Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 04, 2021

Afghanistan - Taliban Launch Spring Offensive, Ghani Begs For Ceasefire

When the Biden administration announced the retreat from Afghanistan I tried to predict what the Taliban would do:

With Biden announcing a final day for the retreat the Taliban are likely to prolong their ceasefire with the U.S. until that day but will continue their fight against Afghan government forces and ISIS. They will probably wait with overrunning the cities the government forces currently still hold until the last foreign soldier has left. Then the government forces are likely to fall apart and the warlords who currently rule in Kabul will fight with each other and the Taliban. A year or two later the Taliban will have the whole country under control.

The first sentence seems to hold so far. On Saturday one lonely missile was fired at Bagram airbase. But it caused no damage and was not part of a larger attack.

The second sentence turned out to be wrong. As the U.S. has breached its agreement with the Taliban by staying longer the May 1, the Taliban have also stopped to fulfill their part of the deal. The so far postponed spring offensive has now been launched with strong attacks all over the country.

Yesterday the Taliban made the first attempt to catch Lashkar-gah, the capital of Helmand province in the South.


Before the attack some 18 Afghan army outposts along the road between Kandahar and Lashkargah and between Farah and Lashkagah were overrun. With the roads closed the commando units that defend the city had a difficult time:

Attaullah Afghan, the head of Helmand's provincial council, said the Taliban had launched their huge offensive on Monday from multiple directions, attacking checkpoints around the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, taking over some of them.

Afghan security forces had launched air strikes and deployed elite commando forces to the area. The insurgents had been pushed back but fighting was continuing on Tuesday and hundreds of families had been displaced, he added.

Another schwerpunkt is south of Kabul. On Friday a suicide bomb exploded in front of a guest house in Pul-e'Alam. No suicide bombing had occurred while the agreement with the U.S. had held. Heavy fighting also took place around Ghazni city.


The Taliban will try to connect the yellow areas which they already hold. They will block the roads between the larger cities and they will cut the units stationed there off from resupplies.

The Afghan army has helicopters and light bombers which can help to reinforce isolated garrisons and to keep the Taliban at bay. But the maintenance for many of these is done by 'western' contractors who are likely to leave together with the 'western' troops. The Afghan air force still has some 90 Russian made Mi-18 transport helicopters which can be locally maintained. But most of these are used for special operations raids and are not available to support the general security forces.

From the current Afghan government's perspective the situation looks grim. That is why President Ashraf Ghani, who had previously rejected any power sharing, is now agreeing to form a transition government and to eventually step aside:

The first topics of negotiation must be reaching the desired end state and putting in place a comprehensive cease-fire to bring peace and respite to the daily lives of the Afghan people and to restore credibility and faith in the peacemaking process. Because cease-fires established during peace negotiations often fall apart, however, it is critical that we have international monitoring.

Next, the parties would have to discuss and decide on a transitional administration. Although the structure of the republic must remain intact, a peace administration would maintain order and continuity while elections were planned and held. This transitional authority would have a short tenure, and it would end as soon as presidential, parliamentary, and local elections determined the country’s new leadership. I would not run for office in such an election, and I would readily resign the presidency before the official end of my current term if it meant that my elected successor would have a mandate for peace.

The Taliban are unlikely to agree to such a process. They do not believe in elections. They believe that they are winning and have no reason to share power with anyone. Ashraf Ghani knows this. But his government may hold onto the largest cities as long as the money keeps flowing. That why he is using his Foreign Affairs piece to threaten the west with a refugee crisis and to beg for further support:

There must be an orderly political process to transfer authority so that the security forces are not left without leadership and direction. Moreover, it is critically important that the United States and NATO fulfill their existing commitments to fund the ANDSF. This is perhaps the single most important contribution that the international community can make to a successful transition to peace in Afghanistan.

Ghani adds some brave talk:

The main risk to peace, however, is a Taliban miscalculation. The Taliban still believe their own narrative that they have defeated NATO and the United States. They feel emboldened, and because their political leaders have never encouraged their military branch to accept the idea of peace, the greatest risk is that the Taliban will continue to show no earnest interest in making a political deal and will instead opt for continued military aggression.

If that is what happens, the Afghan government and the security forces are ready. As we prepare for peace talks with the Taliban, we are also prepared to face them on the battlefield. Over the last two years, more than 90 percent of Afghan military operations have been conducted entirely by Afghan security forces. Should the Taliban choose violence, it would mean a major confrontation over the spring and summer months, at the end of which the Taliban would be left with no good options except to come back to the negotiating table.

That seems overly optimistic to me. A better strategy may be to evacuate all troops from the south and east in an effort to hold the central provinces and the north. Besides - the Taliban do not need to win this year. They have fought for decades. There will be no more reason for them to negotiate at the end of this summer than there is now.

If the Taliban manage over the next months to take a large city, or if they commit some large scale atrocities, pressure on President Biden to intervene and to send reinforcements to Afghanistan will increase. The best way to preempt that is to pull out all troops as fast as possible. If no troops are there there is nothing to reinforce and the media will soon forget about the place.

Posted by b on May 4, 2021 at 16:41 UTC | Permalink


I'll take "News that shouldn't come as as surprise to anyone!" for $500 and the Daily Double, Alex!

Posted by: Feral Finster | May 4 2021 16:47 utc | 1

Empire has attempted to control the narrative in Afghanistan and failed to a large degree.

Will this help with the death of empire by a thousand cuts or provide empire with more grist for the "we are better than them" mill so we can/should dominate them militarily?

More than climate change is going to bring us a hot summer in many areas.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 4 2021 16:57 utc | 2

thanks b... the political process doesn't work... a different leader gets in - obama, biden, or this ghani guy - it never stops and all of them have a short shelf life interested in covering their own ass which typically means keeping the machine going that is paying them to keep it going... it ain't working.. meanwhile the taliban go on for forever... the taliban will eventually win as you suggest... they are beyond this temporary political process and a grassroots movement showing no signs of abating..

