SIG Sauer Academy

Combat FlipFlops – Written in Taliban

Over the weekend Matt Griffin and Matt Chapman, founders of Combat FlipFlops posted a look at the current situation in Afghanistan written from the Taliban’s point of view. It went viral and in typical Technogarch fashion, social media censored it.

So here it is. Read it all the way to the end.

Written in Taliban

The first time I saw you was in the Khyber pass.  You came with your technology, elite fighters fueled by revenge, and the hubris to believe you could disprove history.

This was a war that you didn’t have the stomach to fight.  But I’m glad you tried.  

We bled you the same way we bled the Soviets in our Holy Land.  We bled you the same way the Vietnamese bled you in their home land.  We did it patiently and deliberately.  

Patience.  Something Westerners never learn.  

Our history is millennial.  We don’t yearn for an early victory when the Infidel ravages our Holy Land.  Our victory is celebrated decades from now.  We’ve endured, then ravaged every standing military that crossed our borders.   Why?  How?  We’re patient.  

In 30 days, we’ll be stronger, richer, and have control over precious natural resources that you need for your pathetic life that’s dictated by comfort.  We will have women, riches, land, guns, and ownership of one of the greatest chapters in military history. 

You lose. 

If you want to try again, we welcome the challenge.  You will fail regardless of how much money you burn in our deserts. For pity, here is free advice that may contribute to your future success; should you ever decide to invade again.

You recruit your warriors and supporters from a drug addicted, distracted, disillusioned population that’s obsessed with comfort and entertainment.  A population obsessed with altering their mundane reality.  Alcohol, marijuana, pills, and our new favorite — Tide Pods.  Every time your doctors prescribe opiate painkillers, you line our coffers with gold.  Your population’s thirst for our pristine heroin has never been more lucrative for our warrior tribes.   We will keep feeding you poison for as long as you keep your hands out.  

If your population wasn’t so spineless, undisciplined, and self loathing, then you might be able to compile a raiding party with enough tenacity to outthink ours. 

Our fighters are born into war.  Raised in it.  It’s a way of life that evades your “first world” nations. They live a life of such immense misery and pain that they’re willing to fight barefoot in the snow for the opportunity to martyr themselves. They yearn for the opportunity to die.  When they do have the blessed opportunity to sacrifice themselves, they sit above Mohammed at the right hand of God.  Blessed in Allah for eternity

What honors do your fighters receive?  Their empty sacrifice is remembered in the form of a “three day weekend.”  The majority of your population uses this sacred time to get drunk and grow more fat as a way to celebrate their fallen warriors.  Sadly, we pay tribute to their death more honorably.

The colored pieces of cloth you pin on their chests are similar to the jewelry worn by our women.  What good are accolades and vanity if you don’t have the stomach to endure a fight?   We don’t offer the burden of healthcare to our fighters as they often want to die for Allah.  Your fighters fight to live.  Their inability to reconcile the inevitable outcome of our patience leads them to kill themselves.  Your medications, counselors and non-profits will never undo the pain and suffering you’ve forced them to endure.  It will never remove the pain we’ve caused your broken nation.  You are your own worst enemy. 

We will give your fighters credit.  Some are creative, tenacious, and fierce. They outgun us in every way possible.  But again, we simply wait them out.  Allah is patient.  You cycle them through our Holy Lands every 3 to 12 months for their combat rotations. After their tour is complete, they return to the comfort of their warm beds and endless entertainment.  If you left them here, in our Holy Land, with no way out but to win, then you might of have had a chance of success.  The longer you poisoned our Holy Land with your presence, your “rules of engagement” only strengthened our position. There is only one rule in war – that is to win. 

Your commanders made you fight with your hands tied behind your back. Your rules also confused our fighters too.  “We’re clearly the enemy, why are they letting us go?”  Thank you for your compassion as it allowed our fighters to kill more Infidels.  We began to feel as if your commanders were on our side.  We’re thankful your most vicious dogs were never allowed off their leash. 

Your showcase Generals make us laugh.  You spend millions of dollars flying them around our country inventing new ways to win, while ignoring the guidance of our most capable foes.  Your Generals make decisions to minimize risk to their fragile reputation with the ultimate goal of securing a lucrative retirement–jobs with suppliers that fuel your losing force. A self-serving circle that’s built on the backs of your youngest and most naive fighters.

