Taliban Commander: “150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us”

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Taliban Commander: "150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us"

Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Saeed met the Guardian in the barren backcountry of Logar province. Photograph: Andrew Quilty for the Guardian

The Guardian posted an interview with a Taliban commander. According to the interview, this commander leeds 150 Taliban militants in Logar province. He has has fought foreign soldiers and their Afghan allies since the US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan when he was 14. The Taliban now controls its largest territory since being forced from power, and seems to have no shortage of recruits.

Referring to Barack Obama’s surge, he said: “150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us.” And an extra 4,000 US soldiers, as Donald Trump will deploy, “will not change the morale of our mujahideen,” he said. “The Americans were walking in our villages, and we pushed them out.” For the Taliban to consider peace, he said, “foreigners must leave, and the constitution must be changed to sharia.”

The commander said that as the war has changed, the Taliban have adjusted, too. US soldiers now predominantly train Afghans, and have ramped up airstrikes.

“It’s true, it has become harder to fight the Americans. But we use suicide bombers, and we will use more of them,” he said. “If the US changes its tactics of fighting, so do we.” That change has meant ever-fiercer attacks, with large truck bombs in populated areas and audacious assaults on military bases.

Pressed on the number of civilian deaths in the war, he said the Taliban “make mistakes” and try to avoid harming civilians, but added: “If there is an infidel in a flock of sheep, you are permitted to attack that flock of sheep.”

The Taliban was always outnumbered and technologically outmatched by its foreign adversaries, but is arguably at its strongest since 2001, threatening several provincial capitals, the interview says. The movement, though, is divided, with some lower-ranking commanders backing rivals of the current chief, Mawlawi Hibatullah, or more radical outfits such as Islamic State. But rifts have not stopped the group from advancing.

The commander claimed: “10-15 people join the mujahideen [in Logar] every day, sometimes also policemen,” adding that mistreatment by government and foreign forces helps recruitment. According to him, many Taliban become suicide bombers after prison, with prison guards torturing detainees by applying air pressure, beatings or electric shock to their genitals. After a detainee is released, he said, the shame is too much to bear.

In a separate interview in the beleaguered Wardak province, another Taliban fighter, who has six years’ frontline experience, told the Guardian he had considered leaving the insurgency and taking his family to Kabul. “But if the Americans come back to Wardak, I will fight them,” he said. He was less cavalier about civilian casualties, which he said damaged the Taliban’s standing with ordinary Afghans, who have become more reluctant to shelter them.

The two militants did agree on one thing: American soft power is as dangerous as uniformed soldiers, especially as US troops have dwindled in numbers. That belief materialised last year when militants stormed the American University in Kabul, killing 16 students and staff members.

“We should kill those teachers who change the minds of society,” the commander said.

He also admitted some relations with Pakistan, though he denied being under anyone’s thumb. “Having relations is one thing, taking orders is something else,” he said. “Every party, if they want to be stronger, need to talk to other countries. We should talk to Iran, and we should talk to Pakistan. Just like the Afghan government goes to India and China.”

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  • Serious

    USA doesn’t give a fuck. There are training Afghans to fight Talibans and Talibans now fight afhgan forces. So, USA take the natural ressources and let afghan kill each others.

    Afghan and Taliban must reach an agreement.

    This article made by the guardian is a propaganda tool made to make afghan keep killing each others while Americans and Europeans are taking the natural ressources without loss.

    • Vidura

      USA couldnt give a damn about natural resources in that place.

      • Serious

        USA will come to your home and keep it because USA couldn’t give a damn about your home.

      • Serious

        And thanks to recognize who are the true terrorists and the true criminals. You said it by your own. XD.

    • Rodger

      There haven’t been any major finds of natural resources in Afghanistan so far.

      • John

        Hello Rodger. Lithium and other stuff. The Soviets began the discoveries and documentation of it. It is very old news.

        • Rodger

          Nah, there are no large proven lithium reserves in Afghanistan. Wanna try again?
          https://investingnews.com/daily/resource-investing/energy-investing/lithium-investing/lithium-reserves-country/
          There are no vast proven economically viable reserves of anything in Afghanistan so far. It’s BS to sell the mission.

