World View: Dozens of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan Killed in Fourth Taliban Victory in 3 Weeks

Taliban and Islamic State fighters allegedly killed more than 50 civilians, including women and children, in Afghanistan's Sar-e Pul province

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Dozens of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan killed in fourth Taliban victory in 3 weeks
  • Did ISIS team up with the Taliban in Sar-e-Pul massacre?
  • Trump’s review of the Afghanistan war seeks solution where none exists

Dozens of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan killed in fourth Taliban victory in 3 weeks

Afghan security forces retake control of Jani Khel in Paktia province after ten days of heavy fighting with the Taliban (Khaama)
Afghan security forces retake control of Jani Khel in Paktia province after ten days of heavy fighting with the Taliban (Khaama)

Dozens of men, women, and children, mostly ethnic Hazara Shia Muslims, were massacred in a two-day battle that ended on Saturday in northern Afghanistan in Sar-e-Pul. About 50 people were shot and killed, 30 houses were torched and burned to the ground, several mosques were set ablaze, and an unknown number of villagers were taken hostage. Seven Afghan troops and 12 Taliban militants were killed in the fighting.

The extremely bloody Afghan crisis civil war, 1991-96, mostly pitted the ethnic Pashtuns, who are Sunni Muslims and later formed the Taliban, versus the Northern Alliance of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. Now, twenty years later, Afghanistan is in a generational Awakening era, and a new young generation of Pashtuns is coming of age, raised on stories their parents told them about the atrocities committed by the Northern Alliance.

These kinds of attacks are going to continue and may even become more frequent. Furthermore, this is only one of four Taliban attacks across the country in four different provinces.

The district of Jani Khel in Paktia, a known stronghold of the Haqqani Network, fell to the Taliban in late July after several days of heavy fighting. It was recaptured on August 4. The districts of Taywara in Ghor in central Afghanistan, and Kohistan (or Lolash) in Faryab in the northwest, fell to the Taliban on July 23 after several days of fighting.

Afghan security forces were unable to prevent any of these losses. None of these losses is an existential threat to the government in Kabul and, in each case, Afghan forces will recapture the district in time. But they provide the Taliban with an opportunity to loot the district of its equipment, vehicles, weapons, and ammunition – much of which was supplied by the US, meaning that the US is arming both sides in Afghanistan. These losses also show that the Taliban is capable of conducting operations in all regions of the country. BBC and Khaama Press (Afghanistan) and Long War Journal (25-Jul) and Tolo News (Afghanistan, 25-Jul) and Deutsche Welle

Did ISIS team up with the Taliban in Sar-e-Pul massacre?

According to most western media reports, the massacre of dozens of Shia Muslim Hazaras in Sar-e-Pul on Saturday is the result of a joint coordinated attack by the Taliban and the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

As usual, this is mainly a publicity stunt. It definitely does not mean that ISIS leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who is probably cowering in a basement somewhere in Syria or Iraq, has ordered a few of his thugs to pack up their things and travel to Sar-e-Pul to massacre some women and children.

What it really means is that two Taliban factions were involved in the slaughter, and one of the factions has pledged allegiance to ISIS, hoping to get some publicity and perhaps some volunteers out of it.

As a matter of fact, in this case, what it means is that Sher Mohammad Ghazanfar, a local Taliban commander, has pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to a local government spokesman.

Furthermore, a Taliban spokesman denied the allegations: “It was an independent operation by our mujahideen forces. There is no cooperation with [ISIS] on the operation.”

He also denied that civilians were killed. This is also a public relations fabrication. The Taliban have faced criticism even from Pashtuns in Afghanistan for their willingness to kill innocent women and children. So now they just kill the women and children anyway, but claim they didn’t. International Business Times and Al Jazeera and CNN and PBS (17-Nov-2015)

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Trump’s review of the Afghanistan war seeks solution where none exists

In the last couple of weeks, the media have been filled with stories about a new White House review of the war and Afghanistan, including a demand by President Donald Trump to achieve victory. The media have described this as an angry disagreement between National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon.

According to the reports that I’ve seen, McMaster wants to send a new “surge” of troops into Afghanistan, presumably to win, while Bannon wants either to withdraw completely, or else to outsource the war to military contractors, such as Blackwater Worldwide or DynCorp.

As long-time readers are aware, I’ve been predicting for years, based on a Generational Dynamics analysis of, among other things, the tribal relationships of the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that a victory is impossible. I summarized the reasoning briefly earlier in this article with the discussion above of the Pashtuns and the Northern Alliance.

As I’ve described in the past, I’ve worked with Steve Bannon off and on for several years in the past, both on his movie “Generation Zero” and when I was cross-posting articles on the Breitbart National Security site. So I know that Steve Bannon is an expert on military history and world history, and he also has an expert understanding of Generational Dynamics and generational theory, and he also understands the Generational Dynamics predictions in Afghanistan.

From the Generational Dynamics point of view, the strategy of withdrawing all American forces would seem to make the most sense, given that a victory is impossible. The problem with that strategy is that it will leave the way open for total victory by the Taliban, collapsing the government completely, and would also deal a huge blow to India, which has major interests in Afghanistan. Other possible consequences would be the rise of ISIS militias in Afghanistan, and a return of the Russian military to Afghanistan to fill the vacuum created by an American withdrawal. The use of military contractors might mitigate some of these consequences. This is presumably the subject of in-depth analyses being performed in the White House.

Sending in additional troops would be a “kick the can down the road” strategy. Victory is impossible, but additional troops would not have the potentially disastrous consequences of a complete withdrawal. Instead, it would be a kind of holding action.

At times like this, I like to point out that there is no solution to this problem. By this, I don’t mean that nobody has been clever enough to figure out the solution. What I mean is that no solution exists, because no strategy can lead to victory. NewsMax and Washington Post

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Afghanistan, Sar-e-Pul, Jani Khel, Paktia, Pashtuns, Taliban, Hazaras, Sher Mohammad Ghazanfar, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh
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