City after city have fallen from government to Taliban control but Afghanistan’s end-game is still unclear
by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted atAsia Times
The ever-elusive Afghan “peace” process negotiations re-start this Wednesday in Doha via the extended troika – the US, Russia, China and Pakistan. The contrast with the accumulated facts on the ground could not be starker.
In a coordinated blitzkrieg, the Taliban have subdued no less than six Afghan provincial capitals in only four days. The central administration in Kabul will have a hard time defending its stability in Doha.
It gets worse. Ominously, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has all but buried the Doha process. He’s already betting on civil war – from the weaponization of civilians in the main cities to widespread bribing of regional warlords, with the intent of building a “coalition of the willing” to fight the Taliban.
The capture of Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province, was a major Taliban coup. Zaranj is the gateway for India’s access to Afghanistan and further on to Central Asia via the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).
India paid for the construction of the highway linking the port of Chabahar in Iran – the key hub of India’s faltering version of the New Silk Roads – to Zaranj.
At stake here is a vital Iran-Afghanistan border crossing cum Southwest/Central Asia transportation corridor. Yet now the Taliban control trade on the Afghan side. And Tehran has just closed the Iranian side. No one knows what happens next.
The Taliban are meticulously implementing a strategic master plan. There’s no smoking gun, yet – but highly informed outside help – Pakistani ISI intel? – is plausible.
First, they conquer the countryside – a virtually done deal in at least 85% of the territory. Then they control the key border checkpoints, as with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Spin Boldak with Balochistan in Pakistan. Finally, it’s all about encircling and methodically taking provincial capitals – that’s where we are now.
The final act will be the Battle for Kabul. This may plausibly happen as early as September, in a warped “celebration” of the 20 years of 9/11 and the American bombing of 1996-2001 Talibanistan.
That strategic blitzkrieg
What’s going on across the north is even more astonishing than in the southwest.
The Taliban have conquered Sheberghan, a heavily Uzbek-influenced area, and took no time to spread images of fighters in stolen garb posing in front of the now-occupied Dostum Palace. Notoriously vicious warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum happens to be the current Afghan vice-president.
The Taliban’s big splash was to enter Kunduz, which is still not completely subdued. Kunduz is very important strategically. With 370,000 people and quite close to the Tajik border, it’s the main hub of northeast Afghanistan.
Kabul government forces have simply fled. All prisoners were released from local jails. Roads are blocked. That’s significant because Kunduz is at the crossroads of two important corridors – to Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. And crucially, it’s also a crossroads of corridors used to export opium and heroin.
The Bundeswehr used to occupy a military base near Kunduz airport, now housing the 217th Afghan Army corps. That’s where the few remaining Afghan government forces have retreated.
The Taliban are now bent on besieging the historically legendary Mazar-i-Sharif, the big northern city, even more important than Kunduz. Mazar-i-Sharif is the capital of Balkh province. The top local warlord, for decades, has been Atta Mohammad Noor, who I met 20 years ago.
He’s now vowing to defend “his” city “until the last drop of my blood.” That, in itself, spells out a major civil war scenario.
The Taliban endgame here is to establish a west-east axis from Sheberghan to Kunduz and the also captured Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province, via Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province, and parallel to the northern borders with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
If that happens, we’re talking about an irreversible, logistical game-changer, with virtually the whole north escaping from the control of Kabul. No way the Taliban will “negotiate” this win – in Doha or anywhere else.
An extra astonishing fact is that all these areas do not feature a Pashtun majority, unlike Kandahar in the south and Lashkar Gah in the southwest, where the Taliban are still fighting to establish complete control.
The Taliban’s control over almost all international border crossings yielding customs revenue leads to serious questions about what happens next to the drug business.
Will the Taliban again interdict opium production – like the late Mullah Omar did in the early 2000s? A strong possibility is that distribution will not be allowed inside Afghanistan.
After all, export profits can only benefit Taliban weaponization – against future American and NATO “interference.” And Afghan farmers may earn much more with opium poppy cultivation than with other crops.
NATO’s abject failure in Afghanistan is visible in every aspect. In the past, Americans used military bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The Bundeswehr used the base in Termez, Uzbekistan, for years.
Termez is now used for Russian and Uzbek joint maneuvers. And the Russians left their base in Kyrgzstan to conduct joint maneuvers in Tajikistan. The whole security apparatus in the neighboring Central Asian “stans” is being coordinated by Russia.
China’s main security priority, meanwhile, is to prevent future jihadi incursions in Xinjiang, which involve extremely hard mountain crossings from Afghanistan to Tajikistan and then to a no man’s land in the Wakhan corridor. Beijing’s electronic surveillance is tracking anything that moves in this part of the roof of the world.
This Chinese think tank analysis shows how the moving chessboard is being tracked. The Chinese are perfectly aware of the “military pressure on Kabul” running in parallel to the Taliban diplomatic offensive, but prefer to stress their “posing as an aggressive force ready to take over the regime.”
Chinese realpolitik also recognizes that “the United States and other countries will not easily give up the operation in Afghanistan for many years, and will not be willing to let Afghanistan become the sphere of influence of other countries.”
This leads to characteristic Chinese foreign policy caution, with practically an advice for the Taliban not to “be too big,” and try “to replace the Ghani government in one fell swoop.”
How to prevent a civil war
So is Doha DOA? Extended troika players are doing what they can to salvage it. There are rumors of feverish “consultations” with the members of the Taliban political office based in Qatar and with the Kabul negotiators.
The starter will be a meeting this Tuesday of the US, Russia, Afghanistan’s neighbors and the UN. Yet even before that, the Taliban political office spokesman, Naeem Wardak, has accused Washington of interfering in internal Afghan affairs.
Pakistan is part of the extended troika. Pakistani media is all-out involved in stressing how Islamabad’s leverage over the Taliban “is now limited.” An example is made of how the Taliban shut the key border crossing in Spin Boldak – actually a smuggling haven – demanding Pakistan ease visa restrictions for Afghans.
Now that is a real nest of vipers issue. Most old school Taliban leaders are based in Pakistan’s Balochistan and supervise what goes in and out of the border from a safe distance, in Quetta.
Extra trouble for the extended troika is the absence of Iran and India at the negotiating table. Both have key interests in Afghanistan, especially when it comes to its hopefully new peaceful role as a transit hub for Central-South Asia connectivity.
Moscow from the start wanted Tehran and New Delhi to be part of the extended troika. Impossible. Iran never sits on the same table with the US, and vice-versa. That’s the case now in Vienna, during the JCPOA negotiations, where they “communicate” via the Europeans.
New Delhi for its part refuses to sit on the same table with the Taliban, which it sees as a terrorist Pakistani proxy.
There’s a possibility that Iran and India may be getting their act together, and that would include even a closely connected position on the Afghan drama.
When Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar attended President Ebrahim Raisi’s inauguration last week in Tehran, they insisted on “close cooperation and coordination” also on Afghanistan.