Your retired Generals “earn” tens of thousands of dollars talking to your political, industrial, and financial leaders about “teams, winning, and discipline.”  It’s a mockery of the war they refused to fight.  It’s a mockery of the Infidel warriors who died in our lands. We urge you to continue following their vacuumous personalities so we can further watch your once great nation collapse. 

Your statesman and elected officials are spineless, narcissistic, and more cowardly than your Generals. They crave power over you above all else. They come to our country, hide behind blast walls, and only heed the word of the indiginous leader they put in power.   I believe your soldiers call this a “self licking ice cream cone.”  

They’ve burned billions of dollars in a wasted effort to bring clean water, electricity, business, education, agriculture, and exports to a region that didn’t ask for it.  You should have saved yourself the effort and simply given the money directly to us.  Don’t worry, your diplomatic friends gave us plenty of your American tax dollars.  If you want to give it another shot with your “soft power,” send those with real experience, not fancy degrees and silver tongues. 

Over the next few months, we will  make the world understand that you failed worse than any fighting force that’s ever invaded our lands.  Today we celebrate victory.  

As you evacuate your embassy, our fighters will be standing in the shade. We thank you for the parting gifts.  You’ll find surface-to-air missiles staged in the back of Toyota pickup trucks that you purchased for us.   Our marksmen will be patient.  

We saw what Extortion 17 did to your nation and the morale of your fighting force.  Do your citizens even remember that victory? We’ll be repeating and improving upon our victory while your citizens and sympathizers evacuate in disgrace.  Every one of your foes around the world will know exactly how to break you. 

You are welcome to fly your empty drones, target our cell phones, and send your spies.  But they, too, will ultimately fail.  We’ll use their failures to show the world that you’re not all-powerful.  You’re a false front.  An empty shell. You lie, cheat, steal, and are easily defeated because you lack the spine to fight.  This is your history now.  We’re grateful Allah gave us the opportunity to show the world how to defeat the Infidels. 

We look forward to seeing you again across the battlefield.

Praise be to God,

The Taliban

***Authors’ Note***

If you’ve read this far.  Thank you.  I’ve spent the past week trying to find a way to communicate this to the American people in a manner that would cause anger, rage, action, and understanding.  Writing in the voice of a Taliban felt right.

If this made you angry, cry, or contemplative–then our goal is achieved.  Our hope is that it inspires you to take action with your elected officials.  They’ve been repeating the same failing playbook since World War II with your sons, daughters, and tax dollars.  If you want this to keep happening, do nothing.  If you don’t, then do something.  If we all do a little, together we do a lot.

About the Authors: 

Matthew Griffin is a 2001 United States Military Academy Graduate, Army Ranger, Combat Veteran with the 75th Ranger Regiment (3x Afghanistan, 1x Iraq), CEO of Combat Flip Flops, author, and 2019 Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Global Leadership Institute. 

Scott Chapman is a 2000 Murray State University Graduate, Army Ranger Fire Team Leader from Alpha Company 2/75th Rangers (‘01 – ‘05), OGA Blackwater Alumni, entrepreneur, and author. Combat Veteran ( 21x Afghanistan, 1x Iraq)

51 Responses to “Combat FlipFlops – Written in Taliban”

  1. Joe R. says:

    At least, when we go back, we don’t have to worry about civilian casualties, or green on blue.

    Because there won’t be any.

    • Chuck Mac says:

      We are doing the Taliban’s job for them by drawing all U.S. sympathizers out, into the open & neatly gathered at Kabul airport. Our troops may end up shooting more Afghan civilians, in order to clear runways in the coming days, than the Taliban does. The ICBM was never meant to collide with the arrow, and the 2 forces using each never really meet on the battlefield. This is somebody’s way to preserve the flow of opium = big pharma and the cartels win again.

      • Joe R. says:

        Or, it’s just Biden fulfilling his promise Obama fulfilling his promise to islam, while the chinese pay the bill in order to belt and road their way into Afghanistan.

        We’ll be back there in less than 5 years, and everyone there better find another place in the solar system to hide.

        • Gyrfalcon says:

          Yeah sure…. what brainfart is going on with you? Your mother promised me some BJ last week would be more true.

        • Steve says:

          Propaganda is our greatest enemy . The Russians used it to expand the socialist agenda in VietNam . Turning the radical youth against a winnable war .. except greed within in our government and military did not let our forces win . I’m not impressed by the Taliban although I agree about patience . With the promises on Nikita Khrushchev it is only a matter of time before a corrupt and greedy administration uses the socialist brainwashed in this country . To all our veterans .. you are loved , respected and never forgotten . Sorry we have a weak nation right now .

