Amir Taheri: Inscrutable Taliban Nomads Can Defeat U.S. In ‘The Long War’

Amir Taheri was executive editor (1972-1979) of the pro-western Iranian newspaper Kayhan which shut down with the arrival of the Islamic Revolution.  Taheri is known the world over as an erudite international relations expert specializing in Persian affairs.  If Oriana Fallachi had balls it would be Amir Taheri.  His latest admonition to Team Obama regarding negotiations with the Taliban heralds similar unsolicited advice from Arnold Toynbee who engagingly wrote how geography and fanaticism can blunt the technological superiority of an adversary.  Taheri’s latest comments spell disaster for the belt way boys that dominate Washington.

Throughout November in Mecca, an American delegation will arrive to negotiate an end to ‘the conflict’ that has since become America’s longest war.  Hint to the experts:  war against terrorists cannot be negotiated!  Nevertheless, the Taliban have chosen as their head a former President named Rabbani.  How is this significant?  He was betrayed by the Taliban after his success in defeating the current leader of Pashtun terrorism Gulbuddin Heymatyar (pronounced Hah-mah-tar).  If culture is determinitive (and it is along with geography as it informs character and personality) the Americans are about the deal with a most intractable enemy.

Taheir has revealed that the Taliban do not view any such meeting as ‘negotiation’.  They view this series of ‘face-off’s’ as PROBING EXERCISES.

Translation:  ‘once we get momentum, we’ll slaughter you ideologically using your domestic media’.

The American’s have proved themselves politically adapt in a culture and geography not sufficient for political craft.  However, Mullah Omar has presided over devastating losses in his south west corridor.  The only ethnic base for the Taliban is the south and eastern part of this ‘country’.  The fighting season is March to October and Dr. Petraeus has already prepared the ground to engage and slaughter Taliban terrorists throughout its southeastern corridor by mopping up Kandahar throughout the next eight-teen months.

How does this benefit the American’s strategically?

A win on the ground gives the American’s time; but this is tactical given the porous nature of Afghani borders, especially given how Iran and Pakistan rival for Afghani attention.

What will the Taliban want in such probative exercises?

They will reject anything Rabbani offers.

They will insist on a fixed date for the departure of foreign troop presence.

They will insist on the abrogation on any security or military agreements Karzi has presided over.

They will demand the creation of a interim government headed by ‘neutrality’ and the convening of the Loya Jirga (High Assembly) of tribal and religious leaders to draft a new Islamic Constitution.

In a sentence:  the talks give the Taliban new life after their defeat on the battlefield.  It permits them a stand in a political game divorced from realities on the ground.


How do we end this?

1.  Pursue the freedom agenda that scares the life of Islamic autocracies.

2.  Continue killing terrorists

Let’s Roll!


About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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