|Weapons||Bayonet, RPG-7 Rocket Launcher, AK-47 Assault Rifle, PMN Mine|
|Battle Status||Lost vs. the IRA|
|Experts||Fahim Fazli (Mujahideen Freedom Fighter)
Alex Sami (Counter-Terrorism Specialist)
"Once you join them, you belong to them, you die for them. They can defeat anyone."- Fahim Fazli, former Mujahideen freedom fighter
The Taliban, hardline religious extremist, who back their beliefs with bullets;
The IRA, unstoppable urban guerrillas who waged a bloody savage war for Irish independence.
Stats[edit | edit source]
- Height - 5'9
- Weight - 160 pounds
- Armor - none
- Gear - 23 pounds
Symbol - Islamic Symbol (representing the Taliban's islamic extremism)
Weapons[edit | edit source]
|Mid Range:||RPG-7 Rocket Launcher||168|
|Long Range:||AK-47 Assault Rifle||264|
|Explosive Weapons:||PMN Mine||61|
History[edit | edit source]
The War in Afghanistan is one of the longest wars still being fought today, about 35 years long and facing constant change in belligerents and the Afghan government.
During the 1960s the nation of Afghanistan began modernizing and developing both democratically and socially.
However in 27 December 1979 the KGB launched Operation Storm-333 to replace the government with a Soviet puppet. This government was progressive but used repressive and thus unpopular policies to meet these goals.
During the Soviet War of Afghanistan the Mujahideen, islamic freedom fighters rebelled against the Soviets. The Soviet-Afghan government was seen as Orthodox or Atheist and so the rural and traditionalist Muslims saw their lives threatened by their policies. The Mujahideen split into various groups and continued the civil war after the Soviet Union left Afghanistan. The USA funded the Mujahideen to remove the Soviets and contain communism: American made STINGER missiles were devastating against Soviet aircraft. Osama Bin Laden and Ahmad Shah Massoud were the most noticeable Mujahideen generals. In 1988 with the Geneva Accords the Soviets grew tired of fighting a guerrilla war and withdrew by February 15, 1989. Some historians cite this war as one of the factors of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the downfall of communist influence. The war continued, but the Soviet-Afghan puppet could not survive without support and so on April 30, 1992 the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan fell. However the nation was still in civil war with the rebel fighters now attacking each other.
The Taliban (literally "students") was formed in the early 1990's by Mullah Omar, who had previously fought against the Soviets, with less than 50 students from his hometown of Kandahar. This terrorist faction, made mostly of Pashtun peoples, grew in strength and popularity durring the Civil War of Afghanistan. Their first notable military action came in 1994, when they marched northward from Maiwand and captured Kandahar City and several surrounding provinces, losing only a few dozen men. Pakistan originally funded the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin, but decided to fund the Taliban when the latter continued to show their growing power. The Taliban also had close ties to many crime organizations like the drug cartels of South America: allowing them more wealth to fund their revolution. In September 1996, the Taliban captured Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city. The civil war still existed, but between 1996-2001, the Taliban controlled 85% of the nation.
When in power, the Taliban enforced one of the strictest interpretations of Sharia law ever seen in the Muslim world and became particularly notorious for their harsh treatment of women. The list of things prohibited by the Taliban included employment and education for women, electronic devices, kite flying, dancing, clapping during sports events, alcohol, depictions of living things (whether drawings, photos, paintings, stuffed animals, or dolls), and Christmas cards, among other things. Men were required to have a beard longer than their fist and have their heads covered, while women were forced to wear a burqa, a traditional dress covering the entire body except for a small screen to see out of. Punishments were often severe, including amputation and public executions, sometimes held in Kabul's soccer stadium. As a government, the Taliban committed many massacres against civilians with 1000s of executions and murders. These aggressive and rouge policies has made the Taliban government despised by the international community.
