Mullah Omar rejects reports of peace talks, highlights Taliban strategy


Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Amir al Mumineen ("the commander of the faithful") of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.

The Taliban's top leader in Afghanistan and Pakistan today denied reports of ongoing negotiations with the Afghan government, and claimed instead that Western intelligence agencies are attempting to sow discord in his ranks. Omar also said the Taliban hope to bankrupt the US in a long, drawn-out war in the country.

In a statement issued today on the group's website, Voice of Jihad, Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's "leader of the faithful," denied the existence of negotiations and implored Afghans to continue fighting. Omar, who is thought to be based in either Karachi or Quetta in Pakistan, also reiterated that the Taliban would not talk to the Karzai government until all foreign troops have left Afghanistan.

Omar's statement takes place after weeks of conflicting press reports, some of which have claimed that senior-level Taliban leaders, including several backed by Omar's "Quetta Shura," have conducted high-level talks with Afghan officials. But Afghan, UN, NATO, and US officials have denied that such talks have taken place. Mullah Kabir, a senior Taliban leader in the east, is said to have met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, yet Kabir himself denounced such negotiations in a statement released on Voice of Jihad.

In his most recent statement, Mullah Omar maintained that Taliban operations across the country have forced NATO officials to spread "misleading rumors of peace talks."

"It is because of this pressure that the enemy has resorted to spreading the misleading rumors of peace talks," Omar said. "Thus, they want to reduce the military pressure which is being exerted on them." In addition, Omar claimed that the Taliban have blunted US-led assaults in and around Kandahar city and in Marjah in Helmand province.

The Taliban have not changed their stance on negotiations, Omar stated, and he dismissed reports of ongoing talks as "propaganda" designed to split the Taliban. Previously the Taliban have demanded the withdrawal of foreign forces, the dissolution of the Afghan government, and the reestablishment of Omar's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Also, the Taliban have refused to eject al Qaeda from their midst; this refusal led to Saudi Arabia's recent withdrawal from acting as a potential mediator.

"The Islamic Emirate still holds its previous stand regarding the current issue of the country," Omar stated. "Islamic Emirate believes that the solution of the issue lies in withdrawal of the foreign invading troops and establishment of a true Islamic and independent system in the country."

The Coalition "wants to throw dust into the eyes of the people by spreading the rumors of negotiation," Omar continued. "Claims about negotiation, flexibility in the stance of the Islamic Emirate, are mere baseless propaganda."

Omar said that the Taliban will continue to fight despite the reports of negotiations.

"Our Mujahid people will never feel exhausted in the sacred path of Jihad, because it is a divine obligation and a great worship," said Omar. "Fatigue can have no way into it.... They [the Taliban] do not give chance to the enemy to create split among them through propaganda and other covert machinations."

Omar blamed "the intelligence agencies of the hostile countries" for creating the reports of Taliban negotiations, and accused the press of irresponsibility in publishing such reports.

"The believing people of Afghanistan and the public of the world should not trust any news report or rumor about the stance of the Islamic Emirate disseminated by any one rather than the leadership of the Islamic Emirate or the designated spokesmen, because such new reports are spread by the intelligence agencies of the hostile countries," he said. "Then the media outlets affiliated with these espionage entities, irresponsibly publish them with great fanfare."

In his latest statement, Omar also said the Taliban had a plan to counter the uptick in operations by the Coalition and Afghan forces, which he deemed a failure.

"Our coming military programs will forge ahead on the basis of the climate of the country and the geographical locations as per the plans now at the disposal of the Mujahideen," Omar stated. "The aim is to entangle the enemy in an exhausting war of attrition and wear it away like the former Soviet Union. This will force it face disintegration after dealing a crushing and decisive blow at it that it would not be able to hold itself thereafter. To achieve this, we have hammered out short term and long term plans. We are optimistic about the results of these plans. Our strategy is to increase our operations step by step and spread them to all parts of the country to compel the enemy to come out from their hideouts and then crush them through tactical raids."

Although Omar said the Taliban's strategy has been effective in Kandahar and in Marjah, the Coalition has claimed success in these operations over the past several months. In fact, the Taliban have been reduced to low-level hit and run tactics in Marjah, the bulk of their forces having fled their traditional strongholds in the districts of Zhari and Panjwai west and south of Kandahar city.

