As we see what the Taleban are doing & as we read the overwhelming tide of negative articles, we actually wonder whether the US is thinking “we got you where we want you baby“. No one would use the word “baby” for the Taleban, but they might actually be babies when it comes to the big game.
1.Eagle vs. Snake
You win a fight by making your opponent play your style of game. The most vivid example of this was Muhammad Ali making the till-then invincible George Foreman play Ali’s game of rope-a-dope for several rounds & then knocking him out after Foreman got tired.
But that was just one fight. Look below at the perennial fight in nature , the one that takes place off of the coast of Malaysia:
Imagine how stupid it would have been for the sea eagle to have landed on this snake island & fought on the ground that is teeming with snakes. Not just stupid for one sea eagle but even for a dozen sea eagles. They could be attacked by quick moving snakes & rendered helpless.
And that is what the American military has done for years. No wonder the US has been steadily losing the battle just as Foreman did vs Ali or the eagle would in the snake pit.
In addition, American forces have been fighting a fight that the American political leadership or the military leadership did not want to win. And as we wrote a couple of years ago, the war (stalemate really) in Afghanistan could go on for another 20 years in the same manner as it has for the past 20 years. So the will to fight on had to wither away and it has been withering for the last 5 years or so. That is why we think it was correct for Biden-Austin-Blinken to decide to leave Afghanistan.
But it simply boggles the mind to see how stupidly, how pathetically stupidly, they implemented that decision. Even that uneducated corporal named Hitler managed German withdrawal from Stalingrad in a much more sensible way. He knew that the German offensive against Soviet Union was over & they had leave that land. But Hitler dug in and ordered the German generals to fight a determined rearguard action. But for that, the German army would have been routed.
It was critical for Biden-Austin-Blinken to leave Afghanistan in an organized manner instead of simply running away and letting the Taleban romp through Afghanistan. Reports indicate that the vaunted Afghan Government forces did not fight the incoming Taliban. They simple stood aside and let the Taliban take one provincial capital after another. It has been an unmitigated disaster for Afghanistan, the Afghan forces & American prestige around the world.
But, could this prove to be a case of
2. “got you where we want you?”
Think why the US military has not been able to rout the Taliban for 20 years. Because no one could find them in the open. Their base was Pakhtun lands across the line of control inside NaPakistan.
Now they are out in the open across the plains of Afghanistan & spread out in the provincial capitals (in red) as the map below shows.
What a gorgeous opportunity? Just imagine what the Eagles would do if they saw snakes simply running around in the open like this.
Is there any one who expects the US military to simply turn around and attack the Taliban trapped in the open? This is a chance that favors the US military & not the Taliban. We hear the US is conducting air strikes on some Taliban units but it seems to be a defensive effort & a haphazard one at that. To our simple way of thinking, this is a perfect opportunity to damage the Taliban so badly that it would take them years to recover. Not just that, it would transform the morale of the Afghan Forces to attack the Taleban running away from the airstrikes.
Remember what General Patton said after delivering a decisive blow to Rommel’s Afrika Corps in Tunisia?
Now Defense Secretary has a chance to rout the Taliban and say “Taliban, you magnificent bastards, we read your book!“. If they accomplish this, then President Biden could actually claim credit for having tricked the Taliban into coming out in the open & then wiping them out.
This is not being fanciful. History is full of examples of very smart commanders showing a panicky retreat to tempt the enemy to come out in the open and then delivering a death blow in a place of their choosing. In fact, this was a favorite strategy of the great Genghiz Khan. We do think this is an opportunity to hit the Taliban when they least expect it & hit them so hard that their ranks would be thinned for years.
If the Biden team does this, then they have to also simultaneously attack the Taliban sanctuaries inside the control of the NaPakistani army. And if they complain, Secretary Blinken should say to them what Under-Secretary Armitage said to Musharaaf in 2001 – “we will bomb you back to the stone age“.
