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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Taliban”

The Ungoverned Land

In 1947, the British Raj bequeathed to the Muslims of India a tightly administered state. But next door Afghanistan couldn’t be called a normal state. It couldn’t prevent penetration of its territory and it couldn’t collect taxes. But the great proxy war in Afghanistan was approved by the West, fighting its decisive battle with the Soviet Union after the latter invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

Read Here – The Indian Express

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The Python Problem: Reflections On The War On Terror, 17 Years Later

Following the 9/11 attacks, successive U.S. administrations have promulgated three consistent objectives: First, to prevent additional mass casualty attacks on our homeland. Second, to find and punish those responsible. And third, to shatter the larger transnational terrorist movement’s capability and capacity to be a future threat.

Read Here – War On The Rocks

Afghan Connection

China’s growing involvement in Afghanistan may also create tensions in the Sino-Pak relationship. Here’s the thing: China’s main goal in Afghanistan is ostensibly to keep the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) out, while Pakistan’s is to keep India out.

Read Here – Dawn

Clashing With Kabul

After becoming prime minister, Imran Khan received a goodwill message from the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani. It read like a routine gesture, but both Kabul and Islamabad have reached a point in their deadlocked relationship where they want “real peace”, that is, for the Taliban to end their aggression.

Read Here – The Indian Express

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

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

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