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The return of the Taliban 2.0


Kinder, milder, and gentler – at least so far, this is what the Taliban 2.0 version have projected themselves to the world. Only time will tell whether they are or not. However, as self-proclaimed bastion of Islamic principles and Sharia law – Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – for the world, they have a responsibility to demonstrate the true teachings and practices of Islam. The world is watching. They have a responsibility to ensure they do not sully the name of Islam nor tarnish the image of Muslims around the world. Let’s hope and pray that they live up to their responsibilities. 

One thing is certain. Every false narrative has a counter narrative and Taliban 2.0 has torn apart the US twenty-year-old narrative and its “War on Terror.” 

On August 15, Afghanistan joined its neighbour India, as India was celebrating their Independence Day – liberation from the shackles of slavery by western colonial power – The British Raj. The only difference is, it took the people of Pakistan and India nearly two centuries to wake up from their slumber of slavery, groom leaders, challenge the colonial authority, and show them the exit. Taliban on the other hand were just waiting around for two-decades – just sit and wait – for the western US and NATO forces to depart so they can re-establish their government.  

Co-incidentally, August 15th, also marked the sixth anniversary, of General Hamid Gul, former Director General and Chief of the Pakistan’s intelligence services ISI, passing away. He had played an instrumental role during 1980’s working alongside CIA to defeat then, USSR in Afghanistan. He had repeatedly warned the US, NATO not to venture in Afghanistan, and deploy those resources elsewhere. All his predictions about Taliban and ultimate US and NATO defeat were prophesized.  

The question remains, if Taliban are back in power so swiftly while the US military and NATO allies have yet to withdraw from Afghanistan. What the hell this whole “War on Terror” was all about. Why did so many NATO soldiers had to die? if the end game for the US and NATO allies was to just pack up and run in a hurry. Does this mean US, its allies and NATO members consider the so-called “Islamic Terror” is neutralized and thing of the past? Or was this all just bogus scam with hidden agenda, such as grabbing “resources,” “destabilize” the region, gain military foothold in the region to safeguard western colonial interests etc. etc. 

Whatever might have been the reasons or motives. The point of the fact is that everyone knew, including US and NATO that Afghanistan remains the graveyard of empires and unconquerable land and it was just a matter of time before Taliban would return.  

We now find US backpaddling and trying to justify its longest and costliest war with yet more false narratives, such as: President Biden tweeting, “Our mission was never supposed to be nation building.” Which flies in the face of realities where President after Presidents over the past two-decades have been pouring in resources to build Afghan National Police, led by Canadians, and Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) led by US and NATO allies, boasting 300,000 in numbers to ensure that the Taliban do not return to power, and propping up puppet regimes headed by Hamid Karzai and later Ashraf Ghani. 

The fact of the matter is that it was nowhere near 300,000 as the quarterly report by the US Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) claims. The actual number of soldiers reporting for duty were around 96,000, and combined Police and Military personnel were around 180,000. 

The New York Times reported, “It began with individual outposts in rural areas where starving and ammunition-depleted soldiers and police units were surrounded by Taliban fighters and promised safe passage if they surrendered and left behind their equipment, slowly giving the insurgents more and more control of roads, then entire districts. As positions collapsed, the complaint was almost always the same: There was no air support or they had run out of supplies and food.”

Corrupt Afghan officials within the puppet regime of Ashraf Ghani is the central reason cited for the collapse of ANDSF. “Days after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, it has emerged that the Army in the strife-torn nation was made up of “ghost soldiers” who did not exist while the ramped up numbers were used to inflate the salary bill and siphon off millions of dollars annually. “ 

“The observations are part of a report released in US by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Titled “What we need to learn: Lessons from twenty years of Afghanistan reconstruction”, the 140-page report paints a picture of ground reality of the Afghan army.”

The Ghost Soldiers, “The report cited its own assessment made in 2015, saying that the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A), which oversaw the training and equipping of Afghan forces, was unable to provide sufficient staff to verify Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police attendance data. “This gap allowed corrupt officials to artificially increase their payroll numbers, leading to non-existent personnel created to draw a salary,” the report said, adding that more than $300 million a year was spent on salaries to these non-existent personnel.”

As the Taliban offered immunity and protection to Afghan soldiers and provided basic salaries to a force that had not been paid for months and given only potatoes once a week to make French fires. Town after town, and province after province folded like a cheap tent as US and NATO allies focussed on hasty departure from Afghanistan. 

This was the biggest military debacle ever undertaken by the US and it tagged along NATO and its allies along with it over two-decades, billions wasted, and thousands of innocent lives lost on both sides.

Unfortunately, Canada along with NATO allies fell for a war over people and land that remains unconquered. 

Hopefully Canada, along with its NATO allies have learned an expensive and taxing lesson not to get dragged into US led fictitious wars with false pretences, and redirect its resources on meaningful and measurable activities at home.  


Article Source: ALAMEENPOST