February 16th, 2010
03:43 PM ET

Opinion: Why Taliban capture could be huge

The capture of the Afghan Taliban's operational commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in the Pakistani city of Karachi is a signature success for the United States' effort in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it does not indicate that the insurgent movement will collapse.

In the short run, local Taliban commanders will be able to maintain the movement's operational effectiveness against U.S. and NATO troops. Over the long term, however, increased collaboration between American and Pakistani intelligence agencies could prove debilitating for the movement.

Read the full commentary from Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism research fellow at the New America Foundation, a think tank focused on innovative ideas across the political spectrum, and a research fellow with the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point.

Filed under: Baradar • Taliban • Voices
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. RT

    There must be expert advisers of both sides.

    Can we define the gains?

    February 24, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. MaxVanguard

    Pakistan attempted to "reconcile" with the Taliban in the Swat Valley, and the Taliban took advantage of that "agreement" to violently press on throughout the area, almost all the way into Islamabad.

    Any notion of reconciliation or negotiation with the Taliban will almost always be null and void from the start - they generally only enter into such negotiations to buy themselves time to regroup and prepare for their next bloody offensive.

    The Taliban's absolutism and extremism will never accept or tolerate anything less than annihilation of, or complete submission from, their enemies. To attempt negotiations with them is to simply capitulate to extremist Islam. I would hope that our government and Pakistan's government would be wise enough to never entertain the notion of attempting to negotiate some sort of peace agreement with the Taliban. The Taliban will never honor it in any way, shape, or form. Fundamentalist Islam only permits such deals as a means to an end to deceive infidels.

    February 17, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    There is no good Taliban but a dead one! You've seen one of them infiltrate the CIA and blow himself up and they probably already have infiltrated the Afghan security forces and police. We probably have suicide bombers ready to put on a vest and blow up the NATO forces soon.

    February 17, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. linda in AR

    Thanks for taking the time to post this info. Would like to hear more from you.

    I do have some questions about the situation in Pakistan that the media has not been discussing.

    Times of India asserted that the Pak Military is heavily infiltrated by Taliban. Is this true? If it is true, to what extent have they infiltrated? Is this motivation for the ISI to join the CIA/JSOC in pursuit of Taliban leadership in Pakistan. [I'm aware that India has its own issues with Pak: Nukes, Kashmir, Indus River water sharing, forced conversion of Hindus to Islam in Pak, terrorist attacks, yada]

    Asia Times is pushing the meme that the Taliban had an agreement in 1998 with AQ that forbid AQ from using Afghanistan as a base to make terrorist attacks on the west. [I'm aware of the ATimes point of view] Are elements of the Taliban attempting to distance themselves from AQ? Does this signal that there are substantial elements in the Taliban that would like to "reconcile"?

    Does the Shinwari agreement include both the Afghan Shinwari and the Pak Shinwari? Or just the Afghan Shinwari?

    February 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |