Following the tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, and shameful abandonment of Afghanistan by ‘the greatest military force ever assembled’ (as labelled by past President George W Bush), with American forces who ex-President Donald Trump branded “the greatest fighters in the world”, after 20 years of hard fighting, close monitory, and vast financial investment, there’s now an ineradicable stain on the West.
Sir John Major KG CH who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990 to 1997 and served in the Thatcher government from 1987 to 1990 as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary, was MP for Huntingdon from 1979 to 2001, launched an attack on the current Cabinet and vehemently says the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and withdrawing troops from the country was “strategically very stupid”, whence the hasty withdrawal of allied troops, pulled out ‘abruptly and unnecessarily’, will be a “stain on the reputation of the West” for at least a lifetime
The US withdrawal and the inevitable collapse of the Afghan security forces means that every other aspect of our 20-year engagement (political, institutional, educational, social, health etc) has also collapsed.
It started to unravelled after a series of events that sapped the confidence of the Afghan forces which passed the initiative to the enemy, like the departure of civilian contactors, many ex-militaries, which removed the network of logistical and engineering support so vital to any war effort. More importantly there was the loss of air support (limited US airstrikes against Taliban positions were insufficient to halt their advance) – the Afghan fighters were ‘trained’ to fight with that cover so they previously had battled with a safety net of ground knowledge of ISR assets (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance), knowing they could call-in airpower when needed – with that gone they were ON THEIR OWN and the Taliban knew IT and capitalised on that! Indeed, NATO forces wouldn’t fight without such air support and the Afghans couldn’t successfully either, not least when the Pentagon made clear it would all cease by the end of September. Who made that defeating decision to remove ISR – was it an imbecilic military or a crass politician, eh? Moreover, the politicians in dealing with the Afghan forces merely exposed their utter lack of understanding about warfare – it’s NOT simply about numbers, training, or equipment, but it IS more about morale, will and confidence – the Afghan’s abandonment left them floundering, devoid of any belief or fighting spirit – while by contrast it of course buoyed the Taliban with inevitable consequences.
Then there is the fact that hundreds of thousands of weapons, vehicles, aircraft and uniforms were left behind for the Taliban so it is now one of the best armed forces in the World – it has seized the American and Allies’ Western-made abandoned weapons, as well as equipment supplied to the Afghan army, including night vision devices, assault rifles and vehicles, though the fate of 46 other aircraft is not yet known, as Uzbekistan announced that 22 military aircraft and 24 helicopters from Afghanistan requested to enter its airspace after the Taliban took control. The Taliban terrorists ‘gloatingly flew a captured $6million US Black Hawk helicopter over city of Kandahar. It is feared the Taliban could have access to up to 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft the US donated to the Afghan army. Though the US military says that SOME of its equipment was disabled (the US Head of Central Command has said that all 73 aircraft left at Kabul airport were made unusable before the US military left?), but earlier this month, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitted the US doesn’t have a ‘clear picture’ of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory could now be in the hands of the enemy, though multiple outlets have estimated the figure includes 22,000 Humvees given to Afghan forces between 2003 and 2016 and Taliban fighters have since been pictured riding atop the vehicles in Kabul. Equipment given by US to the Afghan Army now likely to be in hands of the Taliban also includes 50,000 tactical vehicles, 1,000 mine resistant vehicles and 150 armoured personnel carriers. The terrorist group also released propaganda footage of body armour-clad ‘special forces’ with night vision goggles. Aircraft likely left for the Taliban to use includes over 160 planes and helicopters, including four C-130 transport aircraft, 23 A-29 Super Tucano turboprop attack aircraft, 45 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and 50 MD530 choppers. The US also donated at least 200,000 firearms to the Afghan army, including M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, mortars and rocket propelled grenades.
