The New York Times is reporting that a joint effort between the U.S. and Pakistan has led to the capture of the Taliban’s top military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Baradar has been in custody for several days, but the Times was asked to hold off on the story to give our guy time for intelligence gathering.
WASHINGTON — 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.
Mullah Baradar has been in Pakistani custody for several days, with American and Pakistani intelligence officials both taking part in interrogations, according to the officials.
This is excellent news with many benefits. First, this joint operation signals that Pakistan has finally decided to really help the U.S. in the War on Terror. Prior to now, the Pakistani intelligence forces, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has been sympathetic to the Taliban. This new founded cooperation will vastly improve our chances of success in Afghanistan and could help to make sure the Taliban does not reemerge after we leave.
Another benefit is that Baradar’s capture will certain set the Taliban back significantly. It could not come at a better time, just as American forces are undertaking new initiatives in Afghanistan we have the Taliban’s top military commander is on ice.
For the Obama administration this could not come at a better time either. Republicans have been making a very strong case that this administration has gone soft on fighting terror. This capture will offer the administration a little more defense to that charge.
What is troubling though is the interrogation of Baradar. Pakistan obviously has the lead since Obama stopped all enhanced interrogations. While Pakistan will be far more brutal in interrogating than the U.S. the question does remain will they share everything? The Times article does state that the CIA is involved in the process, but how far that involvement goes remains to be seen. I would imagine that given Eric Holder’s scrutiny of the CIA, the CIA is probably making sure their guys are not around for the extreme stuff.
I am also curious as to what made Pakistan change their minds about helping us in the War on Terror. The Times story states that Pakistan now sees how the Taliban is a treat to their interest, but I think there maybe something else going on. The Taliban was always a threat to Pakistani interest, what changed to make Pakistan finally see the light?
Read the whole story at the Times, it will show you what a major score this is and provide you will give you a good appreciation of Pakistan’s new found willingness to fight terror.
Via: The New York Times