Posted by: james | May 4 2021 17:01 utc | 3

Until NATO and CIA leaves, no development and thus no change will occur in Afghanistan. And from the POV of the Outlaw US Empire's geopolitical strategy, it cannot abandon its Afghan position. It will remain a Tar Baby for as long as it retains its strategy. And with the current set of Hawks, that's very unlikely.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 17:26 utc | 4

- Former afghan president Karzai was regularly referred to as "the mayor of Kabul". That's what in store for Ashraf Ghani as well.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 4 2021 17:33 utc | 5

- Biden announcing a "retreat of US troops from Afghanistan" ? yeah, sure and I was born yesterday, right ? I think US troops will continue to be stationed in US military bases in Afghanstan like Bagram. Like a very significant amount of US troops are still stationed in Iraq.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 4 2021 17:38 utc | 6

Thank you for the update. I wonder if the Taliban is run by the CIA like Al Qaeda. Because isn't this playing into the hands of those who not only don't want a withdrawal but a doubling down on the imperial footprint? We can't possibly leave now.

Posted by: gottlieb | May 4 2021 17:39 utc | 7

Off topic
Reading a lot about events in Germany. As Many say, Germán/US/russian relations Will probably determine how the EU behaves. One can always dream that they would act in their own self interest. Since most media sources are not too trustworthy, i for one would apreciate the thoughts of someone familiar with the situación. A future post?

Posted by: c | May 4 2021 17:47 utc | 8

this is what you get when Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman form the two halves of the national brain trust. I mean, I'm sure the Russkies started quaking at the announcement that Blinken or Blitzen or Bomber or whoever was choppering in to Kiev to check out the situation. When Bret Stephens is your Nat'ls "security" deepest apologies to the NYT for mocking their "opinions." WaPo can keep its George Will.

the US getting the shit kicked out of it AGAIN is for real. as bad as sending ships to Taiwan is and might become, it's symbolic. kind of like the changing of US the presidential guard.

don't look now. China is doing something to some minority population. Putin's amassing troops on the border of his own g.d. country! he sounds like something that rhymes with bastard to me (h/t to Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. We all need a "clown stopper".)

Posted by: jason | May 4 2021 18:01 utc | 9

good thing the Taliban don't live in a country that gets lots of rain. otherwise our F35 stealth bombing campaigns couldn't save their women and children from the Taliban savages. Save them for a future full of education and health care. just like the functioning society operating in Iraq, Libya, Syria...and India, Brazil, Romania, England, the US...

Posted by: jason | May 4 2021 18:05 utc | 10

Ghani sounds like those demented Indians who are inundating the Western MSM with threats of a "world crisis" if the Western world abandons India in its fight against COVID-19.

So, which one is the gatekeeper against the Chinese (communist) takeover of Eurasia: Afghanistan or India?

Posted by: vk | May 4 2021 18:13 utc | 11

this country is so great it'll blow your frickin' mind! You can spend 100's of millions of dollars in "development" for years, decades now, via NGO's, w/o a dollar bill ever going into the country, w/o a grain of Afghani soil on your boots to show for all your heroic do-goodery...

and no one will notice the widows still howling or whatever. Just ask Haiti. I don't know why ISAF via "Save the Children" vel sim NGO didn't make a "we are the world" video off of the faces of suffering Afghani children.

in this time of troubled and uncertain employment, I predict that the PR departments of US DOS, DOD, DEA, CIA, NSA, ATF, FBI and Fish and Wildlife will be hiring steadily. how could i leave out the DOJ? or USPS.

Posted by: jason | May 4 2021 18:19 utc | 12

Globalist Media won't forget about the place as long as Ghani can do an Erdogan and threaten to flood Europe with hundreds of thousands of bearded unaccompanied migrant "children"....

Posted by: Mikhas | May 4 2021 18:20 utc | 13

I smell a rat.
The Crusaders usually get the upper hand in their fake wars by finding groups and/or individuals prepared to act as hired guns in service of Empire. The presumed failure of that almost universally successful strategy, in Afghanistan alone, suggests that we're STILL being lied to about the current state of play in the Graveyard of Empires, by the Crusaders and their 'News' outlets.

Afghanistan is dirt-poor. There should be hordes of volunteers queueing to the horizon, in every direction, for a fistful of dollars. I recall Robert Fisk (RIP) claiming that the entire AfPak Clown Show was fraudulent. According to him, the reason the Yanks were able to bomb bin Laden's cave hide-away so quickly was that the CIA constructed the caves - for Al CIA-duh.

The Yanks (and the Sleazy Poms) should be asking themselves "Is China getting as impatient with our BS as Russia is?"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4 2021 18:28 utc | 14

how can people go thru life and, to the degree such opinions matter, form opinions of international events and not notice a &$^#^%$&# PATTERN in US foreign relationships and actions? going thru life like in "prufrock," etherized.

who would have guessed that lack of exposure to sunlight increases myopia? since, in the Endzone of this society of uncircumcised Philistine dogs, one can communicate only through sports metaphors, a reminder to the owners in the skybox: cheerleaders don't win football games. neither do the coaches and commentators. they only tilt with their lips and pom poms from the sidelines and let others do the jousting. this nation of lardasses was never going to defeat the taliban.

Posted by: jason | May 4 2021 18:32 utc | 15

In arms race for air superiority, Russia challenges US hegemony. Moscow’s expanding sales bring money and geopolitical influence, with clients such as Egypt, Turkey and Algeria

Posted by: Serig | May 4 2021 18:33 utc | 16

fight/flight "Biden"'s moment

It's time for Yankees to keep their word.

The reality is, whether or not President Biden withdraws all U.S. forces by May 1 in accordance with a U.S.-Taliban agreement, something he describes as “tough,” Afghanistan is likely to spiral into more violence. President Biden must accept the logical conclusion of this reality: The only variable he can control is whether American soldiers will be the target of that violence or be safe at home with their families.

Sending back more troops? Military fantasy. (French army tried in Dien Bien Phu. Good luck)
No support at home. No support abroad.
Doha agreement was the last nail in coffin. The Trump's one

Posted by: BLF | May 4 2021 18:54 utc | 17

@ c | May 4 2021 17:47 utc | 8

Posted by: BLF | May 4 2021 18:56 utc | 18

"Moreover, it is critically important that the United States and NATO fulfill their existing commitments to fund the ANDSF."

It sounds like what the Ghani guy wants is money.

