Taliban: ‘Afghans have an endless stamina for a long war’

On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11, the Taliban have issued a defiant statement saying the US does not have the “stamina” or the “weapon of belief” to remain in the fight in Afghanistan. The Taliban also claimed that unlike the West, it possessed “endless stamina for a long war.”

The Taliban press release is titled “Statement of the Islamic Emirate on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11” and was released today on the Voice of Jihad website in English and other languages.

In the statement, the Taliban maintained that the Sept. 11 attacks on the US constituted “an event in which they [Afghans] had no role whatsoever” and that the US was “using this as a pretext” for “American colonialism.”

The Taliban also claimed that they had called “for an impartial investigation into the event but, contrarily, the Americans and their coalition partners, far from positively responding to this rationale demand of the Islamic Emirate, are sending cruise missiles, poisonous and depleted uranium embedded weapons instead.”

The statement termed the Sept. 11 attack “an ambiguous and murky event,” implying it is unclear if al Qaeda even carried it out.

In reality, in the wake of the attacks the US demanded that the Taliban turn over top al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, who were based in Afghanistan and jointly ran camps and fought alongside with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance. In a videotape released just after the attack, bin Laden admitted that he helped plan it and that the results far exceeded his expectations. But the Taliban leadership refused to turn over bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders, which prompted the US invasion.

Today’s statement claimed that the Taliban, after 10 years of fighting, have “dealt such a jaw-breaking blow at the American tyrants that it was absolutely beyond their calculations and predictions. They are now biting their fingers of grief and worry.”

The Taliban mocked Western military superiority, and said the Taliban are “armed with the weapon of belief and have infatuation with protecting their honor and dignity.”

“Such weapon is neither available in the arsenal of America nor in the warehouse of her Allies,” the statement said. “Likewise, the enemy has no deterrent to confront this weapon.”

“We believe the weapon of belief will ultimately overcome over that of the material prowess, if God willing.”

The Taliban said they were prepared to wage a “long war” against the US.

“The Afghans have an endless stamina for a long war and, perceivably through a country-wise uprising, will send the Americans to the dustbin of the history like they did send other empires of the past to such a destination,” the statement said.

The Taliban statement of resolve comes just two months after the US and other Western countries announced they will begin drawing down significant numbers of forces. The US alone will withdraw 33,000 troops by July 2012, and thousands of other NATO troops will also be withdrawn. NATO is counting on a strategy of negotiating with the Taliban along with standing up Afghan security forces to provide security. But the Taliban have denied direct negotiations, except in the case of contacts for prisoner exchanges.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Eddie D. says:

    The Taliban have an enormous ability for under estimating Americans ability. And, if it wasn’t for OUR compassion for the innocent people of Afghanistan, America would have blown you off the map for yours and bin Laen’s murderous acts against innocent people long ago. Know this Taliban, America will get the murderers nomatter how long it takes, nomatter if god is willing or not. America is willing.

  • Soccer says:

    “Country wide uprising”?
    Kind of ironic and hypocritical coming from a movement that is dominated by hateful, parentless, madrassah brainwashed Pashtun fanatics who believe in imposing a very harsh version of the Islamic Caliphate upon the entire world at the tip of a gun barrel.
    The Taliban are merely playing up nationalistic sentiment so they can make it seem like they have a place among the population of Afghanistan, after they killed and brutalized the population when they were in power and denied them a right to education – a basic human right.
    “The Taliban also claimed that they had called “for an impartial investigation into the event but, contrarily, the Americans and their coalition partners, far from positively responding to this rationale demand of the Islamic Emirate, are sending cruise missiles, poisonous and depleted uranium embedded weapons instead.”
    Hmmm… good one? The U.S. would never have fired one missile into Afghan territory if the Taliban handed over Bin Laden and supported terror groups from ALL over the world. It seems a new hobby of the Taliban is indulging in revisionist history. And as for their “investigation” into the incident, no wonder it was denied. These are the same people who kidnap young boys, use women and children as suicide bombers, get children to behead innocent people, use dirty IED’s, stone women, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. The list could go on and on and on. Who in their right mind would set up an investigation with scumbag murderers such as them? Get real…..
    And I wouldn’t even take anything the Taliban says with anything more than a grain of salt, considering they always make dubious claims about ISAF casualties without ever providing even a shred of evidence to back up their erroneous assertions.
    To sum it up, the Taliban are a bunch of hypocritical murdering vermin. They would have already been in the dustbin of history by now if they did not have safe havens in Pakistan from which to brainwash more helpless children into supporting their evil and corrupt agenda.
    This statement by the “Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan” is nothing more than propaganda and shameful deceit. The Taliban and all the rest of the jihadists need to realize that this is the age of the Internet, where all information is out in the open and you can no longer get away with making false claims that are ridiculous in nature without someone calling you out on your BS.

