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Thursday, July 7

Batchelor Show: Klein on Islamic State retrench, Roggio on Afghan Taliban successes

Not up to U.S. Marines standard but an increasingly well-drilled, disciplined force that is beginning to look and act like a real army. Note the matching uniforms -- that's a new wrinkle for the Taliban


Photos taken from Long War Journal's screen grabs from a Taliban website; see the July 4 LWJ report (linked below) for more photos and the accompanying report.    

For background to the two discussions on the Wednesday night John Batchelor Show see: 

> Aaron Klein's July 6 report for Breitbart News, EXCLUSIVE – Islamic State Showing Signs of Desperation as Western Counterterrorism Improves.  

> Bill Roggio's July 7 report for Long War Journal, Obama backtracks on Afghanistan withdrawal, cites ‘precarious’ security situation and Taliban shows ‘Omar ibn Khattab’ training camp in Kunduz by Bill Roggio and Caleb Weiss; July 4, Long War Journal. 

As Aaron explains to Batchelor, Islamic State is expanding its activities in Gaza, Sinai, and Jordan. So, desperation about their situation in Iraq and Syria doesn't translate to being on the ropes. 

Two points, although minor in Bill Roggio's allover discussion, rose to the top for me: 

His mention that it's no longer safe for foreigners to walk the streets in Kabul -- Afghanistan's capital city. Foreigners who live there are told to stay inside and hide. That's a stark picture of how thin Afghan security forces are spread.

And, almost as a throwaway line during his brief discussion of the Taliban's criticism of the recent terror attack in Medina -- Bill mentioned the Taliban want peace and quiet in Saudi Arabia because they don't want harm coming to their "cash cow."

Right. His July 5 report on the same topic notes:
The Taliban’s condemnation is not surprising. Taliban leaders and financiers have long raised funds inside Saudi Arabia to support their jihad in Afghanistan.
But it's more than that because to the extent Pakistan's military is supporting the Afghan Taliban, they sure aren't doing it with their own money. The financing pipeline is from the Saudi government via the Pakistani one to the Taliban fighting in Afghanistan. That's where the matching uniforms are coming from, and stockpiles of weapons and ammo, and sophisticated training camps. And trainers.

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