A Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Saeed based in Logar province of Afghanistan talking to the Guardian said that if the US changes its tactics of war, the Taliban will also change their strategy.
Commanding at least a group of 150 Taliban fighters, Mullah Abdul Saeed said that the US once had 150,000 troops in Afghanistan and yet it couldn’t defeat them, how an extra few thousands plus the current number of US troops numbering roughly 10,000 could do.
“the new deployment will not change the morale of our Mujahedeen.” He said.
Mullah Abdul Saeed added that “the Americans were walking in our villages, and we pushed them out.” For the Taliban to consider peace, he said, “foreigners must leave, and the constitution must be changed to sharia.”
The Guardian met Mullah Abdul Saeed in the barren backcountry of Logar province and in interviews with rank-and-file Taliban fighters in Logar and Wardak provinces found a fragmented but resilient movement, united in resistance against foreign intervention.
“It’s true, it has become harder to fight the Americans. But we use suicide bombers, and we will use more of them,” Saeed told Guardian.
“If the US changes its tactics of fighting, so do we.” That change has meant ever-fiercer attacks, with large truck bombs in populated areas and audacious assaults on military bases.
Pressed on the record-high number of civilian deaths in the war, Saeed said the Taliban “make mistakes” and try to avoid harming civilians, but added: “If there is an infidel in a flock of sheep, you are permitted to attack that flock of sheep.”
Saeed claimed: “10-15 people join the mujahideen [in Logar] every day, sometimes also policemen,” adding that mistreatment by government and foreign forces helps recruitment.
“Many Taliban become suicide bombers after prison. Why?” he asked, describing how prison guards torture detainees by applying air pressure, beatings or electric shock to their genitals. After a detainee is released, he said, the shame is too much to bear.
Such claims of government torture have been documented by the UN.