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Afghan Forces to Defect to Taliban?

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.

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  • Kenny

    I sure this is true — if not now then eventually.

    And we can thank the community organizer in the Oval Office. He has screwed up the economy and now he’s making a mess of foreign affaires.

  • John Burke

    It is not a claim to ignore. The storied “Afghan way of war” relies heavily on going with the flow. Many of the Afghan troops (though not the Arab and other foreigners) fighting with the Taliban as of 9/11/01 had changed sides two or three times since the Soviet pullout. Many changed again as US bombs and missiles pummeled them, surrendering to various “Northern Alliance” forces. Most went home for awhile only to reappear on the battlefield as either Taliban or members of the new national army. By and large, these guys follow local leaders of their subclans or “warlords” (which is much the same thing). Indeed, it would be surprising if they were not keeping in touch with the Taliban,

  • Mrs. Davis

    Remember Elphinstone.

  • Tom Holsinger

    Nothing has changed. This is normal in Afghanistan. You can’t _buy_ Afghans. You can only rent them for as long as they feel doing whatever for you as opposed to someone else, or just for the jollies themselves.

  • JeremyR

    There’s very little difference ideologically between the Taliban and the Afghans we are supporting (who do things like force women to marry their rapist).

    Afghans are determined to be in the stone age.

  • Cunctator

    Should we be surprised? The West’s war aims never took account of the socio-political realities on the ground.

  • Walter Sobchak

    Of course they will. The Taliban is the armed militia of the Pashtun ethnos. It is funded and trained by the Pakistani military and intelligence establishments, who are also dominated by Pashtuns. The surprising thing is that the Pakistanis are not begging to make a deal. But, I think they prefer having American hostages.

    What I would do is to get all Americans out of Afghanistan ASAP, and once they were out, I would obliterate the Pakistani military’s physical assets. Then, I would cut off their aid and send a letter to India telling them that Pakistan and Afghanistan are their problem, and that we do not care what they do with the Pakistanis who are a rum lot, and are not to be trusted.

  • Luke Lea

    So maybe a sudden unannounced withdrawal would be better? It would certainly be cheaper.

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