The explosive Taliban: from the Jihad to the Garden of the Houris, without scales.

The suicidal mujaidin is a personally advanced weapon (just look for who has nowadays the fearlessness of removing itself from life, defending some ideals and a prize at the Other Side), abundant, nearby and cheap. It possesses the highest «combat specific capacity», (according to the parameters established by colonel Trevor Dupuy, which refer to real values of the different armies, calculated in conflicts and wars): many military men, policemen and civil authorities of the enemy are definitive losses for each own loss. And speaking in terms of the universal good administration principle of the scanty available resources, his actions (as «investments») have also a high ROMI; or (military) return over this marginal investment. The suicidal jihadist optimizes this way his asymmetry with the weapon and the highly available enemies. This soldier of «one use» knows, takes advantage of his opportunity, decides and acts. Because he can be a hallucinated fanatic, but he is not an idiot. For his personal and ideological character, his effective action raises the moral, the conviction and the decision of his companions, collaborators and sympathizers. The islamist suicide «appreciates» this way his enemies. Because they are his infallible key to «going out under canopy from this Valley of Tears «.

The explosive fighter is a common weapon of the Talibans. If the explosive charge, her characteristics and the vector are suitable, the sophisticated enemy sensors and the protective jackets are of little use against he. And the armored vehicles and the buildings also do not serve to be protected from he. The “trigger carrying agent” can be man or woman and adult or child. And can cooperate in his suicide attack, a bushes, a goods stand, a donkey, a bicycle or an engine vehicle. A «suicidal fighter of one use», is not a select marksman: he is not necessary to train militarily (basic, technical and tactical knowledge). His other complementary, fearsome and almost unbeatable weapons are the surprise, the freedom of action and the initiative.

The aims preferred by the «explosives sworn-ins» are the enemy security forces, so much «unbelievers» as «traitors», and the Muslims belonging to the heterodox branch of the Islam (the Shiites and Alauites). To the enemy security forces they bring over disguised as recruits in formation, candidates for the enrollment, supplies personnel (outsourced services), companions, «collaborators» of the ISAF and civil innocent prominent figures. Their target is human always, because the property damages hurt less the regular enemy. And they are located in the policemen or the enemy armies agglomerations, in the barracks, recruitment centers and points of obliged and frequent passing and with motive of stops, farewells, ostentations and exhibitions, of those. To the Shiites they bring over taking advantage of their inevitable concentrations: the annual international peregrinations to his holy places, his stopping places in the different stages or the Fridays midday prayers, specially communities, in their mosques. Though the latter assaults take place rather in the bordering countries, Iraq (Shiite majority) and Pakistan (Sunni majority).

The great problem is that is very difficult to fight (to offset, stop or neutralize) against a few enemies, more or less isolated, determined to die and of another etnia and idiosyncrasy. And with the suicides this sharpens up to making it almost impossible to realize «a priori». Because they are combated with modern, technology and trained forces, prepared generally for wars of third generation. That would theoretically face similar forces or of the second generation. And their commands have almost as an unavoidable premise, preserve from physical (the principal thing), mental and moral hurts the men under their orders. The suicide must go unnoticed in the place chosen for the attack, by its age, genre, aspect and attitude. He has also to conceal perfectly his appliance and his equipment. To be able to approach his target and make exploit that one. His passport for the Garden of the Houris is to take with him the major number of dead and mutilated enemies.

The added human and material hurts to Muslims, caused around the explosion point, are “collateral damages”. The Sunnies jihadists looked for an overcomplicated, but sufficient «solution» in the practice, to ignore the Koranic rule «thou will not kill Muslims». On having lacked a clergy and an only religious doctrine, the interpretations of the Islam and, especially, his applications for the daily life, can be multiple. In effect, to calm the repugnances in producing them, an al-Qaeda «ideologist», Abu Yahya al-Libi, developed a «religious» theory about the «not looked hurt». According to her, is allowed to the militants jihadists to kill Muslims, when is inevitable. And, even, when it is useful. And the mujaidins express their desire that the collateral dead men, should also be considered by Allah as martyrs of his «holy war». And to believe this, comes very well to the fanatics who direct the groups and to the insanities fanatics that follow or support them.

