As a former military man and a staunch defender of knowing your enemy when it comes to any battle, I was quite surprised to learn that these tactics of attacking the supply lines have not been used much by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda until now. In the history of war and conflicts it has always been a strategy of the Western World to take out at lest two top components of the enemy. Supply and communications which leads me to believe that these groups are now more influenced by westerners who have defected to their side. The article below speaks of a “new wing” which has been created. If this is a “new wing” then when did this idea come to them and where did it come from?
“The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Monday for a pre-dawn attack on tankers carrying fuel to Afghanistan for U.S. and other NATO forces, left vulnerable on the side of the road after Pakistan shut down a key border crossing.” “Some 20 trucks went up in flames and four people were killed and seven injured, authorities said.” “Hours later, gunmen attacked and burned two other trucks carrying NATO supplies in southwest Pakistan, killing one driver.” “There have been four such attacks since Pakistan last Thursday shuttered its main border crossing into Afghanistan to NATO supply convoys.” “Traffic has since been backing up at various points along the route from the southern port city of Karachi to the crossing at Torkham – where scores of trucks remain stranded and vulnerable to attack in the volatile Khyber Pass.” “The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the Islamabad attack in a telephone call to an Associated Press reporter.” “Spokesman Azam Tariq said a new wing of the group had been created to strike the convoys and that the attacks “would continue until the supplies are completely stopped.” “On Friday, a day after the closure of the Khyber Pass route to NATO and U.S. traffic, there were two attacks on oil tankers headed to the country, one of which was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.” “While attacks on convoys in Pakistan give militants a propaganda victory, coalition officials say they do not result in shortages in Afghanistan.” (Khan, Zarar, 10/04/2010, Associated Press, Taliban attacks NATO supply trucks in Pakistan, Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org).
There may be other reasons why now this is news and an addition to the Taliban strategy but not having used this tactic from the beginning makes me wonder. Granted this is greatly aided by the closing of the Khyber Pass and makes the targets sitting ducks but as a strategist, would this not be part of the overall plan from the beginning. We have had reports of many Brits, Americans and others joining this group and getting training, what if some of those were the ones doing the training? Based on this “new wing” and the idea of attacking the supply lines, I believe that there can be a very strong case made regarding western influence in this war.