US captures top Taliban commander

Posted on February 16, 2010

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The Taliban’s top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was captured in a joint raid by CIA and Pakistani intellegence operatives last week. Baradar was nabbed in Pakistan’s capital of Karachi, and comes during a major American offensive in Afghanistan. Baradar ranks second only to the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, and his capture is a significant setback for the deposed Afghani ruling party.

Quite obviously, this is good news. Baradar is likely to provide some sort of actionable intelligence regarding Taliban operations and possibly the whereabouts of top al-Qaeda leaders. And as Allahpundit notes, the Pakistani involvement indicates an increased willingness by the ISI to actively go after Taliban leaders instead of turning a blind eye as they have done in the past. Whether this is the beginning of a trend or a one-time deal, though, remains to be seen.

Regardless, this is a victory for America, and political wrangling should serve no role in its evaluation. Credit is due to the administration for allowing the operation to go forward and letting the intelligence services and the military do their job. But more importantly, the men and women on the ground deserve kudos for their hard and grueling work.

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