Michael Yon on Afghanistan – and a deadly forecast for Taiwan


Michael Yon has built a stellar reputation as an independent journalist who goes the extra mile, at his own expense and at the risk of his life, to get the story.  He’s become legendary among US and British troops for the way he reported the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Now he focuses on the current crisis in the latter country, and he’s not optimistic (to put it mildly) about the future.  Here are some of his recent reports.

Want to Know Something about Afghan fighting? I will tell you.

I learned a lot about Pashtun ways of fighting. Much of that was from reading books. Much of that was from talking with combat vets. War stories are very important. If vets do not tell their stories, we lose vital information. So stop being silent, and tell your hard-won stories. We must spread this knowledge.

And the rest was tons of combat. My own war stories.

And from my own study, listening to war stories, and experience, I will say this about the building fight in Kabul. The longer we stay, the more likely we will end up with severe fighting inside Kabul. We are still somewhat within their OODA, but not much.

As you know, Pashtun — who comprise most of Taliban — have many cultural fighting habits. One is to pursue fleeing enemies. Like Border Collies. Have you ever had a Border Collie? They chase what flees. Including you.

Pashtun will not stop fighting us so long as we are there. These guys giving briefings talking about negotiating with Taliban are either dumber than oysters or lying like starfish. Pashtun-Taliban see us fleeing. They are chase-o-holics. It’s probably hardly within their realm of Will to resist chasing us.

There is another cultural habit of swarming. Many cultures do this. We see it during flatscreen riots in America, only the people doing flatscreen riots are less civilized than Taliban. Some cultures swarm more than others.

When I was in Mindanao, Philippines, Green Berets and SEALs told me about local swarming habits. Called pentacaso or something like that. Cockfight. And so, if you get into a firefight, every farmer and villager within earshot drops what they are doing and runs to the fight. Showing up with whatever they have, often planning to find weapons on arrival.

This is very dangerous for defenders on islands. The swarm will surround you and keep adding to the swarm and either push you to the sea or cause you to use all your ammo and then cut off your head. So either you must break contact quickly, before the swarm forms, or reinforce.

You can bet your last dollar that right now many men from Pashtun villages around Afghanistan have been emptying out to join the fight. They know if they win they can fetch some young virgins. Get some treasure. Get some glory. Have some fun. Chop some enemies to pieces. The most exciting moment of their life.

The longer this takes, the more likely we will see suicide attacks and all sorts of other increasingly heavy fighting as the swarm builds.

Some people are saying they did not see the intelligence that Taliban could mass so quickly. That’s only because they did not take into account the swarming behavior of some cultures.

We’ve just stamped in an ant bed. And while dancing around swatting ants, we tipped over a beehive. While running from the bees we jumped into a river and crocodiles heard the splash.

Our people must move very fast. There is no time for hormone therapy. Already the Brits are forced to do our man-work and are reportedly rescuing people while our woke-borne forces are quarantined on base.

This will get worse if we do not move quickly. Broken arrow.

Non-linkable excerpt from Michael Yon’s SITREP channel, 08/20/21:

Our government is no longer legitimate. They have abandoned Americans to die. They lock up Americans without charges.. Opened our borders. Encouraged and cheered as our cities burn. Destroying our military. Let churches burn. Rebuilt Mullah Omar’s Mosque in Kandahar — former Taliban leader — You read that right. I will write it again: They rebuilt Mullah Omar’s Mosque. With American citizens money. Am staying it again: Rebuilt the mosque with our blood. The mosque of Mullah Omar, who welcomed al Qaeda and cheered as people jumped from burning towers. This government no longer represents the United States or Americans.

Non-linkable excerpt from Michael Yon’s SITREP channel, 08/21/21:

JFS Editor: “The following is from a very observant supporter on Locals. @michaelyon

The rage, frustration and disgust I feel when I see the unfolding debacle in Kabul gives me a knot in my stomach because it was so preventable.

The simplest use of rational thinking and resolve should have resulted in a phased orderly withdrawal of every American, every thoroughly vetted Afghani in mortal danger who had helped us, all military personnel, and all military equipment, weapons and munitions either removed or destroyed.

We had ample time (months) and resources in place to plan and execute such a withdrawal instead of the shameful and humiliating rout we are now having to endure. And as painful as it is, the present humiliation is going to have even longer and more devastating consequences as further events unfold.

In the Chinese Communist Party the United States is facing the most implacable and ruthless enemy bent on our destruction that we have ever faced. Internationally we need to be at the top of our game as never before with the ability to attract, inspire, and reassure allies. To understate it, such an ability is going to be hard establish and maintain with a reputation for being feckless, faithless, and inclined to not honor one’s word.

But perhaps worst of all is how our conduct has emboldened the Chinese Communists who might be assuming that now the time has come for a successful all out military conquest of Taiwan in spite of gestures like US participation in joint naval exercises. Would such an assumption on the part of the CCP be correct? The truly frightening thing is that no one can really tell, especially the present US commander-in-chief and his DoD minions who, after the fact, might just shrug their shoulders and say “it all happened faster than we expected.”

The most realistic advice I would currently give to any Taiwanese Chinese concerned for the safety of their family and loved ones, especially anyone perceived to have anti-communist beliefs, is to get the hell out of Taiwan ASAP.

Kabul:  US Government is Stopping Civilian Op Dunkirk Attempts (08/22/21)

The failing United States military and civilian government are not letting us land to rescue Americans. Many groups have aircraft waiting to fly. Serious people with serious means.

