The United States has had a long relationship with Afghanistan in modern times. During the 1970s, the CIA used the peripheral tribal areas as a testing ground for its ‘new’ Cold War theory of merging (Western) far-right racist ideology with fundamental religious ignorance. The ideal test subjects for this experiment were defined as impoverished, culturally backward and fully illiterate. To maximise efficiency, it was deemed that primarily pre-modern (tribal) populations were the best test-subjects. By definition, these people used ‘culture’ instead of money, and lived within rigid hierarchical social structures with a strong centralising religious presence. Such cultural formations are usually patriarchal, judicially draconian, culturally conservative and often brutal to any perceived enemies. The tribal areas of Afghanistan were perfect for this ‘experiment’ as they contain hundreds of tribes (comprising millions of people) that are bound together by fundamentalist Islamic religion. This form of religion is essentially practical and involves a semi-educated Iman teaching (and controlling) hundreds of tribal people through local Mosques, etc.
CIA operatives (usually with military backgrounds) were dropped into the tribal areas of Afghanistan tasked with meeting the Head Men of the various tribes and recruiting them to allow their young men to be trained by American military advisors. This would be augmented by arming and funding, whilst specially seconded US-trained Iman’s (of Arabic descent) gave massed lectures that explained in the Afghan-language how the Holy Qur’an should be interpreted through a right-wing narrative that advocates a tribal unity premised upon ‘race’, and a religious narrative which replaces individual tribal identity with a ‘Pan-Arab’ fascism designed to unite all good Muslims in opposition to Socialism and the spread of progressive and/or liberal values. This reactionary brain-washing proved so effective that the United States was even able to fly groups of influential (Tribal) Afghanis to the US where they were wined and dined as ‘allies’ of the US due to their ‘anti-Socialist’ ideology. The fact that they were trained by the US to murder, rape and torture those they deemed ‘enemies of Islam’ was quietly placed to one side and never mentioned within polite society.
As these US proxy forces built-up and intensified their military attack upon the progressive and democratic (left-leaning) government of Afghanistan, the legitimate Afghan government requested assistance from the nearby Soviet Union. In an attempt to preserve and protect the democratically elected government of Afghanistan, the Soviet Red Army moved into Afghanistan on December 25th, 1979 – taking the Western world entirely by surprise. In these days, however, the Islamo-fascist US forces were termed the ‘Mujahedeen’. These US-trained terrorists were eulogised in the Hollywood Movie entitled ‘Rambo III’. Over a ten-year period, the Soviet Red Army carried-out highly effective counter-terrorist activities against the Islamo-fascists – even though many Soviet Red Army POWs were treated in an appalling manner and often beheaded with a knife (a practice still very much extant amongst the Islamo-fascists). As Mikhail Gorbachev dismantled the USSR from within, the Soviet Red Army was withdrawn from Afghanistan in 1989 without winning a decisive military victory. This was partly due to the US tactic of expanding the recruitment of poorly educated Muslim men from outside of Afghanistan – a policy which saw the massive Islamo-fascist casualties easily replaced with foreign (Islamic) recruits. This US tactic became the defining strength of this movement in all its future wars.
By 2001, the Islamo-fascist forces had morphed into a number of competing far-right (fascistic) organisations that now also interpreted the United States (their founder) as being a key enemy of militant Islam! This seems to represent a change in the ideological underpinnings of the Islamo-fascist movement (the origins of which was entirely non-Arabic in nature), and saw ‘Al Qaeda’ target the US directly through the September 11th terrorist attacks upon New York in 2001. These attacks were militarily spectacular and stunning to an unsuspecting world! However, none of the presumed nineteen hijackers were from ‘Afghanistan’ (or Iraq for that matter) – with most being from Saudi Arabia and a small number from Egypt. Neither Saudi Arabia nor Egypt suffered any ramifications for their association with the 9/11 attacks – and have never been held accountable by the US. The US, obviously acting upon its own pre-existing plans decided to attack Afghanistan and Iraq – blaming these two countries accountable for the 9/11 attacks and initiating two illegal and highly destructive wars.
