4 September 2021 — Moon of Alabama
The U.S. does not want p[ea]ce in Afghanistan. There are two reasons for that.
The first is vengefulness.
That an alleged superpower gets kicked out of a country by some local guerilla is too hard to accept. That the rush to the exit has happened in a rather humiliating way, even when caused by U.S. incompetence and not by the Taliban, only reinforces that.
Murad Gazdiev @MuradGazdiev –16:06 UTC · Sep 1, 2021
US troops wrecked both civilian terminals as they evacuated from Kabul airport.
All the security cameras were broken, computers destroyed, many glass panes shattered. Electrical cabling was cut, the x-ray machines were broken and even arrival/departure screens overturned Images
Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai –12:11 UTC · Sep 3, 2021
#Kabul airport: the #US totally destroyed the radars and tower control and begged #Qatar to fix it as soon as possible to allow foreigners, Afghan collaborators, and those with adequate visas to leave. Qatar sent a team of technicians and spare parts for the airport to function.
The U.S. continues to withhold Afghanistan’s Central Bank reserves and has blocked the IMF and World Bank for releasing funds to Afghanistan. These are a revenge act against all Afghans.
The New York Times tries to (falsely) justify it with an alleged terrorist designation of the Taliban:
“This is a new world,” said Adam M. Smith, a senior sanctions official in the Obama administration’s Treasury Department. “I can’t think of any case in which a terrorist group that’s already designated became the power in charge of a full country.”
He explained that the Treasury Department must soon decide what exceptions, or licenses, it would grant for certain kinds of transactions. It must also determine whether all of Afghanistan, or only the Taliban leadership, remains under sanctions so that the world knows how to engage with the government.
Though some sanctions from July 1999 may still apply to the Taliban, they are not designated a terrorist group and the Taliban leadership like Mullah Baradar are not Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) on the U.S. Treasury’s sanction list. Otherwise the U.S. would not have been able to officially negotiate with them.
The Taliban are now undoubtedly ruling Afghanistan. There is no good reason to withhold Afghan government funds from them. They ain’t corrupt like the previous U.S. supported government. They do not need the money for themselves but to feed the people of their country.
The second reason why the U.S. does not want peace in Afghanistan is geopolitical. As the former Indian ambassador M.K.Bhadrakumar analyses:
US intelligence has made deep ingresses into the Taliban and has gained the capability to splinter it, weaken it and subdue it, when the crunch time comes. Suffice to say, Taliban will not have an easy time ahead.
Washington’s interest lies in creating a “stateless” situation in the country without a functioning central government so that it can intervene at will and pursue its geopolitical objectives aimed at the regional countries.
The unspoken agenda here is to start a hybrid war where the ISIS fighters airlifted by the US from Syria and transferred to Afghanistan, with battle-hardened veterans from Central Asia, Xinjiang, North Caucasus, etc. operating in the regions surrounding Afghanistan.
Russia has recognized the danger as its President Vladimir Putin yesterday explained:
“In the event of [Afghanistan’s] disintegration, there will be nobody to talk to in Afghanistan. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (outlawed in Russia) and many others in the territory of Afghanistan pose a threat to our allies and neighbors. And if we remember that we have no visa restrictions and cross-border travel is actually free, it will be clear that for us, for Russia, all this has great importance from the standpoint of maintaining our security,” Putin said.
It means that the U.S. moves will be countered. ISIS in east Afghanistan has already been defeated once. Without access to Afghanistan the U.S. will have trouble to insert more fighters to it.
Part for the U.S. plan is to again raise anti-Taliban forces like the former ‘Northern Alliance’ under CIA operator Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud in the ‘unconquerable’ Panjshir valley.
But it turned out that the Sandhurst educated Ahmad Massoud is not a fighter and leader like his father Ahmad Shad Massoud was and that the Panjshir valley can well be conquered. The outer defenses have already been broken. So far the Taliban have taken Dalan Sang and Shutul and crossed the gate to the Panjshir Valley road with little resistance. The are aiming at Bazarak, the administrative center of the Panjshir valley. They have also taken positions on the mountains above the valley and set up blockades in the north to block the escape route and eventual resupplies from Tajikistan.
The Panjshir forces can delay the Taliban’s move through the valley by laying mines to block the road and by setting up small ambushes. But they are already sending children into the fight as they do not have sufficient manpower to wage a longer or larger battle.
For now the Taliban do not have to fear any challenge except from disunity within themselves. The forming of a government is taking more time than expected. There still seem to be some discussions between the eastern Haqqani faction and the Kandaharian leadership over who to include in it. But the conflict is not as substantial as some reports let one assume.
Today General Faiz Hamid, head of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, and a high-level military delegation arrived in Kabul. Pakistan understands that the support of China and Russia for Afghanistan depends on creating an Afghan unity government of mostly technocrats. They will mediate the Taliban towards that.
The negotiator of the Doha agreement, the internationally respected Mullah Baradar, is likely to take the leading position.