The Taliban wants power, while the US-propped managers want money. No surprise there.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 4 2021 19:29 utc | 19

The conference in Moscow in March came as part of intensifying negotiations between the Afghan government, the Taliban and the United States to negotiate Washington's exit and "create a favorable atmosphere for achieving a politico-diplomatic settlement."
Mediators in Moscow the Taliban not to launch a spring offensive, as international efforts for a peace deal intensify ahead of a deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan.

But one week later

Ghani, whose government was sidelined from the US-Taliban talks in Doha last year, has been demanding that foreign troops remain in Afghanistan for a few more years and that the Biden administration review the US deal with the Taliban. “We, from the start, opposed the hasty withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan. We are facing a joint threat and it needs a joint campaign,”

In response,Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told Arab News

“If anyone violates the Doha agreement and adopts the path of war, Afghans have a long history of giving sacrifices for the freedom of their country and can drive out by force the foreign troops,”
“No one should try the will of Afghans in this regard . . . and all foreign troops must leave Afghanistan on the set time as Afghans have the right to decide about their country. Whoever wants to extend the 20 years of war will suffer more financial and human losses,”

adding that the Doha agreement signed by the group with the previous US administration of Donald Trump was “the logical, rational and good way for ending the war and tragedy.”

Posted by: BLF | May 4 2021 19:47 utc | 20

Nikolai Patrushev, Russian Security Council Chief, was interviewed by Аргументы и Факты about the Afghan situation and the USA in general. The man openly speaks his mind:

"Question: U.S. Secretary of State Blinken said that Washington is withdrawing troops from the country, because all the tasks there have been fulfilled...

"Answer: Let's remember what the tasks were. The main one was the destruction of terrorists, including those already mentioned. However, Afghanistan still consistently tops the list of the countries most affected by terrorist attacks. In the first three months of this year alone, more than 3.5 thousand people were killed, more than a thousand of them in March. In addition, the militants are not limited to actions on Afghan soil, they pose a threat to neighboring countries."

In essence, none of the self-assigned "tasks" were completed since they were never the actual goal. But the real meat of the interview are the questions and replies about the Outlaw US Empire:

"Question: So you think that the United States can no longer be called a democracy?

"Answer: Democratic countries do not engage in blackmail and threats against other sovereign states, do not interfere in their internal affairs. They do not violate international law, do not use military force and economic sanctions bypassing the UN. They do not trample on human rights or restrict freedom of speech on their territory and abroad. They do not try to use racism of all stripes to solve internal problems, nor do they lure extremists and terrorists to their side for geopolitical purposes. They do not allow transnational corporations to interfere in the work of the government, imposing their own interests on the country and society, much less block the legitimate head of state in social networks and mass media. In democratic countries, the administration that came to power does not disavow the decisions of its predecessors simply because there has been a personal antagonism between them."

"Question: I will return to your assertion that the American elites themselves are undermining the statehood of their country. What do you think is the reason for this behavior?

"Answer: Washington has been trumpeting the world for decades about adherence to high moral values, but in fact it has pursued policies that have nothing to do with these slogans. Sovereign States, whose governments enjoyed the support of their peoples, were simply destroyed. And who came to their ruins? Radicals, extremists, and often outspoken bandits, ready to swear allegiance to the U.S. authorities for a fee, follow their instructions and for this to receive from them recognition of their legitimacy."

The machine translation does well enough, but here's the link to the TASS report based on the same interview that covers some aspects I omitted. What's very ironic is his analysis is much better than anything published in the USA.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 4 2021 19:52 utc | 21

Posted by: gottlieb | May 4 2021 17:39 utc | 7

My thought also

Posted by: jo6pac | May 4 2021 20:00 utc | 22

"Just because our troops are coming home doesn't mean we're leaving. We're not. Our embassy's staying, the support that we're giving to Afghanistan when it comes to-- economic support, development, humanitarian, that-- that remains. And not only from us, from partners and allies." -Antony Blinken

So the US Embassy is still open in Afghanistan. For now.

Why am I reminded of the US Embassy in the Fall of Saigon saga?

Posted by: Mar man | May 4 2021 20:41 utc | 23

The "owners" of the country, as used to put it, George Carlin, the humorist, know pretty well that the whole system has arrived at the end of the empirial rope & the situation is beyond repair. So, the only thing left to do is the same thing they, the Judeo-Zionists, used to do: print fiat money & hoard a good bunch of it. Their last card would be to push their accomplices, the US military, to go & defend "our way of life, our greenback, our national legacy", aka our means to live at the expense of the rest of the world, the US Dollar.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | May 4 2021 21:00 utc | 24

A friend called me on my cell phone from Mazar, in Afghanistan, and I couldn't get on a plane for years without being interviewed and harassed.
I had a rather interesting political record, but still----

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | May 4 2021 22:02 utc | 25

B - I read yesterday the US is now negotiating with the Taliban for a 1 July US forces pullout. Did you come across any similar reliable reports? If so, do you think this will change the current/short term Taliban strategy?

Posted by: TEP | May 4 2021 22:25 utc | 26

Just leave.

Posted by: ian | May 4 2021 22:42 utc | 27

US will never leave Afghanistan. Leaving Afghanistan connects China/Iran/Pakistan and will be the end of US influence in the region.

Posted by: A | May 4 2021 23:03 utc | 28

That last map of Taliban contested areas looks a lot like the result of the "oil spot" strategy used in the Vietnam War (aka "The Strategic Hamlet Program"):

Little wonder, as the same people behind that idea in Vietnam are advising the US government on Afghan war strategy:

Posted by: Arch Bungle | May 4 2021 23:04 utc | 29

"Question: So you think that the United States can no longer be called a democracy?

"Answer: Democratic countries do not engage in blackmail and threats against other sovereign states, do not interfere in their internal affairs. They do not violate international law, do not use military force and economic sanctions bypassing the UN. They do not trample on human rights or restrict freedom of speech on their territory and abroad. They do not try to use racism of all stripes to solve internal problems, nor do they lure extremists and terrorists to their side for geopolitical purposes. They do not allow transnational corporations to interfere in the work of the government, imposing their own interests on the country and society, much less block the legitimate head of state in social networks and mass media. In democratic countries, the administration that came to power does not disavow the decisions of its predecessors simply because there has been a personal antagonism between them."

