As US presses negotiations, Taliban promotes training of fighters and attacks

As the US government pushes for a deal with the Taliban that will pave the way for the withdrawal of US forces, the Taliban continues to promote the training of its fighters and attacks on Afghan and Coalition forces.

In the Taliban’s latest video, which was released today on its official Website, Voice of Jihad, the group shows its fighters training for war as well as a montage of attacks on Afghan and Coalition forces. The video, titled ‘Caravan of Khaibar,’ is named after the battle of Khaibar in 628 in which Muslims conquered a Jewish community in the Arabian Peninsula.

The video opens with well equipped Taliban fighters in various levels of training. In one scene, the Taliban practice movements in brand new Toyota H-Luxs adorned with large white Taliban flags. The location of the training was not disclosed; it could be in either Afghanistan or Pakistan. Either way, the Taliban is operating in broad daylight without fear of being targeted from US, Afghan, or Pakistani forces.

In another scene, Taliban fighters conduct various drills, including calisthenics and weapons training. Additionally, the Taliban parade on horseback while flying large white flags of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Again, the training takes place in broad daylight, and the Taliban does not fear being targeted.

The video is littered with short video clips of IED, rocket and other attacks on Afghan and Coalition forces. In one longer sequence, a Taliban unit is shown preparing for battle and then moving into an Afghan town unopposed. An Afghan force is shown retreating in the distance.

The Taliban has been churning out propaganda that shows it is prepared to continue the fight against the Afghan government and military even if a so-called peace agreement is signed with the US. The Taliban has been clear that its main goal in the talks is to secure the withdrawal of US forces, and continues to brand the Afghan government as a “puppet,” “stooge,” and “tool” of the West.

In its “Preparation for Jihad” video, which was released on Aug. 10, the Taliban showed its so-called special forces in training.

Taliban Emir Mullah Hibatullah’s Eid speech, which was released on Aug. 8, emphasized that the Taliban was close to victory and urged his followers and all Afghan people to attack the government and military.

In what is perhaps the most inflammatory Taliban video released in recent memory, the group justified al Qaeda’s attack on Sept. 11, 2001, calling it a “heavy slap on their dark faces.” The Taliban also called for the continuation of attacks on Afghan security forces, government, and rejected talks with the government. The Taliban also called for the restoration of the Islamic Emirate and indicated that women’s rights would be granted under an “Islamic System.”

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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2 Comments

  • Ken says:

    I’ve Finished several books on the fighting that is in Afghanistan and all of them mention how brutal Taliban is when they rule an area. They’ve brutalized the people and to give up the country to those moral caveman is wrong. No withdrawals. We have a military. They either fight or sit around. They’re trained to fight and a lot of them like to fight so let’s let them rip the Taliban apart.

  • Verneoz says:

    The state of the US war on terror in Afghanistan is very poor when considering that 18 years, thousands of American casualties, and hundreds of billions of US treasure have been expended with mediocre results. The first mistake the US made was giving control of the Afghan war to CENTCOM. USSOCOM should have been given command of this war with authority to task CENTCOM units as required. Secondly, incompetency in the Bush & Obama administrations prolonged this war and its devastation. An example of this incompetency was the prohibition of bringing the full combat power of the US military onto the enemy. This was the primary reason UBL easily escaped into Pakistan from the poorly planned Tora Bora battle (Primary elements – US Army 10th Mountain Div. & 101st Airborne Div.). Luckily a SOF supporting component (Delta, SEALs, CCT, & Aussie SAS) had moved in early and disrupted and killed most of the enemy in the battle with CCT precision airstrikes. The US Army commander, MG Hagenbeck, for that battle did not appropriately plan for use of heavy US air power which caused only partial destruction of Taliban & Al Qaeda fighters. The State Department gets blame also for pushing its “nation building” enterprise which wasted billions in resources, built useless projects turned over to corrupt, incompetent Afghan leaders, and distracted the strategic focus of the warfighters commanders. Bringing high numbers of conventional forces, untrained for low intensity-guerrilla fighting, into the war wasted resources, and caused the war to bog down which gave the Taliban time & space in which to recover from its initial catastrophic defeats of later 2001.

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