What this would imply in the near future is increased Indian investment in the INSTC and the India-Iran-Afghanistan New Silk Road corridor. Yet that’s not going to happen with the Taliban controlling Zaranj.
Beijing for its part is focused on increasing its connectivity with Iran via what could be described as a Persian-colored corridor incorporating Tajikistan and Afghanistan. That will depend, once again, on the degree of Taliban control.
But Beijing can count on an embarrassment of riches: Plan A, after all, is an extended China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with Afghanistan annexed, whoever is in power in Kabul.
What’s clear is that the extended troika will not be shaping the most intricate details of the future of Eurasia integration. That will be up to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes Russia, China, Pakistan, India, the Central Asian “stans” and Iran and Afghanistan as current observers and future full-members.
So the time has come for the SCO’s ultimate test: how to pull off a near-impossible power-sharing deal in Kabul and prevent a devastating civil war, complete with imperial B-52 bombing.
Pepe wrote the following important note on Telegram right after this article went live:
“This is completely nuts. I finished writing my mega-detailed Afghan column by mid-afternoon. It’s now past midnight and TWO MORE PROVINCIAL CAPITALS fell to the Taliban, and another one – Faizabad, of which I have some epic memories – is also on the way.”
Looks like the Americans are scared of another Saigon moment–this time in Afghanistan.
Security Alert U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan (August 7, 2021)
The phrase “American Rats are Deserting the Ship” comes to mind here.
The Taliban seem not to be the sort of adversary to whom you would dare surrender if you want to keep your head. Already they have slaughtered insignificant translators who committed the grave sin of working with the Americans. Those federal soldiers described as on the move in the text should really want a way out of the country. If Washington deigns to protect them, yes, that would mean a desperate Vietnam like evacuation. I can hardly wait for the newsreels, this time on my computer screen. Maybe Washington will finally learn that war is not a universal answer for every problem they choose to create around the globe?
Insignificant or not, still humans. A bit of a kerfuffle in Canada atm, as some plane loads of ‘Afghanis’ supposed to be translators, were flown into Canada recently except the press is saying there were no translators on board, asking ‘who’ was on board. My money is on the same type of people Canada removed from Syria, White Helmet types, favorite jihadis and the like.
I think with Russian, Chinese and some help from other regional players, the Taliban might succeed where many have failed…….history plays on.
By “insignificant” I was implying non-combatants. But then I was believing how the Western media characterised them. Perhaps they were White Helmet types. Everything seems a false narrative, how is one to know? Joe Biden might think that Washington’s mercenary Jihadis are simple migrants yearning to breathe free. I’d say let the natives sort things out amongst themselves. However, I think Washington must use the same definition of a “native” that we do down here in Florida: anyone who has lived here for more than a month.
Now and then there have appeared video footage and photos of “interpreters” carrying weapons when on outings and patrols with their various NATO employers. Armed interpreters are enemy combatants. If they are armed but do not go in uniform or bear clear military distinctions, then they are “franque tireures” or “Freikorps” and have placed themselves outside the protection of humanitarian, state, international and military laws and conventions.
I was told as much by bothth government officers in Badakhshan as by the Turkic militia in the Wakhan during early fall of 1978.
This SitRep is like reading overnight State Dept. cables.
“It’s going to hell in a handbasket, boss. Is there a plane waiting to leave? Got my go-bag packed and my pistol loaded.”
Afterward, the US will go back and start another long war. Taliban don’t have popular support and there can always be hungry proxies and ISIS fighters who will work with CIA contractors to ignite more war.
Biden can say he “left” and the Pentagon will then can say they had to go back and save the women and children and democracy, et al. More war is always on the menu.
Honestly wondering if there cannot be parallel bodies with the overlapping players working to synchronize.
Extended Troika for including US and Taliban directly.
One body including all regional states (not US), esp, Iran but not India (if won’t sit w/ Taliban).
One body including all regional states (including India & Iran) but not Taliban, who will be represented by a proxy — Pak? Qatar? Iran even?
What would these parallel bodies be created to do?
Every nation has its own national interests in Afghanistan.
The only nation that cares about governing Afghanistan is the Afghani government. Unfortunately, the US and others corrupted the government, thus, making it weak.
China has big economic and security interests.
Russia has security interests.
Pakistan has hegemonic interests.
Iran has security interests.
India has security interests.
And the US has dominance interests.
The Taliban have ideological interests.
The Afghani people have sovereignty and security and survival interests.
The various vectors of these individual stakeholders makes fashioning some governing body as a solution impossible.
The US military knew this Taliban takeover and resulting chaos would happen. It is in the US military’s interests to add to the chaos. It will provide them a reason to return and fight a different way. All they need is airfields in country.
pak has hedgemonic interests while india has security interests? India doesnt even have a border with afghanistan. Pakistan is home to 45million pashtuns (including our pm and several generals)… ie. more than afghanistan and many of them don’t respect the border between pakistan and afghanistan.
Your claim is ridiculous. We can’t hope to control what all those pashtuns are doing on a daily basis esp. since we are also home to over 3million afghan refugees. We’re the ones with the security interests.
I appreciate your comments, Ali.
What I indicated was India is concerned with Pakistan. Involvement in Afghanistan for India is directly and almost solely related to its fear of Pakistan.
On the other hand, Pakistan has had a hegemonic relationship through its ISI with various factions in Afghanistan.
More than any other neighbor, Pakistan has been a major player in Afghanistan. So, integral to its hegemonic operations, security is part and parcel of its actions. Blowback is clearly a reality for Pakistan.
I hope this illuminates my thoughts on the topic a little more.
India has a long and rich history of involvement with Afghanistan. Former rulers were Sikhs from the Punjab, India. Indian films are very popular but the Taliban might end that. India has a lot of goods which Afghanistan needs, and vice-versa. “Security” is the least of India’s concerns here.
Whats your point? you’re worried they’re going to stop liking your fims?
The rich history you talk about is not related to all of what is now India. It is mostly Punjab and sindh… which is not a major shocker given the geographic proximity… why drag another billion people into the equation.
Frankly you cling to the history of the north when it only really has a relevance to the northern provinces of which you only inherited half of one (through the sheer stupidity of the sikhs at the time) and another one through force.
Im sure the very tribal and somewhat racially obsessed afghans always referring to sindhis, punjabis and even mixed pashtuns like myself as a “lesser” indic people will be overjoyed to deepen ties with the residents of tamil nadu… good luck.
