Taliban Take-Over of Afghanistan
Who is Taliban? Where it came from?
Taliban has the relevance to the local Pashto language in Afghanistan/Pakistan. These are the Afghani (refugees) and Pakistani Pashtuns who have received the Quranic Taleem (education) in Pakistani Madrasas during and after the Soviet occupation times. Although they initially claimed to have received the Taleem on the lines of their prophet, Mohammed to as to be Islamic Education preached by none other than their prophet. They initially tried in the early 1990s to acquire the legitimacy in the name of Political and Religious faction of Islam however, the fact was different. Under largely the funding of the US through Pakistan, they were educated in the highly radicalized madrasas of Pakistan and trained in unconventional warfare of ‘Terrorism’, by Pakistani military under coordination of their Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) essentially against the Russians in Afghanistan. It must have been a shock to the US administration that the money and assistance to Pakistan to raise and handle Taliban, has been the cause for their own defeat. It also draws a similarity to Islamic past…the Bana Jews who sheltered Mohamed in Medina (after he was kicked out of Mecca by his own Quraysh tribe), committed dishonesty and ungratefulness against them to kill and drive them out of Medina.
Mujahids were the corollary arms of Pakistani Jihadists raised to fight religious wars elsewhere…in Kashmir, Xinjiang, Chechnya, Palestine/Gaza and so on. It is a common belief that Pakistanis fooled the Americans in the 90s by diverting the funds meant for Taliban, to own Mujahidin’s as well as to further their Nuclear objectives ducking under shelters of the US Administration. After their training, they used to be provided weapon and sent to Afghanistan for subversive and terrorist acts against Russians.
Taliban adopts their prophet, Mohamed’s doctrine of war
It is believed that the Taleem (education) of Taliban were in those special madarasas of Pakistan in the late 1980s where greater emphasis were laid to the radicalism and Jihad portions of Quran. They also glorify Mohamed’s tactics of various loots of the Caravans of wealthy Arabian tribes (eg. at Badr), fraudulently attacking the unsuspecting groups of Arabian tribes etc. These were oriented to inflict heavier casualties on to the Russians occupying Afghanistan.
By virtue of having received the Mohamed’s doctrines in the so-called holy wars, of Mohamed’s intolerance to the other ideologies (that committed genocides of the contemporary Arabian Tribes), Muslims the world over consider Taliban as inheritor of their prophet’s doctrines. They considered US led NATO forces and the Afghan govt assisted by them as illegitimate. This is the reason hardly any Islamic country has openly condemned Talibani take-over of Afghanistan. Pakistan has even boasted their acts.
In the name of following Mohamed’s doctrine, Taliban also provides close umbrella to the most of the Sunni terrorist organisations including Al-Qaida and those of Haqqani, East Turkestan/Tajik Islamic Movment groups, Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jamat Ansarulla faction of ISIS and so on. This is the reason Pakistan thrives on the Jihadists and keeps getting international funding from several Islamic nations…both rich (as contributions) and poor (as jajya) especially from Sunni and related factions. A 2019-20 NATO confidential report mentions their annual turn-over of nearly 1.6 billion (from mining, drugs, taxes and extortion money).…that they consider legitimate being outcome of their prophet Mohamed’s teaching. This is a reasonably huge sum of money that will prevent them from succumbing to any international pressures/ sanctions in the coming times.
When US-led Allied Forces invaded Afghanistan after 9/11 terror attack, Taliban fighters’ numbers in the early 2000s were estimated to be around 85,000. There is no doubt that Taliban numbers looked depleted substantially in the months and years after the allied forces came in. However, it was wrong to assume that it had dissipated. No, they only dispersed among their population to make themselves invisible to the allied forces. One may wonder how did they get such might so as to have defeated the mightiest of the forces, the NATO. After the numbers of the NATO forces were reduced 2014 onwards, the Talibani terrorists started resurfacing. They continued mounting occasional guerilla attacks on to the allied forces mostly at the behest of their Pakistani bosses. With occasional successful Jihadi attacks on foreign troops and embassies, they were able to recruit the local youth in the name of religious war…Jihad. They used to be trained in Pakistan and armed with sophisticated weapons provided by Pakistan/China/Russia to gradually increase their fighting capabilities and footholds. It is astonishing to see the extent of arms and ammunition they possess.
They may claim to be deficient in food and approach UN Aid agencies to feed the civilians but will divert it to their Jihadists. When every Talibani youth could be seen wielding the automatic weapons, how could they claim hunger? These are all war tactics of Mohamed. Hence, it may not be difficult to peek in to near 1500 yrs past as to how Mohamed would have mounted the many inhuman acts of wars of his times to commit a near complete genocide of the Arabian tribes. Taliban’s cruelty on women too comes from Mohamed’s teachings mentioned elsewhere.
It may be worthwhile recollecting that Imran Khan had openly acknowledged before US President Trump in 2018-19, that there were >40 odd terrorist tanzeems in Pakistan with about 40,000 terrorists (that did not include the Taliban). Now with Taliban in full control of Afghanistan and Taliban itself being maneuvered by Pakistan, Pakistan is the biggest devil for the USA and the world, esp India. India can never forget how Pakistan used Afghan soil to blackmail India following hijack of civil flight from Nepal.
Intelligence Failure of US-led Allied Forces failed Afghan
What the world observed unfolding in the streets of Kabul on 15 Aug 2021 was not something that came out of nothing. The allied forces led Afghan administration of Afghanistan started slipping out of their grip well back in 2016 initially in Helmand but progressing to the other areas. It is a fact that by 2018, Taliban had already regrouped and started comparatively easy walk-in in many districts. The strength of Taliban obviously came from Pakistan military and their ISI. The US intelligence report in Jan 2018 showed that the allied forces assisted Afghan forces had lost their control over large parts of the country as shown in the box opposite. Obviously, this could not have been achieved by few hundred Taliban forces as both US and Afghan govt had been projecting. Writing has been on the walls of Taliban take-over amidst the confused US led Afghan Govt approach.
On the economic front too, the cost of war was surpassing all estimates. Although the financial aid to Afghanistan was just around $144 billion, a rough estimate of the cost of US combat operations (including the related regional support activities and support for Afghan forces) as of December 2020 stood at $824.9 billion since FY-2002 and still mounting. US administration was unwilling to bear any further cost and wanted an end to the conflict at all cost. However, the allied forces wanted a face-saving exit and that is why they had to sign on the dotted lines…the Dec 2020 the so-called peace agreement with Taliban.
Pakistani game of double crossing USA
It is hard to digest as to how USA intended to believe Taliban…full of deceit, falsehood strengthened over years by Pakistani support and double-speak. Right since extending support to the US for its war on terror, Pakistan has been making fool of USA. In the return for providing US Military Base, Pakistan actually continued deceiving USA. They financed the terrorists with part of the US funding, harboured Osama bin Laden on the ISI backyard of Abbotabad. They have been harboring the Talibani terrorists, believed to be sheltering Haqqani on their territory and continued playing victim cards before the world. In true meaning Pakistan has double crossed the US and the allied forces. Afghan President himself has been speaking of it publicly and all US & NATO defence experts have voiced it. Taliban too has learnt this art of double speak from their Pakistani masters.
“The counterviews, issue 3:08” amply highlights the fallacies of the accord that was fraught to belie adherence of part of Taliban and they belied. After Afghan leadership mentioned in the SCO talk in July 21 that Pakistan had sent further >10,000 Jihadists to assist Taliban, Paki PM Imran Khan had ridiculed him. However, truth does not need proof. It is evident from the swiftness of Taliban takeover of Afghan that Pakistan’s assistance to Taliban must have been substantial. In last 10 days, they have captured 17 districts of Afghanistan before walking into Kabul on 15 Aug 21…and all these are happening while the talks for inter-Afghan peace were still going on in Doha, amidst their assurance that they will not take-over by force. This did not give time even to the local Afghani warlords to oppose. They all surrendered unconditionally.
Taliban deliberately did not give even the time as per the ‘accord time frame’ of 31 Aug 21 to complete the allied pull-out. They wanted the allied forces to be seen fleeing, in haste, as defeated forces…like those of US from Vietnam in the late 70s. It must be very damning to the mighty NATO forces fleeing like cowards.
