I noticed two tidbits of information while surfing today. Both highlighted–incidentally in back-to-back posts at Instapundit–positives in the War on Terror.
First Joe Klein writes at Time and wonders out-loud about the state of Al-Qaeda in Iraq:
There is good news from Iraq, believe it or not. It comes from the most unlikely place: Anbar province, home of the Sunni insurgency. The level of violence has plummeted in recent weeks. An alliance of U.S. troops and local tribes has been very effective in moving against the al-Qaeda foreign fighters. A senior U.S. military official told me—confirming reports from several other sources—that there have been “a couple of days recently during which there were zero effective attacks and less than 10 attacks overall in the province (keep in mind that an attack can be as little as one round fired). This is a result of sheiks stepping up and opposing AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] and volunteering their young men to serve in the police and army units there.” The success in Anbar has led sheiks in at least two other Sunni-dominated provinces, Nineveh and Salahaddin, to ask for similar alliances against the foreign fighters. And, as TIME’s Bobby Ghosh has reported, an influential leader of the Sunni insurgency, Harith al-Dari, has turned against al-Qaeda as well. It is possible that al-Qaeda is being rejected like a mismatched liver transplant by the body of the Iraqi insurgency.
While this in the Telegraph higlights the bust that has been the Taliban’s “Spring Offensive”:
The Taliban’s much-vaunted spring offensive has stalled apparently due to lack of organisation after dozens of middle-ranking commanders were killed by British troops in the past year, according to military sources.
The death last week of the key Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah at the hands of American special forces has harmed the Taliban’s morale to the point that local commanders are having to tell their troops to “remain professional” despite the loss.
After suffering more than 1,000 dead in battles with the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines in the last year, the Taliban retired to regroup and re-equip last winter.
A spring offensive was ordered by the Taliban leadership based in Quetta, Pakistan, and was meant to be launched in late March.
But a lack of mid-level commanders has meant that there has been little co-ordination to bring about the offensive.
Both are interesting but not earth-shattering, singularly or collectively. They do though lead me to wonder–aloud–if perhaps we’ve turned a corner in the War on Terror. Not in terms of the media narrative, as that remains steadily and overwhelmingly negative but in the actual fight, on the ground.
Have we? I don’t know. Maybe you do, and if so tell me.
I certainly hope we have.
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