According to sources, Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership directed “a large sum of money” to Jalaluddin Haqqani to recruit 3,000 fighters for the Kabul front. However, within two months the combined affect of death and desertion left Haqqani with only 300 men.
According to Ahmed Rashid, Haqqani’s inability to personal direct the fighters on the front lines and conflicts between southern commanders and eastern troops combined to degrade this eastern Pashtun force. Personally, I find this in line with one analyst’s (I really forget who) analogy with Lebanon’s civil war militias as being supreme “defenders” of their own turf and terrible “invaders” of others. Also notable here is the Taliban leadership’s desire to take over command from a competent commander in favor of Kandaharis. But most important is Ahmed Rashid’s point that for the first time, the Taliban is suffering a crisis in recruitment and a “manpower shortage.”
Jalaludin Haqqani, with beard and turban gone wild:
Of course, you know I’m talking about 1997, right? The info above is from page 60 of Ahmed Rashid’s Taliban. Has there been a rush in the last year to find background on Haqqani? Yes, absolutely. Is there much material? Absolutely not. The old sources are littered with Massoud and Hekmatyar. As far as new and open sources, hopefully there is something in here worthwhile:
‘Loya Paktia’s insurgency: (i) the haqqani network as an autonomous entity in the taliban Universe [Thomas Ruttig] (ii) Roots of the insurgency in the Southeast [Sébastien Trives]‘ in Decoding the New Taliban: Insights from the Afghan Field. Edited by Antonio Giustozzi. London: Hurst & Co./ New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.
As I just returned from fieldwork, I’m a little behind on the reading and book ordering. The book has positive reviews from William Maley, David B. Edwards and Gilles Dorronsoro. So I should probably get on this book (in its entirety).