Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

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Rudradev
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 26 Jun 2018 08:16

Fazlullah == "Mullah Radio", correct?

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nachiket » 03 Jul 2018 00:52

Rudradev wrote:Fazlullah == "Mullah Radio", correct?

Correct.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 04 Jul 2018 15:27

do we discuss/avenge only the attack on Indians in India? or Indians (Hindus/Sikhs ) in Afghanistan too haram to avenged. ISI seems to be working on the strategy of keeping attacks on forces in india and civilians outside.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 10 Jul 2018 01:05

Pompeo makes surprise visit to Kabul: Afghan official
AFP
July 9, 2018

KABUL: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Kabul Monday for talks with Afghan leaders, an Afghan official said, amid renewed optimism for peace in the war-weary country.Pompeo´s first official visit to Afghanistan since he was sworn in as America´s top diplomat in April follows an unprecedented ceasefire during Eid last month.
The Islamic holiday was marked by spontaneous street celebrations involving Afghan security forces and Taliban militants.The official confirmed Pompeo´s arrival on the condition of anonymity. A joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani is due to start shortly.
The Pakis and the Afghanis have also been talking recently !
A security official told AFP that the number of Taliban attacks across the country had fallen since the ceasefire, but the claim could not be verified.US-backed President Ashraf Ghani, who is under international pressure to ensure credible parliamentary elections are held in October ahead of next year´s presidential vote, has been leading the push for peace talks.
Pompeo´s visit to Kabul comes almost a year since US President Donald Trump announced his much-vaunted South Asia strategy to tackle Afghanistan by including a broader regional approach.The aim is to convince the Taliban through diplomatic, military and social pressure that it cannot win and must reconcile.International Islamic scholars meeting in Saudi Arabia this week are expected to add their weight to stopping the Afghan conflict.

Who knows. Pompeo may do a "flying visit" to Isloo as well !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 12 Jul 2018 02:03

Astonishing and detailed investigation by POLITICO

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/ ... ban-616316

The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban

As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the Taliban commanders and allied drug lords who supplied more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin — including a growing amount fueling the nascent opioid crisis in the United States.

The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ruinous spread of narcotics around the world and a new — and urgent — approach to confronting ongoing frustrations with the Taliban, whose drug profits were financing the growing insurgency and killing American troops. But the Obama administration’s deputy chief of mission in Kabul, citing political concerns, ordered the plan to be shelved, according to a POLITICO investigation.


Now, its authors — Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Justice Department legal advisers at the time — are expressing anger over the decision, and hope that the Trump administration, which has followed a path similar to former President Barack Obama’s in Afghanistan, will eventually adopt the plan as part of its evolving strategy.

“This was the most effective and sustainable tool we had for disrupting and dismantling Afghan drug trafficking organizations and separating them from the Taliban,” said Michael Marsac, the main architect of the plan as the DEA’s regional director for South West Asia at the time. “But it lies dormant, buried in an obscure file room, all but forgotten.”

...



Read it all in detail but here is a top-line summary:

1. Bush Administration determined that the resurgence of the Taliban, 2005-2007, was fueled by drug money from the heroin trade
2. As Afghanistan plummeted towards becoming a narco state (with all levers of governance, justice, and law enforcement coming under control of heroin suppliers), US began to put together "Operation Reciprocity". This was primarily a US Dept of Justice operation helmed by the DEA. The idea was that with the collaboration of the Kabul regime, the highest leadership of the narco-trafficking organizations could be decapitated (similar to successful efforts in Colombia etc. during the 1980s-90s). This would in turn block the flow of drug money to the Taliban.
3. The plans for Operation Reciprocity were finally coming to fruition in May 2013.
4. In July 2013, Operation Reciprocity was abruptly terminated by Deputy Chief of Mission Wendy Kaidanow, a staffer of the Obama Administration State Department (under Nishan-e-Pakistan John Kerry). The official reason given was that to continue with its implementation would interfere with Obama Administration's goal of a complete "draw-down" from Afghanistan by 2014. DEA officials surmise that intra-departmental rivalry between State Dept and Dept of Justice may have played a role.
5. Operation Reciprocity was never taken up again. Many DEA officials believe that it would have changed the course of the war, had it been carried through and all the money trails followed to their logical conclusions.

For us, of course, there is one more data point NOT covered in the article.

