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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan. Wojciech Jagielski on the situation in the country

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Before the Afghan army laid down its arms in the face of the Taliban offensive, there were many political movements that showed the military that there is nothing to die for, to risk their lives, because a bargain is being concluded – said Wojciech Jagielski, war correspondent, reporter, writer and journalist of “Tygodnik Powszechny”. As he assessed, another civil war is the worst thing that can happen to Afghanistan.

A little over 40 years ago, the famous commander of the Afghan Mujahideen and the Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masud, was asked what Afghanistan needed. He answered briefly: only two things – the Koran and the Stingers (American surface-to-air missiles). At that time, the country faced the invasion of the Soviet Union. Currently, the leader of the mujahideen is the son of the “Lion of Panjshir”, Ahmad Masud. What would his answer to the question of what Afghanistan needs in 2021, when the Americans withdraw and the Taliban rule?

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– Ahmad Masud would say that Afghanistan needs restraint and moderation. And the understanding by those who take power, that is the Taliban, that Afghanistan is easy to conquer, but terribly difficult to govern. And that power should be shared with the provinces and valleys so that each of them, while enjoying some autonomy, would in return recognize the supremacy of the authority in Kabul – said former war correspondent Wojciech Jagielski in “Fakt after Faktach”.

However, he admitted that he did not expect understanding from the Taliban. – I think that (Ahmad Masud) is rather counting on persuasion or bidding in the political fairs that he is conducting, because the Taliban is not in favor of waging a civil war – explained the journalist. He stressed that another internal armed conflict was the worst thing that could happen to Afghanistan.

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Why did the Afghan army surrender without a fight?

In the face of the Taliban offensive, the Afghan army often did not put up any resistance, allowing the fighters to quickly conquer more areas of the country without a fight. When asked why the army trained by the Americans for two decades was unable to face the rebels, Jagielski pointed out that “this army counted 300,000 soldiers only in the documents”.

– Due to the presence of 300,000 names, some pay went from Kabul, which was distributed amongst corrupt generals. This army never had any militant value, they were more soldiers at their posts, more policemen than soldiers. The Americans and commanders of Western troops did not trust the Afghan military too much during our 20-year presence and preferred to take the burden of fighting on themselves than to do the Afghans, and they fought primarily from the air – said the journalist.

As he noted, “before this army laid down its arms, there were many political movements that showed to the military that there was nothing to die for, to risk their lives, because the bargain was being finished”. He recalled that the Americans already in February last year reached an agreement with the Taliban beyond the back of the Afghan government. “This combat readiness of the Afghan army was diminishing with each passing month,” he said.

Main photo source: TVN24



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