Taliban Triumph of Afghanistan: What it means to the World ?
Who is Taliban? Where it came from?
Taliban has the relevance of being Islamic student in the local Pashto language in Afghanistan/Pakistan. These are mostly the Afghani refugees who were raised and used by joint efforts of USA and Pakistan to hurt and defeat the occupying Russian forces in 1980s. They were also joined later by some Pakistani Pashtuns. They have been receiving the Quranic Taleem (education) in Pakistani Madrasas of radicalization during and after the Soviet occupation. They are claimed to have received the Taleem on the lines of their prophet, Mohammed in his deceitful art of Jihadi war against the Arabian Tribes, Jewish and Christian territories in raising own Islamic Caliphate. Pakistani military under coordination of their Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), trained them against the Russians and later against US-led Allied Forces too. They earlier succeeded in compelling the Russians to retreat in February 1989 and now, the mighty Americans.
Taliban initially tried in the 1990s to acquire the Politico-Religious legitimacy of radical Islam, while receiving funds from US, Saudi and some others through Pakistan. They imposed a highly radical version of Islam on the Afghans with mass atrocities and executions. Their movement soon acquired the symbol and identity of radical Islam that was pro-Palestine and anti-American. This was also the genesis of Al-Qaida launching the 9/11 attack on USA. It must have been a rude shock to the US administration that the money and assistance provided to Pakistan to raise and handle Taliban for own use, has been the cause for their defeat. It also draws a similarity to Islamic ungratefulness of past…when Banu Quraysh who sheltered Mohamed in Medina (after he was made to flee out of Mecca by his own Quraysh tribe), later committed dishonesty against them to kill and drive them out of Medina. There are numerous instances of the Islamic forces being sinfully ungrateful to the others…that is why Islam has wiped out the followers of other faiths and religions from 57 nations by now, to declare themselves as Islamic States.
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 raise own Mujahidin as well as to further their Nuclear objectives, ducking under shelters of the US Administration. After their training, Taliban used to be provided weapons and sent to Afghanistan for subversive and terrorist acts; earlier in 1980s against the Russians and later 2001 onwards against the US-led Allied Forces.
Taliban adopts their prophet, Mohamed’s doctrine of war
Hate, intolerance, bigotry and fascism against the other faiths served the main driving force of Mohamed, the founder and prophet of Islam (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353841498_Islamic_Hate_ Intolerance_Bigotry_Fascism_in_Current_Relevance). His doctrine of ruse, deceit, skullduggery, falsehood, faithlessness against enemies were the means of many of his victories. It is believed that the Taleem (education) of Taliban in those special madrasas of Pakistan in the late 1980s, laid greater emphasis to the radicalism and Jihad portions of Quran. They glorify Mohamed’s doctrine including loots of wealthy Arabian tribes (eg. at Badr), fraudulently attacking the unsuspecting groups etc. These were oriented to inflict heavier casualties on to the Russians in the 80s but later affected the Americans too.
By virtue of having received the training in Mohamed’s approach in the so-called holy wars against the followers of other ideologies, Muslims consider Taliban as inheritor of their prophet’s doctrines. They considered US led NATO forces Kaffirs and the Afghan govt assisted by them as illegitimate. This also made Taliban to believe that they were also fighting Jihad, the holy war. This is why 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 provided umbrella to the most of Sunni terrorist organisations to join them. These included Al-Qaida, Haqqani group, East Turkestan/Tajik Islamic Movement groups, Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jamat Ansarulla faction of ISIS and so on. This is the reason why 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 force’s invasion. However, it was wrong to assume that they had dissipated. No, they only dispersed among the population to make themselves invisible to the allied forces. 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 were 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.
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 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.
Poor intelligence failed Allied Forces, Afghan Govt
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 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 below. 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 over $900 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 29 Feb 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 the same. Taliban too has learnt this art of double speak from their Pakistani masters.
An article titled 'Defeated, US and Allies leave Afghanistan' (https://articles.thecounterviews.com/issues/issue_03_08/” amply highlights the fallacies of the peace-accord, fraught to belie on part of Taliban. After the Afghan representative mentioned at the SCO talks in July 21 that Pakistan had sent a 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 15 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 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 want to be seen as complying by not attacking the Allied Forces but they have clearly to adhered to the second half of the peace-accord by not working on cease-fire and power sharing arrangements prior to start occupying the entire nation. Further to add salt to the wound, they wanted the world to see the allied forces fleeing, in haste, as defeated forces…just like those of US pulling out from Vietnam in the late 70s. It must be very damning to the mighty NATO forces fleeing like cowards.