Seriously folks, we can’t recall a time when the American image was at such a contemptible bottom. Every one has seen and agrees with the withering contempt expressed below by Hamid Gul, the notoriously legendary director of ISI, the terror-mastermind NaPakistani Intelligence Service.
Turns out, Hamid Gul was correct all along. ISI can rightly blow its own trumpet.
"When History will be written, it will be said that ISI, with America's help, defeated Russia in Afghanistan, then with America's help, defeated America in Afghanistan" pic.twitter.com/XHB3nbzA6o
— Janak Pandya જનક પંડ્યા (@janakp14) July 14, 2021
Now go back to the Tunisia campaign and read in what withering contempt American soldiers & their leadership were held by German forces in Africa. Because of that contempt, Rommel misjudged & made a mistake without realizing that Patton was not like his predecessor. And Patton delivered a killing blow to Rommel’s Afrika Corps.
We do believe that this is a big moment for America & American credibility. Every one in the world is watching this, from Taiwan, South Korea & Japan in the Far East to Iran & Saudi Arabia in the Middle East to Europe.
3. Smart Chinese & Inside Story of Taleban & NaPakistanis?
From what we read in a geopolitical article, the Chinese have advised the Taliban to not attack Kabul and actual take a pause in their victorious March. The Chinese understand Big Power thinking and they advised the Taliban that America would not simply allow them to take Kabul & win in such a humiliatingly public manner.
Not just China, but even NaPakistan, China’s new “baccha” in the region. Veteran Kathy Gannon of AP wrote this week that,
- “The country’s powerful army chief has twice walked out of meetings with the Taliban, frustrated at their intransigence and infuriated by what he sees as the Taliban’s determination to return to full power in Afghanistan, according to senior security officials familiar with the meetings. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they had no authority to discuss the meetings.”
We believe there is truth to the above claim by Gannon. As we have written, the real story underneath the public story is that the interests of the Taliban are now diverging from the interests of the NaPaki military. The NaPaki ISI created the Taliban, nurtured the Taliban & let them loose inside Afghanistan. But that was to let NaPaki military control Afghanistan via the Taliban.
Remember the Pakhtuns, either as yesterday’s Mujahideen or as today’s Taleban, successfully defeated Soviet Union, yesterday’s superpower, and America, today’s superpower, in a long fight for Afghanistan from 1979 to 2021. Ask yourselves, are they the people who will continue to remain under the thumb of NaPakistani Panjabis or allow their precious Afghanistan to remain a property of NaPakistan?
This is one reason they are refusing to follow what the Napaki army is telling them or even what the Chinese are telling them. Also because the Talebani leadership is facing an ISIS subgroup within the Taleban that will humiliate them if they kowtow to NaPakistani orders.
4. Enter the Russians
Everyone knows Russia & India have had a close military relationship for over 50 years. Russia has been the biggest supplier of big weapons to the Indian military. Even today, the Indian military could be very severely compromised if Russia stops or even curtails supply of spare parts to the Indian military. It has been a relationship that has stood the test of time.
But time changes. And with the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan & the romp of the Taleban, Russia is now turning towards NaPakistan. Because Russia needs Napaki help in dealing positively with the Taleban. Why does Russia want to deal positively with the Taleban?
ISIS. No one knows the threat of ISIS as well as Russia. It is Putin’s Russia that destroyed the virulently lethal Muslim terrorists in Chechnya & Dagestan, provinces inside Russia. Russia went into Syria to kill off ISIS there for fear they would leave Syria to enter Chechnya & Dagestan.
Russia sees ISIS emerging as a counter-force to the Afghani (Nationalist) Taleban inside Afghanistan. And, as Geopolitical Futures have written – “The Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, also said the Collective Security Treaty Organization should be ready for a possible penetration of terrorists from Afghanistan.”
That is why Russia wants to back the Taleban against ISIS inside Afghanistan. That makes Napakistan a potential ally for Russia. And Putin’s Syria playbook would work very well against ISIS in Afghanistan. As in Syria, Russian air power would be used with Afghan soldiers who are anti-ISIS, both Tajik & Uzbek fighters as well as Nationalist Taleban, to kill ISIS.
