It appears the bad guys have a good chance of eating their own. Which will make considerably less of them for US soldiers to fight. And the backdrop for the looming fight will be against the Afghanistan/Pakistani landscape... rapidly making front page news as even the Pakistani pro-west elements prepare for the onslaught.
Already beleaguered in Iraq, where tribal leaders have turned against it, al Qaeda faces a crumbling of its tribal alliances in the Afghanistan/Pakistan borderland regions. New reporting reaffirms my belief that substantial portions of the Taliban, a tribal entity which is under the influence of the Maulana Fazlur Rahman, have turned against al Qaeda. To be sure, not every Taliban leader is going to turn, but a significant portion of them will.
The Maulana is already a target of al Qaeda, and he is working against them.
President Mushareef finally showed the will to act against the Maulana and his jihadists with a raid on a mosque a few months back, letting him know there is pressure. In addition, Mushareef is now sending forces -- which have been getting trounced by Taliban and tribal forces so far -- into tribal lands.
Enter back into the Pakistani political mix former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazeer Bhutto. She worked closely with the Maulana when she was PM. He was then and is still the political leader of the militant Islamic faction in Pakistan. Bhutto will help bring him back into the inner circle. Though he will not act by proclamation and his changes will be covert, he will affect the Taliban by internal political maneuvering within his jihad-centric political parties.
Al Qaeda has targeted the Maulana. Undoubtedly the U.S. is applying more than a little bit of pressure on him, and his former foreign sponsors Saddam and Qaddafi are no longer pumping millions to his jihad groups. The new Bhutto/Mushareef alliance leaves him divided from the military and democratic political interests of Pakistan. He is increasingly isolated.
But Bhutto also gives the Maulana an escape valve; a chance to earn a powerful ally. The Maulana is no fool and he sees the weakness of al Qaeda and the end of the current incarnation of its international jihad just around the corner. Already his vitriol against the United States has lessened.
He is positioning the Taliban to start making peace agreements.
If you read Both in One Trench, and boned up on the tight business relationship between the Maulana, Bhutto, Saddam in Iraq, and Bin Laden, it may come as a surprise to you that there is no love lost between Maulana and OBL's AQ. Such is the nature of Islamic jihadists... a constant morphing of alliances in order to achieve their end goal. There is a never ending parrying for power and funding sources in motion.
Now Maulana faces a New Taliban bolstered by the injection of homeless AQ jihadists (now that they are not welcomed by Iraqi tribal leaders) assembling in Afghan mountains to prepare for battle with the Maulana's Old Taliban.
AQ, in short, is attempting a military coup takeover of the Taliban. And that will signal their demise... just as their attempts to wrest control from Iraqi tribal leaders resulted in their losses in Iraq.
Other tribal leaders are also reported to be turning against AQ. The Telegraph reports: [H/T Larwyn/Prairie Pundit]
The Daily Telegraph has learned that the Afghan government hopes to seal the deal this week with Mullah Abdul Salaam and his Alizai tribe, which has been fighting alongside the Taliban in Helmand province.
Diplomats confirmed yesterday that Mullah Salaam was expected to change sides within days. He is a former Taliban corps commander and governor of Herat province under the government that fell in 2001.
Military sources said British forces in the province are "observing with interest" the potential deal in north Helmand, which echoes the efforts of US commanders in Iraq's western province to split Sunni tribal leaders from their al-Qa'eda allies.
Robison continues with the positive aspect - the US/Iraq strategy to ally the Iraqi tribal leaders of various sects together against the Islamic jihadists is a winning strategy that is spreading, and affecting AQ strength. Robison also points out that OBL's latest taped message, lamenting the split amongst the factions, was most likely not addressing just the Iraq front. Instead, it could have been construed as a call to action to resurrect a crumbling Taliban.
You can bet that Taliban commanders like Mullah Salaam would not be making deals if they didn't have the support of the major players in Pakistan, namely Maulana Fazlur Rahman. If this "new" vs. "old" stew with al Qaeda stirring the pot comes to a boil, the fighting will resemble the Iraqi sectarian fighting, except this time is will be all Taliban and al Qaeda fighters killing each other in an all out war. And here is the bad news for The New York Times. When that happens, we win.
Hold on to your seats, things are about to get messy in South Asia. A war is shaping up between New Taliban backed by al Qaeda on one side and Old Taliban backed by Fazlur Rahman/Mushareef/Bhutto on the other side. The first shot came with the bombing of Bhutto's motorcade, which killed over a hundred.
When these murders are fully targeting on each other instead of innocents they will kill thousands of their own fighters.
And that, folks, would be great news. Altho I, for one, really have a wait and see attitude to what emerges in Pakistan as a result. Musharref/Bhutto power sharing the leadership, and the Debandi Islamic jihad leader Maulana welcomed back into the government fold. It's just another crazy day in the realm of Islamic jihad....