Taliban promise 'sacred jihad' if US forces remain in Afghanistan past 2014


The Taliban have vowed to continue their "sacred jihad" if the Afghan government agrees to allow the United States to keep forces in Afghanistan past 2014. The Taliban made the statement as the Afghan government is freeing hundreds of Taliban prisoners and the US government is debating the size of a residual force for post-2014.

The statement, which was released today on Voice of Jihad, the official website of the Afghan Taliban, is signed by "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."

"If America wants peace in Afghanistan and the region as well as a way out for its people from this ongoing quagmire then it should immediately remove all its troops from Afghanistan and practically put an end to this futile war," the Taliban said.

The Taliban said "the American presence in Afghanistan" is the cause of "all this turmoil and anarchy in the region."

"Therefore if America wants to leave a small or large number of its troops for whatever length of time then it means war and destruction will continue in the region for that same length and it shall only be America that shall suffer the most," the statement continued.

The Taliban rejected any security agreement between the US and the Afghan government as "a personal deal between Karzai and America," and said "it shall hold no legal credibility."

"The Islamic Emirate shall continue its sacred Jihad against it just as it has for the past eleven years," if a "even a single American soldier" remains in country, the Taliban stated.

Over the years, the Taliban have consistently stated that a key condition for any peace negotiations with the Afghan government must include the full withdrawal of US and NATO forces. The Taliban have also insisted that the Taliban's Islamic Emirate be restored; that sharia, or Islamic law, be enforced; and that any prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, and other US facilities be released. In addition, the Taliban have refused to denounce al Qaeda, but despite this, the Obama administration has been eager to conduct negotiations.

The Obama administration is currently debating the size of the stay-behind force after US and NATO combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014. The administration is expected to settle on a rump advisory force of between 6,000 to 9,000 troops, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The bombastic Taliban statement occurs as the US, NATO, and the Afghan government have been upbeat about the prospects for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. The Afghan government has freed more than 250 Taliban prisoners and plans on releasing an additional 150 this week. Additionally, Pakistan has been allowing Taliban leaders who have been detained to return to Afghanistan. The Afghan government has not been able to track the freed prisoners, and some are thought to be returning to the battlefield.



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READER COMMENTS: "Taliban promise 'sacred jihad' if US forces remain in Afghanistan past 2014"

Posted by gb at January 5, 2013 12:27 PM ET:

Oh no...not a "sacred jihad"...jeez we better get out of dodge...lol

Posted by JRP at January 5, 2013 12:47 PM ET:

If we were really really sophisticated, we would and could use this announcement as justification to renounce our self-imposed 2014 withdrawal deadline without having to admit that it was a bad decision all along. If we had the political will, we could deal the Taliban/AQ a real good psychological blow by stating something to the effect of: "You know, thanks for the headsup. In light of your position we are going to surge up vice surge out and remain in country for so long as is necessary to eliminate the terrorist threat to our homeland-even if that means remaining indefinitely." I know it won't happen, but I'd love to see the expression on their faces if it did.

Posted by donowen at January 5, 2013 1:17 PM ET:

With apparently an endless supply of drones and a cadre of willing and able informants this treat has a hollow ring. The drone technology has now given the attrition strategy to the Americans. The longer they sit on their collective derrières the more key and medium level leaders are killed. The Americans with even a few thousand highly trained mobile forces and a drone network preventing even company size forces from forming, can control the entire country.

Never in the history of warfare have field commanders and generals been killed at a rate near the death rate of privates. The fact that these guys like traveling and staying in friends homes only will exacerbate the family tragedies. All the suicide bombers in the Islamic world will not save the Taliban from their fate- a slow brutal death from the sky.

Posted by Hibeam at January 5, 2013 1:20 PM ET:

Will the "sacred Jihad" replace the "running away in Burqas Jihad"?

Posted by mike merlo at January 5, 2013 2:17 PM ET:

The Afghan Taliban are a spent force. This hollow rhetoric is nothing more than a negotiation tactic to better position themselves in the ongoing 'conversations.'

Posted by EDDIED. at January 5, 2013 6:31 PM ET:

I wish American troops would withdraw from the dirt hole they call Afghanistan but the Taliban and Al-Queda make it impossible because they need America to protect them from these idiots.