Although the Taliban lost control of Afghanistan in 2001, when coalition forces initiated military action in response to 9/11 (which was launched by Al-Qaeda, a close ally of the Taliban), it was later reformed in 2004 as an insurgency force. The size of the Taliban constantly changed as they faced heavy casualties but easily recovered their original numbers and are believed to be increasing in allies and power. They have survived off of the illegal heroin and opium drug trade, as opium grows naturally in Afghanistan. The Taliban's strength is estimated to be around 36,000 as of 2010 and have over 30 confirmed splinter cells or close allies (including Al-Qaeda, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and The Haqqani Network). Because of the controversies and length of the Afghan War, it is expected that the United States and NATO will leave Afghanistan, leaving the current Afghan government alone to fight the Taliban. There is much debate over if the Afghan government would win the war without significant NATO support.
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is considered one of the worst nations in the world, despite receiving tens of billions of dollars from the USA and NATO. Crime, murder, poverty, drug use, terrorism, corruption, instability, illnesses, famine, lack of education and unemployment are some of the highest levels in the world.
In 2013 international terrorist attacks has grown 4 times in number since 2001. In early 2014 it is believed that the Taliban are the defacto government of several towns and provinces in Afghanistan and have a stronghold near the capital Kabul. Terrorists own over 2020km2 (the equivalent of 400,000 football fields) of opium farms in 2015 and production still rises. At the same time, the Taliban have shown instability in their leadership, causing a loss of unity and hostility among its own terrorist cells. The rise of the terrorist state ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria) has overshadowed the Taliban's popularity and many of its members and allies have defected to ISIS, but at the same time the Taliban are experiencing less attention because most nations have focused on ISIS instead along with other groups like Boko Haram and the strengthening of Al Qaeda (especially their Yemenese faction). ISIS training camps have been discovered in Afghanistan, assisted by Afghan anti-western terrorist organizations.
President Obama announced plans to end American combat roles by late 2014 but about 9,800 American troops stayed in Afghanistan for training the Afghan security. This was still a massive drop in troop numbers, as the Obama administration had a peak fighting force of 100,000. Only until late 2016 will all American troops outside of Embassy security will leave Afghanistan. However in March 2015 Obama changed the pullout plan and will keep the 9,800 American troops stationed until further noticed: which will cost $4 billion a year for US Forces. The Taliban has increased their attacks and raids in the nation as a response to this power vacuum.
The original leader of the Taliban, Mohammed Omar, was confirmed deceased according to a 2015 report. Because the leader was so isolated and secretive, it is difficult to confirm anything about this claim. However according to the report, Mohammed Omar died of natural causes in the year 2013. Akhtar Mansoor is believed to be the current leader of the Taliban, though other Taliban leaders question the legitimacy of his succession. Al-Qaeda has publically supported Mansoor's rise and plans to strengthen their allegiance with the Taliban to counter the rise of ISIS (as Al-Qaeda and ISIS have challenged each other for islamic dominance.) Fidai Mahaz led by Mullah Najibullah separated from the Mansoor loyalists; declaring his succession as false and thus launching civil-war within the Taliban. This splinter cell is estimated to be 8,000 strong as of 2017.
In late September 2015 the Taliban invaded Kunduz (the 5th largest city in Afghanistan) and declared the battle a complete victory. If confirmed, this is the first time since 2001 that the Taliban have control over a large city. Also in 2015 the Taliban there are rumors that the Taliban have considered allying themselves with ISIS, despite the two groups initially showing hostilities against each other. The Taliban continued to assassinate coalition and Afghan leaders or politicians; including an attempt against US secretary of state John Kerry.
In 2016 the Taliban are believed to control 1/3 of Afghan territory and produce 90% of the world's illegal heroin. Between late 2015 and early 2017 the Taliban gained 6 more districts. Some estimates calculate that in 2017: the Taliban controlled 48% of Afghanistan's territory. As of October 2017, about 56 percent of the country’s 407 districts were under Afghan government control or influence, 30 percent remained contested, and roughly 14 percent were now under insurgent control or influence.
The 2017 Nangarhar airstrike (launched on April 13, 2017) was the first use of the GBU-43/B MOAB: the largest non-nuclear bomb. The Trump Administration announced on August 22, 2017 that they still are considering a withdraw and will not stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, but will continue military operations. Trump declared that there will be no further efforts to assist the Afghan government in nation-building and that all attention will be towards killing terrorists. Later that same year on Sept 18, Trump announced sending 3000 US troops back into the country (for a total of 1400); a plan the Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai approves of.
