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

  1. #511
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    DE, I understand that the American administration will always do things that are in their national interests, the way India does. I am not happy, but I take back my words.

    How many Americans have died on 9/11? How many American/NATO soldiers died in Afghanistan? To me it is black and white. Blood for blood. Trump said he can quickly end the Afghan war by killing 10 million Afghans. If he ever makes a decision to use nukes, those should be on PA installations.

    Wait, did Trump actually say this to Im the Dim and his cohorts in private? What did Bajwa make of Trump nuking Afghanistan? That the fickle minded President could change his mind at the last minute and ask for co-ordinates to be changed to a new target in the neighbourhood?
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  3. #513
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
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    If the ANA were better trained and well-equipped, they would have used the skull of PA soldiers as a chalice to quench their thirst.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  4. #514
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Wait, did Trump actually say this to Im the Dim and his cohorts in private? What did Bajwa make of Trump nuking Afghanistan? That the fickle minded President could change his mind at the last minute and ask for co-ordinates to be changed to a new target in the neighbourhood?
    I don't know why he said that. Why threaten to nuke Afghanistan at all. It's like he's saying had he been in charge in 2001 then he'd have sorted things out better and faster than previous presidents. That the US would not still be there nineteen years later. There is also a sense of impatience that he wants this sorted out and soon. The tentative deadline from what i can tell is September 1. The Afghans go to the polls at the end of that month.

    All we can do is wildly speculate that what is said in public could sharply deviate from what is said in private.

    Imran has shown that he can be calm and put on a brave face even smile in the face of adversity.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 27 Jul 19, at 14:50.

  5. #515
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    I don't know why he said that. Why threaten to nuke Afghanistan at all. It's like he's saying had he been in charge in 2001 then he'd have sorted things out better and faster than previous presidents. That the US would not still be there nineteen years later. There is also a sense of impatience that he wants this sorted out and soon. The tentative deadline from what i can tell is September 1. The Afghans go to the polls at the end of that month.

    All we can do is wildly speculate that what is said in public could sharply deviate from what is said in private.

    Imran has shown that he can be calm and put on a brave face even smile in the face of adversity.
    US reopens aid tap for Pakistan
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  6. #516
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    $125 million is peanuts and that too going to american contractors to help service their F16's

    Let's see what more turns up

  7. #517
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Bastards tried to target Amrullah

    Ashraf Ghani's running-mate wounded in Kabul blast as Afghan election campaign begins | Telegraph | Jul 28 2019

    Ben Farmer, islamabad
    28 JULY 2019 • 3:04PM

    Attackers blew up and then stormed the political office of Amrullah Saleh, a former Afghan spy chief turned politician who is now the running mate of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

    At least one person was killed and 13 wounded when the blast hit the office in central Kabul on the first day of campaigning for presidential elections in September.

    Mr Saleh was lightly wounded by shrapnel and then evacuated from the office by his bodyguards. Photographs shared on social media showed him surrounded by bodyguards and with a small injury to his right arm.

    Mr Ghani said: "My brother, true son of the Afghan soil and first vice president candidate of my electoral team, Amrullah Saleh, has survived a complex attack by enemies of the state. We are relieved and thank the almighty that attack has failed."

    Mr Saleh has been a vociferous opponent of the Taliban and Pakistan, and led Afghanistan's NDS intelligence agency before joining politics with the Green Trend movement.

    "At around 4:40 pm (1210 GMT), first a blast occurred near Green Trend office... then a number of attackers entered that office," interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told AFP.

    Several civilians were killed in the attack near a busy intersection in the capital.

    Mr Saleh holds strong political support among the country's Tajik minority. He led Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security until 2010, maintaining a network of paramilitary forces, spies, prisons and commandos which America and Britain considered one of the most reliable arms of the Afghan state.

  8. #518
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Bastards tried to target Amrullah

    Ashraf Ghani's running-mate wounded in Kabul blast as Afghan election campaign begins | Telegraph | Jul 28 2019

    Ben Farmer, islamabad
    28 JULY 2019 • 3:04PM

    Attackers blew up and then stormed the political office of Amrullah Saleh, a former Afghan spy chief turned politician who is now the running mate of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

    At least one person was killed and 13 wounded when the blast hit the office in central Kabul on the first day of campaigning for presidential elections in September.