  2. Sommerbiwak says:

    Censors have always been dimwitted and bad at reading comprenehnsion. Just ask anyone who lived in eastern Europe behind the iron curtain and how shit was flown under the radar of the censors. And quite often they surprisingly outright missed stuff in plain sight. At other times they censored things that should have been no problem.

    The essay itself nails it in my humble opinion and shows much more understanding of the people living in Afghanistan and the situation than any of the politicians and bureaucrats be it from the USA or the other countries engaged in AFG have ever had. HEck just a few days ago the minister of the interiour of Germany wanted to still deport back afghan refugees, becuase Afghanistan was a safe country again. While the Taleban were already taking over the country. So much ignorance and wishful thinking on the side of our leaders.

    • Yawnz says:

      This implies that the Taliban were never not in control. This was simply taqqiya in practice. I’d be very interested to see how much of the ANA were simply Taliban just “waiting it out”.

      This whole deal is pretty silly. It has nothing to do with “patience” or whatever and simply displays his own hubris. This is simply what happens when you enter a “war” that isn’t actually a war. Sure there was shooting and killing, but this wasn’t a war.

      How did the US win WW2? We bombed a fuck-ton of civilians. We burned entire cities to the ground. The nation-building occured afterwards. To add to it, the Axis powers didn’t have the luxury of hiding their soldiers in the territory of nations “allied” to the US (see the Pakistani ISI supporting the Taliban for decades).

  3. Chuck Mac says:

    Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Need I say more? I’ve seen enough E-3’s deploy with $1000 worth of gaming equipment to know where the fight in stomach went.

    Missing from this article is the corrupt media frenzy that promotes anti-Americanism and wishes for U.S. failures. Islam has only 1 message, 1 sponsor and 1 way to treat anyone who goes against it.

    The worst is still to come. My guess is their next plan already left the station, but, of course, we are just beginning to plan to avert it.

    • Joe R. says:

      Agreed.

      Plus, it’s a wonder the “get out of Afghanistan” crowd can’t see that we we’re fast approaching 100 years in Germany and we still lost that hole to the enemy.

      Japan’s a china-destroyed-by-its-own-nukes event from turning on us just for the U.S. Servicemen’s annual DUI count, and we’ve been there nearly as long as we’ve been in Germany.

    • Ricky says:

      I’ve never deployed in my 6 years in the Guard but it always irked me when I heard of people bringing their gaming gear or even playing video games on deployment … I feel like if there’s one time to be a hard-ass in your life and suffer a bit, it’s deployment to a warzone…

      • Philip says:

        Fair point…but getting in a couple rounds of COD or Halo between putting in work was a great stress reliever and simple way to disconnect from the reality of work. And if it wasn’t Xbox, it was huddling 5-deep around a single laptop sharing the earbuds to watch bootlegged movies.

        • Ricky says:

          That’s the point of the article – we’re soft lol…you literally came to an article mocking the need of comfort to Americans to defend said need of comfort.

          God help us when a major power decides “it’s time”….

          • Philip says:

            A field-expedient multimedia setup within a tent in a warzone is still in a tent in a warzone lol

            Sporadic, incidental distractions ? comfort

            By your own admission you didn’t deploy (no judgment or shame from me in that), so I don’t think we’re going to view it through the same lens.

          • Philip says:

            Have you not heard of the ODA compounds with grand pianos, massage tables, and zen gardens? I think that’s even been mentioned here in an article or comments thread if memory serves. Are those guys “soft” too?

            Using a little ingenuity to make the best of a bad situation in suboptimal conditions isn’t being soft, it’s a tool for protecting critical human capabilities under stress.

            • Ricky says:

              I understand man, I just don’t see how anyone advocating for soldiers bringing video games to a warzone thinks that that will contribute to battlefield/war victory…I understand we did it, but we also lost the war so one could argue importing those comforts contributed to us losing.

              • Philip says:

                I’m not “advocating” for anything, I’m simply acknowledging that it happened and the likely rationale behind it. The outcome of Afghanistan was not remotely contingent upon what soldiers did or didn’t do when not outside the wire or dodging indirect fire.

                Afghanistan failed in part from a string of failures way above their heads by a multitude of inept (and largely unaccountable) bureaucrats and policymakers. Folks with a long habit of refusing to recognize the importance of protecting hard-fought strategic interests and selling out to whatever political pressure posed the greatest threat to their own agendas.

