In Moscow 8 – 9 October 2015, the Russian Ministry of Defense held an International Conference on Afghanistan. It was attended by representatives of the highest command of the armed forces and political leadership of the countries - members of such associations as the SCO, CSTO, CIS, as well as a delegation from Kabul. This authoritative forum analyzed the current situation in Afghanistan and made its findings on its impact on security in Central Asia. The conference participants identified the activities of terrorists as a real threat to the established fragile peace in the region. In the welcoming speech of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, the following words were said: “The increased activity of the emissaries of the so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan is of particular concern.”
CONCERNING THE RUSSIAN GENERAL STAFF
Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, in his speech noted that “up to now, it has not been possible to form a stable balanced system of mutual security” In his speech, he also reported on forces opposing official Kabul and representing more than 4 thou. Disparate and different-sized combat organizations, groups, small detachments and estimated their total number at 50 thou fighters. According to Valery Gerasimov, "they are based on the Islamic Taliban movement numbering up to 40 thousand militants."
He also noted that “over the past year, activity in the country of the Islamic State international terrorist organization, banned on the territory of the Russian Federation, has increased sharply, which, in order to expand its sphere of influence and build an“ Islamic caliphate, ”is taking control of more and more new regions. According to our estimates, from 2 to 3 thousand IS fighters are in Afghanistan, and their numbers are constantly growing. ” Zamir Kabulov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Afghanistan, Director of the Second Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: “A number of IS training centers are focused on training militants at the expense of immigrants from Central Asia and some regions of Russia. The working language in this so-called camp is Russian. ” Representative of Afghanistan, First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, during a conference, asked the Russian authorities for military-technical assistance to his country, noting that Afghanistan was in need of aircraft weapons and ammunition for the effective fight against terrorism.
According to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, “to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan and Central Asia, it is necessary: firstly, to assist the leadership of Afghanistan and other Central Asian states in equipping and training security forces to increase the effectiveness of their actions against extremists; secondly, to maximize the use of all possible institutions to promote the socio-economic development of the countries of the region and to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan; thirdly, by joint efforts to cut off sources of financing, channels for the supply of weapons and material resources to extremist organizations operating in Afghanistan. ”
Back in May of this year, the head of NATO made a statement: "Further presence (NATO. -" NVO ") will be held under civilian leadership, but it will have a military component." Last week, US President Barack Obama, in the presence of the Vice President and two senior military leaders of the United States, announced in front of the cameras that the number of US troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2016 will remain the same as it is at the moment, that is, about 10 thousand. and later it is planned to reduce it to 5,5 thousand. As for the “subsequent one”, we can say that the US administration has repeatedly changed plans regarding the US military presence in Afghanistan. Germany also plans to extend indefinitely its military presence in Afghanistan.
WAR IN AFGHANIAN MOUNTAINS
Afghanistan occupies the middle territory in Central Asia; in ancient times, the southern flow of the Silk Road passed through it. It borders in the southeast with India, and these are disputed territories - the state of Jammu and Kashmir, where mainly Muslims live. In the south, Afghanistan borders with Islamic Pakistan, with Shiite Iran in the west, with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (whose population is predominantly Muslim) in the north and with China (Kashgar district, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, inhabited by Muslim Uighurs) in the east. About 80% of the country's territory is mountains and mountain plateaus. Hence the features of Afghan ethnogenesis. The peoples living in this country are belligerent. For 35 years of the civil war, starting in the spring of 1978, local tribes have mastered guerrilla tactics well. They are fighting in the familiar mountains. And in the mountains it’s almost impossible to use armored vehicles, efficiency aviation significantly reduced. The Americans ironed the positions of the mujahideen not only in Tora Bora, using the most powerful BLU-82 bombs, but, as it turned out, with insignificant results.
The Hindu Kush mountain system crosses the whole of Afghanistan. In the north-east of the country rises the Wakhan Range. In the north-west stretched mountains Safedkoh. There are also the Middle Afghan mountains, whose name indicates what part of the country they occupy. And in these mountains only small, lightly armed infantry units are effectively fighting. And it is here that the strongest armies of the world can not oppose anything to the militarized formations of the Afghan Mujahideen. The most powerful of these is the Taliban movement; among others, the Jundalla group and the Vilayat Khorasan group (an IG unit in Afghanistan and Pakistan) can be distinguished.
In Afghanistan, Pashtuns are the titular nation and make up about 40% of the population, they are bilingual. The language of everyday communication is Pashto, the second language is Dari (Farsi dialect). Their religion is Sunni Islam, a Hanafi madhhab, but among the Pashtuns, as in the country as a whole, the Sufi Order of Tariqat Naqshbandi is very influential. The Pashtuns still maintain a tribal social organization, which includes three tribal unions (Durrani, Gilzai, Karlani), around 90 of large tribes (kaum) ruled by khans, they are composed of 400 clans (chel), which are divided into clans or families. At the head of each clan - the leader (Malik), the family - Spinzhirai (or aksakal). Each of the social entities has a council of elders (jirga) for judicial and other issues that require a collective decision.
The life of the Pashtuns is organized on the basis of the scriptures: the Koran, the Sunnah, and others, as well as fatwas issued by spiritual leaders. And, of course, the main law is the unwritten code of honor of Pashtuns - Pashtunvali. To be precise, Islam in this region has a very noticeable local connotation, the population of the region is very strongly tied to its traditions.
It cannot be said that the Pashtun tribes always get along with each other, there are known cases of armed conflict between them. Throughout the long storiessince 1747, the rulers — emirs, padishahs, or presidents — within the present borders of Afghanistan, with some minor and short-lived exceptions, were Pashtuns. Vivid examples from recent history. Afghan President Mohammed Daoud (July 1973-th - April 1978-th), the Mohammadzai tribe of Pashtun (the Durrani tribal alliance), first overthrew his fellow tribe and relative of the Padishah Mohammed Zakir Shah (bloodlessly), and then was displaced and killed, and Pashtun Nur Mohammad Taraki, representative of the Tarak tribe of the Gilzai tribal union, took his post. The latter, a year and a half later, was killed on the orders of another Pashtun Hafizullah Amin, a native of the same tribal union of shells, but from the Haruti tribe. The last head of the Soviet era Afghanistan Mohammad Najibullah - Pashtun kind of Ahmadzai tribe suleymanhel Ghilzai tribal union, was executed in 1996, the Pashtun Taliban as a traitor to his people, the most that neither is shameful for the Pashtun, the addition over his corpse and then abused.
TAJIKI, UZBEK, HAZARIANS AND PAMIRIANS
Tajiks - the second largest Afghan ethnic group, about 27% of the total Afghan population. The place of their dense settlement is the northeast of the country, but also they are located in small enclaves practically throughout the country. They speak Dari (Farsi dialect). For the most part they are Sunni, a small part - Shiites and Ismailis. This ethnos has had and still has a very strong cultural influence in Afghanistan. Dari is not only the language of interethnic communication, but also the language of culture, in her time she preferred to speak all know. Tajiks often held important government positions. The leader of the Tajik Mujahideen Ahmad Shah Masood at one time was too tough for not only Shuravi (Soviet troops), but also for the Taliban. The latter were forced to cowardly kill the “Panjshir lion,” bringing the suicide killer to him. Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and Pamirians formed in their time a military alliance, known as the Northern Alliance, which successfully fought against the Taliban throughout the reign of the latter from 1996 to 2001 year. And the Tajik militia led by Ahmad Shah Masood was its basis.
Uzbeks make up about 9% of the population of Afghanistan, by religion they are Sunni Muslims, speak Turkic, Dari and Pashto. The main part lives in the north of the country, but there are enclaves in the south, mostly they are sedentary farmers or traders. This people, like the Tajiks, plays a prominent role in the life of the country. A prominent representative of this ethnos, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, in the period from 1979 to 1992, was a military leader year, fought on the side of the pro-Soviet forces. After the fall of the regime of Najibullah, Dostum went over to the side of the opposition, and with the actions of his troops a lot of “spoiled the blood” of the newly formed government and the militia groups of the Mujahideen who supported it. In 1996, Abdul Rashid Dostum became one of the leaders of the Northern Alliance and successfully fought against the Taliban.
