By Gerry Salapuddin
In military warfare, especially during this modern era, it takes a real good strategy and effective tactic to be executed by seasoned combatants in the ground to win a war.
Not surprisingly, upon the complete withdrawal of the American forces, the Taliban Mujahideen Forces intensified their military campaign. One after the other, cities and provinces fell to the Taliban like a ‘House of Cards.’ After two weeks, all of Afghanistan, including the national capital City of Kabul, were captured by the Taliban. The next thing we heard from the news was Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the capital to avoid bloodshed.
Even Afghan military camps were easily captured by the Taliban, while some of their troops yielded their camps without any fight.
This news spread like wildfire, causing low moral and demoralization among the Afghan population. Very clearly, we can view, the US trained Afghan Government Forces were either in very low moral or they decided not to fight each other as Afghans. One news reports said that one of causes of demoralization among the Afghan gpvernment troops is they were not paid their salary for months.
There are some scenarios that I am considering in my mind, of what could have possibly happened behind the scene.
What if the US government may have secretly made a deal with the Taliban that after their complete withdrawal, the Taliban can intensify their military campaign?
What if the Taliban had implemented an effective psy-war on the Afghan government troops, not to fight them as fellow Afghans, with the promise that they can be recycled into the armed forces and granted amnesty, with all their unpaid salaries and benefits given them?
Or the Taliban may have told them that we are not enemies to each other. Our enemies are the foreign forces in our land. Stop resisting us so we can quickly rebuild our country.
The mediation of the Qatari government must be with the blessings of the US. The head of the Taliban delegation was Abdul Ghani Baradar, rumored to be the new President of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Afghan government delegation was headed by Vice President Abdullah Abdullah.
By the action and statement of their leaders and their Spokesman like Sohail Shaheen who said that all government officials and those who work for government and the foreign powers were granted general amnesty. While many had decided to just leave the country, but the greater majority of Afghans are staying, opening their shops and doing their business as usual, amidst the regime change, normalcy is returning to Kabul and the other cities being secured by the Taliban security forces.
My observation on the present Taliban and the former Taliban of more than 20 years ago are greatly different. The present Taliban look more tamed, seasoned by their decades of combat experience and mellowed by time. The pronouncements of their leader is very firm and assuring. Their entry into Kabul was without bloodshed while there was skirmishes in the outskirts. It was likened to the entry and captured of Makkah by the Messenger of Allah where he declared amnesty and forgiveness to all and ordered no vengeance.
“One thing is sure, as Allah says in the Glorious Qur-an: “Inna fatahna, laka fathan mubeena!” Verily, we’ve given you great victory!” The victory of the Taliban over two great world powers, i.e. Russia and America and its NATO allies, is no ordinary feat! It can only happen by Allah’s will because they were men of great faith. Their strong anti-colonial mindset is the fire that burns brightly in their heart. In ancient times, even Alexander The Great, failed to conquer the Afghan Kingdom by force. The proud Afghans are unconquered people from where great men of faith like the mystic and poet Jalaluddin Rumi and Rabia Adawiya came from.”
The Taliban leadership must have realized that while they intend to implement the purity of the fundamental teachings of Islam, however, as a member of the international community of nations, they must coexist with other nations. They must have also realized that in order to rebuild their country, they need the individual and collective support of their citizens. That is why they vow to have an inclusive government of their new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under their new President Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the Founders of the Taliban.