Taliban Victory – What Does It Really Mean? – Part II

Dear Readers:

Continuing to work through this interview with Russian Parliamentarian Franz Klintsevich, the reporter is Denis Tel’manov. Where we left off, Tel’manov was curious to know what Franz thinks is Ahmad Massoud’s end game. Why does he continue to resist against the Taliban? Is he fighting for a more secular way of life for his people? For the return of the previous government?

Klintsevich: His goal is not to restore the previous government, nor fight for some kind of American ideals. His resistance is simply an object of trade. This is the East. He is trying to force the Talibs to negotiate with him. For himself, he wants to procure a position in the new government; for his people he wants to win preferential treatment, so that they can continue to live in the manner to which they are accustomed.

Ethnic map of Afghanistan

And I believe that they will come to some kind of arrangement, although conflicts might [still] arise periodically. But there won’t be a war, there will be a truce. The Talibs will be forced to take into account the interests of various [ethnic] groupings who dwell in Afghanistan. And therefore they will form a new government of the nation consisting of representatives of the most varied social layers, and not just “Taliban” people, of that I am absolutely sure. Of course this could take a while to happen, not right away, not in a month, maybe two months.

Reporter: Whose interests does Ahmad Massoud represent? Who stands behind him? Pakistan? The USA? Maybe some of our allies?

Klintsevich: The latter could be true. I don’t believe that the Americans stand behind either Ahmad or the Taliban. Because it was under the leadership of Washington that they killed his [Ahmad’s] father, treating him as a man with whom they couldn’t do business. He did not agree to any American intervention nor to any American rule over his country, he spoke only of an independent Afghan government.

Massoud’s father, Ahmad Shah Massoud

The authority of Ahmad Shah was so high, that even the Taliban had to deal with him, had to take into account his role in the war which he waged against Soviet troops.

Today, thanks to the experience of Ahmad Shah, his son Ahmad [Junior] has [many] contacts, both in Europe and Pakistan, as well as China and India. He is not an empty vessel, in that respect. But these contacts are meant not for political, but rather economic, ties and relationships. For this reason as well, the Taliban cannot simply put him down, they are going to have to deal with him.

Although, [I have to say that], many foreign intelligence services are conducting their work there, and they have a certain amount of influence. But they won’t be able to radically influence the direction the country is going, with the Taliban now stepping in, not without a lot of wheeling and dealing.

Therefore, he [Massoud] is still somewhat independent. He is one of just a few players who, in my opinion, are truly independent, and he wishes, in these conditions, to bargain, on behalf of himself and his region, to obtain the maximum possible benefits.

Reporter: What kind of benefits?

Klintsevich: He wants to be part of the government of the country, he wants to be a decision-maker, to create preferential conditions for his region and his people, this is a very diverse people, ethnically speaking.

He needs to retain the right to conduct independently those trade and economic relations that he has established, and so that nobody can dictate their will to him.

Reporter: Will the Taliban go along with that?

Klintsevich: They will have no choice. Obviously they don’t want to, which is why they are still making threats. But eventually they will see that they are up against a brick wall, and they will have no choice except to negotiate a deal.

Reporter: But in the Provisional Government which they announced this week, there are no representatives of Massoud.

Klintsevich: In which case, there will be a fight. They [the Taliban] are convinced that, given all the resources which the Americans left them, including helicopters, drones, the personal gear, etc., that they will be able to block the Panjshir [Valley], that they will be able to control that region. But you can’t block, the Panjshir. They have too many forces and means at their disposal, this will prevent a full blockade.

Talibs wearing American trophy gear troll American patriotic sensibilities.

Reporter: Could they attack it from the air?

Klintsevich: They could. But the main thing they could do in that case would be to bomb populated areas. And there is a mass of caves, hiding places, various tunnels which are impervious to aviation. They started to build these caves and tunnels back in Soviet times. They are fortified, camouflaged, well equipped.

Reporter: In other words, the resistance could go on for years.

Klintsevich: Yes, that’s the problem. But I am sure that the Americans will recommend to the Talibs that they find a compromise. Although one has to take into account what has been happening recently, including terrorist attacks, the liquidation of terrorists, soldiers shooting up automobiles filled with peaceful civilians under the guise they were assisting terrorists; one might say that a process is taking place which creates the external conditions for the destablization of the situation and the introduction into the country of the so-called “manageable chaos”.

Reporter: In other words, it suits the Americans to have some grouping in Afghanistan which will threaten the Taliban and destabilize the situation in the country?

Klintsevich: Of course. The Americans will create this tension, attempt to build relations with all the various players, various agents will work with the various field commanders. For example, it will be necessary for them to create a wave of refugees, people who are dissatisfied with the Taliban, and who will flood into other countries, and amongst whom can be planted a large number of professional terrorists, who will attempt to settle in those countries.

[to be continued]

This entry was posted in Military and War, Russian History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s