Melting down of Afghan Govt and its Forces
It has been made amply known to the successive Afghan elected govts since 2014 onwards that US wanted its troops back. Obama spoke of it. Trump spoke of it and even made his election agenda. US led allied forces has been gradually inducting the Afghan Forces in their roles. First came the internal security in 2014 onwards and then dealing with the Jihad elements. A total of 3.5 lakh forces equipped with modern firearms for a country of 3.76 Cr population by any measure, is no mean figure. When it came to protecting the national capital Kabul having an area of approx. 1000 Sq Km and population of 44 lakh against the terrorist, it could have proved to be a formidable force; but they chose to turn coward for whatever reason. If the objective of Ashraf Ghani govt was for avoiding bloodshed, the military could have taken the govt control in own hand and transfer it to the coming terrorists, the Taliban. That could have been graceful. Instead, the entire military melting down, defies all logics. There are also speculations of tacit understanding between Afghan military and Taliban.
Fleeing of American Forces helter-skelter amidst Talibani terrorists entering the national capital was pathetic. American had the deal with them not to attack till 31 August 21. This will go down as worst defeat of the most powerful military in the world.
Will Taliban 2.0 be different?
Taliban is Taliban…having apparently been given the Taleems of Mohamed in committing loots & murders, it will remain the same. The only difference it has now, is its mastery in double speak learnt from the Pakistani military, ISI and civilian leaderships. That is evident as the Kabul take-over was complete while Doha talks were still on. Many journalists of western media have been recording several videos of Taliban 2.0 acts in the recaptured districts. It is the same inhuman behavior. There are several accounts by those having suffered recently. They kill the people having supported the US led allied forces; impose the strict Sariah law as seen during early 2000s, punish the women for any attempt on their part to defy the four walls of their homes with lashes etc etc.
There are social media reports that Taliban has issued a dictat to the people of other ideologies to hand-over their unmarried girls of over 15 yrs and widows of less than 40 or so, to be distributed to their fighters, to be used as sex slaves. We may see another Yezidis type of horror here. There are women saying they would prefer suicide over sexual exploitation by the terrorists.
The educated and employed women will suffer the most. They will all be made to become an object of household. They have 2-3 radical men constituted Talibani courts that deliver verdict for any act of disobedience of the people. Only for the international propaganda, they will continue saying that Taliban 2.0 would be different…the another example of mastery in the double talk.
On 16 Aug 2021 when the world woke-up, Afghanistan appeared calm as there were hardly any unbiased camera to see or hear what the Taliban were doing, hardly any social media post reporting their horror, hardly any unbiased journo to report of Talibani atrocities. Afghanistan seems to be swiftly returning to the days of 2001 before US led NATO forces had invaded.
With the NATO forces fled, with the Ashraf Ghani govt having melted down completely and fled the nation, there is a complete power vacuum in Afghanistan at present. Taliban has taken complete control and blocked the exits from Kabul. They will soon start executing the people who had earlier sided with the NATO forces, while their double talk will continue with international agencies. Pakistan and China may jump to provide recognition along with half a dozen of radical Islamic nations like Turkey and Malaysia; but most international community will refrain from doing so. Pakistan will surely exploit Afghanistan to the fullest. Most importantly, Pakistan ISI may be able to get substantial finances from Taliban for their cash-crunch terror organisations. In the coming months, Pakistan may also be able to use their terrorists returning from Afghanistan against India. Afghanistan is also likely to become another hub centre of Islamic terrorism in addition to the existing Pakistan.
Taliban will try to keep many bargaining chips to get food aid from the UN agencies and another purchases from some other countries. China may start working on their familiar debt-trap methods through Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), easy loan options and investments in mining sector. Afghanistan has reasonably rich resources of minerals incl Lithium that the Chinese will look to grab. China however, may be cautious in dealing with Taliban for its Uyghur Muslim vulnerabilities. It is a very fluid situation at present. UNSC may flex muscles but will not be much effective. Muslim world may come to political assistance of Talibani Afghanistan. US led NATO will have to lick their wounds of humiliations in the coming weeks and months.