When I lived in Pakistan I was frequently (three times maybe) offered the real story about the location of Mullah Omar. He was hiding in plain sight in Karachi selling potatoes from a handcart, I was told by people very clearly convinced it was true and by some people who clearly thought it was toss. … More Mullah Omar’s potatoes
So, if you want to know why the US does not consider the Taliban to be a terrorist organisation, Josh Earnest, White House spokesman, has an explanation. A long explanation. It’s an important point, one with all sorts of ramifications for how the US can and cannot engage with the Taliban. But it gets complicated … More “Tactics that are akin to terrorism”
It is still unclear what happened at the Afghan National Defence University on Tuesday. What we do know is that a man in Afghan army uniform opened fire killing Maj Gen Harold Greene, the highest ranking US officer killed overseas since Vietnam, and wounding many more. Inevitably those with an axe to grind have seized on … More Insider attacks and the Taliban
If you haven’t some across the Afghanistan Analysts Network then I thoroughly recommend checking out its website. Some of the best analysis around. This piece on the deal for Bowe Bergdahl’s release is well worth reading. I found the pars on the Taliban’s attitude to Pakistan the most interesting, giving an insight into Islamabad/Rawalpindi’s outlook … More Taliban: Pakistan seen as “increasingly predatory host”
Difficult to know what’s happening in North Waziristan, when the military controls access so strictly. At the moment most of the coverage is dominated by military press releases and whatever residents are able to say over the phone. The big unanswered question so far is whether the “comprehensive operation” will clear all armed groups from … More Who is in the firing line in North Waziristan?
Flicking through the latest issue of Azan, the English-language recruitment tool of the Taliban in Khurasan, and my attention is grabbed by this homage to the humble Honda 125. Apparently this motorbike is responsible for (and I’m roughly paraphrasing here) sending the Crusaders packing. All praise is due to Allah Who has made the Crusaders … More Steeds of War: The Honda 125
Interesting analysis piece in The New York Times, which seems to be confused about why the Taliban appears to be talking AND fighting at the same time… Back in Afghanistan, though, they have been the same old Taliban: fighters have waged suicide attacks that have taken an increasing toll on civilians, and on Tuesday the … More Jaw jaw and war war