Tuesday, February 16

Afghan Taliban #2 Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar captured

The story of the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the operational leader of the Afghan Taliban and the highest-ranking insurgent figure captured since the war began in 2001 seems to be all over.

The BBC is reporting that Baradar's capture took place approximately a week ago, in the Pakistani port city of Karachi. The capture was a result of a joint operation between the CIA and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.

Although few details about his condition or his cooperativeness are available, he is currently being questioned and is in Pakistani custody.

currently US and UK troops along side Afghan soldiers are engaging the Taliban in the largest offensive since the war began. The operation is called Mushtarak, a Dari word meaning “together.” The psychological impact of having an operation named in native tongue may add to the community support that the allied war machine will garner, however I am sure that the civilians will be leaving the area in a steady stream over the next week.

The Taliban reportedly have nearly 1,000 nut-jobs with weapons in the area of southern Afghanistan’s Marjah district in the Helmand Province.

The significance of the Taliban #2 being in custody and removed from the leadership of the whack-job terrorist organization may suddenly come crashing down on those Taliban who are still in the area. The organization is falling apart, quickly. This latest offensive is designed to steam roll the Taliban and eradicate them from the Marjah district, completely. With the top leadership no longer in a position to guide actions of the Taliban, there may be enough time caused by confusion that the assault may be over before the Taliban have stopped infighting to decide who the next leaders should be.

The tell tail signs of collapse from with in may already be beginning to surface as the Taliban is still engaging in fierce fire fights and putting up resistance but the efforts are becoming less consistent as the days drag on.

International Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Todd Vician, said that though they were meeting “pockets of resistance,” the fighting was “sporadic, at times intensive” on Tuesday, the fourth day of the offensive in central Helmand Province. Unlike early in the fight, he said, Taliban attacks seem “largely uncoordinated.”

The allied war machine's death toll remains at two. One American Marine and a British marine, both killed during the first day of the offensive.

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