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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Friday, February 19, 2010

Key Taleban capture was a mistake

Oh, you gotta love this.

In the NYTimes, the arrest of the Taleban number two is being reported as something of a mistake by the Pakistanis. They were supposedly looking to arrest some of Baradar's lieutenants who they knew were meeting. It was only later when they were sorting out identities that they realized they had (accidentally) seized such a key Taleban figure.

Kinda reshapes that "have the Pakistanis changed their stance" question, eh?

(Curious. The intelligence and targeting for the raid was supplied by the US. Think the US tricked the Pakistanis into this key arrest?

Was it an op on the Pakistanis to force them onto a path of further cooperation? It's not like they can easily go backwards from here.

OR, is the "accidental arrest" story the lie, to give the Pakistanis domestic political cover?)

Later: The WaPo is carrying a very different " the result of increasing cooperation" version of the story.

I also find it interesting that the Pakistanis are signing onto comments like these, crediting Obama as the reason, and indirectly blaming the previous administration for any lack of progress.
Pakistan's decision to go after the Afghan Taliban leadership reflects a quiet shift underway since last fall, said officials from both countries, who cited a November letter from President Obama to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as a turning point....

Later: The AP lists some of the others arrested in the sweeps, seemingly some medium sized fish.


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