The documentary interviews other mid-level Taliban commanders about their time in Pakistan. One says that Pakistan’s help plays a “significant role” and the safe havens are “really important.” They say that their network of training camps are overseen by members of the ISI or those closely tied to it. “They are all the ISI’s men. They are the ones who run the training. First, they train us about bombs, then they give us practical guidance,” a Taliban commander says.
The film also brings to light new evidence that Pakistan did know Osama Bin Laden’s location. A former Afghan intelligence chief said he told President Musharraf in 2006 that Bin Laden was in a town called Manshera, only 12 miles from Abbottabad, where he was ultimately killed. An arms smuggler for the Taliban said he personally helped shuffle Bin Laden from one location to the next. In addition, Abu Farraj al-Libi, a senior Al-Qaeda operative who was in charge of finding a safe haven, brought his family to Abbottabad in 2003 for a period of time.
The Pentagon report shows that the U.S. is indeed making progress in Afghanistan, but this progress will be limited because of the Pakistanis, and once U.S. forces leave, the progress could be jeopardized. The report found that the levels of violence in Afghanistan fell for the first time in five years in May. The number of attacks in September was 26% less than the previous year. However, cross-border attacks are again increasing and much of the fire comes from areas near Pakistani military posts. This again proves Pakistani culpability.
The U.S. drone has been the weapon of choice in striking at Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorists. In mid-October, two senior Al-Qaeda leaders were killed, both involved in planning attacks overseas. One was a member of the terrorist group’s Shura Council. On October 26, the drones killed between 13 and 22 members of the Taliban in South Waziristan, including a deputy to the chief of the Pakistani Taliban. On October 30, the fourth strike in five days happened, killing 6 terrorists in North Waziristan. The drone campaign has been decisive in the war on terror and in making progress in Afghanistan, but Saturday’s attack shows that it alone cannot defeat the Pakistan-based terror networks.
The progress in Afghanistan is encouraging, but the cost of it may be for naught if the Pakistan-based terrorists unravel it as U.S. forces depart. American soldiers in Afghanistan deserve to have a winnable mission and to be protected. Instead, they are fighting a war that cannot be won until Pakistan is held accountable for trying to kill them. It is time to honor our soldiers by making Pakistan pay a steep price for its actions.
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