September 19, 2007.
So Al-Jazeera embeds a reporter with the 50 Talibs who roam around Kapisa (yup, Kapisa), buy guns from the National Police, and feel the love from the locals. The results:
So the locals warmly greet 50 armed men? To be honest, if 50 well-armed soldiers walked up to my house I would greet them warmly as well, whatever their affiliation. NATO troops now understand this very well. I have heard numerous soldiers remark about the smiling villagers who are probably cooperating with the Taliban. And then there are the times where villagers “warmly greet” the Taliban and then gladly tell Captain America all about where the Talibs are hiding.
These village folks have both the hospitality and deception down to a fine art. It’s a survival tactic that has surely served them well for the last few hundred years or so.
Pic: “Dear villagers of Kapisa! PsyOps loves you!”
But back to the Taliban’s presence in Kapisa. The Taliban claims that it controls most of Kapisa’s Tagab district, which is about 30 miles northeast of Kabul.
The problems of Kapisa, and of the country as a whole, were expressed eloquently by Governor Abdul Sattar Murad a couple months back.
Pic: Governor Murad chats with the kids.
Unfortunately for Murad, his honesty got him fired by the central government (apparently in retaliation for the just cited Newsweek article). As a governor, honesty may not be the best policy if you are concerned about keeping your job. [note added March 2008: I retract the preceding two sentences. Apparently I wrongly believed the BBC report.]
Pic: Ex-governor seeking employment.
Apparently Kapisa outside of Tagab is not fertile ground for the Taliban and their allies. Nevertheless, the situation is yet to be resolved. Perhaps there will be sufficient alarm when the Taliban start rocketing Kabul just like they did over 10 years ago. Feel free to guess the direction from which the rockets will come.
And yes, it seems that the Afghan government may have deleted Murad’s website (www.kapisa.gov.af). That’s so Soviet Union.