Anand Gopal


Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses why counterinsurgency strategy works better in theory than in practice; the short term PR victories in Afghanistan that create long term problems; the only two policy choices deemed worthy of popular consideration: continue the Afghan War forever, or scale down to night raids while moving into Pakistan; how the “denying al-Qaeda sanctuary” justification for US military deployments ignores the real reasons the 9/11 attacks succeeded; why the Taliban’s Iranian-sourced weapons are more likely from black market deals than the Iranian government; and how the India-Pakistan rivalry ensures a continued stalemate in Afghanistan.

MP3 here. (21:52)

Anand Gopal has covered Afghanistan for the Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor and a number of other outlets. His dispatches can be read at

5 thoughts on “Anand Gopal”

  1. Anand Gopal is absolutely right about Taliban's weapons sources are more likely from the black market than from Iranian government sources. Iran has been a steadfast supporter of the Northern Alliance, erstwhile enemies of the Taliban and therefore unlikely to supply the Taliban with which to fight their allies.

  2. After it facilitated the Taliban downfall and failed to reach any conciliation with the US, Iran does not know how to deal with the resurgance of Taliban. The Afghan problem can only be solved by prominant Afghans, if they can ever get their act together, to force a reconciliation between the Northern Alliance [the government] and the Taliban. Upholding Human Dignity [ both male-female, Hazara or Pushtun, Muslim or non-Muslim, Quran 17:70] as the supreme law of the land should be the main principle for reconciliation. Taliban can reject the Afghan constitution, but cannot reject the Quran. Neither can the West reject the principle. Let every law and economic policy evolve around the principle of Human Dignity. The prominant Afghans have to shun seeking power for themselves. The US should give up using Afghanistan as a stategic base against China.
    If the US is sincere there is an honorable way out. But Mr. Karzai has lost all his political capital to be instrumental in this reconciliation. The best he can do is to accept this formula and promise his exit for its implementation.

  3. How does one 'scale down' to do only night raids? If the current numbers aren't held, neither will it be possible to 'hold' newly taken insurgent territory.

    The ability to do 'night raids' is only made possible by the presence of a nearby 'citadel' that is fairly safe from attack. Numbers are the only guarantee of that.

    Why wouldn't the Iranians be interested in what goes on in Afghanistan or Iraq? It isn't an ideological thing like Russian assistance to Vietnam, or the US in Afghanistan 1. The US, an 'avowed' enemy, is waging active warfare on two of its borders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.