Drone Strike in Residential Neighborhood in Kabul

Defense Department officials confirmed that a drone strike took out a person in a vehicle that may have been intending to attack U.S. forces at the Karzai airport. The Taliban claim that a child was killed, without confirming any other deaths. This strike may have spoiled the anticipated attack for which a warning was issued yesterday.

If we are hitting targets in residential neighborhoods in Kabul, it is either with the cooperation of the Taliban or we do not fear retaliation against our troops at the airport because most, if not all, are already evacuated as this is being written.


Taliban Close to Forming Government, Anxious to Maintain Relations With Western Countries

The Taliban are saying that their cabinet will be inclusive but that they are not interested in power-sharing.

“The leadership has assigned deputy chief Sirajuddin Haqqani and the other deputy chief Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob to finalize names for the cabinet,” the Taliban announced. It is telling that these are the head of the Haqqani Network and the son of dead Taliban founder Mullah Omar.

The Taliban will not announce the formation of their government until U.S. forces leave the country. The Taliban are also saying they want good relations with the U.S. and other western countries.

The Taliban appear to be unsure of how secure their position is in the country. They are promising inclusion in their new government with an eye towards trying to head off a new civil war that could depose them.

One of the tactics they employed in their rapid advance across the country was to offer provinces relative autonomy under a general pledge of loyalty to the Taliban. In some cases, the Taliban massacred surrendering Afghan government forces and in others they allowed them to surrender and return to their homes. The difference in behavior was probably due to a combination of ethnic hatred between the Pashtun Taliban and other tribes that are their traditional enemies. We also note the statements made by the Taliban of a general amnesty against the numerous reports of the Taliban going door to door with lists of names of people to be killed or imprisoned for cooperating with the U.S. or the Afghan government.