Attrition: Foreign Wimps Fail At Jihad


August 17, 2011: For years, it was the Afghan Taliban who went to Pakistan for some rest and recuperation. That has changed, as has the type of people the Taliban are recruiting these days. It’s mainly about money. The Afghan heroin trade has lots of cash, and the Taliban are paid to keep the Afghan army and police, and the foreign troops, away from heroin and opium production (and the smuggling of most of the stuff out of the country). This has not been easy this year, and fewer Afghans are signing up for what are often suicidal missions. So more Pakistani Taliban (and other terror groups) are being imported. Pakistan was always a source of well indoctrinated young men (from the many Islamic religious schools), who were especially suitable for suicide bombing missions.

But Pakistanis are now in short supply. Pakistani and Afghan parents are no longer tolerating seeing their children being turned into suicidal fanatics. So more foreigners are being recruited. There are plenty of Arabs and Chechens who find Pakistan the easiest place to get to for those seeking Jihad (“struggle”) against infidels (non-Moslems) and possibly a glorious death for Islam. Somalia, Yemen and Chechnya are all either too chaotic or too heavily policed. Pakistan has never made a really strong effort to control the flow of suspicious foreigners. Just say you’re a tourist, and make an effort to look like one, and you are on your way. Introductions and travel directions can be obtained beforehand via the internet.

The problem with using foreigners and amateurs in the tribal territories (on both sides of the Afghan border) is that these guys don’t know their way around and have been easy pickings for Afghan and NATO troops. There’s enough drug money sloshing around southern Afghanistan to keep lots of new people coming in, but it’s not the same as it was. A few years ago, you had to deal with local lads, who at least knew the country and were accustomed to running up and down all those hills. The newbies know little and are not usually in shape to keep moving. Instead of hard-to-catch tribal warriors, you have a lot of ill-prepared targets.



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