David Coleman Headley was recruited into the DEA for unspecified services in Afghanistan. The services are very likely to have involved Operation Reciprocity. Given what we know... that Headley himself was an ISI operative, it becomes obvious that Operation Reciprocity was compromised even before 2008, because obviously the primary beneficiary of the drug trade is ISI and Pakistan military. The shutting down of Operation Reciprocity may have stemmed from (1) a realization that it had been compromised by the same Paki-state criminal networks whom it was targeting (2) a realization that following through with it would have required openly targeting the very top leadership of TSPA and ISI in international criminal investigations.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 02 Aug 2018 21:47

X posted from Terroristan Thread

Paki Agent Robin Raphael Still Willing To Do Pakistan's "Dirty Work" :roll:

Inside the Secret Taliban Talks to End America’s Longest War
Daily Beast
Aug 2, 2018

If the United States’ longest foreign war actually draws to a negotiated close, a significant amount of credit will go to a former U.S. Army colonel and a former senior U.S. diplomat. (AKA A Paki Agent !)
In November, Chris Kolenda and Robin Raphel boarded a plane to Doha, Qatar, for a conversation with Taliban representatives. It was the beginning of a quiet channel, never authorized by U.S. officials—who neither paid them nor asked them to carry any messages—that proved to be instrumental in convincing the Trump administration, and particularly senior Pentagon and U.S. military officials, that there was a real chance to broker an end to the war.
Sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan :roll:
Kolenda, an Afghanistan veteran himself, had been here before. He had been part of an ultimately fruitless attempt during the Obama administration to talk with the Taliban. But this time, talking with the Taliban in Doha, “I was struck by what I detected was a much higher level of seriousness about bringing the conflict to a close than I saw in 2011,” Kolenda told The Daily Beast. This "movie" has been played before as well . The details are in Steve Coll's latest book !
That seriousness was manifested through Taliban leaders showing pliability about the future of the U.S. troop presence. Despite their strident public position that U.S. troops must withdraw, the Taliban communicated to Raphel and Kolenda that there were circumstances under which they can envision living with a continued American military presence. And they again vowed that an Afghanistan open to Taliban political participation would not host a foreign terrorist presence, satisfying the central U.S. objective of the 17-year war. Pakistan and the Taliban cannot be trusted. Nothing short of a pro Pakistan and an anti - India Govt is acceptable to the sponsors of the Taliban !
From Kolenda’s perspective, all that meant the Taliban were willing to live with the core interests—no terrorism, stability under an inclusive and legitimate government, human-rights protections, curbing the narcotics trade—that the U.S. had been futilely fighting to secure.
But skepticism in Washington about the Taliban ran high, as did habituation to such a long war. Kolenda and Raphel encountered it when briefing administration officials after their trip. During a follow-up visit in Doha in January, which Cotta-Ramusino couldn’t attend, the Americans urged the Taliban to make a public statement that signaled their willingness for diplomacy on terms the U.S. could accept.
Within the Trump administration, there was also strong skepticism that the Taliban could deliver on the promises they heard via Kolenda and Raphel. For years, U.S. officials have held that the Taliban are a decentralized umbrella group of factions, rather than a united force. The impact of that conventional wisdom is to render diplomacy pointless, since it was unknown if Taliban interlocutors actually spoke for anyone else. A procession of military officers, for the better part of a decade, have preached fracturing the Taliban through “reconciliation” efforts, despite their dismal track record.
Everyone involved in the process emphasizes that it has barely begun. Every hard question about the future course of Afghanistan, and the U.S. presence within it, remains untested by the likely arduous diplomacy ahead. That diplomacy must contend with the scars of two generations of war in Afghanistan.
But it’s diplomacy among combatants. It’s not fighting indefinitely with little more than gestures at maybe finding a way out of conflict through training Afghans and gradually withdrawing, as if the Taliban are irrelevant to the future.“It’s our responsibility and our duty to pursue a diplomatic solution to this conflict and the way things have evolved in the last year or so, it’s clear there is an opportunity. It’s our responsibility to seize it,” Raphel said. “We can’t stand by and let it pass, considering the number of Afghans, Americans, and others who have died in this war.”
And for Kolenda, the process ahead represents the closest thing the U.S. can call victory: an accord on the future of Afghanistan to secure war aims left over from the 9/11 attacks. “You’ve got to put personal animosities aside and look at what’s in the national interest,” Kolenda said. “It’s not easy to do. It’s not easy to put aside those personal feelings. But you’ve got to do it, in order, essentially, to win a war through a negotiated outcome. It’s an obligation.”
With Raphael involved in the talks, not sure if she represents US interests or Paki interests !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 09 Aug 2018 01:03

X posted from Terroristan Thread

Shocking Claim By Hamid Karzai, Ex President Of Afghanistan !

