Critics of American involvement in Afghanistan have written the country off along with the involvement. They are focused on the recent excesses of Woke culture, and of the neo-Conservative philosophy that preceded it. Since they don’t like these ideas at home, they’re not sorry to see them fail abroad.
They believe the Billions of dollars spent on westernizing the Afghans, and modernizing their army, have all been wasted. Well, they say, looking at the Taliban takeover, if that’s their attitude, ‘to Hell with them.’
The critics are ignoring the Panjshir, which has become a small seed of traditional Western values and technology in a sea of 7th Century religious fanatics.
The Panjshir is led by Ahmad Massoud, the 32-year old son of the the “Lion of Panjshir,” Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud. When Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated, Ahmad, then 12, fled to Iran and later Britain where he was trained at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst before obtaining his Master’s degree in International Politics from City University of London, in 2016.
So far the younger Massoud and his 6,000 or so Afghan special forces, and ethnic Tajik fighters have successfully held off the largely untrained Taliban. They have done so because, unlike the American-trained army, their forces have been ethnically based. In addition, they believe in women’s rights, not LGBT rights, which fits in with conservative beliefs of their fellow Panjshirs.
Will they succeed in continuing to do so until the snow flies in four weeks and puts an end to the fighting season? We can’t tell. But we can say, that at this point, that small seed is doing better than its critics expected.