Afghans march supporting the ANDSF against the Taliban across Afghanistan

Vast numbers of Afghan civilians in many cities across the country have been chanting “Allah Akbar” and other calls to support their beloved ANDSF (Afghan National Defense Security Forces) in the battle with the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Daesh. The cheering started at night in Herat and spread throughout the country. People were chanting on the streets, on roof tops, in mosques, through mosque speakers. Men, woman and children. There are hundreds or more articles and videos about this. Including:  -vice-President-Saleh-took-to-streets

Anti-Taliban chants, thousands including vice-President Saleh took to streets

Mass popular cheering for the ANDSF synchronized across the country hasn’t  happened before in Afghanistan.

Among the first to publicly discuss that popular chants were beginning in Herat was one of Afghanistan’s greatest living intellectuals, Davood Moradian–founder and director-general, Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies. (Is there interest in interviewing him for BP?)

I would recommend that everyone read Davood’s very fine article on how Britain has long supported violent extreme Islamists in Afghanistan and has been flirting with or even appearing to support the Taliban for over a dozen years. In former US defense secretary Robert Gates book, President Karzai famously asks Secretary Gates why Britain was de facto supporting the Taliban. Gates responded with silence. The British have repeatedly sabataged Afghans in many other ways too. Here are some highlights from Davood’s article about Britain’s negative role in Afghanistan:

  • UK Secretary of Defence . . . Ben Wallace announced that Britain will work with the Taliban should they enter government in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s spokesperson seized upon the announcement and described it as “positive”.
    • Note that Britain didn’t say they would welcome a national unity government and genuine power sharing that INCLUDED the Taliban. Rather Britain was welcoming a Taliban government in Afghanistan. This is deeply offensive and hurtful towards Afghans.
  • The UK assumed the lead role in tackling Afghanistan’s flourishing illicit drug economy damaging the Helmand economy.
  • “Mediation between Afghanistan and Pakistan was another of the UK’s priorities.” Britain has almost always sided with Pakistan against Afghanistan, so you can understand how Afghans interpret UK mediation versus mediation by a neutral country such as the USA, France, Germany, Japan, Iran, Russia, Turkey, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Italy, Brazil, Malaysia, Singapore, Nigeria or Russia.
  • Less known are the UK’s efforts and “success” in “tribal balance”. The UK supported the presidency of Ashraf Ghani, who belongs to the Ghiljai branch of Pashtun — to which most Taliban fighters are believed to belong. They reasoned that a Ghiljai president could induce the Taliban to join the political process.
  • former UK Secretary of Defence, Liam Fox, advocated for a negotiated settlement and revealed that the UK’s main rationale in being in Afghanistan was not “for the sake of the education policy in a broken, 13th-century country”. If Fox had acquired an elementary knowledge of the history of the country, he would have known that in the 13th century, Herat was the capital of the Timurid Empire (1370-1507) and a cosmopolitan and globally oriented city.
    • There are no words for how offensive and inaccurate this statement is. Afghanistan has for many thousands of years been the cradle of human civilization. In 1700 Afghanistan was one of the most technologically and culturally advanced places in the world. As late as 1973 Afghanistan compared favorably with the four little Asia Tigers, Macau, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Jordan, Turkey. 
  • In 2007, the Afghan government took an unprecedented step by expelling two senior UN and EU officials, with Irish/British passports. The officials were expelled because they had cultivated unauthorised contacts with the Taliban, including by way of the distribution of cash. The Afghan government suspected the officials of being British spies. One of the two deported, Michael Sample, who has married the daughter of a senior Pakistani army general, managed to return to the country and continues to pursue his decades-long interactions with the Taliban.
  • The uprising against Afghanistan’s modernising and enlightened king and Britain’s sworn enemy, Amanullah Khan, in the 1920s combined tribal and clerical elements that had received significant support and encouragement from British agents
  • Margaret Thatcher roused the Mujahideen by telling them that “the hearts of ‘free world’ were with them in their bid to fight evil”. Such rhetorical support was accompanied by massive financial, military and diplomatic support
  • UK Chief of the General Staff, Nicholas Carter, has recently assumed additional responsibility for reviving the UK’s mediation effort between Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the triangle of Afghanistan-Pakistan-UK, many Afghans would describe it as “2+1”, similar to the Palestinians’ view of the US’ role in the Palestine-Israel conflict. The UK’s Pakistan-centric South Asia policy is further illustrated by the absence of any dialogue between London and Delhi on Afghanistan since 2001.
  • Despite losing more than 450 troops and investing significant amounts of financial and political resources, the UK has failed to attain any of its stated objectives in the country. A UK emancipated from its colonial burden would have been in a better position to contribute to Afghanistan’s stability and security.
  • Are both ordinary British nonmuslims and British muslims anti Afghan at the popular level? Can Afghans can do anything to persuade Britain to help Afghanistan at least at this late date? Or is Britain a lost cause and Afghans should focus on lobbying other countries for help?


The Taliban have taken astronomical catastrophic casualties in recent months. Including probably over 5,000 killed in action in just the past month. For those interested, the Afghan MoD (Ministry of defense) posts daily reports.


The Taliban assisted by the Pakistani Army took the border crossing of Spin Boldak, Kandahar. The Pakistani Air Force threatened to bomb the Afghan Air Force (AAF) and anyone else who tried to disrupt or approach Spin Boldok, and give close air support (CAS) to the Taliban as needed. Having limited resources the ANSDSF and AAF have so far avoided Spin Bodok to avoid more direct Pakistani Army intervention. The Pakistani Army is driving in a large number of trucks, equipment, ammunition, fuel, spare parts, weapons and supplies to prepare for another massive offensive in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement saying that Taliban forces that are advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government.

“Summarily executing anyone in custody, whether a civilian or combatant, is a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director. “Taliban commanders with oversight over such atrocities are also responsible for war crimes.” . . .

the Taliban forcefully took these 900 people from their homes and killed them.

“They possibly martyred 800 to 900 people in the past month and a half. The people have suffered enormously. The brutality that occurred in Boldak (Spin Boldak district of Kandahar) is unforgivable,” . . .

The HRW statement also said: “Human Rights Watch obtained a list of 44 men from Spin Boldak, Kandahar, whom the Taliban have allegedly killed since July 16. All had registered with the Taliban before being summarily executed. Waheedullah, a police commander from Spin Boldak, had obtained a ‘forgiveness’ letter from the Taliban, but Taliban fighters took him from his house and executed him on August 2, activists and media monitoring these detentions in Kandahar said.”

“The civilians who have worked with the government should not be targeted, it is a war crime and a violation of human rights,” said Shahrzad Akbar, the head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).

According to the HRW report, the Taliban after taking over the center of Malistan district in Ghazni province began searching house to house “apparently to identify residents who had worked for the provincial or district government or security forces.” The Taliban “took into custody dozens of residents, some of whom were later released after being compelled to provide assurances they would not cooperate with the government,” said Human Rights Watch, adding that the organization “could not confirm the status or whereabouts of those not released.”

“They killed many civilians,” said MP Arif Rahmani.


There are many videos of the Taliban driving and using T-55 tanks:

These Taliban tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, trucks, artillery, mortars etc. require a lot of fuel, spare parts, ammunition, logistics (logistics means supply, transportation and maintenance), repair. Including skilled mechanics. They also need advanced C2 (command and control) and advanced ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) to use effectively. Especially in combined fire enabled manouver warfare. Precise indirect fire without line of sight right in front and to the sides of an advancing column of troops is extremely difficult.


1996 to 2001 the Taliban were supported by 10 to 20 thousand high end Pakistani Army embedded advisors who helped maintain, repair  operate tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery, mortars, rockets, managed C2 and ISR. Many international analsysts say this is also true now, albeit the embedded combat advisors are “retired” Pakistani Army officers and NCOs that are formally Lashkar e Taiba, Jaish e Mohammed etc.


For anyone interested the Taliban has their own youtube channels where they show many videos filled with information.


I plan to write up a specific list of equipment, supplies, spare parts, maintenance, upgrades, funding and training that specific countries can provide the ANDSF in the short run. Please feel free to leave your ideas below.


The Brown Pundits plans to interview ANDSF leaders, current duty or retired, to ask them to discuss this.


Afghanistan’s need is urgent. GIRoA (Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) has cut off most goverment spending other than for the ANDSF because of a massive cash shortage.


We should also remember that in much of Afghanistan life continues mostly normally. For example in this video that was just taken in Kandahar:


Previous posts on Afghanistan include:

Afghanistan’s History (a)

Afghanistan’s History

Avtar Singh Khalsa: Lion of Afghanistan

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105 thoughts on “Afghans march supporting the ANDSF against the Taliban across Afghanistan”

  1. This is 215th ANA Corps commanding LTG Sami Sadat (the ANA Corps that operates in Helmand). He is 35, extremely inspirational and charismatic. The Taliban and Pakistan do not have an equivalent of LTG Sami Sadat on their side that I know of. This is why siezing Lashkar Gah will be an extremely bloody and difficult struggle. It will take several thousand Pakistanis dying in combat. Are Pakistanis willing to pay this price? Many say, yes they are.

  2. “S Qureishi
    AUGUST 5, 2021 AT 5:33 PM
    I have no intention of arguing over this, you seem to have a dog in this fight, I don’t. Pretty much all your info is basically coming from Afghan Ministry of Defence so I take it with a big bag of salt. Each side believes they will win, all I see is 1 week ago ANA had Lashkargah, now Taliban control 95% of it. Herat is also under siege and I don’t expect it to last long. ANA soldiers, local police chiefs and personals are surrendering to IEA..and there are several videos circulating on twitter providing proof of this. The other side is not providing any proof, just making claims. Yes airstrikes may kill a lot of Taliban fighters but also civilians and nobody is verifying who is who. Taliban were not expected to assault the provicial capitals until after September, but it seems like they have already and it’s August. The only advantage the ANSF have over Taliban is the AAF. However how long will AAF survive without western support? It’s just a matter of time.”

    “there are several videos circulating on twitter providing proof of this.”
    Always looking for new data. Can you please share this? Are you talking about old stock footage from May, June and early July? Are you referring to local very lightly armed and trained Afghan police far away from ANA support and far away from any significant Afghan population centers? Are you referring to specific local arbekai and if so which ones? I can send these to many who live in Afghanistan and ask them for comment.

    In general the Taliban have killed the ANDSF who surrendered and because of this both the ANDSF and “Taliban” (itself a vast coalition of groups with opposing interests) are fighting to the death.

    About Lashkar Gah . . . are you saying that the Taliban control 95% of Helmand but not 95% of Lashkar Gah? Can you clarify what you mean by this? Do you mean that the LTG Sami Sadat’s 215th ANA Corps has abandoned most of the province to focus on the airport, military bases and the battle of Lashkar Gah?

    Assume you have heard about the large number of corpses piled in many parts of Lashkar Gah. It appears to be a Falluja November 2004 type situation. Don’t know how many buildings will survive the fighting. The loss of life in Lashkar Gah appears to be astronomical.

    Don’t understand what you are saying about Herat. The large demonstrations of civilians in the streets suggests that people who live in Herat don’t think it is in danger of falling. How would the Taliban be able to break the local arbekai plus the 207th ANA Corps anytime soon? They are far away from their supply lines in Pakistan. It is true that the ANDSF hasn’t been able to arm and supply the local arbekai with weapons, logistics and money . . . having a major shortage of these things. But if Herat falls there is a high possibility of the Shia being genocided. Because of this, won’t the Shia fight to the death? Do you have a source who lives in Herat who told you this? Or did someone else tell you this?

    1. meanwhile, unconfirmed reports now say the first provincial of Afghanistan Zaranj has fallen to the IEA, Nimruz province governor, deputy governor and ANDSF soldiers have all fled to Iran. Taliban now control that border crossing too along with airport and central prison.

      And no I don’t think there is going to be any Shia genocide. Remember, Iran is also indirectly backing the Taliban.

      1. “And no I don’t think there is going to be any Shia genocide.”

        I dont think what u and i think matters. Afghanistan will be headache for anyone who is remotly associated with it. All costs are sunk cost on either side. Even the ones who are bankrolling the winning party 🙂

  3. Well for Pakistan, Afghanistan was always a headache since 1947..just that some governments are worse than others.

    1. Is it really so? The Afghan issue has been a bit overblown i feel on Pakistani end. Before the Soviet Jihad i mean.

      I get that the same ‘Barbarians from the North’ thing which affects India, also affects Pakistani mind as well, but nowhere during its post 47 history was Afghanistan strong enough to be a real headache for Pakistan. Yes Afghanistan did support Pakthun-istan and all, but if countries share ethnicities then it would always remain a problem. India has had it with Kashmiri, Bengalis, Punjabis etc. That’s what state have to live with.

      The alternate to this headache has been what Pakistan has had to live with it post 90s. Refugees, Narcotics and terrorism. Seems like to fix a headache, Pakistan got a migraine.

      1. You are right, Afghanistan has never been strong enough to be seen as a threat in the past. Not even on the separatist front.. remember that India has more Bengalis and Punjabis living outside India than within which is a problem for India. But Afghanistan’s Pasthun population is way smaller than Pakistan’s mostly integrated Pasthun population, and they mostly enjoyed an open porous border until quite recently. (Pakistan’s textbooks whitewash Afghanistan as a brother country and not a peep on Afghanistan’s claims on Pakistan’s lands or its belligerence about it) So while Pakistan was always irked by Afghan elite’s irredentism, it never really took it seriously – until – the TTP insurgency from 2007-2015.. the period was quite a dark one when bomb blasts would happen every other day inside Pakistan and launched and masterminded from Afghanistan. I think Afghan governments of the past were not that willing to cooperate with India to fund and support insurgency inside Pakistan but current American installed regime has had no problems with it which is why there is little love being shown to them.