The Hazaras are an Afghan nationality inhabiting the central regions of the country, there are about 9%, they are bilingual - they speak Dari and Hazara. They are considered descendants of the Mongol warriors of Genghis Khan. Shiite Islam is professed Islam, the Twelve (Isn'ashariya), the same trend that is now the state religion of Iran. The militia of this ethnos, led by Abdul Ali Mazari, began the struggle against the forces of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) in the 1978 year, even before the Soviet troops entered. After the withdrawal of the Shuravi, the Hazara militias joined the Northern Alliance, participated in the seizure of Kabul, and as part of the Alliance forces were in the Afghan capital until its occupation by the Taliban in 1996.
The fourth member of this alliance was the militia of the Pamir peoples, led by its leader Mansur Naderi. Pamirs live in the northeast of the country, in Afghan Badakhshan and adjacent territories. They are anthropologically heterogeneous, they speak Dari and the languages of the Indo-Aryan group. By faith, they are Ismailis, representatives of this religious movement throughout the history of Islam, were persecuted by Sunni Muslims. If you believe numerous reference books, then Ismailism is a Shiite trend, but I trust the opinion of Lev Gumilyov on this subject, who defined this religious doctrine as gnostic, only outwardly similar to Islam, and ranked it as an anti-system. Before the NDPA came to power, the Pamirs lived apart, experiencing the oppression of the Pashtuns, and after the “Saur (April) revolution” of 1978, when their religious leaders were persecuted and took an active part in resisting the authorities of pro-Soviet Kabul.
THE LITTLE PEOPLE DON'T ASSIGN THE PUSHun
These include the Nuristanis (Aryan tribes) - the aborigines of the province of Kunar, the Highlanders, they speak in languages: Parsun, Kati, Ashkun, Vaygali, Tregami. The abundance of languages is explained by the fact that societies are divided by mountain ranges. This sedentary people has long been famous for predatory raids on its neighbors. In the valleys of the Hindu Kush live Pashai, another unique people who speak the language of the Indo-Aryan group, as well as Pashto and Dari, lead a sedentary lifestyle, most of them Sunni and only a small part of them are Ismailis.
Turkmen and Charaymaks inhabit the north-west of Afghanistan, lead a semi-nomadic way of life, Sunnis. The first speak Turkic and Dari, the second Persian. Charaymakov’s representative, General Abdul Kadir, led the “united front of the Communists of Afghanistan” (OFKA), it is believed that he led the “Saur revolution” and then voluntarily transferred power into the hands of PDDP leaders Taraki and Karmal.
In the region adjacent to the border with China, inhabited by Afghan Kyrgyz. In the south-west of the country live Baluchi, a very militant people, whose lands are now divided between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They speak Baluchi and are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi madhhab. For more than 100 years, these people have been fighting for the creation of their state, the “Great Balochistan.”
The backbone of the Taliban are Pashtuns from the union of the Durrani tribes. Reuters Photos
In the 1747 year, the general council of elders and elders of the Pashtun tribes (to Pashto sounds: “Loya Jirga”), which took place near Kandahar, was elected the ruler of the Afghan lands Akhmat Shah from the association of Durrani tribes, a kind of sadozaev. This militant Pushtun shahinshah managed to take control of not only the whole territory of modern Afghanistan, but also the land of southern Turkestan, the whole of Badakhshan. He invaded the native Persian lands and captured the city of Nishapur with the adjacent region of Khorasan. In the south, it penetrated deep into Hindustan, subjugated Punjab and Kashmir, Sirhind, Sind, most of Balochistan, captured Delhi, but left it at the mercy of the Great Moguls. He founded his capital in Kandahar, then it was transferred to Kubul already during the reign of his son Timur Shah. The Durrani dynasty rules until 1823, by that time the empire created by Akhmat Shah Durrani had already collapsed.
The first of the Barakzai tribe (the union of the Durrani tribes) Dost Mohammed Khan ruled Afghanistan since the collapse of the Durrani Empire in 1819, more precisely, they were the united Kabul and Ghazni khanates. In 1834, he proclaimed the formation of the emirate, and himself accordingly the emir of Afghanistan. His reign was overshadowed by defeat in the first Anglo-Afghan war, when the emir was forced to surrender his country to the power of the Anglo-Indian troops and hide in its northern outskirts. In the spring of 1839, the invaders invaded from the south, and by the beginning of August they reached Kabul, which they got without a fight. In 1840, the emir surrendered to the English, who put their protege on the Kabul throne. The Pashtuns later revolted against the invaders, led by the relatives of the ousted emir. The British were forced to leave Afghanistan, the most sad was the withdrawal of a detachment of Elfingston numbering 4,5 thousand bayonets from Kabul under the guise of these troops were evacuated 11,5 thousand members of families of British soldiers and civilians. Only one person managed to cross the Afghan border, it was Dr. Biden, the rest of 16 thousand were killed or died on the way for other reasons. In 1842, the emir was liberated by the British, returned to Kabul, and again took his throne.
In the 1878 – 1881 years, the UK launched a second invasion of Afghanistan. The newly invaders captured Kabul and other major cities. Amir Shir Ali, who then ruled the country, abdicated the throne. In July 1880 of the year, the English put their protege Jakub Khan (the son of the ousted emir) on the throne. Soon the country was seized by unrest. In the capital, Afghan troops rebelled and massacred. The invaders, having suffered a series of defeats, left Kabul and the country, along with them their protege left. His place was taken by Abdul Rahman Khan (nephew of Shir Ali). During his reign, Afghanistan was shaken by several uprisings, the largest of which was the Hazara. Abdul Rahman Khan by force converted the infidels to Islam (now it is the Nouristan) and signed the treaty imposed by the British on the “Durand Line”, which has now become the present southern border of Afghanistan.
This is not to say that all emirs were pious. Thus, Emir Habibullah Khan (son of Abdul Rahman), being, in fact, the spiritual leader of a Muslim country, managed to join the Masonic organization of Lodge Concordia (Concordia Lodge), while on a visit to Calcutta.
His son, Amanullah Khan, immediately after 28 succeeded to the throne in February 1919, proclaimed the full independence of Afghanistan, which was under the protectorate of London. In May, at the initiative of Kabul, the third Anglo-Afghan war began, it lasted less than four months. Military operations followed the line of the Durand, the success was accompanied by the British, but an uprising of Pashtun tribes began in their rear, which determined the need to end the war. In 1921, the UK recognized the independence of Afghanistan. Amanula Khan is known as a progressive ruler, he conducted a series of reforms, but the most noticeable was the formal change of spiritual sovereign power to secular. As a ruler, he remained as he was, only instead of the supreme religious title, the “emir” became known as the Padishah, and the country turned from an Emirate into Padishahia. By his actions, this enlightened monarch caused discontent among the clergy and the majority of believers. The general dissatisfaction with his reforms resulted in an uprising, which at some stage was headed by the Tajik Habibullah “bachai-i sakao” (son of the water-carrier). Khabibulla was able to unite the Tajik militia and Pashtun from the Gilzai tribal alliance under his command and undertook a campaign against Kabul. Amanullah Khan, realizing that the throne beneath him was tottering, on January 14 1929 handed over power to his brother Inayatulle Khan and fled abroad. After a couple of days, on January 17, Inayatulla Khan surrendered Kabul to the insurgents with almost no resistance. Tajik Khabibulla was proclaimed emir for almost nine months, and the country again became an emirate for the same period. But the Tajik had no chance of retaining power, he was overthrown by a representative of the Mohammadzai Durrani, from the barakzai clan Mohammed Nadir Khan, who took the title of "padishah" and returned the secular power to the country. He was a relative of the ousted padishah and, in fact, restored the already interrupted Barakzai dynasty.
Mohammed Nadir Shah was killed by a representative of the progressive intelligentsia, dissatisfied with the insufficiently active reform of the new ruler. Mohammed Zahir Shah, the last Padish of Afghanistan, ascended the throne (whose son was killed from 1933 to 1973), but his contemporaries are the “golden era” in the country's history. In the end, he was overthrown by his relative Mohammed Daoud Khan. Initially, in all sections of the people of Afghanistan, such a rotation was considered normal, people got used to the struggle for power among the members of the Padishah family.
DUSHMANS AGAINST SHURAVA
But when it turned out that the country became formally, but a republic, fermentation began among the clergy, the conservative intelligentsia and among the activists of various religious organizations that appeared by that time, such as the Muslim Brotherhood. This ferment was transmitted to the masses. New President Daoud was forced to fight both the right-wing forces advocating for the restoration of the emirate and the left (United Front of the Communists - OFC, People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan - PDPA), who, incidentally, supported his coming to power. At that time, the USSR provided economic and humanitarian assistance to its southern neighbor. The leadership of the CPSU maintained close contact with both President Daud and the left opposition, which was represented by the leader of the PDPA Khalk party (the people) - Nur Muhkhamed Taraki and the leader of the PDDPP Parcham (banner) Babrak Karmal. The further negative development of the Afghan events is largely due to the fact that the leaders of the USSR did not fully realize what was happening in Afghanistan, and they incorrectly assessed the power that must be supported. And there the civil war was already gaining momentum, and the Saur (with the Afghan calendar) that accomplished the 7 revolution, or 27 of April, 1978 of the year and the NDPA that came to power had no chance to retain power in their hands. This was followed by the murder of Taraki and the bringing to the fore the second person of the Khalk party, Hafizullah Amin. Then Moscow acted in accordance with its doctrine, chopped with an ax when it was necessary to work with a scalpel. The Soviet leadership did not have either common sense or the flexibility of thinking to make the right decision in a rapidly changing environment. In December, 1979, a Soviet special forces with the support of paratroopers attacked the residence of Amin. The dictator was killed. A limited contingent of Soviet troops was brought into Afghanistan, which for many long 10 years was stuck in a completely unpromising war for our country. At first, everything looked like some kind of peacekeeping operation, but this was only until all the people of Afghanistan, without exception, started a jihad against shuravi (Soviet, from the Arab “shura” - advice). Yes, that's all: the Sunnis, the Shiites, and the Ismailis became the Mujahideen and started a guerrilla war against the Soviet troops and the pro-Soviet regime of the PDPA, a handful of Pashtun traitors from the tribal union of Ghilzais and representatives of some other nations. The Mujahideen were supported not only by the countries of the West (among which the United States was particularly active), Pakistan, the countries of the Persian Gulf and other Islamic states, but also the enemy of the West and the Sunnis - Iran. The Shuravi mission in Afghanistan ended in complete failure and withdrawal in 1989. During this mission, a great many military and political mistakes were made, both by the leadership of the USSR and by military leaders. It can be called luck that our losses were not as great as it could be if the Mujahideen fought in a consolidated and qualitatively planned military actions.
Representatives of the largest union of Pashtun tribes in Afghanistan, Durrani, ruled the 230 years, and their rule can be called a period of relative agreement between the peoples inhabiting this country, of course with reservations. But in the 1978 year, in the spring, in the month of Saur, on the seventh day, the representative of the Ghilzai (another association of Pashtun tribes) became the ruler, and since then this country can’t get out of the state of civil war. For the period from 1978 to the present, 10 came from the Gilzai tribal alliance and one Tajik as the head of state (taking into account the current president). The current incumbent president Ashraf Ghani (from the ghilzai) won the elections with only a slight advantage over the Tajik Abdullah Abdullah, who now holds the post of prime minister. This suggests that most of the Pashtuns did not take part in the elections and considered the current government puppet invaders. The Taliban to the invaders include not only NATO forces, but also the IG units, which in addition to Afghans include a large number of foreigners - Arabs, Uzbeks, Chechens, etc. The leader of the Mujahideen group, sworn by the IG, is Pashtun Hafiz Said Khan - a native of the Pakistani zone of free Pashtun Orakzai (not Durrani) tribes.
