Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-21

23 September 2021 — Indian Punchline

Acting Prime Minister of Taliban Interim Government Mohammad Hasan Akhund and senior ministers met the special envoys of Russia, China and Pakistan in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 21, 2021

21. Pakistani diplomacy is on a roll

An Indian news website that is wired into Panjshir Valley reported this morning that Amrullah Saleh, former Afghan vice president and security tsar in the Ghani government has relocated to Tajikistan and that that he was given a safe passage by the Tajikistan government.

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-20

19 September 2021 — Indian Punchline

Iran’s then-Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (R) welcoming Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (C), Tehran, Jan. 31, 2021

20. Iran takes good look at Taliban rulers

Some strongly worded statements from Iran deploring the clashes in Panjshir Valley created a perception that Tehran might be distancing itself from the Taliban government. Of course, Tehran is vociferously urging the formation of an ‘inclusive government’ in Kabul.

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-19

18 September 2021 — Indian Punchline

Family photo of the 20th summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Dushanbe, September 17, 2021

19. SCO won’t be subaltern to QUAD

As expected, the situation in Afghanistan was the focal point of the discussions at the 20th summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Dushanbe on Friday. Yet, the SCO’s Dushanbe Declaration is scanty on the topic.

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-15

11 September 2021 — Indian Punchline

Afghan tribal leaders and religious scholars and youth leaders from the central provinces (Hazarajat) met former president Hamid Karzai regarding formation of inclusive government, Kabul, September 11, 2021

15. Enter regional states

The Taliban hoisted their black and white flag on the presidential palace in Kabul on September 11, which happens to be the twentieth anniversary of the Al-Qaeda’s attack on New York and Washington, DC. The symbolism is too obvious to be missed. Although the Taliban had no hand in the 9/11 attacks, it took the brunt of the US’ revenge act to invade Afghanistan.

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-13

4 September 2021 — Indian Punchline


Anti-Taliban rebels in training, Panjshir, Afghanistan, Aug. 30, 2021.

13. Panjshir revolt becomes footnote

At the daily foreign ministry briefing in Beijing on Friday, Russian correspondent of Sputnik asked spokesperson Ambassador Wang Wenbin how China viewed the Taliban decision to attack Panjshir and how this will affect the Afghan situation.

Ambassador Wang replied that “it is China’s sincere hope that all parties in Afghanistan will go with the Afghan people’s eager aspiration and the international community’s expectation to resolve differences through consultation and ensure a steady transition so that the people of this war-torn country can live free from war and conflict and build lasting peace at an early date.”

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-11

1 September 2021 — Indian Punchline

Taliban’s elite Badri 313 military unit takes position after US troop withdrawal from Kabul airport on August 31, 2021.

11. US slips out of Kabul but is vengeful

The back-to-back press briefings on August 30 by General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr, commander, US Central Command and Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, on Afghanistan conveys the picture of a superpower badly bruised and embittered but remaining vengeful. This is bad news.

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-10

29 August 2021 —  Indian Punchline

Sirajuddin Haqqani, specially designated global terrorist under US law, carrying a reward of $5 million for information leading to his arrest, tipped as as Afghanistan’s prime minister (File photo)

10. Taliban has a package deal with US. Coast is clear for new government in Kabul.

The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan discussed today in an interview with CBS “Face the Nation” the evolving relationship between Washington and the Afghan Taliban. Three things emerge.

First, Sullivan disclosed that “over-the-horizon strikes” against the ISIS-K from outside Afghanistan will continue but he ruled out any return to combat missions.

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The Foreign Policy Borg And The Retreat From Afghanistan – by Michael Brenner

27 August 2021 — Moon of Alabama

by Michael Brenner

There are few things in this kaleidoscopic world of ours that we can count on – for predictability, for fixity of outlook, for unswerving resistance to the vicissitudes of life. The American foreign policy community is one of them. They reliably react to stunning events in the world with reiteration of what they have been saying for years and decades They do so in unison. They never admit error of analysis or of policy, they preserve a righteous tone, and they retain a permanent inventory of persons to scapegoat – and, equally important, those who are always exempt from blame.

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-9

27 August 2021 — Indian Punchline

US President Biden enters Roosevelt Room in the White House to give a statement on US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Aug 24, 2021

9. A political windfall for Taliban

The horrific terrorist strikes in Kabul on Thursday which killed at least 12 US servicemen and dozens of civilians will lead to a higher level of cooperation between the US and the Taliban.

The commander of CENTCOM Gen. Kenneth McKenzie disclosed to journalists on Thursday that  the US was already sharing information on terror threats in Afghanistan with Taliban. As he put it, “We share versions of this information with the Taliban so that they actually make searches… We think they’ve thwarted some.”

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan – 5

21 August 2021 — Indian Punchline

The interior of a US Air Force C-27 Globemaster III transport aircraft carrying Afghans from Kabul to Qatar (File photo)

5. Putin: Taliban is the reality

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Moscow visits invariably draw great attention as she has performed a unique role as intermediary between the West and Russia during her 16 years in power. Even in the most trying times in Europe’s ties with Russia, Merkel could get through to Putin, and the western capitals looked up to her for moderating tensions from reaching flashpoint.

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America and its allies helped the Taliban on the road to victory

16 August  2021 — Middle East Monitor

Taliban fighters stand guard at an entrance of the green zone area in Kabul on August 16, 2021 [WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images]
Taliban fighters stand guard at an entrance of the green zone area in Kabul on August 16, 2021 [WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images]
Most Western media outlets are carrying headlines and hype about the return of the Taliban to Afghanistan after the fighting force swept through the country at a blistering pace which has left military strategists gasping. Within 24 hours of making his “I am staying” speech, President Ashraf Ghani fled from Kabul when the Taliban entered the city. Apparently, he has gone to Tajikstan while an interim government headed by Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar takes over.

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