    Mr Saleh was lightly wounded by shrapnel and then evacuated from the office by his bodyguards. Photographs shared on social media showed him surrounded by bodyguards and with a small injury to his right arm.

    Mr Ghani said: "My brother, true son of the Afghan soil and first vice president candidate of my electoral team, Amrullah Saleh, has survived a complex attack by enemies of the state. We are relieved and thank the almighty that attack has failed."

    Mr Saleh has been a vociferous opponent of the Taliban and Pakistan, and led Afghanistan's NDS intelligence agency before joining politics with the Green Trend movement.

    "At around 4:40 pm (1210 GMT), first a blast occurred near Green Trend office... then a number of attackers entered that office," interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told AFP.

    Several civilians were killed in the attack near a busy intersection in the capital.

    Mr Saleh holds strong political support among the country's Tajik minority. He led Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security until 2010, maintaining a network of paramilitary forces, spies, prisons and commandos which America and Britain considered one of the most reliable arms of the Afghan state.

  9. #519
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    DE, I understand that the American administration will always do things that are in their national interests, the way India does. I am not happy, but I take back my words.

    How many Americans have died on 9/11? How many American/NATO soldiers died in Afghanistan? To me it is black and white. Blood for blood. Trump said he can quickly end the Afghan war by killing 10 million Afghans. If he ever makes a decision to use nukes, those should be on PA installations.

    Wait, did Trump actually say this to Im the Dim and his cohorts in private? What did Bajwa make of Trump nuking Afghanistan? That the fickle minded President could change his mind at the last minute and ask for co-ordinates to be changed to a new target in the neighbourhood?
    Difference between a peace deal in Afghanistan vs withdrawal deal with the Taliban

    Trump promised Americans he will make them win again, but a bad Afghan deal won’t help | The Print | Jul 31 2019

    Trump had promised Americans that he will make them win again. A flawed deal that does not result in peace and is projected by the Taliban as an American defeat would hardly be a win for America. The US would look better if the Taliban are chastened by the prospect of losing their Pakistani safe haven and the Afghan government that is America’s ally has a key role in negotiations.

  10. #520
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Chirstine's latest is a somber affair

    https://www.lowyinstitute.org/news-a...es-afghanistan

    Her argument is logistics. As she has maintained for years now. The fight was lost as early as 2001 when the americans with only one way in failed to realise the Paks would work against them. Course this begs the question then what should the Americans have done after the Taliban refused to surrender OBL without proof.

    She says Trump for the sake of re-election has no qualms throwing the Afghans under the bus, running them over a couple of times and leaving them to their own devices. This will mean an entire generation that grew up hearing western ideas will be forgotten.

    Pulling troops out means Congress has less incentive to write checks. The Afghan govt was not setup to be self sustaining and costs more than it generates.

    No checks, govt falls, Taliban takes over, just like in 1996 ?

    Najibullah continued a good four years after the Soviets collapsed. I don't think the Americans will cut the plug so suddenly. But when it happens its likely the Afghans will enter the next phase in their never ending civil war. A position the board has maintained after Obama also announced he was pulling out of Afghanistan.

  11. #521
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Chirstine's latest is a somber affair

    https://www.lowyinstitute.org/news-a...es-afghanistan

    Her argument is logistics. As she has maintained for years now. The fight was lost as early as 2001 when the americans with only one way in failed to realise the Paks would work against them. Course this begs the question then what should the Americans have done post 9/11 and after the Taliban refused to surrender OBL without proof.

    She says Trump for the sake of re-election has no qualms throwing the Afghans under the bus, running them over a couple of times and leaving them to their own devices. This means an entire generation that grew up hearing western ideas will be sacrificed.

    Pulling troops out means Congress has less incentive to write checks. The Afghan govt was not setup to be self sustaining and costs more than it generates. Letting people go from the ministry of interior means they join the other side or grow opium poppies.

    No checks, govt falls, Taliban takes over, just like in 1996 ?

    Najibullah continued a good four years after the Soviets collapsed. I don't think the Americans will pull the plug so suddenly. But when it happens its likely the Afghans will enter the next phase in their never ending civil war. A position the board has maintained since Obama also announced he was pulling out of Afghanistan.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Aug 19, at 21:29.

