Saturday, May 02, 2009

Why are the Taliban so Good at Fighting?

Reading a book review last weekend, it asked a good question;

From all this, readers are likely to come away asking "how the hell did the Taliban learn to fight like this?" They engaged in large-scale operations against the British and held their own. You don't learn this in a rudimentary camp in the mountains. It is easier to train someone to become a suicide bomber than to be a soldier in an organised, disciplined army. It is not a criticism that Grey [the author] doesn't answer this question. But somebody should.

Indeed. Are they being/were trained/helped by elements within Pakistan's ISI? Could it be the new 'open source warfare' where groups share knowledge about their common enemies? It is the old story of a group simply knowing it's home turf better than the foreign forces?

It is a good question that needs answering; how can a group of former farmers with AK47s and PRGs fight the most advanced military force ever, NATO, to an standstill?

Answers on a post card...


ibs said...

Haven't the Taliban, and their antecedents, been at war since the late 1970s? Against the USSR, rival factions, then NATO? A comparison might be Europe between 1914 and 1944.

Kevin Carson said...

What ibs said. I don't know how much organizational continuity there is between the Taliban and the major Mujaheddin organizations from the '80s, but I'm sure a lot of their "human capital" carries over from the last time Afgan guerrillas kicked the living shit out of a superpower.

One down, one to go.

anarchist said...

Good points, thanks for sharing that!

Anonymous said...

OK. So they manage one allied killed for fifty of their own dead. Why are they such good fighters? Hmm. Possibly because they have allah on their side, who kills all coalition soldiers the moment they set foot over the boarder , just like good god should.