Thanks to Joe Biden the Taliban now have more attack helicopters than the British Army and indeed they now have more Black Hawk helicopters than 85% of countries [Obama furnished ISIS with 4 billion with of weapons and equipment when he bailed out of Iraq, while Joe Biden’s abandoning Afghanistan presented the Taliban with 180 billion worth of weapons and equipment]
Thanks to the largesse of the American taxpayer, the Taliban now has more attack helicopters than the UK, and is better armed than almost EVERY NATO country, apart from the US
Between 2003 and 2016, the US bought the Afghan security forces 42,000 ‘light tactical vehicles‘ – such as Ford Ranger pickups and cargo trucks – 9,000 ‘medium tactical vehicles,‘ and over 22,000 Humvees. WOW! The Afghan Air Force (AAF) had 167 aircraft in the country at the end of June, according to a report published by the US-based Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) – these included 33 light attack planes: A-29s and AC208s (these are fixed-wing aircraft designed to carry out strikes against targets). Also among the 167 aircraft are three C-130 transporter planes, as well as 24 C-208 utility planes. Most of the AAF’s fleet are helicopters, also known as “rotary wing aircraft” – among them, 32 Soviet-era MI-17 and 43 MD-530s (the MI-17 is used primarily for transportation purposes, whereas the MD-530 is an attack helicopter), but perhaps the most recognisable aircraft in the AAF’s arsenal is the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter (thirty-three of these infamous attack helicopters were in Afghanistan and operational at the end of June 2021).
The consequence of Taliban having this excessive military hardware is a dramatically increase the their capacity to inflict violence on communities they have targeted in the past, and their ability to rule Afghanistan more completely in a more brutal way is another major concern; the impact that aircraft may have on any ‘potential’ uprising against the Taliban, such as the small but growing resistance movement in the Panjshir valley, since the capacity for urban action is very much curbed by the arrival of potentially a single helicopter!
While some 3 years ago we British had set up a ‘Sandhurst in the Sand’ academy supposed to be Britain’s legacy to Afghanistan – with a generational commitment to train, mentor, and nurture the commanding officers (including any future head of the Afghan Armed Forces) who would ensure stability and peace long after NATO had left (a task predicted as needing years if not decades –but a commitment cut short by US and UK withdrawal and one now never to be fulfilled!). As the Taliban launched their attacks from rural strongholds, we simply ignored the high attrition rate amongst Afghan soldiers, then the more we stepped back, the more they stood up, with a capacity for great courage and resilience, but international assistance in the background was essential, so when unthinkingly that was held back and absent, it was unrealistic to expect the Afghans, led by only partially trained commanders, to hold the peace, wasn’t it? NO it was NOT at all realistic JUST MADNESS!
Through July as the Taliban (a fanatical group not constrained by the rules of War and like zombies were ‘kill or be killed’) advance grew momentum, Afghan forces – an army already on the run, withdrew from some rural areas to concentrate on deemed key assets (major routes, border crossings, key cities). It finally all undid in just some 11 days as the Taliban in mid-August forced their way into the centres of provincial city after city before finally breaching the gates of capital Kabul, occupying its central square, and triumphantly taking TOTAL control. That has all resulted from a long term planned abandonment of the country by the western leadership, accompanied by rank opportunism by the enemy. This has been a catastrophic military failure resulting from calamitous political short-sighted incompetence, no less.
As well then, we have as our own Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (reportedly now said to have ‘a second-rate brain’) who apparently thinks his Cabinet job includes visiting Red listed countries [places the government says are not safe to travel to because Covid-19 is so rife] and possibly bringing back new vaccine resistant virus variants to the UK, so he doesn’t follow the required UK’s isolation rules, now deciding it’s also a good time to go AWOL on a 5 star beach holiday to Crete, when predictably an unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan was about to strike like a bolt of lightning, not only destroying countless innocent lives there, but also undermining British foreign policy [he says he was caught unawares and wouldn’t have gone if he’d known what would happen over that weekend! (is British intelligence these days really so dire?). It also turns out that he ignored the pleas of officials to act because he was ‘too busy’ enjoying his luxury holiday on Friday 13 August, during the chaotic situation in Kabul, to make an important phone call to ask Hanif Atmar, Afghan foreign minister, for urgent assistance in evacuating Afghan interpreters & their families (at risk from Taliban revenge killings for previously supporting British troops) – demonstrating massive errors of judgement and that from a senior minister, one holding the third highest Great Office of State (those posts being 1. Prime Minister, 2. Chancellor of the Exchequer, 3. Foreign Secretary and 4. Home Secretary), for which he refuses to resign. [The subsequent official report that the call was finally made, but by a junior minister, turns out to be a blatant cover-up lie and instead the defence now for Raab’s incompetence is that it would have been pointless him making any call (i.e. he is meaningless)]. Mind you, Raab’s boss PM Boris Johnson can’t really criticise any of that, since he also was having a summer break of his own in Somerset with his departure on holiday on the Saturday, despite public warnings the Taliban would be in Kabul within hours, was another astounding ‘dereliction of duty’, so he was equally absence during the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban! It’s incomprehensible why both men had not cancelled their vacations as the scale of the Afghan “catastrophe” become clear (moreover, after churlish Raab was instructed by Whitehall to cut short his Greek island of Crete holiday he nevertheless nobbled the Prime Minister to remain on the enduring beach for two more days while Kabul’s besieged residents languished.
During a select committee hearing on the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Dominic Raab repeatedly refused to answer when he went on holiday A leaked document suggests Mr Raab travelled abroad on holiday after his own department had advised Kabul was at imminent risk of falling – also he repeatedly rebuffed questions over when his holiday began, and IF he was already on holiday on 11 August – when the US assessed the Taliban was likely to capture the WHOLE of Afghanistan!
Secret State department cables warned in July that the Afghanistan government could quickly collapse following the US withdrawal later in August. Around two dozen officials from the US Embassy in Kabul gave the Biden administration the stark warning in a 13 July cable. One report in July — as dozens of Afghan districts were falling and Taliban fighters were laying siege to several major cities — laid out the growing risks to Kabul, warned of the large territorial gains that had been made by Taliban fighters and noting the lack of resistance being put up by the Afghan’s own security forces. As well, the classified cable made recommendations to speed up the evacuation of Americans and its allies.
While here at home, a leaked Foreign Office report (the ‘Principal Risk Register’)warned government ministers on 22 July (a full 4 weeks before the fall of Kabul on 15 August) that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would lead to “rapid Taliban advances”.
[The Foreign Office ‘Principal Risk Register’ is a standard monthly report for the management board which does not contain intelligence assessments and indeed this department’s risk report appears to be at odds with the JIC assessment]
The department’s own document, which is not currently in the public domain, highlighted that there was a risk that major cities in Afghanistan could collapse. and were in danger of being taken over, following the departure of military personnel and the report warned of rapid Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and that assessment was published more than three weeks BEFORE the UK government in the middle of August even launched Operation Pitting (the ongoing British military operation to evacuate British nationals and eligible Afghans from Afghanistan).
During the select committee hearing, Raab appeared to be taken by surprise when he was asked why he had not acted on the Foreign Office July “principal risk report assessment”, the implication being that he wasn’t aware it? [there are two kinds of intelligence failures: there are those failures where the intelligence agency failed to provide the intelligence – and that is the traditional meaning of the word, but there is a second kind of intelligence failure where whoever is the principal didn’t read it!).
Mind you the pair of politicians [PM and SoS FCDO] prioritising their holidays over duty is just the tip of the iceberg, as it transpires that the top Whitehall chiefs in the Foreign Office, Home Office, and even MoD (so the 3 most senior civil servants overseeing the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan) ALL had the same idea so were ALSO on holiday despite the Kabul debacle (the most senior diplomats, the permanent secretaries, being respectively Sir Philip Barton, Matthew Rycroft, and David Williams – all DISGUSTINGLY absent ‘on leave’ as the Taliban advanced and also immediately after) – the general government policy seems to have been just let the thousands of Afghans die – they’re only bloody foreigners anyway! [We are, or expect to be, a civilized ‘caring’ nation yet have been let down once again by the British elite (reports have even surfaced of empty seats galore on some Kabul rescue flights, while refugees are left on the runway or die on it after clinging to and falling from a taking-off plane)]. It’s now rumoured that although Boris Johnson reportedly ‘had “full confidence” in Raab, he WILL sack Raab in the next reshuffle [don’t forget though that it was Johnson himself who picked Raab as Foreign Secretary in the first place and agreed to him staying away – what does that say about the PM’s judgement, eh?]
Britain has made a great play that the Kabul airport was kept open by the military for rescue flights but failed to mention that the Taliban were in total control over who was allowed to actually reach the airport (however, the airport has since suffered some shutdowns and is basically shut down for commercial travel and there was chaos as Kabul airport closed after a fatal crush at the barricades). One can be sure that the Taliban will NOT cooperate in the military keeping the airport open for longer to allow rescue flights, as their priority is to see all military gone (also there was and still is a major security risk of ISIS-K attacks on the airport [the US had warned its citizens to avoid Kabul airport amid concerns about the potential for terror attacks on evacuees by Afghanistan’s branch of the Islamic State (IS) group but that nevertheless happened on Thursday 26 August when two suicide bombers (obviously allowed through by the Taliban) killed well over 100 Afghans, and 13 U.S. service members, and that was followed-up by a rocket attack on Kabul airport by ISIS-K on Monday 30 August] The US showed just what supremacy of the skies can achieve (and should have done against the Taliban) when with a swift revenge drone strike it killed a “planner” of the suicide bombing at Kabul airport that killed at least 170 people – the military launched its first deadly attack against an ISIS-K as a “24/7” hunt for those responsible continues. Another US drone strike ‘eliminated an airport bomb threat’ – the drone strike in the Afghan capital Kabul prevented another deadly suicide attack at the airport and targeted a vehicle carrying at least one person associated with the Afghan branch of the Islamic State group (secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material)
Here at home, Dominic Raab says UK plans to “Hold Taliban to Account” on protecting human rights in Afghanistan – the Foreign Secretary has threatened the Taliban with sanctions if they fail to protect human rights in Afghanistan. Doesn’t he know we lost? What planet is this man on, eh?
The catastrophic failure of the West and NATO in Afghanistan has inevitably opened the doors to Russia and China to achieve their objective of widespread world political and economic domination, hasn’t it?
Yes, but British troops must now return to Afghanistan because if we don’t there will be full-scale bloody civil war in the country, when Britain has equally abandoned its moral duty there when like the USA it chaotically withdrew troops holding the vile Taliban at bay – the country was being handed back to the very insurgency we went in there to defeat. The consequence of that is that that country will once again become a viper’s nest of militants and a safe haven for all other international terrorists to mount their attacks on America and Europe, while also the success of the Taliban in overcoming the legitimate Afghan authorities will be a catalyst beacon encouraging their UK fellow travellers to undertake acts of terrorism here. Belatedly (3 years off the pace) the Johnson government has at last decided to allow Afghanistan refugees, and those particularly vulnerable to Taliban retribution because they had assisted British forces, to now settle in Britain. However, that has escalated because of the exit debacle, so we are set to welcome some 25thousand refugees from that country to be spread around the UK in one of the largest resettlement schemes in this Country’s history, YET TOTALLY UNPLANNED and UNFUNDED as yet (when you can be certain that the bulk of those refugees were NOT involved in helping us to fight the Taliban) – amongst them though will doubtless be hundreds of clandestine terrorist or covert candidates prone to radicalisation, all given a free flight to UK, housing, benefits, health care and a cushy life here, only to use that as an opportunity to ply their evil terror trade – we cannot have any confidence that they can be weeded out on arrival nor watched thereafter, can we? No, as we cannot even screen, detect, expel, nor control the terrorists, who already live here in our midst, can we? Oh yes, it is ‘claimed’ that Afghans applying to come to Britain are being rigorously checked for links with radical Islamic groups and crime – but can we really trust that process when we already allow in asylum seekers who we are even unable to unmask as adults pretending to be children to gain entry, eh?
A man on the no-fly list reached UK during the Kabul evacuation operation triggering a security alert A person on a no-fly list from Afghanistan was reported to have reached British soil in an overnight evacuation operation. The individual, who is not being identified by the government, flew into Birmingham on a British military plane in a potential security breach. However, the unidentified man was later set free as after investigation he was not deemed as a ‘person of interest’ to the security agencies or law enforcement
Reportedly, during processing evacuees at the Kabul airport there’s been a spike in impersonations, forged documents and forged passports at the airport and at least five people on Britain’s “no-fly list” attempted to leave Afghanistan on British planes, and while four of them were prevented from flying, one person made it through to Birmingham. Furthermore, another barred individual also got a flight but was intercepted in Frankfurt and was successfully blocked from continuing his journey to the UK, though his family, however, was allowed to continue. Its clear that the government has been diluting checks and had a poor disorganised exit strategy, otherwise it would have ensured the necessary checks were in place, so these kinds of lapses couldn’t happen?
[A no-fly watchlist is used to stop people from entering the country who are thought to be a security threat. An individual can be placed in the no-fly list due to previous serious criminal conduct as well as terrorism. Once on this list, the individual is barred from boarding commercial aircraft or any aircraft during the time they feature on the watchlist]
In another situation, a French court has just handed a 10-month suspended jail sentence to an Afghan man for violating a surveillance order days after France evacuated him from Taliban-controlled Kabul, intensifying a domestic political row over suspected links between at least one evacuee and the Taliban [the possibility that there could be Taliban members among the hundreds of Afghans evacuated by France over the last fortnight has ignited a controversy in France, with migration set to be a prime battleground in 2022 presidential elections] – the man, Ahmat M., who says he was a prosecutor in Afghanistan before resuming his law studies, was ordered not to leave the Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand, where he was living with his wife, baby daughter and several other family members, is one of five people who were placed under surveillance after their arrival in France as part of an investigation into possible links with the Taliban. Another man, is suspected of working for the Taliban despite helping France evacuate nationals and Afghans in danger. He and four others deemed close to him, were placed under surveillance earlier last week. [the surveillance order included strict limits on movements and Ahmat M., who arrived at the weekend, told a pack of lies in court but was convicted by it late on Wednesday for straying outside of this zone. Another man told investigators that Ahmat M. had asked him to accompany him to Paris to buy SIM cards!
When New Zealand will now tighten its anti-terror laws to criminalize planning and preparation that might lead to terror attack, (closing what critics have said has been a loophole allowing plotters to stay free), after a knife-wielding militant inspired by ISIS (and known to the authorities since 2016 after he expressed sympathy on Facebook for militant attacks, violent war-related videos and comments advocating violent extremism) stabbed and wounded seven innocent people (three critical) in a supermarket attack. Police shot dead the man within a minute of the start of the attack, after he launched his stabbing spree on Friday – the 32-year-old attacker, a Sri Lankan national who had been there since 2011 on a student visa but had been convicted and imprisoned for about three years but could not be kept in prison by law any longer before being released in July. [In May 2017, he was arrested at Auckland’s airport where authorities believed he was traveling to Syria – he was charged after restricted publications and a hunting knife were discovered at his house but he was released on bail. Then in August 2018, he again bought a knife and was arrested and jailed]. He was released into the community in July this year when surveillance began, and he was being followed by a surveillance team and a specialist tactics group and monitored constantly, but the reality is, that when you are closely surveilling someone on a 24/7 basis, it is not possible to be immediately next to them at all times! Moreover, when the attacker is like this one, very surveillance-conscious, the teams needed to maintain a distance to be effective.
[New Zealand has been on alert for attacks since a white supremacist gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch on March 15, 2019]
However, what most people won’t know about Afghanistan is that the current sickening events unfolding there is simply the end game of Britain’s FOURTH Anglo-Afghan War(or ‘Afghan War’), and it is a chilling replay of the first one (1839–42) and our infamous defeat in 1842– that first Anglo-Afghan war brought about probably the greatest military humiliation ever suffered by the West in the East – in an infamous retreat from Kabul, and a resulting mass slaughter, the only British citizen survivor from the 18,500 souls who left the British military garrison for Jalalabad was a surgeon, one Dr Brydon. The entire army (of at the time the most powerful military nation in the world) was utterly destroyed – no less than by a gaggle of poorly-equipped tribesmen!
[a dire situation later described (Rev GR Gleig) as:
- ‘a war begun for no wise purpose
- carried on with a strange mixture of rashness and timidity
- brought to a close after suffering a disaster
- without much glory attached to either the government which directed, or the great body of troops which waged it
- Not one benefit, political or military, has been acquired with this war
- Our eventual evacuation of the country resembled the retreat of an army defeated]
Someone will probably right much the same epitaph words about the current Afghan fiasco – this has been one of the greatest humiliations EVER of the US (it parallels and is equivalent no less of the to the Fall of Saigon Vietnam in 1975 and the whole situation is a denigration of the values of its past great American Presidents, succeeded this century by two yellow belly ‘commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces’ – being ignoramus boastful buffoon Donald Trump and now the cowering, weak, disingenuous, proven uncaring, incumbent ‘Sleepy’ Joe Biden, who has personally created this Afghan debacle when he ignored the reality that the facts on the ground did not justify his extraordinary idea that the only thing to do was to meekly surrender to the Taliban, make an imbecilic retreat, and for America to fly away, leaving Afghan allies on the tarmac to be captured by the fanatics the United States and its allies, earlier defeated. Joe Biden has made the entire world a hostage to terror and TWENTY years on from 9/11, it ends the way it began – with multiple acts of terror, cries of the dying and a grim-faced US President!
Moreover, this ‘ill-informed’, ‘hide-away’ (in Camp David), President Joe Biden (the liberals’ hero), in the most contemptible speech by a U.S. president in modern times shamed America and left its global reputation in the dirt (his despicable dishonesty would have made even Donald Trump blush) – his own defiant doublethink, involving distortions, the rewriting of history, nonsense, and untruths that Trump would struggle to rival – how can Biden ever recover? Moreover, he not only dropped US’s commitment to a combat ally, but he washed his hands over abandoning a partner nation in the mire (saying in an extraordinary defence of his actions that it’s their own fault – accusing them of refusing to fight (translation DIE) when more than 60,000 Afghans already had given their lives (more than double the Americans and eight times more than the British) – only a moronic idiot would accuse them of lack of extreme courage or not been willing to fight. So also unlike his embassy staff he obviously thinks even targeted Afghan officials should have stayed to be slaughtered) and says he stands ‘squarely’ behind his crass carnage provoking decision to haphazardly pull US troops out of Afghanistan in an inconsistent non-reversal of a despicable Trump policy, so he not only inherited the Trump peace plan but didn’t change it and in fact he expediated it by a few months, eager to make good on a campaign promise to bring America’s longest war to an end (in recent times Biden has sought to justify his decision by arguing that remaining in the country for another “ten, fifteen years” would have made little difference, and maybe he’s right, but we’ll never know, though few outside of government share that view). All this from a man lacking military service, who himself like Trump refused to fight for his country in the Vietnam War [being one who received multiple draft deferments from Vietnam – five draft deferments from it for asthma despite he being a Lifeguard & Football player? His predecessor Donald Trump equally never served in the Vietnam War or in the military – for over a decade during the Vietnam War, Trump sought and also received five deferments (four educational deferments and one medical), including allegedly lying about that medical condition to avoid the draft during the height of the war in 1968 – his deferments from the military draft during the War, including a medical exemption for a problem with his heels! [Men between the ages of 18-26 had to serve in the military for 21 months under the Vietnam War draft unless they were given a deferment].
In the aftermath of the chaos of Kabul’s evacuation mission, Biden deceitful tells his fellow citizens that “We might not get everyone out” – lives may be lost, but the reality of the situation is that there was NO realistic possibility of everybody escaping the capital city alive and he knew it! He doesn’t seem up to the task of leading the United States let alone acting as head of the free world!
Note: the former Trump administration struck a deal with the Taliban which would end US military presence in the region after 20 years.
[Trump’s deal with the Taliban was a bad one — especially the bit that allowed the release of 5,000 terrorists and assorted bad guys – (indeed it was in fact a rotten one that despicably none of the allies spoke-out about at the time afraid of angering Washington. But other parts of the deal were ‘conditional’ on Taliban good behaviour, and they’d already started breaking the conditions without response); also, they were to prevent terrorist groups like ISIS-K harbouring in Afghanistan, but clearly haven’t!
[ISIS-K is an affiliate of the so-called Islamic State terrorist group, which once gained large territories in northern Syria and Iraq. This splinter group, which was established in 2015, has been mostly based in eastern Afghanistan, part of an area known as the Khorasan province – which is referred to in their name ISIS-K – its fighters are thought to number up to 2,200 – although this figure could well be rising given the security vacuum left by departing foreign troops from Afghanistan. ISIS-K is far more brutal than IS in Syria and its affiliates. Since its establishment, it has targeted maternity wards, schools and vulnerable minority groups in Afghanistan, killing thousands]
Note the current leader of the extremist Taliban organisation in Afghanistan is a veteran resistance fighter who saw off the Russians, Abdul Ghani Baradar, indeed co-founder of the Taliban itself and deputy to Mullah Omar in the early 1990s, and who was previously captured in Pakistan in 2010 but freed from jail in 2018 (as part of Trump’s Taliban deal because naïve Trump believed he would help broker peace) so was able to continue his terrorism against us and our allies
The very idea the current President Joe Biden’s hands were tied is total nonsense (not least since he’s broken with a myriad other Trump policies). Nevertheless, the deal was honoured by Biden this year, who announced in April that all US troops would be out of Afghanistan by September. But over the last few months the Taliban has gained rapid momentum, claiming several territories including the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday 15 August.]
