Special Podcast: Afghanistan and What Comes Next under the Taliban

I have traveled repeatedly to Afghanistan and throughout Central Asia, written several books about Afghanistan and surrounding countries and been completely immersed and obsessed with the war and the country for the last 20 years. I discuss these experiences and my thoughts about the collapse of the U.S.-backed puppet government and what comes next in today’s special edition of the DMZ America podcast. Please listen and share generously if you support this effort.

 

5 Comments. Leave new

  • alex_the_tired
    August 18, 2021 7:34 AM

    Ted,
    As for what comes next. As you’ve actually, you know, been to Afghanistan (versus the talking heads who’ve had their flunkies read the Wikipedia articles and provide a precis), could you address the following question (which I see the mainstream media appears to be scrupulously avoiding the asking of)?
    How are the Afghans who aided the occupation forces regarded by the rest of the populace? Are they seen as people who had a skill set (English language mastery) that could earn them money who did what anyone else would have done? Or are they seen as collaborators/traitors who sold out the country? Or something between?

    • I think it’s something in between and it depends on who you ask. It’s a poor country and everyone needs work. Sometimes you have to bend your morality in order to get by. On the other hand, occupation armies are hardly beloved.

  • On 9/12, the CIA said the hijackers were 19 Arabs, 15 of them Saudis. Back then, the US desperately needed Saudi oil, so Saudi was our BFF. So Bush, Jr very reasonably said that the 9/11 hijackers were all Afghans, and if the US did not send the military into Afghanistan, there would be more 9/11 hijackings. As Biden said, the War served its purpose, it was a complete success: there has been no 9/11 hijackings in the last 20 years.

    • alex_the_tired
      August 19, 2021 9:35 AM

      That 20 years isn’t up for another 23 days or so.
      Biden’s complete screw up — and it’s Biden’s screw up alone — in:
      failing to organize an evacuation from a static military situation,
      failing to ensure all the civilians and allies were pulled out of Afghanistan,
      failing to get the paperwork for those Afghan allies expedited,
      failing to pick a militarily prudent exit date based on weather conditions and established patterns of behavior by the enemy (i.e., the winter season) rather than a PR-friendly, meaninglessly symbolic date,
      failing to have people in place who knew enough to ensure all biometric data on our allies was destroyed or transported out of Afghanistan, etc.,
      has basically encouraged every terrorist group in the world with a grudge against ‘Mericah to intentionally plan something for 9/11/2021 because they all realize, there’s no way on Earth that Biden can launch a new war in retaliation.
      I really don’t think Biden’s gonna finish his term. Whether from real health problems or because the dnc told him he has health problems …

  • Afghanistan has a LOT of lithium. And it’s looking like the PRC will be getting all of it. The World Bank, the US, the IMF all cut the Mujahideen (they no longer call themselves the Taliban) off from all the Afghanistan money. But the PRC will pay very well for their lithium. (And, unlike the US when they get resources via predatory loans, the PRC do not dump the mining waste in the rivers, poisoning the natives who have to drink the water.)
    I am waiting to see which countries recognise the new Afghan government. When the Taliban had Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, only 3 countries gave them diplomatic recognition: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. This time, it’s looking like Pakistan will be first, followed by the PRC. Russia still classify the new rulers of Afghanistan ‘terrorists’ since they were created by the US to expel the USSR from Afghanistan, but the Russian Embassy remained open and fully staffed during the change in government.

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