  12. #522
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    Afghanistan Endgame, Part One: Is Sirajuddin Haqqani Ready for Peace?

    As the Donald J. Trump administration aims to end a “‘slowly deteriorating stalemate,’ with ‘no military victory’ possible,” President Trump has supported withdrawing thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in exchange for peace with the Afghan Taliban. According to some accounts, the reduction of U.S. forces seems imminent, irrespective of the peace negotiation.

    Notwithstanding whether Washington pulls out U.S. combat forces, Trump said he would leave “a very strong intelligence” presence in Afghanistan, which he calls the “Harvard of terrorists.” If this strategy is to achieve its security goals, it should account for a fundamental concern that has not received sufficient attention: how modern terrorist organizations usurp U.S. foreign policy in order to survive and even prosper by adapting to Western counterterrorism measures in insidious and often underestimated ways.

    The Haqqani network, a terror network with close ties to the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has evolved over the last half-century and now exerts unprecedented influence in the Afghan insurgency, according to the UN ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and Taliban Monitoring Team. In fact, as the UN Team stated in an interview for this blog:

    There is no evidence that the Taliban have broken or will in future break their intrinsic relationship with the Haqqani Network and Al-Qaida. Recent reporting would suggest that these connections are actually stronger than at any time in the past 18 years. Calculations over withdrawal from Afghanistan should take account of the risk of undermining prospects for a durable peace by empowering and emboldening these groups.

    The Haqqani network has increasingly become a potent force, one whose relationship with state and non-state patrons will determine what sort of country Afghanistan becomes, perhaps even more than the plans of the government in Kabul and the Taliban. The success of the Trump administration’s peace strategy will depend on whether it can eliminate, co-opt, or separate the Haqqani network from al-Qaeda and the ISI, two organizations that for decades have relied on terror proxies to advance strategic interests in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

    Despite advanced counterterrorism measures, the Haqqani network’s resilience and growth demonstrate that it is experienced at subverting U.S. policy, and that it will likely continue to do so in the next phase of conflict. The terrorists’ subversion strategy is reflected by their political evolution. Since 9/11, the Haqqani network has grown from a relatively small, tribal-based jihadi network into one of the most influential terrorist organizations in South Asia. This power consolidation is reflected in the prominent role of the syndicate’s leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is widely understood to be operating as the Afghan Taliban’s second-in-command since 2015, leading all military operations for the overall insurgency.

    Among its operations, the Haqqani network masterminded attacks on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul in 2011, on the U.S. consulate in Herat Province in 2013, and allegedly on a U.S. base in Khost Province in 2009, which killed seven CIA operatives. The group detained U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, New York Times reporter David Rohde, and U.S. aid worker Warren Weinstein, who died in the custody of the terrorists, U.S. officials say.

    Unlike the majority of Afghanistan-based terrorist groups, the Haqqani network has succeeded in cultivating a posture of “international jihad” for nearly the last half-century, in part because it has forged relationships with a diverse set of politically or ideologically like-minded supporters. These include senior al-Qaeda members and foreign fighter volunteers from around the world, factions of the Pakistani Taliban, and wealthy private donors from the Arab States of the Persian Gulf.

    Counterterrorism specialists Vahid Brown and Don Rassler demonstrate that “the Haqqani network has been more important to the development and sustainment of al‐Qa’ida and the global jihad than any other single actor or group.”

    Today, the Haqqani network now includes nearly every Deobandi jihadi faction operating in the settled areas of Pakistan–factions that would cease to exist if not for Sirajuddin Haqqani’s provision of protection and patronage, U.S. officials say. Washington should now consider fresh data about the Haqqani network’s expanding influence in lands far beyond South Asia. General John R. Allen, the former commander of the United States-led coalition in Afghanistan, and the U.S. special envoy spearheading the fight in Iraq and Syria against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, observed that the United States has been concerned about the Haqqani network’s expansion beyond South Asia: “Although many Jihadi groups are sending their rank and file to places like Syria, few of these groups have the close relations with al Qaeda, media savvy, military capability, and technical expertise for suicide attacks like the Haqqani network.”

