In my first article of this three-part collection, I made the case that the victory of the Taliban would radicalize Pakistan and enhance its international nuclear risk. Notably, the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan isn’t solely altering its jap neighbor, but in addition basically altering the geopolitics and stability of energy in Central Asia. Most significantly, essentially the most speedy penalties of the Taliban triumph will likely be felt by India generally and Kashmir particularly. The dynamics of South Asia are about to vary dramatically.

The Legacy of America’s Failed Warfare on Terror


In August, President Joe Biden gave a self-serving speech blaming everybody besides the US for the present scenario in Afghanistan. His speech doesn’t stand up to shut scrutiny, although. If anybody is in charge for the Taliban’s dramatic comeback, it’s Uncle Sam. Washington demonstrated breathtaking ignorance, vanity and stupidity in handing Afghanistan from day one.

Failure to Study From the Previous

To deal with Afghanistan higher, america might have accomplished effectively to mud off some historical past books and be taught from the playbook of the British Empire. At one level, a mere 6,000 British officers dominated 250 million Indians. The important thing to British success was not navy firepower, however a rare understanding of the subcontinent. They wrote gazettes, drafted studies and charted maps that lined each nook and cranny of the landmass. When retired CIA officer Glenn Carle was struggling to discover a Pashtun village greater than twenty years in the past, he needed to flip to a colleague to pore over imperial maps in London.

In 1800, Lord Wellesley, the elder brother of the Duke of Wellington and then-governor normal of India, began Fort William Faculty, the primary fashionable establishment of studying within the subcontinent. This establishment taught British officers Indian languages and ready them to rule a landmass that the armies of the British East India Firm have been conquering quickly. To today, the most effective of British diplomatic and intelligence officers attempt to be taught native languages. The considerate Rory Stewart who probably is aware of Afghanistan just like the again of his hand is a direct inheritor to none aside from Lawrence of Arabia. The US has by no means had a determine like Lawrence or Rory for good purpose.

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America has lengthy been the promised land for immigrants. Nevertheless, these immigrants depart their ancestral lands behind. Two oceans separate the US from the remainder of the world. This superpower “maintains practically 800 navy bases in over 90 international locations,” nevertheless it doesn’t have officers who go “native” in contrast to their British counterparts. In Afghanistan, American troops and directors nearly invariably relied on interpreters. A staggering 50,000 interpreters have labored for the American navy since 2001.

This overreliance on interpreters has proved poisonous. Barely 6% of Afghanistan’s inhabitants speaks English. By counting on this tiny part of Afghan society, the US was chopping itself off from the overwhelming majority of the nation, a lot of which nonetheless lives within the distant and rugged countryside. Over time, a lot of this English-speaking Afghan elite proved to be self-serving and corrupt.

The basic instance of this phenomenon is Ashraf Ghani. The excessive and mighty in Washington backed Ghani in a murky election marred by fraud and misconduct. He spoke flawless English, had labored for the World Financial institution and had taken up American citizenship. Sadly for the People, they wager on the mistaken horse. When the Taliban rolled into city, President Ghani didn’t put up a combat, allegedly fleeing with “$169 million from the state coffers.”

Ignorance of Wider World Is a Systemic Weak point

Afghanistan represents a longstanding American weak spot. In 1953, the US performed a coup in Iran for British pursuits. They’d no thought of the lay of the land and this coup spectacularly backfired in 1978-79, The Iranian Revolution haunts the US to today. The US failure to know Vietnam has been examined by means of books, documentaries and numerous commentaries. In Afghanistan, the People relied on treacherous Pakistan and used interpreters as an alternative of placing within the onerous work to really perceive the individuals and their tradition.

At its core, the Taliban was a peasant-supported motion. They shared this similarity with the Vietcong. The Pew Analysis Heart discovered that 99% of Afghans assist making sharia the official legislation. Frighteningly, 67% of Afghans imagine “there is just one attainable method to perceive sharia.” As Stewart observes in his meticulous documentary on Afghanistan, Afghans have all the time believed in jihad towards non-Muslims. Traditionally, Pashtuns got here down the Khyber Cross to raid the plains of Punjab. The extra enterprising ones received so far as the Gangetic plains of India. Babur conquered North India in 1526 from the Pashtun Lodi Dynasty. In 1947, Pakistan unleashed Pashtun irregulars towards India and, as I identified within the earlier article, my grandfather paid the worth along with his life.