  4. Hope this leads to India and Iran collaborating to resupply and help the ANDSF and GIRoA via Chabahar Port.

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a recent interview on WION sounded very anti Taliban and said only a freely elected Afghan government would be legitimate. This is the majority view in Iran. Hope Pres Ebrahim Raisi, India and Russia work out the logistics for this for resupplying the ANDSF and GIRoA via Chabahar Port and the Northern supply route.

    It would also help if India could negotiate to allow a joint US/Russian or US/Uzbek or US/Turkmenistan or US/Tajikistan (or a 3 way shared or 4 way shared) air base to provide the ANDSF CAS. I think Pres Biden will help in this way.

    There are many options. It doesn’t have to be the joint Tajikistan Indian Air Base at Farkhor, but that is an option.

    Hope President Biden can be persuaded to provide indefinite CAS from 3 aircraft carriers. off the coast of Pakistan.

  5. Anan and fellow readers,

    Thank you, Anan, for your take on this situation. I do not think that the Taliban are simply jockeying for negotiating position at the table. Remember, the Taliban have studied Maoist insurgency doctrine (as opposed to and completely unrelated to Maoist political doctrine). Mao wrote very good books on how to stage an insurgency. There is plenty of evidence the Taliban have read, and embraced, Mao’s insurgency doctrine. They even use his terminology to describe their operations. That they employ his strategies and tactics is undeniable. They would listen on this point, too.

    Mao said that you should only negotiate in good faith if you are about to lose. At all other times, it is to confuse the government, slow their reactions, and make them believe in their hopes that the insurgents can be sated with less than total victory.

    The Taliban likely cannot sustain the current pace. They have suffered large losses, no matter the denials, and there are only certain parts of the country where the Pakistani forces can support them and maintain plausible deniability; even though that is a thin veneer. It will be hard for them to maintain control, especially in areas where the people do not support them; like in the north, the far west, the east and the the central highlands. They may not love GIRoA, but that doesn’t mean they prefer the Taliban. This is why the outbursts of support for the ANDSF are significant.

    The people are the water in which the insurgent fish swims… until the water becomes poisoned to the fish.

    The people of Afghanistan have a say in this, too. A generation, the first since the early 80’s, really, has grown up with education, literacy, and the internet… even if it was only on their phones. There is no going all the way back. Some things, you need to fight and win for yourself. This isn’t over. Unless the Taliban win a quick toppling of the government and seizure of power, this will likely become much more difficult for the Taliban to win competely.

    Remember the Tet Offensive? It destroyed the Viet Cong as a meaningful force for the rest of the conflict. The Taliban may have underestimated the ANDSF enough to have put forth their maximum effort too quickly.

    Remember, according to a Rand study of over 80 insurgencies since 1945, fully two thirds ended with either a complete government victory, or a hybrid solution that did not topple the government. The collapse of governments has occurred via a transition to Phase 3 operations, maneuver warfare, and generally a sudden and complete military collapse of government forces. The objective of insurgents is generally to inspire an uprising in support of their bid to govern. We’re not really seeing that. However, when the government wins outright, this is sometimes caused by an ill-timed transition to Phase 3, and that may be what’s occurring. I don’t think it will destroy the Taliban, but they may wind up with a recruiting problem due to losses. This one is going into extra innings and the people are going to have to choose.

    Zindabad Afghanistan,


    The Afghan Crisis- Conversation with Mursel Sabir
    Sweet Afghan American girl. She and many in Afghan civil society were making a lot of progress in developing and improving Afghanistan until a few weeks ago. Until the ANDSF restore peace and security, there is a limit to what she can do. She is pleading with the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal with the GIRoA and join the Afghan establishment (civil society, business community, schools, universities, womans’ rights groups, GIRoA, ANDSF) . . . so that all Afghans can cooperate together to make Afghanistan successful. She like many or most Afghan girls support freedom, free elections and woman’s rights in Afghanistan and is hopeful that the Taliban will join with the GIRoA, ANDSF to achieve this. She like most Afghans loves the ANDSF.
    All Marine Radio
    Is there an interest is interviewing Franz Marty–who lives in the program. The Brown Pundits ecosystem is friends with scores of Afghans who would love to speak with us. Intend to watch soon. Mad respect to these two friends of Afghanistan who have lived in Afghanistan and worked in Afghanistan for along time and done much to help the Ghani Abdullah administration.

    —Taliban has been resorting to the strategy of securing position within the city and among the population so as to engage the ANDSF in urban warfare which the ANDSF might not be well versed with.
    —Ismail Khan leading militia forces in support of the ANDSF. He has called on the residents of Herat to mobilise against the Taliban and save themselves from “forces of ignorance”.
    —The ANDSF operation in the city of Herat is based on extensive clearing operations which have been aimed at selectively targeting areas in the city which has Taliban presence and where they are able to access the interiors of the city.
    —The coordination between the Afghan forces on the ground and the Air Force has been working fine thus far in terms of launching operations against the Taliban.
    —Abdul Rahman Rahman, Deputy Interior Minister, has been in Herat coordinating the strategy of security forces.

    —Taliban has been carefully collecting and stashing arms recovered during their operations for future use, thus indicating their preparedness for a long-drawn conflict. The Taliban Military Commission has instructed its field commanders to ensure that all military equipment captured from the ANDSF should be recorded and stored safely, instead of being appropriated for personal use by Taliban militants. These “directions” come in the backdrop of a substantial number of vehicles, pieces of weaponry and ammunition falling into Taliban hands during their recent offensives (May-July).
    —Inputs continue to indicate that captured equipment and vehicles were being transferred to Pakistan by the Taliban.
    —Swith the casualties caused among their forces, the Taliban has been trying to use the services of foreign cadres for training the new entrants.
    —Some of the best-trained cadres have always been from the central Asian states who were sought by terror organisations such as the IS and the Al Qaeda in the past.
    —Some of them have been instructors with various militant organisations and are considered among the best in the job
    —Arab and Chechen trainers have been involved in training new cadres being inducted as their numbers recede with casualties being caused.
    —Around 6,000 fresh terrorists based in Pakistan are being trained by Arab and Chechen instructors with the aim of raising a new unit.
    —the infiltration of Taliban terrorists into Afghanistan from Pakistan continues.
    —Taliban’s activities have not spared the Hazara community which is likely to face the wrath of the Taliban in the coming days unless preventive action is taken against such moves.
    —In this connection, the US Embassy in Kabul has expressed its concerns on the persecution of the Hazara community and said on August 3 that the targeted killing of Hazaras has been a devastating focus of the IS as well as the Taliban.
    —Urging for an immediate ceasefire, it further said: “We are learning about the Taliban’s murder of more than 40 civilians in Malistan in Ghazni province. If true, these could constitute war crimes. The human rights abuses must be investigated.”
    —Iranians have been watching the situation closely and would want to protect the interest of the Hazaras to the extent possible. Given that engaging the Taliban could be complicated for the Iranians and considering Pakistan has significant control over the group, the Iranians would possibly approach the Pakistanis to sort out the issue.

  8. Sheberghan, provincial capital of Jowzjan province and home of pro government warlord Dostum has also been now captured by Taliban.. according to unconfirmed sources.. expect this to be confirmed by mainstream media later today.. I also predict token US and ANDSF Airstrikes on the city (like they did in Nimruz) which will kill dozens or hundreds of civilians after ANDSF ground forces fled the scene .

    As for Iranians.. they have imprisoned the ANDSF soldiers that fled Zaranj and asked for refuge rather than engaging the Taliba .. along with their tanks and humvees. US military equipment is now confiscated by Iran and Ghani is on call trying to get them to return it.

    Iran has not deployed the Fatemyon brigade so they seem to be watching rather than being anxious about Taliban takeover next door.

      1. They are portraying the dead as Taliban fighters. There is no point in air strikes on civilian population centers when there are no boots on the ground to press home any advantage they may provide . It’s all for show and the whole thing is fast becoming a morale boosting exercise for ANDSF.. earlier on I thought Taliban were taking heavy casualties because I was reading Afg Ministry of Defense tweets and thought even if they are exaggerating those are still significant number of dead Taliban. But now I kinda feel like they weren’t just exaggerating they are just fabricating the numbers.. I highly doubt they even have the numerical advantage over IEA seeing that more than half of ANA could consist of ghost soldiers.

        Imagine the corruption when ANDSF has a bigger budget than Pakistan Army and this is what they have to show for it.

        1. Pak army budget is way higher than stayed. They have their hands in every industry.

  9. Over a dozen major simultaneous battles across Afghanistan. Have a lot of specific information on many of them.

    Herat–battle along the outskirts. Locals and arkebai want to go into private homes and evict the Taliban that are hiding and to capture the villages in and near Herat district and Injil district (which are held by ANDSF and Arkebai and GIRoA). However the ANDSF are not resourcing this fight since they are desperately needed elsewhere and Herat is not in danger of falling. Plus not all the “Taliban” in Herat province are controlled by Quetta Shura, the subset of Quetta Shura controlled by Siraj, Peshawar Shura, and Pakistani Army. The ANDSF and GIRoA are less interested in fighting them. [Later on they can be bribed or negotiated with to change back to GIRoA side and join arkebai or even ANDSF depending on the agreement.] Some of the “Taliban” militia in Herat are supported by Khamenei and maybe the GIRoA can negoatiate with Khamenei to have them switch sides.

    Zaranj. These “Taliban” are not supported by Quetta Shura or Pakistani Army but rather are Khamenei proxies. Hopefully Ghani, India and President Ebrahim Raisi can lobby Khamenei to switch his stance on them. There remains one large powerful militia which controls a border crossing with Iran. They might yet take Zaranj. But resupply through Iran would be helpful to to them. Ergo Ghani, India and President Ebrahim Raisi lobbying Khamenei to switch sides.
    207th ANA Corps is busy in Helmand and economy of force deterrence in Farah, Baghis and Ghowr. 207th ANA corp can’t help. Major General Sayed Sami Sadat and his 215th ANA Corps is fighting the mother of all battles in Lashkar Gah and can’t help. Zaranj will be up to the large local militias, the “Taliban” collection of fighters (again not part of QST), Khamenei, and diplomacy on the part of President Ebrahim Raisi, Ghani, India.

    Lashkar Gah. Similar to the second battle of Falluja. Much of the city burning. Many dead bodied. 🙁 Many buildings destroyed. Fierce fighting between 35 year old commanding Major General Sayed Sami Sadat 215th ANA Corps and Taliban. MG Sami Sadat is one of the best leaders of the ANDSF. This is some of the toughest fighting the world has seen in a generation. The Pakistani Army has invested heavily in this fight (more so than in the fights elsewhere)

    Kandhahar. The Taliban is clearing belts around the city and fighting the ANDSF. Heavy Pakistani Army involement. But the big push in Kandhahar will happen later, when enough troops and supplies from Pakistan are in position. The T

    In Lashkar Gah and Kandahar the Taliban have tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, fuel, supplies, ammunition. Quality artillery and quality mortars capable of accurate indirect fire and combined fire in support of advancing collumns of Taliban infantry. It is possible that the Taliban can deploy these in other theatres too, but don’t have data to that effect.

    The Taliban have also been using expensive rockets to target AAF airports. Suspect that these are operated by the Pakistani Army and are limited in number because of the expense.

    Major attack on Shebergan, Jawzjan. I might be wrong. But it appears that the Taliban initially siezed almost all of the city other than the airport, ANA base, afghan police headquarters, NDS office, and the governor’s office in Sheberghan. The GIRoA finally got over their hatred of Dostum (backed by Turkey) and reassured him he won’t be arrested, but was a hero of Afghanistan. Welcomed him back from Turkey. Dostum and his son are now reassembling their old militia and they have had a lot of success very quickly Jawzjan, backed by the ANA and CAS.
    Dostum use to have embeddded combat advisors from Turkey from well before 9/11. Dostum’s going to Jawzjan–I think–means that Turkey is helping him in Jawzjan. I think the Taliban leadership will note this and focus on other battlefronts in the short run where they don’t have to deal with an 800 pound gorrilla like Dostum . . . Dostum can hurt somebody. Is Jawzjan now Dostum? The ANA are desperately needed elewhere. Maybe giving Dostum Jawzjan after clearing it of trouble makers and redeploying the ANDSF to fight other battles is wise? Will Dostum’s arbekai deploy with the NDS, ANASOF elsewhere after clearing Jawzjan of trouble makers? Hope so. They are some tough fighters.

    Major attack on Kunduz, repulsed for now.

    Major attack on Fayzabad, repulsed for now.

    Major attack on Taleqan, repulsed for now.

    The Taliban military budget for 2021 appears to be in excess of $5 billion. They pay their officers and NCOs more than the ANA or ANP pay. And they have a lot of highly skilled educated ISR, C2, logistics (supply, transportation and maintenance), combined fire, indirect accurate artillery/mortar/rocket fire, and other combat enablers. This is a tough enemy.

    Afghan MoD budget needs to be increased sharply in my opinion. It is less than the Taliban budget. Hope the international community massively increases funding for the ANDSF.

    A lot more information than this. Will try to keep updating BP.

    All Marine Radio
    THE ALL MARINE RADIO HOUR: from Kabul, Afghanistan — freelance Swis…
    Innovative Sicherheits- und Geopolitik
    What Recent Taliban Advances in Afghanistan Do and Do Not Mean
    The Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) takes a closer look at the latest developments in Afghanistan, showing that the situation — although it has undoubtedly deteriorated in a more than worrisome extent — is not as apocalyptic as often portrayed and that an imminent state collapse remains unlikely.