Karzai concerned regarding alleged financial US support to fence Durand Line
Khama Press
Aug 7, 2018

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has expressed concerns regarding the alleged financial US support to Pakistan for fencing the Durand Line.The Office of the Former President in a statement said Hamid Karzai is deeply concerned over the US financial assistance to Pakistan for fencing the Durand Line.The statement further added that the former President strongly condemns the move and call it it a violation of our rights and sovereignty.He said “The US funding to Pakistan for fencing the Durand line is helping Pakistan’s policy of separating Afghans on both sides of the Durand Line.Karzai further added that the Durand line was imposed by the British colonial rule which the Afghans have not and will never accept.
Pakistan started work on fencing the line in June last year, covering the areas which according to the Pakistani authorities are the most prone in terms of the movement of the militants.Major General Nauman Zakaria, the commander for the South Waziristan tribal region had earlier told reporters that no “terrorist” will be able to use Afghan or Pakistani soil to launch cross-border attacks after the fencing is completed.

Of course, some of the recent agitation in Waziristan can be partly explained because of this ! The Pakhtuns on the Paki side are denied free movement to the other side and vice versa due to the so -called "terrorists" crossing over from Afghanistan to Pakistan and "doing terrorism" there. The Pakis must be convinced the (naive) Americans that they cannot "control terrorism" unless they build the fence . And since, they do not have money, the Americans probably obliged . And the Pakis have "succeeded" in dividing the Pashtuns of Pakistan and Afghanistan, in the name of "fighting terrorism" . That is my interpretation anyway . And therefore Karzai is protesting !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 09 Aug 2018 06:09

Subramanian Swamy's advice to Modi Govt !

Subramanian Swamy
‏Verified account @Swamy39
Jul 28

Biggest strategic decision for Namo: Sign a Indo-Afghanistan military assistance treaty and help Afghans with US armoury, or allow US to handover the country to Taliban and leave. Just have one year to decide
118 replies 1,718 retweets 6,039 likes

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby arun » 16 Aug 2018 15:09

X Posted from the IWT thread.

Bravo! India needs to provide all the help to Afghanistan to squeeze the last drop of water from the Kabul River Basin. Not a drop of water must be permitted to cross over from Afghanistan to the Mohammadden Terrorism fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan. India must help the Shahtoot dam to be completed as early as possible.

India-backed Afghan dam to put Pakistan under pressure

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 18 Aug 2018 04:40

Some curious things happening in Afghanistan (why is this thread so quiet nowadays, BTW? Have we given up on AfPak?)

1) November 2017 to July 2018: US Officials (including Robin Raphel and one Chris Kolenda) met several times with Taliban representatives for talks in Doha, Qatar.

The tone set by Robin Raphel in this report is very defeatist for the US. Her very presence at these talks makes it clear that the Pakis were the primary players behind the scenes.

https://www.axios.com/us-taking-more-ha ... a5768.html

Peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan may be further along than previously thought, according to the Daily Beast's Spencer Ackerman.

The details:
Former U.S. Army Colonel Chris Kolenda and former U.S. Ambassador Robin Raphel have been speaking with Taliban representatives since November, having a series of meetings in Doha, Qatar. What began as an unauthorized trip "proved to be instrumental in convincing the Trump administration... that there was a real chance" to end the U.S.' longest war.

The context:
Peace in Afghanistan has been elusive, to put it mildly, but a ceasefire between the Taliban and the Afghan government in June planted another seed of hope. President Trump ordered direct negotiations with the Taliban in July, after growing frustrated with the lack of progress since unveiling his Afghanistan strategy last year.

Kolenda told the Daily Beast that although he had been involved in talks during the Obama administration, this go-around was different because of the seriousness expressed by the Taliban during their meeting in Doha.

Publicly, Taliban officials continue to say that foreign occupation of Afghanistan is a non-starter for negotiations. But, Ackerman reports, they've "indicated an extraordinary flexibility" in private.

Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, the secretary general of the arms control group Pugwash Conferences who has been instrumental in keeping lines open to the Taliban, told the Daily Beast: "They don't want the troops, but if there are enough guarantees that the troops aren't fighting them, :shock: then it can be discussed."

"The American government's position has evolved. They finally came to accept that it really is a stalemate. While the Taliban can't win in a traditional way, we can't win either."
— Robin Raphel
Can you believe the person making this statement to the press is supposed to be a GOTUS representative? She sounds like exactly what she is... a Paki/ISI representative.

State Department officials are maintaining that the U.S. is playing a supporting role in negotiations. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said previously that the U.S. will "support, facilitate, and participate" in peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, but the talks will be primarily between those two entities.

Kolenda, Raphel and Cotta-Ramusino traveled to Kabul on June 23 to meet with Afghan officials. Ackerman reports that they heard "enthusiasm for the peace process and a sense that the U.S. needed to help break the diplomatic logjam inhibiting it."

The bottom line: This process has barely begun, per Ackerman; "[e]very hard question about the future course of Afghanistan, and the U.S. presence within it, remains untested."