Its not really hegemonic. The head of iSI for a period of time was Assad Durrani, a pashtun. General Tariq Khan, a pashtun from waziristan responsible for the operation of cleaning up the area of afghan/indian aligned pakistani taliban from our tribal areas.
what you fail to appreciate is that Pakistan has a huge stake in what happens in Afghanistan because it affects what happens inside our country… there is barely a border between the two nations. How can Pakistan not be involved in what goes on in Afghanistan? We don’t control the taleban any more than they control us. We have more afghan pashtun refugees in our country than any other nation. they are part of this country and yet they are aligned with all anti-pakistan movements whilst causing most of the crime and violence in this country. The saudis have over the decades pushed the wahabbi version of islam into our nation turning huge sections of our population into religious zealots. The army and the intelligence agencies react to this situation the best they can and attempt to influence things in the Pakistani population’s best interest with very limited resources when compared with saudi, america and india. We don’t know what TAleban control will bring in afghanistan. All we know is that the current afghan govt was completely aligned with India and that is absolutely unacceptable to Pakistan as the main item on the agenda is to push for the complete breakup of Pakistan. Afghans want this because they want to “re-unite” with their kpk and baloch brethren and India wants this so Pakistanis drop their claim over kashmir and longer term they would like to dominate sindh and punjab like they dominate kashmir
So while pakistan is fighting for it’s very survival, everything is at stake for Pakistan in Afghanistan… to call our defensive operations “hegemonic” and India’s operations “out of fear” fear of what? That the muslim dominated kashmir will want to break off and join us? Well they maintain a 1 million troop presence to keep control of Kashmir….How is that defensive? It is offensive?
And before you start drawing parallels between baluchistan or kpk separatist movements they’re not even remotely similar as we don’t maintain a huge military presence in either province, nor is there significant support politically within Pakistan for these separatist movements, nor do we keep them under curfew and I’ll point again to individuals from both communities having served as prime ministers and various positions within our army… not to mention that any calls for separatism would be taken more seriously if individuals from those provinces were not migrating in their droves to centres within sindh and punjab
Less of the Afghan and Indian propaganda pls as it is it’s meaningless because all narratives fell apart very swiftly as the taleban have taken pretty much all of afghanistan as the afghans and indians were confidently predicting they would not. That is a result of not really understanding the situation on the ground which is that the pashtuns are a fiercely conservative society and follow practices not indifferent from what the taliban wish to impose
Does strategic depth fall under hegemony or security interests?
Pakistan is a creation of the British to break the STRONG South Asian Muslim community into 3 weak ones(Paki Muslims, Indo Muslims, Bengalis)… and I see Pakistanis displaying any form of inhibition or shame (including Presidents like Musharaf) in speaking as sub-Western contractors.
You’d never hear Iranians talk about Afghanistan this way- that is because Iran is a civilized and historic country of the region.
In their Jihad with America, Taliban kill Muslim Afghanis
In their stupid war with India, Pakistan subjects an entire nation under gangs of armed morons.
If Americans are able to return, they wouldn’t retreat in a first place. The most expensive part of war is coming in/coming out. (Add to that profit loss from opium trade).
It is more likely that Americans are in serious financial trouble, and we do not know how deep the rabbit hole goes. They do.
We do know that US economy is Potemkin village for years. Why surprised when first cracks are shown in the most expensive part of the system – war machine??
Narrative that follows retreat looks exactly like it should be: Damage control. Having professional military infrastructure in the target country is way less expensive than special forces/spy network/proxies. And more effective, too.
For now, we are showered with torrents of explaining why retreat is, in fact, good for US. Talk is cheap. War is expensive. Simple as that.
No matter how broke, US will always excel in PRbs.
OK, so why don’t the Afghan refugees go to Iran instead of Pakistan? And I’m not talking about kpk or baluchistan. I’m talking about karachi, lahore etc… i’ll tell you why. because the iranians are as racist towards afghans as the afghans are towards the indic pakistanis. They keep the afghans in refugee camps and don’t even allow them to work. Since afghans descended upon pakistan in droves during the soviet war, we have been nothing but hospitable to them, there are absolutely no restriction and are treated like brothers and sisters here… only to then go back to european nations on pakistani given passports and bad-mouth pakistan. the truth is they changed the face of pakistan bringing nothing but klashnekovs and violence to every part of pakistan since they arrived. Karachi used to be a peaceful city till the afghans arrived murdering and theiving….a feature almost completely absent from the indic side ie. sindh and punjab. Where we place the focus on education and advancement, the afghans are running around committing all the crimes and petty gang warfare.
Stop blaming pakistan for your own shortcomings and stop believing in silly conspiracy theories about a great british plan to “keep everyone in the region down”. The british kept everyone down for as long as they needed whilst they looted the place dry.. the reason they didn’t stay in afghanistan was because there was nothing there to loot. The creation of Pakistan was the best thing the british did. Let’s face it, if Pakistan hadn’t been created, you would have just been fighting india for kpk and baluchistan and then you’d be looking at us as allies. It’s just pathetic to see the “proud” afghans reduced to this.
“OK, so why don’t the Afghan refugees go to Iran instead of Pakistan? And I’m not talking about kpk or baluchistan. I’m talking about karachi, lahore etc… i’ll tell you why. because the iranians are as racist towards afghans as the afghans are towards the indic pakistanis. They keep the afghans in refugee camps and don’t even allow them to work.”
What a bunch of nonsense.
First of all, the number of Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan is about the same. The Persian Afghans come to Iran, while the Pashto go to Pakistan, naturally.
“In May 2015, Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a decree allowing all Afghan children of school age, to attend primary and secondary school education regardless of their documentation status. Since 2016, refugee children do not have to pay refugee-specific school fees, which stood at 70-90 USD per child. This further ensures that refugees and undocumented children in Iran are given the same opportunities as Iranian children to get an education.”
And your claim that all the Afghans in Iran live in refugee camps is total BS. I have an Afghan refugee who takes care of my property; he lives permanently in my guest house. Two years ago, he went and brought his wife and two children over to Iran as well. His wife says she never wants to leave Iran again. His older daughter is now in the second grade.
Your claim that they are not allowed to work is absurd. Every gardener and construction worker and garbage man in Tehran is an Afghan refugee. The same situation prevails in most Iranian major cities.
What you call racism towards Afghans in Iran is not racism. Urban Iranians view Afghans as rural Iranians. An Iranian from Tehran usually sees his or herself as much more sophisticated than a toothless Iranian peasant. The Afghans who come to Iran are indistinguishable from rural Iranians: they are very sunburnt from working outside all day, they speak Farsi with a strange accent, they have very little education, etc. It is like how rednecks are viewed in the US, or bogans in Australia. Not how black people and aboriginals are treated by whites, not even close.
I share your view on Iran’s treatment of Afghan refugees, though my info is second hand through my Iranian friends.
I collected it during the past years as a side info totally unrelated to the present discussion, so mostly unbiased.
Considerable part of Afghan refugees are studying at Iranian universities. This info came forward at some point when I was wondering how they meet and got married to Iranian girls – former students.
They met at the university was the answer.
Reasonable question. What *might* they concert to do?
Not sure I favor any one of these less-bad outcomes over any other but:
1. help avoid a protracted civil war in Afghanistan.
2. help ensure regional stability, & integration of Afghan in E/W N/S regional trade flows.
3. reduce likelihood of success of US spoiler strategy of fomenting chaos so no one gains.
