Small Wars Journal

As US Draws Curtain on Combat Role, Taliban Plans Patient Comeback

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 9:28pm

As US Draws Curtain on Combat Role, Taliban Plans Patient Comeback by Heath Druzin, Stars and Stripes

Surrounded by scaffolding, a blue-domed mosque is nearing completion on a site where a cinema once stood.

The Afghan government is funding the project, which the Taliban began after razing the movie theater and closing all the others in town as part of their campaign against anything deemed immoral. Before the Taliban could finish the mosque, the U.S. swept them from power in 2001, beginning a war that few thought would still be raging nearly 13 years later.

Like the mosque, the Taliban are back…

Read on.



Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:51pm

In reply to by Bill C.

Bill C:

You forgot to mention the Pak Army/ISI and all the throats Taliban & Co have cut and will cut. And you forgot to mention all the Afghans who have been blown up and will be blown up in the future by IEDs. And you forgot the night letters. Those are important too. It isn't fair to forget to mention all the effort that went into those things. You gotta give credit where credit is due.

Bill C.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:50pm

Our present understanding re: Afghanistan to be viewed, I suggest, through the following lens:

a. Due to a lack of interest in and/or enthusiasm for the Western way of life and Western way of governance,

b. And, indeed, due to a significant abhorrence, by some, of same,

c. Even such extraordinary efforts as have been made by the West in the past decade,

d. Have not been able to bring about a sustainable transformation of the state and societies of Afghanistan,

e. More along modern western political, economic and social lines.

This such understanding now causing:

1. The West to withdraw and

2. The Taliban to return.

This same general reason (lack of sufficient interest in/feelings of abhorrence for the Western way of life/governance) likewise providing an indication of why the West -- now minus the funds to support and/or force the issue -- has decided to retreat, per se, throughout the world generally.

Post-the Cold War, we had advanced -- generally throughout the world -- under the belief that populations everywhere had a universal aspiration for a Western way of life and governance.

Our post-Cold War foreign policies and interventions were largely based on this belief.

Now, having been proven wrong in so many places (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere), we have been forced to adopt a more-realistic, more-accurate and more-Cold War-like view of the world.

One which suggests that a great deal more time (rather than a great deal more effort) may be needed to, essentially, bring about the conversion of the remaining heathens.


Wed, 07/23/2014 - 1:22am

In reply to by carl

Those with the habit of producing offspring they've neither the will nor the capacity to nurture might well be advised to try a bit of contraception. If we're talking about giving birth to governments, the most effective form of contraception might be to just say no... to regime change.


Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:10pm

In reply to by Dayuhan


Well we could recast the statement.

Cursed are those who have the US as parents.


Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:33pm

In reply to by carl

I don't think the Afghan government had much choice of allies, as they are pretty much a US creation. Like trying to choose your parents.

Sometimes it seems the surest road to hell is to become allies of the Americans don't it.