2) But then, this month, the June Ceasefire went up with multiple bangs. Having taken advantage of the cessation in fighting to re-group, re-arm, and re-strategize (as all terrorist groups do when the pressure is alleviated), the Taliban are launching major offensives across Afghanistan.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/tali ... ng-n900141
Taliban assault on Ghazni kills 120 people: Aug 13. Ghazni is overrun, besieged, and partially occupied for a few days. It has still not been completely cleared. Note that this was the Taliban's first attempt to seize a major urban center since their attack on Kunduz in 2015.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/ ... 25633.html
Afghanistan: Dozens of security forces killed in Taliban attack : Aug 15. At least 40 soldiers and police killed in major assault on a base in Baghlan in the latest Taliban onslaught.

3) Meanwhile ISIS also stepped up activity, with a suicide bombing in Kabul that targeted students, killing 48 and injuring 67:
https://www.axios.com/suicide-bombing-t ... 66090.html

So what happened?

Anything to do with Imran Khan becoming the Paki PM in July? Maybe the TSPA/ISI is taking advantage of the apparent regime change to hold out for an even better deal, since they know Robin Raphel will push the Trump govt. to agree to any demands they make.

4) However, the usual Paki trick of bait-and-switch blackmail might well backfire this time around :mrgreen:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar ... id/537324/

Trump is reportedly giving serious consideration to the proposal by Erik Prince of Blackwater/Xe to "privatize" the war in Afghanistan. This would entail outsourcing the Afghan war completely to private military contractors, up to and including an independently operated air wing, with concurrent winding down of the official US and NATO military missions there.

If Trump goes ahead with this, it will mean he has given up on the Paki/Taliban back-channel diplomacy that Robin Raphel et al were supposedly pursuing in Doha. It will also lead to many more years of misery for common Afghans as the war is made to perpetuate itself endlessly... unlike the conventional US armed forces, who are responsible to US Congress, private military contractors have no interest in any cessation of hostilities, because continuing warfare is their profit motive. Whatever oversight there has been in terms of ensuring non-targeting of civilians, curtailing human rights abuses, etc. will also be removed.

In addition, privatized conflicts often tend to proliferate beyond the initial brief... there is a good chance (I hope) that the fighting will spill over into Pakistan proper.

Maybe this plan to privatize the Afghan War is what Nikki Haley informed Modi and Sushma Swaraj about, when she visited India earlier this summer (at the time the 2X2 dialogues were postponed?)

SSridhar ji in particular, I would love to hear your thoughts on all this.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 18 Aug 2018 13:49

Privatizing war would lead to mercenarization of US military.

Rudradev
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 20 Aug 2018 20:10

A lot is going on in AfPak but it seems 99.99% of BRF is 404. Too much Looking East?

To continue with the story in my post above: Both Taliban and ISIS mounted large-scale, deadly attacks last week.

Ashraf Ghani responded by offering ANOTHER (3-Month) Ceasefire, on the occasion of Id-ul-Adha.

https://thedefensepost.com/2018/08/19/a ... ceasefire/

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani declared a provisional three-month ceasefire with the Taliban in a televised broadcast.

Anticipation had been mounting ahead of Ghani’s speech following mixed signals from the presidential palace over whether the government would offer a fresh truce – following a brief ceasefire in June.

“The conditional ceasefire will start tomorrow and it will continue as long as the Taliban preserves and respects it,” Ghani said on Sunday, August 19, Reuters reported.

Ghani said the ceasefire, which begins on the Eid al-Adha holiday, would continue until the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday which Afghanistan celebrates on November 21, AFP reported.

Ghani said his administration removed “all obstacles” to peace with the announcement following consultations with religious scholars, political parties and civil society groups.

“We call on the leadership of the Taliban to welcome the wishes of Afghans for a long lasting and real peace, and we urge them to get ready for peace talks based on Islamic values and principles,” :roll: he said, in an announcement as Afghans celebrated their independence day.

Ghani’s announcement followed a bloody week of fighting across Afghanistan which saw the Taliban launch a massive assault against the provincial capital Ghazni. The days-long battle killed hundreds. Taliban militants also captured an Afghan military base in Faryab province, and attacked military bases in Baghlan and Zabul provinces.

The Taliban did not immediately respond to the offer, but in a message from its leader published over the weekend to mark Eid al-Adha the group continued to push for direct talks with the United States. So Taliban is telling Ghani/Afghan-Gov to FO... they want to talk directly to the US (meaning the panel chaired by Paki-ISI dalal Robin Raphel), or nothing at all.