4. help make peace pay dividends.
5. help prevent Afghans starving this winter…
Dunno. Seems like aims worth pursuing, if not necessarily by the means I proposed.
Pakistan provides arms and military support to the Taliban with funding from the Saudis.
Both are allies of the Taliban. Plus the Afghan government is dependent on financial support from the US to function.
The US is firmly in control of the situation in Afghanistan. They can take the situation inn any direction they want, at any time they want.
No, they aren’t. If they could, Biden wouldn’t have asked Afghans to ‘fight for their lives’. The best the US can offer are air strikes and ground attacks using mercs. That’s not going to work given the incredible determination of the Taliban fighters to win. Americans will continue to conduct airstrikes but that wouldn’t make any change.
@Jiri: “Pakistan provides arms and military support to the Taliban with funding from the Saudis”.
I think there are two sorts of Taliban. The main Taliban are Pashtun patriots, conservative but open to new ideas; they are the ones who are kicking us Angloes out (yet again) and restoring the country’s autonomy. The minority Terrorist Taliban (much hyped by Western media) were trained and armed by The Man from Uncle via CIA agents in Pakistan; this minority Terrorist Taliban are fanatics on the CIA’s “AlQaida” payroll (like the CIA set up ISIL in Iraq and ISIS in Syria). Terrorist Taliban were set up in Afghanistan by POTU$A Carter and POTU$A Reagan via the Bush crime family’s Lebanese business associate Osama Bin Laden with their backwoods Wahabi Arabs from Saudi Arabia: these are those religious nutjobs with guns who repressed Afghan women and forced them to don the Blue Hijab. They do not have a chance against the real Afgan people — who include the real Taliban who are conservative but open to new ideas.
I hope Afghanistan will rejoin progressive countries in Middle and East Eurasia (ie, Syria, Iran, Russia and China) to revive the Silk Road which used to trade goods and ideas across the EurAsian continent from West to East and back again. Syria and Iran have already defeated the CIA’s religious backwoodsmen with guns; and Afghanistan is on the way to rejoin the progressive Axis of Resistance to Anglo Zionazi colonialist Capitalism.
What’s u hv said is the truth things are like that exactly what u hv said except afganistan is still no where joining the resistance front it’s very difficult that it will join in the near future as for time being now it’s topsy turvy political situation in afganistan which is benefitting the resistance front and another slow and poisioness nail in the coffin for the empire.
You are correct in your general assessment of the Taliban doctor.
The Talibs are not monolithic. It would not be wrong to say that they are a motley crew. They are fragmented into different ‘shuras’ or councils and this fragmentation has become more pronounced since the demise of Mullah Omar. They don’t have a centralised political or military structure. True, they have an embassy of sorts in Qatar but I believe not all shuras are represented. Save for the Haqqani group, even Shias and Hazaras have joined them, a Sunnite movement. They get their funding and support from different sources — ZioWahhabis and the petty but fabulously rich Gulf monarchies, Pakistan, Iran. Some shuras have contacts even with Russia — yes, they’re banned in RF but that doesn’t mean RF has to avoid them like the plague. In fact, I think RF special services would be negligient not to cultivate some contact with them, seeing that Afghanistan borders the ‘Stans, particularly Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, one of whom, Tajikistan, is a member of the CSTO.
The northern group is composed mainly of Afghan Tajiks and Uzbeks, some Pashtuns and a sprinkling of militants from both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — hence the nervousness of the goverments of those countries at the Taliban advance. RF is on hand to assist them, the ‘Stans — the upshot being the RF’s enhanced presence also strengthens its hand in the region at the expense of the Hegemon.
Having said all that, it appears that the Talibs have a plan — what with the capture of border crossing points and significantly the capture of warlord Rashid Dostum’s (a proper general) stronghold in the north. Without meaning to downplay their military prowess, I think somebody is tutoring them. Pakistan, perhaps?
I may be wrong but I think the Taliban as a whole are, like Hamas, a national liberation movement with no ambitions to export their brand of Islam or to expand territorially outside Afghanistan.
What makes you think it is Pakistan that is ‘tutoring’ them, other than the ethnic connection? What military accomplishments does Pakistan boast? I mean, does Pakistan have military personnel that are experienced enough in the field to instruct the Taliban to a quick victory, like what we are witnessing?
What evidence is there at all to point the finger at Pakistan, when the Taliban themselves categorically deny it?
“Claims that the Taliban is enjoying Pakistan’s support are baseless, Taliban spokesperson Mohammad Suhail Shaheen told India Today from Doha in Qatar. Mohammad Suhail Shaheen is a member of the negotiations team and the Taliban’s spokesperson for international media.”
Do the Taliban have any reason to deny receiving support from Pakistan?
And finally, can Pakistan even manage its own affairs? (What evidence is there that the Pakistanis are managing their own country well?) Let alone organizing an extra-territorial military campaign through a proxy force? And if Pakistan is indeed behind all this, why is Iran sitting by quietly and grinning at the whole situation? And why did the Taliban and the Afghan government choose Iran as the venue for their first negotiations after the US withdrew its forces? Wouldn’t Pakistan have been the more likely candidate?
https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/militia-leader-blacklisted-by-iran-killed-in-clashes-with-taliban/2329885 — Just two days ago, the Taliban killed a Jaish al-Adl terrorist leader, an enemy of Iran.
How kind of Pakistan to have the Taliban take out Iran’s enemies, even when Pakistan itself is the one supporting those enemies.
https://afghanistan.asia-news.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_st/features/2021/05/26/feature-02 — Before that it was Mullah Manan Niazi.
It must be just dumb luck that anyone who opposes Iran in Afghanistan drops dead.
The enemy of my friend, is my enemy too.
Afghanistan and Iran, neighbours, have thousands of years of common history. Iran to my knowledge, in recent history has never attacked Afghanistan or vis versa. If any country holds the key to the Kush, it’s Iran. Once the Taliban stabilizes the country, (it won’t be pretty, but neither was the Kubla’s pacification of hostile lands and neighbours, just more on an Afghan proper scale) things will improve. They have no choice. Or it’s more of the same. It will need kid gloves (Laranov) and a firm hand up the back (Putin). The Afghans have suffered , this imperial time around, 20 years of madness…time to stop the experiment. On this new book, Russia, China and with an Iranian leading from behind the scenes, providing space for dialogue…there is room for hope.
If everything else about Iran turns out to be a lie, their genuine desire for peace and stability and prosperity in the region is absolutely beyond question.
Iran wishes for strong, independent, and developed nations in its neighborhood, to do fair trade with, because the US and Israel will not allow Iran to do fair trade internationally. If the region were composed of strong independent nations like Iran, they would naturally all band together, against the invaders and occupiers, as they so have.
The force for instability in the region comes from the US-Israel-Saudi gang. Who invaded Yemen? Who invaded Iraq and Afghanistan? Who invaded Lebanon and Palestine, and Syria?
