What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The G-chief and Mullah Baradar: Cont'd

I quoted correspondent Bette Dam (from here) in the previous days regarding how Hamed Karzai may have been spared during his initial post-9/11 forays into Uruzgan by Mullah Baradar himself - a hint she dug up during her research for a book she wrote while she was also covering Dutch operations in the province:
"President Karzai started to ask for Mullah Baradar's help in 2001. After the attacks of 11 September 2001, the Americans helped Karzai take control of ‘his’ region in Uruzgan from the Taliban. By talking and negotiating he convinced one tribal leader after another to support him.
When Karzai found himself in a life-threatening situation while in the Durji mountains he was rescued by Mullah Baradar, who was then the Taliban’s defence minister. In exchange, Karzai agreed not to punish Mullah Baradar for his role as a Taliban leader. Karzai assured him that he had nothing to worry about and that the Taliban would later be allowed to participate in the government. However things turned out differently. United States forces bombed Baradar’s house in Deh Rawod in spite of Karzai’s objections. Mullah Baradar fled the country and began operating in neighbouring Pakistan."
I noted, in my previous related post, that any promise made by Karzai had to be effectively broken (nothing Karzai could do about this) by a 2002 incident when a wedding was bombed where many of Baradar's relatives may have been killed, including the bride who was his brother's daugther (the U.S. military dubbed this op "Operation Full Throttle"). That sounds bad, if the above anecdote is considered on its own. Now, from page 166 of Eric Blehm's excellent book, here is a hint that may suggest that by that time, actually no love may have been lost between Baradar and Karzai. When Karzai returned with U.S. special forces (who called him the G-chief, i.e. "guerrilla chief"), to Uruzgan, Mullah Baradar may have made a profound reassessment of his importance and consequently regarding what ought to be done to him. Thus he dispatched assassins to kill Karzai; Karzai picked up news of this through his network of informants and let his U.S. escort, members of ODA-574, know about this. An important piece of the puzzle, isn't it?
But meanwhile, I should make it clear that where one reassessment could occur, many more could still happen. Therefore I don't think for a minute that this sort of past behind them might really have precluded the two, President Karzai and Mullah Baradar, from sending out feelers towards each other once again.

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