August 17, 2021 at 7:31 am #220744
The Vice President of Afghanistan did not leave, he stayed in the country.
It is very strange that an army of more than 350,000 armed men vanished so easily and so fast, and they are saying that the Taliban are more than 80,000 armed guerrillas fighters but it looks that they are not so many. This is a negotiated withdrawAugust 17, 2021 at 7:31 am #220745ALBKeymaster
If YMS is right then the political and military leaders of Afghanistan are to be given credit, not condemned as Biden did last night, for deciding not to engage in a civil war. That spared thousands of lives and, anyway, why should they die to defend US imperialist interests?
It is unbelievable that the whole of the Afghan army has disintegrated. There must be some units left, probably composed of Tajiks, Uzbeks And Hazara who are not going to accept exclusive rule by the Pashtuns (who only make up about half the population).
The Taleban leaders seem to realise this with their declarations that they are seeking to form an inclusive government. They will also have to accept that the 2020s are not the 1990s. Their fighters are not the same as then. In fact most of them don’t seem old enough to have been part of those who oppressed the people last time. And they all seem to have mobile phones. Even I didn’t have one in the 1990s. True, they are led by sinister priests with black turbans who may wish to try to impose what they did last time. I doubt if they will get away with imposing the mad mullah who leads them as the Emir of Afghanistan. We will see.August 17, 2021 at 7:51 am #220746
Other than the military and the armament industry that profits from war, there is the authors and historians and memoir writers who will be writing their views and opinions on what happened for the next year.
One industry that won’t be, will be Hollywood, who will have to wait for a few years before adding the celluloid interpretation of what happened but perhaps another ‘Blackhawk is down’ Somalia movie could be made.
But it is very possible that the Taliban-rule will present a very different face from the previous version and the religious repression will remain out of view. Perhaps a parallel with Iran’s theocratic dictatorship can be made, or Saudi Arabia.August 17, 2021 at 11:36 am #220766OzymandiasParticipant
Am I right in saying that the only reason the US/UK forces were in Afghanistan since 2001 was to secure the building of pipelines from the Caspian region thus bypassing Iran? Or did they also wish to defeat extremist factions in that zone? Or both? Is it the situation now that since the natural gas/oil infrastructure is now in place and profits made the troops are moved out? Also is production of “milk of the poppy” a factor of any of this? Or am I clutching at conspiracy theories again?
August 17, 2021 at 1:22 pm #220768
- This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Ozymandias.
I think we should operate Occam’s Razor and go for the simplest explanation.
Al Qaida who carried out the 2001 terror attacks did have its base in Afghanistan, sheltered by the then Taliban government, (who did actually offer to take Bin Laden into custody but the US declined to trust the integrity of the Taliban’s intentions)
A 20-year war for domination seems a high price for a pipeline when the Americans couldn’t even secure the 2-mile route from the embassy to the airport according to news reports as far back as 2018. Officials travelled back and forth by helicopter, not the road.
The Russian pipeline has since been built and Afghanistan didn’t feature in its route
Our blog has posted details on the extensive business affairs of the Taliban finances here
The drug industry is worth $416 million to them but there are also independent actors involved in the poppies, such as the former Northern Alliance militias that still exist outside the Taliban control and had a de facto ceasefire with the government and the Americans. I heard a commentator today saying they didn’t melt away and put up fierce resistance to the attempted Taliban takeover of their territory.
But the report says the Taliban gets about the same amount of income from the mining that already takes place in the country.
I’ve been reading a number of progressive American websites and they are giving Biden (and even Trump) credit for pulling the plug. As they say, when you find yourself in a hole, first you stop digging.August 17, 2021 at 6:24 pm #220781OzymandiasParticipant
By 2014, Afghanistan was producing three times as much opium as it did in 2000. By 2015, Afghanistan was the source of 90 percent of the world’s opium poppy. This happened while US military was “guarding” opium fields.August 17, 2021 at 8:41 pm #220783
The USA government has frozen billions of dollars from Afghanistan that are deposited in American banksAugust 17, 2021 at 10:13 pm #220784Young Master SmeetParticipant
A bit of perspective: at the end of the Troubles, the IRA had 300 men ‘in the field’ with about another 450 in support (compare with the Taliban’s 75,000). By the end of the Troubles, the British had about 17,000 troops in the six counties, and they couldn’t suppress the IRA.
