Afghan official, professor voice concerns about war effort

In order to remove the Taliban from power, force other than airstrikes are needed, said one Afghan representative.

"If the U.S. Air Force pounds the Taliban positions north of Kabul in an intensive and sustained manner, our forces can advance to Kabul," said Mohammad Eshaq, the Islamic State of Afghanistan representative in Washington D.C.

However, according to Eshaq, air support is not the only requirement that needs to be met before victory is obtained.

"Our forces are also facing shortages of ammunition," Eshaq said. "If they are supplied with the needed ammunition, they will be able to do their job."

However, the solution may not be as simple, according to one BSU professor.

"It is not just a matter of ammo," said Kevin Smith, an associate professor of history. "It is also a matter of training and the will to fight.

"We are facing a difficulty similar to South Vietnam and other previous conflicts where it was an effort for the U.S. to find people willing to fight and die that are already on the ground."

According to Eshaq, there's a strong probability of taking Kabul and some other cities before winter.

"This is the easiest and cheapest way of defeating the Taliban and foreign terrorists under Osama bin Laden," he said.

"They do need help, but we must be cautious," Smith said. "The U.S. government is not entirely comfortable with putting the Northern Alliance in power."

Some individuals within the Northern Alliance are westernized and in agreement with varied American values. The organization as a whole, however, is similar to the Taliban in many ways, according to Smith.

"We have to ask ourselves what the ultimate goal of the Northern Alliance is," Smith said. "And getting Osama bin Laden for the U.S. is not the first priority for the Northern Alliance."

In contrast, Taliban forces are receiving a continual supply of materials and reinforcements from Islamabad, Pakistan according to a Nov. 3 newsletter from the Office of the Islamic State of Afghanistan in Washington.

"The existence of such supply routes is plausible, but not confirmed," Smith said.

The newsletter states that "Pakistani extremist parties and Pakistani traders with links to the Taliban continue to provide financial assistance to the Taliban."

Eyewitness reports indicate Pakistanis are crossing from Pakistan to the Panjshir Valley using mountainous routes to carry arms, ammunition and fuel for the Taliban, the newsletter reported.

Also according to the newsletter, Pakistan's government has not made any attempt to stop armed Pakistanis from entering into Afghanistan.

According to CNN, Pakistan, the only country with diplomatic ties to the Taliban regime, created the Taliban and openly supported it until the U.S. attacks began.

"It is important to remember that many Pakistani people share ethnicity with the Pushtun people of southern Afghanistan," Smith said.


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