Biden approves algorithm war in Afghanistan

24 July 2021 — Indian Punchline

US President Joe Biden (R) called Afghanistan President Ghani to assure US will defend his government, July 23, 2021

If only America’s presidents exercised the option to do muscle-flexing in the White House gym, the world would have been a calmer place.

This is the second time that a US president uses Afghanistan as punch bag. Thirteen years ago, Bill Clinton, chaffing under the steamy Monica Lewinsky affair, ordered the firing of some 100 cruise missiles right into Kandahar where late fugitive Taliban amir Mullah Omar was reportedly quartered. Clinton displayed that he could still put the Oval Office to use other than for venial sins.

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UK scripts new Afghan plot for US

23 July 2021 — Indian Punchline
Foreign Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at Dushanbe with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, July 14, 2021

The ministerial meeting at Dushanbe last week of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the SCO contact group with Afghanistan left a trail of disappointment. The SCO statement on Afghanistan was a baby step — significant, nonetheless, considering the group’s growing inner contradictions.

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China explains its Afghan motivations

15 July 2021 — Indian Punchline

Flag of Afghan Taliban (in white) was raised on the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan at the major border crossing at Chaman, 14 July 2021.

The ministerial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the meeting of the SCO-Afghanistan working group at Dushanbe on July 13-14 have thrown light on the templates of China’s approach to the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

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Sicko UK

14 July 2021 — Consortium News

Bob Gill describes how an admired public health service is secretly being changed to for-profit American-style “managed care.”

Boris Johnson chairs daily Covid-19 press conference at 10 Downing Street, April 2020. (No. 10/Flickr)

By Dr. Bob Gill
in London
Special to Consortium News

On the 73rd birthday of the National Health Service, the queen awarded the beloved NHS the George Cross for the valor of its staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

No one doubts the dedication of NHS staff, and its worthiness for the highest honor, but this medal now serves to cover the insidious dismantlement of the NHS.

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China opens the SCO pathway to Kabul, India should go along

11 July 2021 — Indian Punchline

by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Amidst reports that Taliban fighters have entered Kandahar City, Afghan forces guarding a road, Afghanistan, July 9, 2021

The untimely remarks by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on the situation in Afghanistan during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov at Moscow on Friday does no good for his reputation as a scholar-diplomat with integrity or for India’s standing on the global stage as a responsible regional power.

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Say Hello to the Diplo-Taliban

9 July 2021 — Asia Times

Deploying diplomatic skills refined from Doha to Moscow, the Taliban in 2021 has little to do with its 2001 incarnation

By Pepe Escobar

A very important meeting took place in Moscow last week, virtually hush-hush. Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security  Council, received Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s national security adviser.

There were no substantial leaks. A bland statement pointed to the obvious: They “focused on the security situation in Afghanistan during the pullout of Western military contingencies and the escalation of the military-political situation in the northern part of the country.”

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A Saigon moment in the Hindu Kush

7 July 2021 — Asia Times

The US is on the verge of its own second Vietnam repeated as farce in a haphazard retreat from Afghanistan

By Pepe Escobar

And it’s all over
For the unknown soldier
It’s all over
For the unknown soldier

The Doors, – ‘The Unknown Soldier’

Let’s start with some stunning facts on the Afghan ground.

The Taliban are on a roll. Earlier this week their PR arm was claiming they hold 218 Afghan districts out of 421 – capturing new ones every day. Tens of districts are contested. Entire Afghan provinces are basically lost to the government in Kabul, which has been de facto reduced to administer a few scattered cities under siege.

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Afghanistan – U.S. Sneaks Out At Night – Taliban Take Multiple Districts Per Day

6 July 2021 — Moon of Alabama

This is awkward:

The U.S. left Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans’ departure more than two hours after they left, Afghan military officials said.

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A hybrid war to replace Afghan ‘forever war’?

6 July 2021 — Indian Punchline

by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Bagram after US military left the base, Kabul, July 5, 2021 

The British newspaper Daily Telegraph did some kite-flying in the weekend that London is considering open-ended deployment of a contingent of elite special forces to Afghanistan “ to provide training to Afghan units and deploy with them on the ground as advisers.”

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Post-American Afghanistan through the looking glass

29 April 2021 — Indian Punchline

by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Debris of Afghan civil war: A boy runs past a destroyed Soviet-made armoured tank on a Kabul street, Afghanistan. (File photo)

Ex-CIA officer Bruce Riedel at Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, whose familiarity with Afghanistan is never in doubt, has held a looking glass to figure out the future course of events even as the US troop withdrawal commences.

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