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Archive for the tag “Taliban”

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

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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

Another Russia-U.S. Proxy War Looms Over Afghanistan

As the Trump Administration struggles to develop a strategy in Afghanistan, Russia has surreptitiously inserted itself into the mix. In late July, reports once again surfaced that Russia has been providing material support to Taliban militants battling U.S., NATO, and Afghan forces.

Read Here – The Cipher Brief

In Afghanistan, U.S. Exits, And Iran Comes In

There is no doubt that as the United States winds down the Afghan war — the longest in American history, and one that has cost half a trillion dollars and more than 150,000 lives on all sides — regional adversaries are muscling in. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan remain the dominant players. But Iran is also making a bold gambit to shape Afghanistan in its favor.

Read Here – The New York Times

The ‘Blackwater 2.0’ Plan For Afghanistan

Here’s a crazy idea floating around Washington these days, outlandish even by today’s outlandish standards: The United States should hire a mercenary army to “fix” Afghanistan, a country where we’ve been at war since 2001, spending billions along the way. The big idea here is that they could extricate U.S. soldiers from this quagmire, and somehow solve it.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Does India’s Chabahar Deal Make Sense?

Chabahar’s principal attraction over Bandar Abbas appears to be its relative proximity to Afghanistan, especially once the Chabahar-Zahedan railroad is complete. Afghanistan is the one country in the region where India beats China in terms of exports, despite the unreliability of passage through Pakistan; the Indian and Afghan governments are anxious to build closer economic ties. But trade with Afghanistan presents numerous complications beyond the simple movement of goods.

Read Here – The Diplomat

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