Top Taliban commander captured

Good news out of the Afpak region, the Taliban second in command, Mullah Baradar, was captured in Karachi.  This is notable in itself, and comes as the US is leading an ambitious effort to capture the Taliban stronghold of Marja, but I was particularly happy to hear that the raid was a joint effort by Pakistan’s secret service, the ISI, and the CIA. The ISI has for a long time played both sides of the Taliban and the US for reasons clear in this article, and I think it’s critical to get the Pakistanis to abandon the Taliban as a client and work with the US to deny them sanctuary. That means attacking their strongholds in the tribal regions, which they’ve done in the last few months, and have the intelligence agencies work together to go after high-value targets.  Hopefully this raid is just the first wave of this. What if the next few months Marja falls and the Afghans seem to actually hold the city themselves and set up a semi-decent government while a joint US/Pakistan raid captures or kills Mullah Omar (who is said to be in Karachi)? That kind of thing could be a game-changer and would be some well-deserved good news for the Obama foreign policy team, which I think is actually doing a good job.

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