    Worth reading the entire article and listening to the entire interview. Filled with information. I think BP should interview Franz.
    CNN gets exclusive access to Afghan base in Kandahar
    Al Jazeera English
    Afghanistan war: Lashkar Gah under heavy air attack
    DW News
    Afghanistan: Taliban take provincial capital | DW News
    Qawi Khan
    Current situation in Kandahar Afghanistan | Aino Mina | 2021 | Vlog…


    President Biden a few hours ago appears to have decided that the Taliban violated the peace agreement and will now sharply increase close air support for the ANDSF. My hope is that Biden uses an air base north of Afghanistan. Perhaps jointly with Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, India (some or all of them.) It is time for Biden to stop criticizing Russia and Putin and instead publicly praise them as God’s best gift to man. There are more important things at stake. A joint air base with Russia and other countries should alleviate their concerns about the air base being used in ways they don’t approve of. Hope Biden also deploys three aircraft carriers off the coast of Pakistan.

    COAS Bajwa, QST, Siraj and Peshawar Shura have launched their Tet offensive against Afghan population centers. They are assisted by other militias which have their own ethnic and regional objectives but are autonomous from them. But this attack is hasty, rushed and ill planned. The ANDSF, arbekai and their allies can inflict astronomical casualties on them in the next few days.

    Many civilians are fleeing the cities. This works everywhere except for Lashkar Gah and Kandahar. First off both these cities were filled with refugees from elsewhere. And now they have few places to go. 215th ANA Corps has been asking civilians to leave Lashkar Gah for a week.

    The ANDSF in Lashkar Gah and Kandahar have no place to retreat to. Suspect they will fight to the death. They can hold out against *this* Taliban Pakistani army offensive. But if COAS doubles down on the offensive, they won’t be able to hold without significant external reinforcement. Where will these reinforcements come from?

  11. To follow up on Kandahar. Life in much of Kandahar city is still happening normally: What a beautiful well ordered city. 🙂

    Sadly expect the Taliban to launch a major offensive against Kandahar within weeks or months with smaller feints to keep the ANDSF and arkabi in Kandahar from redeploying to fight in other hotspots.

  12. Meanwhile unconfirmed reports suggest Kunduz city has fallen to the Taliban. That would be three provincial capital in three days. At this rate.. we are looking at the fall of Kabul by early Sep.

      1. As of right now the ANP and ANA are fighting from the Sar-e-Pul army base. Fierce fighting inside Sar-e-Pul.

        1. There is hardly any resistance .. too many videos online floating around showing Taliban with massive amounts of war spoils. The only govt resistance is basically doing airstrikes after loosing the city on markets, schools and hospitals that only further erodes credibility of the govt amongst its citizens.

          Here is NYT reporter confirming

          1. “Sharif Hassan
            We have confirmation that Kunduz and Sar-i-Pul provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban. Govt forces control only an army base in Sar-i-Pul & the airport/army corps base in Kunduz. Clashes are going on in both cities.”

            Sharif Hassan is acknowledging that clashes are ongoing inside both Kunduz and Sar-i-pul. Which means that according to Sharif Hassan the Taliban does not control either Kunduz or Sar-i-pul. Rather both cities are heavily contested with heavy fighting and close air support ongoing inside both cities. He also acknowledges that the 209th ANA Corps bases in both cities are controlled by the 209th ANA Corps. There are videos of fighting inside Kunduz. 209th ANA Corps plus ANA Special Forces plus police, aided by close air support would be tough for any brigade of the Pakistani Army to fight. Taliban supply lines are stretched and easy for the ANDSF to pick off. Plus the Taliban forces are spread thin along many different theatres, each of which require substantial logistical support.

            Today alone 572 Taliban were killed by the ANDSF. It is possible (or even probable) that the Taliban killed more (ANDSF + arbekai) than 572 today. In total between July 24 and August 8, 3,691 Taliban have been killed by the ANDSF. Or an average of 231 a day. It is possible that the Taliban have killed more than 3,691 (ANDSF plus arbekai) during this same period. However, the ANDSF and arbekai have many Afghans who want to join them. The Taliban need to bring their soldiers all the way from Pakistan. And their supply lines are vulnerable to ANDSF ambushes on the way in. The Taliban need time to replenish their dead, wounded, fuel, ammunition, damaged equipment.

    1. This is Dostum’s house in Sheberghan, which as of the time of this video was occupied by Taliban. My understanding is that the ANA still holds a military base in Sheberghan using said base to fight inside the city alongside Dostum’s militia. I can ask for more information. (discusses the ongoing fighting inside Kunduz and Sheberghan.)

      I understand there to be fighting in Kunduz city. One source who would know says that the Taliban control a majority of the city. Fighting continues. I can ask people for more information. (fighting inside Kunduz.)
      —Heavy fighting is underway between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in central parts of three northern provinces of Kunduz, Sar-e-Pul and Jawzjan with reports of civilian casualties in the clashes.
      —Afghan security forces and the Taliban are engaged in fierce fighting in the capital cities of Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces in the north of Afghanistan.

      —The clashes in Kunduz have reached the center of the city of Kunduz in northeastern Afghanistan, sources said. Some key government buildings have fallen to the Taliban, the sources added.
      —At least 11 people have been killed and 39 more have been wounded in Kunduz clashes that started on Friday evening, the provincial public health directorate said.
      —A source from the province said clashes have intensified near the police headquarters and the main roundabout in the center of Kunduz city.
      —The Public Health Directorate in Kunduz said that 11 civilians were killed and 39 more were wounded in fresh spate of clashes in the city of Kunduz that started on Friday evening

      —The fighting in the northern Sar-e-Pul province has reached the capital of the province and the Sancharak district.

      —sources said that Babur Ishchi, head of Jawzjan provincial council, surrounded to the Taliban along with his 20 fighters after hours of clashes against the group in Khawja Do Koh district, which is the hometown for former vice president Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum and was one of the two areas under government control in the province.
      —Sources said that Taliban has released Ishchi’s fighters but has “taken him and his brother” with them. A
      —The Taliban in a statement claimed that Ishchi and his men have surrounded to the group.

      —In Badakhshan, police said Taliban attacks on the city of Faizabad were pushed back by Afghan forces.

      I can ask if there is additional information about Kunduz.
      —Fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban continued in at least 80 districts across the country in the past 24 hours, security sources told TOLOnews.
      —ANDSF and Taliban killed are about even

      ——there are reports that Dawlatabad district of Faryab is switching hands between the Taliban and the security forces and both sides are claiming control.

      ——Officials at the Ministry of Defense said that security forces have retaken control of the center of Khanabad district in Kunduz province. The center of Khanabad district fell to the Taliban two days ago.
      ——“Including Qari Hashem, 20 of his fighters were killed and wounded. The district is completely under the control of the security and defense forces,” said Farid Mashal, Kunduz’s police commander.
      ——Fierce fighting was also reported in Dawlatabad district of Kunduz. Reports say a number of security forces remain under siege by the Taliban in Oba district of Kunduz.

      ——“Javin district has collapsed, our sisters and brothers have been martyred, the entire people in Farah know that the *Punjabis of Pakistan and Iranian Sepah* are involved in the war,” said MP Abdul Sattar Hussaini.
      ——“If the central government does not focus on Farah, there will be a human tragedy,” said Dadullah Qane, the head of Farah’s provincial council.
      ——Note that 207th ANA Corps is engaged elsewhere. Where will reinforcements come from other than from Arbekai? The fight in Farah appears to be more Pakistani Army orchestrated than other fights in the west.
      ——Lawmakers from Farah province in the Parliament said that the casualties among the security forces in Lashjawin, Anar Dara and Poshtrod districts of Farah total about 100 people killed.
      ——They say 50 soldiers were taken hostage by the Taliban.
      ——“These cowards who are sitting in the centers pledged us to send aid, but they did not do it until the last minute,” said MP Humayoun Shaheedzada.


      The ANDSF (including ANASOF) are leading a clearing operation in Kunduz. I am optimistic that they will be successful. Expect Biden’s CAS to support the ANDSF in Kunduz.

      The most worrisome report today is Farah, where the Pakistani Army and Khamenei are reported to be collaborating. They are reported to have killed 100 ANDSF in one day and taken another 50 ANA prisoners. This is all in just one district of Farath. Traditionally the Taliban execute ANA prisoners and there is a high likelihood that the Taliban will do the same to these 50 ANA prisoners.

      207th ANA Corps is too busy in Herat to reinforce them. Plus 207th ANA Corps needs to retain a deterrent force to deter attacks on Badghis, Ghor, other parts of Farah, including Farah city.

      Hope the international community sends additional money to the ANDSF and that the ANDSF uses this money to organize large arbekai, a type of neo-Northern Alliance if you will. Arbekai can protect local districts and states, freeing up the ANA for manouver warfare against Taliban formations.


    The author, Gwynne Dyer, is an anti Afghan bigot (in my view far worse than anti “white supremacist” I have ever heard of for example):
    “I will never kneel before such a destructive force (as the Taliban),” declared Ashraf Ghani, the soon-to-be-ex-president of Afghanistan. “We will either sit knee-to-knee for real negotiations at the table, or break their knees on the battlefield.” Good luck with that, Ashraf.

    This is a popular sentiment among Afghans. A true national unity government with true power sharing between many different Afghan factions including the major constituent factions within the Taliban. [The Taliban is a coalition of war lords, ethnicities, local factions and international forces] A 100% Taliban government that doesn’t include the major leaders of the Hazaras, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Baloch and many anti Pakistan Pashtun tribes (or Northern Alliance plus) is unpopular and impractical. This is so among many Afghans who do not like Ashraf too.

    General Sami Sadat, still commander of Helmand province as I write this (although perhaps not by the time you read it), was equally confident, but warned that the safety of the world is at stake: “This will increase the hope for small extremist groups to mobilize in the cities of Europe and America, and will have a devastating effect on global security.”

    215th ANA Corps commander Sayyed Sami Sadot is one of Afghanistan’s greatest and most loved heroes. He is only 35 and the hopes and dreams of the people of Helmand and Afghanistan rests on his young shoulders. He is also a very capable military commander. Why do bigoted Canadians living in London insult “darkies” like this?

    MG Sami Sadot is right that these global AQ and Daesh linked networks are a massive threat to every country around the world, not just Afghanistan.

    “And how did it all come to this? Ashraf Ghani pointed out it is obviously America’s fault. “The reason for our current situation is that the (U.S. decision to withdraw) was taken abruptly,” he told parliament on Monday.”

    I’m tempted to go back into the archives and find similar brave declarations of imminent victory by South Vietnamese generals (followed by similar predictions of global disaster if they are abandoned) in the final weeks before the helicopters started plucking Americans from the U.S. embassy roof in Saigon in 1975. But it’s a nice day and I can’t be bothered.

    President Ghani, General Sadat and all their friends are reading from the same old script, just 46 years later, and once that final scene has played out in Kabul, they’ll go and live in the United States. (Don’t worry. They’ve saved up enough money.) The only real surprise here is how thoroughly Western armed forces managed to forget their own history.”

    Why the hatred of Afghans? Why the snide comments? Is it something dark about English and Canadian culture?


    “Over 200 terrorists were killed in Shebergan city after Air Force targeted their gathering and hideouts. A large number of their weapons and ammunition and more than 100s of their vehicles were destroyed as a result of the airstrikes,”

    The Taliban hide-out was targeted by a B-52 bomber in Shebergan city of Jawzjan province on Saturday night. (August 7) “Taliban’s gathering was targeted by B-52 in Shebergan city, Jawzjan province. The terrorists have suffered heavy casualties as a result of US Air Forces airstrike,” tweeted Fahadh Aman, an Afghan defence ministry official.”

    [As a total aside, should BP interview Fawad Aman? He said he was willing to talk to the Brown Pundits for an interview several years ago.]

    “Earlier, a Pakistani terrorist was arrested by Afghan commando forces in the outskirts of Ghazni provincial centre today. He was involved in terrorist activities and the killing of civilians.

    “The capital of Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan fell to the Taliban after week-long violent clashes with the government forces, TOLO News reported on Saturday.

    The Afghan news agency reported that the strategic city of Sheberghan is the second provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in the last two days.

    Local lawmakers blamed the Afghan government for the security situation in Jawzjan and said it has remained indifferent to this matter. This comes as 150 members of the public uprising forces have newly arrived in Sheberghan to help other forces on the ground, media reports said on Friday.”

    My understanding is Dostum’s forces and the ANDSF are currently fighting inside the city.

    “Meanwhile, the support for the Afghan Government and its forces are growing among citizens. Religious scholars in Nangarhar province donated blood to the wounded of Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and they expressed their support for ANDSF and pledged that they support the Afghan forces forever.

    The US has also pledged for the airstrikes to counter the Taliban after they withdrew its forces from Afghanistan.

    30 Pakistani terrorists, Al-Qaeda members in the Indian Subcontinent were killed as a result of American Air Force (AAF) airstrikes in Lashkargah city, Helmand provincial centre on Saturday, informed the Afghan defence ministry official.

    Moreover, the Taliban’s hideouts in the outskirts of the Kunduz provincial centre were targeted by AAF today. The Taliban have suffered heavy casualties as a result of the airstrike.

    Till now, 385 Taliban terrorists were killed and 210 others were wounded as a result of ANDSF operations in Nangarhar, Logar, Ghazni, Paktika, Maidan Wardak, Kandahar, Herat, Farah, Jowzjan, Samangan, Helmand, Takhar, Baghlan & Kapisa provinces during the last 24 hours.

    Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ghulam M Isaczai said that the Taliban is receiving assistance from foreign fighters of transnational terrorist networks while committing “barbaric” acts in the war-torn country.”

