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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Taliban”

The Secret Story Of How America Lost The Drug War With The Taliban

Poppy cultivation, heroin production, terrorist attacks and territory controlled by the Taliban are now at or near record highs. President Ashraf Ghani said recently that Afghanistan’s military — and the government itself — would be in danger of imminent collapse, perhaps within days, if U.S. assistance stops.

Read Here – Politico

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The United States And Pakistan: Best Frenemies Forever?

The United States is once again ratcheting up the pressure on Pakistan to fall in line with U.S. policy in Afghanistan by ending the Afghan Taliban’s enjoyment of safe haven. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan is once again pushing back. Amid the mistrust, mutual recrimination, and stale narratives that have increasingly characterised the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in recent years, there is one Pakistani talking point heard routinely from officials that should be taken at face value: Pakistan does not intend to fight the Afghan war on Pakistani soil.

Read Here – The National Interest

Trump’s Flawed Pakistan Policy

For Trump, it may feel good to vent his frustrations about Pakistan, especially now that his administration is desperate to salvage something from the United States’ prolonged and losing conflict in Afghanistan. These new sanctions, however, are unlikely to influence Pakistani behaviour, which is rooted in realities on the ground that the United States has little ability to change.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

General Bajwa In His Labyrinth

Hand in the Haqqanis or hang on to them? That is the dilemma before the Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, so aptly summed by a Pakistani columnist for the Dawn newspaper. In the face of unexpected and significant pressure from the United States to deliver some top militants of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network, the generals in Rawalpindi are locked in a serious debate.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Erik Prince Has His Eye On Afghanistan’s Rare Metals

Controversial private security tycoon Erik Prince has famously pitched an audacious plan to the Trump administration: Hire him to privatise the war in Afghanistan using squads of “security contractors.” Prince, who founded the Blackwater security firm and testified last week to the House Intelligence Committee for its Russia investigation, has deep connections into the current White House: He’s friends with former presidential adviser Stephen Bannon, and he’s the brother of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary.

Read Here – Buzzfeed

America Can’t Win The Drug War In Afghanistan

Indeed, the drug trade is a crucial part of Afghanistan’s economy, both in regions that the Afghan government controls and in Taliban-dominated regions. The Kabul government estimates that at least three million farmers make their living from that crop. In a desperately poor country, such income is often the difference between a decent lifestyle and destitution. U.S. leaders face a hopeless dilemma. If they press the government of President Ashraf Ghani to increase eradication efforts, then that move will alienate beleaguered farmers and drive them into the arms of the Taliban.

Read Here – The National Interest

Despite Tillerson, US Won’t Abandon Pakistan For India

There is no new US policy towards Pakistan and there won’t be one soon. As long as the US has troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, it will be reliant on Pakistan for logistical support, transit, and—perhaps most importantly—Islamabad’s influence with both the Taliban and its affiliated Haqqani Network.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Also Read: Pakistan Stuck Between Afghan Rocks And Indian Hard Places

What Can India Do To Shore Up Kabul’s Military Capabilities

The question of a larger Indian role in securing Afghanistan is expected to figure prominently in the talks between the visiting US Defense Secretary James Mattis and the Indian leadership. That Washington and Delhi are talking about collaboration in Afghanistan marks an important shift in the international relations of South Asia.

Read Here – The Indian Express

How Many US Troops in Afghanistan? Pentagon Changes How It Counts Them

If you’d asked Pentagon officials on Wednesday morning, “How many U.S. troops are deployed to Afghanistan?” they’d have told you “about 8,400.” If you ask them now, they’ll tell you “approximately 11,000” — maybe a thousand troops less than the actual best estimate.

Read Here – Defense One

Trump Afghan Strategy Is As If Masood Rules From His Grave

There are six encouraging and bold pillars in the new US strategy on Afghanistan as outlined by President Donald Trump. First, it is an acknowledgement of the fact that Pakistan has been playing a destructive and dubious role in Afghanistan by providing support and sanctuary to terrorists and agents of chaos and that a diplomatic solution must be found for this problem.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Also Read: Pakistan’s New Regional Challenge

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