Taliban’s No. 2 called a formidable foe

Ron Moreau of Newsweek magazine, reports on what may be a changing of the guard for the Taliban in Afghanistan. For the past few weeks, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been issuing orders in place of the Taliban’s Mullah Mohammed Omar who still has a $10 million bounty on his head. Baradar, who claims he is still a loyal lieutenant to Omar, recently held a meeting to tell his commanders to keep the Taliban’s losses to a minimum while maximizing the cost to the enemy. Don’t try to hold territory against the Americans’ superior firepower by fighting them head-on, he ordered. Rely on guerrilla tactics whenever possible. Plant “flowers”—improvised explosive devices—on trails and dirt roads. Concentrate on small-unit ambushes, with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. He gave his listeners a special warning: he would hold each of them responsible for the lives of their men.

There has even been some indication that Baradar may have sent peace negotiators to U.S. installed president Karzai. This might ring familiar with students of German history.

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