While the Taliban have managed to spread their terror insurgency into all corners of Afghanistan, they have failed in their efforts to overrun US and Afghan bases in eastern Afghanistan. The two most recent attacks, in Nangarhar and Khost provinces, were tactical failures; during the assaults on Combat Outposts Margah and Fenty, 90 Taliban, Haqqani Network, and al Qaeda fighters were killed, while no US or Afghan forces were killed.

Omar's statement on Taliban strategy constitutes an update to a directive he issued earlier this year. In June, NATO claimed to have recovered a directive from Mullah Omar that sanctioned attacks on civilians, including women, who cooperate with the Taliban's enemies. [See LWJ report, Mullah Omar orders Taliban to attack civilians, Afghan women.]



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READER COMMENTS: "Mullah Omar rejects reports of peace talks, highlights Taliban strategy"

Posted by Al at November 15, 2010 1:56 PM ET:

If our country and neighborhood had these evil types abusing and murdering, my neighbors and I would take them out, quietly, some night. But of course, WE have the right to keep and bear.

I wonder if the good people of Afghanistan will ever step up to the plate. That may be the only solution. The "people" must take the offensive, alone or with Govt. help. If not, then they and the world will lose. If they do not step up, to hell with the place.

Posted by mike burk at November 15, 2010 2:02 PM ET:

Look the taliban are busy building hospitals schools and sewage systems for the Afgan peoples. They are busy contributing by building streets and bridges so its nice of Omar to take time off from his hectic schedule to explain the other strategy of the taliban. Good bunch of fellows these world builders and worshipers of peace.

Posted by blert at November 15, 2010 2:12 PM ET:

The Grand Strategy of perpetual attrition and hope for a better day seems to have been Omar's gambit from day one.

Based upon history it would seem it's the only gambit Afghanis know.

Right now the correlation of force is held in balance by the ISI -- not Omar -- and a hyper-extended campaign suits the ISI perfectly.

The French countered this 'islamic' strategy in the Sahara by going Beau Geste: ie plopping forts on key terrain (the water supply) and forcing the locals to come to them. Exchange ratios were hopeless for the natives.

Afghanistan is a slightly wetter version of the Sahara. Still, water is critical. It's the limiting resource.

-----

Our dependence upon helicopter transport is running up expenditures. Omar must be scratching his head at the size of our wallet.

The Germans published a propaganda magazine, SIGNAL, for their occupied territories -- including an English edition for the Channel Islands. One article stood out for actually being accurate: a calculation showing how impossibly expensive it has to be to strategically bomb Germany. The reasoning was straight forward. Because of distances the USAAF MUST expend 25 times as much fuel as the GAF. Further, the USAAF must consume 10 times as much metal. The only flaw in the argument was that America was producing 100 times as much fuel as Germany and had no one bombing her factories. SIGNAL simply got the scale wrong.

Omar's got the same flaw in his reasoning. There is no way that he can comprehend that by American standards the campaign against AQ is small potatoes -- that we suffer more fatalities on our roads than he is able to inflict.

Posted by ArneFufkin at November 15, 2010 2:18 PM ET:

The Taliban seem only to have success in the propaganda war as dutiful western journalists print their every assertion - no matter how ludicrous - as 24 karat golden truth.

Posted by Rhyno327 at November 15, 2010 3:01 PM ET:

Omar's strategy is not bad. The question is, why are we fighting to prop up a guy [Karzai] who suddenly wants his "friends" ISAF to stop raiding and killing talib/AQ high level targets plus the drug traffickers who are getting wacked straight away. Karzai's losing $$$...LOL!!!

Posted by Cordell at November 15, 2010 3:44 PM ET:

The Coalition "wants to throw dust into the eyes of the people by spreading the rumors of negotiation," Omar continued. "Claims about negotiation, flexibility in the stance of the Islamic Emirate, are mere baseless propaganda."

Omar said that the Taliban will continue to fight despite the reports of negotiations.

"Our Mujahid people will never feel exhausted in the sacred path of Jihad, because it is a divine obligation and a great worship," said Omar. "Fatigue can have no way into it.... They [the Taliban] do not give chance to the enemy to create split among them through propaganda and other covert machinations."


It appears the lady doth protest too much. Omar well understands that he is losing on the battlefield and the morale of his troops is waning. It's easy for Omar to tell his cold, hungry and beleaguered jihadis to continue the fight when he is ensconced back in Quetta, well-fed and living comfortably. The recent loss of drug-running and extortion money obviously is taking its toll on the Taliban rank and file.

