATO launched a major offensive in neighboring Helmand to secure a key hydroelectric dam and combat the opium trade.

The man was named as Mullah Mahmood and described as an expert bomb-maker.
Heh ... bet the boys in prison are going to give old Mahmood a bit of grief over that.

I've been following the developments in Afghanistan with interest. Afghanistan, because of its harsh climate, has always been a place were wars were fought in season. Winter was one of those seasons where everyone rested up, restocked, and got ready for the inevitable spring offensives. NATO is trying, with its latest attack, to change that paradigm. And it is a very good idea.

It's "getting inside the enemy's decision cycle" that I talk about often. Doing that is one of the key elements to battlefield success. If you act before he can, he has to react. And if he reacts, he usually only has a few real and good options. If you've wargamed those and planned contingencies around his probable reactions, then you can get inside that decision cycle as well and stuff him again.

It is a bit like being 3 or 4 moves ahead in chess. That's precisely what this winter offensive is all about.
"We will continue our operations on enemy forces to defeat and confuse the Taliban leadership and their narco-trafficking associates and establish the conditions for reconstruction and development," NATO spokesman Colonel Tom Collins told reporters.
Now of course, the reason we see drug trafficking brought into this is because the Taliban are promising them protection for a cut. It's a financing mechanism. NATO is attempting to cut that off. Tactically and strategically, that makes sense.

Anyway the point here is many have been worried about a renewed and stronger Taliban going back on the offensive in the spring and having some success. This operation, "Operation Achilles" is an effort to thwart that ability. It also gives alliance soldiers and Afgan troops a chance to work together in a major operation.

Given this effort, it'll be interesting to see what the Taliban are able to actually do come spring.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

"If you act before he can, he has to react. And if he reacts, he usually only has a few real and good options."

An excellent post McQ. Making your opponent react puts him back on his heels. Back on his heels, he is not pushing the agenda but are having to react to an agenda other than one of is choosing. All initiative (momentum to the football fans out there) is lost.

And the key then is, as you said, anticipating and being ready to take advantage of the few options he has left. It will be interesting to see if, once the initiative is gained, the coalition forces continue to push the Taliban and maintain it.
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
And surely there’s got to be some Shahira law against guys dressing as women too.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
A cross-dressing Taliban Mullah (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

Dean Esmay? Is that you?
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
We caught Arabs trying to enter Afghanistan like that after 9/11.

So, what do you do with those guys? No crime, really, but they obviously were trying to sneak in to join the jihad. You have to detain them for the duration unfortunately or try to turn them.

This is why the law enforcement model for dealing with AQ has problems.

Just like there’s nothing illegal about have a magnet in your rear end.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Beards and burqas don’t mix, do they?
Written By: Ron
"Afghan soldiers have captured a Taliban leader who tried to flee a security operation in the south dressed in a burqa, NATO said on Wednesday"

Well, that’s his story and he is going to stick to it.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
It will remain seasonal as many of the Taliban will low low in Pakistan until the winter snows have melted in the mountain passes. And then they will come back out just like last year.
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://

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