Pakistan is a very minor power in Iran’s neighborhood, and it is firmly on the US-Saudi side. In West Asia, there are only two powers: the Jews and their friends, and the Iranian-backed Resistance Axis.
What the two powers are striving for is also unquestionably clear. War and peace, poverty and prosperity, destruction and development, division and unity, respectively.
What is it that makes the Yemenis strong enough to beat the far superior force of the Saudi coalition? How are the Afghans beating the US? How does Hezbollah keep beating Israel? How did Iran endure against Iraq (backed by every country in the world) for eight years?
They all believe they are fighting for a righteous cause, to bring peace and stability to the world, to help the poor and the oppressed, for freedom and independence from tyranny, for justice and equality — all things which the US-Saudi-Israeli side opposes and does not want for the Middle East.
Calm down. First thing, get yourself a nic, and stick to it.
I was only speculating that the Talibs are being tutored, and that the tutor is Pakistan. You have a better idea? Iran, perhaps? Or PRC? It can’t be the ZioWahhabis in the Gulf — they can’t be relied upon to control the traffic in Kabul, so they’re out. Or perhaps **nobody** is tutoring the Talibs. Absolutely possible.
Everybody is focussed on US/NATO in Afghanistan but there is also a contest between Pakistan and India being played out in the shadows in that unfortunate country.
More than any of Afghanistan’s neighbours, Pakistan is deadly nervous about who runs Afghanistan. An India-friendly neighbour to its west is what it doesn’t want. India on the other hand, wants to encircle Pakistan and has been trying to ingratiate itself with the ruling regime there to the point of even sending military officers to teach the natives English.
Pakistan hosts several Taliban shuras. There are more Pashtuns in Pakistan than there are in Afghanistan. The Pakistani PM is himself Pashtun. Nowadays people don’t like to talk about race but in the case of Pashtuns, race is highly relevant because it is strongly embedded in their culture — ‘Pashtunwali.’ Family, tribal — and therefore racial — ties are strong. Pakistani Intelligence have been watching and working with the Talibs for decades. I won’t even go into their having a common religion and the behaviour of Modi’s hindutva chauvinists in India towards the Pashtuns’ co-religionists.
At the moment it looks like India, holding onto the Empire’s coat-tails, backed the wrong horse — hence India’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan’s second largest city Kandahar — Pashtun country — when the Taliban started advancing.
Got to applaud this comment. It presents a general truth not many fathom despite the analytical endeavours.
@Dr. NG Maroudas
Jimmy Carter created al-Qaeda, not the Pashtun students. (talib)
@Urnammu. Yes, the Man from Uncle created AlQaida and then hypocritically invaded Iraq allegedly “to defeat AlQaida”. The Man from Uncle also boosted Afghan patriotism: “1983 — President Ronald Reagan meets with Mujahedeen leaders, calling them freedom fighters, at the White House.” But then the Man from Uncle hypocritically invades Afghanistan by pretending the Taliban is AlQaida: “Mixed Signals 2002 — Operation Anaconda, the first major ground assault is launched against an estimated eight hundred al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters”. This is what I mean by the “Terrorist Taliban” who are as fake as those other boogeymen CIA payroll: AlQaida or ISIS. The majority of Taliban are, as I said, conservative patriots; and I believe that conservative patriots are open to new ideas once the country is secure and life can develope naturally in discussions between family members and within society at large.
@L445 ‘fight a different way’, surely you jest. How, with what, the neighbours have had enough. Put a fork in it. You have a better handle on Pepe’s stuff than I ever will………defensive retreat, in front of our eyes. Done deal. Schmule even looks that way, nasty asymmetrical plausibly deniable big surprise gonna happen. Bet on it. Every speck of sand the US shits on atm is a sparkling Kalibar target, game, set, match.
Brave new world coming. Far too many lives that matter, Zone B, with skin in the game, Zone A, see: Kailibar above.
Epic trolling of the US military by Taliban Special Forces.
On the plus side, the US has left massive quantities of toilet paper for the locals
and some very useful public transport vehicles
Who says that America is a brutal mass murdering war criminal empire that rapes and destroys nations around the world with impunity?
The USA has at long last found a use for American dollars and generously gifted these dollars for beleaguered Afghanis to utilize as toilet paper!
Can a Nobel Peace Prize nomination be far behind for the Americans?!?
Taliban Special Forces……..there’s a Kipling tale in there somewhere… The Afghan Din.
We’re supposed to believe a guy could sit in a cave in Afghanistan and plot 9/11.
But its remarkable that some guys could sit by for 20years and formulate and execute a plan to take back their country.
Another hit by Pepe!
With so many things happening, frankly I’ve been struggling to keep up, what with a hypersonic missile here, a port there, a tanker on fire elsewhere, a couple of exercises yonder, a provincial capital hither, a B-52 tither — this here mind boggles.
But, thanks to Pepe, I’ve now got a good overview of the state of play in Afghanistan in addition to the one in Myanmar.
What a complex country Afghanistan is, exemplified perhaps by the adventures of Rory Stewart, one time British army officer, politician and Minister, who walked across Afghanistan from Herat to Kabul at the time that war criminal, the despicable little Bush, was bombing the country. Not only was Stewart not molested by the Afghans, they were positively hospitable.
The main lesson here is that Stewart spoke Farsi/Dari and knew muslim customs/culture — two things lacking amongst the ‘warriors’ of Nato. This time around I think RF and PRC — and especially the RF — will do a better job at dealing with the Taliban for the simple reason that the leadership is intellectually better equipped and less inclined to impose their ‘superior’ culture upon the natives.
You left out the intelligence officer bit from his resume.
Nine provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban in the last week.
The Milak border crossing has been reopened.
At the Mahirood border crossing, 500 trucks transport Iranian products to Afghanistan per day, which is a 50% recent increase.
At Doqarun, 250 trucks per day.
The Milak border crossing had been closed since Friday. It is expected that things will be fully back to normal there by Saturday.
The King is dead, long live the new King!
Taliban = new ISIS. US made a deal with them (remember that?) and dumped the fake mercenary government in Kabul.
I am shocked that this “analysis” is not seeing the blatant power move by the Americans. They saw what a small contigent of Russian troops can do in Syria, as long as there is another force on the ground to do the actual fighting.
New force on the ground are the Taliban, the small contigent are 500 Turkish troops plus some British personel. USA does not even need to be there to act as airforce, plenty of bases in the region.
I am surprised how experienced analyst can be this naive. Russians, thankfully, are not.
The mere fact that _you_ are touting this ‘analysis’ as you call it, means it should be taken with caution.
We have not forgotten your pro-Israel “analyses”, during the battle of the Sword of Jerusalem.
Perhaps you’d like to enlighten us as to what you imagine the terms of a US-Taliban deal would entail? And what purpose would such a deal serve? The Afghan government is absolutely subservient to the US. What does the US have to gain from ousting them, in favor of the Taliban?