The US (and its allies) invaded Afghanistan in 2001– these forces started to slowly withdraw in 2013 – without inflicting a major or meaningful defeat upon the ‘Taliban’ (one of the ‘new’ names for the US-created ‘Mujahedeen’). The final US forces withdrew in 2021 just as the Taliban launched a massive counter-offensive – quickly brushing aside the US-trained puppet forces left in control of the country. Although at least 50,000 plus Taliban fighters were killed in the fighting – at no time was the Taliban movement decisively engaged and permanently defeated. This is extraordinary when it is considered that all the Western forces were recruited from fit young men and women volunteers who trained extensively as modern soldiers and were supported by the most advanced weaponry Western (bourgeois) science could provide! These Western forces were also supported by highly destructive air forces, artillery and tank brigades, as well as the latest ‘drone’ technology (often controlled by operatives stationed in the US). When wounded, these Western soldiers were treated by the best medical science available and carefully evacuated from the battlefield. Even when not on the frontline, these soldiers were given the best food and provided with extensive leisure activities. This was all supported with regular and direct communication with loved ones.
The Taliban possessed none of these advantageous. Indeed, just like their Mujahadeen fore-fathers their defining motivation was the US-inspired racism they had been taught – and their mindless belief in a fascistic vision of the Holy Qur’an. Each Taliban soldier was given (or had to find) a uniform of sorts. He was armed usually with an old and poorly maintenanced AK47, a few hundred rounds of ammunition and a knife – and that was it. Being from impoverished backgrounds – the Taliban soldiers were usually illiterate and small in physical stature (due to poor nutrition). They were poorly trained and had to intuitively learn their place within the Taliban formations. When caught in the open the Taliban formations were decimated by superior US fire-power – and yet the Western forces could not decisively defeat the Taliban. Although Osama Bin Laden was eventually found living peacefully in Pakistan – the destruction of the Afghan infrastructure continued unabated killing hundreds of thousands of Afghanis. The casualty figures did not prevent tens of thousands of Muslim men (and some Westerners) travelling to Afghanistan and volunteering to fight the US invaders. In this area the Taliban had the definite advantage as their soldiers were cheap to recruit and easy to replace – whereas the Western troops were highly expensive to train and there was a definite limit to their available numbers!
Things got so bad for the beleaguered Western forces in Afghanistan that US leaders were forced to meet with their Taliban counter-parts and offer large amounts of money, food and other resources if they promised ‘not to attack’ a specific area for an ‘agreed time’ period. Adding to this, the West asked permission to ‘patrol’ certain areas as if they controlled these regions – even though they did not and could only enter with Taliban agreement. This was to look good on the world news and to justify the endless casualties being suffered. In reality, despite its massive edge in technology, resources and material provision, it became obvious from the beginning that the Taliban would not be that easily brushed aside. Their illiterate faith in the Holy Qur’an, coupled with their racial hatred for their Western opponents generated an unbeatable bond that the West could not destroy with their bombs and bullets. What was designed by the US to destroy Afghan democracy and Soviet Socialism in the 1970s was now used to fight US neo-imperialism and its predatory capitalism (which is deemed contrary to the aims of Islamic theology). As matters stand, the US military forces have left Afghanistan and the Western-armed and trained puppet government (and its military) left in its place, are being engaged and easily swept aside by the highly disciplined (mass) infantry attacks of the Taliban. Videos have arisen on the internet of US-trained Afghani Special Forces being captured by the Taliban and ‘executed’ on camera. As I write, the Taliban is moving from one decisive victory to another with the Western media quietly announcing each success but remaining uncritical of the over-all US policy – or making it clear to a Western audience that its US-led militaries invaded Afghanistan, failed to defeat the Taliban and were forced to withdraw with no success.