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Thread: US plan to improve Afghan intelligence operations branded a $457m failure

  1. #496
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Trump asked what India was doing about Afghanistan.

    I'ts a good question and hope it does not come back to haunt us.

    Trump means why is India playing such a low key role like watching from the sidelines in a process that will determine what happens to Afghanistan

    Isn't there anything we can do to influence things there ?

    At the same time the question is surprising for India because right at the beginning the Americans told us to keep away at the risk of upsetting the Paks.
    When was this? I know at the beginning of his term he said something like that.
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  2. #497
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    When was this? I know at the beginning of his term he said something like that.
    When Trump made the library comment

    By beginning i mean in 2001 soon after the Americans moved into Afghanistan

  3. #498
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    Pentagon identifies two soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan this week

    WASHINGTON — Two American soldiers killed in Afghanistan this week were identified as sergeants originally from central New York and Germany, the Pentagon said Thursday.

    Army Master Sgt. Micheal B. Riley, 32, and Sgt. James G. Johnston, 24, died Tuesday in combat in the Afghan province of Uruzgan, officials said.

    Riley, originally from Heilbronn, Germany, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Carson, Colorado.

    The two U.S. service members were on a joint U.S.- Afghan patrol when they were fatally shot, a defense official told NBC News.

    "It is with a heavy heart that we learn of the passing of Master Sgt. Micheal Riley in Afghanistan," Col. Lawrence G. Ferguson, the commander of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), said in a statement Thursday. “We will honor his service and sacrifice as we remain steadfast in our commitment to our mission.”

    Johnston, originally from Trumansburg, New York, came from the 79th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 71st Ordnance Group, stationed in Fort Hood, Texas.

    Johnston's family plans to collect his remains at Dover Air Force Base and have him buried in Texas, NBC affiliate WETM in Elmira, New York, reported.
    Strange huh? Taliban talking, and killing. Why is it so eerily similar to the PA's script?
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  4. #499
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    Why Was Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Compelled To Visit Pakistan?

    No special driver for the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Upon arrival in Islamabad for a two-day visit, he was welcomed by Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment of Pakistan. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Islamabad, for the first time since 2015, on the invitation of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, on 27 June.
    The Pakistan PMO issued a statement post-meeting: “The meeting has been the usual success for Pakistan and Pakistani diplomacy, and the two leaders agreed to “open a new chapter of friendship and cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan, based on mutual trust and harmony for the benefit of the two peoples and countries and for advancing the cause of peace, stability and prosperity in the region”.
    Imran Khan reiterated that Pakistan supports an Afghan-led peace process, and promotes an intra-Afghan dialogue. Nothing new here. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said in his statement, that President Ghani “praised Pakistan’s role in the peace process”. This appears to be slightly stretched; a little bit of an exaggeration.

    “Pakistan Wants Govt In Kabul That Can Be Controlled By Islamabad & Rawalpindi”
    According to a number of local experts, Ghani was compelled to go to Pakistan, in a bid to garner support for talks between his government and the Taliban, since the current talks in Qatar are between the US and Pakistan-based Taliban, who still refuse to include the Afghan government in the meetings.
    President Ghani, last January, had accused Pakistan of meddling in the internal politics of Afghanistan, saying that the key(s) to the war were in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, where Pakistan’s government and military are based, and in Quetta, the hideout of a key group of Taliban leaders. He was and is right, but apparently things are getting out of control.

    According to a Pakistani analyst who prefers to remain anonymous, the so-called ‘Lahore Process’, a meeting organised a few days ago in Pakistan’s Bhurban town near Murree city, is an “ISI and Army job”, to bring together a number of Pakistan-sponsored members of the Afghan political scene, starting with war criminals like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and encircling Ghani and his people to put pressure on them.

    The same analyst claims that Pakistan wants (despite official statements), a “peace process” that will install a government in Kabul – a government that can be easily controlled and manipulated by Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

    Accusations Levelled Against Pakistan Army By PTM Activists
    Mohammed Umer Daudzai, one of Ghani’s advisors, declared a week ago, while in Delhi on an official visit: “We see that the relationship between Pakistan and the Taliban has remained intact. We have told the US that they should include the clarification of the Taliban’s relationship with Pakistan in its discussions”. But the relationship, out of the official channels and diplomatic declarations, is quite clear.

    Eyewitnesses and sources based in Waziristan say that the Army keeps the border open for members of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network.