    As per Afghan MoD, ANDSF killed 3,119 Taliban between July 24 and August 7, 2021. Or an average of 208 killed a day.

    Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, and other Afghan Scotts want Scottland to help Afghanistan.

    Might Britain send the Afghans an additional couple hundred million pounds? Might the Royal Air Force use a base in central Asia North of Afghanistan to give CAS to the ANDSF and Arbekai? Pres Putin and Ghani can work out the details (understand they have already quietly offered to facilitate this for the USA . . . why not the UK too?). The UK can share the base with the Russians and share their intelligence on Afghanistan with the Russians too. The UK can also train 10,000 ANDSF officers at a time outside Afghanistan (in a place such as India, Turkey, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh.) This would make a major psychological difference for Afghans.


    “The area to accrue the least benefit [of international/NATO withdrawal] is Central Asia, whose five states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), together with Afghanistan, represent one continuous geographical space. Separation would be geopolitically harmful to the Central Asian states, as security spillover from Afghanistan has a direct impact on Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan because of their long border.”

    “From a long-term perspective, the American exit signals a shift in US foreign policy away from the Middle East and South Central Asia and toward the Indo-Pacific. America is essentially internalizing the limits of its military potential: it sees that out-competing China in the heart of Eurasia is a self-defeating geopolitical goal.”

    Well then don’t. The purpose is not rivalry with China–which is madness–but to collaborate with China and the rest of the world against Takfiri and other violent Islamists..

    “America’s withdrawal frees up the space, offering China, Russia, and other Eurasian powers the opportunity to fill the gap—and in the process, divert resources and attention away from other critical theaters where the US is facing stiff resistance. In that light, there is suspicion in Beijing that the American exit might be a ploy. Greater Chinese involvement in Afghanistan might prove to be a trap.

    A Chinese move to fill the power vacuum in Afghanistan would indeed be a bold geopolitical move, as history shows that no sole power has ever been able to control the space all the way from China to the Mediterranean for any significant length of time. Even the Mongols, who managed to unify this expanse, saw their empire divide into four warring parts and eventually fade away.

    It is by no means clear that the Chinese would be able to succeed where others have failed. Beijing has greater resources than any other power in Eurasia but would still face myriad problems, from terrorism to nationalism to competition from other powers. In the end, its fate is likely to resemble that of previous unsuccessful attempts to influence and control the depths of Eurasia from a single center.”

    This is stupid. China can collaborate with the rest of the international community to contain violent islamism. It is unfair and unrealistic to expect China to bear this burden alone.

    “The Russian daily Kommersant reported on July 17th that Putin offered Biden the use of Russian military bases in Central Asia for information-gathering from Afghanistan. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan host a number of Russian military bases and other installations, some of which are close to the Afghan border.

    There have also been several high-profile meetings in Washington recently between US and Central Asian diplomats about letting in at-risk Afghan citizens. For the moment, it seems that potential cooperation would involve the exchange of information gathered via drone.”

    . . .

    “Ultimately, while Russian approval for the stationing of military bases still matters (as shown by one of Sergei Lavrov’s statements), it is not the only factor guiding the establishment of a new US presence in Central Asia. Another player—China—will be strongly opposed to any kind of American presence. In the early 2000s, concern about Taliban support for Xinjiang-based separatist and extremist groups pushed China to view the US efforts as fitting its own security interests. Since then, however, China-US ties have deteriorated sharply, with Beijing coming to see the US presence in Afghanistan as deviating from its initial anti-terrorism mission and focusing instead on containing China’s regional ambitions. Beijing will therefore be a staunch opponent of America’s military expansion to Central Asia—a critical region for Beijing’s westward push.”

    How to persuade China to save the ANDSF? If China decides to save the ANDSF these details can be managed.


    Afghan envoy to the United Nations Ghulam M Isaczai, declared, “Taliban continue to enjoy a safe haven in and supply and logistics line extended to their war machine from Pakistan.” He added, “graphic reports and videos of Taliban fighters congregating close to the Durand Line to enter Afghanistan, fund-raising events, transfer of dead bodies for mass burial, and treatment of injured Taliban in Pakistani hospitals are emerging and are widely available.”
    The Afghan envoy said it is “not only a naked violation of the 1988 UN Security Council Sanctions Regime but also leads to further erosion of trust and confidence towards establishing a collaborative relationship with Pakistan to end the war in our country.” Thanking the UNSC for the special meeting, Afghan foreign minister Haneef Atmar on Saturday also called for a “special session” on Afghanistan to discuss Taliban atrocities.”

    “Taking forward Isaczai’s contention, Rahmatullah Nabil, former head of Afghanistan’s security service, NDS tweeted on Saturday, “… despite differences between the Sunni religious extremist group of Jaish-ul-Adl (who are fighting against Iran) and the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani ISI has sent about 600 Jaish-ul-Adl militants from Dalbandin, Noshki, Mashkeel and Panjgur of Balochistan, to Nimroz, Herat and Farah provinces of AFG with all military equipment, in order to help the Afghan Taliban in fighting.”
    This comes on a day when reports said Taliban had taken Zaranj town in Nimroz province.

  15. This is 35 year old commanding Major General Sami Sadot 215th ANA Corps. One of the best leaders in the ANA. He is charismatic and popular among the Afghan people. His words are a must read. We could ask him to talk to BP:
    —general warns that he has “never seen so many” Al-Qaeda fighters.
    —AL-QAEDA has arrived in their “hundreds and hundreds” to fight “shoulder to side” with the Taliban
    —[215th ANA Corps and allied troops] are annihilating roughly “90 Taliban fighters” per day [In Lashkar Gah].
    —“However, hundreds of worldwide terrorists, including around 60 Al-Qaeda members, including Arabs from Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria . . . Were killed in the combat near Lashkar Gah City, along with some 600 Taliban fighters.” [Nicely done MG Sami Sadot.]
    —“Were killed in the combat near Lashkar Gah City, along with some 600 Taliban fighters.”
    —“I have never seen so many Al-Qaeda members on the frontlines and fighting side by side with the Taliban,”
    —“They believe that US air support will be withdrawn, so they are assisting the Taliban in refitting and mobilizing.”
    —He went on to say that Al-Qaeda is now supplying the Taliban with “new technologies” such as “mortars” and “snipers” to aid them in their conquest of the country.
    —“However, what they’ve gotten so far is that a number of their members have been slain on the battlefield.”

  16. “No amount of empty talk can make up for a sissy-army.”

    totally wrong assessment. afghan army soldiers and taliban rank and file come from the same stock. sometimes one may even find one brother serving in the afghan army and another in taliban within the same family.

    so why is afghan army melting away like snow? the reason is, afghan govt has lost street cred. there is a general feeling in the air that govt’s defeat is inevitable. and if the defeat is inevitable, what is the point of getting yourself killed fighting for the losing side?

    this war is purely a power play among many warring factions, devoid of any ideology or principles. no man is gonna die fighting for a side that is gonna lose anyway.

    afghans have only seen war for the past 50 years (500 years? 5000 years?) they have mastered the art of getting on with their lives within a general state of war. they are not likely to make a last stand in a battle that is but a brief episode in a never ending war.

    i think the kabul govt has completely lost the narrative. a viable strategy would have been to play the pakhtun nationalism card, and paint taliban as cat’s paw of pakistan. but now with taliban riding the momentum, it may already be too late.

    1. //this war is purely a power play among many warring factions, devoid of any ideology or principles. no man is gonna die fighting for a side that is gonna lose anyway.//

      Unfortunately, this is a wrong assessment as well. You don’t see the Taliban defecting in massive numbers, but videos of ANA surrendering, giving up, defecting are a dime a dozen. This is because the Taliban are fighting for an ideology (whether that be Islam or fighting a foreign installed puppet government), the ANSF has no rallying point. ANSF personnel are there for a paycheck, while the higher ups were there to make a lot of dough. I have read in some journal that US was sinking 25-35$ billion dollars in AID every year, of which at least half was towards the ANDSF. Warlords in Afghan government have made a lot of money last 20 years, they will continue milking it until they have to run to the US, UK, Turkey etc..I have also read speculations than more than 50% of ANDSF personal on paper don’t even exist and are ghost soldiers on a payroll racket. The amount of false propaganda claims their twitter handles are making just shows you the level of dysfunction. Compare and contrast this to Taliban claims – almost always correct info is provided. So saying the sides are two sides of the same coin is disingenuous.

      1. pak nationalists seem to love the ideologically pure taliban a lot, as long as they stay on their side of the border of course. 🙂 . heavens forbid if the taliban bring their charming islamic piety to this side! nizam-e-mustafa for thee, but not for me. verily that is a very unfair division. 😉

        you are stupid if you think this war is a war of ideologies. even the current regime of afghanistan is officially known as *Islamic* Republic of Afghanistan. if at all there are any discernible differences between the warring sides, it is the rural vs urban divide. rural pashtuns resent the (relatively) cosmopolitan urban dwellers who they think have cornered all the goodies that west seems to throw in afghanistan. in turn the urban pashtuns and other ethnicities think of rural populace as stone headed uncouth savages. hence the never ending war.

        haven’t we seen the same rural vs urban divisions in subcontinent, as well as other parts of the world too? isnt muhajir-sindhi conflict essentially a manifestation of same divide? or wasn’t the khalistan movement at its core was a conflict between urban punjabi hindus and rural sikhs? age old haves vs have-nots story.

        1. Ah, ‘rural vs urban’ argument. If only the NATO forces knew about it they could have solved the problem 20 years ago by spending some money on rural areas as well and buying off rural tribal leaders! Nothing of the sort is going on here. A rural urban divide exists in every country, that is not the cause of the Taliban running through ANDSF unopposed.

          (on another note: muhajir sindhi is not a rural urban issue, it is an ethnic/nationalist issue)

          Also I did not say it is a war of ideologies. I said only one side has an ideology. The other side has nothing.

          What are the ANDSF forces are fighting for?

          Religion? Not really. no matter how many Allah u Akbars the government supporters chant..

          Country? Hard to fight for your country when you are seen as puppets of an occupying force by most of your own countrymen. The reality of this situation is not lost on these Afghans soliders. People are more loyal to an abstract notion of a country if that state’s writ actually exists on the ground providing security, justice, and administration. For most Afghans, they don’t see those things on the ground, so it’s hard to be loyal to let alone fight for a government that does not exist in their lives.

          Women’s rights? Yeah no man gives a shit about that enough to die.

          Money? Yeah money. That’s why they joined up. Money was good, perks even better, more than any Afghan would make. But those were the initial good days. Rampant corruption up top meant that lower tier soldiers were not getting paid. And as with any mercenary army, if they dont get paid, they defect. I dont evny them, they joined up for money, and many are not getting that either. And even if they are getting it, it’s not worth getting killed over.. can’t take all that money to the grave.

          This is why a strong ideology is a much superior motive. The Taliban have that, they survived, they thrived for 20 years and now they smell victory. The peace talks are just a front. The Taleban were always aiming for total power, and if Ghani still has some brain, he should flee back to Virginia.

          1. “If only the NATO forces knew about it they could have solved the problem 20 years ago by spending some money on rural areas as well and buying off rural tribal leaders! ”

            indeed, they could have! precisely this strategy was needed. but it was not employed. see, the american policy makers are stupid, and it is a well known fact. there is no disputing this. they go about implementing their ideas of western liberal democracies on to the societies that are still living in nadir shah’s times, and this is the result they get.

            i read once that before gerge w bush launched his war on iraq, he was completely oblivious to the primordial shia-sunni schism in islam. that’s how he declared victory immediately after unseating saddam hussain thinking the war was over. and then the whole thing blew up in his face as the great sectarian civil war broke out in iraq, costing hundreds of thousands lives. this is the price americans pay for their ignorance.

            so instead of installing a regime with all the trappings of a western democracy like elections and parliament and such, they should have winned over the tribal leaders who control the unemployed youth of the country side. then install a government where every strongmen gets his crumbs, elections be damned. i would have even advised them to profess great love for islam and institute some sharia-lite version of legal system. islam has a lot of currency in these parts, and it’s always wise to pay lip service to it. these are the things that would have clicked. sadly, the opportunity was lost.

            i have interacted with americans a lot, and they are really very strange people. they live in their own cloud cuckoo land. for them, america *is* the world. football and baseball is what keeps universe going. i mean, when british were an imperial power, at least they made some effort to understand the people they ruled or dominated. americans amaze me with their ineptitude and ignorance.

          2. Scorpion,


            what ideas of western liberal democracies did the Soviets apply that got them a defeat as well?

            //so instead of installing a regime with all the trappings of a western democracy like elections and parliament and such, they should have winned over the tribal leaders who control the unemployed youth of the country side.//

            Umm that’s exactly what they did. The current Afghan government (if they were not imported from the West) is made up almost entirely of former warlords (like Dostum for example), who control their own militia, and are complete despots. They have been ruling their areas of influence like fiefdoms, all the while milking the US for aid money. If you think there were any western styled free and fair elections going on in the last 20 years in Afghanistan, you have been living under a rock!

            As for george bush, he may be stupid, but his VP dick cheney was not. infact dick cheney knew exactly what would happen in Iraq,see here he outlines that exactly in 1994 video


            You are right about Americans not giving a fuck about anything outside America, this is almost entirely as a result of their isolated geography, which is why their government regularly wages war in other countries without much local blowback, because the only thing it really costs is ”taxpayer dollars” (in the current monetary system, I even doubt that).. the war never really comes home to them and is not fought in their backyards so they are far removed from it’s realities.

      2. Though i think Quereshi made it sound simpler than it is, i would still hedge my bets that he is right. We all think that Pakistan wont be able to control the Taliban etc. But its hoping against hope. They have demosntrated reasonable control over Taliban and Taliban have done their bidding in the past. Perhaps they know something which we dont.

