Friend of the show LTG (Ret.) H.R. McMaster joins Bill once again to discuss America’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan one year ago. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — including an ongoing close relationship with al Qaeda, the United States designated the Taliban as “partners in peace” and handed the terrorist group keys to a state apparatus. Afghanistan fell and became the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. But it didn’t have to.
One year after America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, resistance to the Taliban’s brutal regime has organized in northern Afghanistan and is beginning to challenge the Taliban’s primacy. FDD’s Long War Journal is mapping the resistance activities.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, who at the time was the operational commander of the Haqqani Network, was joined by his brother Badruddin Haqqani, Qari Zakir, the Taliban’s chief of suicide bombers, Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a dangerous Haqqani leader, and Ghani Muhammad, an Al Qaeda-linked military commander based in Pakistan, in the video. They give a send off to the suicide assault team that attacked Forward Operating Base Fenty on Nov. 12, 2010.
Zakir’s appointment to lead the fight against the National Resistance Front (NRF) in Panjshir and the district of Andarab in the neighboring province of Baghlan is a clear indication that the NRF is challenging the Taliban’s primacy in central and northern Afghanistan. Zakir is a capable military commander.
Shabaab’s recent hotel siege in Mogadishu, beginning on Friday and ending early Sunday, signals the severe challenges that remain in combating the al Qaeda branch.
In this episode, Bill interviews John Batchelor, host of CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor. Bill has been a regular on John’s radio show for more than a decade and considers him a mentor and friend. They discuss the Long War and how September 11, 2001 shaped both of their careers.
Since resuming military activity inside Somalia earlier this year, the Biden Administration has ramped up the pace of airstrikes in the Horn of Africa country in recent weeks. Since June 3, the US has conducted at least six airstrikes against Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa.
The raid also marks the first time that the Allied Democratic Forces, the local name for the Islamic State’s Central Africa Province, has struck inside Butembo city.