Pepe talks of civil war, and Larchmonter claims the Taliban have no support among Afghans. And yet, it doesn’t appear that anyone at all is standing against the Taliban, and before we know it, they will have Kabul, and then what? It was the US plan all along to hand Afghanistan over to the Taliban, after fighting to keep them out of power for 20 years?
“What does the US have to gain from ousting them, in favor of the Taliban?”
The US will not oust them. They will provide them with just sufficient support to keep them from falling.
In the meantime the US will put just enough screws on Pakistan to stop the Taliban from taking over.
This will keep the Russians and Chinese out of Afghanistan and on their toes and oblige them to spend resources to ensure that the Taliban do not expand into neighbouring countries.
How much is “just enough” after $2 trillions wasn’t enough?
Other than that, sounds like quite promising plan. If only Talibans, Pakistanis, Russia and China do not deviate from the script.
Did I missed someone?
2 trillion over 20 years is not a lot of money. Think of it as training expenses as the Russians do in Syria.
So far, going as planned.
First of all, my pro-Israeli stances have nothing to do with this. I am pro-Israel, but that does not mean I want the Middle East to be in perpetual state of war. In fact, I want the US out of the region. Why? Because they have no legal grounds to be there. Arabs want to duke it out? Let them have at it. Israel, on the other hand, should not be a victim of this sectarian war.
“The Afghan government is absolutely subservient to the US. What does the US have to gain from ousting them, in favor of the Taliban?”
A major savings in costs, for one. There is no reason to keep giving incompetent people weapons and money. Now, Taliban on the other hand…
Second, to keep Iran out of Afghanistan. Taliban have already downed an Iranian drone, proving whom they really serve.
Third, to contain Russia. Afghanistan shares a border with both Iran and Russia’s proxy countries from the former SSSR. Imagine how many meat shields Taliban can provide against their old enemy?
Best of all, Americans can lay back and watch the show.
Taliban have already made deals with China. This narrative about Taliban and US alliance is your speculation without any proof.
As for the Tajik and Uzbek situation, Russian troops are making sure that the Taliban doesn’t extend beyond their borders. Also, it’s naive to think that 500 turks can make any difference.
@Nermini: “I am pro-Israel, but that does not mean I want the Middle East to be in perpetual state of war.”
noun plural oxymorons
a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g. faith unfaithful kept him falsely true ).
First of all, your pro-Israeli stance says more about you than anything else you’ve said here. I will not comment on it, because the mods will not allow me to call you what you are.
“Second, to keep Iran out of Afghanistan. Taliban have already downed an Iranian drone, proving whom they really serve.”
What is your source for this claim? The Taliban should teach the US how to down Iranian drones, then. Maybe the US Army won’t have to leave Iraq after all.
US-Israeli narcissistic delusions of exceptionalism and invincibility taint the perspectives of many people worldwide. And it is no surprise, with all the propaganda and movies. I saw a few minutes of this ‘thing’ called the falcon and the winter soldier, and it really made me wonder, if the US military capabilities are really anywhere in the ballpark of what they portray, why can’t they beat Yemen, with its 20 billion dollar GDP?
The US is nothing. A loser, played by the Jews, milked for all it was worth, and turned into this:
The US invaded Iraq, for what? To hand it over to Hashd al-Shaabi? Why did they unleash Daesh on Syria? To make sure Russia and Iran get entrenched there for the next hundred years? Why did they attack Yemen? Because they were too shy to just give it to Iran?
What did the US do when Iran rained hell on Ain Al Assad? Get a head trauma?
What did Israel do when Hamas rained hell on them? Hide in shelters? And what are they doing now? Blowing up their own ships? That’ll teach the Iranians!
Iran has secured itself a path to the Mediterranean, as a result of US actions. And there is no power on Earth that can block this path for the foreseeable future. Realistically, Iranian influence has nowhere to spread except Afghanistan now, which will be Iran’s path to China, whether under the Taliban, or under the Afghan government.
All border crossings between Iran and Afghanistan are open, whether in Taliban controlled areas or the Afghan government controlled areas, and trade is flowing through at an increasing rate. I’d call that a win for Iran.
So, while you and yours delude yourselves with your fantasies of superiority and “chosen people” and all of that, Iran spreads its influence ever further in the region.
You cannot see it now, just as nobody saw it in 2003 when Iraq was invaded, or when Daesh was unleashed on Syria and everyone was saying that Bashar Assad is finished, or when the Allies attacked Yemen, but before you know it, Afghanistan will be revealed to be yet another Iranian-dominated land in the region.
The Taliban and Iran make billions of dollars a year smuggling drugs to Europe. They make more than Yemen’s GDP. And it is not just about making money for them, but about degrading the West, while taking their money, and using the narcotics as a lever to pressure Europe. Good luck trying to divorce them. (The statistics are all there. The CIA Afghan drug canard is untenable, unless you posit that the CIA transits the narcotics through Iran.)
Anyone who maintains that the Taliban and Iran are not on good terms, explain who is organizing these thousands of tons of narcotics per year on the Afghan side? Iran seizes 1000 tons a year. Do you know what that means? It means 10,000+ tons are not being seized. Where is it all going? Europe still has something like over 1 million heroin addicts (not fentanyl addicts, ffs).
Let the Americans lay back and watch the show. We expect nothing less than for the Americans and the Israelis to perpetuate and cling to their delusions of invincibility until the very last moment when Iran kicks the stool from under Israel’s feet.
It is a matter of a few short years now, I promise. The cancer will be surgically removed from West Asia, and the US can lay back and watch and masturbate, or whatever.
The taliban will not allow the Cotinustion of opium exports if and when they consolidate control. Smugglers will still try. Like they did prior to 2001 they will implement the same policy.
A sky news report aired recently trying to show the strategic gains (and thus a whopping increase for the existential threat for the world. Oh please! ) of a talib commander seizing a weapons depot. She implied how this will strengthen their movement with such gains. His initial reply, we don’t rely on this for our victory, we rely on God. The remark completely went above herr head. The funny thing was there where a few humvees parked close by and what seemed like a very small hideout for light arms.
The fact that the talibs endured for twenty years the largest military coalition the world has seen against a truly impoverished country with a bought and supllied govt and army is absent behind her eyes was rather telling. Truly psychopathic with no feelings.
“The taliban will not allow the Cotinustion of opium exports if and when they consolidate control. Smugglers will still try. Like they did prior to 2001 they will implement the same policy.”
Most of Afghanistan’s drug cultivation, that is 70%, happens in the Southwest, in Taliban controlled areas. Southern Helmand is Afghanistan’s major poppy cultivation center.
Once you get a taste for drug money, there is no going back.
Afghanistan has _always_ been the epicenter of world narcotics production. The Taliban allegedly stopped it for a couple of years, and even then, Iran did not see a decrease in drugs arriving from Afghanistan.
