Counter-Terrorism: Hillbillies Have Long Memories

Archives

p> December 6, 2007: Al Qaeda has acquired a lot of franchises in the last two years, some of which are likely to be dangerous. Despite setbacks, al Qaeda Central will continue to support any group that seems to have the remotest chance of making a splash. The Taliban, in contrast, remains dangerous because it has decided quantity is more important than quality. Having lost their best leaders, they've switched over to indiscriminate attacks in great numbers. In fact, the optimal strategy for the Taliban is to fall back and regroup (think Mao's "When the enemy attacks . . . ."). But doing so risks the chance that the government will be able to make important advances on the economic front, thereby rendering the Taliban irrelevant. But if that doesn't happen, they gain time to rebuild their infrastructure, recruit and train better personnel, and emerge from the woodwork when things look better for them.

 

The Taliban have a tense relationship with al Qaeda, and resist becoming another al Qaeda franchise. During the late 1990s, al Qaeda members treated Afghans, and even Taliban allies, roughly. The Taliban used a brigade of al Qaeda foreigners as "enforcers" when reluctant tribes needed to be punished. Al Qaeda members, especially Arabs, were openly disdainful of the Taliban "hillbillies." None of this has been forgotten, even though the Taliban and al Qaeda openly proclaim their alliance.

 

 

Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 


X

ad Help Keep Us Online!
 

Help Keep Us Afloat! Go to other sites on the World Wide Web and they look like the a mad marketer has gained control of them. Lots of ads and little content! Ad revenues are down for everyone! We don’t want to follow the crowd. But here is the deal we cannot keep our site relative ad free without your support. Each month we need your subscriptions or contributions plus what meager ad revenue we do receive to stay in business. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close