KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — As more and more young Afghans turn to television and social media, the Taliban’s leaders are worried its youth are no longer ready for the fight against the infidels.
“They literally can’t even jihad,” said one senior Taliban mullah, who is involved in recruiting and training. “The youth today are happy to like our social media but when we invite them to become martyrs they do not reply to our messages.”
“We have a saying in Pashto: Be peaceful in the cities and violent in the mountains,” continued the mullah. “Today the youth only come to the mountains to take Instagram pictures to try to become ‘influencers.’ They are posers in the mountains.”
“Oh, are you looking off into the distance? We get it, Hamid. The mountains make you think deep thoughts!”
Others senior Taliban worry that today’s Afghan youth are physically unprepared for jihad. Senior Taliban leaders who grew up fighting the Soviet Union endured starvation and hardship as youth. But as American aid and urbanized life have transformed the country, standards of living have climbed, and waistlines have grown.
“At least 70 percent of the teenagers we recruit are now too fat to fit in a standard Pakistani suicide vest,” complained a senior Haqqani network leader, who organizes attacks for the Taliban. “This has some benefits as we can now pack more bombs on a single attacker. But it is so disgusting to train them.”
“Also they require a lot more hashish and poppy for encouragement.”
“Today’s youth barely want to blow themselves up anymore,” complained another Taliban leader. “The really hard ones have gone off and join Islamic State’s Khorasan branch.”
“We are left with the floppy naan of jihad.”