                Nothing over there had a chance of holding up without meaningful longterm infrastructure and adequate strategic support, both of which our bureaucrats overlooked, either by design or gross incompetence. It also doesn’t help that the Afghans lack any sort of desire or willpower to defend or appreciate the niceties our taxpayers footed the bill for.

              • Aye says:

                Better not bring guitars, books, or anything else that doesn’t devote full attention to the mission.

                Forget letters home, phone calls or emails. Yuck.

                Some critical thinking could do you well, “Ricky”

              • Trav says:

                Ricky you do realize, that during a deployment 95% of your time is spent sitting around waiting for something to do right?

                Plus, most of the jobs are basically regular hours only a small percentage of people do stuff outside of the base. The rest are support troops driving a forklift, sending emails, filling out forms etc.

                You seem to have an overly glamorized concept of what deploying to a warzone is all about.

      • Scully says:

        Ricky,
        I think if you did deploy you might understand the need for those morale items. Who knows, maybe you’ll be going to Afghanistan before too long. Soldiers definitely need time to unwind and relax when they’re not out on patrol or on a mission. It’s been that way in every war. If you could go back in time to the Civil War for example you would find soldiers in their camps playing games, music etc….

  4. Sommerbiwak says:

    A factor not mentioned in the essay is, that the population of Afghanistan has doubled from about 20 million in 2001 to about 38 million today. Plus all the Afghans in other countries. This alone is going to create pressure in country. All those additional people want work and food etc etc. in a very barren underdeveloped country. This is going to cause problems inevitably. Electricity for example is still mostly generated by hydroelectric dams built in the 1970ies and earlier and consumption of electricity is rising.

  5. Rick B. says:

    Ouch! And there it is. America has lost its way. I can only hope this gets out but I doubt it will. The truth can sometimes be painful and we are no linger a nation that deals with pain and hardship very well.

  6. Steven Heath says:

    They underestimate the American people. All they see is our corrupt government. Hopefully this will change.

  7. Scully says:

    I’ll give the Taliban credit for maintaining a large fighting force through the last 20 years. They are certainly patient and resilient. But, that’s not the reason why they’ve taken control of Afghanistan so quickly.

    The reason is, the Afghan people do not have the desire for a Western form of government. They have no national pride in the sense that Americans do. They do not have the will to fight and die so that their nation can be a better place. That is why the Taliban essentially faced zero resistance after the US left. No one in the Afghan military is willing to fight. I’m sure plenty of the readers here that have spent time training or on missions with them can tell you that the majority of them are worthless when it comes to fighting. They are just there to collect a paycheck. When threatened with their life by the Taliban they do not see fighting back as a choice. They either run, or simply join with the Taliban.

    I still am proud that we went there to eliminate an enemy that had attacked America. we should have left it at that. Trying to nation build in a place that doesn’t want to be a nation is foolish.

    • Yawnz says:

      It’s easy to be “patient and resilient” when you can hide in the territory of a country that is supposedly “allied” with the US, i.e. Pakistan.

      • Scully says:

        I agree, and I can only begin to imagine the levels of corruption, bribery, and fraud that goes into the United States continuing to give Pakistan billions of dollars when we seem to get nothing in return except a safe haven for the Taliban and other extremists.

    • Philip says:

      This is the most succinct and accurate summary of the current situation.

  8. Strike-Hold says:

    Glad you shared that SSD – this article needs to be shared as far and wide as possible.

    As for the technocrats of the social media empires – they’re now controlled by the very AIs they created, and “artificial intelligence” is just a fancy way of saying synthetic stupidity.

  9. Whit says:

    Well said!

  10. Griff says:

    Thank you for sharing. It was tough to write, but hope this community can understand the sentiment of the message and be local leaders to prevent this from happening for our sons and daughters.

    • Colin says:

      Thanks for writing it, and posting it you pretty much summed up what I think many people felt.

      • John says:

        Neighbor and I have coffee every night and discuss what is going on in our country. I can’t tell you how many times we have had conversations that touched on all these points.

        This was an excellently written piece and we are both already sharing as much as possible.

        The fecklessness, laziness and general lack of want to learn anything that is not entertainment will be one of the great nails in our countries coffin. While our teachers fight about staying home and teaching our children worthless garbage that indoctrinates and turns them into abject panty waist bitches the chinese are teaching their young the art of war from kindergarten on up.

        There better be a correction fast or we will be welcoming the way of…rome, england, etc.

  11. Alpha2 says:

    Pretty spot on. Thanks for posting SSD.

