It appears that a new strategy is being hammered out for the Afghan war.
This would involve pulling back US troops to the north and west of the country, and leaving the south and east largely to the Taliban, effectively in control of those areas in any case. US troops would therefore be concentrated on the border with Iran.
The Northern Alliance are the people who sold the present occupants of Gitmo to the US at $5,000 a head. Anyone who knows the Afghans will not be surprised that an awful lot of personal and tribal scores were settled in this process.
(It is true that some did have real links to Al-Qaeda, like Osama bin Laden’s driver. Hitler’s driver, however, was never accused of or charged with anything; no one thought being enough of a top notch chauffeur to snaffle the country’s prime job made you guilty of war crimes of any kind.)
Far from being “the worst of the worst” the obvious fact that most of those sold to the US were locals being scored off is what makes any kind of charge against nearly all of those held there almost impossible to substantiate.
The eastern part of Afghanistan is separated from Pakistan by the Durand line, drawn by a nineteenth century British administrator. The line separates the twenty million Pathans (Pashtuns) living in Pakistan from the twenty million Pathans living in Afghanistan, and has always been ignored by both. The Pathans are in effect excluded from the army, in which Northern Alliance people hold all top positions.
No doubt the US is hoping that the Tajiks and Hazara and others who have poor relations with the Taliban will become their natural allies, though it is very doubtful that this will happen.
(The Hazara are all lineal descendants of Temujin, better known by his title of Perfect Warrior, emperor of all men, or Ghengis Ka Khan.)
The US calculation is that like the Hmong in Vietnam, they will have nowhere else to go. Hence the large base bring built at MazariSharif.
The US may be hoping to squeeze Iran from both sides, from Iraq and Afghanistan.
More important however is that having abandoned the south and east of Afghanistan, the border with Pakistan no longer matters at all. The entire area becomes badlands, killing fields, a free fire zone for the contractors, and can safely be indiscriminately bombed and droned without limits of any kind. The current fig leaves of denials, apologies, and financial reparations will become unnecessary.
("The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible.")1.
Warm air holds more moisture than cold air, and warm oceans evaporate more liquid than cold oceans. That much can be assimilated even by first year science students without undue strain on the brain muscles. After the warmest three months on record we can therefore expect precipitation in the coming winter to exceed the record snow falls of last winter.
The proposed solution of the Palin/Petraeus/Mitt Romney/Glenn Beck crew, funded by the Koch brothers and apparently in control of what is laughingly called government, of burning enough Korans to stay warm, is probably not the best we can do.