While the disaster of Britain’s retreat from Kabul some 170 years ago, should have acted as a warning FOREVER, yet Britain blundered into the second Anglo-Afghan war 1878–80 and indeed a third in 1919 – so three conflicts in which Great Britain, from its base in India, sought to extend its control over neighbouring Afghanistan and to oppose Russian influence there, and well before Blair signed-up with Bush to invade Afghanistan once again in 2001 after 9/11 – but thereby followed-on the same tribal rivalries, the same battles fought in the same places, but under new flags with new ideologies and new political aspirations involved, though involving the same cities garrisoned by troops who were ‘attacked’ again from the same high passes – and unable once more to prevent being sucked into a wider conflict than intended.
So much now then for “Make America great again” ideal (aka Donald Trump) but just some 20 years after the Taliban were ousted in 2001 (whence they had been waging an insurgency against the Western-backed elected Afghan government), we now have the Taliban, an Islamic hard-line terrorist group of militants, taking over the WHOLE of Afghanistan by force. The democratically elected President Ashra Ghani, abandoned and left to his fate unprotected by the West, following the chaotic withdrawal of US forces, and with the capital Kabul overrun, has had to flee his country, with his own life clearly in imminent danger – the Taliban will doubtless announce the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ from the presidential palace, and continue their paused brutal subjection of the population, with their associated barbaric punitive public summary executions, torture, elimination of human rights and specifically the denial of women’s equality and rights, eh?
How can this have come about following a US military coalition offensive organised in October 2001 to defeat and eliminate these guerrilla fighters? What further is incomprehensible to many of us is why the alliance’s forces when in control of the country and with the Taliban ousted, didn’t destroy the opium drug production capability of the country, not least since it’s the massive income from illegal drugs that currently fund the Warlords and the Taliban with their terrorism?
[Afghanistan has been the world’s leading illicit drug producer for the past 20 years since 2001. Afghanistan’s opium poppy harvest produces more than 90% of illicit heroin globally, and more than 95% of the European supply. More land is used for opium in Afghanistan than is used for coca cultivation in Latin America.
In 2007, 93% of the non-pharmaceutical-grade opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan. By 2019 with the West in control, Afghanistan still produced about 84% of the WORLD market. This amounts to an export value of about US$4 billion, with a quarter being earned by opium farmers and the rest going to district officials, insurgents, warlords, and drug traffickers. In the seven years (1994–2000) prior to a Taliban opium ban, the Afghan farmers’ share of gross income from opium was divided among 200,000 families. As of 2017, opium production provides about 400,000 jobs in Afghanistan, more than the Afghan National Security Forces. The opium trade spiked in 2006 after the Taliban lost control of local warlords. In addition to opium, Afghanistan is also the world’s leading producer of hashish (hash is a drug, consumed by smoking, made from cannabis)]
What have our own 5 star Generals in charge of this abject war got to say in their defence about their failures and defeat by a group of mere “country boys” (as described by Nicholas Carter – General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter, GCB, CBE, DSO, ADC Gen a Kenyan-born senior British Army officer now serving as Chief of the Defence Staff), experienced despite their high level educations, elite military training, and widespread combat experience (say like Nick Carter himself, – promoted September 2014 head of the British Army as Chief of the General Staff and June 2018 as Chief of the Defence Staff) that justifies their roles, with an abundance of letters after their names and a myriad of medals to sport on their snazzy uniforms? When are they going to do the decent thing and resign? Isn’t it true that our troops have simply ended back a hundred years to the days of Lions led by donkeys?]
[“Lions led by donkeys” is a phrase popularly used to describe the British infantry of the First World War and to blame the GENERALS who led them. The contention is that the brave soldiers (lions) were sent to their deaths by incompetent, unimaginative, and indifferent leaders (donkeys). In this view, the senior officers are assumed to be from ‘privileged’ backgrounds. A common view of the relationship between senior officers and their men in the Great War (1914-1918, aka World War 1) is summed up by the phrase. The phrase was the source of the title of one of the most scathing examinations of British First World War generals, The Donkeys—a study of Western Front offensives—by politician and writer of military histories Alan Clark].
Regarding General Sir Nicholas Carter [U.S. Lieutenant General Daniel Bolger, blames the British Army leader for death of troops in Afghanistan (saying he refused to carry out air strikes when asked for) and accused him of being ‘risk averse’ mentality for fear of causing civilian casualties] while in a heated briefing about Taliban successes Carter even attacked the media for being unpatriotic– unbelievably he claimed that NATO forces had scored a strategic victory!
