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Afghanistan 2021 Onwards

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Afghanistan 2021 Onwards

Old 7th Sep 2021, 19:33
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Senator Lindsey Graham believes the US will need to go back into Afghanistan, (click on the free link)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...k-afghanistan/
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Old 7th Sep 2021, 20:16
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Sadly, regardless of “higher motives”, getting involved in another war you can’t win is unlikely to gain much traction.

Afg will, for some time to come, revert to its standard behaviour of inter-group warfare (as it has done for the last couple of centuries). Where IS-K lurks in the midst of that will be another unknown unknown, dependent in part on Pakistan but also the poking fingers of Iran, China and Russia.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 07:06
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Routine police stop in modern Kabul…



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Old 8th Sep 2021, 08:15
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More on why those private charter flights are stuck in Afghanistan.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/sta...s-leaked-email
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 10:24
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
More on why those private charter flights are stuck in Afghanistan.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/sta...s-leaked-email
I am confused. Why is State Department approval required for a private charter flight between 2 third party countries, e.g. Afghanistan and Qatar?
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 13:18
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It looks like the Panjshir rebellion is crushed already. It never had much chance given the Taliban's strategic wisdom in closing off all the border access - to Tajikstan in this instance. That plus the fact that the Talibs are now equipped with the full panoply of US military hardware (excepting significant aviation assets). Expect to see footage of the jubilant destruction of Ahmad Shah Massoud's Panjshir shrine in the near future. It's hard to imagine how Abdullah Abdullah, Massoud's erstwhile closest aide, will feel watching that now that he's installed as a fig leaf of "inclusiveness" in the government along with Karzai. Today the release of a list of new Afghan ministers omits them both, along with any women at all. There are however a rich selection of international terrorists and bandits in key roles, notably a couple of the Haqquanis - a clan that humanity could well do without. At least Karzai can expect some measure of support from the Pashtun Popalzai clan, of which he's a member. I think that Tajiks like Abdullah can expect a bad outcome.

And now we can look forward to the "international appeals for aid" to support this crew of demons in their attempts to drag Afghanistan back into the Middle Ages. I saw one report stating that it was essential to restore the country's economy. Which is hilarious as Afghanistan never had an economy other than international aid and opium. Still, get your wallets out.

The issue of Afghanistan's mineral assets comes up regularly and no doubt the Chinese are interested even despite the fact that they've sunk billions into the putative copper mine at Mes Aynak without producing so much as an anti-arthritis copper bracelet. A recent article in mining dot com gave a very good analysis of the mineral prospects - which have been grossly exaggerated as the data mostly comes from sketchy surveys done during the Soviet occupation. Then there's the issue of a total lack of infrastructure required. Water; electricity; transportation (the nearest port is Karachi!). Add to that the fact that Afghanistan shares a short border with the Chinese province of Xinjiang where the PRC government is engaged (pretty successfully so far) in suppressing the Uighurs' Islamic culture. It's an interesting juxtaposition. Someone's principles are going to have to flex a lot.

Last edited by skridlov; 8th Sep 2021 at 13:22. Reason: syntax
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 14:10
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I am confused. Why is State Department approval required for a private charter flight between 2 third party countries, e.g. Afghanistan and Qatar?
I think it’s to do with the status of those onboard.

All the refugee flights to date have been accepted in the basis that the US military/state department handled them and was responsible for their being given residence visas for the USA or elsewhere.

If you read the State departments comments they don’t know who will be onboard, the6 haven’t cleared them and they won’t guarantee they will accept them.

In which case you can see why Qatar wouldn’t clear the flight to arrive without passport, visa and all other required clearances.

For the people on the ground it’s a chicken and egg situation - with no US diplomatic staff in Afghanistan the USA won’t confirm their refugee status, and without the status the flights can’t leave to reach the nearest airhead where the6 can be met by state department staff.

If you want a comparison think of Pen Farthing and his evacuation flight. He wanted to bring out his staff. Now there are many criteria to justify why someone should get refugee status (interpreter, embassy guard etc), working in a dog pound isn’t one of them as I doubt it puts the staff at any greater risk than any other Afghan who wants to leave.