We can get people out but the United States government is so draconian that we are being held back NOT by the Taliban, but by the US Government who created the problem.

The US government has lost legitimacy. It’s getting in the way.

United States will be busy now arming Taliban with money, credibility, and at this moment is facilitating Taliban control … The United States ‘government’ is getting in the way of saving American lives while giving away hundreds of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure, roads, advanced military gear, and training. All at expense of —what? Debt to schools who make American children into obedient Marxists.

And, on Taiwan:

Communication as well as other systems might be unreliable or down in the coming days and weeks. Much more serious than the disruptions we saw earlier.

China is getting ready to hit Taiwan, and that means massive disruption to US systems in order to paralyze us further from helping Taiwan.

Twitter, for now, is allowing criticism of the Biden Regime and the WestExec handlers, but that will change when the CCP changes its purpose for the criticism. Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, any social media platform that has been willing to play by CCP rules in the past will shut down all dissent almost overnight.

I can only concur with his warning on Taiwan.  If I were the Chinese Communist Party, I’d be mobilizing my invasion forces right now, and preparing to strike while America is distracted with what’s going down in Afghanistan.  I don’t think there could be a more opportune time for them.  Consider:

  • Our President is incompetent, incapable and almost incapacitated by age-related mental deterioration, propped up in office by blatant elder abuse and manipulation by those pulling the strings behind the scenes.
  • Chinese money and influence dominates many of our politicians, to the point that they might actually countenance and tolerate a Chinese conquest of one of our oldest allies in the Far East, despite our treaty relationships with it.
  • Our military has been reduced to a hollow shell of what it once was, paralyzed by political correctness.
  • Our economy is a mess, mismanaged, hamstrung by supply chain difficulties, and hopelessly indebted.
  • Our national focus on political correctness, particularly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, is preventing our politicians paying sufficient attention to what’s going on elsewhere.
Frankly, given all those factors, if China doesn’t move on Taiwan within a matter of weeks I’ll be very surprised indeed.  The door is wide open for them to take it, then cock a snook at the rest of the world.  I don’t think President Biden would know what to do about it, or even want to do anything about it (that’s assuming he understood what was going on in the first place).  His handlers would probably make enough money by kowtowing to Chinese imperialism that they wouldn’t care.

I’m glad I don’t live in Taiwan right now . . .


I don’t know if Michael Yon will ever read this, but I hope someone who does will let him know about it – I have no way to contact him directly.  He simply has too many Web outlets and feeds right now to keep track of them all.  I’ve linked to no less than four of them above, and there are others.  He needs to have a central “index”, if you like, where those of us who follow his work can find all his articles (or links to them), and where those who want to support his work can find a central donation point.  Right now, neither is feasible.

I’m sure this is costing him readers, and it’s definitely costing him money.  Several people I know – including myself – will gladly donate to support him, but we don’t know where or how to do so in order to get access to all his work.  Patreon donations cover only that source, not others, and so on.  He needs to streamline his Web presence!



  1. Yon appears to have focused on Locals as much as anything. Lots and lots come from his feed there and I don’t think you miss much if anything by following him there.

    The move away from Patreon was diven by the usual reasons.


  2. The only thing that might change this is if Taiwan has nukes and telegraphs a willingness to use them. It is possible.

  3. Chinese aren’t stupid. They don’t need to invade.

    Since we can’t seem to do anything, all the Chinese have to do is wait. Taiwan lives or dies by shipping. The Chinese ensure that and they’ll waltz right into their arms. We have a lot more things to display how feckless we are yet.

  4. I think there's a great danger of imminent war or actions that look like war. But I'm not sure Taiwan is in immediate danger of actual physical invasion because it's a militarily hard thing to do. The reason is basic geography. At the absolute narrowest the distance from the mainland to the island is ~80 miles. It's further from the obvious marshalling points (e.g. Quanzhou, Xiamen) to the preferred landing beaches.

    There's no way the PLA Navy can move stuff across that strait without it being noticed and without it being attacked if the Taiwanese have a functioning navy/air force/artillery. The PLA has to reduce the Taiwanese military first, then it can invade. Even preparations for those required attacks are likely to be obvious and (unless I'm very much mistaken) the Taiwanese military can read the world as well as Mr Yon and can therefore put themselves at high alert.

    I suspect the Chicoms will try and put pressure on other countries to stop doing business with Taiwan and that is flat out not going to work because of (as previously discussed on this blog) TSMC and other companies that are critical to the global economy. But they may try that and then escalate to trying a physical blockade and that will lead to fighting. But it won't be with just the Taiwanese navy. Almost certainly the Japanese will end up involved and that will probably result in the PLA Navy becoming mostly a submarine force because everything I read about the JMSDF is that they have not forgotten anything they learned as the IJN.

  5. I actually got a reply to this from Michael Yon, on his Locals page:

    Erich, let Peter know we see it loud and clear. The shotgun blast of social media will be consolidated either here at Locals or Substack. Still seeing which is more stable for the future and allows everything we want to do.

    For now donations here on Locals or any of the methods here:

  6. @John Fischer. Taiwan has the scientists and technological capacity to build nukes without needing assistance. However, a credible nuclear deterrent requires first- and second-strike capacity. Israel has silent diesel-powered submarines generally believed to be armed with nuclear weapons. What does Taiwan have?

    1. My reading of some articles a few months back indicated that Taiwan is now fielding medium range ballistic missiles with sufficient range to obliterate the Three Gorges dam. That would be every bit as devastating to the CCP as a nuke.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *