Posted by: Christian | November 12, 2009

Biden Plan in Inaction in Nuristan

Uh oh. Syed Saleem Shahzad reports:

The United States has withdrawn its troops from its four key bases in Nuristan, on the border with Pakistan, leaving the northeastern province as a safe haven for the Taliban-led insurgency to orchestrate its regional battles.

The US has retained some forces in Nuristan’s capital, Parun, to provide security for the governor and government facilities. The American position concerning the withdrawal is that due to winter conditions, supply arteries are choked, making it difficult to keep forces in remote areas. The US has pulled out from some areas in the past, but never from all four main bases. […]

The province is now under the effective control of the network belonging to Qari Ziaur Rahman, a Taliban commander with strong ties to Bin Laden. This makes Nuristan the first Afghan province to be controlled by a network inspired by al-Qaeda.

And can you say “Safe Haven”?…..for insurgents in Pakistan?

In a telephone conversation on Wednesday, a militant linked to Rahman said that now that they had control of Nuristan, the militants are “marching towards Mohmand and Bajaur to help their fellow Taliban fighting against Pakistani troops”, referring to two tribal agencies across the border.

Al Jazeera notes/gloats:

The Pentagon said the closing of the outposts in Nuristan was part of plans by General Stanley McChrystal, the US and Nato commander in Afghanistan, to shut down isolated units and focus on more heavily populated areas.

Photo via ZeroHour: US soldier in Nuristan.

It’s clear that what is now needed is for Predator drones to drop multiple copies of the Biden Plan onto their heads. The Biden plan: drone strikes and SF…. coming soon? Or not at all? Because seriously, that is what was supposed to offset the withdrawal from the “sparsely populated areas”: some sort of vague CT/drone/SF thingy. When will we see it?

And yes, Foreign Policy has credited Josh Foust for accurately predicting this.

Background on Nuristan here and here. Or just go to Registan and read stories tagged with “Nuristan.”


  1. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/13/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  2. I was on the first SF team that went up into Nuristan in early 2002. It was obvious then that the province was key terrain along the Pak border that needed attention before the Taliban resurgence that inevitably came.
    We laid the groundwork for cooperation with the border keepers in the region, but like many of our endeavors, it fell to the wayside when we rotated out and more conventional troops moved into our basecamp in Konar.

  3. David F-
    Were you with 3rd or 19th SFG?

    I’m highly disapponted at the decision to pull back from Nuristan. I, too, had tremendous success in both Kunar and Nuristan. You’re right, the conventional mentality has historically cost us much in terms of goodwill, cooperation, etc…


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