        It could be entirely possible that Taliban return to being a lackey of Pakistan, and keep their ideologies to their end. And for few bomb blasts etc here and there, thats the cost which i think Pak army is willing to take, for a controlled Afghanistan.

  17. It looks like 215th and Sami Sadat won this round in Lashkar Gah. They are clearing more and more territory building by building. Will 215th clear nearby districts, settle Zaranj, or redeploy to the North? I would settle Zaranj and secure the Indian/Iranian supply line. . . but maybe the road to Zaranj from Lashkar Gah is blocked?

    Why has the big attack on Kandahar not happened yet? Note that 205th ANA Corps has performed well in recent weeks in Kandahar, Zabul and Uruzgan . . . or the Taliban have only had economy of force operations againt them. [Taliban won’t bother with Daikundi which is in 205th ANA Corps AO.]

    203rd ANA Corps–best in the ANA–has either held or gained against the Taliban in its entire AO (Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Ghazni, Wardak, Logar, Wardak, Bamiyan.) Or the Taliban has run an eeconomy of force operations against them, allowing the 203rd to slowly pick them off.

    201st ANA Corps–second best in the ANA–has either held or gained against the Taliban in its entire AO (Nuristan, Kunar, Nangarhar, Laghman, Kapisa, Panjir, Parwan) Or the Taliban has run an economy of force operations against them, allowing the 201st to slowly pick them off.

    Obviously 111st ANA mechanized Division has been quiet (Kabul.)

    It is possible that the vast majority of Taliban casualties have come in the AOs of 201st, 203rd, 205th, 215th ANA Corps and not in the North (209th and 217th) or the West (207th ANA Corps).

    Fascinating that all the Taliban’s success in recent weeks has hapened in the AOs of 209th and 217th Corps. Is this purposeful (since the Taliban fear high casualties fighting against the better Corps)?

    I would also note that none of the the airports of the AAF and ANA have been seriously threatened (Bagram, Bamyan, Farah, Herat, Jalalabad, Kabul, Kandahar, Khost, Kunduz, Lashkar Gah, Mazar i Sharif, Shindand (another name for Herat)).

    And none of the major bases of the 209th ANA Corps (North West) and 217th ANA Corps in the North appear to have been seriously threatened.

    Sadly this is smart. The ANA would have greatly preferred a direct Taliban attack on their bases and would have inflicted devastating losses. I think that 209th and 217th Corps are upset that this hasn’t happened.

    Whoever is running strategy in the North is doing a very good job. Avoid airports, ANA bases. This is a massive logistical feat of the highest order. And a political one since they consist of many factions with opposing views and interests. Somehow the Taliban have managed to fight together in the North, adjusting to a changing battlespace rapidly on the fly. [Not in Herat and Nimruz . . . but they aren’t as connected to QST and the Pakistani Army]
    Thought I would share some documents that would help folks understand the OOB and lay of battle: (Don’t fully agree with him . . . but has some data points)
    Some thoughts on 217th ANA Corps AO (Badakshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Baghlan) :
    —Badakshan has gone well so far (expect arbekai to form up to augment 217th ANA Corps and enable them to deploy to other theatres)
    —Baghlan has gone well so far (but cannot spare ANDSF, not sure about the status of local arbekai. Expect more Taliban attacks in Baghlan.)
    —A lot of Panjir Tajik arbekai (neo Northern Alliance militia) have moved into Takhar from the south to link up with 217th ANA Corps, and possible reinforcements from Badakshan. They are clearing Takhar of Taliban. They will likely soon clear Taleqan and secure the logistical supply lines between Takhar and Tajikistan. [Which enables Putin, Modi and NATO to resupply them.]
    ——Expect a very detailed write up only on Kunduz.
    ——arbekai forming up (at least in districts of the state away from Kunduz city)
    ——While the Taliban were assaulting Kunduz city 217th ANA Corps was launching offensive operations against the Taliban in other Kunduz province districts, killing Taliban and securing other districts. This suggests that the attack on Kunduz city took 217th ANA Corps by surprise. Why was 217th ANA Corps S2 (Intel officer) taken by surprise? Or were his warnings not headed?
    ——It is frustrating that the Taliban didn’t launch a major attack against the air base or 217th Army base near Kunduz. It would have gone far better for the ANDSF.
    ——Mahatma senaapati Sher Putin Khan to the rescue: Putin is more openly siding with the ANDSF against the Taliban. And Putin says that the Taliban don’t control Kunduz city. Putin is right. It is great to have Putin as a friend. 🙂 I think Putin will help the Northern Arbekai (neo Northern Alliance militia) and ANDSF.
    ——the quality of most analysis on the battle of Kunduz is low quality. People are not asking the right questions. For example there is heavy fighting inside Kunduz city. Many buildings are burning. Do all the ANDSF and arbekai fighting inside the city have clear logistical lines to one or more the 217th ANA Corps nearby bases and airport? Or are some cut off a la blackhawk down? Suspect 217th ANA Corps is doing the following:
    ———gaining situational awareness throughout the city
    ———setting up supply lines to all the isolated pockets of ANDSF and arbekai fighting inside Kunduz city, or extracting the ones that are cut off
    ———determine the Taliban fighters that can be cut off from logistical resupply from the main force and isolate all pockets possible
    ———cut off the Taliban fighting in Kunduz city from external supply and reinforcement. Cut up the relief convoys the Taliban sends to Kunduz city.
    ———carefully clear building by building using combined fire (precise indirect artillery and CAS in close proximity of ground troops that are moving)

    More coming when I free up.

  18. Gen Zabihullah Mohmand (he might really have 4 stars) is the new commanding General of 209th ANA Corps. He is the former S3 operations officer of the ANASOC Corps and former commander of 215th ANA Corps. He is going to have the logistics job of the century, arming, supplying, transporting, maintaining, training, coordinating and providing combat enablers to the Arkebai in his AO (Balkh, Samangan, Sar e Pol, Jowzjan, Faryab and a sliver of Badghis.) Gen Zabihullah Mohmand controls all the 209th ANA Corps medium sized and larger bases and airports in his AO. But he needs international logistical support. Either an airlift or the Putin/India/NATO supply line from the North.

    Gen Zabihullah Mohmand is going to need monster political skills to keep the various militia heads cooperating with each other and not fighting each other.


    Dari press conference where the victors of the Balkh fight against the Taliban (209th ANA Corps and arbekai) talked jointly. They killed some dushman. But I don’t think the Taliban assault against them was very large. Please correct me if I am wrong. I think Balkh would be incredibly difficult for the Taliban to defeat. Balkh is rather a large source for arbekai who can free other provinces.


    Another Dari press conference where the victors of the Baghlan fight against the Taliban (217th ANA Corps and arbebai) spoke. They seemed emotional. They killed lots of Dushman. I think the Taliban will launch other major offensives against Baghlan. But this group should be able to hold their own provided they work well together and get logistical support (this is more an intermediate thing than a short term priority.)


    WION’s report on Herat:
    Herat is not in danger of falling. The Herat arkebai and 207th ANA Corps are planning offensive operations to clear other districts in the province. And I think after that to secure the Indian Iranian supply line.

  19. The Propaganda War Intensifies in Afghanistan as the Taliban Gain Ground


    KABUL, Afghanistan — First, a remote provincial capital in Afghanistan’s southwest fell. The next day, it was a city in Afghanistan’s north. By Sunday, Taliban fighters had taken three more cities, including their biggest prize yet, the major provincial capital of Kunduz.

    All the while, the Afghan central government has acknowledged very little of it.

    In three days, at least five provincial capitals have been seized by the Taliban, in a ruthless land offensive that has led many local officials to abandon their posts and flee the cities they run.

    But the nation’s government, still trying to promote the impression that it has the upper hand against the Taliban, has been relatively silent on the enormous losses suffered across the country. Rather than admitting that the cities have fallen, the government has simply said that Afghanistan’s brave security forces were fighting in several capitals around the country, and that airstrikes have resulted in scores of dead Taliban fighters.

    “The country’s security and defense forces are always ready to defend this land,” the Afghan Ministry of Defense tweeted Sunday as Kunduz was under siege. “The support and love of the people for these forces increases their motivation and efforts.”

    With cities falling and the American military campaign mostly finished, the propaganda war in Afghanistan has taken on outsize importance. For the Taliban, it is an effort to communicate a drumbeat of victories, large or small, and to create an air of inevitability about their return to power. For the government, it is an all-out effort to stave off panic, boost morale and minimize losses.

    In recent days, the Taliban have shared videos of cheering crowds welcoming them into provinces (though some say Afghans are doing this only to avoid being harmed by the Taliban later). On social media, Taliban spokesmen have been blaming civilian casualties and infrastructure damage on the Afghan government, rather than on the group’s aggressive takeover of vast segments of the country.

    Their posts call on Afghan security forces to surrender, with promises that they will be treated humanely, accompanied by photos of seized weapons and security forces who have given up. Notably missing from any Taliban messaging is any mention of reconciliation with the government.

    The government’s information strategy has sought to create the opposite impression, with often exaggerated and sometimes false claims about military victories, retaken districts and assertions of Taliban casualties.

    This approach emerged this summer as a stand-in for something much more concrete: a publicly enunciated plan to defeat an enemy that seems on the verge of crushing Afghanistan’s fragile government institutions. Instead, Afghan leaders offer assurances, meeting regularly for an elegant group photograph at the presidential palace, conveying an image of stability and calm in the face of the violence.

    But the news outside of Kabul, the capital, has created a disconnect, particularly as alarming reports filter in from provincial officials of Afghan security forces — exhausted, hungry and under-resourced — being overtaken by insurgents, or surrendering altogether.

    In the north, the key city of Mazar-i-Sharif is now largely surrounded, as the capitals of three neighboring provinces fell to the Taliban Sunday. In the south, the economic hub of Kandahar has been under siege for a month, despite an escalation in U.S. airstrikes to slow the insurgents’ advance.

    By Sunday, senior government leaders still had not publicly acknowledged the seizure of any provincial capital; instead, tweets from the Afghan Ministry of Defense touted the deaths of hundreds of Taliban fighters, but the government has inflated these casualties in the past.

    A fledgling plan to slow down the Taliban’s string of victories does now exist, U.S. and U.N. diplomats and officials say, and it hews closely to longstanding U.S. recommendations that the Afghans consolidate their remaining forces around crucial roads and cities, as well as key border crossings, effectively abandoning most of the dozens of districts already seized by the Taliban.

    Mr. Ghani alluded to this plan in a speech to Parliament on Aug. 2: “The Afghan Army is going to focus on strategic objectives,” he said. “Afghan police officers must provide cities and strategic districts with security.”

    But the Ministry of Defense continues to insist that the government intends to retake all of the hundreds of Taliban-captured districts within six months.

    “Our strategy is to increase the number of airstrikes on the Taliban,” said Fawad Aman, the Ministry of Defense spokesman — though in recent weeks it has been U.S. airstrikes that have been playing a major role in slowing down the Taliban. “First, we will recapture the districts that are very important. Then we will try to recapture all the districts in the control of the Taliban.”

    That would run directly counter to what Americans have advised for months: not to defend the rural districts. This is in effect what has been happening anyway, as Afghan forces, in district after district, have surrendered or fled, at times without a fight.

    And despite counter messaging from the government that it’s killing Taliban fighters at astonishing numbers, any casualties they have incurred appear to have had a limited effect on the group’s military campaign. Since the beginning of May, the Taliban have captured about 200 districts, putting them in control of more than half of the 400-plus districts in Afghanistan.

    At times, the government has claimed to have recaptured districts that never actually fell to the Taliban — like Pashtun Kot in Faryab Province and Ahmadabad in Paktia Province. At other times, the government’s contentions appear clearly wrong to the people in the supposedly reclaimed districts.

    “There was no operation,” said Lutfullah Mashal, a delivery truck driver in Balkh district in the north, which the government falsely claimed to have recaptured after it was overtaken by the Taliban in June. “The Taliban are moving freely around the district. They tax people and they have implemented all their old rules.”

    The driver’s observation was confirmed by an official at the provincial police headquarters who was not authorized to speak to the media.

    Where the government fails to hold a district it has recaptured, if only briefly, the consequences can be severe for the residents.

    On July 18, members of a pro-government militia recaptured Malistan district in the province of Ghazni, populated by Hazaras, a largely Shiite ethnic group persecuted by the Sunni Taliban. The next day, the Taliban pushed the militia members out. Some 20 of the district’s Hazara civilians were killed by the Taliban; dozens more fled to Kabul. The government never publicly acknowledged the renewed loss of Malistan district.

    The government’s fitful narrative appears to have convinced few. “The government does have the capability to recapture districts,” said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, a former deputy interior minister. “But the main point is, what are they going to do after recapturing them?”

    “The districts will soon collapse again,” he added.

    A senior officer in the country’s military, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the situation, noted that many Taliban conquests are carried out by a small force of 10 or so fighters from whom it should be easy to take back districts. Yet even if they were to do so, he said, Afghan security forces would be unlikely to hold them because of weak defenses, weak local leaders and a lack of central government support.

    Bashir Ahmad Nemani, a local police commander in the northern province of Badakhshan, saw those weaknesses firsthand. The province, including his district of Khwahan, is now almost entirely in the hands of the Taliban — a bitter pill for the government as it was the one area in Afghanistan that resisted the insurgents throughout their reign in the late 1990s.

    This time, faced with a Taliban onslaught, Badakhshan’s provincial police chief “promised reinforcements,” said Mr. Nemani. “They never came.” The local militia working with the government quickly collapsed.

