Taliban Strategy in Afghanistan

solarz

Brigadier
Afghan Taliban says rehearsed attack for two months - Yahoo! News Canada

We've talked about how IEDs and mines are wreaking havoc upon NATO forces. However, those are obviously insufficient by themselves, as the Taliban does carry out attacks with fighters.

In the latest attack on Kabul, the Taliban sent out 30-some suicide fighters. Judging from the report, it's difficult to see what impact, if any, resulted from this attack.

So why do they carry out these attacks? What's the purpose? Just to show that they can? Does the Taliban even have an effective military strategy, aside from "waiting for NATO to leave"?

---------- Post added at 11:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:47 AM ----------

oops, this should probably be in the World Armed Forces forum.
 

delft

Brigadier
No doubt this thread will be moved.
The fact that so many people with so much hardware was introduced into a heavily defended city will prove to many, Afghans and foreigners, that the position of the occupiers is too weak now but it cannot be strengthened for political reasons and will be weakened soon. So all Afghans will prepare for the take over by Taliban, each in his own way.
 

Kurt

Junior Member
It's about getting into the news. As long as the Taliban are mentioned in the news as killing people, especially NATO soldiers, they are not considered defeated while the oublic paying for these soldiers question whether this will really ever end and if the whole money and lives is worth it. However, because the Taliban do as drastic things as sending out large suicide squads, I do have doubts about them being able to maintain their current strength under these conditions and the Taliban will never be able to run this country as long as the drones operate above them. The more power they gain, the more visible targets they become. So Afghanistan is likely in for decades of bloodshed, long after the end of the official NATO occupation with drones hovering above them.
 

solarz

Brigadier
It's about getting into the news. As long as the Taliban are mentioned in the news as killing people, especially NATO soldiers, they are not considered defeated while the oublic paying for these soldiers question whether this will really ever end and if the whole money and lives is worth it. However, because the Taliban do as drastic things as sending out large suicide squads, I do have doubts about them being able to maintain their current strength under these conditions and the Taliban will never be able to run this country as long as the drones operate above them. The more power they gain, the more visible targets they become. So Afghanistan is likely in for decades of bloodshed, long after the end of the official NATO occupation with drones hovering above them.
I think the Taliban is motivated more by ideology than strategy. With reports of secret meetings and the Taliban detaining the head of its military council, I believe there is a split between the idealists who want to keep fighting until they return Afghanistan to a Dark Ages Islamic state, and those who are willing to bargain with NATO.
 

delft

Brigadier
The US don't want to leave, they have building plans on their bases for another six years or so, but it will be really difficult to maintain paying for a war in the country that they cannot win. After the US leave the Taliban, the probable next rulers, will need weapons and they don't want opium production to pay of them. They had just abolished the growing of poppies when the US invaded and restarted the opium industry.
China has agreed mining contracts with Afghanistan which at least a faction of the Taliban, the richer faction, will want to see executed. That requires the recognition of the administration in Kabul and the delivery of weapons, possibly for use against other factions in Afghanistan, even other factions of the Taliban, but also against any US drones. Iran too might want to provide weapons to ensure a friendly attitude in Kabul and so avoid trouble.
I wonder how many years it will take to arrange some form of peace in the country but after that has been achieved the production of ore, natural gas and even oil will change the country beyond recognition.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
That may be too optimistic a view Delft.

The recent Taliban attacks are not about trying to drive out NATO, despite all the media hype, a new Taliban Tet offensive these attacks are not.

The attacks are more psychological than physical, and are designed to remind Afghans that the Taliban is still alive and kicking, and will outlast NATO and the Americans.

No-one is going to go out of their way to pi$$ off the Taliban to curry American favor when they know that in a few years the Americans will be gone and the Taliban will be making house calls to repay old debts.

The American and NATO mission in Afghanistan is dead, American and NATO just isn't ready to accept that yet, but the Taliban are already making plans for after the funeral, and so are ordinary Afghans.

I see a similar situation as what happened when the Soviets left, with another full blown civil war and messy house cleaning by all sides. Foreign firms will probably get caught in the crossfire and pull out eventually.

The Chinese and everyone else investing in mining knows this, so don't expect them to be making long-term plans or investments. It will be a quick strip mining operation whereby the mining companies dig as much out of the ground and ship it back home as quickly as possible and hope they make enough of a profit to make the whole deal worth while before they are forced to pull out because of security concerns.
 

solarz

Brigadier
No-one is going to go out of their way to pi$$ off the Taliban to curry American favor when they know that in a few years the Americans will be gone and the Taliban will be making house calls to repay old debts.
Indeed, it seems that the current Afghanistan regime is actively trying to curry favors with the Taliban:

Afghan leader Karzai calls for Taliban 'brothers' to bargain, not bomb - latimes.com

article said:
The Afghan president, who appeared to be laying groundwork for talks leading up to a landmark NATO summit to be held in late May in Chicago, said he looked forward to the departure of Western troops in 2014 “so that we will no longer be a burden on them.”

But the foreign community should continue to provide substantial aid to Afghanistan, he said.

“We want at least 4 to 5 billion dollars a year,” Karzai said. “That is enough for us.”
LOL!
 
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delft

Brigadier
I think the contracts will serve to keep competitors out, but the miners and oil and gas men will keep off investing big time until the political situation will become clear. But the Islam is in origin a religion of traders, indeed was less dependent on violence for its spread than was Christianity, and as Afghanistan is surrounded by Muslim countries trading will return. But it will take many years before a railway line from China to Tehran will run through northern Afghanistan.
 

Kurt

Junior Member
Teheran is the other big issue in the field. It seems pretty obvious that war is coming down on Iran, probably for securing the oil supply from this region and thus world dominance. So Afghanistan is just a minor stepping stone. I still consider the Taliban affair overblown, they are better organized than their opponents, but they can't return to their former power as long as the air is NATO homeground. The more power the Taliban gain, the more of them will have to pay for pissing someone. Things will get very ugly and CIA, but no Taliban win, just a massacre of all kinds of Afghani and a draw between NATO and Taliban at best (more likely some Taliban will turn in their brothers-in-arms for lots of money the Soviets lacked).
 

delft

Brigadier
The supply of the US and NATO forces through Pakistan is limited, and weapons and ammunition are excluded. These materials also shouldn't be transported over the Northern Distribution Network. Remains transport by air from India, which has a limited capacity.
Australia is getting out of Afghanistan a year early, what will other countries do?
It is said that China opposes US aggression against Iran. It is possible that in that case transport by way of Pakistan and NDN to Afghanistan would be cut entirely, so how likely is it that Obama would take the risk?
 
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