Washington has repeatedly refused, saying negotiations must be Afghan-led. Last month, however, Taliban representatives met U.S. officials for talks in Qatar, though little is known about the details of the meeting. In other words, it failed. Robin Raphel made commitments to the Taliban in tune with what her Paki-ISI paymasters wanted, and when the terms of the deal were communicated to Washington, Pompeo and Trump said go to hell.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed Ghani’s announcement and called on the Taliban to participate.
Good sign; it seems Washington is giving up on Paki Raphel and her Track Thoo in Doha.

“We remain ready to support, facilitate, and participate in direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” he said in a statement. “There are no obstacles to talks. It is time for peace.”

Ghani’s announcement was also welcomed in neighboring Pakistan, which has long been accused of fostering links with the Taliban’s leadership and providing sanctuary to its fighters.

The overlapping government and Taliban ceasefires in June – the first such truce in the country since the 2001 U.S. invasion – spurred hopes that a new path was opening for possible peace talks in the country to the end the nearly 17-year-old war.

Ghani has made peace overtures to the Taliban before. In February he laid out plans for a possible settlement with the group, including a ceasefire, prisoner release, and recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political party.

Ghani did not mention any ceasefire with other militant groups including Islamic State – Khorasan Province, which has expanded since it first emerged in the region in 2014 and was not included in the June ceasefire
.


Taliban has continued to mount attacks, despite the ceasefire offer. In Kunduz, Taliban terrorists hijacked three passenger buses (full of people traveling to visit their families in the Id holiday season).

About 149 of the passengers were rescued by Afghan govt forces, but the Taliban continues to hold 21 hostages (believed to be Afghan Govt Officials or Security Forces personnel on leave).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... fghanistan

A possibly important observation here. During the massive assault on Ghazni last week, Taliban killed over 100 Afghan Security Forces personnel, but only 35 civilians. During the bus raid, again, the hostages they held on to are govt. officials and security forces personnel... they seem to have let the 149 ordinary civilians go without much of a fight.

It seems the Taliban is being careful to avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage, even as it specifically targets Ghani's govt and security forces, for the time being. It may be positioning itself to gain popular support for a political comeback.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 21 Aug 2018 00:19

There was an observer on BBC radio who said that Ghani govt has not made use of earlier peace deals during Eid. The Taliban get to visit the cities and be wit their relatives but go back and resume hostilities.
If you not eh Taliban targets the govt specifically.
I think Ghani suffers from the ruling syndrome not governing. He rules the cities while the Taliban the rural countryside.
No effort to break the stalemate by Ghani. Periodically the Taliban besiege a city and take control. This gives bad vibrations to the civilians that Ghani is not really in charge. By now a competent Afghan intel service wold have mapped the locations of the Taliban and went after them. But Ghani is caretaker for US interests and they will buy of his opposition. US should have allowed Abdullah^2 to gain power instead of the Pashtun nitwit.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby AshishT » 23 Aug 2018 11:08

Taliban to travel to Moscow for peace talks after 17 years of war

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... ars-of-war

The Afghan Taliban will travel to Moscow for peace talks next month in a high-profile embrace of public diplomacy that will be a landmark for the group and their Russian hosts after 17 years of war.

“The first reaction was positive, they are planning to take part in the meeting,” the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said, adding that he hoped for productive negotiations at the talks, which will bring together a dozen groups including regional heavyweights China, Iran and Pakistan, starting on 4 September.

The Taliban did not officially comment on the reports from Moscow, but a senior member of the group confirmed to the Associated Press that they would send a delegation “for the sake of finding peace in Afghanistan”.

The official said the group plans to send representatives to other countries in the region, including Pakistan and China, “to take them into confidence and address their concerns”.

The talks in Moscow would mark the Taliban’s first public participation in a regional forum since they were ousted from power in Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on America. They were invited to a previous round of talks in Russia last year but did not attend.

The talks will come after a wave of intense violence, but also in the wake of increased diplomatic outreach by the insurgent group and a series of peace overtures from the Afghan government.

A ceasefire in June, during the Eid holiday at the end of the month of Ramadan, showed huge public appetite for ending decades of war. It also showed the Taliban had command and control over thousands of militants scattered across the country.

President Ashraf Ghani, who made the first offer to halt fighting then, called for another break in hostilities for the Eid al-Adha holiday this week.

The Taliban have not responded formally and the centre of Kabul was hit by rockets on Tuesday as Ghani made a speech on peace. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that they planned to mark an unofficial truce.

The announcement from Moscow comes after a flurry of other diplomatic activity. In recent months the Taliban sent official delegations to Uzbekistan and Indonesia, and held talks with US diplomats in Qatar, where the militants’ political wing has an unofficial base.

Both sides may have more appetite to talk now than they did a few years ago, when US-led forces insisted they could crush the Taliban and the militants argued they had the patience and morale to fight foreign forces until they gave up.

In recent years the Taliban have made gains in rural areas around Afghanistan and have briefly seized several cities, but US air support and other military backing have ensured they cannot capture and hold urban centres.