    “There was no option,” he said. “Everything was destroyed. The police collapsed.” Mr. Nemani fled across the border to Tajikistan with six of his men.

    Flown to Kabul by the Tajiks, he said he wants to continue to fight and is only awaiting word from the government to return and take up arms again.

    “There is a lot of pain in my heart,” Mr. Nemani said. “Who could be happy with this brutal situation?”

    1. “On July 18, members of a pro-government militia recaptured Malistan district in the province of Ghazni, populated by Hazaras, a largely Shiite ethnic group persecuted by the Sunni Taliban. The next day, the Taliban pushed the militia members out. Some 20 of the district’s Hazara civilians were killed by the Taliban; dozens more fled to Kabul. The government never publicly acknowledged the renewed loss of Malistan district.”

      This is 203rd ANA Corps AO. They are preparing for a major Pakistani army led offensive. [I think this is why they have not sent a bluk or platoon to Malistan.] Either 203rd ANA Corps are winning against a major offensive, or the COAS Bajwa has chosen launch an economy of force offensiv against 203rd ANA Corps to keep it from redeploying to fight his forces elsewhere. I think it is a later. Obviously there are battles being fought throughout the AO which are advantage 203rd ANA Corps. 203rd ANA Corps has called down a lot of air strikes against dushman.

      What is the status of Malistan, Ghazni, now?


      The Pakistani Army organized a genocide that killed 3 million Bangladeshis in 1971. The Pakistani Army is currently trying to organize a genocide against Afghans right now. How many Afghans will die in 2021? 100,000? 300,000? More?

  20. Old Blue hat trip:

    Old Blue pointed out:
    It looks like 200 or more Pakistanis and other foreign fighters are being killed by the ANDSF per day in Afghanistan. However the first offensive against 215th, 205th, 203rd and 201st ANA Corps has tapped out. COAS Bajwa has to decide whether to send another 20,000 troops and an additional couple billion dollars to reinforce the Taliban offensive or not.

    How is COAS Bajwa resupplying the Northern offensive? They have got to be low on fuel, ammunition, spare parts, maintenance specialists, medics. Because so many of the Taliban are being killed by the ANDSF in the North, they might have enough weapons to go around.

    Is one of the reasons that COAS Bajwa doesn’t want major attacks and fighting in Badakshan, Kunar and Nuristan because he is quietly using them to resupply his northern expeditionary force?

  21. >The Pakistani Army organized a genocide that killed 3 million Bangladeshis in 1971. The Pakistani Army is currently trying to organize a genocide against Afghans right now.

    LOL Anan. If you see the videos of places like Zaranj, Sheberghan, Kunduz, Sar e Pul and other cities Taliban have captured.. it seems like life is just going on as normal as if nothing has happened.

    What genocide?

    At this point, even hardcore Afghan nats in the diaspora have accepted the reality that the Ghani govt is a lost cause. The question now is whether they fall before the Americans withdraw on Aug 31 or after.


      Don’t like his comments denouncing Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine. Not denying that Putin did it and it was bad. But right now the world needs Putin the savior. Putin can help the ANDSF a lot against:
      —Peshawar Shura
      —Sirajuddin Haqqani
      —313 Brigade (newly reconstituted rather than the old one)
      —Lashkar e Taiba
      —Jaish e Mohammed
      —Lashkar e Jhanvi / Sipah e Sahaba / Jundullah
      —Al Qaeda of the Indian subcontinent
      —other Al Qaeda networks
      —General Headquarters (GHQ) Deep State

      If Putin helps now, he will have the thanks of a greatful Afghan nation. Afghans have long memories and will remember who helped Afghanistan in their moment of need generations from now.

      Chris Alexander is a true friend of Afghanistan and trying to persuade the world to help the ANDSF.

      What can Putin do?:
      —Move major supplies for the ANDSF through the land ports with Afghanistan. Try to convince NATO, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, GCC and others to heavily fund it.
      —Publicly and unambiguously praise the ANDSF and arbekai as God’s best gift to man and salut their heroism and nobility. Say the Russian people are with them in spirit.
      —Offer to convert the Russian airbases north of Afghanistan into joint Russian/NATO coalition airbases to provide CAS for the ANDSF. [Get assurances that they will not be used against Russian interests and that the coalition will share intelligence with Russia]
      —Publicly request that India provides CAS to the ANDSF from a central asian airbase (whether India agrees to it or not.)
      —Use the Russian air force to directly fly supplies into AAF/ANA airports. Specifically Kunduz airport. If the ANDSF request it then Herat airport, Shindand airport, Mazar airport, Farah airport. If the Afghans do not request it, then don’t. No need to supply the Eastern and Southern ANDSF theatres.
      —Publicly assume a large advisory role for the AAF and commit to surging their capacity. Get the international community to mostly reimburse Russia’s expense for this. Only help with respect to Russian aircraft. Collaborate with other countries on this.
      —Train many ANA in Russia on D-30 accurate indirect fire in support of manouver military elements.
      —Train many ANA in Russia on maintaining and repairing D-30 artillery
      —Donate more than 500 D-30s to Afghanistan. Along with shells, spare parts
      —No need to do all of this. Just some of this would suffice.. But do this visibly and publicly. This will surge ANDSF morale and devastate Deep State and QST morale.

      May God bless the great Russian people.

      1. “Lashkar e Jhanvi ”

        does jhanvi kapoor has her own lashkar now. that’s so cool. 🙂

    She is asking the world to help Afghanistan. She is pro Indian.

    Almost all the major Afghan womans rights, social, civil society and political leaders are condemning Taliban. But what can they do about it? The ANDSF and arbekai are the ones fighting the Taliban. A global airlift of supplies to reinforce the ANDSF and arbekai, sending military supplies through the land ports and close air support would be very helpful. This was remarkably good.

  23. At this point, the US has abandoned its puppet government. Only Iran and India seem to be a realistic hope for saving Afghanistan from the Taliban.

    The issue is that they’ve tried their best to be neutral partners to avoid turning this into a proxy war, but it’s to no avail if the Taliban won’t be a good faith negotiator and is already a Pakistani proxy.

    1. We are getting overtly worried abt Afghanistan. We thankfully dont share a border. Plus if its about Kashmir, then even during the 90s, the bulk of militants were Punjabis. And if its about re-run of IC814, then even during US-Ghani controlled Afghanistan there were Taliban controlled areas, so its not as if we could have done jack shit , if another hijacking happens and they fly to Taliban areas.

      1. “We are getting overtly worried abt Afghanistan.”

        As someone said, India does not have an Afghanistan problem. It has a Pakistan problem.

        Even if the Pakis succeed in installing Taliban as the govt. in control of entire Afghanistan, there isn’t much thats going to change for India. Or in fact Pakistan. Any terror attack in India now will result in a counter attack on Pakistani soil which is a risk Pakis can ill-afford given the growing gap between Indian and Pakistani military might.

        However, I do not believe that the Taliban are going to win. Afghanistan is too diverse in all sorts of ways for a bunch of Pashtun boneheads with very little organizational ability to win over. The Taliban themselves are a loose confederation of death squads and terrorists. All they know is to cause terror financed by tolls from vehicular traffic in their area and/or opium production.

        Frankly the world pays too much attention to Afghanistan now that Osama bin Laden is dead. Pashtuns can very well go back to stone age. It will have no effect on the rest of the world.

      2. I for one am very glad that USA is leaving Afghanistan.

        America maintaining a presence in Afghanistan led to Pakistan continually getting American aid and military equipment for the use of overland supply routes to Afghanistan. This should stop now.

        Also, the Pashtun truck drivers who maintain a monopoly on Karachi-Afghanistan routes were getting good business which directly fueled the Taliban insurgency.

        The Taliban had a great thing going. They collected protection money from the truckers among other things and just to prove their nuisance value occasionally made hits against the Afghan govt. while giving a wide berth to coalition troops.

        Now that USA has left there will be little money flowing to the Taliban coffers. They and other Afghan ethnicities will have to duke it out in a real civil war.

  24. Farah, Faizabad and Pul e Khumri all three provincial capitals fell to to Taliban today . That’s 3 cities in one day! See the light and stop the propaganda. ghani government should just quit now and flee to avoid more bloodshed. Mazar sharif seems to be next. Taliban strategy this time round was to capture the West and the North first which were strongholds of NA before.. in order to eliminate any chance of resistance later. The east is already in the bag and it’s just a matter of taking it.

    1. I wouldn’t be too sanguine about North and West. As long as there are Tajik and Uzbek areas there would be resistance. Till the central Govt totally collapses, i dont see the rise of autonomous warlords.

      1. The Tajiks and a lot of Uzbeks have been coopted by the Taliban and lot of them are in their rank and file and even as acting commanders. What I am concerned about are the Hazaras their areas have held out and mostly not yet attacked (perhaps due to Taliban-Iran understanding?) .. and since Iran seems to be pretty chilled out until now I think there is a possibility that the IEA is guaranteeing Hazaras safety to Iran. We will see about that.

  25. Perhaps Indian nationalists should be quietly pleased about Pakistan making gains in Afghanistan. A thoughly indic people projecting power into Central Asia. Yes, short run, they are bitter adversaries. Long run these regions are getting habituated to indic dominance. Hindustani as a language of state power is only amplified. The Republic of India is resilient enough to withstand the shock of an emboldened Pakistan that now has a stronger backfield.

    1. pakistanis’ unrestrained glee at the rapid advance of taliban is ludicrous and laughable. the fact is, no country, not even pakistan stands to gain on lose much with a taliban victory in afg. it’s a dirt poor country torn by decades of war. it is not worth much to any outsider.

      does any country have any significant investment in afg stock market that they risk to lose by the outcome of war? does it affect their trade imbalance with afg? or are the afg sovereign debt bonds at risk of losing their value? or does the afg currency fluctuation threaten the global markets? LoL.

      the fact is, first and foremost it is a humanitarian crisis. the war will not get over by a taliban capture of kabul. small pockets of resistance will remain, dragging on the war. international players will keep meddling in afg affairs to keep the fire burning. and rest of the world will get a steady supply of sharia porn. women being stoned to death and heads being chopped off and the like. (even the taliban carry the smart phones you see).

      it is a sad state of affairs. afghans are a fine people. they dont deserve this. but i will echo what biden just said today. it is for the afghans to fix their country.

    1. I might be super wrong but this might be an old retired airframe that are left at airports to decay. The second batch of Indian helicopters was given because the helicopters from the first batch were retired after they had ended their service life with Afghan air force.

      But even if I am right, even princely state Dogras did better than this, even Pakistanis did better than this, at the height of conflict even Nepali army did far better than this. I still root for Afghan government but this is pathetic.

        1. i dont think it was in working condition which shows ANDSF is running out of funds to repair.

          check out some of the other spoils.. didnt realize Americans left so much firepower which is now being given up without a fight

  26. Kunduz airport just fell. Doesn’t appear the Afghan government is capable of mounting a successful military resistance against Taliban advances, unless Iran and India rapidly step up support, and the window for that is closing fast.

      1. If India is happy to abandon possibly the most pro-Indian country in the world to a Pakistani-supported theocracy, then it shouldn’t become surprised when every neighbor ends up throwing its lot in with China instead down the road.

        1. Every dollar wasted abroad by incompetent and arrogant Americans will be accounted for when it inevitably looses its economic and military pre-eminence.

          4 million dead of COVID, the economy is in tatters. I want 2 hours of running water every day in my home town before Indian leaders ever contemplate being a great power.

          What can India possibly do if Afghan soldiers keep surrendering all the time?

          1. “I want 2 hours of running water every day in my home town before Indian leaders ever contemplate being a great power.”

            Completely agree.
            India is dirt poor. It should concentrate on building its economy and uplifting its people out of economic misery. India should also concentrate on equipping its military to a better standard so that it can defend our borders better and guard the efforts we are making towards prosperity. Superpower dreams should wait.

            Taliban and Afghan govt. can take care of themselves. Let them muck about in the Afghan desert.

  27. I don’t quite understand this notion of the Taliban being a branch of the Pakistani armed forces (lol)? Reading some conversations, you almost get the impression that the Talibs are a bunch of Lahore/Karachi-walas on a quest to conquer Afghanistan.

    ^ And bluntly put, an Afghanistan under Taliban domination constitutes an exceddingly unfortunate situation for Pakistan; it’s not at all in Pakistan’s best interests.

    The glee that many Pakistanis express on various venues is probably more grounded in the notion that a Muslim organization, based in an impoverished country with scarcely any resources, was able to expel a global superpower (and bleed that superpower of its money, which that superpower spent for naught). It’s more about this sense that, “ha, the Kafirs lost!”, rather than “the Taliban are our friends!”.

    ^^ With that being said, I do understand that the Afghan Taliban receives “support” from the Pakistani military-industrial complex (always has). But again, there’s a definite tendency in these conversations to exaggerate that “support” by some very massive margins.

    Long story short: in the days of the Fakir of Ipi, his Pashtun enemies would grudgingly complement him by saying that “he takes money from anyone, but answers to no one”.

    This has always been an essential aspect of Pashtun tribal culture. Tribesmen will take financial assistance, as well as arms, with no hesitation… but they will never acquiesce to control. They’ll do whatever they see fit.

    The Taliban is not a pliable tool of Pakistani interests; they will feel no shame in biting the hand. They’ve done it before.