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Now that the Taliban are answerable for Kabul, Kashmir is its subsequent goal. Each the Taliban and Pakistan have persecuted minorities relentlessly. In September 2002, Dr. Iftikhar H. Malik revealed a damning report on Pakistan for Minority Rights Group Worldwide. Practically 20 years in the past, he noticed how non-Muslims and even many Muslim teams are handled as second-class residents and pressured to transform to Islam. The TalibanPakistan narrative consistently paints India as a land of “Hindu kafirs” that oppresses fellow Muslims in Kashmir.

Already, the TalibanPakistan transfer towards India is in full swing. In November, 9 Indian troopers misplaced their lives to “freshly infiltrated” terror teams. Anas Haqqani, the youngest son of the late Jalaluddin Haqqani and the brother of Taliban’s deputy chief Sirajuddin Haqqani, has visited the tomb of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi. Haqqani referred to as Ghaznavi “a famend Muslim warrior & Mujahid of the tenth century.” Ghaznavi raided India 17 instances, smashing temples, looting gold and taking again a whole bunch of hundreds of female and male slaves with him.

Haqqani’s tweet celebrated this bloodthirsty medieval sultan because the warrior king “who established a robust Muslim rule within the area from Ghazni & smashed the idol of Somnath.” His brother is the inside minister of Afghanistan and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation nonetheless presents a reward of $10 million for his arrest. The Haqqani Community is liable for a number of the deadliest terror assaults in Afghanistan. From their declarations and actions, it’s clear that their subsequent goal is jihad in Kashmir.

The People have lengthy allowed Pakistan to play Pied Piper not solely in Afghanistan, but in addition in Kashmir. Earlier than the assaults of September 11, 2001, the US consistently lectured India on human rights, usually on the behest of Pakistan. Washington failed to comprehend that a lot of the violence in Kashmir was being perpetrated by Pakistanis and Afghan irregulars. In 1995, the Sufi shrine of Charar-e-Sharief was razed to the bottom by a Pashtun named Mast Gul who stays scot-free in Pakistan.

As soon as the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 1996, they despatched jihadi fighters to Kashmir. Retired CIA officers comment that Muzaffarabad, the most important metropolis in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, turned the watering gap for essentially the most hardened Islamists on their method to combat jihad towards India. To the west of Muzaffarabad lies Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pashtun-dominated Pakistani province bordering Afghanistan. To its east lie the Kupwara and Baramulla districts of Indian Kashmir.

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Due to Kashmir, Indian troops had intensive expertise in counterinsurgency towards militant jihadists from Afghanistan, which analysts within the US authorities have been lauding as early as 2004. But the US neither sought nor heeded Indian recommendation on Afghanistan. Now that the Taliban are again in energy, they are going to inevitably do what they did within the late Nineties: combat jihad in Kashmir.

Opium Fuels Jihad

Below the Taliban, Afghanistan’s economic system has suffered a meltdown. The UN has warned that tens of millions of Afghans would possibly face hunger this winter. Even when American troops have been in Afghanistan, there was a 37% enhance in opium poppy manufacturing. Now, this manufacturing will develop exponentially as a result of the Taliban haven’t any different method to fund the nationwide economic system they usually can not afford to alienate native farmers. Europe won’t solely need to take care of growing numbers of Afghan refugees, but in addition skyrocketing heroin imports. The US has completely no thought as to learn how to take care of the Frankenstein’s monster it has unleashed on the world.

For the primary time, the world must take care of a state whose economic system relies on narcotic exports. Globally, 85% of opium is sourced from Afghanistan and the heroin kingpins at the moment are working the nation. Subsequently, it’s within the financial curiosity of the state and its management to spice up opium manufacturing. Pakistan will likely be a prepared ally within the distribution of opium to maintain the Taliban regime in energy in Afghanistan and keep away from extra refugees spilling over throughout the border.

Earlier this 12 months, Zulfikar Majid reported how Kashmir’s drug drawback was worsening. Imports from Afghanistan have been rising so dramatically that even 10-year-olds are falling prey to heroin abuse. Kashmir is now firmly within the crosshairs and the map of Asia would possibly quickly be in query. The world has simply develop into a extra harmful place and the US, however its retreat from Afghanistan, is not any exception.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Honest Observer’s editorial coverage.