And while US president Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his frustration with the cost and length of the conflict, American officials fear withdrawing support would allow militant extremists free rein again in the country where the 9/11 attacks were planned. The rise of the regional branch of Isis has only added to those concerns.

The militants have refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, which they denounce as a puppet, and insist they will only attempt to broker peace directly with Washington. The meeting in Moscow could offer a rare public platform for the Afghan government and senior Taliban leaders to interact directly.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, supported the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, but recently American officials have accused Moscow of backing and arming the Taliban. The Taliban are banned in Russia as a terrorist organisation. Moscow says it maintains contacts only because of security concerns. It fears that radical groups could use Afghanistan as a base to target Russian interests or build up cells in neighboring countries including Tajikistan, where last month four cyclists were killed in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby AshishT » 23 Aug 2018 11:48

^ IMHO by inviting Taliban to table Russians are making mistake of trying to please the radicals , it's like "साँप को दूध पिलाना".
By doing so they are signalling that negotiations can be possible with the Islamic radicals , but , what about dark green shade (ISIS) ? Are they willing to have peace deal with them too ? Because , ones a Islamic green spreads it's wing in society , only shade will become darker with time.

So future looks bleak for central Asian countries as , they have not only contributed a high quota of fighters in ISIS kitty , but also with these peace-settlements would face a launchpad for future radicalization.

I wonder what would be effect of such radicalization to Chinese Han in Xinjiang ? Maybe , HIAAIH ( Hotan Islamic Association Against Imperialist Han)

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Kashi » 23 Aug 2018 11:51

AshishT wrote:The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, supported the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, but recently American officials have accused Moscow of backing and arming the Taliban.


Now isn't that irony at its finest? I wonder if the said Amreeki officials have realised so.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 23 Aug 2018 21:57

X posted from Terroristan

This US Expert Predicts Four Possible Scenarios For Afghanistan !

What Might Lie Ahead for Afghanistan?
The Diplomat
Aug 21, 2018
By Marvin G. Weinbaum and Samad Sadri

After nearly 17 years of fighting and efforts at state building, Afghanistan’s future is as clouded as ever. The conflict has at best reached a stalemate.Much of our thinking on achieving peace holds that a decisive military victory is unattainable and a negotiated political compromise with the insurgents is therefore inevitable. As envisioned, steady military pressure together with Pakistan’s exercise of influence on the Taliban will induce its reluctant leadership to negotiate. In exchange for greater recognition of their beliefs, the Taliban in a power-sharing agreement are expected to accept the prevailing constitutional framework and the social rights and economic gains achieved since 2001.Of late, there is a growing sense of optimism about peace prospects, despite a new surge of violence. Hopeful signs include President Ashraf Ghani’s generous offer to the Taliban, overlapping brief Eid ceasefires, and the emergence of a nonviolent grassroots movement pleading for peace. Hopes have risen further with revealed back-channel discussions and a Doha meeting in late July bringing together U.S. officials and Taliban representatives to discuss ways to get formal talks underway.
Yet a comprehensive political agreement with the Taliban and the linked Haqqani Network remains at best a distant prospect. The senior Taliban leadership continues to balk at having the Kabul government as a participant in negotiations and insists on the withdrawal of foreign military forces. A dominant hardcore remains confident that with persistence, a restoration of an Islamic Emirate is achievable. It is a vision of Afghanistan largely incompatible with the pluralistic, democratic system still favored by most Afghans.
The prospect of peacefully resolving the Afghan conflict in a grand bargain hammered out around a table in Doha, Geneva, or anywhere, has never been realistic. It grows out of wishful thinking born of our desperation to find a way out of a seemingly interminable conflict and has kept us from seriously facing up to other possible outcomes. Absent outright military victory over the insurgency or a comprehensive political deal, what might then lie ahead for Afghanistan?

Four plausible alternative futures of varying probability and consequence stand out, only one of which is conceivably positive.

A pathway toward a positive future would involve a gradual, incremental peace process led by an Afghan government that is able to create the incentives needed to induce individual insurgent field commanders and their fighters to lay down their arms. This process of reintegration envisions over time their disaffection from core leadership and reintegration into the economic, political, and social fabric of the country.

In a second conceivable future, the conflict continues inconclusively and indefinitely, with neither side achieving a decisive victory. It might leave the combatants fighting over the same landscape, but could also result in government forces only defending the larger population centers and in effect ceding control of much of the countryside to the Taliban and other insurgents. This scenario presumes the continued presence of foreign troops and generous international financing, and that the Kabul government is not brought down from within by clashing political interests and ambitions.