Melting down of Afghan Forces and the Govt
It has been made amply known to the successive Afghan elected govts since 2014 onwards that US wanted to withdraw its troops back. Obama spoke of it. Trump spoke of it and even made his election agenda in 2016. US led allied forces has been gradually inducting the Afghan Forces in their security roles. First came the internal security in 2014 onwards and then dealing with the external Jihadi elements from Pakistan and Iran. A total of approx. 3.5 lakh Afghan forces equipped with modern firearms for a country of 3.76 Cr population by any measure, is no mean figure. However, there were massive corruption in the army and the Afghan Govt. Majority of the army personnel had joined to earn livelihood and lacked any passion or national pride. Many of the soldiers were also an active Talibani or their supporters. Hence, they had no shame to lay down arms and surrender to Taliban. Afghan Army commanders lacked concerted plans to defend. The forces at the periphery were left to fend for own without any support. Hence, they surrendered.
Military surrender of Afghan forces has another huge implication for USA. They have also surrendered the modern weapons and military hardware to Taliban worth ~$35 billion. If Taliban use it, it will make them a formidable force. Some of these sophisticated weapons could also fall in Pakistani and Chinese hands for reverse engineering leading to future loss of US weapon sale. Surely, US administration will be worried.
Military doctrines the world over dictates of a requirement of 2.5 to 4 times strength to over-run the enemy defense. There are differing figures of Talibani fighters. They were expected to be around 50,000-odd with some joining them on adhoc basis as they advanced from district to district. It is believed that Pakistan provided approx. 40,000 Jihadists to support them. Thus, even if Taliban & Pak Jihadists numbered approx. 1 lakh, Afghan Army had near 3.5::1 superiority and could have comfortably over-run them. That surely did not happen and on the contrary, Taliban & jihadist over-run the trained army of 3.5 lakh? It will be a topic for military doctrine research in future and an exemplary blot on the Afghan Army forever.
When it came to protecting the national capital Kabul having an area of approx. 1000 Sq Km and a population of 44 lakhs against the terrorist, it could have proved to be a formidable force; but they chose to turn coward for whatever reasons. If the objective of Ashraf Ghani govt was for avoiding bloodshed, the military could have taken the govt control in own hand and transferred 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. Americans 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 20 yrs back, punish the women for any attempt on their part to defy the four walls of their homes or else be punished 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 Afghan women saying they would prefer suicide over sexual exploitation by the terrorists.
Islamists have traditionally been hostile and intolerant to other faiths and religions right from Mohamed’s time. They committed almost complete genocide of the Arabian Tribes. Many intra-Islamic sectarian conflicts are raging around the world even today. Hence, there is no reason to believe that the Talibani Jihadists of Afghanistan will be any different. They will soon start showing their actual colour of intolerance to the few hundreds of remaining Hindu and Sikh; and then against the Shia sect and foreigners. The world has earlier witnessed the Jihadi horrors of Al-Qaida and ISIS against the foreigners.
The educated and employed women will suffer the most. They will all be made to become an object of household. Two or three radical men constitute Talibani Sharia 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 talks learnt from Pakistan.
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.
Seven days after the take-over, mad rush of the fear-stricken Afghans at Kabul Airport to flee their nation amply shows that Afghans don’t trust this Taliban. Women have vanished from the streets, educational institutions and professions. Women-led business have closed in entire nation. Dreaded terrorists are back.
Pakistan, the New Jihad-Guru of the World
Pakistan and its Jihadi infrastructures have emerged the main force behind the Taliban victory over US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. The decades old double-speak of Pakistan has emerged as an important doctrine of Islamic Jihad. Earlier, the world community sympathetic to Pakistani denial of training & harboring terrorists on its soil, must have realized the Paki deceit of double-speak. They have shown to the world how to use a super-power’s money and means to raise a Jihadi Force and efficiently use against them. They sheltered the anti-US terrorists and their organization deceitfully on own territories and denied it to US and the world. They guarded Bin laden, Mullah Omar and their entire network on own soil and lied to the world. It is believed that Haqqani leader was also under ISI’s protection. Pakistan harbours nearly 150 UN proscribed terrorist on their soil, using them effectively for the cause of world Jihad while UN/UNSC/ FATF/P-5 look-on blindly.
Pakistan has made a new Jihadi doctrine in Afghanistan…of uniting the various sects of radical Islam in furthering its main objective of defeating its non-Islamic enemy, the USA. Pakistani PM Imran Khan’s appeal to the various Afghani warlords appealing them not to antagonise the advancing Taliban must have sounded the danger bell to the world. That is why Taliban, duly assisted by approx. 40,000 Pak Jihadi terrorists was able to capture districts after districts in Afghanistan without any resistance whatsoever. There is no doubt that sooner or later sectarian violence will start in Afghanistan but for now, all Islamist forces have joined hands to defeat the US-led allied forces. It is a huge victory for Pakistan.
