Aug 28 2008
I have been collecting up articles on events in our final major front in the war on terror as the Democrat convention has limped along. But today is a good day to do a overview of recent activities to remind ourselves the differences between Bill Clinton and George Bush on the threat of al-Qaeda. Bill Clinton’s signature effort against Bin Laden’s attack was his attack on an empty aspirin factory. Sadly the factory was in the Sudan, while our enemy was building his forces in Afghanistan.Â Very Macho Bill.Â
Under a much more forceful and successful President (George W Bush) we have seen a lot happen and no attacks on US soil or overseas assets since 9-11. Now we have al-Qaeda and the Taliban boxed into the tribal regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and they are being slowly squeezed to death by US/NATO/Afghan forces to the north and Pakistani forces to the south. Just recently the outline of a plan for the end game was being reported:
Western special forces are poised to increase their clandestine military operations in Pakistan to stop the flood of Taliban fighters pouring into Afghanistan, amid concerns that the militants are “winning the war”.
As fears grow that the Taliban’s strength has been underestimated and not enough is being done to stop militants crossing Afghanistan’s porous border, Western forces are considering taking the controversial step of carrying out more missions in Pakistan.
In recent weeks, increased attacks by Taliban fighters on Western and Afghan targets, including the killing of 10 French soldiers and the attempted storming of an American base, have been linked by Nato officials to peace deals struck between the militants and Pakistan’s government and an unwillingness in some parts of the Islamabad establishment to confront extremists.
The news media is great at exaggerating and fear mongering – but this has been the plan all along. Unless they have the attention span of a gnat they must recall all those predator strikes into Pakistan. And there have been border complexes being built to monitor and engage militants as they cross the border. And I have been reporting for nearly 9 months now that the US and UK have special forces inside Pakistan right now.
The media is melodramatic whenever our enemies get a good hit in – they focused on 9 US soldiers being killed when 40 allied forces held off 200+ militants, never once reporting the number of enemy killed which was probably 10 to one. That’s their liberal way. But the joint efforts north and south by the allied forces aligned with the US have taken out somewhere between 600-900 militant fighters in the last few months alone. Here is just one example from this week:
Pakistani troops Wednesday killed up to 50 militants, including foreign fighters, near the troubled Afghan border amid an upsurge in Taliban-inspired bloodshed, security officials said.
More than 30 rebels died in the Bajaur tribal district, a hub of Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, where government forces have for three weeks been conducting an extensive operation to destroy their hideouts.
“Security forces killed 25-30 militants, including some important commanders and foreigners in Bajaur’s Raghan region,” a security official told AFP.
In another clash, Pakistani helicopter gunships pounded militant hideouts on Wednesday in a different part of Bajaur bordering Afghanistan, killing eight rebels and wounding 12 others, a separate security official said.
Pakistani forces moved into Bajaur earlier this month.
No European armed force I know of could take these kinds of casualties in a sustained manner, so I am fairly confident these ragtag, pop-gun toting terrorists can’t either. Â Seasoned fighters yes. But without heavy armor and air attack systems (not to mention our eyes and ears for intelligence and monitoring from above) these tested fighters are still nothing more than caged and outgunned animals.
Bajaur Agency in FATA is one hornets nest of militants. The other is in South Waziristan where I think the last battles will be fought against an ailing and sick Taliban leader. There areÂ sporadicÂ flair ups there now (for example), but my guess is the Pakistanis are trying to push the terrorist from the east towards the west so as to chase them into Iran (we did about the same thing in Iraq, except of course in the opposite direction).
The clearing of Swat in the NWFP is top priority. Once that area is cleared I believe the militants will be totally isolated in the FATA Agencies. Bajaur is being cleansed now since it is apparently where the militants are launching their offensive into Swat from. The next Agency to cleanse is Kurram where local tribes have been battling the militants for months on their own. Then Khyber followed by the end game in South Waziristan.
All the while the US, NATO and Afghan forces cordon off all avenues of escape to the north. The enemy is surrounded and now faces extinction. As far as I know no aspirin factories have been damaged in the effort.