          • John

            I don’t think it is BS. It has been covered for years. My take on it.

          • Rodger

            There are no sources other than MSM talking about it and pointing to other MSM talking about it as proof. They have a little something of some resources but nothing major.

          • ruca

            So then why is the US of Arrogance giving Afghanistan so much attention?

          • Rodger

            Yeah, that’s the big question. The only reasonable answer it seems is it has to do with internal US policy. The political price for admitting defeat seems too high for any ruling party.

      • Mountains

        There is no minerals in afghanistan. absolutely nothing

    • Real Anti-Racist Action

      While many natural resources were found ie (Rare Earth Minerals) rights to mine those went up for bidding a number of years ago about 6 years ago if I remember correctly.
      Chinese companies won nearly every single bidding contract by sweating the competition.
      While an original goal was no doubt for the USSA to get it, China are the ones who are actually mining Afghan’s resources for cheap and selling them to profit the Han’s Chinese.
      That is the name of the tripe who owns and runs all of China.
      It is the Han’s dynasty today and has been for 70 years now.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Chinese

      • John Whitehot

        the strategic importance of Afghanistan is high due to its center position in central asia. having bases in a-stan gives the ability to be within useful distances from Russia, China, the Middle-East, Iran, the Persian Gulf etc etc.

        mineral resources in this case are very secondary.

        • TiredOfBsToo

          Disrupting the One Belt One Road comes to mind.

    • Drinas

      The Talibans are Afghans..

  • Vidura

    no but 300,000 would put the final nail in the coffin.

    • Tudor Miron

      Are you going?

      • FlorianGeyer

        Vidura leads from behind, that is where he has always been most comfortable with the men in his life.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      better go home. fo 300 000 genereation there were not your ancestors in afghanistan

      • John Whitehot

        Soviet Union hasn’t deployed more than 120.000 troops in Afghanistan at any time during the ’79 war.

        • Solomon Krupacek

          i discuss about yanks.

          ussr was in righ. but stupid generals.

    • John

      Hello Vidura. We tried it in Vietnam, with over 500,000 and it did not work. Numbers mean nothing when the enemy won’t quit.

    • Samuel Boas

      No it won’t. Afghanistan can’t be conquered. I know you Americans don’t want to learn from history but you really should.

    • Thegr8rambino

      not even every single active soldier in the US military would beat them

  • Serious

    According to Vidura, if you see a woman and want to rape her, you can.

  • Kim Jong

    nice ring

  • Moussa Saab

    In the last part when said the Taliban has relations to Iran and Pakistan, it should be negotiations.

  • SyrianFighter

    LOL this Taliban commander wants Sharia in Westernized Afghanistan keep dreaming on big Taliban, I thought he want’s all foreign powers out of the country and some new changes in the constitution but he(they the Taliban) want’s Sharia Law. Hmm I wonder how much they respect their own Sharia in their own places.

    • hhabana

      That’s right. Fuck this primitive bastard and the others just like him.

    • Keith Smith

      taliban surrendered already in afghan war, they all just put down their guns so US did an operation phoenix style operation, licking doors off on intel and killing civilian occupants in their beds.. US are screwed if they think going back to that crater is a good idea. 4k soldiers definitely in syria now, so i think afghan bit was a ruse

    • Keith Smith

      US foreign policy is one of the most barbaric in history. US has killed more than 20m people in its victim nations such as this one

  • Expo Marker

    The US will not declare a failure to properly fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, but will promptly blame Iran and Pakistan, because “America #1”!

  • Pave Way IV

    “…If there is an infidel in a flock of sheep, you are permitted to attack that flock of sheep…”

    Damn – that’s what CENTCOM thinks, too!

    • John Whitehot

      but only if the flock contains no more than 39 sheep!

  • Keith Smith

    I believe 4k soldiers went to syria not afghan. even tho it was advertised as afghan, there was reports 4k soldiers are definitely in syria now. ISIS will get shippped into africa through madagascar on the ‘plague crisis’. Somalia campaign is getting underway. Fighting age somalians have been forced to flee to europe for money. so there is little resistance expected

  • Mountains

    There is no minerals in afghanistan