Abu Walid al Masri’s article on the capture of Mullah Baradar
I haven’t had a chance to fully read it yet, but the first few lines have me very interested. The article is called The Kidnapping of Mullah Baradar: a successful intelligence operation turns into a strategic failure
To start the article Abu Walid provides a summary of important decisions made by the Shura Council Baradar headed. The three decisions he identifies, I think, portend to some potential blowback that could ensue following Baradar’s removal.
The decisions are:
1. to disengage the Taliban from al Qaeda
2. to prevent jihad work from deviating into sectarian strife/issues, as occurred in Iraq
3. to prevent al Qaeda from transferring the mistakes made in Iraq into Afghanistan.
As I said I haven’t had a good read of the article yet, which I hope to do later this weekend, but the other thing that struck me in the quick skim I had, was that Abu Walid points to the “profound effects on the political level” Baradar’s capture will have, but believes that it won’t impact upon Taliban military activities.
This stood out for me because these political effects as he also notes will include the rise of a new younger generation of leaders with new revolutionary ideas in military and politics.
Reading this comment returned me to the three decisions of the Shura Council, and whether these would stand with a new younger leadership.
This is a point that has been raised by a number of well informed analysts and commentators who have highlighted the possibility that removing Baradar may in fact reduce the likelihood of negotiations eventuating.
Anyway, there’s more in the article, but I am meant to be on a reading ban so have been rather naughty by indulging myself with a quick read. I’ll try to add some more commentary later.
Oh, and as a final aside, Abu Walid has also answered questions from a reader about the assassination of Azzam and the possibility that Jordanian Intelligence could have been involved. He says it is possible but the matter wasn’t really investigated back then. From my own perspective I’d add that mujahideen documents I have read over the years have often referred to the fact that it was common knowledge that the Office of Services (MAK) was infiltrated by Jordanian Intelligence. Whether that infiltration was before or after Azzam was killed I don’t know and to what extent I also don’t know. But in the context of the questions posed to Abu Walid, I thought I’d just add my two cents worth.
Ok back to pesky thesis. Cheers.