Iran has 2-3 million official opium addicts. At one gram a day minimum, that is 2-3 tons of opium per day, minimum. Most opium addicts smoke 2-10g per day. Iranians would have noticed a shortage in supply, don’t you think?
There was never a shortage of supply from Afghanistan, under Mullah Omar, or anyone else.
You can continue to believe what you want, in the face of all statistics and facts, and in the face of first-hand accounts.
“For many years, opium syrup derived from Afghanistan’s vast poppy fields was smuggled into other countries to be processed into heroin or morphine. Now much of that refinement takes place in crude facilities around Afghanistan. The Taliban, which once forbid poppy cultivation before being toppled from power by the U.S. in 2001, seized upon the drug market. Opium trafficking is estimated to make up 65% of the Taliban’s income, according to U.S. officials.
Much of the expansion centers in southern Helmand Province, where opium production and the Taliban insurgency thrives. The U.N. found the Taliban had thoroughly tapped “into the supply chain at each stage of the narcotics trade” by collecting a 10% tax on opium cultivation from farmers and acting as “the major guarantors for the trafficking of raw opium and heroin out of Afghanistan.””
Look, the bottom line is:
1. Taliban controlled areas are major poppy cultivation centers.
2. 1000 tons of narcotics were seized in Iran last year, almost all of it originating in Afghanistan.
3. Iran is officially the fifth largest illicit opiate consumer in the world, and there has never been a shortage of opiates in Iran in the last 25-30 years.
4. If the CIA ever took over drug production in Afghanistan, nobody in Iran noticed any kind of change.
5. Where do the Taliban get money, if not from the poppies that are grown in their territories?
I would agree with this conclusion. No way the kabal wont have a hand in this cookie jar.
The USA/NATO wants chaos in Afghanistan, a civil war, not a quick and consolidating victory by the Taliban. USA/NATO has been importing and supporting ISIS, to help add to the chaos. Taliban obviously has a great deal of local support, that is why the cities are falling so quickly.
Same as in Vietnam, the South Vietnamese wanted USA out as bad as the North, but years of death squads and torture sponsored and supported by the American security apparatus led to a subdued population. Given the opportunity, that population jumped at the chance for freedom from colonialism.
That is what we are seeing in Afghanistan, the population wants the USA out, but years of torture, death squads and trips to Guantanamo leads to most folks laying low. Given the opportunity to kick the colonialists out, with a good chance of success, and they will take it.
That is where the USA has misjudged. Our policy makers are under the illusion we are wanted there, and that the Taliban lacks strong popular support.
I would think a few of those roads will detour to Gwadar port.
The USA wants China out and to take control of this port which sits at the southern point of roads, railways and pipelines all under the CPEC connecting the north of Paikistan with China’s Xinjiang province.
All this US chaos within which to work and that valuable port just sitting there.
There’s nothing to “imagine” or “speculate” on in Afghanistan. The US leaves and the remaining force capable of dominating takes over, as always. The Taliban were in control before the US attacked them 20 years ago. They knew they only had to bide their time before an opportunity to return to power would appear. Well, it has appeared and they are back. The country will be exactly as it was before they were pushed out. Move along, nothing to see here.
20 years ago Russia was in the shambles, and China still struggled to produce plastic toys.
US was ar the peak of their power, toppling goverments left and right for fun.
Nothing to see here? Then wait till circus arrives in your town.
What circus? Please be more specific.
What circus? It’s called Build Back Better (Con-B3) coming to a Walmart near you. From Dream Factory, the company who gave you smash hit Con-911.
I’m familiar with that plan, but I’m afraid to respond to that off-topic comment because I don’t want to get banned or be accused of being ignorant or paranoid.
Another incredible article by Pepe.
What I am not seeing or hearing anywhere – yet – is how the average Afghani is feeling or reacting to the rapid Taliban takeover? Joy? Resignation? Dread? Resistance? Denial? Or just getting out of Dodge?
If you re a woman, young, still struggling to further study and learning you d better flee away from the place.
But afghanistan does n belong to the exceptionalistan, let s put it clear.
And I ‘m pretty , I am soooo sorry for the CIA ‘s lost drug traficking profits! (they can always make up for it a bit in colombia)
In the longer run India and china will hopefully build up some working, minimum relations with them.
The strategic city of Herat has fallen to the Taliban.
‘The taliban are a motley crew. They don’t have a centralised political or military structure’.
Monolithic or not the above characterisation defies there stunning success. In fact it overlooks the true reality of the history and situation.
Truth is the minority groups, particularly, in the North are better characterised as a motley crew. They haven’t attained significant military successes of the past and present.
The Kabul regime is exceptionally illegitimate and corrupt. Hardly anybody can account for the wastage of billions and billions. Bribes and clan favours were rife. They had to turn their faces away from the monstrous invasion. This is what they were paid for. This led inevitably to the tragic comedy of the 2019 so called elections. Stakeholders Inc the US wanted them postponed with the onset of peace negotiations with the taliban taking ground. Ghani insisted they be held. A last chance to remain in power. One fifth of eligible voters counted. Abdullah Abdullah categorically rejected any outcome due to major fraud. Bitter accusations and insults followed for eight months. Eventually, the contested ghani victory was settled on a power sharing deal. The US did its utmost to prevent the collapse of the punch and Judy show. 1.9 million were claimed to have cast their votes in a population of 39 million.
I’m sure that a motley crew is to big a complement for this bitter and tragic circus show.
The grave mistake (actually its their MO) world powers committed was allying with minority leaders and warlords and arming them with delusions of power. The British made this mistake, so did the Soviets and alas so have the US. Yes this is what empires do. Of course, they try to co-opt pashtoons too but not the right ones it seems. The talibs represent the most patriotic of groups and that is why they have given unmeasurable sacrifices. They are able to make alliances with other groups in the country due to this patriotism, less so the other way round. Another major reason the world powers distanced themselves from these resilient warriors is their religious conservatism. They are never going to compromise their fundamentals and their traditions. This combination of traits above repelled imperial and colonial designs. It continues to this day.
Despite their conservatism which is adaptable they hold value in a religious union rather than a nationalist or ethnic one.
These ideals provide some of the confidence in their success.
They say the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same mistakes. And here we seem to have a good illustration historically, presently and likely in the future. The most corrupt and notorious will always be supported by those who have no goodwill against the afghanis. The Western hemisphere will continue there insanity. There’s probably no asylum that exists for them. Their media has amnesia currently and all focus is on the talibs existential threat and brutality of the wrld. With such immoral people when the chips are down, they blame everyone else but themselves. The notoriously corrupt puppets in kabul currently are lashing out at everyone, just as the West blames everyone but itself. They are even resurrecting infamous warlords for assistance. Pakistan is the main target of their blame. How sad. Pakistan efforts to mend an unwinnable war is appreciable. With a shared border and millions of afghan refugees on their side they need stability. Only the talibs can negotiate with Pakistan to secure the tribal areas. Most of them share an affiliation with afghan brethren. Only then will the subverting groups and players be reigned in.
