The Taliban as Mafia

Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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5 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Legalize Poppies.

    This can be the A+ #1 thing that the US could do in the region to generate good will among the population. The US wouldn’t even need to buy the poppies, just allow Bayer or whomever to purchase them (if the price is a hair high (exceptionally unlikely) then a small subsidy wouldn’t be in appropriate as an anti-Taliban measure).

    Give the folks a legit outlet for making money with a legit corporation rather than with Mafia types and see what happens.

    Saying “hey, while we’re over there, we should fight the War on Drugs too!” was one of the stupidest (though, sadly, not *THE* stupidest) things we’ve done in the last decade.Report

  2. Zak says:

    Could FARC be a similar comparison? Colombia’s military campaign against them (along with political measures aimed at allowing commanders for FARC and the AUC to return to civilian life) has been largely successful, even though before Uribe was elected, many experts thought it had no chance.Report

  3. Chris Dierkes says:


    I think the FARC is a good analogy. It’s one Peter Bergen uses. The question is whether over time, like the FARC which started as a theoretically Marxist ideological group, whether the Taliban go completely post-ideological and only crime. The FARC is not any way Marxist anymore. But perhaps the hanging on to the roots (like the Italian RC Mafia connection) is a longer lasting play?Report