But a "democratic country" is whatever America defines it as--at any given moment!

America is just like Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland: “When I use a word ... it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

Torture is Enhanced Interrogation.

Coup D'etats are Regime Change.

Kill Lists are a Disposition Threat Matrix.

Wars of Aggression are Wars of Choice (or Pre-emptive kinetic military action).

Ignorance is Strength....

As a former high-level Bush Regime official boasted, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Welcome to the American Rules-Based Order.

Posted by: ak74 | May 4 2021 23:21 utc | 30

It is not just the Taliban who believe that they have defeated Amerikastan and NATO.

The Ghani regime is so illegitimate that it isn't even acceptable to the rest of the puppet child sex slaver Quisling warlords; after the last Afghan "election", Abdullah Abdullah was so insistent that he'd won that the Amerikastanis had to create a special and unconstitutional office to appease him. The Shia Hazara warlord Abdul Ghani Alipur ("Commander Sword") is also in rebellion against the Kabul regime, apart of course from ISIS. Warlord scum like Abdul Rashid Dostum know that they can expect small mercy from the Taliban and are likely to head for the exits at the earliest as well. Apart from which all these warlords are held to be traitors by not just the Taliban but the overwhelming majority of Pashtuns (to whom the honour code is a fundamental part of their existence). So it is unlikely that the puppet regime will last any time at all when the Amerikastanis leave. Which, of course, is why the Ghanistanis will do absolutely anything to make sure they don't leave including staging, with CIA help naturally, "Taliban" and "ISIS" attacks on civilians and if necessary on Amerikastani occupation troops or the Amerikastani embassy.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 4 2021 23:59 utc | 31

@ A 28
The average American couldn't find Afghanistan on a map and from what I have seen the Biden Administration is pretty average

Posted by: Ike | May 5 2021 0:21 utc | 32

Gotta wonder what awaits Ashraf Ghani if he fulfils his promise to step aside and retire from politics. Is there a comfortable well-paid position being prepared for him at the World Bank, the IMF, a private university or an academic thinktank somewhere in the US?

Posted by: Jen | May 5 2021 0:34 utc | 33

God bless the Taliban!

Posted by: Smith | May 5 2021 1:00 utc | 34

CCR - Run Through the Jungle - Vietnam

Different time, different place, same b/s.

Posted by: jared | May 5 2021 1:21 utc | 35

Sensible solution = Stop selling dope, and leave Afghanistan.

Something other than sensible solution = Anything else.

Posted by: Josh | May 5 2021 1:25 utc | 36

Occupying is expensive.
US has learned a terrible lesson - to win is difficult, to disrupt is relatively simple and low cost.

Posted by: jared | May 5 2021 1:49 utc | 37

Mr. Biswapriya Purkayast

The Hazara and the Tajik Shia have never been safe in Afghanistan and will never be so either into the future. Their best course of action is to flee to Iran in their millions, where, even if be unwelcome, they be safe.

Pashtuns are unfit to govern a hamlet, let alone a country as diverse and variegated as Afghanistan. When they speak of "Nation" they mean only Pashtoo speakees. Tajik, Turkoman, Hazaras etc. are interlopers to Pashtuns. And their enmity to Persian, the only literary language that Afghanistan has ever had has been persistent for decades.

Afghanistan must be understood as "Anti-Iran": eveything that Iran is, Afghanistan is not because of religious hostility of Sunni Muslims to all things Shia.

Only Hazarah are an exception, Shia Muslims that discarded their Ural-Altaic language in favor of the Persian language.

Afghanistan, I expect, will likely split along a Pashthun/Non-Pashtun line.

Posted by: Fyi | May 5 2021 2:09 utc | 38

Mr. Smith

Taliban are not that praiseworthy.

I do feel sorry even for them, since even if victorious, they will be inheriting a wreck and their ideas of governance will only make another Bihar, but this time with Sunni Muslim characteristics.

Posted by: Fyi | May 5 2021 2:12 utc | 39

@FYI says

"Pashtuns are unfit to govern a hamlet, let alone a country as diverse and variegated as Afghanistan."

Have they been permitted to try without foreign interference, ever, in recent times? What happened when the Afghan Communist Party set out on its modernisation exercise in the 1970s?

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 5 2021 2:33 utc | 40

@ fyi

Fought against the USA AND the Mujahideen and anti-opium.

Praiseworthy enough for me.

Posted by: Smith | May 5 2021 2:46 utc | 41

Back in the 90s and early 2000s I swallowed the anti Taliban propaganda wholesale like so many. I read Kite Runner and took out for historical fiction instead of just fiction. I believed all the crapaganda passed off as "history", for instance Ahmed Rashid's Taliban, which I now regard as low grade propaganda. The thing that changed my mind was the resurrection of the Taliban by the mid 2000s. I know something about guerrilla war - two of the books I have written are about it - and it was incomprehensible to me that the Taliban could rise up again if they

1. Did not have substantial support among the people and

2. Did not provide better governance than the so called authorities.

The latter point was confirmed, by the way, in the book "Out Of The Mountains: The Coming Age Of The Urban Guerrilla" by the Australian author David Kilcullen who had served in Afghanistan. Kilcullen starts his book by admitting that the Taliban provided superior dispute management and resource sharing services to the villages, and in turn got their support. (So much for FYI's claim.)

Then there is the book "Taliban" by the British author David Fergusson which is absolutely a must read for anyone interested in the movement. It is an in depth look at its origins, its rules, and its resurrection and the reasons thereof.

In any case, like them or hate them, the Taliban are now the only viable future for Afghanistan. The Amerikastani Empire, by its own actions, has destroyed every other alternative.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 5 2021 3:01 utc | 42

People mistake the Taliban with the Mujahideen, that's why the Taliban is hated, at least for the rest of the world.

People don't know that the Taliban actually rose in opposition against the Mujahideen and its offshot, Al Quaeda.

The Taliban offshot in Pakistan is also increasingly suspect.

Posted by: Smith | May 5 2021 3:09 utc | 43

Mr. Biswapriya Purkayast

Taliban, plural of Talib, a student of the religious science. Another Sunni Muslim Pshtoon creature of ISI, incapable of establishing legitimate state authority in Afghanistan.