Let's hope this coming winter is long and cold. If so, half Omar's jihadis might just melt away, never to fight again, particularly when the ultimate radical Islamic objectives may be compromised by peace negotiations. Hopefully, NATO PsyOps will continue to expand and exploit these divisions within the Taliban's ranks.

Posted by David at November 15, 2010 3:49 PM ET:

@Al --
The Afghans DO have the right to keep and bear, and they keep and bear quite a lot of arms. The problem is that when another group is better organized and funded, there is not much you can do. It didn't matter in Chicago that other citizens could keep and bear arms when Al Capone was around, 'cause he kept and bore more.

Posted by paul at November 15, 2010 3:53 PM ET:

Omars strategy is dictated/run by the Pak Army/ISI!

Posted by Barry Marcus at November 15, 2010 5:03 PM ET:

Karzai is taking money from the drug smugglers (i.e. Taliban and Al Queda) and from the Iranians. On top of that he is apparently siphoning huge amounts of our aid money. He rigged the last election to maintain his position as President. Now he is overtly undermining our military strategy. Why are we in bed with him? It looks like he is a willing participant in the Taliban's strategy to bleed the U.S. He is definitely not our ally. Why does our State Dept. insist that we (i.e. the U.S. taxpayers) continue to be suckered by him. Our policy regarding Afghanistan is incomprehensible -- at best.


Posted by blert at November 15, 2010 5:33 PM ET:

I see that the NY Times is framing the Karzai faction as the fall guy for contractor incompetence all over the country.

The fact is that OUR boys are 'in charge' of these contracts -- NOT Kabul.

We're the ones waving BIG money in front of the locals.

We're the player that advances monster money to overnight 'contractors' with no experience or training in the art.

Cost unknowns are so severe that NO CONTRACTOR can bid fixed price contracts and survive: all of the normal commercial resources used by builders are non-existent.

I do NOT understand why we are not using our own Combat Engineers to administer these quasi-military structures -- especially police and army facilities.

And more generally, we should not be building schools, etc. if we cannot defend them. Undefended assets become revenue sources for the opfor.

Rhyno...

Trashing Karzai is a calculated public relations gambit designed to prep the public for abandonment of the 'Good' (tm) War.

That Obama intends no respect for Karzai was most evident during the presidential pit stop in Kabul -- 20 minutes!!!

Ever since we've been treated to a drum roll of nasty assertions WRT Karzai, as if he's the problem and is expendable.

Nothing could be further from the truth. He is Pashtun, smart, multi-lingual, and universally seen as our man in Kabul.

Omar is Pashtun and surely wants Karzai dead, dead, dead. Hence his chronic demand that ISAF depart.

Karzai, and all of his predecessors, has never recognized the Durand Line. ISI & Islamabad operate in constant fear of a united Pashtun nation. Such an event would erase the Durand Line and almost certainly pull the Federally Abandoned Tribal Anarchy into Kabul's orbit/ nation-state.

From where Islamabad sits such an event would gut the national defense against India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Durand_Line_Border_Between_Afghanistan_And_Pakistan.jpg

The above link shows just how narrow Pakistan gets without Baluchistan and Pashtunistan.

Pakistan has more than half the population of America residing in one great river valley.

This is the true source of Islamabad's paranoia. It is a picture that you must always keep in mind regarding their Grand Strategy. BTW, Islamabad considers Kabul to be a front for New Delhi, and that she is fighting for her very existence.

The fact that New Delhi has much bigger fish to fry and has no interest in paying the blood price required to crush Pakistan cuts no ice with the ISI. When you pay someone big bucks to find trouble -- believe me -- they will even if they have to manufacture it.

Posted by Mr T at November 15, 2010 5:46 PM ET:

Sounds like Omar the murderer is beginning to worry a little bit.

Posted by Spooky at November 15, 2010 6:50 PM ET:

The right to bear arms has nothing to do with it (As nearly everyone in the region has their own personal arsenal, more so than the average American due to 30 years of war). The issue is not "standing up for themselves", its morel ike "What's the point?" In their eyes, the Taliban is evil, but Karzai isn't much better, and his power is not built on any sort of legitimacy other than what our guns give him. To them, he's worthless. To them the Taliban is just as worthless. But they refuse to take either side because they hate them both. They're waiting for the dust to settle so that they can adjust to whoever is the victor.

