Taliban Afghanistan

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – As the two decades long US occupation of Afghanistan draws to a close and the transition of power nears completion, the streets are abuzz with curious Afghans with how their new government will lead the country forward.

I sat down with a group of Taliban leaders to discuss this. One of the more intriguing policy points that the group plans to introduce – with immediate effect – is a spin on a Western inspired idea: commission-free arms trading. Abdu Ghani Bharadar, the co-founder and president of the Taliabn noted, “Right before – and during COVID – we watched on as Robinhood forced the hands of the big brokerage house like Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade and removed the barriers to entry of trading. The exuberance of the youth did not go unnoticed”

Retail arms traders in the country have long been at a disadvantage and even discouraged from the practice as the commissions (sometimes referred to as bribes) made it difficult to secure arms from the likes of Blackwater, Lockheed Martin, the Saudi Arabian government, and other rogue forces with the exception of a few whales. “You had kids that couldn’t even afford to trade 1 supply contract due to this.”

“If we can parlay that enthusiasm into the arms trade, we think we can win over a large piece of our impressionable youth. If you see one of your friends on TikTok YOLOing and apeing into RPG’s and AK-47’s and making mad gains, wouldn’t you want to join in?” another senior Taliban official jested. “We see it as a gateway drug to more and more trading and eventually joining our Mujahideen forces” – which now number 75,000. Democratizing the flow of arms could be a boon for traders and jihadists alike.

One hurdle that will need to be addressed is the issue of leverage. Under Islamic law, usury, or loaning money out at interest is illegal. This may dissuade some as the prospect of ten or hundred baggers may be harder to come by. I was told they are currently discussing a workaround.

Bharadar ended the discussion with this “Look, we look on at Western Democracies and their acceptance of homosexuality, women empowerment, and the conservatorship of Britney Spears with disgust, but if commission free trading works, Praise be to Robinhood and Praise be to Vlad Tenev!”