    The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), fighting for the rights of the Pashtuns, has been accusing the Pakistan Army of using border regions as: a) training camps and nurseries for/jihad;/b) as battlefields for war-like actions against the ‘bad’ Taliban; c) as safe havens for the ‘good’ Taliban; d) and as factories for fake documents in order to send ISI spies to Afghanistan.
    And, according to PTM activists, nothing has changed despite the repeated denials of the Pakistani officials. “They cross the border at Ghulam Khan,” says an eyewitness.

    ‘Truth’ About Ghani’s Visit to Pak Likely To Emerge After Talks In Doha
    The same eyewitness also said: “The Pakistan Army still runs a camp in the hills between Bannu district and Waziristan. The ‘good’ Taliban are still recruiting young people, still harbouring terrorists coming from other parts of Pakistan, and helping them cross the border with Afghanistan when they need to. They all work under the patronage of the Army.”

    Then he added: “In Khaisor village, North Waziristan Commander Gohar Wazir of the Haqqani Network is still active with his group, while Commander Ishaaq of the Haqqani Network for Jani Kheil area, is roaming freely along with his Taliban under the patronage of the Pakistani Army.”

    He went on to say, “Khair Noor, who is the Commander of the Hafiz Gulbahdar group in Miran Shah (Asad Kheil), is getting direct military assistance from the Miran Shah military camp.”

    And of course, it is very well known that Mullah Baradar and his Taliban team travelled to Qatar through and from Pakistan for talks with the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

    On 29 June, a new round of talks between the US and the Taliban will begin in Doha. The truth about Ghani’s visit to Pakistan is more likely to come from there.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  5. #500
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    The new Cold War

    In the ongoing military confrontation between the US and Iran, President Trump called off an air strike after the Iranians shot down an American drone. This was the third sensible decision of his Presidency — the other two being engagement with Kim Jong-un to prevent hostilities with nuclear-armed North Korea and the Taliban to end America’s 18 years of war in Afghanistan. These decisions are justified as examples of Trump’s commitment to avoid costly foreign wars. But the underlying factor that has prompted such caution is the inescapable realisation that the US is no longer the ‘sole’ or ‘preeminent’ superpower in a ‘uni-polar’ world which emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the last ‘Cold War’ in 1990. With the emergence of competing powers like China and Russia, a new ‘multi-polar’ world has emerged, much to America’s chagrin. These powers are no longer willing to accept American global hegemony. Today, this is obvious not only in the clear Chinese and Russian support for Iran against American intimidation, but in other parts of the world as well, especially in the Asia-Pacific and Europe. A new Cold War has, therefore, already started.

    The present Cold War is significantly different and more dangerous from the last one. Instead of a bipolar US-Soviet confrontation with well-known defence alliances — Nato and the Warsaw Pact — there are now three powers competing for influence with shifting alliances. For now, China and Russia see merit in a strategic partnership against America whereas America’s allies are unsure about Trump’s commitment to their security. There is also no Iron Curtain or Berlin Wall separating the world’s powers into opposing ideological camps. Instead there is a blurring of political, security and economic interests, such as those over China’s BRI or the controversy surrounding Huawei’s 5-G application by US ‘allies’. In short, the global transition from a bipolar world following end of the US-Soviet Cold War in 1990 to an America-dominated unipolar world till 2008, has now evolved into a more complicated and complex multi-polar world order.

    There was a brief period following the collapse of the Soviet Union that provided the opportunity for creating a stable international order. But as the sole superpower, the US squandered this opportunity to build mutually-beneficial and cooperative relations with a demoralised Russia and an emerging China. Driven by ‘New-Cons’, the Bush administration pursued unilateralism and preemption, aimed at global domination and regime change. International support for counterterrorism after the 9/11 attacks on the US was misused to invade Afghanistan and then Iraq. Russian security concerns were ignored by expanding Nato to include East European countries along with placement of American missiles. China’s offer for its ‘peaceful rise’ and ‘harmonious relations’ were countered by strengthening military alliances with Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea and creating new ‘strategic partnerships’ India and Vietnam. The Obama administration essentially carried out the same ‘Bush Lite’ policies — regime changes in Libya, Syria, Georgia and Ukraine as well as the ‘Pivot to Asia’, coupled with political and military support to countries that enabled the encirclement of both Russia and China.