I watched their representatives in Iran and saw what many did not see, quite evidently; provincials who were seeking aide and succor from the despised Shia Repulic.

Afghanistan was united in the person of the Afghan Monarch. Absent a very strong shared historical and cultural sense of unity and identity, it is only a place on the map.

Taliban are not a positive future, they will be supplanted through violence.

Posted by: Fyi | May 5 2021 3:38 utc | 44

Mr. Smith

Taliban were anti-opium because of draught in Afghanistan that lasted almost 3 years.

Albanians were their advisors on opium volumes.

Who is behind the Albanians, Heaven only knows; almost certainly Western European nationals with deep knowledge of how EU borders, police, and customs work as well as the transportation infrastructures of Europe and North America.

Posted by: Fyi | May 5 2021 3:42 utc | 45

The "Taliban branch in Pakistan " is actually a totally separate organisation, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The Afghan Taliban has fought it in occasion and has harshly criticised its actions, for example, the attack on a Pakistani school for the children of soldiers some years ago. The Afghan Taliban, for that matter, also condemned Boko Haram's kidnapping of the Chibok girls.

It is past time that people stopped imagining that the Taliban are what the Westernaganda says they are. They aren't angels, but they don't have to be. They just gave the Amerikastani Empire a kick up the backside that it will still be tasting decades from now, and that's good eggnog for me.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 5 2021 3:51 utc | 46

FYI says "Taliban will be supplanted through violence."

Isn't that what the Amerikastani Empire just totally failed to do? Are you seriously telling me that someone else will want to try?

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 5 2021 3:59 utc | 47

What a shock ;)

The ignorant warmongering supremacists are being evicted by the smallest and most intolerant military force in history. How many Vietnamese patriots did it take to defeat the USA in 1970? How many did it take in 2021? Many less than in 1970, so how well is the USA military industrial complex performing? Trillions wasted and filched. Humanities loss of betterment and social improvements is incalculable.

The detestable pentecostal crusaders evicted by the equivalent of the reactionary righteous followers of islam.

The first stage of a broad Tet offensive reckoning is underway.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 3:59 utc | 48

Smith #43

"The Taliban offshot in Pakistan is also increasingly suspect."

True that, bit nowhere near as suspect as the USA and if five liars parasites.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 4:02 utc | 49

@ uncle tungsten

My suspect is that they are not Taliban, and funded by the CIA themselves, just like Mujahideen.

Posted by: Smith | May 5 2021 4:06 utc | 50

Mr. Biswapriya Purkayast

I seriously doubt the ability of Taliban to establish Legitimate Authority in Afghanistan in the absence of any historical and cultural and religious bonds among the Afghan populations.

When the Republic was declared, that established the precedent that any upstart could overthrow an existing dispensation and create a new one.

Rebellion against Iran, Civil War, Monarchy, Civil War, Monarchy eith multiple coups, Repulic, Communist Republic with multiple coups, Islamic Republic, Civil War, Emirate, Islamic Republic, and you claim Emirate 2 will be the end of this pattern ?

I do not think so.

Posted by: Fyi | May 5 2021 4:11 utc | 51

Wouldn't it be nice if, just once, the U$A corporate empire would deal with other countries and cultures in an honest and forthright manner? Instead, we,( the U$A), try to bend others to our greedy and avariced will, simply to enrich the already rich.

We always take the side of big $, instead of enriching the lives of common people wherever we go. So Sad.

Posted by: vetinLA | May 5 2021 4:27 utc | 52

i'm no expert. but suspect that tehran will step in to save herat and the hazarastan. Perhaps not with direct military action. but they will reach out to the talibs economically and diplomatically. more so i should have said. they have been working on that angle for 40 years.

Posted by: Leith | May 5 2021 4:33 utc | 53


Some years ago I met an old Afghan man in Delhi. He said to me (to paraphrase, at this point in time I don't remember his exact words): "We used to think the Taliban were devils. Now we see that they're the best hope we have for the future."

This is why Emirate II will last, because every single other alternative has been either discredited or destroyed.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 5 2021 4:45 utc | 54


The U.S. military’s Strategic Command (STRATCOM) describes itself as a “global warfighting combatant command” which “delivers a dominant strategic force and innovative team to maintain our Nation’s enduring strength, prevent and prevail in great power conflict, and grow the intellectual capital to forge 21st century strategic deterrence.”

On April 29 Tom Engelhardt, a respected commentator on world affairs, published a piece examining America’s everlasting wars and concluded “The question that Americans seldom even think to ask is this: What if the U.S. were to begin to dismantle its empire of bases, repurpose so many of those militarized taxpayer dollars to our domestic needs, abandon this country’s focus on permanent war, and forsake the Pentagon as our holy church? What if, even briefly, the wars, conflicts, plots, killings, drone assassinations, all of it stopped? What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?”

As he well knows, the answer is that the world would be a better, safer and much more attractive place in which to live. But, as he laments, there seems to be little chance of that happening, because there will be no change of mind or policy on the part of the Military-Industrial Complex that spreads its wings from Washington to the furthest part of the United States, the country that could lead the world in pursuit of peace.

Lying, cheating stealing and deceiving their way to ignominy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 5:10 utc | 55

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 5 2021 3:01 utc | 42
(Must Read book list)

So long as we're compiling a reading list, it would be a pity to exclude:
Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, Robert Pape's analysis of suicide bombing from a strategic, social, and psychological point of view.

The cutest aspect of Pape's analysis is that it tends to reinforce the "Christian" perspective that suicide bombing is the ONLY form of heroic self-sacrifice of which "Christians" are expected to strongly disapprove - even though "Christians" worship a God who donated his "only begotten Son" as a sacrifice to Save Humanity.
And it didn't work.
Probably because sacrificing one's son instead of oneself, isn't very unselfish, especially from the son's point of view.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 5 2021 5:12 utc | 56

Thank you Afghanistan for grinding the hegemon down to impotence.

Posted by: Jezabeel | May 5 2021 5:18 utc | 57

A very interesting hidden history on the Afghanistan War from Mike Prysner of Empire Files.

