Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Taliban have 60% of Afghanistan: expert

From New Zealand:

The Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand)
Afghanistan at tipping point says US expert

July 21 - The war in Afghanistan is at a critical point, with the Taleban now in control of more than half the country, says a visiting United States terrorism expert.

"It could very much go either way -- the Taleban has clearly regrouped and taken over 60 per cent of the country," said Christopher Heffelfinger, a researcher at the West Point Military Academy Combating Terrorism Centre...

Mr Heffelfinger was critical of the US invasion of Iraq and its "misnamed" war on terrorism after the September 11 attacks.

Terrorism was a tactic -- "this is not a war against a tactic, it is a war against a political and social movement we don't have a name for".

Mr Heffelfinger said terrorists were a very small segment of the Muslim community and countries that harboured them should have been targeted earlier.

"We should have dealt with Pakistan before we dealt with Iraq. We should have dealt with Saudi Arabia a long time ago and not believed they were our ally in a war in which they're our enemy," he said, referring to its funding and fomenting of Islamic terrorists -- including those involved in the September 11 attacks... (link)

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