7 thoughts on “PJW on The Truth about Afghanistan”

  1. How could we forget?

    Millions of Afghanis won’t fight the Taliban, they’ll just leave and turn more of Europe into a little bit like home.

    Thanks DB pjw only one of these I’ll watch.


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  2. I doubt if very many people at all understand Afghanistan – with the exception of Afghani ex-pats, vets who have served there (in the field, not within compounds), some diplomats & occasional travellers over the years.

    The most cogent fact, I believe, is the tribal nature of Afghani society. Islam is, to be sure, a most significant influence. But it doesn’t explain everything about what makes Afghanistan different from their Pakistani or Iranian neighbours.

    The bonds of tribal relationships are timeless and all consuming. They go back hundreds, even thousands of years. Alexander the Great recognised this (in his inimical Macedonian way) & was one of the very very, few who have been able to establish a long lasting hegemony (which survived him). His marriage bond to the daughter of a predominant Afghani ruler, and the simultaneous marriages of many of his officers to afghani women of prominent families, guaranteed the political bondage.

    To this day, the Taliban follow this insoluble means of cementing alliances, marrying into significant families in the mountainous regions, particularly on the Pakistani border.

    The sura, or tribal councils, very much reflect these integrated relationships. The Americans, and other western armies, have tried to penetrate these councils through respectful relationships. It is comical to see them sitting cross legged with the smiling elders. The very next day the same elders have instructed their fighters to lay IEDs to destroy convoys led by the same men. Obligations of blood and faith have greater weight than anything else in such societies.

    And yet, the commentators on this morning’s TV were puzzled why Kabul, and indeed the whole of Afghanistan, fell so rapidly with little resistance……sigh……what hope have we of getting anything sensible or informed out of the media????


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  3. We seem to believe there is an answer to every question, and a solution to every problem.
    The self-help and conflict resolution industries (with gazillions of books on each), have convinced us that there are no unclimbable mountains, and that every human being, without exception, will respond to reason and understanding (tactical empathy).

    How’s that working out for us?


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  4. Our opponents use a constant flow of distraction squirrels to ensure we spend our time and energy reacting (defensively) rather than responding. We mistakenly think that our reactions (let’s fact-check that, despite the media attention having moved on) are confirmation that we have the situation under control; as long as we keep defending, we’ll be fine. By doing so, we constrain ourselves to acting within the rules our opponents have set.

    We will never gain and maintain the initiative – a prerequisite for ‘winning’ in any competitive endeavour you care to name: business, sport, politics – if we spend our intellectual capital and time resources solely on reacting to the distraction squirrels. If we ever manage to tackle and pin one down, we’ll realise we were chasing a superb-quality hologram. Distraction squirrels are hallucinations.

    My apologies for the digression from the topic at hand.


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