In late 2017: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced negotiations with the Taliban that include giving the Taliban a political party within the Afghan government. In early 2019: the Taliban announced that negotiations were agreed on; the Taliban would no longer allow Al Qaeda or ISIS sanctuary within Afghanistan while the USA would remove all troops 18 months after the official signing of the deal.
On Feb 29, 2020 the USA officially signed a peace deal with the Taliban, beginning the official US withdrawal of armed forces from Afghanistan. The US withdrawal is expected to be completed by May 2021, which will make the war almost 20 years old. The signing of the deal faced mixed reactions from all parties and the international community. Some have accused Trump of making a rash deal to benefit his 2020 Presidential Reelection Campaign. Many also question if the Taliban would respect the peace or exploit the inevitable power vacuum to overthrow the Afghan government. It is also uncertain if Taliban would commit to their assistance towards the expulsion and crackdown against Al Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan. Some have also criticized the deal for not punishing the Taliban for their past crimes, including how the Taliban's theocratic extremism is mostly unchanged.
As of 2020 over $2 trillion has been spent by the USA to fight the Taliban and aiding the Islamic Republic of Afghan. 2,400 American soldiers have died in the US-Afghan War. The Republic of Afghanistan continues to weaken under its own corruption and has issues operating itself even under normal conditions.
Battle[edit | edit source]
The battle starts with 5 Taliban warriors climbing over a small hill leading to a parking lot. They survey the area for potential targets. Meanwhile, the IRA is sneaking through the lot, using the cars to hide them. The IRA leader leads his four men through the lot, but wind up running into the Taliban. The Taliban kills one IRA member with the AK-47, while the IRA kills a Taliban member with the AR-15 Armalite. Both teams scramble and run off in different directions. A Taliban member runs from an IRA man in between two cars. As the IRA man begins to catch up, he steps on a PMN mine and is killed by the explosion. The Taliban soldier escapes, but runs into an IRA member weilding an LPO-50 Flamethrower. He is set on fire and desperately tries to shoot in random directions, but dies before he can make a hit. Another Taliban member runs up and shoots the flamethrower's gas tank, causing it to explode and kill the IRA soldier. Another IRA man runs in between the cars, but is spotted by the aformentioned Taliban man. He pulls out his RPG-7 Rocket Launcher and fires a rocket at the IRA man, killing him. The IRA leader slowly enters a run-down trailer, keeping an eye out for the Taliban. He opens a closet door and sees a hand holding an AK-47. He quickly moves to avoid the gunfire, and then pulls out the Taliban boss from the closet. The two get into a fight, with the Taliban boss throwing the IRA leader against the cupboards. Outside, the Taliban member with the rocket launcher sees the two men and prepares another rocket. The IRA leader pushes the Taliban boss against the wall and knocks him to the floor, then looks out the window just in time to see the Taliban member with the RPG-7 pointed right at the trailer. He quickly runs out of the trailer, leaving the Taliban boss inside. The Taliban member outside fires the rocket, unaware that the IRA leader left without the Taliban boss. The Taliban boss gets up and sees the rocket flying towards the trailer, leaving only enough time to scream before the trailer is blown up. The other Taliban member picks up his empty AK-47, equipped with a bayonet, and runs after the IRA leader. The IRA leader tries to hit him with his slingshot, but misses. The Taliban man catches up and tries to stab him, but the IRA leader swings a car door in his face and forces him to drop the AK-47. The IRA leader pulls out a knife and tries to kill the Taliban warrior, and the two struggle to gain control of the knife. The IRA leader gains the upper hand, and stabs the Taliban man in the throat. A final Taliban member rushes in with his own AK-47 and tries to shoot the IRA leader. He picks up an Armalite and runs from the Taliban member, trying to shoot him as well. The chase leads to a broken-down bus. The IRA member runs into the bus and pulls out a bomb. He sticks it next to the exit in the back and get out. As the Taliban member enters the bus, the IRA member blocks the exit with the Armalite. The Taliban member tries to open the door, but is unable to do so. The IRA member begins taunting him with the remote and then runs away. The Taliban member sees the bomb and tries harder to open the door. The IRA leader runs to a safe spot, then presses a button on the remote. The bomb begins beeping, then explodes and kills the last Taliban member. The IRA leader raises his fist and yells "Erin!" ("Ireland") in victory.
