From Shaan Khan for CNN, from CNN website, January 3, 2012
Pakistani Taliban factions and their allies have set up a council of elders in hopes of coordinating efforts against NATO troops in Afghanistan, a spokesman said Monday.
The five participating factions, including the Taliban branch led by Hakimullah Mehsud and the militant Haqqani network, announced the move in a leaflet circulated in the Pakistani tribal district of North Waziristan over the weekend.
The council's creation was spurred by fugitive Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, who urged the Pakistani Taliban and associated jihadist groups to put aside their internal disputes and work together to battle the U.S.-led alliance across the border, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told CNN.
Ihsan told CNN that Omar had sent three of his representatives to Pakistan to urge the jihadist movements there to put aside their differences and work together to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan. Ihsan said the insurgents would start moving across the mountainous border in March.
The Taliban ruled most of Afghanistan before the U.S.-led invasion that followed the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. The fundamentalist Islamic militia was quickly turned out of power but regrouped in the countryside and has been battling NATO troops and the Western-backed government in Kabul ever since.
The leaflet announcing the council calls for an immediate halt to the killings and kidnappings of innocent people. But the Pakistani Taliban will keep fighting Pakistani security forces as long as their attacks on the Taliban continue, Ihsan said.
Link this story of Taliban "collaboration" to fight NATO forces and Pakistani security forces with another out of Quatar, where reports indicate the Taliban have established an "embassy" in the hope that some discussions can begin outside Afghanistan to bring the Taliban into some kind of working agreement with the Karzai government in Kabul. The two stories, taken together, make for interesting speculation.
What to do with fundamentalist Islamic militia(s) is a question concerning many world capitals, where the chemistry and the physics and the metaphysics of terror in the name of religion have shown themselves to be deadly, deceptively surprising and relentless in the pursuit of Sharia Law.
While the U.S. and NATO have "military might" far superior to anything the Taliban can bring to the battlefield, there is a tenacity, a secrecy and a determination to drive out all "occupiers" from Afghanistan and return to power, and to take the country back to the Middle Ages, on most of which traits the NATO forces simply cannot compete.
The Russians learned this the hard way. The NATO forces will have to learn it the hard way also.
Some gordion knots simply cannot be untied; they are the facts of history that face the western world like enigmas of the universe, interesting to speculate upon, even dangerous to engage, yet nevertheless, intractable.
With considerable scientific, social, cultural and political skill and wisdom from centuries of mistakes, the "west" still does not have the wherewithall to overcome these forces, and the sooner we accept the limits to our massive military might, the sooner the world will welcome a transition to some form of dialogue "with the devil" if that is the only way the west can perceive it.