In the coming months and years, Pakistan will be seen as world leader of Jihad; leaving Turkey, Saudi, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Malaysia and the likes…far behind. It will now receive funding for training and sending Jihadists the world over, to further the cause of global caliphate. The Jihadi movement in some of the non-Islamic nations will get active support. FATF grey-listing will be no deterrence or consequences.
Regional & Global Repercussions of Talibani Triumph
With the NATO forces fled, with Afghan govt having melted down completely and Ashraf Ghani fled the nation, there is a complete power vacuum in Afghanistan. Talibani control of the beleaguered nation is almost complete in terms of narrative but pathetic from security & administration point of views. Taliban has blocked the exits roads 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 propaganda of being tolerant.
Pakistan is the main actor behind the success of Taliban hence, they will step first to try and take the remote control in their hands. Pakistani foreign minister is likely to meet Taliban leadership in Kabul to further own objective. Sooner than later, China may jump to recognize Taliban along with half a dozen of radical Islamic nations; but most international community will refrain from doing so. Pakistan will exploit Afghanistan to the fullest. Soon China will extend their BRI, easy loans and (pseudo)development agenda that will take Afghanistan to Debt Trap. Afghanistan will become a dumping ground for Chinese consumer goods. China will also sell its defense hardware and try to exploit the rich Afghan resources of minerals incl Lithium. They will try to hurt the Indian ambitions of trade route from Chabahar in Iran to the middle-east through Afghanistan. Instead, Gwadar port of Pakistan may assume significance for all future trades.
If the Afghan warlords of Panjshir and Shia groups take up arms against Taliban, there could be an intractable civil war. In the coming months, nearly 40,000-odd Pakistani Jihadists may return back with job accomplished. Pakistan will try to use them against India and elsewhere. Afghanistan is also likely to become another hot bed of Islamic terrorism in addition to Pakistan. If Taliban becomes a dominant reality in Afghanistan, they could also pose threat to Pakistan where the Pashtuns movements have traditionally been suppressed for decades.
Taliban will try to keep some bargaining chips to get food aid from the UN and other concessions from some others. China will try to ensure Taliban refrains from inciting Uyghurs. It will not be easy. Jihadists have already started attacking the Chinese working in Pakistan. Presently they are playing it down but the Jihadists are Jihadists. They see Chinese as infidel and committing atrocities on Islam (Uyghurs). They will continue attacking the Chinese.
It is a very fluid situation in Afghanistan at present. UNSC may flex muscles but will not be much effective. EU is sounding displeasure by halting all its aid-related projects. It is doubtful however if they will act decisively against the Jihadists. Jihadists earlier sneaked out of Syria and Turkey are already creating problems in Greece, France, Germany, Spain and elsewhere. The great migration has started from Afghanistan too. All nations allowing humanitarian evacuation are highly skeptical of this possibility. Muslim world may come to the political support of Talibani Afghanistan. US led NATO will have to lick their wounds of humiliations in the coming weeks and months that both China and Russia will cherish.
Islamic terrorists will draw inspiration globally from Taliban victory against the world’s most powerful military, the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. Their confidence will grow in Palestine, Gaza, Sahel region, the African continent, India, Europe and finally within USA itself. The Chinese may escape any major Jihadi onslaught but they are on Jihadi radar by virtue of their Uyghur model of crushing Islamic radicalization at its root. The non-Muslim nations are likely to witness increasing Islamic Jihad to further the cause of Global Islamic Caliphate. Soon the head of this poisonous snake called Radical Islam / Jihad will have to be crushed else the humanity will suffer. This can only be done by acting united…something like another Crusade, the holy war against the enemy of the humanity, the intolerant Islam.
Taliban may claim to be deficient in food, unable to feed their population and approach UN Aid agencies. There is no doubt that they will divert the aid to their own Jihadists. When every Talibani youth could be seen wielding the automatic weapons, how could they claim hunger? These could be their war tactics. No doubt that a large section of civilian population will start facing hunger if Taliban’s cruelty continues. The answer to avoid famine in Afghanistan rest squarely on Talibani leadership to quickly devise methods and means to render assistance to the poor and kick start their economy. Humanitarian food aid may be given as short-time measure to the poor children and pregnant women. However, long term plan of Taliban should be to invest in productivity sectors.