Does Andy know about Google News?

As Google News delivered another daily summary of Afghanistan news to our inbox, we wondered if Andrew “Liberation has worked in Afghanistan” Sullivan knows of this wonderful service. Perhaps it is not stupidity but mere ignorance that explains why he doesn’t see that the Taliban are still out there, and that beyond Kabul things have not worked out according to plan. We’re busy today, but if someone can email him and ask, that would be great. And now, another Afghanistan roundup:

On The Job With A Taliban Recruiter
Abdul is unflagging in his rounds because he has an almost missionary zeal: to find recruits for jihad – or holy war -waged by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Himself blinded in one eye from action in Afghanistan, Abdul tells prospective recruits: “You might fight at the front line, or you might stand guard at night. You can cook for other Islamic warriors, or you can be a male nurse. Or you can give the fighters money or grain – everything is welcome because the jihad has started.”

On Abdul’s most recent foray into Afghanistan he was accompanied by 14 youths from the remote Pakistani tribal areas in Killa Abdullah district in northern Balochistan province, whom he had rallied to the cause to fight against the “foreign invaders”. Since his return he has another six lined up, all of whom are ready to cross the porous border. He took the last batch to a post in Zabul province, but he has no idea where the fresh recruits will go.

“I have already sent a message to Taliban commanders to seek instructions,” Abdul says, “We will go wherever our services are needed.” In recent months the Taliban have become more brazen and open in their operations, and they are known to be within relatively easy contact by wireless sets or by satellite phones. “The Taliban also have radios and regularly listens to the BBC’s Pashtu service to keep themselves abreast of the situation in the Muslim world, especially in Iraq.”

Afghan optimism blooms

A consortium of a dozen aid groups, including CARE, conducted the survey from April to June. Workers visited eight areas of the country that they considered safe and interviewed 1,479 people individually and 375 others in group discussions.

“There were a large number of areas in the south and southeast that we were not able to go to because we feared for the security of either the staff or the communities,” O’Brien said.

Hillary to spend Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

[Insert your own comments here boys and girls!]

Pakistan tries again to shutter terror groups

Thousands of Islamic militants like Ejaz have changed their cellphones and shifted to mosques and remote locations to evade another government crackdown on groups responsible for violence in Pakistan, Kashmir, and Aghanistan. This latest round targeted six organizations, including several banned last year only to reemerge under new names – demonstrating the ability of the militants to stay several steps ahead of Islamabad.

Turkish Engineer Still Captive in Afghanistan; Rescue Efforts Fall Short

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai announced that an operation, in the works for nearly for a month, to rescue kidnapped Turkish engineer Hasan Onal had been postponed at the last moment.

As a move to secure a delay and the life of Onal, the offer of money to the Taliban was effective. [Mission accomplished then?!?]

Taliban call for Afghan election boycott

Kabul: Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban have called for a boycott of next year’s presidential election and a holy war against US troops while also threatening attacks on those working with foreigners or in the Afghan police and army. …
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the killing of a French UN worker and for a bomb blast Saturday night near Kabul’s Intercontinental hotel, which is popular with foreigners. The explosion shattered windows but did not cause any casualties.

NATO’s ’embarrassing’ Afghan gaps

KABUL, Afghanistan (Reuters) — NATO Secretary-General George Robertson will press alliance nations next week to fill “embarrassing” gaps in resources available to the 5,700-strong peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, diplomats said on Wednesday.

They said the so-far fruitless search for allies willing to provide helicopters and intelligence officers in Kabul was starting to undermine the credibility of NATO’s ambition to expand its mission beyond the capital.

“We still haven’t got the faintest idea how we will meet the shortfalls,” said one diplomat. “There’s an embarrassment factor coming in now.”

Emphasis added in all cases. Happy thanksgiving everyone!



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