By Ashley J Tellis; United States. President (2009- : Obama); Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
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Additional info for Reconciling with the Taliban? : toward an alternative grand strategy in Afghanistan
41 This symbiotic relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taliban is now also reflected in the latter’s worldview. As Thomas Johnson has demonstrated in his careful analysis of Taliban “night letters,” the early focus on local Afghan issues has been complemented by new invocations directed toward the global ummah, often employing the locutions associated with Osama Bin Laden. ”42 CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE 25 Even if Western aims in Afghanistan are therefore limited to the most minimal goals of defeating terrorism, and only al-Qaeda terrorism at that, there will be no alternative for the United States and its alliance partners to prosecute the war against the Taliban just as vigorously in Afghanistan.
Controlled counterterrorism mission, which is distinct—at least conceptually though not in practice—from ISAF’s nation-building operations in Afghanistan; and, finally, the State Department coordinates with all the coalition members involved in the counternarcotics mission. Although all four institutions collaborate as required, CENTCOM retains responsibility for critical tasks such as ISR; logistics and medical support; raising Afghanistan’s security forces; and special operations, counternarcotics, and regional engagement (most importantly with Pakistan) even though NATO, and by implication SACEUR, has responsibility for the entire mission in Afghanistan.