First, in February one of the main news related to Afghanistan, was the publication of excerpts from a secret NATO report on the basis of material 27 thousand interrogations of arrested 4,000 Taliban fighters, who dubbed the compilers of "The State of the Taliban." Apart from the regular Afghan thugs evidence of cooperation with Pakistani intelligence services, the discussed document contains a number of information on the functioning of armed opposition, sentiment in the middle of the militants, etc. Some journalists have received this information as a kind of ultimate truth about the situation in Afghanistan, although this approach asks a number of reservations.
First, the principle to keep in mind that these documents are sometimes express the personal vision of the situation. "In such cases, I say, according to the report of NATO, which, however, has not been proven complementary sources …" — so the South American political scientist commented Todd Lefko out "States Taliban" to the portal "Afganistan.Ru."
In addition, the media quoted the document as highlighted by the creators themselves, is not an analytical report, only the summary report on the content of the interrogation of arrested militants in the near future without a critical evaluation of the information provided by them.
We will try to correct this omission, and try to analyze the data acquired by NATO forces during the interrogation of arrested militants.
Prisoners and conciliators
"In contrast to previous years, the detainees have become more confident not only in their own ability to win, and the rightness of one's own business … — report to the NATO report. — Detainees from across Afghanistan report a growing public support for the rebels, resulting in joining teams and donations, what has increased over the last year. "
But in the analysis of these data in principle to realize that it is not public opinion polls, where researchers can themselves under investigation forms the selection to get a very representative result. In the case of the investigation of the Taliban by NATO experts are required to take advantage of what is: a random abundance Taliban captured alive, which varies from year to year.
Recall the 2011 arrest of over 6 thousand fighters armed opposition, which is 2 times higher than in 2009. An important prerequisite for the growth of the number of prisoners was a change in the strategy of ISAF and Afghan law enforcement agencies in 2010-2011. The growing number of ground operations and "night raids" was bound to lead not only to an increase in shred arrested in the structure of the losses the Taliban, and to high-quality changes in the composition of the prisoners.
The military successes of the pro-government forces, the analysis that we have passed a series of articles intended to lead to the defeat all the more "challenging targets", militias with the best facilities, military and moral training, which changes the form of a very "average prisoner." In addition, the unexpected, "night raids" allow arrest diehard extremists who previously comparable rarely taken prisoner, preferring to fight to the last.
An important role in the "selection" of arrested militants played Applets reconciliation and development in almost all provinces, members of which, of course, are not arrested. It is becoming more successful channel for the output from the ranks of the Taliban mentally unstable or disaffected parts.
For example, under the influence of statements Kvettskoy hanky to start negotiations with the United States, cases of collapse and surrender of entire units. In Kapisa, according to local militants, after the occurrence of the early reports of the negotiations gave one of the great teams of more than 60 persons: 40 Afghan militants entered in the program, and other foreign fighters had to leave the province.
Clear statistics of "reconciliation" in the last few months yet, but the scale of the phenomenon can be estimated on the basis of the data of individual provinces. In Herat, for the year in the program take 34 squad total of 420 people, in Baghlan only in the last week of January — 130 militants of different groups. Obviously, these militants a little differently would rate outlook and moral rectitude of the armed struggle, but their testimony could not enter into discussion the report of NATO because they were not arrested.
So Makar, we can not definitely conclude from the testimony of arrested growth or decline of morality in the units of the armed opposition. Rather, it can be another important conclusion: increasing numbers of captured militants in 2011, is determined not by moral and ideological factors and impartial combat situation, the improvement of the strategy of pro-government forces.
Separately, there is a question about the assessment of the militants of popular sympathy for him. This source is fairly unreliable due to endless subjectivity of all political activists, who tend to overestimate the public sympathy for himself and antipathy towards the government. According to recent polls, a similar phenomenon has been observed, for example, in the middle of Russian liberal opposition. In cases where the activist armed and operates in the squad fighters such political illusions only strengthened because of the inability of frank talk with opponents.
According to the data-independent research, the share of Afghans experiencing that or other sympathy for the Taliban fell in 2011 from 40% to 29%. Similar level of sympathy is slightly lower in the north and slightly above the middle of the southern Pashtun population, but its fall everywhere.
It should be emphasized that the level of popularity of foreign armed forces is also very low, but the state authorities failed to reach even more of the population of respect. For example, the 2011 UN survey of the attitude of Afghans to the state police showed that 81% of respondents respected police force, 74% attributed their personal safety to the work of the Interior Ministry. The level of positive evaluations of the Afghan police and credibility grows in the last 2-years.
Contact relevant criteria and the level of confidence in the police can be seen in the western and south-western provinces, where pro-government forces have managed to achieve great success in the past year. This has a positive effect on the growth of the regional economy. For example, the gross income of Herat province has increased over the past year by 20%. In the administrative center of the new enterprises, including those not too long ago began its work one of the few medicinal plants.
So Makar, we can conclude that between the real popularity of the armed opposition and its assessment of the militants, there is a big gap. Here flaws affect state anti-Taliban propaganda, the current level which does not allow extremists to demoralize the troops. The growing number of cases, the entry in the program of reconciliation and excitement in the middle of militants in connection with the start of negotiations with the Taliban USA — symptoms of some improvements on the ideological front, but the Afghan government is still very much all to do in this area.
Taliban organizational structure
The materials offer a number of insurgents interrogation curious details on the operation and the organizational structure of the Taliban. If you believe this evidence, the movement continues to w
ork as a hierarchical structure, aggressive or subordinate Quetta Shura, or, at least, in a front-line shuram Miramshahe, Peshawar and Gerda. Control over individual field commanders through a system-independent observers and referees through disk imaging which top management can quickly replace and even lower arrest, "the officer corps."
Control zone aggressively distributed between warlords. Other militants also IMU and al Qaeda can not conduct independent operations on their local area without special permission. The exception is the city of Kabul, Quetta declared an "open area."
Hard to say to what extent should trust these indications. Is quite unclear motivation arrested militants to cooperate with interrogators so that we can face and with a conscious repetition of propaganda stamps, and idealization due to the desire to show yourself and your environment with the best hand.
There is some evidence both for and against speculation "centralized" model of the Taliban. For it says no disk imaging on the conflicts between individual warlords, the Taliban for control of the same or another object or Human pt. (These are known clashes between the Taliban and the IPA, but it's a topic for another conversation). But it can clarify the fact that the control of each zone rassredotachivanii squad the terrain gets more County, which is trivial hard to control, especially in the criteria of confrontation with the government troops. This can reduce the desire for a more fundamental commanders to seize terrain neighbors. In addition, it is clear that a number of backroom meetings militants Edged accompanied by conflicts and even armed clashes, although cases of fights against troop detachment, indeed, are unknown.
Against the highest level of centralization and operation of the vertical of power they say the Taliban following facts. In 1-x, it is about the dilemma of implementing terrorists artisanal mines. Nominally, the practice was banned by the Taliban in 1998, but in reality they are up to now used quite extensively and are a prerequisite for 32% of losses in the middle of peaceful inhabitants. On behalf of Mullah Omar not once issued orders to the requirement to reduce the loss of civilians. A similar situation around the widespread introduction of suicide bombings, which also condemned at Quetta and is also widely practiced to this day.
In-2, an analysis of press releases Taliban shows a rather weak level of interaction between the press office in Peshawar and grassroots warlords. Too many published reports are impossible to verify, with most of them is either an exaggeration or fabrication. In addition, a large number of shares of real terrorists are independent sources confirmed not find coverage in the official statements of the Taliban. After all, the vast vserasprostranena practice of direct contacts with local warlords journalists around Peshawar and Quetta. In the interview, they express their own willingness to disobey the orders of the favorites of movement, if, for example, they will anticipate a cessation of hostilities.
I note that the information support of terrorist activities have been implemented much better, for example, at the beginning of the Caucasian separatists 2000s. So we can not regard the current situation as a result of purely technical problems. It's about the dilemmas of tactical and strategic management of the fighting in Afghanistan.
In general, it is possible that during the last year really has been a tendency to strengthen the imperative vertical Taliban under the influence of increasing pressure by the Afghan government and ISAF. Based on indirect evidence, this trend affects the so-called first "Haqqani Network" (Mirmashahskaya Shura).
But on the basis of available data, we can not definitely conclude what level of interaction between the Afghan and Pakistani controlled by warlords is more typical for the moment. Most likely, it is very dependent on the specific situation, and similar religious ties between certain field commander and frontline management shura.
Personnel and funding
The testimony of prisoners in the description of personnel units also contain putative elements of idealization, but we will try to allocate more plausible information.
First, it's true that, despite significant losses, the Taliban did not face shortage of personnel. In any case, most of the personnel of the units is sufficient for the operations that they have to carry on in real time, taking into account the transition to sabotage the war strategy. Loss arrested and killed replenished by rural reserve or newly recruited fighters until such time as the backbone of the squad are not destroyed or not destroyed.
Most of the witnesses questioned categorically deny real incentives for recruitment, receiving salary or its equivalent, but these reports are not credible. Young Afghans, separated from the constant place of residence and work, must somehow support the family, because one or another equivalent salary is needed to prevent incidents of looting. In recent years, the size of the salaries of the rank and file militants was quite well known and widely open a discussion with destiny salary structure of the army and the state compensation surrendering militants.
We do not exclude that in some western and south-western provinces of payments could reduce or change the due impartial problems with which the movement has faced after the success of 2010-2011, the pro-government forces. But these difficulties are not typical for the eastern provinces, where in the past it was possible to make a number of new opium plantations that make up the main source of income for the Taliban.
According to the most questioned, the Taliban also has no trouble even at replacement positions of command in the event of the defeat of the forces of ISAF commanders. This statement is true in part, because it is almost always a similar substitution occurs before the time, until the squad is stored as a single unit.
But even in the past year, the Taliban faced with a certain lack of trained professionals, commanders, demolition, recruiters. Most command positions have to borrow illiterate fighters passed only concise training course in Pakistani instructors. There are reports of perceptible decrease in the average age of warlords in a number of provinces in Afghanistan criteria often means little more credibility.
In addition, there is evidence of numerous cases of deviation of the Taliban from making a "dangerous" command positions in almost all provinces. According to some reports, the warlords older are increasingly reaching transfer to the staff work in Pakistan, as no controlled loads, suitable for modern warfare.
Despite the fact that the Taliban are intensively developing a system of madrassas in Pakistan to prepare the terrain "qualified personnel", the demand for them is fully met.
Separately worth touching prepyadstviya role of Pakistani intelligence in the activities of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Monitoring by the ISI — the only damning fact that has not refuted those arrested. Many of them attributed to Pakistani intelligence almost supernatural abilities, the highest awareness of all the events in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the media were not put the pieces of the report describing some control over the ISI Taliban, because this information is not amenable to critical one analysis and verification.
Despite all the criticism and analysis tasks, materials, interrogation of arrested Taliban — a unique and valuable source of state-of Taliban which not yet fully applied.
In the criteria capture the huge number of terrorists alive extensive authorities should use them as a source of operational and policy data. Desirable for at least a full collection and analysis of data fighters age and educational composition, origin, Prof. abilities,
motives role in the war. This alone would give provided material for the evaluation problems of modern Afghanistan. But it prevents a sloppy job of detainees, which we have discussed in previous essays. Threading operation, the formalism is inadequate extensive use of physical methods of influence lead to the fact that a significant portion of useful disk imaging passes by analysts Afghan and Western intelligence agencies.
In general, we can only welcome the report output such as "The State of the Taliban," which raises the question of the use of data acquired from those arrested for political analysis and forecasting. We pin our hopes that over time the NATO decision to accept partial or full publication, and the text of this nainteresneyshego source available throughout the expert community.