From my new column in Taki’s Magazine on lessons we should have learned from the sudden micro-debacle in Kabul and the gradual macro-debacle in Afghanistan:
August 18, 2021
The basic reasons for the collaborationist forces collapsing, gradually and then suddenly, are clear, even if who specifically within the U.S. government deserves the most blame for not anticipating them remains to be seen.
Like the Wolverines in Red Dawn, the Taliban live there. Afghanistan might not be much, but it’s all they’ve got. Granted, Afghanistan is a crummy country with a comically awful culture. The revolution in ways of thinking that swept the West beginning in the 1200s has yet to arrive in much of Afghanistan.
But, for some people, it’s home.
In contrast, the Americans were always the invaders. Sure, the Taliban were criminally negligent accessories to 9/11 by hosting Osama bin Laden (although no evidence has since emerged that they knew of this specific enormity ahead of time). So, the U.S. had every right to engage in a butcher-and-bolt punitive expedition to overthrow the Kabul regime, which we succeeded in doing in a couple of months.
But then we hung around for twenty years trying to make ourselves popular. Of course, in a country teeming with young men (Afghanistan has the highest birth rate outside of sub-Saharan Africa), being an outsider roaring around on their home turf in our Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles is no way to make us loved.
So, among the youth of the dominant Pashtun tribe, the Taliban tended to recruit the patriots while we wound up with the parasites.
Read the whole thing there.