Posted by Pete at January 5, 2013 6:59 PM ET:

Pretty interesting. I wish I was surprised tho that we are still trying to negotiate with the Taliban. The people of that area must survive by their cunning so they must be very formidable to try to make a favorable deal with.

I just spoke with my youngest son from Kandahar province. Both he and my other son are there with the US Army. I'd sure like our brave young men and women to come home. Anyway, my youngest (both of my boys work with the locals) said that he feels the best thing we could do is to leave and just let whoever then takes over (most likely the Taliban) know that if they or someone they are sheltering attack us again, we'll be back and destroy as many of them as we can and as many of their assets as we can in a short amount of time (our military is very good at that by the way). None of this nation building which is next to impossible in this region. I wish we could stabilize the country, and with God's help maybe we will; we shall see. But as a dad and a vet who has had my oldest in Iraq 3 times as a Marine, and now both boys in the Army reserve in a very bad place, I have had enough.

Posted by KaneKaizer at January 5, 2013 8:10 PM ET:

But I thought the "tide of war is receding"?

Posted by Hibeam at January 5, 2013 9:46 PM ET:

Taliban promise 'sacred jihad' as soon as the drones leave. The Burqas are coming off.

Posted by blert at January 6, 2013 5:40 AM ET:

Hyper-bellicose statements are the NORM for end-game losers.

If you read August 1945 Tokyo newspapers, you'd have sworn that the USN was sunk under the waves three times over.

Then the Emperor gets on the radio and says that 'things haven't worked out to Japan's advantage' -- and the war is over.

That sequence is but one in a very long tally.

---------

What's killing the opfor is the Smart Phone. It's irresistable.

Any iPad functions as an instant grammar school diploma.

I've already seen jazzed Pashtuns staring at Google maps on an iPhone -- held by a US Army junior officer. Smart phones leap past the need to read -- and are particularly sweet for the nimble fingers of the young.

The WHOLE basis of the opfor is lies and ignorance. Smart phones/ iPads permit the natives an opportunity to see the world -- same as we do -- without leaving their huts.

The last time Afghanistan was this shaken up -- Alexander was passing through.

Our boys will never be forgotten. They've jacked the Afghans into the rest of the planet.

The focus of the ISAF should be to dominate this information revolution; which can be done from anywhere.

Posted by Hibeam at January 6, 2013 9:06 AM ET:

Well said Blert. The cell phone is a game changer in the whole Middle East. It has lifted that whole region painfully into the 21st century. No going back now.

Posted by mike at January 6, 2013 12:54 PM ET:

Guess that means the Tailban will start up their Air Force. You ask what kind of Air Force do they have? Its the Hot Air Force

Posted by Larry at January 6, 2013 11:51 PM ET:

The Taliban are not a spent force. As much as I would like to believe that Afghanistan will be left in good hands after our withdrawal, I just don't think the future is bright there.

Posted by Barry Larking at January 7, 2013 8:57 AM ET:

Is there an Islamic Lord Haw-Haw? Well, yes, it seems there are plenty. Considering the people who these jihadists wish to impress don't have radios and television, I think this spokesperson – who may, alas no longer be with us at this rate – is appealing to anti-war sympathisers in the west. They have already swallowed the 'you attacked peace loving us' line so this is but a morsel to digest.

Posted by Dave at January 7, 2013 3:09 PM ET:


Pete:

I'm more with JRP on policy than your youngest son. But your son who served in Iraq, your sons serving now, you, and all your family, deserve our greatest respect and gratitude. You are all part of that small warrior class to whom our nation is so very deeply indebted.

Dave

Posted by george at January 7, 2013 3:42 PM ET:

Psych.....Just for that we're staying.

Posted by Pete at January 8, 2013 2:16 PM ET:

Dave:

Thank you so much for the kind words; they meant a lot to me. I can see why you would agree with JRP. I do too emotionally. It is my number cruncher side that thinks it is time to go; we just can't afford to stay. And we are really putting a strain on our troops. But with good on the ground intel, drones, and Special Forces, we can still make our presence felt.

Take care, Pete.

Posted by Dean Wormer at January 11, 2013 4:10 PM ET:

I think this replaces the "double secret probation" jihad.