You talk about Dostum being a proper general. By any accounts he is a proper savvy conniving warlord.
When Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, his main political opponent, signed a power-sharing deal in May, it ended eight months of bitter post-election dispute. It also came with a disturbing price tag, one hashed out among rounds of backroom deals, tense negotiations, and desperate U.S. attempts to keep the government from imploding. Abdul Rashid Dostum, Ghani’s vice president until last year and one of the country’s most notorious warlords, demanded a promotion to the rank of marshal, only awarded twice before in Afghan history. Ghani, who’d long vowed to clean out the warlords, complied.
Dostum, whose militias are believed to have carried out one of the most notorious war crimes in modern Afghan history during the early days of the U.S.-led invasion, embodies much of what’s gone wrong in contemporary Afghanistan—and especially the failed promise that the U.S. invasion would help create a cleaner, more transparent, more democratic state. Dostum still stands accused of torturing and ordering the rape of a political rival while in office as recently as 2016. After swift Western condemnation, Dostum fled to Turkey, where he enjoys a good relationship with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It wasn’t his first flight to Turkey: In 2008, too, he’d sheltered in Ankara amid similar accusations that his men had abducted, beaten, and sexually assaulted a political opponent.
But instead of being prosecuted, Dostum is being promoted: His ascent to marshal became effective this week. While many critics, both Afghans and non-Afghans, observed the ceremony with indignation, Afghan media shrugged, while the warlord’s supporters celebrated the promotion.
“I send congratulations to all of Afghanistan,” said Mawlavi Baharuddin Jowzjani, a cleric and high-ranking official of Dostum’s party, in an interview with Tolo News about the warlord’s promotion. On social media, Dostum’s son Batur Dostum bristled at criticism and said, “such accusations will not harm the Marshal.”
Good friends with Erdo. And they want to guard kabul airport.
How savvy of the talibs to reject trksh natoo intrusion. Birds of a feather flock together.
Reports in Taliban may have captured Kandahar. The birthplace of their movement.
That’s 12 provincial capitals in a week long blitz. The news is actually sending shock waves to all corners. Only the naive can suggest they don’t have popular support.
Even though their domestic armed opposition are numerically greater with better weapons they don’t have the moral strength in their hearts to face their fearless opponents. The talibs have never looked at the size and toys of the armies showcasing their muscles whenever they have invaded. They have a zeal and courage many would wish for. They actually go about their business with little fanfare or boast. People say about them, they are fierce and resilient on the battlefield. Humble when they sit down. It is said about Mullah Omar he refused to eat more than his ordinary people. Compare these leaders with the warlords and proxies who dwell themselves in fancy places. They talk with strange cognitive delusion as though they have legitimacy and status. The talibs don’t even change their traditional dress to impress anybody. It’s not difficult to see why they enjoy popular support.
They have altered the destiny of the region. Much to the disdain of the subversive plotters.
When ISIS was taking over Iraqi cities one by one without resistance was their success due to popular support?
You have to be a fool to equate the talibs with ISIS. They are venomous and always will be a fringe under the mantle of Western intelligence agencies and its arm in the Gulf.
According to reports Herat fell to the Taliban, after some intense fighting with Afghan government forces.
The Taliban have issued a statement claiming that they have taken control of the municipal building, the police headquarters, and all key strategic centers in the city, and that Afghan security forces have surrendered their arms to the Taliban.
Afghan security sources report that many Taliban fighters have moved towards the city from towns West of Herat, and “Esmail Khan” and his forces have left the city.
After gaining control of the main prison in Herat, the Taliban set all the prisoners free, and in the money exchange bazaar, the Taliban have given assurances to all the bazaaris about their security.
Sources indicate that the Taliban are seeking the governor and police chief of Herat, but they have fled the city.
Meanwhile, the Shindand airbase, located 120kms south of Herat, the second most important airbase in Afghanistan after Bagram, has fallen to the Taliban.
It is noteworthy that the Shindand military personnel caravan were ambushed by the Taliban on their way back to the base, and both sides took heavy casualties.
https://newsmedia.tasnimnews.com/Tasnim/Uploaded/Image/1397/12/02/1397120210202934816714754.jpeg — The Taliban have announced that after Esmail Khan joined their ranks, his safety, and the safety of all of Herat’s officials, is now guaranteed.
The Taliban spokesperson, “Qari Yousef Ahmadi” told the IRGC’s Tasnim news agency that once Esmail Khan joined the Taliban, he was allowed to continue living his life with full respect and dignity, as have all of Herat’s government officials. He stressed that the Taliban will guarantee all of their safety.
Sources close to Esmail Khan have reported that as a show of respect for Amir Mohamad Esmail Khan and his struggle against Soviet occupation, the Taliban have escorted Esmail Khan back to his home with much respect and honor, and he is currently doing just fine.
According to the reports, in addition to Esmail Khan, Abdul Rahman Rahman, the deputy interior minister, Abdul Mansur Qane, the Vali or governor of Herat, Hasib Sadighi, head of the National Directorate of Security, and other government officials, have also joined the Taliban.
Before this, the Taliban spokesperson, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, had stated that through extensive operations, and with the help and cooperation of the Afghan people all across Afghanistan, this group has been able to capture very important territories.
According to the statement, Qandahar, Herat, Baqdis, and 11 other provinces, have been captured by the Taliban from August 6 to August 13.
The IRGC’s Tasnim news agency has been reporting detailed updates of the Taliban’s advance, just like their coverage of the Battle of the Sword of Jerusalem. The overall tone of the IRGC’s coverage of the Afghan situation, and the fact that they have been a mouthpiece for the Taliban to get their messages out, is an interesting contrast to the tone of US coverage, and the seeming lack of any representation of the Taliban and their statements in the news they report from Afghanistan.
Hope that’s true. This kind of news will forever be absent in outside circles. Displays their keenness to unite factions. Belies the frantic bellowings of a great deal of partisans.
Good political savvyness from the talibs.
Sources from within the talib ranks, while speaking to CNN-News18 said, “In less than seven days, Taliban will completely takeover Afghanistan, including Kabul.” The sources also claimed that they did not wish to unleash violence on the population or to harm any foreign missions of NGOs working in the region. They claimed that they would appreciate the “help of international agencies in the middle of this humanitarian crisis.”
Meanwhile, President Ghani, who has been scrambling hard to save his crumbling regime, is expected to address the nation between today and tomorrow in the wake of a near-complete collapse of his control over the country.
He had in the past two days, unsuccessfully tried to unite warlords who had aided the US in ending the Islamic rule the first time with equal measures of violence. He had also appealed to the US and even India to provide Air combat support to stop the Taliban’s gains.
Cabul 2021 ??
Vivid good memories of SAIGON, April 29 , 1975, anyone?
There are still many Veterans alive from that Epic Odissee stampede from the roof top of the glorious Embassy.
They can be found out easy in the social nets… give precious advice and for free.