Great news. A few questions:
1. The Taliban seems to be winning in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP). If they are able to push the Taliban over the brink of defeat in Afghanistan, will British and American forces then target them in Pakistan?
2. The Taliban were defeated in Afghanistan in 2003. How is this defeat different from that one, such that we may be sure that they will not experience yet another resurgence?
3. What study is being undertaken or has been undertaken of the Taliban's ideology, and the prevalence of elements of it among non-Taliban groups in Afghanistan?
4. What pressure is being brought to bear upon the Karzai government to remove the provision in the Afghan constitution that no law will be made that contradicts Islamic law -- a provision that infringes upon the freedom of conscience (as we saw in the case of the Afghan convert to Christianity, Abdul Rahman), the rights of women, and the rights of non-Muslims?
"Afghan insurgents 'on brink of defeat,'" by Thomas Harding in the Telegraph, June 2 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Missions by special forces and air strikes by unmanned drones have "decapitated" the Taliban and brought the war in Afghanistan to a "tipping point", the commander of British forces has said.
The new "precise, surgical" tactics have killed scores of insurgent leaders and made it extremely difficult for Pakistan-based Taliban leaders to prosecute the campaign, according to Brig Mark Carleton-Smith.
In the past two years an estimated 7,000 Taliban have been killed, the majority in southern and eastern Afghanistan. But it is the "very effective targeted decapitation operations" that have removed "several echelons of commanders".
This in turn has left the insurgents on the brink of defeat, the head of Task Force Helmand said.
"The Taliban are much weaker," he said from 16 Air Assault Brigade headquarters in Lashkar Gah.
"The tide is clearly ebbing not flowing for them. Their chain of command is disrupted and they are short of weapons and ammunition."...