A third scenario envisions the insurgency over time overrunning Afghan security forces and compelling foreign militaries to withdraw their forces and international donors to turn their backs on Afghanistan. This outcome could also occur politically when, from a position of ever-increasing strength, the Taliban agrees to negotiate and is able to dictate peace terms. In this scenario, Afghans, exhausted from decades of conflict, most Afghans, however reluctantly, would accept the restoration of an Islamic Emirate. At the same time, millions of other Afghans will be forced to flee the country, mostly to Pakistan.
Pakistan is fencing the Durand . So, it will be the not the same as before !
A fourth, and darkest scenario, depicts the collapse of the Kabul regime, whether from internal discord or the exit of foreign forces. But instead of the Taliban’s consolidation of power, this scenario sees fractionalization within the insurgency, the fragmentation of the Afghan state into competing ethnic and other militia groups, and regional country proxy intervention – all contributing to a bloody, open-ended, and chaotic civil war.
Pakiland wants nothing less than a Pro Pakistan, Anti India regime installed in Afghanistan !
Only by confronting the full range of possible outcomes and their consequences can we fully appreciate how much is at stake for the Afghan people, the United States, and the international community in the survival of the Kabul government and prevailing constitutional system. To cling to the illusion that a negotiated shortcut to end the conflict exists detracts from the importance and urgency of undertaking the critical reforms necessary for a reintegration process to succeed.None of this means we should not be open to sincere insurgent peace overtures. But chasing after the Taliban in the hope of starting a peace process is not harmless or cost-free. It conveys to our adversaries not sincerity but desperation, and to our friends, it creates false and ultimately crushed hopes.
And the US Dilemma being that Pakiland also "controls" the US Supply route into and out of Afghanistan !

Bart S
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Bart S » 24 Aug 2018 03:49

This Wienbaum character is a typical Cold War era state dept relic who is enamoured with Pakistan.

nvishal
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nvishal » 30 Aug 2018 17:30

Image

Reported Chinese military base in Afghanistan motivated by BRI expansion; China’s greater involvement in peace process likely
Chinese media, with a track record of reliable sources in the Chinese government, reported on 28 August that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had begun constructing a military base in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province.

The base will be located along the Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of territory bordering China’s Xinxiang province, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Quoting unnamed PLA sources, the reports claimed that China planned to deploy several hundred soldiers to the base once construction is completed to assist the Afghan government’s counterterrorism efforts, but no time frame was outlined. Neither the Chinese nor Afghan government has formally confirmed the reports.

https://www.janes.com/article/82637/rep ... ess-likely

ArjunPandit
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 04 Sep 2018 14:34

^^well, my best wishes to the pork eating chinese on joining the afghan fray, after UK, Russia and US. We may lose some a bit, but a military loss/stalemate wont be it

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 05 Sep 2018 21:03

Pandering to Gulbuddin Hekmetyar and his Hizb- E- Islami Party Has Had No Positive Effect According To This State Dept Report !

SIGAR
‏Verified account @SIGARHQ

#State Dept: peace agreement with Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin has had no definitive impact on reconciliation calculations of other resistance groups, including the Taliban https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyrepo ... pdf#page=7

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 05 Sep 2018 21:11

Russia Postpones Afghan Peace Meeting at Kabul's Request
Bloomberg News
Aug 27, 2018

Russia agreed to postpone a Moscow peace conference on Afghanistan amid opposition from the Kabul government, even as the Taliban had agreed to attend.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed to delay the meeting initially fixed for Sept. 4 to an unknown future date, according to an emailed statement from Ghani’s press office and a Russian Foreign Ministry website statement.
“The main and essential principle is to hold peace talks under the ownership of Afghans,” Ghani told Lavrov. In response, Lavrov said Russia wants “Afghan-owned peace talks and is ready for any effective cooperation in that regard with the government of Afghanistan,” according to the statement from Kabul.Both sides said they’d decided to work together to jointly set a date and host the meeting. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it had accepted Kabul’s request for more time to forge a “consolidated position by the Afghan side.”
Afghanistan said last week it would not attend the meeting because it would not provide the opportunity for direct negotiations between the government and the Taliban. The U.S. also declined to take part in the Russian-led discussions, to which Moscow invited a number of key powers.Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said they would attend the meeting but would not hold face-to-face talks with Afghan government officials if they attended.
The U.S. delegation, led by the country’s top South Asia diplomat, Alice Wells, secretly met with Taliban leaders in Doha in July to talk about Afghan peace and trust-building measures. The Taliban had said they were ready to talk to the U.S. to end the war, but not with the Afghan government as they deem it illegitimate.

Taliban is "echoing" Paki line !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Lisa » 06 Sep 2018 14:02

nvishal wrote:
Reported Chinese military base in Afghanistan motivated by BRI expansion; China’s greater involvement in peace process likely
Chinese media, with a track record of reliable sources in the Chinese government, reported on 28 August that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had begun constructing a military base in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province.

