Afghan assaults signal evolution of Haqqani network

The New York Times reports: Western military and intelligence officials acknowledged on Monday that they were surprised by the scale and sophistication of the synchronized attacks in Afghanistan on Sunday, seeing it as a troubling step in the evolution of the Haqqani Taliban network from a crime mob to a leading militant force.

Even as the Western officials praised the Afghan security forces’ response and sought to play down the attacks’ strategic impact, they privately agreed with the criticism by President Hamid Karzai on Monday. He said the assaults — involving dozens of attackers who crossed hundreds of miles to strike at seven different secured targets, all around 1:45 p.m. on Sunday — represented an “intelligence failure for us, and especially NATO.”

The officials said the episode raised two pivotal questions: whether the militants now had the ability to mount such audacious assaults repeatedly, rather than just once every several months, and whether the Afghan government would be able to blunt such plots after 2014, the deadline for Western troop withdrawal, when its access to allied intelligence assistance would be limited.

“It certainly seems there’s some kind of gap in intelligence collection or in sifting through the volume of what’s collected,” said John K. Wood, an associate professor at the National Defense University who was senior director for Afghanistan on the National Security Council in the Bush and Obama administrations, and who just visited Kabul.

For the Haqqani network, a family of border criminals and smugglers that has gained an astonishing notoriety in recent years as a leading killer of allied troops in Afghanistan, the attacks on Sunday represented more than just the ability to paralyze the mostly tightly secured districts of Kabul for hours. They were proof that the Taliban offshoot could create the vast network of logistical support and planning needed to mount terrorist attacks without anything leaking to the intelligence groups so tightly focused on it.

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1 thought on “Afghan assaults signal evolution of Haqqani network

  1. DE Teodoru

    Do any of you know which is worse: our CENTRAL or peripheral un-intelligence agencies? With our military having proven itself like a fish rotting at the top– all careerists for whom the military was the only other career choice besides truck driver– is it the un-intel center or the periphery, people taken in from what was available, not what was best that has made our intelligence services so unintelligent?

    It seems unfair that men and women WITH FAMILIES are still forced to serve in wars lost from the beginning– because these wars have no more meaningful objectives than run the clock to 2014– forcing these volunteers to INVOLUNTARILY go back OVER AND OVER AGAIN because there are no new volunteers for this madness to replace them. US should reinstate the draft and the Congress should be ready to face the consequences or vote for cutting off funding to this meaningless pit we are sinking into.

    When Nixon decided to lose Vietnam, he extracted a price that placed an irremovable wedge between the Soviets and Chicoms. Realizing America’s only real power, Nixon in 1969 declared that an attack on China’s nuclear installations would be seen as an attack against the USA. In return, China limited Hanoi– the Soviet proxy– to takeover of South Vietnam only, denying the Soviets the takeover of SE Asia right up to India, that Hanoi had promised. America since then has been kvetching over China as our next global enemy, just as US does now over Iran and earlier over Iraq. Do we need all these wars so that our generals don’t glut the truck driver career?

    Haqqani used to be our beloved ally, given $millions by the CIA. Suddenly, he’s the world’s worst bad guy. figthing against us with our money and guns. Having seen how we treat unarmed old guys from the way we shot binLaden point blank and couldn’t at least keep quiet about it rather than brag for political milage, how can we expect him to allow us a gracious exit? We are making it quite clear that we’re out to destroy him by SpecOps or drones, no matter how many innocent Afghans and Pakistanis we kill bungling our way to get him. Why should he be “reasonable”? Why should any Taliban be “reasonable.”? They have a weapon we can’t match: their men live only to die taking revenge on us for all the innocents we wantonly killed for no clear policy reason; we only have people who kill ONLY to stay alive so they can go home. Taliban’s people, living only to kill, are easier to train and replace than ours, trained to kill only in order to stay live. Time is on their side, as was time overwhelming our body count in Vietnam. We just don’t impress determined peoples of the Third World with our ability to kill just to stay alive. That makes us, over time, the weaker side and assures them historic victories as it did Hanoi. It’s only after we LOSE that the other side takes over and becomes as putrid as the losing side we supported. Let’s leave so Taliban can disintegrate!

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