Expert's Opinion[edit | edit source]
The reason why the IRA won was because they were better at fighting as a small group to defeat a larger group (the sim demonstrated this well by the lone IRA leader killing three Taliban soldiers), their skills at guerilla warfare, and the deadly accuracy of the Armalite AR-15.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- As mentioned on the show, the Taliban fought against the Spetsnaz in the Soviet war in Afghanistan and against American special forces in the American Invasion of Afghanistan. During the Soviet War in Afghanistan, the United States CIA was supporting the early Taliban to remove Soviet influence from the area. The Taliban today still call themselves the 'sons and grandsons of the Mujaheddin'.
- The Afghan Civil War has been lasting for 33 years, making the Taliban one of the longest continuously fighting warrior in modern history.
- At 18 years and counting, the US invasion of Afghanistan is the longest war involving the USA (except for technically the Korean War) and so the Taliban are the longest fought enemy of the USA.
- The Taliban and the Somali Pirates both share the AK-47 and RPG-7. In real life they both have links or relations with Al-Qaeda.
- The Taliban's relationship with Bin Laden wasn't as strong as many Americans believed. Bin Laden's involvement in the Soviet War of Afghanistan had him ally with groups who were destroyed by the Taliban. Also since Bin Laden was exiled from Sudan and Saudi Arabia by the late 1990s, the Taliban leaders feared that his criminal background would be risky. Even before 9/11, Bin Laden was being hunted by the CIA inside Afghanistan. It is unknown if the Taliban knew about 9/11 before it occurred, though the Taliban-government did harbor the 9/11 hijackers, and it's unknown if they had the authority to give into America's demand to surrender Bin Laden. However the Taliban have used Al-Qaeda troops similarly to a special forces due to their extremism, training and experience. This made them effective shock troops and bombers against the US-Afghan forces.
- Before the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan; Afghanistan was seen as a progressive and beautiful nation, even in comparison of other islamic nations. It was once the norm for women in Afghanistan to wear western clothing and exercise women rights.
- Sesame Street has an Afghan spinoff show that is politically and financially backed by the USA. Much of the content contains concepts that are anti-wahhabist: such as promoting women's rights and using depictions of fictional characters. 
- The Taliban's rise to power in the 1990s saw massacres against the Jewish population; leading all the Jews to leave Afghanistan, except for Zablon Simintov (as of 2018). Zablon was just one of many tortured and robbed by the Taliban due to his Non-Muslim faith. He operates the only Synagogue still opened in Kabul.
- The Taliban's lack of modern equipment compared to NATO forces is sometimes an advantage. It is common for NATO soldiers to be carrying over 100 LB of equipment in battle, while Taliban guerrillas carry very little other than their primary weapon; this is so the Taliban can be more mobile in their hit-and-run tactics. Taliban frequently called NATO soldiers 'donkeys' due to the heavy gear and backbacks they commonly carry.
- Taliban is the only warrior to kill one of their own (accidentally) in the simulation.
- The Taliban fought against NATO lead Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Rangers, CIA, Gurkhas and FFL and some Taliban fought Spetsnaz and the KGB during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The episode does show the Taliban fighting Spetsnaz and the Green Berets.
- The Taliban first appeared in the Green Beret/Spetsnaz episode where they attack an armored car. The same scene is used in IRA vs. Taliban. It was seen again in the Pancho Villa vs. Crazy Horse when they were explaining that their tactics inspired later guerrilla groups. The Taliban also make an appearance in the US Army Rangers vs. North Korean Special Operations Force battle, when showing how the Rangers have operated in every American conflict.