Similarly these flight would doubtless have many who qualify onboard, but also be stuffed with those who just knew the right people or who had enough money to buy a seat - and the state department won’t guarantee to accept them sight unseen.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 15:28
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Didn't take them long to start....

"Overexposed" playing cricket. I suppose golf, football and athletics, let alone beach volleyball, must be right out then....

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...rt-taliban-say

Afghan women to be banned from playing sport, Taliban say

Afghan women, including the country’s women’s cricket team, will be banned from playing sport under the new Taliban government, according to an official in the hardline Islamist group.

In an interview with the Australian broadcaster SBS, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, said women’s sport was considered neither appropriate nor necessary.

“I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket,” Wasiq said.

“In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this.

“It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate [Afghanistan] do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed.”.....

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Old 8th Sep 2021, 15:49
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Routine police stop in modern Kabul…
Ten minutes work with Google Images and you'll find worse for NI during the troubles; I'm not posting any because I'm not here to start a fight just to make a personal point or two.

Posting and commenting on the image is pretty indicative (to me) of a prevelant view of many in Western society, that we have a right (and possibly even a duty) to impose our values, our beliefs, our society all over the globe.

Personally I disagree, and always have. Both on the grounds that "our" way is the defacto the only right way (I doubt it) and even if it is, that somehow gives us the right to dictate to those that don't believe in our way of life.

I''ve held that view for as long as I can remember, and I'm 65 next month. That does not translate that I agree with any form of society...my view of much of what passes for society in many parts of the globe would be considered unprintable in most media channels. It merely translates that the belief that "we the chosen nations" can guide/shepard/force the rest to the promised land of liberal, free market democracy is (IMO) bull.

I's also like to point out another belief...if any nation on Earth wants to work towards whatever form of freedom they concieve, they need to pay the price. Just a few days ago, aware of my passion for history, my wife bought me an anniversary gift - a largely pictorial book on US Civil War battle sites. Here's an quote from the intro "All these sites are well worth a visit. They provide a stark reminder that freedom is not free". It's not meant to be an intellectual quote; it just neatly, and without judgment, somes up my personal view and the view of many who have served.

I know a little of both International Relations and History at the academic level. In the big picture I doubt the Taliban "victory" will much change the course of Jihad. Something I believe the West kicked off a thousand years ago, but I agree that viewpoint may be highly debateable. The point is religious fundamentalism is going to be around for centuries to come (or until we finish off Planet Earth, whichever comes sooner) and I don't see the recent events in Afghanistan making a whole load of difference in the big picture.

Ironically though, although I'll hold my hand up and say I never thought we should have gone in post 9/11 in the way did (either in Afghanistan or Iraq) and I was vocal at the time, I believe in having done so we have left behind a hornets nest for the Taliban to deal with...which I doubt they will succeed with (and judging by his barely concealed half-smile on The Andrew Marr Show, CDS agrees with me).

Since I've taken the time to post this...two more thoughts:

Heartfelt thanks to the guys and girls from all nations who has served their countries, and made many sacrifices, in theatre. We owe you so much.

And my heart goes out to all the people in Afghanistan who are being dragged backwards into this medieval quagmire. May fortune and fortitude lead you to a better place.

Last edited by Richard Dangle; 8th Sep 2021 at 16:01.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 16:31
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Originally Posted by Richard Dangle View Post
I know a little of both International Relations and History at the academic level. In the big picture I doubt the Taliban "victory" will much change the course of Jihad. Something I believe the West kicked off a thousand years ago, but I agree that viewpoint may be highly debateable.
I'll see you debateable and raise you one to "load of horseapples."
Jihad was alive and well in the 7th and 8th centuries, which included the Muslim Invasion of Europe (after the subjugation by conquest of North Africa, which included a great many culturally Christian areas) through Spain, and into France. That was three hundred years before "the West" ended up in the Holy Land, although the Greek/Eastern Roman Empire (that "other" branch of "Christendom" before the great Schism) had to deal with the never ending pressure and attacks by Muslims into their lands. It took France and then Spain, from Tours/Poiters in 732 through to Granada, a bit over 700 years to finally get rid of them (la Reconquista was in a lot of ways a Crusade, though of a different Character than the ones referred to as The Crusades).

