Friday, July 18, 2008

Foreign Fighters Have Been Going Back and Forth For Years

The notion of people crossing borders is a reflection of the Western mindset--we see the crossing of an international boundary as an event! A legal instance of moving from one place to another! Something to be recorded! Write it down in a passport and stamp it! There! It's official!

It's not really a big deal for people who live in the Middle East--the borders were all drawn for them, not by them, and the idea that foreign fighters are moving into Afghanistan is new is laughable. Foreign fighters--so-called Jihadis--have always moved around, pointedly ignoring borders.

Afghanistan has been drawing a fresh influx of jihadi fighters from Turkey, Central Asia, Chechnya and the Middle East, one more sign that al Qaeda is regrouping on what is fast becoming the most active front of the war on terror groups.

More foreigners are infiltrating Afghanistan because of a recruitment drive by al Qaeda as well as a burgeoning insurgency that has made movement easier across the border from Pakistan, U.S. officials, militants and experts say.

Oh no! What are we going to do about it? We can calm down, for starters.

The problem with this thinking is that it ignores that this was going on in October, 2007:
The foreign fighters are not only bolstering the ranks of the insurgency. They are more violent, uncontrollable and extreme than even their locally bred allies, officials on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border warn.

And it ignores what was happening in 2006:
Intelligence suggests that fighters from Syria, Egypt and Yemen have joined the Taliban in attacking the troops from the Nato International Security Assistance Force.

The recent assaults by the Taliban on British outposts in the north of Helmand province in Sangin, Musa Qala, Nowzad and Kajaki, were all believed to have been assisted by foreign fighters.

You can see the first inkling of this type of thing in 2005:
Last week the US magazine Newsweek reported that the Taliban in Afghanistan had brought in a team of instructors from Iraq to pass on the latest techniques.

Mr Jabr said hundreds of foreign militants had already left Iraq. Those remaining numbered fewer than 1,000, compared with up to 3,000 six months ago. But he said the fall was due to the success of recent US and Iraqi offensives

Notice anything?

This is the same recycling of the same panicky theme that gets trotted out when things start to go bad. Why wouldn't the "Jihadis" flock to Afghanistan? They do it every year, they get to do their Jihadi thing, and then they get to leave. It's called whack-a-mole by the carnies and that's what you have right now--a policy of fighting terrorism throughout the world played out as a panicky, ineffective game of whack-a-mole.


No comments: