Leader of the movement against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and later against the Taliban post civil war, Ahmad Shah Massoud…the Lion of Panshir.

In the last few days in Afghanistan, the President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, thousands of Afghans are following suit, and the world’s media are now courting the Taliban while they hold their press conferences from the government’s media centre in Kabul.

However…there is one man who may just make a difference.

Amrullah Saleh, days ago the Afghan vice president, has no intention of running from his country. He had however run from Kabul to his native Panshir valley. Saleh, a Tajik actually fought with Massoud in the past, is anti Taliban and anti Pakistan ISI. He was the head of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency the NDS. A few years ago I would have dealings with him while covering a kidnap and ransom operation involving a young Canadian female. All I will say on the subject is that he was utterly ruthless and extremely intelligent in executing her release without the use of International SF forces or a ransom getting paid. One of the most impressive outcomes that I would witness in my time in Afghanistan.

Today I saw a video clip of him saying that he sees himself now as the legitimate President of Afghanistan given that Ashraf Ghani has left the country. He also said that he’s ready to fight.

I have no doubt that this man loves his country, it’s vulnerable people, and democracy. But is he charismatic enough and technically military minded enough to become another Massoud? Can he gain the trust of those left in Afghanistan that are of fighting age and are anti Taliban, and are these people ready for another all out bloody civil war after 50 years of conflict?

Like any Afghan conflict of the past, the Taliban now have their proxies. You only have to see the Embassies in Kabul that are still up and running to know who they are.

However, if Saleh is to be the new Lion of Panshir on the block…he’s going to need proxies too.

The big question is…does the USA, Canada, UK and the rest of the West have the stomach to join him?

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

Categories Uncategorized2 Comments


  1. Interesting read Bob always good to see things from the perspective of someone who really knows first hand the real Afghanistan and the mindset of her people.

  2. Bob

    what you write is the view of an experienced military who was there and knows the situation.
    I was in Afghanistan for the first time from October 21, 2001 until this official FRG decision on December 22, 2001, or 1/3 of the time uselessly in Ayni Dushanbe. I don’t speak out in public about the ridiculousness / complete failure at that time!
    The last time I was in Afghanistan was in June 2010!

    Only – the political, liberal way of thinking of the western states doesn’t tick like the experienced military. What is spread one day as a lie that we were in Afghanistan to introduce a democratic system … will be changed the next day as a hunt for Bin Laden and Co.!

    As a reminder, in Petersberg (near Bonn) a government was put together from exiled Afghans shortly after 9/11, corrupt figures who bummed around as asylum seekers in our countries. This government, which was never elected by the Afghan people, was then flown in! (Petersberger decides, you can read it!)

    as a result, in order to steal billions in taxpayers’ money at home, this fairy tale of “building wells” and schools for poor girls was created …
    In fact, a brutal war of annihilation was raging, where the Afghans who are now involved as auxiliary workers simply sold their neighbors as Taliban, who stole their land, the cultivation of opium was even sanctioned, I can remember that we were forbidden to burn these fields in order not to the warlords to annoy!

    Do you seriously believe that this self-proclaimed vice has a chance at all? Look Bob, Bagram is only 10 miles from his area. Why didn’t you just leave Bagram as the perfect secure station for protection? There you would have been able to fly out all endangered people as Plan B without any problems!

    Afghanistan is done for the western world.
    And I’ll give you in writing that after the elections in October 2021, Iraq will also be done for! And no decent European will even walk out the door when the Americans start crying.

    Look at the global distortion of what those idiots Trump and Biden have done, a complete structure from China to the Mediterranean! China, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. I (Or do you think the Kurds are so stupid again and get involved with us? After they were sold to Erdogan in Afrin and Rojava?)

    We Europeans will pay very bitterly for this crap!

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