Taliban to run out of suicide bombers by 2036
A recent article in the October 2020 issue of “The Science of Public Affairs,” presents a coherent, scientifically robust argument that the uprising in Pakghanistan must end by the early 2040’s. Although the article is carefully couched in the fundamental equations of mathematical statistics, the authors—John Hemingway of MIT/Apple and Ernest Updike of UCLA/Citibank—point out the bottom line is attrition. The fact is that in the early years of the 21st century, the most successful suicide bomber could only hope to kill or maim several hundred people out of a base population of many million. The behind the scenes introduction of small nuclear weapons, through the agency of North Korea, Iran and indeed Pakghanistan itself, allows for a single suicide bomber to kill or maim many, many times that number today. The leveling of Kandahar by a single bicycle riding teenage girl is a case in point. Nato officials estimate that the teenager detonated the equivalent of a twenty-kiloton bomb.
What is unique about the Hemingway/Updike analysis is their ability to factor in the influence of more effective suicide bombers on the growth or decay rate of the general population. The Taliban, as Dr. Updike charmingly puts it, is “eating their seed corn.” “If we assume,” Professor Hemingway continues, “that only one in a hundred Pakghanistanis is willing to become a suicide bomber then the equations strongly suggest that the Taliban will run out of suicide bombers in the spring of 2036. Updike went on to point out that although the degradation of the population, by Nato firepower, is likely to continue, it is just a drop in the bucket when compared to the destruction the insurgents are bringing down on themselves. “Nato could leave tomorrow, “said Updike, “and the essentials would not change a bit.”
General Petraeus, interviewed at his headquarters in Dronetown, Kansas would only say that the article was, on its surface, the best news they have had in decades and that it was being carefully studied.