A Week Shows Results
It wasn't too long ago that the Beltway foreign policy elites made their tour of the safe "Charlie Rose" show to criticize Obama's handling of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Obama was slammed from the right for not sending upwards of 60,000 troops into Afghanistan and for taking too long to think about the strategy. For their part, progressives hit him for committing thousands of troops to an unwinnable war in support of a corrupt regime (in Afghanistan) and unreliable military partner (in Pakistan). Yet Obama and his foreign policy team plowed ahead to deal with the bag of crap left on their doorstep by Dick Cheney and W.
Tonight, their doggedness is paying dividends.
The Taliban’s top military commander was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials.
The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranks second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.
It was unclear whether he was talking, but the officials said his capture had provided a window into the Taliban and could lead to other senior officials. Most immediately, they hope he will provide the whereabouts of Mullah Omar, the one-eyed cleric who is the group’s spiritual leader.
And this comes amidst battlefield victories and growing support from the Afghan people.
About a quarter of the 400 Taliban fighters estimated to be in Marja when the Afghan-American operation began early Saturday have been killed, officers said. A similar number of Taliban appear to have fled the area, including most of the leaders, and local Afghans were offering help ferreting out Taliban fighters and hidden bombs, they said.
Watching the Obama/Biden military and foreign policy work like this after a week makes you wonder why Bush and Shooter didn't finish these guys off back in early 2002. Oh, that's right. We know why they didn't.