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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So Much For The Taliban's Spring Offensive

As Allah observes over @ Hot Air, things do not appear to be going well for the Taliban. The Brits keep icing their commanders:

The Taliban's much-vaunted spring offensive has stalled apparently due to lack of organisation after dozens of middle-ranking commanders were killed by British troops in the past year, according to military sources.

The death last week of the key Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah at the hands of American special forces has harmed the Taliban's morale to the point that local commanders are having to tell their troops to "remain professional" despite the loss.

After suffering more than 1,000 dead in battles with the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines in the last year, the Taliban retired to regroup and re-equip last winter.

A spring offensive was ordered by the Taliban leadership based in Quetta, Pakistan, and was meant to be launched in late March.

But a lack of mid-level commanders has meant that there has been little co-ordination to bring about the offensive.

"They are getting strategic guidance from Quetta but this is not translating on the ground," a military source said.

"It's a bit premature to discuss the Taliban as a spent force. I believe that they are struggling but still maintain a capability to carry out attacks on a daily basis. But I would suggest in the long term the Taliban may just peter out."

Of the five main Taliban leaders who managed to escape in the 2001 fighting only two are at large, including Mullah Omar, the spiritual leader, who is living on the Pakistan border.

British commanders are still braced for a possible upsurge in attacks over the summer.

It has apparently been so bad over there that Ayman al-Zawahiri is spinning the deaths as "good omens", and Taliban/al-Qaeda forces are being told to "be professional" when going out on these raids. Meanwhile, Iran is being implicated in the sale of surface-to-air missiles to the Taliban so they may strike at British attack helicopters:

IRAN has been accused of supporting increasing sophisticated attacks on British forces in Afghanistan.

Military sources suggested yesterday that Taleban fighters in Afghanistan are now using Iranian-made surface-to-air missiles to target British helicopters operating in the country.

The report follows a statement from the Ministry of Defence last year accusing "Iranian elements" of supplying insurgents in southern Iraq with weaponry, including shaped-charge explosives that can penetrate British armour.

Concerns about Tehran's support of violent groups and its continued pursuit of a nuclear weapon, yesterday prompted David Cameron, the Tory leader, to call for a tougher government line on Iran

"The world needs to present Iran's leaders with a clear choice: either you talk to us, engage with the world and integrate into the international community - with all the benefits that could bring for your people - or you face heavier sanctions, growing isolation and pariah status," he said.

Ooo .. tough words, but we already know that Iran does not respond to such things. They have refused to respond to anything said or mandated by the United Nations, and they seem to bluster any time a nation threatens them with sanctions. Which brings me to the next part in this little drama. It seems that in the "interest" of keeping us informed (using Bill Keller's illogical conclusion that we, the people have a right to know all), ABC News has confirmed that which many of suspected long ago:

The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.

"I can't confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime," said Bruce Riedel, a recently retired CIA senior official who dealt with Iran and other countries in the region.

Thomas speculated a year or so ago that we were already operating in Iran, and that we were there to help destabilize the regime. That does not mean that we would not act overtly if it became necessary, but right now it seems that the administration prefers to take this route. It is a much safer strategy than a direct assault.

What is irritating about the story, as we all know, is that another MSM source seems content with blowing the lid off of another clandestine operation. This must stop. We are a nation at war, and cannot tolerate such random and harmful disclosures. The very idea that our enemies do not use the web or do not read the news is pure nonsense. Thanks to ABC, any CIA operatives operating in Iran right now have been placed in imminent danger.



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