  • charles222 says:

    The Taliban don’t seem to realize living as if it’s five centuries ago is not something to be proud of.

  • David says:

    — I wish you were right, but it looks like we are going to pull out after 2014, and let the Taliban come right back. I actually think that their weapon isn’t belief, but the backing of the state of Pakistan. Otherwise they would all be long gone. But it doesn’t look to me like America is willing to continue the fight in Afghanistan, let alone to do the rational thing, and really confront Pakistan (and I’m not sure how we can do that, either)

  • dawar says:

    Taliban and all those like them must realize that the time to impose the tyranny of few Mullas over a vast majority of the people is over! Working for paki ISI and the Punjabis and destroying Afghanistan will never ever be a cause for uprising in support of the Taliban. It is a proven fact now that Taliban are Paki puppets and as such a tool for the destruction of Afghanistan.

  • crusader says:

    this is a case of propaganda against propaganda.
    both sides have their brainwashing going on.
    the taliban in afghanistan have their agenda of brainwashing.
    we in the us have another agenda of brainwashing.
    for example the talib see women as a possession or something with a less value.
    if they really despised them why didn’t they never just kill some of them at random like american slave owners or the nazis did?
    slaves and jews in this case.
    americans see women as divine and are always considered “innocent” women get better protection and can get away with crimes also they get reduced prison time because they are women, an aristocracy of sorts…
    the entire society is brainwashing everyone about the innocence and divinity of women!
    those who dare question their authority will be socially punished, a form of grown up bullying.
    speaking for myself i can say that i have since a young age been brainwashed in serving and protecting women…
    i thought i would never wake up from that brainwashing since i knew that all of society would punish me if i even suggested to criticize it.
    i have never lived in afghanistan so i wouldn’t know about their brainwashing but i can only imagine what its like.
    every society is brainwashing in one way or the other. those who dare oppose it are punished in one way or another!
    so what we are doing here is question another form of brainwashing that we are doing ourselves?
    isnt it really hypocritical behavior?
    numerous times i have read comments on these threads with words like “women and children”
    children are innocent and should be protected.
    since when are women all innocent?
    it has been proven over and over again that they are no angels and that they themselves have committed crimes, some cruel to its nature.
    still we use words like “innocent women and children”
    when will it be rephrased to “innocent children”?
    it is a fact that women are physically weaker than men, so what? they can use charm and manipulation to get their will.
    it is interesting to see that a womans feelings (crying in court would not hurt) justifies a harsher sentence.
    i would in fact be more afraid of any woman than a man knowing their capabilities of playing the victim and manipulating.
    i reckon there will be many men out there who are still brainwashed by this sick society.
    the afghan society is also sick with its own brainwashing…

  • Chris says:

    “Afghans have an endless stamina for a long war”
    Against the Talibs and their Pakistani and Arab masters?
    Why yes.
    RIP Lion of Panjshir
    Ahmad Shah Massoud.
    Murdered by two cowards two day before the attacks that would give his country the liberation he was never able to see.
    May God rest your soul.

  • Joe says:

    The Taliban are pretty much maggots feeding upon the festering corpses of two failed states. They exist and persist only because there is not any competent governance on either side of the border and because elements of the Pakistani military have the misconceived idea that they have to control the peace in Afghanistan by murdering thousands of innocents for decades to come.

  • Walter Sobchak says:

    The problem is that the Taliban is not an institution. It is a sock puppet of the Pakistan ISI. We are chasing it around the room and ignoring the puppeteer.

