The Taliban's Mao-Inspired Return To Power In Afghanistan Shows The US Is Failing To Heed The Lessons Of History

The Taliban's Mao-Inspired Return To Power In Afghanistan Shows The US Is Failing To Heed The Lessons Of History

Andrew H. Sweet

Guillaume Beaurpere, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who served in Iraq and studied al-Qaeda ideology, has joined the dots between Islamist strategy and Maoist doctrine.

He says that while the "circumstances and motives" of the Chinese Communist Revolution were different from those of Islamist terrorism, it is "most evident" that the strategy is Mao's.

Mao casts a long shadow over Afghanistan. He can be seen as the father of modern insurgencies: his teachings inspiring the FARC movement in Colombia, Al Qaeda, and Islamic State, among others.

Mao set out a three-stage strategy that the Taliban has followed to the letter. The first stage is the initial invasion and enemy offensive. Stage two is the enemy's consolidation. Stage three is the counteroffensive and the enemy's retreat.

On Guerrilla Warfare, Mao said insurgencies must be agile; they must adapt and use local knowledge and populations to their advantage.

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