Ahmad Massoud—Opposing the Taliban in Panjshir


Today on "Hot Wash," host John Sorensen and RealClearDefense Editor David Craig speak with Kamal Alam, a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and advisor to Ahmad Massoud who is opposing the Taliban from the Panjshir valley. In 1992, following the defeat of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, a loose alliance of mujahideen militias assaulted Kabul, toppling the Communist government. One of those militias was led by the charismatic commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, the “lion of the Panjshir.” Massoud’s Tajik forces joined with Uzbek and Hazara factions to form the Northern Alliance. Massoud’s home and nearly impenetrable fortress was the Panjshir valley, roughly 70 miles north of Kabul, from which he defied repeated assaults by the Soviets and then later the Taliban in the Civil War that followed the Communist collapse. During the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, Massoud became the eyes and ears for western intelligence, prophetically warning about the rise of foreign fighters that became Al Qaeda. Ultimately, he was assassinated by Al Qaeda just two days before the September 11 attacks on the US. But, Massoud’s Northern Alliance proved essential in early US victories over the Taliban. 20 years later, in the wake of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the rapid collapse of the Afghan National Army, some Afghans are still resisting the Taliban takeover. One of those groups is led by Massoud’s 32-year old son Ahmed Massoud, who has returned to the Panjshir valley that proved so defensible for his father. Calling themselves the National Resistance Front or NRF, the small group of Tajiks and former ANA commandos, have vowed to oppose the Taliban and even claim to have recently secured three districts neighboring the Panjshir. Subscribe to the Morning Recon newsletter at https://www.realcleardefense.com/daily_newsletters/ for a daily roundup of news and opinion on the issues that matter for military, defense, veteran affairs, and national security. Be sure to subscribe to Hot Wash on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/realclear-defense-presents-hot-wash/id1575373700

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