  • blert says:

    Such groundless bravado was seen in the final days of Imperial Japan.
    To read such headlines — the US Navy was being sunk every month — right up until the Emperor broke the bad news.
    Normally, it’s the side unable to carry on with attrition warfare that first hails its ability to persist.
    The facts are that Mullah Omar has suffered a pounding at the hands of the ISAF. ( I saw Americans fight. )
    The troop reduction is very bad news for Pakistan: leverage is being lost.
    Mission creep is being rolled back.
    WE are the party digging in for eternal persistence.
    The lower our foot print — the easier it is to endure.

  • Johnsay says:

    What is beyond my understanding at this point is why the Taliban continues to fight the ISF. They would accomplish far more by lying low and conserving their strength until the ISF inevitably leaves in a few years. The inevitable civil war will thence follow.
    Unless we intend to spend the next 20 years in Afghanistan, which we won’t, we should finish decapitating Al Quaeda, call it a victory and leave.

  • yz says:

    ‘Afghans have an endless stamina for a long war’
    Because they have no joys in their lives to look forward to.

  • Villiger says:

    Joe, very well said.
    Except i reckon the next phase of Pakistan’s failure is going to lead to its break up, one way or another, assisted or unassisted. That paradigm will also call for the break-up of the Pakistani military. So that the mischief, hopefully, doesn’t continue for decades. In that regard, personally i think the 20th anniversary is going to look far more different than the 10th appears from 9/11 itself.
    But yes, even then, with the formation of new nations that whole region is going to take decades to find a balance.

  • Paul D says:

    What i have learned in 10 years is that the Pakistan mullah alliance,Iran Govt and the Saudis are the new AXIS OF EVIL/Islamism.
    To win the war on terror we must remove the Iran Govt,Pak army running Pakistan and dealing with Saudi funding of Global Islam

  • Tony says:

    The Taliban are mediaevalists sure enough. What does that say about the neo-colonialists who are trying and failing to overcome them. The West is breathing life into them by the day by their incompetence and drone-lunacy. The mirror to look in is that of Algeria and the FLN. For France in the 50s and 60s read NATO now.The Taliban will get the victory they are after then mess it and Afghanistan people up still further. It will be the fault of the West who revived them when they were beaten.

  • RH says:

    Prior to 9/11, the Taliban were a fractured group with leaders in the north and south. Omar, the so called spiritual leader was a southerner..he rarely, if ever traveled to Kabul.
    Do we know who or whom our government utilized to give the ultimatum to Omar..several books written with some authority indicate the “messenger” was the Saudi security chief. But, who, what, when and where remains factually unknown.
    Most recognize the fact in the Pastun culture a “guest” must be protected at all costs. Some may recall the book “Sole Survivor” or the four SEALS hunting a Taliban commander in 2004/Kunar Province..all but one was killed..with the last (the author) of the book was shielded from the Taliban and protected until US could link up and save the “Lone Survivor”.
    This historical account of giving the ultimatum to the Taliban (defined as ..those who seek religious knowledge..plural…Talib is singular) remains cast in the shadows of historical significance.
    How would the result been had some other form of communication be done to the fractured leadership of the Taliban in lieu of addressing Omar singularly..we will never know.
    Keep in mind, the US tolerated the Taliban and thir culture..in fact, a group of Taliban came to Washington DC during the effort to negotiate a gas line north to south ending at Karachi known as the Union Oil project (there are pictures..try Google search).
    The reason the long war has become a month to month stalemate is because the insurgency is in fact supported ..or tolerated by the locals. All the locals want is stability and security..the Taliban brought that to the people when they were in power.
    And secondly..and perhaps more important is a review of the..Arab Springs..Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya fought and are now fighting for their democratic rights under a government not ruled by a dictator.
    Where is the “Arab Spring” in Afghanistan? Why have not the people risen up to demand security within there provinces? Why have they not discounted the Taliban and accepted Kabul government oversight? All this with billions upon billions of US aid..this is the question we must ask.
    Is it possible the major of people look at Karzai as corrupt..even incompetent…perhaps stealing from the Afghan people…perhaps not really interested except to maintain rule over Afghanistan..
    Perhaps..just perhaps..the Arab Spring will mature in such a way that the people look at Karzai as another Kadafi..and as the coaliton backing a corrupt regime. Perhaps..just perhaps.
    Paktia/Khost-2003; Iraq/2005; HOA/2002,2007-08, 2010

  • Jack Williams says:

    What is happening in Afghanistan is that even the Pashtuns are beginning to say.. “well, we don’t like this ferangi force (ISAF) …. but we don’t want to be dominate by the Punjabis… and the Taliban are just the tools of the Punjabis…”
    When the entire Pashtun nation comes to accept this, it will be a grim day for the Pakistani lowlanders.
    This belief is spreading fast in Pashtunistan.

  • jayc says:

    Bomb at US base reminder of raging Afghan war
    Some back home have asked why we are still here,” U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said at a 9/11 memorial at the embassy in Kabul. “It’s been a long fight and people are tired. The reason is simple. Al-Qaida is not here in Afghanistan, and that is because we are. ”

  • TEM says:

    President Bush gave the Taliban fair warning, turn over the AQ terrorists given sacutuary in your country, then you will have no problem with the USA.
    They refused and now are paying a price.
    I in country from 11/01 until being hurt in 3/02, the vast majority of fanatics I saw were arabs,uzbecks,yemenis, chechnyians,and few afghans or pakistanis.
    The taliban collapsed (ie ran like cowards to their pakistani masters) in a very rapid manner.
    The foreign AQ fighters,that’s a different story, they stuck around waiting for their virgins in paradise.
    Dont believe anything the media reports, three months after operations began in afghanistan,many in the media started throwing around the term “quaqmire and vietnam”
    God Bless America!

  • Chris says:

    What makes you think we won’t be in Afghanistan for the next 20 years?What about the next 50?
    I detect cynicism here.What makes you think ISAF will be so stupid as to actually leave in 2014?Mike Mullen actually talked about this in an interview with charlie rose.
    We’re not going anywhere.For as long as Pakistan and Iran are “problems” we”re not going anywhere.
    Welcome to the new South Korea.

  • James says:

    “Afghans have an endless stamina for a long war . . . ”
    Let’s just think about that statement for a moment. Who is the writer referring to? Could it be the ‘GOOD’ Afghans (and not just the bad ones)?
    From that analysis, the statement can (and should) be construed as a double-edged sword.
    @TEM, thanks for your comments and your service and sacrifice and the many others like you that so indeed make our Country so great.
    I couldn’t agree with you more. The source of all the pain and suffering in Afghanistan is not even Afghan in origin but is instead coming from the foreign jihadists. They are the ones who should be deemed as the REAL occupiers in Afghanistan.
    Hopefully, we’ll have the needed ‘regime change’ [in DC] with the next major election.

  • Soccer says:

    I see you are going on your usual anti-woman tirades again. I feel irritated that someone like you would try to divert the POINT of my post; that the Taliban are sick people that use innocent women and children as tools for their sick and perverted agenda. If you want to go on a rant, fine, but don’t use your opinions to try to hijack the original point I was trying to get across. And yes, of course the Afghans have a problem with brainwashing. I am in a ‘big brother’ program here…. believe it or not, a lot of kids come from South\Central Asia to the program. They have either had their family members killed, or their family members are disabled mentally or physically from the war. So when I spend time with the kids, you couldn’t imagine how happy they are to have a positive male influence around them, and a role model that cares for them and only wants the best for them. At least 2 of the kids were from a Pashtun background. Imagine that, with their huge families! That part of the world is messed up, Crusader, and something needs to be done about it. That is why I volunteer my time, so I can do MY part, and I can help reverse the brainwashing and corruption. Who knows, me and my significant other may even adopt a kid from Afghanistan or Pakistan one day if the time is right. Those kids deserve a chance at life and happiness. It would be great to save the life of a child that really needs it.
    You were in Afghanistan that early? How was it, what was the war like back then from your point of view? And how were you injured?
    And as for everyone saying we will be there ‘forever’, of course we’ll be there forever. 9/11 won’t be forgotten anytime soon and Afghan society seems to be stuck in the stone ages. If they fought against the extremists and actually made an effort to progress past the 7th century, I’m sure the U.S. would breathe a sigh of relief and head for the exit doors as soon as possible, but that won’t happen anytime soon.

