Thursday, July 31, 2008

Journey Inside The Taliban: Briton's Dangerous Secret Meeting With The Warlords Who Will Never Surrender

Militants who claim they are Talibans in Zabul province, Afghanistan

From The Daily Mail:

They slipped into the remote mountaintop farmhouse in ones and twos, climbing up the earthen staircase to a room at the top and dropping their Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenades and light machine-guns in a heap by the door.

Metal clanked on metal until there were a dozen men sitting around the edge of the little room and staring at me. I was face to face with the Taliban.

Their leader, introduced as 'Commander Abdullah,' a burly man of about 40 with a glossy black beard, looked me up and down with his head to one side, sizing me up like a bird from a branch. Silently, he ushered me to the cushions next to the stove, pride of place.

Read more ...

My Comment: This story was written a few weeks ago, but it gives testament to the resilience and fortitude of the Taliban of today. I especially enjoyed reading the reporters comments on the philosophy and ideological bent of the Taliban fighters. These men are from another age, following a philosophy that is completely alien to western thinking .... just as our culture and philosophy is alien to theirs.

While the Taliban are pictured as being good fighters, I now realize that they are no match to the war machine of the American Army. Key lines from the article ....

"An Apache helicopter finally dealt with the building nearest the compound, the gunfire that had streamed constantly from its windows replaced by the sound of screaming. The Gurkhas reported the smell of burning flesh - the 'smell of war', as one of them put it later."

"The bugbear of his life was American air power. 'If it wasn't for them we could take half the country in a single day,' he boasted. 'What we need are missiles to shoot them down."

I remembered watching two videos of British forces responding to an ambush, and American forces responding to an ambush. The British forces ran even though the enemy was spotted in the distance. The American forces stood their ground and pulverized the side of a mountain from where enemy fire came from. After the battle, 5 Taliban soldiers were dragged down.

The Taliban are like the Indians of North America 200 years ago, facing the white man with his superior technology and military support. The Indians behaved in a tradition that combat had to be fought in a certain way and were confident that they would win .... they never experienced professional soldiers who had the firepower to not only back up the fight, but were also determined to win.

The war in Afghanistan will be a war of attrition. Like Iraq, there will be concerns that the war will never stop, or that we cannot win .... but I have a different opinion. Because of 9/11 Nato and U.S. forces will be in Afghanistan for a very long time. Half of the country are not Pashtun, and are not sympathetic to the Taliban. The Afghan Army is growing and becoming more professional, I would not be surprise that in five years they will be an effective force ... if not sooner.

I would not be surprise that in a year or two the Taliban that James fergusson met will be dead or wounded. The first tier taliban as he calls them .... like the Bathists in Iraq .... once these men are dead .... and they will be dead .... the dynamics of this battle will change.

Commander Abdullah boasts to the reporter that when he dies his children will take up the cause. That may be true but I doubt it .... if anything I have a strong feeling that his grandchildren will be playing video games and hoping to have an education in a University when they grow up. And the Taliban/Afghan war .... that will just be a memory.

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