Reviewing Obama’s War: Part II


Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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4 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    Does the Taliban have the same desire for world wide effort and vision? AQ is trying to affect the muslim world. I had always thought of the Taliban as more of an Afgan phenomenon.Report

  2. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    No not exactly, not in the sense of planning and attacking far away places. But I do think it’s fair to say their leadership (again not the regular-ish folk) see themselves as part of a larger jihadi movement. That’s fairly vague and not necessarily operational. But they certainly are a regional threat. And the connections between a Taliban and AQ and then say a Laikshar e Toiba (guys who carried out the gruesome Mumbai attacks) starts to have some serious negative regional consequences. India is an ally, so is Pakistan for that matter.

    But I think Bergen is right that at the level of the top leadership, you can’t really separate the groups out operationally. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t buy off the local fighters (I think). While various factions of what we call The Taliban have merged with some Pushtun quasi-nationalist feelings, that link is not permanent. Or need not be.

    There is where I think the real aim should be. My thing is I don’t see how attempting to build a state is the right way to deal with this problem. Particularly since Karzai and his regime was built on a treaty that excluded Pushtuns.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Chris Dierkes says:


      In a related note, it makes it even wiser to push for a rapprochement with Iran, since they hate the Taliban. And how do we get the Pakistani’s on board with this?Report