Mullah Baradar, the Taliban’s top military commander, was captured in Karachi as part of a joint operation by US and Pakistani intelligence. Baradar was captured late last week, but the US government asked journalists to hold the information until today.
In the Times, ex-CIA man and Obama adviser Bruce Riedel says Baradar’s capture reflected a “sea change in Pakistani behavior.” I hope he’s right. There’s no question that ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service, has been the Taliban’s most important patron since the mid-1990s. While cooperating with important American efforts to target Al Qaeda, ISI has never backed away from its support for the insurgency in Afghanistan.
What I really want to know is why the ISI suddenly decided to cooperate and whether this was a one-time deal or the beginning of a new alliance.