Counter-Terrorism: Hated, But Necessary

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September 5, 2010: For the last two years, there have been fewer and fewer foreigners found among Afghan Taliban killed in action. That's because Afghanistan is a dangerous place for the largely foreign (and Arab) members of al Qaeda, who stand out, and are even more disliked than the Taliban. Most Afghans see the al Qaeda foreigners as cruel and evil, and are often quick to turn them in. Al Qaeda has a long history of being evil in Afghanistan. Back in the 1990s, when al Qaeda operated openly in Afghanistan, they had a deal with the Taliban to provide a brigade of gunmen. These, largely Arab, fighters were used to punish tribes that were giving the Taliban a hard time. Afghans have not forgotten, so now al Qaeda foreigners keep hidden. That suits the Taliban just fine, because these few hundred al Qaeda are mostly literate and many have bomb making skills, and military training. So the Arabs and Chechens of al Qaeda are a valuable source of technical skills. This includes al Qaeda still in Pakistan, where the Pakistani Army has stopped short of overrunning the last Taliban strongholds in North Waziristan (right on the Afghan border.)

 

 


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