Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Taliban's military plans

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    Friday, October 05, 2007

    Taliban's military plans

    KARACHI - Following the success of their 2006 spring offensive, the Taliban were expected to make even further gains in Afghanistan this year. It never happened, due to strong pre-emptive action by Western coalition forces in Afghanistan and Pakistani military action against Taliban bases in the Pakistani tribal areas.

    the Pakistani military has re-engaged militants in the tribal areas, severely choking their supply arteries.

    In the past 10 days, however, militants have launched at least nine carefully planned operations against security positions in both North Waziristan and South Waziristan, and in towns in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), including Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan, and in the Swat Valley.

    As a result, all security operations against the Taliban and their al-Qaeda colleagues in the tribal areas have stopped, and by all accounts the army is running scared. It is estimated that Pakistan has 100,000 troops and 1,000 military posts along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border....

    Taliban and their supporters now have the breathing space to replenish stocks and prepare for their new push into Afghanistan. It is envisaged that at least 20,000 fully trained fresh men from at least 16 entry points along the Durand Line that separates Pakistan and Afghanistan will be sent into Afghanistan.

    According to people who spoke to Asia Times Online and who are familiar with the planning, the main points will be Noshki (in Balochistan province), Ghulam Khan (North Waziristan), Angur Ada (South Waziristan), Shawal (North Waziristan), and Chitral and Bajuar agencies.

    The new forces will go to the front lines in Afghanistan in the southeastern provinces of Ghazni, Khost, Gardez, Paktia and Paktika,
    and many of them will be trained suicide bombers.

    The strategy to attack the Pakistani Army is being orchestrated by a cabal of former army officers who have joined up with the militants in Waziristan. (See Military brains plot Pakistan's downfall Asia Times Online, September 26). They draw inspiration from the guerrilla strategy used by Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap against the French and the Americans. Given the backoff by the Pakistani military, their plans are working, at least for now.

    Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at SOURCE

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