While US battles Taliban, al-Qaeda training camps springing up in Afghanistan

The New York Times is reporting that as the U.S. focuses on the Taliban and ISIS, al-Qaeda is re-emerging in Afghanistan, reconstituting itself as Al-Qaeda on the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

American officials were taken by surprise by AQ's resurfacing in Afghanistan, as they believed that the terrorist organization was on the ropes following years of high profile strikes on its leadership.

“It is why we need to worry about the resurgence of the Taliban,” Mr. Morell said, “because, just like before, the Taliban will give Al Qaeda a safe haven.”

The New York Times is reporting that as the U.S. focuses on the Taliban and ISIS, al-Qaeda is re-emerging in Afghanistan, reconstituting itself as Al-Qaeda on the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

American officials were taken by surprise by AQ's resurfacing in Afghanistan, as they believed that the terrorist organization was on the ropes following years of high profile strikes on its leadership.

“It is why we need to worry about the resurgence of the Taliban,” Mr. Morell said, “because, just like before, the Taliban will give Al Qaeda a safe haven.”

A senior administration official offered a different view, saying that the increased Qaeda activity was more the result of Pakistani military operations pushing fighters across the border into Afghanistan than Al Qaeda enlisting new Afghan recruits inside the country.

In October, American and Afghan commandos, backed by scores of American airstrikes, attacked a Qaeda training camp in the southern part of the country that military officials said was one of the largest ever discovered. The assault, which took place over several days, pounded two training areas — one sprawled over 30 square miles — that featured elaborate tunnels and fortifications. As many as 200 fighters were killed, American officials said.

Senior administration officials concede that there are other Qaeda camps or bases, including at least one in Helmand Province, though they are not certain exactly how many because they were made harder to detect after the October assault. The senior officials — four from three different federal agencies — spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential intelligence assessments.

The two camps attacked in the fall were in a sparsely populated area of Kandahar Province along Afghanistan’s southern border with Pakistan. Some of the facilities apparently were in place for up to a year and a half, undetected by American or Afghan spies or surveillance aircraft.

“A lot of that is because, you know, it’s a very remote part of Kandahar,” Gen. John F. Campbell, the top American commander in Afghanistan, recalled in a meeting with visiting reporters two weeks ago.

So the circle of defeat is now complete.  We destroyed those camps and decimated al-Qaeda in 2001.  We started Afghanistan on a slow, painful process to becoming a normal state, terror-free.

But with the precipitous withdrawal of American and NATO forces, the Taliban has come back with a vengeance.  And now al-Qaeda has returned from near death.  If the Taliban takes over a large portion of Afghanistan and ally themselves once again with al-Qaeda, President Obama will be responsible for wasting the lives of thousands of Americans who died to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan and destroy al-Qaeda.

His idea of "ending the war" apparently involves deliberately losing it.