The newly elected leader of the Taliban movement, Mullah Akhtar Mansur, comes from Durrani, and it can be assumed that this strongest union of Pashtun tribes in Afghanistan is on its side. If NATO leaves the country today, it is quite obvious that the government in Kabul will not last long on its own, therefore, its legitimacy can easily be questioned. And the Taliban have already proved once that the burden of power is on their shoulders. True, during the reign from 1996 to 2001, they had another leader - from the tribal union of the Ghilzai Muhammad Omar Hotaki, but much has changed, and the rhetoric, and then the Taliban practice was somewhat different.
Starting contacts and offering assistance to Kabul, the modern Russian leadership, in fact, repeats the mistake of the leaders of the USSR in 1979. The West has its own way in this region, and the perniciousness of this way in the Kremlin has already been appreciated. It is not clear why the Russian leadership is going to go on it. Russia, of course, may remember the Taliban’s support for Maskhadov, but whoever remembers the old one, as they say, is out of sight. Is it time to show flexibility and not get into a dispute between Akhtar Mansur and Kabul, especially since Russia and the Taliban have a common enemy - the “Islamic State”? In addition, it is known for certain that the new leader of the Taliban movement sets as its task the liberation of the country from invaders, the restoration of Afghanistan as a state in the form of an emirate. He publicly denies the idea of expansion to the north, that is, the seizure of any territories outside its northern borders is not included in his plans. For Russia, the Taliban does not pose any threat. On the contrary, they, like the other people living in the neighborhood, the Baluch, are a strong headache for Islamabad for well-known reasons. So let this issue is engaged in the political and military leadership of Pakistan.
MOJAHEDA AGAINST NATO
The invasion of US troops in 2001, at the first stage, was very successful. And not because the Americans have supernatural military capabilities. The leader of the Taliban of that time, Mohammed Omar, then made the only right decision: not to fight with the military machine of the West head-on, putting his supporters in the grave with thousands, but to retreat, dissolve. Therefore, the first few months, the Americans were so actively attacking, in fact, they fought with emptiness. The invaders supported the Northern Alliance. Altogether, in this war, dubbed as Operation Enduring Freedom, military 2001 countries took part from 2014 to 48. The West acted the same way as the USSR did. A puppet government was planted in Kabul, power structures were created (a separate conversation about them). But already in 2002, the Americans felt the hard way that the Taliban had moved from calm to guerrilla war against them. The West was building up strength. In 2011, there were about 133 in Thousands of coalition soldiers in Afghanistan, only 90 in Thousands came from the US. But the result was the same as that of the shuri. Government forces and coalition controlled only large cities and to some extent the northeastern territories. Most of the country was ruled by the Mujahideen. The Afghan troops and police, trained and armed by the military of the West, soon disappointed their patrons. Not only low combat capability, but mainly because desertion flourished in them. Moreover, Afghan soldiers and police often opened fire at the military from the coalition forces. By 1, January 2015, Operation Unbending Freedom was curtailed. And in the framework of the new operation “Strong support” in Afghanistan, about 12,5 thousand NATO military remained. Of these, over 9 thousand are Americans, about 1 thousand are Germans, and minor contingents are still from 10 states.
Starting from the end of the summer of this year, the Taliban’s military operations have been successful not only in the southern and south-western, but also in the northern, non-Pushtun regions of the country, where the Northern Alliance used to fight back. In connection with their seizure of the city of Kunduz, Akhtar Mansur’s message was spread in which the Taliban leader urged the people of Afghanistan to rally and help the Mujahideen to expel the invaders, he also appealed to the authorities and said that there would be no revenge on them the side. Despite the fact that the Taliban are recognized as a terrorist organization, we should not forget that their goal is an independent Afghanistan, it is not they, but the “Islamic State” (against which the Taliban are fighting) are carrying out plans for expansion into the territories of Central Asian countries and further to Russia.