Asia Times is reporting today that, according to “well-placed sources in the Taliban”, large numbers of soldiers in the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police plan to defect to the Taliban after international forces pull out of the country.
The Taliban source claimed that leading commanders of both the ANA and the ANP had contacted Taliban leaders through tribal liaisons in southeastern, southwestern and northern Afghanistan and requested to join the Taliban unreservedly once the peace talks bore fruit and paved the way for the draw-down of foreign troops…A top Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistan Taliban) commander, Mullah Nazeer Ahmad, independently confirmed the Taliban claims of planned defections from the ANA and the ANP. His militants hold sway in the South Waziristan tribal area and across the border in Afghanistan’s Paktika, Zabul, Ghazni and Kandahar provinces.
These claims are unconfirmed and could easily be just talk. Yet, as Via Meadia has often warned, committing to a withdrawal deadline in the near future might make withdrawal harder and more expensive. The administration telegraphs its moves, and it isn’t helping.