He suggests that the Afghan War is one of the greatest defeats in American military history--a defeat that has been completely censored by the media.

Essentially, the USA has been in retreat mode for the past 10 years.

The Empire Must Fall

Posted by: ak74 | May 5 2021 5:31 utc | 58

Thanks, b.
This stuff is your bread n butter.
Keep it coming

Posted by: Cadence calls | May 5 2021 6:58 utc | 59

Leith #53

Rehran will step in to save herat and the hazarastan. Perhaps not with direct military action. but they will reach out to the talibs economically and diplomatically. more so i should have said. they have been working on that angle for 40 years.

Agreed, I think that angle will most likely be well sorted and all that needs happen is for the fat lady to sing her way home on the last flight out. I imagine the anti crusader forces in the region will have a clear idea of what the priorities are and to avoid religious skirmishes. Time will tell.

I see the hegemons defeat this time as being even more degrading than the Vietnam people's victory mainly because there were fewer fighters, and the hegemon had time to learn. It failed.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 7:26 utc | 60

Right on cue the Taliban attacks proving once again that the US troops should not leave.

Posted by: jiri | May 5 2021 8:25 utc | 61

jiri #61

The troops should definitely leave but the generals and commanding officers should stay to accept their summary punishment. Time the world learned to keep these murderous scum out of their lands. The USAi is a walking talking crime against humanity.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 10:02 utc | 62

What about the "left-overs"?

Guantanamo, and does anyone know if the other "non-declared" prisons run by CIA or the mercenaries have been shut down or do they still exist?
(G.. still has about 40 unjudged prisoners in indefinite detention, many of whom came from Taliban sources, at a cost of about $5 million per prisoner per year)

Asking for a taxpayer friend.

Bush declared both the "Taliban" and AL Quaida as the enemies in his "War on terror-ists" (or anyone else the US doesn't like). Will this still apply even if the US leaves? I suspect that any old legal backdoors for continuing wars, which are left behind, will be used again in the future.

Aghanistan will be positively empty with only 18'000 mercenaries to cause mayhem.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 5 2021 10:46 utc | 63

Mr. Leith

Iran will not directly intervene in Afghanistan nor will she supply money to setup a new Northern Alliance.

Herat is Sunni - it is up to Afghans to discard their senseless antipathies against Shia Islam and Iran.

Iran has so moved on....

Posted by: fyi | May 5 2021 13:30 utc | 64

A 90s like Taliban takeover is very unlikely in 2020s.

Yes the govt would collapse cuz no one cares about it and everybody is in it for financial reasons.

The ethnic resistance would be far stronger than the 90s cuz Iran, Russia, and China simply cannot afford a Jihadistan right under their nose.

There has been a convergence of Iran and Muslim Brothers in ME. If successful, Shias with Tajiks (Muslim Brothers) and Uzbeks (Turks) could defeat, I mean REALLY defeat, the Taliban and not like the US that allowed Pakistan to keep them alive.

If Muslim Brothers go on with their usual stupidity and go sectarian, then it'd be like the 90s but on steroids with all these precision arms and drone technologies.

Posted by: Afgun | May 5 2021 13:51 utc | 65

"If the Taliban manage over the next months to take a large city, or if they commit some large scale atrocities, pressure on President Biden to intervene and to send reinforcements to Afghanistan will increase."

Why do you think Biden put off withdrawal until 911? To provoke that exact situation, natch. A classic bit of Brer Rabbit tactics so beloved by the Dems. We will see much more of that sort of thing as this administration is 'forced' to abandon or modify to uselessness all of it's moderately progressive proposals in a 'bipartisan' manner. Then the annual demand to elect more Dems and send money will kick in like clockwork. You would think people might catch on but generations of anti-communist propaganda leave them without alternative.

Posted by: blindpig | May 5 2021 13:53 utc | 66

AK74 @58

"He suggests that the Afghan War is one of the greatest defeats in American military history..."

On the contrary it is one of the greatest victories in American military history because it has brought millions of dollars to the military-industrial complex. That's how we measure military success these days.

Posted by: Chas | May 5 2021 14:08 utc | 67

uncle tungsten @ 55 : “The question that Americans seldom even think to ask is this: What if the U.S. were to begin to dismantle its empire of bases, repurpose so many of those militarized taxpayer dollars to our domestic needs, abandon this country’s focus on permanent war, and forsake the Pentagon as our holy church? What if, even briefly, the wars, conflicts, plots, killings, drone assassinations, all of it stopped? What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?”

Actually, UT, Americans ask this question every day. Those who remember the Kennedy years do. I was very heartened to hear Sergei Lavrov say in the recent lengthy interview that he considered President Kennedy to be America's greatest president. Having been an infant during the FDR years, I can only point to the promise of President Kennedy's inaugural speech and the creation (the creation, I emphasize) of the Peace Corp. That plus the negotiations that surrounded the Cuban missile crisis were indeed America's shining hours and something the generations living or even born in that time ought to hold dear. That is our legacy to pass on for future generations to emulate and to succeed in accomplishing.

FDR gave us the foundations for the UN, whose policies the countries we on this forum admire - China, Russia; and Kennedy gave us diplomacy and the right sort of armies of young people...sans bombs.

"Ask not what this country can do for you...not too many of our presidents this century have followed that edict. In fact, most have done the opposite. They have taken, not given of themselves. Some legacy that is, and no big fancy library is going to change it; it is a legacy of shame.

Thank you, Minister Lavrov. Swords into plowshares, that's the legacy we need. This is the moment for a creative policy such as that, and Afghanistan is that chance to make it happen now, this spring, this Eastertime.

Posted by: juliania | May 5 2021 14:28 utc | 68

Should have been "...whose policies are followed by the countries we on this forum admire..." at 68 above. Sorry about that. Need more coffee.

Posted by: juliania | May 5 2021 14:33 utc | 69

Uncle Tungston at 55. On April 29 Tom Engelhardt.. examin[ed] America’s everlasting wars and concluded .."What if the U.S. were to begin to dismantle its empire of bases, repurpose so many of those militarized taxpayer dollars to our domestic needs, abandon this country’s focus on permanent war, and forsake the Pentagon as our holy church? What if, even briefly, the wars, conflicts, plots, killings, drone assassinations, all of it stopped? What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?”