    It was inevitable that such American ‘Imperial Hubris’ would create a push back by Russia and China. This was facilitated by America’s over-reach and crossing the limits of its power. The Russians reacted by directly intervening in Georgia and Ukraine as well as in Syria. The Chinese responded by building up their defences in the Asia-Pacific, especially in the South China Sea, and by implementing their BRI as a hedge against American maritime containment. Both powers also built up their conventional and strategic forces while entering into a strategic partnership against the US.

    Trump’s campaign slogan to ‘make America great again’ implicitly recognised that the US had lost its preeminent global position. Instead of accepting this reality and working with Russia and China to ensure a stable international order, he opted for confrontation. This zero-sum approach is clear from Trump’s National Security Strategy and National Defence Strategy both of which identify China and Russia as enemies and call for ensuring that America “remains the preeminent military power in the world”. Sanctions have been imposed on Russia and a trade war started with China. Meanwhile, American forces confront those of Russia in Europe and the Middle East and the Chinese in the Pacific. A military flare-up between them is inevitable.

    This new Cold War already confronts Pakistan with daunting challenges. Bilaterally, Washington has sanctioned Pakistan, withheld its Coalition Support Funds, leveled allegations of supporting terrorism and demanded a freeze on its strategic capabilities with no such demand being made on India. The US also strongly opposes our relations with China, especially implementation of CPEC as part of the BRI since this would neutralise American attempts to contain China. Resultantly, Washington is trying to undermine CPEC through multilateral financial institutions, supporting Indian claims that CPEC passes through ‘disputed territory’ and encouraging opposition to CPEC within Pakistan.

    Moreover, the US is enabling India’s conventional and strategic military build-up to counter-balance China. This presents an existential threat to Pakistan. America has also endorsed India’s regional hegemonic ambitions which undermine resolution of Pakistan-India disputes.

    In this situation, Pakistan’s options are clearly to seek even greater political, security and economic engagement with China as well as to broaden its relations with Russia. Pakistan also needs to use its leverage with the US such as its logistic and intelligence support for Washington’s Afghan operations and facilitation of the American-Taliban dialogue, to ensure as much damage limitation as possible in relations with the US. But, given the onset of the new Cold War, friendship with the US is not possible in the foreseeable future. Given the unstinted American support for India, there is no possibility either for normalisation of the ties with India. The best we can achieve is conflict prevention. For this, we must ensure continuing credible deterrence in response to the Indian military build-up.
    This comes from the educated elite of Pakistan, a former Ambassador. Support for terrorism doesn't only come from the Pakistan Army, but also from its special nurtured tuteleges a.k.a Pakistani civilians.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  6. #501
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    The new Cold War



    This comes from the educated elite of Pakistan, a former Ambassador. Support for terrorism doesn't only come from the Pakistan Army, but also from its special nurtured tuteleges a.k.a Pakistani civilians.
    Other than a few quibbles here & there i don't have a problem with this article by Zamir, one of his better ones. The others you posted earlier tend to have him more hysterical

    America has also endorsed India’s regional hegemonic ambitions which undermine resolution of Pakistan-India disputes.

    Pakistan also needs to use its leverage with the US such as its logistic and intelligence support for Washington’s Afghan operations and facilitation of the American-Taliban dialogue, to ensure as much damage limitation as possible in relations with the US.

    given the onset of the new Cold War, friendship with the US is not possible in the foreseeable future.

    Given the unstinted American support for India, there is no possibility either for normalisation of the ties with India.
    Some of the standout sentences there
    Last edited by Double Edge; 03 Jul 19, at 10:27.

  7. #502
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    International support for counterterrorism after the 9/11 attacks on the US was misused to invade Afghanistan
    Correct. Should have been Pakistan, and not Afghanistan.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  8. #503
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    India Seems to Be Toeing the US Line on Chabahar. Here's Why | The Wire | Jul 09 2019

    Some of the early despatches of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar took place at the behest of the US. Knowledgeable sources claim that the Indian consignment included some material for the US army posted in Afghanistan. It was this reason and other reasons that convinced the Indian government that its Chabahar foray had US backing.
    interesting

