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The Sopranos of Afghanistan: The Haqqanis

Updated on September 25, 2011

The Haqqani family is ruthless like the Sopranos TV show or like the Mafia in real life. For much of Afghanistan, they control and their tentacles reach into places least expected and American money is going to them. They are a crime family in the best Afghanistan tradition, they: murder, kidnap, extort, smuggle and have large trucking capabilities. They traffic and sell anything that makes money for them. One of their biggest money makers is extortion from business owners for protection from the Taliban. Monthly fees are demanded and paid throughout Kabul and other places secretly. Nothing survives long unless the Haqqani family is paid to protect it, such as, American funded roads or moving American supplies along American funded roads built, whether it is American funded built schools and other infrastructure. Unless a ransom is paid by the Afghanistan for protection, the roads, buildings, schools will be attacked, and since these cannot be protected 24\7 by Afghan troops- well, you see how it is a income generator. Trucks hauling US troop supplies all pay for "safe passage" a fee to the Haqqanis. No pay- trucks are hit with roadside bombs.

Working with the Haqqani appears to be the Pakistani ISI most recently in the attack on the US Embassy. Communications were intercepted by the CIA during the attack. At some point, the attackers, who had been obviously well trained, requested information as to how to proceed with the attack. On the other end was an ISI officer. But the Haqqanis have also been in the employ of the CIA. They play all sides in the Afghanistan war because it is lucrative.

Their home base is in Miram Shah, inside Pakistan, which is more like a small country because the Pakistani Army refuses to enter there to destroy them. The ISI and the Pakistan Army have been backstabbing one another for years. Neither trusts the other. The Haqqani family also owns to small factories there that produce ammonium nitrate, a critical element for roadside bombs.

Pakistan's problem is that it distrusts the US and India's relationship and fear that they will be a target. This jealousy is childish, both countries are friends to the US, both have their purpose. Pakistan has always been paranoid of India. The paranoia diverts more of their military, money and other resources when it should be toward the border of Afghanistan.

The only avenue left for the US is to attack the Haqqanis inside Pakistan, which means, Pakistan and the US could clash over the breach of trust. It could be VERY messy if such over the border actions fail. Much of Pakistan is already anti-America for a variety of reasons, this would be the crowning event.


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    • Scottmonster profile image

      Scott Vehstedt 6 years ago from Washington, D.C.

      Nice Hub, pretty similar to the NY Times article today though...

    • S M Bilal Shah profile image

      S M Bilal Shah 6 years ago from Lahore

      Most of the things you wrote here may be true, but ever thought about why the US didnt secure that Durand line itself with fencing instead of blaming Pakistan for it? What about the Haqqani network's bases in Afghanistan, about which they themselves claim?

      Pakistan & its ISI are just the scapegoats here that the frustrated US so desperately wants to blame its shameful failures of the Afghan adventure on. Pakistan has been paranoid when it came to India but then that paranoia has not been entirely without precedent. Just because some ex jarheads taking over the US foreign policy tell you that theres a new Mr. twinkle toes with his bam bam network now that threatens "world peace". You really don't have to go crazy believing them. With that said....yes the ISI and the Pakistani military deserve much worse than this, they have been the US bit*hes for long enough.

      God please end this war on terror bullshit already! Amen!