    The idea that terrorists “evolve” is not novel, but today's scale and pace of adaptation are altogether new, and, some counterterrorism experts believe, are too often underappreciated. Modern terrorists adapt to new opportunities and threats by using the internet to build increasingly powerful global networks to command forces and radicalize new adherents, by weaponizing abundantly available advanced technology such as commercial drones, and by rapidly exploiting global political and societal changes.

    U.S. policymakers need to consider not just the direction of the trend, but also its strength and speed. As Retired Lieutenant General Michael Nagata, former Strategy Director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, notes:

    The rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) was a revelation. In only five years, ISIS's global network is today larger than al Qaeda's despite decades of effort, and all terrorist groups are mimicking ISIS' innovations. In South Asia, where we face a nexus of al Qaeda, Taliban, Haqqani, and ISIS, our search for a negotiated settlement must confront the question of whether we can ‘out-innovate’ the adversary. It is unwise to assume that our traditional approaches will suffice… these adversaries adapt too quickly.

    Washington has relied on Islamabad to resolve post-9/11 security threats, especially with regard to al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network. Pakistan has exploited this Western policy by supporting Islamist proxies under the “nuclear umbrella” to buttress the state’s own narrow strategic agenda. As the Trump administration and U.S. officials now regularly observe, Pakistan is harboring one of the highest concentrations of U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations in the world. American officials quietly place blame for Islamabad offering sanctuary for violent extremists in the region squarely on the ISI’s shoulders. The ISI continues, as it has for many years, to view the Haqqani network as particularly valuable to Pakistan’s strategic interests in anticipation of a post-NATO Afghanistan. The Haqqani network’s cohesion and reach have helped the ISI angle toward its long sought-after “strategic depth,” a euphemism for a compliant regime in Kabul to avoid Pakistan’s encirclement by India.

    Publicly, the Haqqani network keeps its relationship with state and non-state sponsors of terror opaque. But empirical evidence is clear: the Haqqani network has shown no sign it is willing to end its decades-long support of al-Qaeda or provision of haven for terrorist groups with global ambitions. Over nearly four decades, the Haqqani network has created a fountainhead of jihad by facilitating al-Qaeda and adapting to the various changes that have swept the region. Holding peace talks with the Taliban is futile if the United States is not also committed to disaggregating and defeating the ascendant Haqqani network and its partners.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  13. #523
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    Afghanistan Endgame, Part Two: How Does This War End?

    Many senior scholars and analysts argue that the “forever war” in Afghanistan long-ago evolved, expanding from “a limited focus on counterterrorism to a broad nation-building effort without discussion about the implications for the duration and intensity of the military campaign.” In the latter years of Barack Obama’s presidency, that broader effort was scaled down dramatically, but it was extended in the face of a renewed understanding of Afghanistan’s potential to serve as a Petri dish for transnational terrorist organizations such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Consequently, as a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies report concludes: “After expending nearly $800 billion and suffering over 2,400 killed, the United States is still there, having achieved at best a stalemate.”

    Recent empirical evidence suggests a larger significance to the expanding influence of modern terrorism. The ways Islamist militants are effectively adapting to Western nation-building efforts indicate that they have become ineluctably political actors. Rather than focus on constructing new, parallel governance institutions, like the “shadow” structures of the Quetta Shura Taliban in southern Afghanistan, the Haqqani network has adopted a far more opportunistic approach: infiltrating the existing state architecture.

    As the Haqqani network has found sanctuary in the largely lawless Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, and success with its decades-long practice of latently co-opting the Afghan state, the terrorist network stands ready to usurp the Kabul regime’s institutions of governance in highly-contested territory. The jury is still out on the potential outcomes of a rapid U.S. withdrawal. The probability of a collapse of the central Afghan government could be low, but the consequences would be severe, both sub-nationally and internationally. If the allied Taliban-Haqqani network factions take over in Kabul, U.S. decision-makers would need to consider the risk of destabilization or even civil war spilling across international borders, posing a serious challenge to Islamabad’s security. (The United States has long viewed Pakistan as its foremost strategic priority in the region and a state too nuclear to fail.) In such a scenario, the challenges inherent in a potential U.S.-supported effort to retake Kabul and other population centers would prove complex, as the Obama administration learned in 2014 in Syria and Iraq. But, in Afghanistan, the danger of an Islamist militant resurgence would require the United States to combat newly emboldened terror proxies directly sponsored by Pakistan, an ostensible U.S. ally, and protected under its “nuclear umbrella”.

    Accelerating the withdrawal of foreign forces would likely facilitate the Haqqani network’s most resonant raison d’ętre, as a senior Afghan Taliban leader with close ties to Mullah Omar, interviewed for this blog recently suggested:

    Pakistan is protecting Sirajuddin Haqqani in the hope of continuing jihad by proxy. As U.S. forces leave Afghanistan, Haqqani will acquire two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Success in Afghanistan will mean our Muslim brothers in the region, and around the world, will have managed to claim back our own rights in our own Islamic country. Sirajuddin understands that.

    If American and NATO forces were extricated from the region and then were returned, they would find themselves fighting in territory dominated by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani alliances, which are even now influencing the Afghan political order from within Pakistan, infiltrating southeastern Afghanistan, reaching up to the northern provinces, and even stretching to its western border with Iran. Here policymakers are implored to ask: should the U.S. withdraw so precipitously, and then have to return to address the chaos that results?

    In the post-2001 Afghan war, for as long as the West has perceived the Haqqani network as a purely military actor or criminal syndicate, it has often overlooked its political adaptation tactics, and in turn come to an incomplete understanding of its trajectory. It is difficult to verify the overarching goals of the Haqqani network’s next-generation terror model. But if Sirajuddin Haqqani indeed uses violence to facilitate relationships with state and non-state actors, to co-opt allies, and to neutralize rivals, then his true strategic ends will be not only to survive the variety of economic, environmental, and security challenges the network faces, but also to engage in selective violent acts in order to further garner power.

    Washington should account for the Haqqani network’s more recent power consolidation, coupled with its symbiotic relationship with al-Qaeda, to ensure Afghan soil never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists. This is ostensibly a condition for complete U.S. withdrawal, as stated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in June 2019.

    However, the long-standing support for the Haqqani network by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has further complicated U.S counterterrorism policy, particularly when the U.S. should further adapt its approaches in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region to address the true nature of the threat: a war in which Haqqani and al Qaeda affiliates, and the ISI, all compete for power, and sometimes collude.

    This collusion takes many forms. For example, as senior U.S. intelligence officials have observed, the ISI gives advance warning to the Haqqani network prior to launching select military operations in order to protect its terror proxy. This was perhaps best exemplified during the 2014 Zarb-e Azb counterterrorism operation, which was incompletely executed as the Pakistani Army did not fight all militant organizations equally. In this case, although Islamabad partnered with the United States in select counterterrorism efforts against anti-Pakistan groups (including some elements of al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban), it continued to serve as patron to anti-Indian and anti-Afghan terrorists. Indeed, the ISI has still not moved against the Haqqani network’s most influential actors, as an Afghan tribal elder in Haqqani’s ancestral homeland observed:

    When Pakistan faces pressure from the West and needs ‘political breathing space,’ the ISI temporarily arrests them or merely provides the U.S. with actionable intelligence for targeting select commanders, but Pakistan will never give the West drone coordinates for Haqqani’s most important leaders.

    The United States, in concert with the legitimate Afghan government, should continue to pursue talks with the Afghan Taliban. But let us not neglect reality: the crescent of al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network’s history is long, and it bends toward terror. Sirajuddin could be ready for peace, but he is also ready to win the war, and he marches in lockstep with his al-Qaeda base.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  14. #524
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Emotions don't win wars. US was so furious at the devil, that they made a deal with Satan to use its land for supplies. Trusting a country that had churned out 1000s of jihadis, the US were out to kill. The Pentagon still doesn't understand the LeT has acquired a global agenda, or that JeM has links with the Al-Qaida and the Taliban. In many ways, it is Washington's policy failures that the sub-continent is a mess. $800 billion? Is that the money of the US Presidents who waged war? No. It's the US taxpayers money. Why is no US citizen complaining about it. Why go wage war, and leave the business unfinished. Pathetic.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  15. #525
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    I guess Trump will be the second US president to say he will withdraw but not really complete it. FATF meet comes up in Oct. Maybe the Paks get a reprieve. But presidency of the FATF is only a year long and China's term ends next June.

    Will the Paks be able to survive not getting into the black list after that ? by the way things are going i doubt it.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 28 Aug 19, at 22:18.

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