    Saudi Arabia and Israel, which are close to the BJP-led NDA government, have not been fond of the Chabahar deal. Saudi Arabia believes that it could hurt the vital interests of Arab countries as India’s purchase of Iranian oil could happen at their expense. Saudi Arabia’s position has been articulated in a paper published by a Saudi-backed journal of Iranian studies. The paper, authored by Muhammad Hassan Husseinbor, claims that Chabahar would help Iran meet its geopolitical ambitions, allowing its influence to reach South Asia, South-East Asia and Central Asia. In the reckoning of the author, the Chabahar project has to be resisted by Pakistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

    Iran was hoping that India’s attempt to enlarge its influence in Central Asia to checkmate China was possible through the Chabahar route and it would bring in more predictability to its policies

    India’s progressive devaluation of its commitment to Chabahar has disappointed Iran which was hoping that it would exercise strategic autonomy and stand its ground. Iran was also hoping that India’s attempt to enlarge its influence in Central Asia to checkmate China was only possible through the Chabahar route and it would bring in more predictability to its policies. It hoped that India would not vacillate under US pressure. Iran seems to have been proved wrong in the short run.
    ok

    To ensure that Chabahar becomes unviable, countries opposed to it are quietly working with Pakistan to allow India overland access to Afghanistan and Central Asia. The FATF squeeze on Pakistan and the demands that IMF is making on Islamabad is coming in handy to make its rulers see reason. If land access is provided to India, then Pakistan would not just get huge transit fees, but also neuter the challenge that Chabahar poses to its China-sponsored Gwadar port. The forthcoming trip of Imran Khan to the White House could provide an important clue on the fate of Chabahar in the tense and delicate days to come.
    Its an option but why would India want to depend on Pak whims ?

  9. #504
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Sree thinks India could have done more in Afghanistan Abhi strongly disagrees. Logisitics. Logisitics. Logisitics. This was Chris Fair's point in 2017 after Trump made his Pakistan statements.



    What i find curious is he says Russia does not want us doing much there and neither does Iran. When the Americans turn the heat up on Iran, they come running to us. The Chabahar thing has been an off again on again experience.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 24 Jul 19, at 10:41.

  10. #505
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    There are four conditions for peace in Afghanistan

    - Foreign troops will be withdrawn
    - Afghanistan will not be used as sanctuary for global terrorists

    These two have been agreed to

    - Cease fire
    - Intra Afghan dialogue

    These two have not been agreed to

    Cease fire means the Taliban is finished as their only strength is through violence. And they won't agree to talk to the Afghan govt.

    Pakistan's value depends on getting the Taliban to agree to the last two.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 26 Jul 19, at 08:24.

  11. #506
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    So, the American administration has once again tucked its tail and is now planning to run away from the battlefield. Been for decades. The USadmin is worthless. Their priorities are bizarre. Pakistan gets off even without a slap in the wrist. This is much beyond being shameless.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  12. #507
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    I will wait some more before coming to any conclusions. Those last two are also part of the deal. The Paks are celebrating as if they have already delivered. Or they are celebrating for some thing else. Not clear.

    Trump's reply on when he would visit Pakistan was he has yet to be invited and he was unsure that would happen given what he said to Imran so far.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 26 Jul 19, at 18:26.

  13. #508
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    You will, yes. LOLOL.

    Flood here has kept me away for some days. Donald Trump is a fcuking liar. America is proving itself they are worthless when it comes to like minded countries or allies.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  14. #509
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Ah yes, i heard about that flood : (

    Some places have too much water others not enough.

    Look. I refused to second guess the outcome of the Trump Kim summit. So why should I see this any other way ?

    It's ironic Trump says he does not want American soldiers to play cops. But that's what he's doing here

    Bad cop in 2017, good cop in 2019

    Sound and fury | IE editorial | Jul 24 2019

    Unfortunately, the outrage on Trump’s Kashmir remarks may be preventing India from seeing the larger significance of the talks between Trump and Imran on Afghanistan. Trump is eager to end America’s prolonged war in Afghanistan and wants Pakistan to extricate him by getting the Taliban to agree to a peace settlement. He is ready to reward Pakistan if there is a deal to his satisfaction.

    The Pakistan army — which is doing the real negotiation with Trump’s officials — is now turning that leverage into specific gains.

    The outcome of this bargain on Afghanistan will have profound consequences for India’s neighbourhood, especially on the political future of Kabul and Pakistan’s regional and international position.

    American mediation on Kashmir should be the last thing Delhi needs to worry about.
    We have to understand what those profound consequences mean.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 27 Jul 19, at 14:41.

  15. #510
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Listened to this twice, its pretty good


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