An Afghan family collecting wood and supplies to lead a basic life…back in 2004, and today no change.


Without doubt, the years spent in Afghanistan have shown me that it’s up there with the best countries that I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. Both the landscape and people are breathtaking, but sadly it’s geo political location, linked with it’s largely untapped underground resources allows for it to fall into proxy hands each and every time.

USA (and it’s Western Allies) influence over the last 20 years has really had little to show outside of the capital city of Kabul given the blood and treasure spent.

I believe that this is for two main reasons: International actors writing weekly reports that did nothing more than justify their existence in the country, while not telling the full truth of the situation at that time. Secondly, International proxies against US influence were working effectively against any good at all that may have come about that influence.

Apart from China and Russia who have always been in the mix, the two main proxies that directly led to the comeback of Taliban power and influence was Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

I’ve always said from the beginning, that if US foreign policy wanted to address the outcome of “9/11” truthfully, then they should take out selected targets in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and NOT Afghanistan.

In my view and humble opinion, going into Afghanistan (again I’ve said this many times over the years) is tantamount to just slapping the mosquito that lands on your arm, and telling people that you’re eradicating malaria.

Therefore, in order to eradicate the likes of AQ effectively, you have to go to the breeding, recruiting and financing grounds…Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Going into Afghanistan alone was simply swatting that mosquito landing on your arm.

The Afghan Taliban was born out of a group of young males from Kandahar Province in the south of Afghanistan. Way back in the 90s they travelled to Pakistan and attended Saudi Arabia’s exported extreme form of Islam called Wahhabism. Saudi Arabia has spent millions of $$$$ building large mosques and putting in Mullahs in other countries in order to teach Wahhabism. It was founded way back in the mid 1700s and embraced by the Saudi Royals. A Talib is Arabic for a student (in this case a student of Wahhabism), Taliban or Talibaan being the plural. Even while the US and their Allies were in Afghanistan, these mosques would be built under their noses inside Afghanistan where Wahhabism would continue to be taught and therefore flourish.

So while billions of our tax paying $$$$ were being wasted on US led influence inside of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were continuing with the recruiting and teachings of young male students from Afghanistan, mainly individuals from Pashtun tribes in the south and east of the country, therefore able to counter that US led influence.

Those of you that have read my other Afghan blog posts are well aware of the Afghan split of northern and southern tribes, fighting one another in a long term and often extremely bloody ongoing (and still to this day) civil war.

Western media covering Afghanistan over the last 20 years or so hasn’t helped either. “News lite” just isn’t good enough. An in depth explanation of what is actually going on, explaining the proxies and the complexities is what US and their Allies’ tax payers deserved…but we never really received it. Instead, it was always about getting the exciting military embeds where pictures and film of “bang bang’s” and explosions can entertain audiences back home…but that’s not what we needed…we needed someone to explain the truth.

A large chunk of the monies sent over the last 20 years from the West’s taxpayers have gone into the pockets of Afghan warlords…many having sat in government (a way thought to keep the peace, instead of them fighting one another on the battle field, as they had done earlier), and some of that money kept by the warlords can be seen in plush properties in such places as Dubai and elsewhere.

Today, the Western media “embedded” with the Taliban sending back pictures and stories of starving children just doesn’t cut it with me. Roll your sleeves up and go to Dubai, send back pictures of warlords’ properties instead. These kind of stories are only playing into the Taliban’s hands and forcing Western powers to supply even more $$$$ directly to them. Over the last 20 years when the US were overseeing things in Afghanistan, I saw plenty of starving children out in the Provinces where money wasn’t being received, instead sponged off by the warlords in power at that time holding down Provincial and/or Central Government positions. Children were being sold back then too, young Afghan females married off to much older men were taking their own lives, many pouring boiling water over themselves to end it all…and all as I say during the US’s time spent inside the country…but it was never big news or indeed news at all.

Afghanistan always has been, and always will be a place of proxy influence. Well, we’ve had 20 years of US led influence there, with nothing to be gained by the majority of peace loving Afghans, and especially those out in the Provinces.

With that, if anyone should be sending $$$$ and grains of rice to the starving Afghans, then it should be Saudi Arabia and Pakistan…the ones who raised and supported the Taliban, and continue to do so to this day. In addition, collect funds from those filthy warlords by taking properties back from them that they purchased illegally, freeze and collect also funds that are banked in offshore accounts…as that money should have gone into Afghanistan’s infrastructure, in order to feed and enhance the living conditions of the population.

The Taliban with it’s Wahhabism influence, under Saudi and Pakistani backers can never ever be trusted by the West.

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 www.bobshepherdauthor.com

Categories Uncategorized2 Comments


  1. Seems like sound reasoning to me Bob it all seems very dirty where all this money has gone and still continues to go , what do you think the likelihood of any actions being taken on these people making millions off this and then partying it up in their mansions in Dubai or missions to take out surely known leaders of pipelines and those they are hiding. I do really hope something for all the blood that has been shed sensible and strong footed can be done .
    All the best Bob I message you on FB every now and again and took your advice and started looking forward and have got myself back into a small gym with sound people that is doing my mental health loads of good , still can’t walk or get off the shitter for days after but slowly slowly catchy monkey. All the best to you and the family and keep up the interesting questions, clearly somebody needs to .

  2. Bob your comment that the warlords were brought into government and were effectively paid not to cause trouble struck a particular cord with me, as I sit watching the Sinn Fein finance minister Connor Murphy ( convicted on explosives charges for the IRA) here in Northern Ireland on yhe local news.

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