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Robert Young Pelton @RYP__
, 11 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
America's war in #Afghanistan began on July 3, 1979. Yes, six months before the #Soviets invaded and long before Operation Enduring Freedom. That's four decades of winning, losing and not giving a damn when the Taliban rolled in.…
the talibs or #Taliban owe their origins to Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, who translated the Koran into Persian and the Deobandi Dar al-Ulum in Deoband in the Uttar Pradesh province of India…
Frustrated at the number of checkpoints run by warlords and with much of Afghanistan and Kabul destroyed by militias, In September, 1994, Mullah Mohammad Omar left the Sang-i-Hisar Madrassa in Maiwand to form a militia to oust a local warlord in the border town of Spin Boldak.
I met the talibs in 1995 and they held a shura to allow the first interviews of the Mullahs. they said they did not allow photography. I told them if I can't see them face to face they are like women hiding behind the burqa. They held a shura to review my request.
They came back and agreed to the interviews. All except the one-eyed Omar who said "the path to his heart was though his voice." Tricky bastard. I spent a lot of time filming whatever and whenever I wanted in to in Kabul including on the front lines just north of Kabul.
The talibs wanted NGO money and American support. They knew us to be strong allies. After all, we both love pickup trucks, guns and family values I would joke. When they tried to strong-arm the NGOs a flurry of UN-sponsored embed stories began about cruelty and barbarity
We ignored half a decade of barbarity and destruction in Kabul by the warlords we had backed and for the first time there was peace in Kabul. So the taliban became an islamic republic backed by Pakistan, KSA and the UAE. It was then they began killing Afghans as they moved north.
5 years later I was back. This time with Dostum and SF and Mullah Nuri and Fazl. They surrendered and Dostum began quoting Abraham Lincoln in his speeches. After successfully backing the power curve, we went back to the colonial idea of a Pashtun running the country from Kabul.
Later I worked as an advisor for two four stars. I set up a ground network of 1200 Afghans, stayed out of the FOBs and was able to deliver immediate ground truth and complex analysis of events with mapping, power players and solutions. We cut peace deals and helped put out fires.
We set up face to face meetings between Talib commanders and one stars, negotiated regional stability, solving CIVCAS problems. I offered to write regional guides and provide Afghan mentors. It took the CIA eighteen months to figure out that were were working in country.
Today I got a polite back side request from a U.S. military unit for a sitrep on Afghanistan. It's not rocket science people. Hire smart people to do smart things. Then let talented people do talented things. We can "win" this war if we can just clear the clowns out of the way.
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