Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mullah Dadullah dead -- maybe

I can't help but just be a little skeptical at this morning's news that the senior Taliban military figure in Afghanistan, Mullah Dadullah, has been killed in action. This isn't the first time he's been reported dead only to turn up later ... not the first time that someone else's body has been paraded to the media.

And it really wouldn't be the end of the story. Dadullah recently told the BBC he's trained hundreds of insurgents to launch sneak attacks against the US-led coalition of which Canada is a part. And while the rebel Taliban "government" is a rather loose network as are al-Qaeda, its comrades in terror, it won't take long to find someone to take his place if the news is true.

Ho Chi Minh's strategy to beat the Americans in Vietnam was exactly the same one the Patriots used in their revolution against Britain two hundred years before; to wear them down. The US may have had the numbers but Uncle Ho and the Viet Cong had the lay of the land and used it to their advantage. And let's face it, it's what the Taliban is using right now.

While satellite mapping technology has significantly closed the home team advantage since the 1960s, the fact is all the gizmos in the world won't anticipate the worst case scenarios in street combat -- the enemy could be hiding anywhere, anytime. That's why Iraq is a lost cause and why the West is barely skimming in Afghanistan. And if real results aren't shown on the ground such as a move to a sustainable economy and reliable infrastructure such as water and electricity the people on the ground will give up and switch loyalties to their former tormentors for at least they had something under them.

I only hope this news is true, because NATO and our other like-minded allies have a small window, say by September, to close the gap and at least have a grasp of the upper hand. If not, we may as well begin demobilizing. We need to get rid of the Taliban senior command, all of them and fast and then go after their underlings. To be blunt, I'm not very optimistic anymore of our ability to do so.

Vote for this post at Progressive Bloggers.

No comments: