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Thread: Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and fall of Kabul: My experience

  1. #1
    The Noble Lord's Avatar Holy Arab Nation
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    Default Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and fall of Kabul: My experience

    Since I have received countless messages from members and friends from here on social media to tell them what happened in Afghanistan and why Kabul fell so quickly
    and how the entire country fell in such a short time, I've decided to talk about it here since we've spent years talking about Afghanistan right here in the Mudpit.

    I'll summarize everything in few bullet points instead of writing a large memo. Points would be based on most frequently asked questions.

    Q: How long did it take Taliban to take over the entire country?
    A: It took them precisely 9 days to complete the takeover of the entire country. From taking Zaranj which is the capital of Nimruz to marching into the presidential palace.

    Q: What happened to the Afghan army and police?
    A: They just melted away, basically they were unwilling to fight. They had all the equipment, weapons, infrastructure, more than 300,000 men. But their moral was so low by the beginning
    of the July that it was clear that they would not fight. They literally melted away, army depots were left unguarded and there wasn't even one token guard left at the gate.

    Q: Why ANA and ANP didn't fight even though allies spent billions of dollars on their training, weapons, ammunition, etc?
    A: Because they had very weak political leadership and military officers who were too much dependent on the ISAF for support. It was all one giant fake to be honest.

    Q: When it was obvious to you that Taliban will win?
    A: Week before last, on 11-12 were crucial dates because that was when Herat and Mazar fell, without a single shot being fired. That's when I knew Kabul had no chance.
    Then on 13th it was Kandahar that fell and elite Afghan commandos (who were trained by Green Berets and Delta Force) were given contradictory orders until they themselves
    decided to go back to Kabul. Chain of command and control was already nonexistent by Thursday and early Friday.

    Q: Why Mujahidin commanders didn't fight?
    A: That was the turning point for me, when Ismael Khan of Herat and Atta Mohamad Noor of Mazar left without a fight, I realized and everyone knew that they have no strength any more.
    They just couldn't gather enough forces, people didn't want to fight any more. Simple as that.

    Q: How was Taliban entry into Kabul?
    A: Very quiet, orderly and they started showing up everywhere in a very shy and unassuming manner. ANA and ANP just melted away and on Sunday and Monday many
    government ministries were left empty. It was fascinating to see, previously heavily guarded compounds were just empty, as if everyone left in such a hurry that they didn't even take
    personal belongings.

    Q: Ashraf Ghani left and why?
    A: He was universally seen as being weak, inept, incapable and disoriented president. Everyone was relieved when he left.

    Q: Is Taliban 2.0 really different and "better"?
    A: Yes! This time they are different, flexible, willing to talk and willing to discuss. It took them 20 years to realize that they can't behave in 2021 like they did in 1996 when they entered Kabul. Times
    have changed big time and they know it. So far they have been pleasant surprise. Biggest thing is that they are seeking International recognition and they want to be part of the International community.

    Q: Who is left in Kabul now of the political leadership?
    A: Quiet a few big names, Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Hekmatyar are all here and already talking to the Taliban. Also members of parliament, civil society, tribal leaders,
    religious leaders, etc. Everyone is talking now, there is talk going on that either Loya Jirga or Volesi Jirga would gather to choose new government which would be inclusive.

    Q: Is anybody resisting the Taliban?
    A: Yes. Ahmad Massoud, son of the legendary Mujahedin leader Ahmad Shah Massoud is in Panjshir gathering forces. But everyone thinks that they will come to some sort of settlement.
    Simply because young Massoud doesn't have the military capability, abilities and charisma of his father and also they don't have weapons, spare parts, lubricants, communication equipment and
    especially fuel and food for a sustainable warfare. Plus, no other country or foreign entity is supporting them. It'll be a settlement. Massoud and Amrullah Saleh know that without foreign support
    they can't fight the Taliban!

    Q: What's different about Kabul now?
    A: Apart from the ruckus at the airport everywhere else in Kabul is peaceful. It may sound strange but there is sense of security now because there is no more danger of bombings, suicide bombings,
    kidnappings, attacks, etc, etc. Plus majority of the Taliban patrolling the Kabul are from Vardak and Logar provinces and they are waiting to go back. Many don't even speak Dari, only Pashto language.