    Furthermore, it’s important to remember that many of these people hate Muslim Punjabis. And to them, Pakistan = Punjab. (Some Afghan Pashtuns explicitly prefer Sikhs to Muslim Punjabis. There’s just something about the Musulman of the Punjab that many Afghan Pashtuns find unbearable of toleration. This hatred is much more muted in Pakistani Pashtuns… but even they evince it on occasion, especially Waziri/Maseed/Daur)

    On a separate note, when thinking about the Taliban-Pashtun dynamic, I’ve found that people usually ignore the fact that the Taliban doesn’t enjoy complete support among even traditionalist rural Pashtuns. It’s very much a regional phenomenon. The Taliban heartland is greater Kandahar (especially among the Ghilzai Pashtun), and they seem to be a very substantial presence in greater Nangarhar. But for a variety of reasons, they’ve never had a robust base in greater Paktia.

    And for what it’s worth, greater Paktia is home to the most “Pashtun” of all the Pashtuns… the ones who typify the customs and habits associated with Pashtuns. Furthormore, those tribesmen are no strangers to “Jihad” (the Soviets had their asses kicked hardest in said region). But said region has never been warm to the Taliban. (There are distinct “tanzemuna” in greater Paktia)

    1. “The Taliban is not a pliable tool of Pakistani interests; they will feel no shame in biting the hand. They’ve done it before.”

      This is precisely why I think the Taliban and/or Pakistan won’t be able to stitch up Afghanistan and establish their rule. Pashtuns are a primitive people who haven’t really grown up mentally since their hunter-gatherer days. They cannot create a modern military dictatorship like North Korea, let alone a functioning state.

      Pashtun society with its tribes and gratuitous, internecine violence seems barely a step above those of primates. If Pakistan wouldn’t have been prodding Taliban to kill other Afghans, there would have existed some other group of Pashtuns slaughtering other Pashtuns for a different silly reason. The rest of the world should basically ignore them since they don’t seem to be sitting on anything valuable in Afghanistan. No important trade routes go through Afghanistan since the horse trade died centuries ago. There is also not much arable land or minerals in Afghanistan. It is a mostly a desert.

      In these modern times, with its technology driven wars, settled societies are in no danger of being taken over by primitive Pashtun warlords. If/when a superpower (possibly China) gets really interested in Afghanistan for whatever reason, it would have no problem sweeping aside the primitive Pashtuns. Just as they appeared with grass in their teeth before Babur, they would appear again, prostate before their new emperors and inventing for themselves a fake genealogy of descent. They may even start calling themselves Guo, Gai or Kong rather than Khan which they had earlier adapted from Turco-Mongols.

  28. does any body in the indian ‘strategic sphere’ regret nehru not accepting khan abdul gaffar khan’s offer for a ‘west india’ in the pakistani pastun area? this would have been a great thing, in the hind sight.

    1. Khan abdul gaffar khan did not have the support of a majority of pashtuns. He probably did not even have the support of a majority of his own tribe, the Muhammadzai. Khan Abdul definitely must have stuck out to his own people as a wierdo, however much a minuscule minority of them still admire him.

      Indian liberals have this stupid romantic notion that the Pashtuns supported India rather than Pakistan in 1947. Even Nehru thinking it to be true, visited Peshawar just before independence where he was beaten up by a Pashtun mob drummed up by the Muslim League. Also there was a referendum in NWFP in 1947 and despite boycotts by Khan Abdul’s ilk, Pakistani Pashtuns overwhelmingly voted to join Pakistan.

      Truth be told, most Pashtuns did not care about India or Pakistan or dare I say, even Islam. As i said in the other post, they were (and are) a primitive people unto whom ideas of modern nationhood hadn’t penetrated. Some of them did carry a notion of Pashtunistan but mostly they weren’t serious about it.

      What Pashtuns cared about (and still do) was opportunities for looting which newly created Pakistan provided for them by sending their Lashkars into Kashmir. This Kashmir invasion was extremely popular with the Pashtuns and many, many men joined up. They got away with some loot too however as we know the Indian army made short work of their tribal Lashkars when it got involved. Pakistan had to bring in their regular army to stiffen up its offensive and keep whatever bits of J&K they had managed to acquire.

      By the way “Commentator” had posted a link to this book earlier.

      Its a great description of Pashtun society by an American diplomat around 1950s. (Absolutely nothing seems to have changed since then apart from certain superficial stuff.) Village after village he visits, the Pashtun elders are ruing their defeat in Kashmir to the Indian army and want a chance for revenge. They blame America, United Nations and even Pakistan for “holding them back”. LOL. Pakistan was doing them a favor by preventing them from being wiped out by the Indian army.

  29. @Janumumjiya

    I think you’ll dig this description of Pashtuns, from Lorimer’s “Grammer of Waziri Pashto”:

    “If the reader closes these pages having gained a distinct impression of the race, free-born and murderous, hot-headed and light-hearted, self-respecting but vain… then the present slight sketch has been penned to some purpose.”


    There’s a lot more “savage and violent Pathans” verbal porn out there. From various sources, all predating the 70’s (and going back to the 1800s):

    “Their cruelty, restlessness, hatred of authority, bloodthirst, avaricious rapacity, and bigoted contempt for all mankind are things unbounded. The only redeeming features are their courage and manly independence, which are beyond doubt.”

    Another one:

    “The Pathan – of whatever tribe – has a strong pride in being a Pathan…

    Even within the family circle, rivalries and quarrels are often long and bitter, since the Pathan calls no man lord and admits his inferiority to nobody. To the world outside his tribal group, and apart from the demands of hospitality to wayfaring strangers, the Pathan’s attitude alternates between a total indifference and a kind of tigerish contempt for the rest of the human animal kingdom, whose function is to provide, when neccessary, individuals to satisfy the predators appetite…

    Moving with a springing stride, toes turned slightly inwards and rising at the heel, and with a tall, haughty carriage, the Pathan will flash at you from beneath stern black eyebrows a fierce look that can turn suddenly into a shy glance of soft brown eyes…

    All this makes a Pathan a man to be liked and respected, to be treated tactfully and carefully; and a man rarely, if ever, to be organized within the impersonal conventions of a modern state.”

    And another one:

    “The Pathans are good-looking devils; strong musculature, deep chests, an air of manly ruggedness, and handsome faces.

    Thus a pity that one can only admire them from a distance, for they are also treacherous, barbarous, bloodlusting men shrouded in fanaticism. Scarcely can one see a comparable example among mankind of a race so outwardly attractive, yet so inwardly ugly.”

    More where that came from… but that should be enough for ya.

    Enjoy/happy jerking.

    1. Commentator are you a Pashtun? Afghanistan or Pakistani descent?Hindko+ or proper Pathan? Paktia, Nangarhar, Kandahar, FATA, Quetta or Peshawar?

      I do not know why but I have never met any Pathan in grad school or work or socializing in the US. Lots of Afghan refugee thugs which I suspect were Pashtun in Netherlands and Belgium. But not even one high-achiever or professional. Lots of Pakistanis, lots of Iranians, lots of Arabs. Why is that?

  30. @Commentator

    Whats the deal with Pashtun Bachha-bazi?

    Actual Pashtun proverb “Even a man’s own mother and sister are disgusting”

    Pashtuns were raping any captured Russian soldiers who they did not kill immediately.

    “Afghan mujahedeen routinely tortured and then murdered any Soviet soldier who fell into their hands, except for a few who were kept around for anal rape.”

    These are some crazy wierdos. Whats to admire here?

  31. People get the govt. they deserve. More than anyone else be it USA, be it Pakistan, its Afghanistan’s fault that they are falling to a ragtag militia like the Taliban.

    How many last stands, how many bitterly fought battles we are seeing? Virtually none. Either Afghan army soldiers are leaving their weapons behind and running or joining up with the Taliban. The Taliban haven’t fallen from the sky. They are Afghans themselves.

    It seems to me that an Afghan cannot fight for any higher principle than that of immediate prospect of loot. The Taliban see possibilities of loot in their own country (American weapons, material wealth built up in 20 years) so they move in as soon as the USA leave. The people in Afghan army also see a possibility of joining in with the looters so they cut deals with the Taliban and join up.

    1. The special forces are putting up last stands. Some young Afghan soldiers of very distinguished families have been killed in action.

      In many of the videos I see Taliban terrorists are wearing slippers, wearing stupid shalwar kameez and jogging slowly at their targets firing machine guns without even aiming. Some of it is hilarious to watch. I have ‘Jia hu Bihar ke lala… Jia tu hazaar saala…’ from Gangs of Wasseypur playing in my head when I watch them.

  32. @Junemijaya

    “Whats the deal with Pashtun Bachha-bazi?”

    It’s not some unique preserve of Pashtuns; Punjabis do it too (including Sikhs), and they call it “Lohnda Bazi”.

    And it’s frowned upon; the tribes stereotyped for it (like the Daur and the Bannuchi) are forever the object of ridicule from other Pashtuns.

    Among Pashtuns it’s universally regarded as a Persian custom, and actively pursued (as a legitimate cultural institution) by the Uzbeks and Tajiks of Afghanistan.

    Unfortunately, pederastry is an ancient habit shared by all of highland West Asia, parts of the Caucasus, Central Asia, parts of the Balkans, and northwestern South Asia.

    And as we all know, the ancient Greeks were obsessed with the practice. There are even theories that the Indo-Iranians of the steppe lands also had this practice (on what basis that could even be inferred, I don’t know; but it is a theory in the literature)

    Also, Jenumujia: “Actual Pashtun proverb ‘Even a man’s own mother and sister are disgusting’…”

    Lol. I’ve spent considerable time among Pashtuns in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, and I’ve known many Pashtuns in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Germany. In all that time, I have never once heard anything even remotely similar. Even if you have a certain distaste for a people, it’s still rather unbecoming to pull stuff straight out of your ass.

    I can only imagine what my grandmother would do, if anyone had the balls to say something like that to her face ? (She once hacked off a man’s right hand, after he rubbed chilli powder in my uncle’s eyes. Long story)


    “I do not know why but I have never met any Pathan in grad school or work or socializing in the US.”

    I would never (in a million years) have expected you to have been an attendant at any grad school, let alone someone who socializes in “successful” circles; that’s a pleasant surprise (good for you).

    You might not meet any Pashtuns in your computer-programming circles (or whatever it is that you do), but I’ve met many Pashtuns in various successful ventures.

    In the diaspora, I personally know Pashtun doctors, Pashtun lawyers, Pashtun scientists (one a biologist, two physicists), Pashtun scholars in the humanities, and countless Pashtun businessman (self-made men with considerable wealth).

    In our original habitat (lol), Afghanistan has always been ruled by Pashtuns (they have been the Kings, administrators, and generals of that country from the very start of its existence as “Afghanistan”, “land of the Pashtuns”).

    And Pakistan’s top brass has always had a solid share of Pashtuns. Furthermore, in the current context of that country, they are probably the most entrepreneurial ethnicity in Pakistan. In whatever economic venture they see fit for their own expansion, they always end up being dominant.

    Personally speaking, my father is a physician; my paternal grandfather was a judge; two of my paternal uncles are also doctors, one is a lawyer, and one is a poet (he makes money as a writer). My maternal grandfather was a professor, and of his 12 brothers, half were in the jewelry business, one was a businessman (owned some factories), and the others died in youth (rivalries/feuds and such). Of my maternal uncles, two are doctors, one was an engineer.

    Prior to my grandparents, on both sides of the family our forefathers were raiders and toll-collectors (and most of them didn’t die in their beds). But that feels like ages ago.

    Bhimrao: “Lots of Afghan refugee thugs which I suspect were Pashtun in Netherlands and Belgium.”

    Afghan refugees in Europe are overwhelmingly Tajik and Hazara; very, very few Pashtuns. When Afghan Pashtuns are refugees, they go to Pakistan. When tribal Pakistani Pashtuns are refugees, they go to Afghanistan. Poor Pashtuns in general go to the Gulf states for work.

    Bhimrao: “Why is that?”

    You know, Janumujiha mentioned a book, which I had linked a few days ago. There’s a passage at the end… an interesting one, but which Jamenuaja is unlikely to quote:

    “… as I have got to know the Pathans even a little, I have found a deep love of freedom and respect for the dignity of the individual which has produced a willingness to subordinate physical and even spiritual comfort to preserve more basic values. This is true not only of the most isolated hillsman but of the most worldy and sophisticated Pathan.

    I have never met amongst the Pathans that unfortunately common figure amongst Asians and Africans: the unhappy and maladjusted man caught half-way between his own culture and that of the west. I have, however, met émigré Pathans selling real-estate in California, renovating houses in London, playing expert bridge for profit on transatlantic liners, and happily and competently engaged in a score of other professions never dreamed of when they scampered up and down the barren hills of their boyhood. I have also met Pathans in traditional dress in their hujras talking quietly of crops, marriages and feuds, until the proper time came to relish the amazement of the Western visitor when they slip casually into a discussion of the relative merits of various London tailors, Paris restaurants, and Roman museums.

    It is in this urbane flexibility worn over an iron will and a hard core of principle that a clue to the future of the Pathans may be found. In the regulation of their affairs, the shot in the night may give way to the ballot in the box. Government-supplied schools, hospitals, and irrigation-canals may succeed the subsidies which long ago succeeded the caravan raids; the tribesmen may even one day become, like all of us, taxpayers.

    Yet, unless the Pathans forget in a generation a thousand years of tradition and the mores of a tribal society still very much alive, they will cast their ballots, study in their schools, and pay their taxes with the same strength of character and according to the same set of values. This is another reason, or perhaps the same one, why the Pathans appear so little concerned for their future. I, for one, think they can afford to be so.”

    More eloquently put then anything I could say.

    1. a) ‘I would never (in a million years) have expected you to have been an attendant at any grad school, let alone someone who socializes in “successful” circles; that’s a pleasant surprise (good for you).’
      I do come from nothing. Not yet into really ‘successful’ tier.
      Hope I get to see and befriend a Pathan coder someday.