The motivations of these “explosive sworn-ins” are simple. An effective material motivation is their chronic loss of the basic natural needs: sustenance, family, safety, refuge and cover, expectations and reasonable progress. It is an effective spur to induce the employment of the liberating violence by a part of the society, specially the idealistic young men. The «positive» motivation would be the economic prizes that Talibans give to the families of the martyrs. And these are so much the fallen in combat as the suicides. The religious motivation is the powerful mean of persuasion and conviction. The suicides of the Jihad are methodically and intensely catechized. The Koranic verses related with the Jihad, are known by heart by them. The other suicides «example» surrounds them in their daily life. In the way of photos, manuscripts, testimonial videos and destiny companions. Their preachers clarify their doubts and encourage them to prematurely reach the Paradise. That is destined specially to the martyrs of the Jihad. Everything is like to the initiation functioning of a toxic sect: that destroys the personality of the lowest members. The universal character of the Muslims’ community, facilitates the flow and the insertion of «internationalist voluntaries» suicidal fighters from other countries.

The operational key of the Taliban are their innumerable local chiefs, with their small bands of radical irregulars. They are the persons in charge of intimidating, teaching or catechizing, scaring, attacking and occupying more or less temporarily some of the numerous settlements and hamlets, on both sides of the border. The Taliban movement follows a constant elementary cycle of «teaching, training, supporting and delegating» between the small «sheiks» and his deputies. So that they obtain a certain rotation in the command and in its exercise. These local «maliks» are practically immune to the assault of the «drones» of the ISAF. That explore, attack the irregular enemy and execute his evident, it is supposed, out-standing commands.

The drones cannot follow and attack so many minuscule and evasive targets. From an enemy network that turns out to be profuse, diffuse and confused. They cannot substitute, as is claimed by extrapolation from a few first successes, the ground active and aggressive patrols of exploration or combat. That, together with the military units and the civic and political action groups, are destined to dispute and gain his “bases refuges” to the enemy and, later, the popular majority support. Like the «American saturation bombardments» could not cut the Route Ho Chi Minh, supplying the Vietcong and the regular North Vietnamese forces in the «zone demilitarized» and at the south of this. Going from North Vietnam across Eastern Laos to South Vietnam. And all was because their air attacks, were not accompanying a «ground action» over that Route. That was complementary, systematic and constant, not necessarily exhaustive, of the air action of pure attrition.

And waiting in peace death from sky does not scare, even not worry sufficiently the mentally normal people. This only happened to the imaginary chief of Asterix’s Gallic village. And is something like what Ramon Gómez de la Serna was saying to his acquaintances and less intimate friends in Buenos Aires: «Here I am, waiting for the cancer». The intimidating threat, which could change the conduct of an enemy chief, must be something real (that is tended to magnify), sufficient, felt and immediate or near. Like the sirens installed in the Stukas. In order that his precise diving bombardment terrifies in land all his possible human targets, which were not yet veterans. Or as the explosive mujaidins, whose behavior is for the enemy like a “gas”, without own volume or form and that can reach all the available sites.


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Enrique Alonso nació en La Habana. Tras el establecimiento del régimen comunista se trasladó a España, licenciándose en Ciencias Químicas en la Universidad de Oviedo.

Es titulado por la Universidad Complutense en Química y Tecnología del Petroleo (dos cursos) y en Logística por la Cámara de Comercio de Madrid (un curso). Ha realizado su labor profesional durante más de 30 años en REPSOL y empresas anteriores, absorbidas posteriormente. Su trabajo se centró en la investigación de lubricantes (Centro de Investigación de la calle Embajadores), el área comercial y la logística de lubricantes (unas 100 mil Tm. al año de productos a granel y envasados, con un presupuesto total de unos 1000 millones de ptas).

Ha sido colaborador en la década de los 80, del diario Pueblo y, a través de la agencia EFE, de diversos diarios españoles e hispanoamericanos en temas de política internacional y militares.

Es autor de la novela “Operación Elefante”, publicada en 1982, que trata minuciosa y extensamente de las operaciones y tácticas de las guerrillas y contraguerrillas en la Angola socialista prosoviética de Agostinho Neto, apoyada desde 1975 por tropas cubanas. 

En 2005 publicó en inglés el ensayo “On the Nature of War”, que es una teoría de la guerra basada en el desarrollo y la aplicación práctica de 10 “sistemas operativos”.

Actualmente es colaborador permanente de la revista española War Heat International.

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