  • george says:

    Tribals do have the stamina for a long war. That is all they have known through generations past, opposing and deposing each other. The Brits soon learnt to contain them and let them fight among themselves. If they breach the cordon then come down on them like a ton of bricks. The policy of shooting them in the kneecaps, waiting for it to heal then doing it again is at their level of understanding. Get over the idea that Afghanistan is a nation, its a geographic area of tribes, same for most of Pakistan. Tribes will always be at each others throats except for temporary and shifting alliances.
    Take a leaf from the Israeli book and commence the deliberate targeting of key players in the Pak nuclear weapons team until the message dawns. Oh, and cut the money off to their basketcase nation. Even the Indians feel sorry for the Paks in their wretchedness and we in the west are propping up Kabul ad Islamabad instead of letting sludge find it’s own level.
    There is no Great Game to win here, no more so than there is a winning side when howler monkeys fling dung around their cage.

  • Neonmeat says:

    I believe that the Taliban do have the stamina for an endless war. Their belief in extremist Islam and Jihad against ‘the crusaders’ means they believe they are doing gods will, this zealous blind faith means they will fight to the death and they will never be appeased by political means.
    IMO we should never negotiate with the Taliban.
    Sadly ISAF allied countries do not have the stomach for a long war because whereas the Taliban believe they are dying for a holy cause largely the ISAF civilian populations feel our men are dying for nothing. I personally do not agree with this view, every soldier that has died in Afghanistan has died for a worthy and honourable cause to eradicate the vile Taliban from a country where a third of the population (see Northern Alliance) never submitted or accepted their authority during their brief stint in power in the first place.
    If we do leave in 2014 as other commentators have stated we will still be fighting the Taliban, ISAF Spec Ops will be in the country for years and years continuing to kill and capture AQ and Taliban facilitators and operators in what could be argued has so far been a more effective campaign to destroy them than the all out military deployment. We can also hope that the Afghan military will by this time be an effective force that can hold its own.

  • paul kamolnick says:

    I believe RH has a point that must be further investigated. I have recently read then-president Bush’s chapter on Afghanistan in his new memoir, Decision Points. From that chapter one may conclude that the president issued a non-negotiable ultimatum based on his view of the Taliban not just for facilitating UbL’s AQ, but because of their radical puritanical medievalism, particularly with regard to women, they needed to go. It is consistent with the president’s Wilsonian idealism and his broader view of freedom as an inescapable human desire; its indefeasibility; and its necessity pragmatic value for ensuring that nation’s are at peace with themselves, and the world.
    However, the president seems in that chapter remarkably naive about the actual relationship of the Taliban to UbL; their ultimate desire to seek normalized relations; their non-globalist agenda; and their potential willingness to negotiate a possible way to have AQ’s infrastructure dismantled if they as a regime were not attacked.
    Yet, it is a fact that several UN Security Council Resolutions had been passed since the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings that clearly indicated that AQ was a mortal threat to the US. UbL’s so-called 1998 ‘fatwa,’ the Cole bombing, the millenium plot, and others did not lead the Taliban to turn bin Laden over. This gets to the very knotty question of the type of relation existing between Mullah Omar and UbL’s Arab Afghans: symbiotic, parasitic, or whatever. UbL was apparently essential to keeping the ground the talibs had won; the ground the talibs won was essential to UbL’s sanctuary and external operations.
    Was there a missed opportunity to negotiate in good faith with the moderate Taliban elements to have the AQ presence neutralized? Did the US not understand that Pakistan’s strategic position led them to embrace a policy of strategic depth and that by overthrowing the Taliban we opened up a strategic crisis that the ISI has obviously sought to fill?
    The wisdom and courage it would have taken not to respond to AQ’s 9/11 provocation; a longer-term attempt to mobilize international forces through the UN Security Council to strangle AQ; very big questions indeed. It will have to be very clearly examined in fact whether the president never intended to negotiate and sought regime change as a component of a freedom agenda, and not directly as a consequence of a policy designed to deter, disrupt, and defeat AQ.