Posted by Paul at November 15, 2010 7:40 PM ET:

This cyclops seems to forget who they are fighting! We are not the pathetic Soviets.... who by the way Omar the only reason you were able to bleed them was because of our help....well now you are fighting the strength that ALLOWED you to defeat the Soviets and YOU will bleed as will your suiciders! Why don't you pick up a weapon or vest and come out of your coawrdly hiding place and put your $ where your mouth is? Yeh I figured as much ....too scared.....

Posted by Paul at November 15, 2010 11:43 PM ET:

Why hasn't Black Ops found him yet? Or OBL or Dr. Terrorist?
C'mon guys.....we KNOW you are the best!

Posted by captainjohann at November 16, 2010 12:47 AM ET:

The patreus strategy of hitting at night has set the bees amongst the wolves. They like the Americans to stay at their bases and not initiate operations.Now Drones at day and fight at night strategy is winning and threatening even the drug mafia which rules both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Posted by Jimmy at November 16, 2010 10:12 AM ET:

Read this piece about the 'Other Voices' of Pakistan. The western media should strongly take up their case. They are fighting for a better Pakistan!

http://southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers42%5Cpaper4171.html

Posted by Al at November 16, 2010 10:32 AM ET:

David, Re: Keep and Bear. If people in any American city take out hard criminals or terrorists in an "offense" type of way, they would be prosecuted and persecuted by the system.

If the fate of our nation were at stake, and immediate safety of our families at risk (assuming a useless Govt. exists) things would be different.

The Brits defeated the Malay uprising, and US defeated the Moro uprising in part by arming and supporting good locals.

Posted by Bungo at November 16, 2010 11:43 AM ET:

I never understood or completely bought the "we are secretly negotiating with the taliban" rumors. No one will EVER be able to negotiate a meaningful deal with the Talibs. The Talibs will NEVER negotiate honestly. Any deal would be scrapped in a heart-beat as soon as foreign troops leave Afg. If Karzai ever thought he could deal with the Talibs then that is proof positive of his stupidity. How could anyone be that blind.

Beyond that, the long view strategy is to get the Afg military operational by 2013 or so, turn the day-to-day security operations over to them, draw-down all foreign troops and focus on overall situation management and concentrate on intel collection and whacking TaliQuedas using special forces units (Afg and American) and drone aircraft. Such a strategy (on paper) could actually achieve all of our goals and be affordable as well.

Posted by Omar at November 17, 2010 12:56 PM ET:

@blert, your last sentence is gold...

Posted by Rhyno327 at November 17, 2010 1:55 PM ET:

Iam aware of Karzai's backround. Still, the election was questionable, he has talked irrationally about the people who put him there. He is corrupt, as is almost all of a-stan is. Its their "way" and we are dumping billions and losing lives. This will turn into a counter-terror mission when all is said and done.

Posted by crusader at November 17, 2010 6:35 PM ET:

mullah omar is the commander or leader of the taliban in afghanistan and pakistan together the article says.

however there are reports that hakimullah mehsud is the leader in pakistan. he was reportedly killed by came back alive again... miraculously.

who is number 2 in command in afghanistan? is hakimullah meshud number 2 in pakistan or is he challenging omar for the supreme power in pakistan?

OBL is merely a link between the taliban and aq or the command of AQ and the Taliban as well?

Posted by Bear at November 18, 2010 7:55 AM ET:

dude... read up crusader -

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/02/the_talibans_top_lea.php

Posted by Charu at November 18, 2010 12:55 PM ET:

@blert, great commentary! There is more to Omar and Karzai being Pashtun, they both come from the Pashtun power center, Kandahar, albeit from different tribes. Karzai's lineage is with the traditional rulers of Pashtuns which Omar lacks; which is why Omar (and his Pakistani puppeteers) want him dead. Omar is no more than a convenient empty Pashtun figurehead whipped up and mythologized by the Punjabis in order to manipulate the Pashtuns and keep them from reuniting across the Durand line. This is why no one has seen him for years, not even the other Taliban leaders. The Punjabis use Mullah Omar against the Pashtuns just as they use Bin Laden against us. Clever people, these! If they used half their smarts constructively instead of on violent intrigue, they could have been by now an economic force to reckon. Instead they are on every country's terrorist watch list.

Posted by Rhyno327 at November 18, 2010 3:34 PM ET:

BLERT ur theory about the boundaries is indeed a scary thing to Islamabad. That is a real big picture, but yes there is motive. Thanx