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Thread: Afghanistan, its neighbours and non-NATO nations

  1. #21
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Shifting sands in Kabul

    Elsewhere, including SWJ Blog, there have been reports on US and NATO troops returning to Afghanistan.

    I wonder if anyone in those governments has considered the impact of this long awaited Afghan compromise with an opponent returning to Kabul, not a Taliban leader or faction, rather Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, once labelled "The Butcher of Kabul" of Hezb-e-Islami. A faction noted for its warfighting capability, almost exclusively along the eastern border against US troops IIRC.

    The initial, September 2016 BBC item on the agreement:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-37438674

    The latest report, which I note does not explain if his fighters will follow him:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-39802833

    I know this is the Afghan way of campaigning, with fighting and talking often in parallel and it is their country. Why should we commit blood and gold to support this?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-05-2017 at 03:35 PM. Reason: 26,849v
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  2. #22
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Wrong strategy in the wrong place

    Professor Paul Rogers asks "Will more the same, fewer in number work" or something similar and near the start:
    ....the war in Afghanistan is evolving into a conflict even more intense than in recent years, one that will inevitably demand far more of Donald Trumpís attention than he would like.
    Citing the latest SIGAR report:
    A dangerous and stubborn insurgency controls or exerts influence over areas holding about a third of the Afghan population. Heavy casualties and capability gaps limit the effectiveness of Afghan soldiers and police. Opium production stands at near record levels.
    He ends with:
    After 15 years of failure, more troops will be seen as the answer, with little chance of any other approach being tried. That makes three regimes toppled in the War on Terror era (the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, and Gaddafi), and three countries wrecked Ė but still no fundamental reflection on a strategy thatís clearly failed.
    Link:https://theconversation.com/deadly-kabul-bombing-heralds-a-new-western-surge-in-afghanistan-77041?
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  3. #23
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Now we have clarity from Pakistan's Army?

    A curious commentary from a RUSI analyst, a Pakistani, that suggests a new firmness in the Pakistani Army's stance on Afghanistan under the new Chief of Staff's leadership:https://rusi.org/commentary/pakistan...on-fewer-words

    Two passages:
    On the Afghan front, Bajwa’s argument seems to be that Pakistan has secured its own territory and it is not the Pakistani army’s job to secure Afghanistan, as this is up to NATO and the Afghan National Army. This may be debatable, but one conclusion is clear: Pakistan’s military leadership is no longer either apologetic or pretending to play along with any foreign narrative on Afghanistan.

    (Later) ....in Afghanistan, Bajwa has brought more clarity
    Really the Pakistan Army have pretended to play along with a foreign narrative? No, they have always followed their interests, even if that meant assisting killing NATO soldiers and enabling NATO to be in Afghanistan at the same time or with some temporary interruptions.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-21-2017 at 09:29 PM. Reason: 33,251v
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  4. #24
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    Default Badakhshan: here we come!

    A short website report entitled:
    China Building Military Base on Afghan-Tajik Border (then adds) The plan, if it is realized, promises a deeper Chinese military involvement in Tajikistan, which is necessary as a supply corridor to Badakhshan.
    Even more curious:
    some media have reported that Chinese military vehicles were using Tajikistan territory to transit to Badakhshan for military patrols...Chinese patrols inside Afghanistan had ended in late 2016. It's not clear whether those patrols were ever restarted, but this base, if realized, would seem to portend much heavier traffic in the future
    Link:http://www.eurasianet.org/node/86661

    First time I've seen this website, so this helps:
    Based in New York, EurasiaNet.org is hosted by Columbia Universityís Harriman Institute, one of the leading centers in North America of scholarship concerning Eurasia.
    Link:http://www.eurasianet.org/node/14733
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  5. #25
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Why is China in Afghanistan

    Mike Martin offers a short (2 mins) explanation for China's role in Afghanistan.
    Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxFQ...ature=youtu.be
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:41 PM. Reason: 47,365v today
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  6. #26
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    Default Is Russia arming the Afghan Taliban?

    A long BBC World Service article that poses this question: Is Russia arming the Afghan Taliban? Which concludes:
    Moscow's reappearance in Afghan affairs is largely designed to irritate the Americans.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41842285

    It builds on an interview of General John Nicholson in late March 2018 and I cite it in part:
    We see a narrative that's being used that grossly exaggerates the number of Isis [Islamic State group] fighters here. This narrative then is used as a justification for the Russians to legitimise the actions of the Taliban and provide some degree of support to the Taliban. We've had stories written by the Taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy. We've had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by Afghan leaders and said, this was given by the Russians to the Taliban. We know that the Russians are involved.

    (At the end) This activity really picked up in the last 18 to 24 months. Prior to that we had not seen this kind of destabilising activity by Russia here. When you look at the timing it roughly correlates to when things started to heat up in Syria. So it's interesting to note the timing of the whole thing
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-43500299
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