The words in the title are the words of Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan. He wrote an open letter to the West a few days ago in the form of an opinion piece in The Washington Post. If you haven’t read it, you should do so. He vows to continue the fight against the Taliban and against radical Islamist terrorism. He asks for our help. He needs more weapons, more ammunition and more supplies.
After reading this letter and perusing some news reports, I wrote this earlier today. “The Taliban hold on Afghanistan isn’t near as tight as all the whiners and naysayers think. Organized resistance is gathering around Ahmad Massoud in the Panjshir Valley. Much of the Afghan SOF is there or going there including the 777th special mission wing with their Mi-17s and competent pilots. Several districts have already been recaptured by the local resistance. Anti-Taliban demonstrations are still taking place elsewhere. That takes real balls. India is 100% behind Massoud. Tajikistan will probably do the same. Massoud wrote a letter in the WaPo today asking for help. We should help them the Green Beret way, not the Pentagon way. I’ll write more tonight.”
Well, the sun has set several hours ago so I’ll expand upon my earlier comment. Our primary mission right now is to evacuate all those Americans and Afghans who need to be evacuated. To emphasize this point, the Biden administration is making preparations to compel major US airlines to help with the transportation of evacuees from Afghanistan, while expanding the number of US military bases that could house Afghans. The Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) got their warning order. If we want to successfully evacuate all those who need to be evacuated, we best keep the Taliban off balance. Massoud’s National Resistance Front offers the best option for doing just that. Besides his Tajik fighters who have already beaten every swinging dick who has attempted to take their Panjshir Valley homeland for generations, he has rallied much of the Afghan Special Operations Forces, including the 777th Special Mission Wing.
Amrullah Saleh, the Vice-President of Afghanistan, now the legitimate caretaker president of Afghanistan, and Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, Afghanistan’s defense minister are also with Massoud. Saleh is originally from Panjshir. Rashid Dostum’s 10,000 fighters, now led by his son Yar Mohammad Dostum, are also en route to Panjshir. In only the last few days, local resistance forces in nearby Baghlan province have recaptured Banu and Pol-e-Hesar districts from the Taliban leaving some 40 to 60 dead Talib fighters in their wake. Deh-e-Selah and Qasaan districts has also fallen to local forces.
These are people who not only want to fight, but know how to fight. All they need is some assistance. We should send Massoud several Special Forces Detachments to assist in providing the weapons, ammunition and supplies requested by Massoud. Coordinate close air support? Sure. Build up their indirect fire and transportation capabilities, as well. We can harken back to the early days of what became our Afghan misadventure when Green Berets rode on horseback with Massoud’s father. I would think no more than half a dozen teams are needed, supplemented only by the bare minimum of military technicians needed to provide logistical support. No contractors. No FOBs. No PX and no Starbucks or Burger King.
`Ensure that the Mi-17s of the 777th continue to fly and provide the ammunition and intelligence necessary for the 777th to provide air support to Massoud’s National Resistance. Send in whatever mechanics and aerial port specialists are needed to make this happen. Whatever we send in must have a small footprint. Avoid Pakistan. We don’t need to be beholden to anyone supporting the Taliban. Certainly India and probably Tajikistan would be willing to assist, but don’t ask for much. Keep our assistance light and don’t try to remake Massoud’s forces into something they are not. I’m certain they can do pretty damned well on their own if we give them the right support.
Russia’s stance seems to cover all the bases. Russia’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Dmitry Zhirnov, praised the Taliban’s conduct in the days since its takeover, saying there was no alternative to the hardline Islamist group and resistance to it would fail. Those comments reflect Moscow’s efforts to deepen well-established ties with the Taliban while stopping short, for now, of recognizing them as Afghanistan’s legitimate government. Lavrov, on the other hand, acknowledged the resistance to the Taliban forming in the Panjshir Valley under Massoud and Saleh. Moscow just wants some semblance of stability in the region and doesn’t want Islamic extremism to spill into Central Asia. Although Zhirnov seems to have fallen in love with the Taliban, I sense that Lavrov would rather not see an unchallenged Taliban free to become hosts to Islamic extremists. Massoud’s National Resistance Front checking a total Taliban consolidation may be an acceptable solution for Moscow, especially if our footprint stays minimal.
No one’s going to make money with this plan. And that’s probably the most beautiful aspect of what I propose. That and the fact that everyone will see that we are not going to build a democratic country in Afghanistan with a half dozen SF teams. Although, in my opinion, if anyone could build a democratic nation, it would be a half dozen SF teams… if that’s what they set their minds to.
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