Now, the question is, have the 300,000 Afghan Army troops gone away, or gone to the Taliban, to what extent could a stay behind force limit Taliban operations in the same way the IRA did.
Let’s remember, the core of ISIS was former Ba’athist officers who’d been put out of a job. The Taliban need to assimilate the Afghan National Army, especially it’s officers.August 17, 2021 at 10:42 pm #220785
YMS, the members of the IRA had an ideology, hence how some remained dissident real IRA after the Good Friday deal.
Are you suggesting that the former Afghan National Army had motives for fighting beyond those of personal survival and subsistence?
Nor am I so sure that the core of ISIS was indeed Ba’aathists put out of a job although some Iraqi militias may have recruited them. Wasn’t it the Muslim Brotherhood and its variants the recruiting ground for ISIS?
But I fully agree that the Taliban has to integrate people from the old regime and that has been the task of all successful take-overs since the Bolsheviks for a smooth transition and perhaps even the French Revolution (Khmer Rouge was an exception).
The Taliban are already offered rapprochement to the civil servants and to shopkeepers and tradespeople to work normally.
The immediate goal is to ensure the economy works without US Dollar aid. I don’t think the NGOs will be able to substitute for American money even if a lot of it was diverted by corruption to the Gulf States.
Out of vengeance the USA may impose stringent sanctions on the Taliban and strangle it in a hope of destabilising it with discontent but my view is that would embolden the more puritanical Islamists, not the moderates.
But who am I? I’m no expert other than a Googler? Anything might occur, it is going to be speculation and guess-work until whatever shall be, will be, as Doris Day and the Tartan Army sing.August 17, 2021 at 10:48 pm #220786
The amount of afghans soldiers that the USA is claiming that they had is exaggerated
They were paying salaries and the money was being taken by corrupted afghans officials and they were creating ghosts soldiers
The aghans were not willing to die for the USA and they gave up and they are poor peoples like the rest of the population, they made the correct choice instead of dying for the Americans capitalist class
The talibans now have modern military weapons, tanks, helicopters, hummers, rifles, machine guns and armunition.
Probably, they will sell them in the black markets to others countries and drugs dealers
Many aghans officials left the country with luggage full of money The real loser is the working classAugust 17, 2021 at 11:20 pm #220787
new scheme in the UK will see up to 20,000 Afghans offered a route to set up home in the UK in the coming years.In the first year, 5,000 refugees will be eligible – with women, girls and others in need having priority.
Yet they place the Royal Navy to stop equally desperate and equally traumatised refugees crossing the Channel.
Who is really to form the league table of vulnerable and damaged asylum seekers?
How long before the racists of the likes of Britain First begin to harass those Afghans who risked their lives in the service of the UK?…small brains, short memories.
August 18, 2021 at 12:43 am #220789
- This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by alanjjohnstone.
The Americans corporations obtained the profits that they wanted from Afghanistan with the pipelines, oil, the minerals, and the opium for pharmaceuticals, and they stopped the Chinese and the Russian from grabbing them. Mission accomplished. The real loser is the working class and the poor of Afghanistan, all the others sectors involved in this conflict ( including the Taliban ) got their own piece of the cakeAugust 18, 2021 at 4:11 am #220791
Doha Agreement between the USA and the Taliban, or the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. This agreement was signed on 2/29/2020 and it clearly indicates that the USA and EU troops would leave Afghanistan
As soon as this agreement was signed it gave the victory to the Taliban. The members of the Afghans national guard were not going to risk their life and die for the USA capitalist class, and also they had not received salaries for several months, therefore, it is obvious that they were going to surrender
August 18, 2021 at 4:49 am #220793
- This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by MovimientoSocialista.
A BBC economic analysis of Afghanistan’s futureAugust 18, 2021 at 7:02 am #220794Young Master SmeetParticipant
the rank and file of the IS forces may have been recruited from the MB, but the core command/control and expertise was former regime officers, perhaps activating a stay behind operation. They provided the know-how, IS were not your usual ragtag bunch.
In that context, subsistence and personal survival played a huge part, but, as I think ALB has noted, there are regional/tribal differences and they may find reflection in remnant parts of the Afghan army. An ideology can always be found when it is needed.
I’m just looking at this as a possible ‘moderating’ influence.
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