<=the answer is two likely outcomes, a big fear that commercial corruption would undermine either..and a third possible outcome would implement a hybrid government ( a seesaw balanced by opposing power to needs and wants ).

1) There would be 256 armed, rebellious groups of religious people organized in warlord controlled territories an outcome which likely would send the quality of life backward..


2) the world would become a global commercial and technical sovereign government (GC&TG) operating under one homogenized set of federal laws and global life would proceed under one federal (global) government; each sub state in the system would be allowed to write its local version of that federalist law as long as the political subdivision (province, state, county, city) did not write laws that step outside of the federal umbrella of laws. (this is how the USA is organized)

But a grave danger exist that the global federal commercial government would be structured as, or be operated as a oligarch owned republic (like is the case today in USA governed America, UK governed England, etc. or worse it might become a purely people's democracy where 8 billion in the world argue until there no world remains). Both of these models have been tried and they each have their plus and minus, but both have a history of failing humanity.

A third scenario would be a hybrid government. A set of governments that matches by design, allocation of powers, distribution of wealth, resources and rights, the two objectives (society need for commerce and technical advancement vs human need for personal privacy, security and quality of life[embodied in human rights].

Under the hybrid system
A federal commercial and Technical governments(FCTG) would govern commerce and create and develop technology. The FCTG would write laws and enforce its laws against the people it governs. But a second government, the People human Rights government, would establish a people's government designed to govern those that operate the federal commercial and technical government (FCTG). Such People's human rights government (PHRG) would have complete jurisdiction over all activities and behaviors of the members, contractors to or beneficiaries of the FCTG. The PHRG would write laws and enforce them only to restrain behaviors, actions and to imposed obligations of the FCTG. FCTG vs PHRG would operate independent of each other and would balance the commercial and technical powers against the needs and wants of the people who made those commercial activities and technical powers possible (basically the masses) .

Each FCTG and PHRG would have separate laws, separate courts and separate penal systems. The PHRG would be allocated for its operations a portion of the GNP. The people's court would write laws that restrain and impose on those who are part of the FCTG while the FCTG would write laws, hold courts and punish violators of laws that restrain and impose on members of the FCTG. This is the best way to balance the powers I feel. The commercial and technical federalist republic has one set of goals, and the workers in commerce and home makers have another almost opposite set of goals. Someone beside those involved in commerce and technology must protect humans from the greed of those who pursue commerce and something must impose on society the cost of developing technology and engaging in commerce.

Posted by: snake | May 5 2021 14:33 utc | 70

Mr. Afgun

The fact of the matter is that Muslims are fractured and will remain fractured between Shia and Sunni.

The Syrian War, the ISIS Wars, the Iran-Iraq War, and the low-level violence against Shia Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan are symptomatic of the historical, cultural, philosophical, political, and religious depths of this schism.

I had, at one time, some residual hope for Muslim Brotherhood - the government of the late Mr. Mohamed Morsi and the current government of Mr. Erdogan ended those hopes; I do not trust the Muslim Brotherhood, they are mendacious and excel in dissimulation.

I think Shia and the Shia Crescent ought to go their own way and not invest much beyond transactional activities with the wider Sunni World.

Posted by: fyi | May 5 2021 14:38 utc | 71

Ms. juliania

I think also that the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the greatest US President since Abraham Lincoln. He was also served by very capable men, among them the late General Marshall.

That was before the rise of the Judeo-Christians in America.

Posted by: fyi | May 5 2021 14:41 utc | 72

There is so much theater here it is hard to make much sense of it so I simply break it down into the most basic components.
1) Interdiction and harrassment of the OBOR. In the name of encircling China and making their Belt and Road difficult, remaining in theatre is pretty essential.
2) Drug trade. I think most people here know what this is about. Way too valauble for both $$$ and control. Pretty hard to see The Company giving this up.
3) Rare Earth and other GeoResources. Just as much about access as it is about access denial to China.
4) Beachhead to Iran: When it comes time to fight another war for isreal this is essential. I cannot see the neocons and their minions giving this up.
5) Operations against Russia. Again, essential to harrassment of the soft underbelly. Additionally: access denial.

I'm sure there are some things I am overlooking but this short list is ample reason for the USA and the various other factions tagging along to remain in Afganistan.

Posted by: Chevrus | May 5 2021 15:04 utc | 73

mr fyi

i believe i had said above that iran would NOT use direct military action. although back in 1998 after the murder of iran consuls and an anti-shia pogrom they did mass 200k troops on the border forcing the talibs to apologize, return prisoners, and promise no-more-pogroms.

as for the northern alliance you may be correct. but long ago, many years before america did, iran helped the alliance with arms and logistic support.

i have read that herat is majority shia. and herat is one of the most stable and prosperous regions in afghanistan. iranian aid has rebuilt herat's industry and that city is now the industrial heartland of afghanistan. at kafir qala border crossing hundreds of trucks cross back and forth daily between iran and herat. the irgc is overtly visible throughout afghanistan but predominately in herat.

there is no way iran will abandon the hazaras. if needed they would bring the 10k liwa fatemiyoun brigade of hazaras back from syria.

Posted by: Leith | May 5 2021 15:08 utc | 74

Mr. Leith:

I agree with you that Iran will not abandon Hazaras.

I would hope that Iran would offer citizenship to Hazaras and Farsiwans so that they can permanently relocate to Iran.

About Herat's religious demography - you could be right.

Even if all Shia leave Afghanistan, it will not help solve the problem of State Legitimacy there.

Posted by: fyi | May 5 2021 15:27 utc | 75

Mr. Chevrus

Afghanistan as a beach-head against Iran, or Russia or China is simply a fantasy.

There is no state in Afghanistan that could help sustain that beach-head by its infrastructure.

There cost of resupplying such a beach-head is enormous - Americans cannot afford it.

Once Afghanistan, like Somalia, is effectively fractured, the Islamic Republic of Khorasan could be added to OBOR but not before that.

Posted by: fyi | May 5 2021 15:31 utc | 76

mr fyi

why would iran want to relocate 6m people into their country? better for iran to have a shia and persian-speaking group within afghanistan. it gives them a buffer and keeps the shia crescent extended eastward.