    After 9/11, there was zero doubt we had to go into Afg and avenge the deaths of Americans and hunt down Al Qaeda. That’s where the mission should have started and ended – not attempting to nation-build a tribalistic country into a democratic society.

    • Joe_K says:

      Ever wonder why Ahmad Shah Massoud was killed 09.10.01?

      • mike says:

        It was September 9, but I’m interested in your theory.

        • TV-PressPass says:

          Because Massoud (aka The Lion of Panjshir) was a charismatic and effective mujahedeen leader who’d fought the Soviets and refused to submit to Taliban rule. He would have been an easy pick for the CIA to head the Northern Alliance in the late 2001 actions against the Taliban and Al-Queda forces.

          Instead we got Hamid Karzai trying to form the new Afghanistan.

          • Joe_K says:

            Highly doubtful that Massoud who despised the CIA would’ve assisted with coalition forces entering his country and setting up shop for 20 years.

  12. Dellis says:

    I get a lot of military, both active, reserve and retired, thru my shop and what I hear from those who are infantry and air is a common, “We are trained to do this and that to our enemy but we are never allowed to fully do this and that to our enemy due to ROE’s” That is so puzzling to me as I understand we seek the “moral” high ground but “hearts and minds” just didn’t seem to work out all that well. I was never there so I may be totally wrong. My heart breaks though for all of you who did.

  13. Unimog says:

    It needed to be said.. Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

  14. Liam Haakon Athias Babington says:

    We failed: Our leadership failed in policy and politics, we paid with our blood and guts….NEVER AGAIN!!!

  15. Iggy says:

    Good bit of writing and great to see it routed round the hall monitors of public do goodery.

  16. Joe_K says:

    As in other wars, we fought the wrong enemy.

    • Yawnz says:

      So an organization built upon a 1400-year old ideology that demands death of non-believers is the “wrong enemy”? lolokay

      • mike says:

        Nah, they were the right enemy. Total war then done. We could have done that if the point was to beat them.

        But that’s not who we fought. We fought public sentiment and declining military industrial complex profits.

        “But muh hearts and minds!” Bullshit. If we had given the Axis forces even a fraction of the leeway we gave our opponents in AFG and IRQ we’d be auf Deutsch sprechen und schreiben. The whole “hearts and minds” song and dance was about making sure we could stretch this out and really pump it for dollars. The handful of politicians that believed in hearts and minds were only concerned about re-election, not effective foreign policy. Our lawmakers, on both sides of the isle, are squarely responsible for this boondoggle.

      • Joe_K says:

        Disliking a religion, another culture, or people group shouldn’t be the pretext for a disjointed 20 year long war with NO potential for a positive outcome.
        If the argument and justification for why we went to war in Afghanistan is because the Taliban refused to hand over UBL and AQ then why did we not demand the same high price from Pakistan? Or Saudi Arabia? The war made a select few wealthier, and wasted the lives of too many to attempt to be excused by the oft repeated “But 9/11!”

  17. qball says:

    The opium will more freely flow to the ghettos of America creating more drug-dependent Democrats.
    Go watch “The Last Narc” on Netflix. When you find out who is at the top drug lords, it will make sense.

  18. El Terryble says:

    Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley should both be given firing squads for pushing communist propaganda at a time when America was about to be humiliated in front of the world, a dangerous thing when you have the ChiComs looking to take our place, and they were having safety stand downs on race, gender equity. Frankly, I have more respect for the Taliban then the commie, traitor Democrats.

  19. the hun says:

    “You got the Watches, we got the time..”
    The taliban are talking with China ..there are natural resources
    and dont forget the “NEW SILK ROAD”!
    And the OPIUM in relation to the US opoid-crisis…
    Smedley D. Butlers War is a Racket a must read

    • Joe_K says:

      It’s no small wonder General Butler’s book has not been on the Commandants reading list.

  20. thebronze301 says:

    Damn well said. And 100% accurate and true.

  21. Steve says:

    While partially true, This article shows that just because you served you can still have a fundamental misunderstanding of Middle Eastern culture and life. The authors are more interested in political points than actual real representation. I don’t blame them; they are limited in their understanding because they never took the time to actually understand culture, history etc. That’s the basic problem with our government as a whole. Fundamental misunderstanding of the Middle East. Democracy doesn’t work everywhere.

    Just because you serve does not make you an expert. Please stop trying to pass yourselves off as one.

    • Marcus says:

      Interesting comment. I think that I understand the point that you are making. So, what do you think a long in the tooth Taliban leader would say after the events of the past two weeks?