This will enable Russia to create a Uzbek-Tajik to Taleban to NaPakistan alliance against ISIS. And this time Russia would be fighting with Napakistan & Taleban against the more extreme ISIS.
Let us be clear. This will not give Russia anything more than what they have achieved in Syria. But it will help Russia insulate itself & its Central Asian interests from imported ISIS type terrorism from Afghanistan.
And the United States might be content with that just as the United States has been content with the status in Syria today.
5. America’s Humiliation
- “Remember how the US presence in the Vietnam war ended? In a final exit via helicopters just before the North Vietnamese army entered Saigon. Is that where the 15 year American involvement in Afghanistan heading? If this sounds too dire, read on.”
At that time (on October 10, 2016 to be precise) Kamran Bokkhari of Geopolitical Futures had written that ““we have to begin considering a scenario in which the Taliban could overwhelm the Afghan state“.
So we asked in our October 15, 2016 article,
- “In that case, how will the American contingent in Kabul leave land-locked Afghanistan? In a convoy of helicopters just like in Vietnam?”
The point isn’t that we were smart or blessed with some degree of acumen. No. The point is if simple observers like us could see then what is happening now, surely the world’s strongest military & the world’s largest strategic infrastructure must have seen the need to seriously plan for the eventual withdrawal.
Either they did not see the need to plan for such an withdrawal or they were totally arrogant or they were dragged into this sudden humiliating withdrawal by the political leadership of the Biden team. Something somewhere is surely rotten in the state of Washington DC!
This might be the only bipartisan issue right now. Because just about every one we hear, from Michael Strahan of ABC’s GMA to usually subdued Tyler Mathisen of CNBC to the hosts on Fox, is deeply incensed about how Biden’s withdrawal & Taleban’s romp is humiliating America.
This might actually be worse than Vietnam. At least that was because of a professional Vietnamese army and thanks to US Congress shutting off spending. This is due to a ragtag but smart group of terrorist types who simply went across Afghanistan & destroyed in 20 days everything USA had built over 20 years.This is very hard to take and everyone we know, everyone we hear, feels this deeply.
We have written above how this utter mess can be used as an opportunity to hit back very hard at an unsuspecting & overjoyed Taleban. But that’s just simple us. For those who want to hear from “expert” & establishment voices should read what John R. Allen, President of The Brookings Institution wrote on August 13, 2021:
- “History’s judgment of this moment will be swift and harsh about who lost Afghanistan. Given the president’s clear and long-held commitment to American values and his important leadership in so many other areas, such an outcome in Afghanistan is simply baffling, and would be devastating to the credibility of his critical message that “America is Back””.
And it can get worse given the difficulties of going back even for a limited purpose as the factually sarcastic tweet below points out:
- Robbie Gramer@RobbieGramer – The US will temporarily deploy 3,000 US troops to Afghanistan and 3,500 to be on standby in Kuwait to manage the impacts of the withdrawal of around 3,000 troops from Afghanistan.
What will be America’s judgement on NaPakistan, its old “war on terror” partner? The deep chagrin about that regime was expressed succinctly in response to the tweet above:
- Christopher Clary@clary_co – What’s crazy is with all this coming and going we are dependent more on Pakistan this month than we were last month.
That brings us to:
6. Pluses-Minuses for NaPakistan
When you humiliate a superpower, you do end up paying for it. And we are already seeing a deep feeling of anger against NaPakistan & its leadership. If the Taleban problem gets worse in the weeks & months ahead, we do think NaPakistan will be made to feel the World’s pain. Not only is NaPakistan helping the Taleban, they are also protecting the families of senior Taleban leaders who reportedly live inside NaPakistan.
That is why, on August 4, 2018, we had described the Taleban-Napakistan relationship as a Hellhole tied to a Sinkhole with NaPakistan being the sinkhole into which monies & aid sent simply disappears and Talebani Afghanistan as a Hellhole.