Posted by: Leith | May 5 2021 15:51 utc | 77

Mr. Leith:

As an Iranian, I do not find anything wrong with having more Iranians, that is one thing.

The Supreme Act of Love is Charity - by admitting 6 million souls into Iran and giving them citizenship, one would be giving them Hope for a better future.

Those 6 million souls have no future in Afghanistan among a sea of Sunni Muslim bigotry and prejudice and violence.

The other thing is that Bamiyan cannot be defended and Hazaras lack the experience and the knowledge to forge a defensible organization there. And the area is too remote for resupply from Iran or anywhere else. It cannot hold.

Iran as a State cannot be separated from Iran as the Shia Cause; Hazara deserve better than to be treated as a buffer population. If they want to become Iranians and move to Iran, Iranian government should facilitate that. Iran is a big country and new cities can be built, by Hazaras themselves.

Posted by: fyi | May 5 2021 16:07 utc | 78

mr fyi

as an american i agree with you that giving refugees a place and better future is an act of love and charity. we are after all a nation of refugees. regardless of the few among us that listened to the orange bloviator who himself was the son of a maternal immigrant and grandson of a paternal immigrant.

as far as the afghan shia, i am confident that tehran can curb much of pashtun violence if not the bigotry itself. i suspect their biggest headache in afghanistan (and in their own sistan province) will be the baluchis and not the pashtun talibs.

Posted by: Leith | May 5 2021 16:46 utc | 79

Mr. Leith:

In immediate future, you could be right.

But Afghanistan exists as an "Anti-Iran" due to Sunni-Shia schism.

Outside of Bokhara, in the hills, there are many Persian-Speaking villages with no affinity with Iran.

Likewise in Bokhara itself. The more educated admire Mr. Gulen and do not even think of Iran as a role-model.

Afghanistan is similar, reject Iran because it is Shia (although they would never admit it, certainly not to a foreigner) and yet use such names as Ariana. It is really sad, when one deals with Afghans - the down-trodden Hazarajat, the Pashtuns with their pride in Jihad, Safavid Destruction, and British Defeat, the Sunni Tajiks who cling to any and all things Persian (but not Iranian), the Uzbeks who are just there, and the Nuristanis whose sole wish is to be left alone.

But the Sunni Anti-Iran (a.k.a. Afghanistan) exists because Iran is Shia, the Party of Ali revived that name 500 years ago and now it is deeply associated with the Shia religion, domestically as well as among foreigners such as Afghans.

In Iran, there is a tenuous cordial connection with Tajikistan, that may not survive Sunni-Shia schism raises its head in Tajikistan. In general, Iranians are now quite indifferent to vestigial Eastern Iranian people, they do not consider them to be Iranians at all and do not care if 85% of Bokhara's population speak Persian - they prefer to go to vacation in Turkey, Armenia, or Georgia or Dubai!

Posted by: fyi | May 5 2021 17:36 utc | 80

By Beachhead I simply meant a place to park troops, which then be used for anything from long term harrassment to full scale invasion. I am not arguing the probablity of the latter....simply stating that it is not something that the neocons/libs etc would be willing to just give up on.

Posted by: Chevrus | May 5 2021 17:53 utc | 81

mr chevrus

beachhead is a good term for iranian intrusion in herat and hazarastan. or that is probably what the pashtuns believe.

Posted by: Leith | May 5 2021 18:00 utc | 82

Mr. Chevrus

I think that "the neocons/libs etc." have almost certainly failed Algebra in high-school.

Posted by: fyi | May 5 2021 18:01 utc | 83

Posted by: Chas | May 5 2021 14:08 utc | 67

On the contrary it is one of the greatest victories in American military history because it has brought millions of dollars to the military-industrial complex. That's how we measure military success these days.

I would say you are several orders of magnitude short, but otherwise, yes, absolutely. The implication of a two trillion dollar cost is a two trillion dollar earning. Obviously.

Strange how that simple concept is often overlooked.

Posted by: robin | May 5 2021 19:08 utc | 84


Gulbodeen, an Afghan Muslim Brother, is the only Prime Minister in history to have shelled his capital with upto 1500 katyusha rockets while in office.

Morsi, the idiot fool, is on video in Tahrir Square and after becoming the Presidency and as The Egyptian President told people in Tahrir square to go to Syria and do Jihad against shias. He forgot that (I believe) it were Shias that broke him out of the prison at the outset of the revolution....or how Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brothers, sold their soul in Syria.

Stupidity is in the DNA of Muslim Brothers.

The shia lands in Afghanistan have been clean from drugs, terrorists, terrorism, wars, occupation etc. There were only few troops from New Zealand and for a very short period....And all the good things, from academic achievement to arts and sports...the shias are miles ahead of the rest. They are to Afghanistan what Iran is to the Muslim Middle East.

If you look at an ethnic map of Afghanistan, you would see that Aimaq and Hazara areas connect directly to Iran. Aimaqs are Sunni Hazaras who switched shirts because it was expensive to be associated with Shias. I hope for the day that Central & Northern Afghanistan one day join Iran's administration and Pashtuns part of Pakistan.

Afghanistan, as a state, was created by the British and for the British.

It has brought nothing but misery to inhabitants of this fake entity.

Posted by: Afgun | May 5 2021 19:32 utc | 85

Mr. Afgun

Regrettably, I must agree with you.

Posted by: fyi | May 5 2021 19:51 utc | 86

Interesting that there is a repetitive mantra of Iran invading Afghanistan here right now.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2021 20:12 utc | 87

Is Gulbodeen this one ? He is a Muslim Brother?

Posted by: m | May 5 2021 22:22 utc | 88

Mr. M

The one and the same.

The late Mr. Shah Masoud was not much better either, he bombarded Kabul indiscriminately during the Mujahedeen Civil War, after their victory.

Posted by: Fyi | May 6 2021 0:16 utc | 89

OK, the regular US forces leave, what about the 10's of thousands of mercenaries, private contractors,CIA operatives to keep the opium fields producing, etc?

Posted by: Roger | May 9 2021 18:05 utc | 90

I agree with you that Iran will not abandon Hazaras.

Posted by: sara | May 10 2021 12:10 utc | 91

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