Now Governing, It's the Taliban's Turn to Fight New Bands of Deadly Afghan Insurgents

(AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

Nearing the first anniversary of the Taliban’s insurgent victory against the U.S. and combined forces of NATO, that canny, patient band of ruthless revolutionaries is facing its own insurgency. Actually, several of them.

In addition to the paralyzing problems of governing and perhaps somehow serving an impoverished, fractured country five times the size of New York state, the Taliban confront duplicitous, well-armed warlords across the country guarding their own turf and criminal activities.

Plus scattered about the god-forsaken land that might be mistaken for desolate Tatooine are a variety of militant religious uprisings run by the local franchises of al Qaeda, ISIS, and other bands of religious zealots who believe the ruthless Taliban is far too moderate to continue to exist in this world. And are prepared to kill thousands of innocents to prove that by undermining the former insurgents.

Yes, that’s the same al Qaeda that plotted and practiced the 9/11 attacks in the same Afghanistan with permission of the same Taliban. The same al Qaeda that Barack Obama assured us 10 years ago was on the run.

Now, before you get smug over killers getting killed by new generic brands of homicide bombers and IEDs, consider this:

The Taliban is also preoccupied with its own factional infighting and religious stricture enforcements centered on Kabul. So, none of these new insurgent packs need anyone’s permission to organize spectacular attacks on the West to prove their radical bona fides to potential recruits and donors. Nor can anyone stop them.

As a result of his chaotic evacuations of U.S. troops and some Afghan allies, Joe Biden’s administration is flying totally blind in the new Afghanistan. This oblivious president discarded billions in modern military gear there.

But more importantly from a moral point of view, this casually cruel man also discarded longstanding U.S. promises to extricate thousands of Afghan allies and their families.

Even if a few gullible ones left behind were prepared to believe any future American promises, they’re too busy hiding and running for their own lives there to provide intel to Washington or London on what’s going on in their homeland.

See, in its unorganized haste to get out of Dodge last summer, Biden minions left behind detailed personnel records, including blood types, eye scans, and other bio-metrics on all those who helped U.S. and allied forces during 20 years of war and failed nation-building.

Dutiful Taliban security forces are now using this treasure trove of incriminating data to relentlessly track, hunt down, and then execute our abandoned allies.

Biden doesn’t care. He pronounced the aborted evacuations a grand success because he got some out. And with the help of a sympathetic and inattentive media, he’s moved on to not solving other crises like supply chains, COVID variants, baby formula, and the explosion in gas prices caused by his own set of restrictions on domestic oil production, which he first blamed on Putin and now blames on greedy oil and shipping companies.

Americans do not study much history anymore, which turns out to be costly in

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modern times. Just a cursory glance would show how forever unconquerable and ungovernable is that collection of wild tribal lands that is one country only on Western maps.

The Sikhs couldn’t take over during their empire days. Nor the British. The Soviets invested 10 years unsuccessfully attempting to restore a communist regime in their next-door neighbor, starting in 1979. Even the mighty conqueror Alexander the Great failed to fully control the place before his death 2,345 years ago last week.

During the Russian occupation alone, more than a million Afghan civilians died. The California-sized population has never had anything easy, especially the women, who have now been ordered back to wearing full cover, even female TV announcers.

In May, the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice ‘advised’ women to stay at home. But if they do go out, they must cover themselves entirely except for the eyes. If they fail to comply, the closest male relative will be punished.

Initially last summer, the Taliban appeared more moderate, perhaps to avoid inciting resistance before organizing. Now in virtually full control, it has turned harsher. Girls, for instance, were told then they could remain in school. Now, however, they are forbidden to attend school after sixth grade.

In a vain initial attempt to tamp down the simmering new insurgencies last fall, Taliban security conducted a wave of public shootings, hangings, and beheadings of insurgent prisoners. It didn’t work on survivors, as it didn’t work on Taliban fighters. Attacks continue around the country.

According to War on the Rocks, a nine-year-old website focused on analysis of and debate on foreign policy and strategy:

Now, with foreign troops withdrawn, the group seems overwhelmed with the Herculean challenge of maintaining its own cohesion, forming a new government and framework of governing policies, stabilizing the country, and dealing with a collapsing economy and dwindling social services.

The long-term threat to Taliban governance comes from its apparent inability so far to transition from the brutal role of insurgents to one of governing authorities and counter-insurgents, providing for and protecting citizens from the murderous new insurgents who are killing to make just that point of the governing Taliban’s powerlessness.

To the new insurgents, the Taliban became apostates by negotiating with the United States on its complete force withdrawal. In those talks in Qatar, ending in 2020, the Taliban agreed to stop terrorist attacks and to negotiate in good faith with the elected central government for joint rule.

In the tradition of insurgents, it kept none of its commitments, of course, finding total military victory far easier once word got out to Afghan forces that U.S. support was departing.

After 20 years, twice as long as the Soviets tried, the U.S. did pull out all of its forces last year, though three months late by Joe Biden’s decision. The final and most important commitment the Taliban made in those talks with the Trump administration was to prevent outside terrorists from establishing power bases within its territory where they could plot terrorist attacks on other countries, or risk the threatened reentry by Western troops.

Now it turns out, because the insurgents have their own insurgents, that’s not a commitment the Taliban could fulfill, even if it wanted to.


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