Inspired by Maiwand

by Joel Hafvenstein on 4/2/2011 · 5 comments

Another year, another half-hearted declaration of war on poppy.  But the real gem in this article comes toward the end:

U.S. Lt.-Col. Bryan Denny is hopeful Afghan farmers will heed [Kandahar Governor] Wesa’s message and by extension, reject the Taliban. For inspiration, he looks to the 1880 Battle of Maiwand.

During that clash, Afghan forces defeated a British brigade in one of the few times during the 19th century that an Asian force defeated a western power.

“People look to Maiwand and go, ‘Hey, we beat the British right here. Why can’t we beat the insurgency right here as well?’ ” Denny said.

I’ve also heard Kandaharis draw analogies from Maiwand to the present day.  But they were, um, a little different.

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Don Bacon April 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm

photo caption:
Soldiers of Afghan National Army patrols in Kandahar north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, March 15, 2010.

I’m still learning about this place on the other side of the world, but this can’t be right. Can it? And I don’t mean the date.

Joel Hafvenstein April 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Heh. It’s a subtle hint that the article was written from Bizarro World.

Mark April 4, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Hello Joel,

I ran into someone on facebook, Afghan national, that says he works for USAID and that he knows you. I would like to confirm this but don’t want to drop names here. What is the best way to contact you privately?



RScott April 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm

So what’s new? The blind leading the blind.

Pol-Mil FSO April 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Maiwand may not be as bad as the Korengal, but it has not been hospitable terrain for the Government of Afghanistan. I remember the UK Parachute Regiment and the Gurkhas doing consecutive sweeps through Maiwand in the first half of 2008, without any permanent results except maybe hardening some anti-GIROA attitudes. Maiwand is also where Human Terrain Team member Paula Lloyd received her mortal injuries, and where the rogue platoon from the 5th SBCT committed most of their atrocities.

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