August 2018 was a period when President Trump had tightened financial screws on NaPakistan & they were in trouble. Why & how did they survive that? We answered that on August 4, 2018 in our Hellhole-Sinkhole article:
- “… when does a sinkhole become unsinkable? When it is blessed with uniquely strategic geography. To be totally anti-delicate & anti-pc, geography is to NonPakistan what a uniquely appealing body is to a forever kept woman.”
Meaning as long as her body remains uniquely appealing, new suitors will appear to replace those who leave.
And they have already appeared. Russia is working to help NaPakistan build a pipeline between the port city of Karachi & Lahore, the capital of Napak’s largest & most prosperous Panjab state. China has already made Napak as the fulcrum of their One Belt & One Road expansion to the Arabian Sea. Uzbekistan is now in discussions to build a railway from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan’s Mazar-i-Sharif to Kabul to Peshawar in Napaki Pakhtun province which can link to existing lines to the Arabian Sea.
To slightly paraphrase what we had written in October 2009,
- “Afghanistan is where Eurasia meets on land … Afghanistan is the land nexus of Eurasia, the world of nearly 3.5 billion people with growing incomes and rising aspirations.”
And NaPakistan is the only independent route between Afghanistan & the Arabian Sea. Folks, this is the supremely appealing asset of NaPakistan and she knows it.
What if the America that is leaving Afghanistan today wants to come back tomorrow? We answered that in our Hellhole-Sinkhole article of August 4, 2018:
- “… will the NonPaki regime be willing to take America back? Of course! That regime knows that her geography is the body of her appeal and her nature is to use that appeal to go with whomever will keep her solvent. She does get called all kinds of nasty names from time to time but what has been her defense to America for decades? – “Darling, I got my bad name [for terrorism] only because of you”. “
And she means it. After accepting billions of Dollars in U.S. aid & traffic fees for years, after promising to help America in subduing the Taleban, after giving America-paid money to the Taleban to fight, wound & kill American soldiers, what is President Imran Khan’s defense? “U.S. really messed it up in Afghanistan“, he told Judy Woodruff of PBS on July 27, 2021.
In other words, the misdeeds of America gave Napakistan a bad name. Isn’t that exactly what the notorious “Munni” said to her suitor – Darling, I got a bad name because of you“?
As we said on August 4, 2018,
- “You have got to hand it to the NonPaki regime. She is the perfect geopolitical “Munni””.
What does this mean in a geopolitical sense? That you have to first solve NaPakistan to even begin solving Afghanistan. Or, in the “Munni” context, remove the supremely attractive body asset and the suitors are gone forever.
So how do you remove the supremely attractive body asset of Napakistan? Remove the remote, sparsely populated & Panjab-hating province of Balochistan from the artificially created sinkhole termed NaPakistan:
What Central Asia, China & Russia want is access to the ports on the Arabian Sea and these ports are in Balochistan & not in proper NaPakistan. In addition, the Balochi people have been partitioned by the artificial (British-dictated) border between Iran & NaPakistan.
And how do you remove Balochistan from NaPakistan? Easy with Indian Navy & Iranian special forces with US tolerance.
Frankly, we have never understood why USA never threatened NaPakistan with the loss of Balochistan to get NaPakistan to do its bidding. But then we are naively simple or America just didn’t care or both.
So what do we know after all this? America may leave Afghanistan for a short while or for a long while. Russia might enter & China may enter. Taleban might actually rule or a civil war might result. Afghanistan will most probably remain a sinkhole for quite some time & NaPakistan will continue to remain a sinkhole for aid from their next set of suitors.
That is why we support the exit of Biden-Austin-Blinken but we abhor the manner in which they did it. In fact, the manner in which they did it might actually compel them to bring US forces back.
*Editor’s PS – We firmly believe that the “Munni” story is critical to understanding Napakistani thinking. Below is a “Munni” clip with English subtitles:
Send your feedback to [email protected] Or @MacroViewpoints on Twitter