By Rob Janicki
The Guardian in the UK is reporting some interesting information extracted from the materials captured in the raid on the bin Laden compound a year ago, which resulted in Osama bin Laden's death. It seems that up to several weeks prior to bin Laden's death, he was actively engaged in consultations with the Taliban in Afghanistan for the purpose of killing NATO troops trying to suppress Taliban activities within Afghanistan.
[...] Documents found in the house where Osama bin Laden was killed a year ago show a close working relationship between top al-Qaida leaders and Mullah Omar, the overall commander of the Taliban, including frequent discussions of joint operations against Nato forces in Afghanistan, the Afghan government and targets in Pakistan. [...]
[...] The communications show a three-way conversation between Bin Laden, his then deputy Ayman Zawahiri and Omar, who is believed to have been in Pakistan since fleeing Afghanistan after the collapse of his regime in 2001. [...]
What makes this revelation important is that it ties bin Laden and his al Qaida terrorist organization with the indigenous Afghan Taliban terrorists in actively engaging to kill NATO forces in Afghanistan. Western leaders, in particular President Obama and PM David Cameron want to believe that no such arrangement exists between the Taliban and the few al-Qaida remnants still in Afghanistan.
The western nations have engaged the Taliban in attempts to strike a peace accord with them. This revelation of the cooperation between the two terrorist organizations flies in the face of the efforts of Obama and Cameron to sit down with the Taliban and make them partners in a new Afghanistan.
[...] The news will undermine hopes of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan, where the key debate among analysts and policymakers is whether the Taliban – seen by many as following an Afghan nationalist agenda – might once again offer a safe haven to al-Qaida or like-minded militants, or whether they can be persuaded to renounce terrorism. [...]
[...] Both David Cameron and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton have said that some kind of political settlement involving the Taliban is key to the stability of Afghanistan once most western troops have withdrawn by 2014. [...]
It could be argued, and it already has by some, that Obama's belief's in any peace settlement with the Taliban are indicative of his pedestrian understanding of the facts on the ground in Afghanistan. As such, Obama's policies on Afghanistan may well come crumbling down with this latest revelation, as it indicates that al-Qaida has the distinct possibility of resurrecting itself in Afghanistan and using the cover of the Taliban to wage terrorism once again on a global scale.
This latest revelation could and probably will change the dynamic of Obama's foreign policy in Afghanistan in particular and the Middle East in general. This does not bode well for Obama's re-election campaign, where he is hanging his hat on the killing of bin Laden as if it were an indication of his military and foreign policy prowess and expertise in leadership in those areas.