Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Taliban Chief Entering Limelight

From Yahoo News:

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Sometime in mid-December, as the winter winds howled across the snow-dusted hills of Pakistan's inhospitable border regions, 40 men representing Taliban groups all across Pakistan's northwest frontier came together to unify under a single banner and to choose a leader.

The banner was Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, with a fighting force estimated at up to 40,000. And the leader was Baitullah Mehsud, the man Pakistan accuses of murdering former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The move is an attempt to present a united front against the Pakistani army, which has been fighting insurgents along the border with Afghanistan. It is also the latest sign of the rise of Mehsud, considered the deadliest of the Taliban mullahs or clerics in northwest Pakistan.

Read more ....

List of key Taliban leaders in Pakistan.

My Comment: As the Taliban continue to gain support and military credibility in the frontier regions of Pakistan, the worse case scenario of a command structure to coordinate the various groups and units operating in the region be put in place has now become realized. In the past the Pakistani Intelligence Services coordinated and controlled these groups. They clearly do not now. I guess the student is now going to teach the professor.

I am confident that the central authorities will prevail, but the cost in blood and suffering in the frontier regions of Pakistan will be significant. Expect blow-back hitting allied forces in Afghanistan also.

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