      1. @Bhimrao,

        I should apologize; I was being a bit of a dick. I’m sorry.

        I’m sure you’re doing very well, and I wish you the best of luck with whatever it is that you’re working towards.

        And speaking purely in statistical terms, there’s gotta be at least one Pashtun coder out there somewhere in the great blue yonder (lol)

        1. “Bit of a dick”

          Lol, don’t be so humble now. You were on such a roll before.

          You naming all the professions in your family and then insulting Bhimrao in the classist way you did… The spirit of the Indus is mightier in you than I thought.

  33. @Commentator

    You would not find me quoting the lines which you mention above because the events of the last 70 years have turned out to be very different from what the author envisaged.

    Today, when Taliban remain poised to overrun the country, would be an especially poor day to bring up that quote. Pashtuns haven’t become tax-paying citizens of a modern welfare state while retaining their tradition qualities of “courage” and “self-sufficiency”. They are infact in a sorry state of affairs after having been torn apart by 50 years of warfare and strife imposed from outside and within. Millions are in refugee camps with yet more people being displaced because of the latest round of civil war. Afghan govt. and military institutions such as they are, are being obliterated by a rag-tag bunch of medieval savages supported by a failing and pariah state.

    Yet, some of you seem like a bunch of self-admiring mud-hut dwellers who think they’re already perfect. As I said, not at all ready for the modern world.

    Coming to my quote, even by the dismal standards of South Asia, the Pashtun society remains alarmingly misogynistic. By the way here are some more pearls of wisdom about Pashtun male-female relations along with a reference. The quote I gave above is from the same reference.

    “A woman’s place is in the home or in the grave”
    “Women have no noses. They eat shit”

    Page 56:

    All this Pashtun noble savage bullshit continuously spouted by westerners since the British Raj days seems to have gone into the Pashtuns heads. Lands inhabited by Pashtuns are some of the most illiterate, disease-ridden(polio remains endemic in Pashtun occupied areas), economically depressed and perennially violent places in the world. There is a conflict economy of sorts which ensures that war-lords, translators, drug-smugglers, truckers, journalists, lawyers and Doctors etc exist. But where are the engineers, where are factories, where are the services, where are the businesses which produce real value? Do Afghanistan or Pashtun lands in Pakistan produce a single item worthy of export to the outside world? Heck, where are the government institutions? Or do you think tribal shuras would do for government and lashkars for the army?

    The trouble with Afghanistan is that not only are they in a bad state, but with the imminent Taliban takeover they will probably go rapidly backwards undoing the gains made in the last 20 years.

    Perhaps, despite what the American diplomat suggested, some worrying about the future might have helped. Maybe the Pashtun society did not have all the qualities needed to be successful. Some soul searching might have led to learning from other people’s experiences and avoiding mistakes.

    1. @Janamejaya

      “You would not find me quoting the lines which you mention above because the events of the last 70 years have turned out to be very different from what the author envisaged.”

      Have they though?

      What exactly do you think was the primary casual factor in the death of the Pashtunistan issue?

      ^ The Pakistani state has been rather good to the Pashtuns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; so good, in fact, that many of them view even the idea of joining hands with their Afghan brethren as an act of suicide.

      Let’s be honest here; do you really think that the settled Pashtuns regard Punjabis and Sindhis as being the same sort of people as themselves? They know full well that a country named after them is right across the border… a country filled with people of the same stock as themselves. Love does not tie them to Pakistan; money and power does.

      ^^ There are no bars to their advancement in Pakistan… and they very well know it. Not to mention that they have ample “elbow room”, despite being well-integrated within the Pakistani state apparatus.

      Of course FATA has always constituted a distinct proposition from the above. That being said, the people there have always preferred it that way; they’ve always hated the idea of any state extending its writ towards their hills, and they’ve always called their country “Yaghistan” (“Land of rebellion”). Their poverty is a choice (they want other things, like freedom and independence). And even in FATA, things have changed considerably. Slowly-but-surely, FATA is becoming just another part of Pakistan. (It’s literally not even FATA anymore)

      “Lands inhabited by Pashtuns are some of the most illiterate, disease-ridden(polio remains endemic in Pashtun occupied areas), economically depressed and perennially violent places in the world.”

      Again, does Khyber Pakhtunkhwa not exist?

      ^ There you’ll find millions upon millions of Pashtuns living lives of decency, within a setting of peace and security.

      ^^ The rural people enjoy a standard of living much superior to much of rural Pakistan, whether it be rural Punjab, or rural Sindh, or rural Balochistan. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes.

      The rapacious feudalism of the Punjabi and Sindhi countryside are as alien here as manifestations of Japanese Shinto (lol). The horrors of true material poverty are unknown. The people are busy, happy, and hearty.

      And all the major cities are completely safe; Pakistani tourists flock to the region without the slightest hint of any fear. Peshawer itself is the friendliest place I’ve ever been in; I’ve never even once payed for a meal, despite trying my very best! In fact, no stranger needs money to feed himself.

      “But where are the engineers, where are factories, where are the services, where are the businesses which produce real value?”

      Lol. Refer to what I wrote above. (Do you even listen to yourself? Of course there are engineers, factories, and various other pursuits uninhibited)

      “Today, when Taliban remain poised to overrun the country, would be an especially poor day to bring up that quote.”

      You can’t coerce Pashtuns, ever. If the overwhelming majority of rural Pashtun tribesmen hated the Taliban, the Taliban wouldn’t exist.

      They win because they are regarded by many as men of clear principles, and purveyors of swift and fair justice.

      They win because they’re seen by many as “sons of the soil”. And to many traditionalist tribal Pashtuns, they are literally their very own sons and brothers.

      ^ On the other hand, their enemies (who are either being wiped out as we speak, or joining them in droves) are often viewed as implements of foreign imposition (and that too corrupt, depraved, and lowly implements of foreign imposition).

      ^^ The United States really could have/should have done better. A multiethnic motley of pedophiles, drug addicts, and petty warlords could never have constituted a proper confederacy against a movement of young Pashtuns completely self-assured of their own righteousness.

      ^^^ The inevitable victory of the Taliban is deeply unfortunate. The inevitable collapse of the Afghan government is an even greater misfortune… one with repercussions that’ll be felt for years (and in many places). But it is of no surprise. At all. Whatsoever.

      And quite frankly, there was a way to bring Afghanistan into modernity; but the American military machine sure as hell didn’t try it. In fact, it’s never been tried.

      ^ You simply cannot scare Pashtuns into submission. These people do not react well to force (they never have). Force doesn’t intimidate them; it just pisses them off, and makes them even more violent and dangerous.

      These are people who need to be treated very carefully. One needs an exceedingly light and soft touch… a touch without even the slightest hint of superiority (they need to be respected as equals, and that sense of equality needs to be self-evidently sincere). Anything less, and you’re fucked.

      “Coming to my quote, even by the dismal standards of South Asia, the Pashtun society remains alarmingly misogynistic.”

      For christ’s sake; is that supposed to be some sort of radically novel insight?

      Of course Pashtun society is alarmingly misogynistic; even our women themselves are disturbingly cruel on the matter of women! “Machismo” is a small word when describing a culture that is so absolutely male-centric. The greatest complement that a Pashun could ever convey to another is this: “saray dai”. (“he’s a man”).

      ^ But things are changing; nothing is static. And I don’t think any honest observer with an exposure to the everyday lives of these people would ever characterize Pashtuna as utterly oppressed.

      Furthermore, even in the most severe of traditional circumstances, they’ve always found many, many ways of exerting tremendous influence over the very course/movement of men’s lives.

      In fact, Pashtun women are often the primary drive behind all those things which you apparently dislike so much about Pashtuns.

      ^ Many a Pashtun man has desperately wished for a chance at making peace with his enemies; literally burying the hatchet. He’s tired of bloodshed, and he’s tired of living in a perpetual state of paranoia and anxiety. Upon expressing said desires to his household, he finds himself verbally abused by his wife, his sisters, and his mother as an “effeminate, weak faggot”… and is then goaded by these women to demonstrate his manhood by hacking his enemies to death in their beds. He ends up being riddled with the bullets of said enemies, right when he tries to hack them to death in their beds.

      There’s a codified phrase for this sort of thing: “da khazo paghuruna”, “the taunts/insults of women”.

      Pashtun women are not a separate species from the men. They are just as hot-headed, violence-prone, independent-minded, proud, vain, and honor-obsessed as the men. Both sexes share the same vices.

      (My grandmother (the one who hacked off a man’s right hand) was fiercer than any man I’ve ever known.

      After the passing of my grandfather, for three years, night after night, she singlehandedly fought off brigands from the hills who came for “shuka”, “plunder”. These men were known to murder women and children without mercy or hesitation, and targeted my grandmother for a long while. During that duration, she killed two of them, and wounded an uncounted number.

      In the beginning, they thought she was easy prey. After realizing that the woman was a killer, it became a matter of revenge for them. They eventually gave up, and moved on)

      Anyway, two of those sayings strike me as bs; never heard them. The “house-grave-women” one is certainly real though. It’s actually a very common saying (unfortunately).


      “Perhaps, despite what the American diplomat suggested, some worrying about the future might have helped. Maybe the Pashtun society did not have all the qualities needed to be successful. Some soul searching might have led to learning from other people’s experiences and avoiding mistakes.”

      Despite the stereotypes of savagery and violence, I do sincerely feel that many aspects of Pashtun culture deserve preservation against the tides. It’s not easy; but nothing good ever is.

      For one, Pashtun hospitality is a trait well-worth continued cultivation; no where else are people kinder to strangers, or more generous and protecting of guests.

      In addition, the proverbial “independence” and love of liberty very well constitute, if diverted into the right channels, aspects of the national character that could prove very fruitful.

      The industrious work ethic of Pashtuns is another key to betterment. The people are undoubtedly very active and busy.

      Their bravery and courage are also traits worthy of magnification (even though in this day and age, bravery and courage aren’t rewarded very handsomely).

      The virtues can be magnified, and the vices eliminated. It’s just a matter of better material conditions (which is occurring in Pakistan, and was occurring in urban Afghanistan), the cessation of external meddling, and the rise of respected local actors willing to do the work of peace.

      It can be done. If the Pashtun can produce a man like Ghaffar Khan, anything is possible.

      And contra to what you’ve stated, Badshah Khan was a man dearly beloved and respected by many of even the hardest and most stern Pashtun tribesmen of Afghanistan and (what is now) Pakistan.

      If such a man can impress such a people with a message of mercy, peace, and forgiveness… then again, it can be done.

      Whether it ever will be is another question.

      1. “It can be done. If the Pashtun can produce a man like Ghaffar Khan, anything is possible.”

        with all due respect to him, ghaffar khan didn’t (or couldn’t) really achieve anything for his people. his heart may have been in right place, but who cares about that in this world?

        what afghans really need is a new ahmad shah abdali, or a new new iron amir abdur-rahman, or a stalin or a saddam. a strong leader with an iron will, who will unite his people by force and ruthlessly impose his will on them. someone who will force the change from top down.

        as i said before, these are really medieval societies, who can be transformed and reformed only by medieval means.

        1. For the longest time, the most liberal party in Pakistan (the ANP) was the Pashtun party based out of Peshawar. I believe it was the legacy of Bacha Khan. Pashtun society did have an element of resolve and self control, contrary to its popular image, Qissa Khawani massacre comes to mind.

          Like the Kashmiris, they find themselves as a collateral group between India and Pakistan. Although, the upper echelon of Pashtun society in Pakistan is very much complicit in the general hostility to India.

          Regarding medievalism, the pre-modern practices of a pastoral population are always going to seem more irredeemable than those of settled agrarian societies. Especially, those that survive in a region like the north west frontier.

          It is not a region we could have influenced even if had an economy commensurate with our population size. Pakistanis are punishing these guys for no reason. There is no reason India is ever going to try and occupy any part of Pakistan. Think of India seeking ‘strategic depth’ in Sri Lanka against China or Pakistan, thats how absurd this whole thing is.

  34. Arent we Indian folks getting overtly emotional abt Afghanistan? Any meaningfull interaction happened only post 2001. I mean we are getting more worked up then americans, and US spent a trillion and more…

    1. They’re our blood (IVC+AASI) brothers.
      Hindus are Romantic EOD and i assume same with Indian muslims wrt Pakistan/Afghanistan

    2. Their victory is seen as a massive victory for Pak. Downstream they think it will translate into more cross border terrorism because Pak will be less occupied with dealing with a less friendly state to the west.

      They also see it as a victory of radical Islam and good opportunity for the real enemy, the CCP.

    3. There was significant interaction pre-independence. But I agree that people do seem to be getting carried away. Afghans can manage themselves.
      My only concern is that this shouldn’t lead to another era of random bomb blasts in India like in the 90s and 2000s.

  35. now the reports are emerging that taliban are raping young girls and widows as they march towards the ultimate prize kabul.

    ah the good old provision of “ghanimat”. god bless our beloved prophet. hasn’t he loaded islam with all the goodies a man can ask for.

    for 20 years these incels for hills have salivated at the thoughts of pretty kabul girls falling into their laps. now with adrenaline and testosterones both pumping, they are unstoppable.

  36. Thank you for writing AnAn, this is much needed and useful infomation.

    If I understand correctly the reason why the Taliban has taken control of many parts of Afganistan so quickly is largely due to how much the support and assisance has been provided to them by Britian and Pakistan, and the U.S through NATO etc?

    One narritive I’m seeing in the media makes the claim that the Taliban’s seizure of power is down to the people of Afganistan having massive support for being ruled over by the Taliban and this is explains the lack of resistance from Afghan freedom fighters.

    Do you think the US troops should’ve been withdrawn? What should’ve been done instead?

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