The base will be located along the Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of territory bordering China’s Xinxiang province, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Quoting unnamed PLA sources, the reports claimed that China planned to deploy several hundred soldiers to the base once construction is completed to assist the Afghan government’s counterterrorism efforts, but no time frame was outlined. Neither the Chinese nor Afghan government has formally confirmed the reports.

https://www.janes.com/article/82637/rep ... ess-likely


Nvishalji,

The Chinese army has been patrolling INSIDE the Wakhan corridor for well over a year now. I posted links to images almost a year ago. I remain surprised that this matter has not been discussed more widely.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nithish » 06 Nov 2018 23:29

Taliban storms fourth Afghan base this month

The Taliban stormed yet another Afghan military base overnight, this time in the western province of Farah near the border with Iran. All but three of the border policemen manning the outpost were either killed or captured, according to reports.

Farah is the fourth military base to fall to the Taliban in just the first six days of November.

The base, manned by an estimated 50 Afghan border policemen, “was the most equipped border post in the province and was responsible for securing the highway and border areas,” according to ATN News.

Local officials from Farah province said that 20 policemen were killed and 30 more were captured, while only three managed to escape. The Taliban looted the base and seized a large quantity of war supplies.

In a statement released on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban confirmed its forces attacked the base and claimed that it killed 30 policemen and captured 20 more.

The Taliban has met little resistance when targeting significant military outposts. Yesterday, the Taliban destroyed a newly established joint Afghan police and military outpost in Ghazni province, and killed 13 security personnel in the attack. Over the weekend, the Taliban killed eight Afghan soldiers and captured 16 more in an assault in Uruzgan’s provincial capital, and killed three policemen and captured 17 more after it overran a public order police base in Faryab.

The Taliban has been relentless in attacking Afghan security personnel across the country; its attacks are not relegated to one area or region. These attacks are having a significant impact on the morale of Afghan security forces. According to the latest report by the Special Investigator General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), “ANDSF [Afghan National Defense Security Forces] strength this quarter is the lowest it has been in the third quarter of the year since 2012.”

“The ANDSF strength decreased by 1,914 personnel since last quarter and by 8,827 personnel since the same period last year,” SIGAR noted.

The decrease in ANDSF force strength is attributed to several factors: casualties, failure to reenlist, and defections. However, most of the casualties that occurred between May 1 and Oct. 1, 2018 “came as a result of either checkpoint operations (52%) or patrolling (35%). Trends indicate that the number of checkpoint casualties is increasing while the number of patrol casualties is decreasing,” the military told SIGAR.”

This means that Afghan security forces are beginning to hunker down on their bases and reducing the number of offensive and presence operations that are designed to keep the Taliban reacting to the ANDSF.

The Taliban is responding by taking the fight to Afghan forces at bases and outposts, and is inflicting high casualties on the ANDSF. This is, in turn, leading to a decrease in the number of ANDSF personnel at a time when they are needed the most.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby SSridhar » 09 Nov 2018 09:00

In a first, India to share platform with Taliban - ToI
While India will attend the meeting on Afghanistan hosted by Russia on Friday, the government has said that its participation will be restricted to "non-official level". The government recalled India's position that all peace efforts must be led, owned and also controlled by the Afghans.

India's presence in the Moscow meeting, even if at the non-official level, is likely to raise eyebrows as it will for the first time India will share a platform with the Taliban. India will be represented by retired diplomats TCA Raghavan and Amar Sinha.

Official sources said India's decision was well thought out and in line with the "comfort level" of the Afghanistan government. "We are aware that the Russian Federation is hosting a meeting in Moscow on November 9 on Afghanistan," said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. "India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and prosperity to the country. India's consistent policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with participation of the Government of Afghanistan. Our participation will be at a non-official level," he added.

Sources said Amar Sinha, former secretary in MEA who also served as India's Ambassador to Afghanistan, and TCA Raghavan, former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, will represent New Delhi at the Moscow talks.

According to Sputnik news agency, Russia sent invitations for what is called the "Moscow Format" talks to Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the US and the Afghan Taliban.

The first Moscow Format meeting saw India represented at the joint secretary level but there was no Taliban in the meeting.
"For the first time, a delegation of the Political Office of the Taliban Movement in Doha will participate in an international meeting of this level," said a press release issued by Moscow. While the Afghan government is not directly participating in the meeting, a delegation of the country's High Peace Council is expected to attend.Russian embassy said in a reaction that it welcomed India and other countries' participation and that it highly valued India's support to the peace process.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 09 Nov 2018 10:38

SS remember the six power conference in Germany in mid 1990s where US ensured India was not part of the Afghan talks?


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