    Q: What did US did wrong, why they miscalculated so horribly?
    A: Okay, they wanted to leave and rightly so. It's been 20 years, and they've been looking to depart for a number of years now. The only problem is that it was done in a disorganized way. They should've done
    it like the Russians did in 1989 when they left Afghanistan. Afghan Communist government of Dr Najibullah was able to successfully defend itself and to hold all major cities and Kabul included all the way until
    April of 1992 when they stopped receiving support from the Soviet Union because Soviet Union was no more. They were supported with weapons, food, fuel, ammunition and spare parts and they were successful in
    defending their grip on the country. Americans and allies should've done the same thing with the Ghani government, but they just were not willing to listen.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and fall of Kabul: My experience

    Do you think it would bring more stability if the country is split up by ethnic lines, with Pushtuns to the South and Turkic populations to the North?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and fall of Kabul: My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by The Noble Lord View Post
    Q: What's different about Kabul now?
    A: Apart from the ruckus at the airport everywhere else in Kabul is peaceful. It may sound strange but there is sense of security now because there is no more danger of bombings, suicide bombings,
    kidnappings, attacks, etc, etc. Plus majority of the Taliban patrolling the Kabul are from Vardak and Logar provinces and they are waiting to go back. Many don't even speak Dari, only Pashto language.
    Are you ın Kabul?
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  4. #4
    EmperorBatman999's Avatar I say, what, what?
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    Default Re: Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and fall of Kabul: My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Do you think it would bring more stability if the country is split up by ethnic lines, with Pushtuns to the South and Turkic populations to the North?
    I question the geographic and economic viability of such a state. Isn't this a case where there are many ethnic pockets and exclaves? The country already kind of looks like a mini-Habsburg Empire, and plus, the largest cities of Kabul and Kandahar would likely fall to the Pashtun-dominated group. Would the other cities in the north like Herat be able to compensate for the lost economic power? Besides, too, wouldn't this arrangement require at least some population transfers (especially for sending Tajiks northwards), which the UN has overturned as ethnic cleansing? Finally, although the presumption is that it would a Taliban South Afghanistan and a warlord/"secular" North Afghanistan, we need to remember that there are Uzbeks, Tajiks, and other "northern" groups in Taliban ranks, and that they probably got help from pro-Taliban Tajiks, Turkmen, Uzbeks in their respective nation-states when the Taliban closed to the northern highway border points.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Last edited by EmperorBatman999; August 26, 2021 at 05:18 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and fall of Kabul: My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by The Noble Lord View Post
    Q: Is Taliban 2.0 really different and "better"?
    A: Yes! This time they are different, flexible, willing to talk and willing to discuss. It took them 20 years to realize that they can't behave in 2021 like they did in 1996 when they entered Kabul. Times
    have changed big time and they know it. So far they have been pleasant surprise. Biggest thing is that they are seeking International recognition and they want to be part of the International community.
    Thank you for sharing your observations. Most of what you say makes a lot of sense and conforms to many expert commentators. However, the question of Taliban 2.0 is perhaps the greatest issue dividing commentators. Namely, is Taliban being sincere in their new approach?

    If they were not sincere but have just realized that appearing as you say would be beneficial, that would be a genius way of winning the war without fighting. Promising amnesty for government troops if they surrender without a fight, treating people more respectfully, and so on. That combined with the fact that Afghanistan is among the most conservative Muslim countries might make a less gung ho Taliban seem like a good alternative to continuing Western presence and cultural influence. Especially to rural or conservative urban individuals who do not have personal economic or political interests that would require a Western presence.

    Related to that, the radicalism of the 1996 Taliban as it was reported in Western media was mind-boggling. Such as the imagery of Taliban fighters caning women in full hijab on the street for supposedly minor infractions. Back then, I always thought how even conservative men would feel about some stranger treating their family members like that. To me, an outsider of course, it seemed incomprehensible that they would condone such actions and grow to like the Taliban.

    I have a question. What is the general perception of those who welcome the Taliban 2.0 rule or at least tolerate them as a legitimate Islamic government feel about the Islamic State movement? The Taliban seems to be more or less at war with them. Is there a widespread dislike for IS among the civilian population? And if there is, where does IS find support and popular demand in Afghanistan?
    Last edited by Septentrionalis; August 30, 2021 at 11:31 AM.

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