I mean, if you are going to reach back, maybe reach all the way back if you want to discuss jihad (both external and internal).

I also recommend, for a fairly objective look at the Crusades, Thomas Asbridge. (He used both Western and Islamic sources in his research)
He goes to some pains to de-mythologize that period in history, and along the way discusses how the mythology dreamed up by 18th and 19th century Europeans can be compared and contrasted with the mythology dreamed up by 19th and 20th century Muslims. Very thought provoking.
One of the best takeaways for me was the emphasis on how, as seen from the PoV of the Muslim leadership as the First Crusades began, the area in question was along the frontiers/marches of the lands under the Caliph. Worth noting that two major political centers of Islam at the time were in Baghdad and in Egypt. What the Christians called the Holy Land, or Outremer, was "out there on the frontier."
(Granted, by the time the Crusades were over some of that had changed, in no small part due to Saladin's political savvy).

And to bring this up to current events: that whole baggage, by which I mean the piles of dubious mythology that Asbridge alludes to, infects the current rhetoric on the larger cultural conflict that the Taliban, and various other Wahabi and Islamist sorts, have taken on as their own form of jihad in the modern day. Your point on the "why do we insist in inflicting our culture on other parts of the world" I roughly agree with, but, there's that small political problem of The Rest Of The World wanting to be in the club: the United Nations.
The UN (built from the ground up by Enlightenment based Westerners) lets anyone join, but since it is based on Western assumptions, there are some very odd fits there.

As I read the news coverage (with the usual grain of salt) I note that the Taliban playbook has not changed much from their playbook in the 80's and 90's. Like them or not, they appear to be pretty consistent in their approach.
They are at risk of the kind of brain drain that used to be described (imperfectly) as one of a number of reasons that the Soviets put up "the Wall in 1961" between East and West Germany - which was to keep people in, not out.
Iraq and Syria experienced something similar - brain drain - in the last couple of decades as the wars there invoked a non-trivial refugee flow among the intelligensia. Not sure if the Taliban can stem that tide, but I suspect that they'll try. (Interesting to note how many are reported to have left in the past year).

To get their recently acquired military aircraft up and flying {and thus return to the topic at hand for this sub forum} I am sure that there are companies aplenty who will, for a price, be happy to take care of that for them.
The question is, who will donate the money?
The Americans stopped recently, for obvious reasons.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 8th Sep 2021 at 16:56.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 16:55
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^^

It was not my intention in anyway to engage in historical debate - one cannot intelligently do so on an internet forum. My post is full of holes and, condensed as it is, openly contradicts itself. My main points are clear though:

Freedom, whatever you conceive to be, is costly, and the cost falls in the first place on those fighting for it.
I don't believe in military intervention to "build nations" (others will, they could easily be right and I could easily be wrong).

But naked hypocrisy is naked hyprocrisy however you dress it up. Great Britian has subjugated many nations at the point of a gun and usually for nothing more important than greed, money and power.

Thank you for the historical references, I will surely follow them up. Here's one for you which I enjoyed..."The Bad Popes" by ER Chamberlin. (Greed, Money & Power...and the consequences thereof)

Take it easy

PS I'll get my coat now. Said what I wanted to say.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 17:04
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Originally Posted by Richard Dangle View Post
It was not my intention in anyway to engage in historical debate - one cannot intelligently do so on an internet forum.
One can, but it can be tricky.
Freedom, whatever you conceive to be, is costly, and the cost falls in the first place on those fighting for it.
Concur.
I don't believe in military intervention to "build nations" (others will, they could easily be right and I could easily be wrong).
Oddly enough, it worked in South Korea, Germany, and Japan (rebuild, though, more than build).
But as a career military guy, I was always uneasy about nation building as some kind of Military mission, since it is an undertaking (see the Marshall Plan) that involves every aspect of the societies trying to pull it off. The military bit is only one piece of the puzzle.
But naked hypocrisy is naked hyprocrisy however you dress it up.
I am sure it feels good to say that, but so what? Lies and hypocrisy are the currency of politics the world over.
Thank you for the historical references, I will surely follow them up. Here's one for you which I enjoyed..."The Bad Popes" by ER Chamberlin. (Greed, Money & Power...and the consequences thereof)
Thanks! I like to get recommended sources.
Fly safe.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 07:20
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The Taliban say they will allow 200 Americans and other civilians to leave Afghanistan on charter flights, according to a US official.

The official, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, said the Taliban were pressed to allow the departures by US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad.

The flight is expected to depart on Thursday from Kabul airport but the official could not say whether the Americans and other nationals onboard include those who have been stranded in Mazar-i-Sharif for days because their private planes have not been allowed to leave Afghanistan.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 10:19
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According to a media report on Thursday, the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul would be ready for international flight services in the next three days, citing Taliban authorities and technical teams. Technical teams from Qatar and Turkey are working with Afghan engineers at the airport.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan requested that Qatar and Turkey send experts to assist them in rebuilding the airport, which was completed in three days and is now suitable for local flights, but international planes have yet to take off and land.

"Big screens, computers, scanners, and other electronics have been donated by Qatar and UAE and the technical teams are now busy installing them in terminals," the report added.

Meanwhile, following the announcement of the interim government on Tuesday night, the Taliban have permitted citizens with documents to travel overseas….

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Old 9th Sep 2021, 10:29
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Now the messy part of handling refugees begins.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/blin...ry?id=79904710

But among the other challenges with reunification, officials are also concerned about child trafficking. There have been "multiple cases" of young girls being claimed as brides by adult Afghan men at one U.S. base in Wisconsin, according to an internal State Department situation report obtained by ABC News.


The State Department's task force requested "urgent guidance" after staff at Fort McCoy reported "multiple cases of minor females who presented as 'married' to adult Afghan males, as well as polygamous families," according to the Aug. 27 report.

Child marriage is not uncommon in Afghanistan, but it is illegal under U.S. law, and the State Department sanctions countries that don't crack down on it and other forms of human trafficking.

U.S. officials in the United Arab Emirates reportedly sent a cable to Washington to warn that some young Afghan girls had been forced into marriages in order to escape Afghanistan and reported being sexually assaulted by these older men, according to the Associated Press, which first reported about the Aug. 27 report.

The State Department declined to confirm whether there have been any cases of forced marriages among Afghan evacuees or other forms of human trafficking, but a spokesperson told ABC News last Friday that they take allegations "seriously" and are "committed to protecting vulnerable individuals globally."

"We are coordinating across the U.S. government and with domestic and international partners to detect potential cases of forced marriage among vulnerable Afghans at relocation sites and to protect any victims identified," they added in a statement…..

ABC News first reported on the concerns about human trafficking, especially of unaccompanied minors, when Qatari officials raised it amid a wider warning about the conditions at U.S. facilities in the country.

Qatar's assistant foreign secretary told U.S. officials there was a "danger of human trafficking in such circumstances and highlighted the cases of unaccompanied minors coming from Kabul," according to another internal situation report dated Aug. 23.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 13:38
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Taliban, as expected, are reported to have at least partially destroyed the tomb of Ahmad Massoudin the Panjshir valley.

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Old 9th Sep 2021, 22:44
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To which the answer is, are you serious? What would it gain us and why would provide either funds or potential hostages?

Even the Foreign Office sometimes chases the red pill rather than the blue…

https://news.sky.com/story/why-dont-...eturn-12403466

'Why don't they come back?': Taliban occupying British embassy in Kabul urge diplomats'
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Old 10th Sep 2021, 02:32
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Like several of the commanders we spoke to, he wants "normal" relations with the rest of the world. About 80% of Afghanistan's money comes from foreign donations or aid. The country simply cannot afford to be ostracised.
That sums up exactly what they want, without it the place will fall apart and their power will be lost as the country reverts to lawlessness. You can’t eat drugs so people will have to grow food.
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Old 10th Sep 2021, 02:59
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They snatched defeat from the jaws of Victory

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Old 10th Sep 2021, 05:36
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If only Massoud had been listened to in early 2001 we may still have the Trade Towers.
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