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Old 12-10-2014   #1
davidbfpo
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Default Winding down in Afghanistan: a victory for Pakistan?

Myra McDonald using an ex-ISI chief's speech asks what does the exit or re-roling in Afghanistan mean for Pakistan.

A hat tip to WoTR is due:http://warontherocks.com/2014/12/exp...singlepage=1#_

Near the start, a taster:
Quote:
For anyone who believes Pakistan’s aim in Afghanistan all along has been to turn the clock back to Sept 10, 2001 – when it exercised its influence over the country through its Taliban allies – it could almost have been a victory speech.
I guarantee her penultimate passage will upset SWC readers:
Quote:
Like other suggestions about Pakistani policy, the idea that the Pakistani security establishment is emerging from the Afghan war more confident than ever is only one possibility. It does however raise a fundamental question about U.S. policy. The default position in Washington has been to see Pakistan as insecure, a notion made all the more convincing by the prickliness of its security and intelligence officials. What if the opposite were true – that a nuclear-armed Pakistan whose Taliban allies survived the war is coming out of the Afghan war feeling very secure?
The Kings War Studies speech by ret'd General Durrani, forty five minutes long:https://soundcloud.com/warstudies/sets/events

Plenty there to mull over. SWC already have a few threads on Pakistan's relationship with the USA, China and related issues, such as internal security.
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Old 12-10-2014   #2
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In a more optimistic frame of mind a few years ago, i had this to say (what if we win?)

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...if-we-win.html

And I succumbed to irrational exuberance here

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...tionality.html

btw, here is Obama being very candid about the "sensible" American government position on this issue

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2c...-obamas-e_news
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Old 12-11-2014   #3
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I listened to Durrani sahib. Very clearly on message all the time. Not very retired it seems...
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Old 12-12-2014   #4
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Major Agha Amin (who offends some people with his style and some of his ethnographic nuggets, but is a VERY well read military historian and the best source of information on the military aspects of various India-Pakistan wars..and on the British Indian army in general) has a characteristically blunt assessment of General Durrani's speech:

http://csi-ops.blogspot.com/2014/12/...pakistani.html

I wish someone would work with major Amin and write some articles loaded with original information, yet properly attuned to current sensibilities (so that important sections of the audience are not distracted early on by some aspects of major sahib's style or ideological issues)... . Someone with time on their hands can find him easily enough...

Last edited by omarali50; 12-12-2014 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 12-30-2014   #5
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Default Afghanistan, its neighbours and non-NATO nations

This is the fourth of five new threads, its focus is the often, to be polite turbulent, complex relationship with its neighbours, hence the title Afghanistan, its neighbours and non-NATO nations; yes, India, Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia.

There are numerous threads on this theme, including a number in the South Asia arena, so I have refrained from listing them all and chosen the most relevant IMHO:

1) China's role in Afghanistan: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=16608
2) The Indian role in Afghanistan: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=3166
3)Iran & USA allies in Afghanistan:stranger than reality: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=729

The South Asia arena: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...splay.php?f=74

I expect there can be cross-over between the topics, notably how the US, with NATO, respond to these nations interaction with the Afghan national government, the Taliban and each other. Not to overlook Afghanistan's "best friend" and often unhelpful, even hostile neighbour, the Pakistan military (including ISI) and Pakistani politicians.
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Old 02-11-2015   #6
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Default Here to help - maybe one day?

Once again China offers help to Afghanistan and Pakistan, with civil schemes. Note Kunar Province hydro-electric plant. Since previous schemes have been halted one wonders if this is rhetoric only.
Link:http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...LE1VA20150210?
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Old 05-19-2015   #7
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Default No more help from Russia

This can hardly come as a shock given relations elsewhere and I am unsure whether it will actually matter now:
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Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has revoked a decree that allowed delivery of NATO military equipment to Afghanistan through Russian territory.
Link:http://rt.com/news/259809-russia-sto...anistan-cargo/

There is an old, now closed thread on supply routes into Afghanistan, for background reading:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6386
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Old 08-28-2015   #8
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Default Can China Assert Itself in Afghanistan?

An update on China's role by Raffaello Pantucci (who has affection for the region), which IMHO ends rather optimistically:
Quote:
China has set itself up to be a major player in Afghanistan’s future and expectations are being raised. It now needs to find ways of asserting itself both politically and economically to play the role that increasingly is being expected of it. Beijing may still shy from such ambitious aims, but at the same time, it is now too late to back away from them. China needs to find its feet and move forward in a more certain manner in Afghanistan.
Link:http://thediplomat.com/2015/08/can-c...n-afghanistan/
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Old 08-28-2015   #9
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China is still in the "1950s" phase of being big brother to Pakistan. Their strategy is likely to be to wait for their man in Islamabad to deliver the peace and strategic depth and free bauxite he promised.
It takes a while to get to to CSF suspension level. Sometimes it takes decades. (Chinese are fast learners though )
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Old 12-22-2015   #10
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Default The waves four Mi-25 attack helicopters can make

Hat tip to WoTR for an article on:
Quote:
Several weeks ago, amid little fanfare, India and Afghanistan concluded an arms deal. This was no run-of-the-mill transaction: It was a significant weapons transfer — perhaps one of the most consequential in the South Asia region in several years, thanks to the precedent it sets and the considerable implications it may have for regional stability.
Link:http://warontherocks.com/2015/12/the...ver-heard-of/?
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Old 12-24-2015   #11
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RU is sharing information with the Taliban to fight IS
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...aborative_1_na

Russia says it has common interests with Taliban, whom they describe as "freedom fighters from U.S. occupation."
pic.twitter.com/YS1VaQJH2o
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Old 12-24-2015   #12
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Default My old enemy is now my friend

Via SWJ from AFP (via Yahoo) citing Zamir Kabulov, head of the department at the Russian foreign ministry responsible for Afghanistan who is also a Kremlin special representative in the country, told Interfax news agency
Quote:
Taliban interests objectively coincide with ours...I have said before that we have communication channels with the Taliban to exchange information...Both the Taliban of Afghanistan and the Taliban of Pakistan have said that they don't recognise (IS leader Abu Bakr) Al-Baghdadi as a caliph, that they don't recognise ISIL..
Link:http://news.yahoo.com/russia-sees-in...181906159.html
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Old 12-26-2015   #13
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EVEN the Taliban push back on the Russian info warfare.........

Level 10 pariah: even the Taliban doesn't want to be affiliated with #Russia, denied any contact w/ RF gov't.
pic.twitter.com/XIb2cBKorQ
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Old 12-27-2015   #14
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Taliban Denies Talks With Russia On Fighting Islamic State
http://www.rferl.mobi/a/27451861.html

Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-28-2015 at 01:39 AM. Reason: moved to here
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Old 12-27-2015   #15
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Russia's ambo to Kabul called in for a grilling after foreign min official said Taliban/Russian interests coincide:
http://www.interfax.ru/world/487403

Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-28-2015 at 01:39 AM. Reason: moved to here
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Old 01-27-2016   #16
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Default China plays mediator

The full title and sub-title being:
Quote:
China plays mediator, urges Pakistan to join Afghan peace talks to end 15-year civil war; Beijing will facilitate negotiations between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban militants, says Chinese foreign minister
Never heard of this group of diplomats, what a combination!:
Quote:
China, which is part of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group, will join the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan at a meeting of the group in Islamabad on February 6.
The four nations will confirm a roadmap to restart peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban militants to try to end civil war in the country that has already dragged on for 15 years.
Link:http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplo...n-afghan-peace
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Old 02-06-2016   #17
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Default Cash crunch for Russia

A rare insight into Russia's role, which is about to reduce:
Quote:
In April 2015, the commander of Russia's military base in Tajikistan said its size would swell to 9,000 troops by 2020. But Russia reversed course last week, saying it will opt for fewer boots on the ground in a country the Kremlin sees as its bulwark against Islamic militants across Tajikistan's long and vulnerable border with Afghanistan.
The troop presence at the 201st Military Base, Russia's biggest non-naval military facility beyond its borders, will be downsized from a division to a brigade, a senior Russian general said on January 30.
Link:http://www.rferl.mobi/a/russia-troop.../27534647.html
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Old 01-05-2017   #18
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To "fight Nusra",#Russia destroys entire cities, but to weaken the west,it is willing to cooperate with the Taliban.http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ource=twitter#

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-05-2017 at 09:48 PM. Reason: Copied from Syria thread and edited.
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Old 01-16-2017   #19
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Default Mind the neighbours

A rare commentary - in the UK - on Afghan-Iranian relations just before any potential impact of President Trump's arrival: https://defenceindepth.co/2017/01/16/irans-afghanistan-policy-at-odds-with-trump/
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-16-2017 at 12:24 PM. Reason: 19,423v
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