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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Taleban commander captured

I do not know enough to determine whether the arrest of the Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will significantly disrupt Taleban actions, but there are a couple of interesting points.

1) The arrest was a joint CIA-Pakistan operation in Karachi. According to the NYTimes, the operation was Pakistani with CIA ride along, and that Baradar is now sitting in Pakistani custody. (a) the ISI conducted a Taleban secure operation? b) Pakistani custody could mean either an easy ride or torture.)

2) At this point, it's unclear how much he'll talk, but Baradar certainly knows many of the contacts and names of the Taleban helpers within the ISI and Pakistani military. In theory, this could seriously disrupt the Taleban support structure inside the Pakistani government, substantially reshaping the political landscape there. (However, you gotta figure PM Gilani is probably under increased threat until that housecleaning takes place.)

Later: (AP) A Pakistani claim in the AP that "Baradar was arrested 10 days ago with the assistance of the United States and "was talking" to his interrogators."

3) The BBC floats an interesting theory that Baradar may have been turned in by more moderate elements of the Taleban/tribal structure who are wanting to talk to the US and find some negotiated peace.

4) The intelligence that led to this arrest ten days ago is very probably of the same tree that led to all the missile attacks in the last two weeks. I wonder if the intel was there and they held the missile attacks until after the arrest, or if the missile attacks came from intel obtained during the raid? Those could have different implications for operations going forward.

5) Not coincidental this release came the day after Cheney went after Obama on terrorism? Former Presidents continue to receive briefings. Former Vice Presidents don't. (And no one in the intelligence structure tipped Cheney that this was going on. His cadre has no friends in the very inside careerists.)


  • Point number 5 is the most interesting of all to me. I guess I'm just a shallow, soap opera type. :(

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:55 AM  

  • I agree. His appearance was highly publicized, as was the topic, and to think that nobody on the inside said anything to him really says alot about where he falls.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 11:02 AM  

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