Besides all else about Afghanistan, first one has to understand that the US (nor UK) did NOT go into Afghanistan to actually HELP the population there or IMPROVE their country, or introduce better government, nor take it over – as usual with the Americans it was a matter of blatant ‘self-interest’, wasn’t it? Yes, (or as espoused by Trump “America First”), since the US mission wasn’t to promote democracy or anything else there, but WAS to banish its source of terrorism threatening the USA which required them to eliminate key al Qaeda figures (including Osama bin Laden sheltering there), in the wake of the devastating 9/11 terrorist attack on America that included collapsed of 3 buildings including the twin towers at the New York World Trade Centre [A series of four coordinated terrorist attacks carried out by the Wahhabi Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda in which 3,000 people were killed. The terrorists had successfully smuggled box cutters and knives through security at multiple airports on the East Coast]:
- American Airlines Flight 11 a domestic passenger flight hijacked by five al-Qaeda terrorists. Lead hijacker Mohamed Atta deliberately crashed the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in New York City, killing all 92 people aboard and ensuring the deaths of 1,402 people at and above the aircraft’s impact zone. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 767, was flying the daily scheduled morning service from Boston to Los Angeles (California)
- United Airlines Flight 175 a domestic passenger flight hijacked by five al-Qaeda terrorists. The flight’s scheduled plan was from Boston to Los Angeles (California). The Boeing 767 aircraft was deliberately crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Centre in New York City, killing all 65 people aboard and an unconfirmed number in the building’s impact zone
- American Airlines Flight 77, scheduled flying from Washington to Los Angeles (California), hijacked and crashed into the west side of the Pentagon (the headquarters of the American military) in Arlington County, Virginia, causing a partial collapse of the building.
- United Airlines Flight 93 a domestic scheduled passenger early-morning nonstop flight from Newark (New Jersey), to San Francisco (California), flight hijacked by four al-Qaeda terrorists on board, and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, during an attempt by the passengers and crew to regain control of the plane (the hijackers deliberately crashed the plane in a field after passengers breached the cockpit door, forced their way in, and fought the hijackers over the controls – It ended up being the only of the 4 hijacked flights NOT to hit its target – that being in Washington, either the Capitol Building or the White House). All 44 people on board were killed, including the four hijackers
One has to ask, who actually ‘empowered’ the modern Taliban in the first place? Well that would be the same blinking Americans of course – because back in 1979 when Russia decided to absorb Afghanistan into its orbit and turn it into a communist state of the 80’s, but understandably, since communism is opposed to ALL religion, it is hardly surprising that the religious fanatical Taliban fought against the Russian invasion, whence America within its political objective to promote freedom and democracy and prevent communist expansion, thoughtlessly encouraged, supplied, and supported, the Taliban extremists fighters in their successful quest, achieved in February 1989, to oust the occupational Russian invaders.
What we found out recently about Afghanistan is that in 2001, UK officials took a top-secret trip to Moscow for advice and the response from the Russians was brutally prophetic
In the days before the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, a group of British defence and security officials took a top-secret trip to Moscow.
The plan was to ask their Russian counterparts for advice on operating in the country given the former Soviet Union’s doomed Afghan intervention that ended in defeat in 1989.
One person who was at the meeting recalled: “When the Russians stopped laughing, they told us: ‘You will make the same bad choice we did, you will go in, you will lose, many of you will die and then you’ll be forced to retreat, which will be good for us. How can we help?'”
Twenty years on as the US-led intervention in Afghanistan stumbled through its final, chaotic days and the Taliban took charge, events could hardly have played out in a better way for Russia.
President Vladimir Putin’s government has one of the final few embassies still fully functioning in Kabul and has developed close ties with the Taliban, including allegedly helping secretly to fund and equip their fight against US and British forces – Russia has denied such claims of course.
In addition, images of desperate Afghans clinging to the undercarriage of departing US aircraft as Taliban fighters patrol the streets of Kabul are even starting to make Moscow’s past failures in Afghanistan look marginally less catastrophic by comparison.
At least the then Soviet-backed government in the Afghan capital clung to power for three years following the Russian withdrawal.
The Western-supported administration of Ashraf Ghani barely lasted three hours once the Taliban reached the gates of Kabul, with the president and his closest aides fleeing to exile without putting up any kind of resistance.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab claimed recently that no one had predicted the speed of the Taliban victory and corresponding collapse of the Afghan government. “No one saw this coming. Of course, we would have taken action if we had.” IDIOT?