Daily Brief: Leaked NATO report reveals Taliban detainee beliefs

The Rack: New America Fellow Anatol Lieven, "Afghanistan: The Best Way to Peace" (NYRB). Event Notice: Please join the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies Program on Friday for an in-depth discussion with the National Defense University’s Dr. Thomas Lynch, the author of the forthcoming New America research paper, "The 80 Percent Solution: The Strategic Defeat ...

ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images
ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images
ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images

The Rack: New America Fellow Anatol Lieven, "Afghanistan: The Best Way to Peace" (NYRB).

Event Notice: Please join the New America Foundation's National Security Studies Program on Friday for an in-depth discussion with the National Defense University's Dr. Thomas Lynch, the author of the forthcoming New America research paper, "The 80 Percent Solution: The Strategic Defeat of bin Laden's al-Qaeda and Implications for South Asian Security" (NAF).

Confident captives

The Rack: New America Fellow Anatol Lieven, "Afghanistan: The Best Way to Peace" (NYRB).

Event Notice: Please join the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies Program on Friday for an in-depth discussion with the National Defense University’s Dr. Thomas Lynch, the author of the forthcoming New America research paper, "The 80 Percent Solution: The Strategic Defeat of bin Laden’s al-Qaeda and Implications for South Asian Security" (NAF).

Confident captives

A classified report on NATO interrogations of thousands of insurgent detainees in Afghanistan reveals that the fighters believe the Taliban will be able to return to power in Afghanistan following NATO toops’ withdrawal in 2014, and that the movement is receiving support from Pakistan and enjoying success on the battlefield (APAFPCNN,GuardianBBC). Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar dismissed the allegations of Pakistani support for the militants, calling them "old wine in new bottles" (BBCAJE,Reuters). And a spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said Wednesday that any conclusions drawn from the leaked report would be "questionable at best," as it is just a summary of interrogations, not an analytical report (NYTCNN).

U.S. Defense Department officials will outline for the first time during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday an analysis of attacks by Afghan security forces on NATO troops, identifying personal grudges, not insurgent ties, as the primary motivation behind the attacks (AP). The 45 such attacks since 2007 have killed 70 and wounded 110, and the rate of the attacks has increased in recent months.  On Wednesday, an Afghan soldier shot and killed a U.S. Marine in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, though the detained soldier told investigators it was an accident (NYTAPBloombergAFPCNN).

U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that the United States is weighing the risks of transferring five Taliban detainees to a third country as part of a peace deal with the militant group (ReutersAP). The Associated Press has a closer look at the five Guantánamo detainees being considered for release (AP). U.S. officials plan to remind France during a meeting of NATO members in Chicago on Thursday that the alliance agreed to a 2014 deadline for troop withdrawal, following French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s announcement last week that he wants NATO to end its mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2013 (APAFP).

Retaliation strike

Pakistani security forces killed over 20 suspected militants, including senior Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Moinud Din in a midnight airstrike on TTP hideouts in Orakzai Agency near the border with Afghanistan (CNNBBCTelAFPReutersAP). The strikes came a day after TTP militants attacked a checkpoint in Kurram Agency, killing eight Pakistani soldiers and wounding 15. And on Wednesday, militants attacked a checkpoint in the southwestern province of Balochistan, killing another 11 soldiers and wounding 12 (APAFP).

Police in Islamabad said Wednesday they are investigating a package containing anthrax that was sent to the official residence of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani last month (AFP). Meanwhile Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, though the visit was somewhat overshadowed by the leaked NATO interrogation summaries alleging Pakistani support for the Afghan Taliban (AFP).

Questioning Khan

Controversial author Salman Rushdie questioned cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s beliefs in a tweet on Wednesday, noting Khan’s support for Rushdie’s views in the early 1980s, and his more recent condemnation of Rushdie’s 1988 book, The Satanic Verses(ET). A Pakistani Twitter user explained to Rushdie, "You were sane then," to which the author responded, "On the contrary, my ideas were exactly as crazy then as they are now."

Jennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.

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