  • Matt says:

    As the Saudi’s said and I have said compartmentalized cells that Omar has no control over so he cannot make peace. So it cannot be contained into a CT role. That was the thing if you push it to hard Omar would lose control over the Talib and it would become compartmentalized. So all the Talib had to do was wait until it became and endless war with compartmentalized cells. If you fueled the insurgency you cannot contain it into a CT role as there are too many insurgents and too many compartmentalized cells and it becomes a national resistance movement not a war between the Taliban and the ANSF/ISAF.

  • Matt says:

    I will give you an example of Iraq, the national police rape a guys daughter so the guy kills his daughter and then puts numerous car bombs at police stations. al-Qaida rely’s on these people to fight the insurgency, al-Qaida claim responsibility for the attack. The same thing will happen in Afghanistan that is what the Talib are talking about with their uprising.

  • Mr T says:

    “All the locals want is stability and security..the Taliban brought that to the people when they were in power.”
    What?? The Taliban brought the US down on their heads. That doesn’t sound like stability and security to me.
    Hey Taliban, apparently God is NOT willing to help your cause. Your leaders lie to you on a daily basis about how good the war is going for you. It is not going good for you. Its been 10 years that people in your country are dying in massive numbers. Bombs are ererywhere. Armed gunmen roam the ocountryside killing people they don’t like.
    Your children have faced decades of war with no end in sight. Death, destruction, and misery is what the Afghan Muslin sees that the Talban brought them. God is the one giving it to you because he does not support what you are doing. He is not willing to help your cause. Give it up already before he really comes down on you.
    God doesn’t like liars either and your leaders are lying to you and God. Challenge them if you don’t believe it. We will see how long you last in their evil clutches. Look for peace instead.

  • replytoSoccer says:

    Sorry soccer, but you don’t understand. Taliban offered the US a proposal. If proposal was accepted, Bin Ladin would be sent to an Islamic country and would face trial. The US rejected it and insisted on Taliban to hand over Ladin to the US. The Pashtun people are known for their being a faithful ally, so the US’ proposal was not possible for them, so they chose a long war instead.

  • Soccer says:

    No, you are the one who does not understand.
    Do you honestly think that the Taliban’s option was sincere? Do you think it honestly would have served justice? Can you honestly tell yourself that it would?
    Everyone knew from the second the Taliban said that, that it was not a sincere and legitimate offer. After 9/11, the Taliban maintained that he was innocent and that they would fight the Americans if they tried to go get him, and guess what, they kept true on that part of their promise, at least.
    As for your blather about Pashtuns being “faithful”, that is a red herring. The Taliban are madrassah fanatics and play people off against each other. That is what the Taliban were doing in order to bankrupt the U.S. and draw them into a long war to bankrupt them, NOT because the U.S. rejected their proposal but because the Taliban that were ruling the country at the time were believers in Bin Laden’s global jihadist methodologies. Jihadists believe they will inflict their first defeat against their enemies in Khorasan, which is Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    I suggest you actually study history and learn more about the region, Pashtuns have been at war and have played off people against each other for hundreds of years now.
    Before you attempt to sound smart, please get a real name first, and actually know your history and have something legitimate to say besides making a post based off of opinion and conjecture. Thanks.

  • Soccer says:

    Oh and by the way, please don’t go shooting your mouth off about the Taliban being “faithful” when they are the same ones who use children to behead tribesmen, and they use women to hide bombs under their burkas and send them into police checkpoints. They are a cancer on humanity and you are only fooling yourself when you claim they are “faithful” or anything of the sort. Please, crawl back into the hole you came from.

  • Zubayr says:

    The Soviets came near the end of 1979. They were defeated and left in February 1989. This is the only important point worth remembering. The Americans?

  • Neonmeat says:

    @ Zubayr
    Your point being? I do not see how this applies to the continuing efforts to support the Afghan Government to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban?
    The ISAF allies are still in Afghanistan, not just American forces, which a lot of people seemingly like to forget as it does not fit with their convenient Mujahideen vs the Great Satan narrative.
    The ISAF are fighting alongside the Afghan National Army who they are also training, they fight supporting a Government elected by the people. Comparisons with the Russian invasion are weak at best. The death toll on both sides is nothing compared to that conflict, and besides ISAF is winning.
    Even after the main Troop contingents leave Spec Ops will remain and fight alongside Afghan Commandos at the behest of the Afghan Government and Military, don’t doubt that.


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