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10 Reasons Why the Taliban Will Not Win in Afghanistan

Why I disagree with the pessimists

Bad news from Afghanistan almost each day.

Again a bomb killed many civilians in Kabul: 90 died and 400 were wounded at the Zanbaq Square in the diplomatic quarter near the German and other embassies in the morning of May 31, 2017.

Will the Taliban take the country back?

Was everything in vain, a lost victory?

Thousands of lives and billions of dollar, just for nothing?

Many fear the worst and most media write just the negative.


This is my true real Afghanistan:

After 30 years of involvement in Afghanistan – supporting the Mudjahedin in 1985 and with the expertise of the World Security Network in Afghanistan, Pakistan and FATA since 2002 and visits in Afghanistan in 2011 and 2013 , I can predict the following:

General John Nicholson, the commander of the Resolute Support Mission and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, gave a clear picture about the gains of the Taliban to the US Senate Armed Services Committee just recently. We met at the Munich Security Conference 2016 and discussed strategy, including the wisdom of my biography of Pentagon strategist Dr Fritz Kraemer, a book his father has given to him.

His main facts on the ground:

It is different from Iraq, where the Shiite government pushed the Sunni tribes into the hands of Daesh (ISIS) with a deadly wrong exclusive power-policy. For me the glass is about three quarters full.

Here are my 10 reasons why the Taliban cannot win in Afghanistan:

  1. The Taliban lack the support of the people and have no viable vision for the future of the country.
  2. More bombs just drive the people away from them.
  3. The Afghan Army and police are fighting them considerably well. They are not perfect and sometimes weak, but strong enough to deny the Taliban a victory.
  4. The U.S. and NATO will continue their support for training and not repeat the mistake of Iraq to go out with all troops too soon, leaving a vacuum.
  5. The foreign troops have left with only a limited training mission still in the country. Now the battle is between the Afghans and not against a foreign invader.
  6. A new young generation with smartphones is in charge, with better educations, including the girls.
  7. There are many media outlets reporting.
  8. The elections showed broad interest and support for the political process.
  9. After 13 years the Afghans have emancipated themselves from the Taliban past.
  10. The Taliban lost long-time support from Pakistan, the ISI and safe havens in FATA. Too many in the Pakistani military  used the option to influence the neighbor in the West versus India by the Afghan-Taliban. For too long they ignored it as a deadly threat for stability inside Pakistan as well. The bombing of an Army school in Peshawar and too many attacks by the Pakistani Taliban and other radicals on military installations in Pakistan pushed this misperception away.

Make no mistake,  you will hear bad news from Afghanistan. Each week for the next years.

It is fairly easy for the Taliban to detonate bombs anywhere  – but it is not possible to win the country, the north or large cities back in their favour. 

Afghanistan is still dangerous – but peace will prevail at the end.

I also predict that ISIS/Daesh will not have success in Afghanistan, as it does in Iraq.

I would like to thank the brave U.S. soldiers, ISAF and all the soldiers from Afghanistan and foreign countries involved in making this turnaround possible. Their many losses since 2001 will not be forgotten.

What can be done now?

Photo: Globalo-Founder Dr Hubertus Hoffmann meeting the future of Afghanistan on the market of Kabul and meeting ISAF commander Gen. Petraeus in Mazar-e-Sharif in 2011.