The Taliban and al Qaeda remain on the run in Afghanistan. As Afghanistan prepares for parliamentary elections in September, efforts to disrupt a spring offensive continues apace. Afghani police repel an attack on a police station in Kandahar, a former stronghold of the Taliban, killing four in the process. A key Taliban commander, Mullah Momen, has been arrested along with five other terrorists. Malim Jan, a Taliban commander has been captured, and Mahmood Khan and 17 members of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar‘s Hezb-e-Islami have surrendered to the Afghani government. Several other Taliban commanders have turned themselves in this April, and more may follow. The Christian Science Monitor is optimistic that the Taliban is becoming a spent ideological force:
But the tide appears to be shifting. Fatigue is setting in among Taliban fighters. “We are tired of war; we don’t want to continue with the destruction of our country,” says Rasheid “Twenty Taliban have come to my office,” says Merajuddin Pathan, governor of Khost province, which abuts the Pakistan border. “They say we have more people who want to turn themselves in. They want a peaceful life. They don’t want to be harassed anymore.”
Fatigue is a curious emotion for those imbued with their perverted notion of the will of God and committed to fighting to the death. Years of defeat after pounding defeat on the political and military battlefields will do that to men, even the self proclaimed warriors of Allah. Being rejected by your own countrymen who conspire with the infidel to build a better life for themselves is demoralizing to any movement, and there is bound to be exhaustion and subsequent defections.
Afghanistan, once graveyard of the Soviet Union’s Red Army, has become the burial ground of the idealistic, barbaric movement of the Taliban, the model government al Qaeda wanted for its Islamic Caliphate.
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