In a statement released today on Voice of Jihad, the Afghan Taliban’s official website, the group criticizes the US and NATO for destroying combat outposts and other bases built over the years, claiming that the “Afghans hold due right of these installations because they are built on the land of the Afghans and with money collected in their name.”
The Taliban clearly have an interest in having the bases left behind. They state that “[l]eaving these installations is very beneficial for the persecuted Afghan people,” and ask if the dismantling of the bases is the “re-construction of re-destruction.” The Taliban call these bases “infrastructure,” and want them intact, which is ironic given that the Taliban have blocked and sabotaged the building of schools, medical clinics, roads, dams, and other “infrastructure” projects.
In the past, the Taliban have occupied abandoned US combat outposts, and have even issued videotapes of Taliban forces touring the sites. Two of the more prominent videos were produced after the Taliban took control of Combat Outpost Tangi in Wardak province, and another base in the Pech Valley in Kunar province.
Also of note is the final paragraph, in which the Taliban urge the Afghan government to switch sides. Clearly, the Taliban are beginning to step up their propaganda in an effort to get elements of the Afghan government and military to join them as US and NATO forces begin drawing down at the end of the summer:
They [the Afghan government] should now understand the realities, recognize the nation’s friend from foe, instead of still standing behind the occupiers and killing its own people, it should help its people in kicking them out. Whatever you did is past, now is high time you focused on the future of this country and its people.
The Taliban statement is reproduced in full below:
Statement of Islamic Emirate regarding the destruction of infrastructure by NATO
The wrapping up of occupation is indeed a proud moment for the Afghans. It is hoped that our beloved country frees itself from the accursed clutches of this invasion. There should be no doubt that none of this would be possible if not for the help of Allah Almighty and the innumerous sacrifices of this proud nation.
Although the withdrawal of the invaders is a positive step however the destruction of infrastructure is absolutely irrational. The Afghans hold due right of these installations because they are built on the land of the Afghans and with money collected in their name.
Firstly the occupiers invaded the Afghan nation in violation of all established rules, constructed military installations without the consent of its people and now they are being destroyed in yet another act of violation. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, besides condemning this act, calls on the invaders and their allies to withhold from breaching any further rights of the Afghans.
Leaving these installations is very beneficial for the persecuted Afghan people. It can clearly be seen from this that the occupiers do not care about the interests of the Afghans. They shouted empty slogans of reconstruction but are now openly carrying out destruction of facilities built with the money of the Afghan people. Is this re-construction of re-destruction! It is a common rule that money be spent on development however they are spending millions on destruction of this country!! which if were instead spent on reconstruction, would eliminate a lot of the problems of the people. They have always chosen destruction for other nations. All they ever do is annihilation. They came in with destruction and are now leaving with destruction. The stooge Kabul administration, which toiled in the lap of the invaders for the past decade and is still at it, is so worthless to them that they won’t even give them a few outposts. Is this the repayment for ten year slavery?
Even the stooge Kabul administration has to now realize that their masters were neither beneficial for them nor for the nation. They should now understand the realities, recognize the nation’s friend from foe, instead of still standing behind the occupiers and killing its own people, it should help its people in kicking them out. Whatever you did is past, now is high time you focused on the future of this country and its people.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.