Last modified on September 30, 2021, at 01:38

Afghanistan

Afghanistan
Afghan.jpg
Flag of Afghanistan.jpg
Flag
Capital Kabul
Language Dari, Pashto (official)
President Amrullah Saleh
(de-jure)
Area 652,230 sq. mi.
Population 39,000,000 (2020)
GDP per capita $620
Currency afghani
International dialing code +93
Internet top-level domain .af

Afghanistan (Pashto/Dari: افغانستان)[1] is a country in South Asia which borders the Arabian Sea to the south, India to the east and Iran to the west. Afghanistan was the scene of the defeat of the Soviet Union in the Soviet-Afghan war of 1979–1988. In the 1990s an extremist Islamic Taliban movement took control and allowed Osama bin-Laden and his Al-Qaeda to operate there and plan the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. An international invasion led by the U.S. overthrew the Taliban in 2001, but they have rebuilt strongholds in the south, along the Pakistan border, and have escalated the insurgency. In August 2021, the Taliban retook control of the entire country amid Biden's botched pullout of American troops. Amid the chaos allowed by Biden, a terrorist attack on August 26, 2021, at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan killed 12 American soldiers and injured 15 more.

Since August 15, 2021, Afghanistan is under the control of the Taliban,[2] as the Biden Junta withdrew American forces from the country in a way that enabled its nearly immediate recapture by the Taliban. As part of the Islamic jihadist Taliban blitzkrieg, kids were shot in front of their parents and Hazaras were massacred. They also posed for pictures after capturing the Presidential palace.[3][4] It has become a great humiliation[5] in the way Biden handled it. Total failure.[6]

A tenth of Biden’s Afghanistan aid goes to the Taliban.[7]


History

Zbigniew Brzezinski meets with the Mujahideen Taliban, 1979.[8]
See also: History of Afghanistan

The Afghans have a 2500-year tradition of strongly distrusting—and fighting—armed outsiders.

Afghanistan, often called the crossroads of Central Asia, has had a turbulent history. In 328 BC, Alexander the Great entered the territory of present-day Afghanistan, then part of the Persian Empire, to capture Bactria (present-day Balkh). Invasions by the Scythians, White Huns, and Turks followed in succeeding centuries. In AD 642, Arabs invaded the entire region and introduced Islam.

Arab rule gave way to the Persians, who controlled the area until conquered by the Turkic Ghaznavids in 998. Mahmud of Ghazni (998-1030) consolidated the conquests of his predecessors and turned Ghazni into a great cultural center as well as a base for frequent forays into India. Following Mahmud's short-lived dynasty, various princes attempted to rule sections of the country until the destructive Mongol invasion of 1219 led by Genghis Khan.

Following Genghis Khan's death in 1227, a succession of petty chiefs and princes struggled for supremacy until late in the 14th century, when one of his descendants, Tamerlane, incorporated Afghanistan into his own vast Asian empire. Babur, a descendant of Tamerlane and the founder of India's Moghul dynasty at the beginning of the 16th century, made Kabul the capital of an Afghan principality.

The Taliban

See also: Women under the Taliban‎
Taliban enter Kabul airport after US departure, August 31, 2021.[9]

The Taliban had risen to power in the mid '90s in reaction to the anarchy and warlordism that arose after the withdrawal of Soviet forces. Many Taliban had been educated in madrassas in Pakistan and were largely from rural southern Pashtun backgrounds. In 1994, the Taliban developed enough strength to capture the city of Kandahar from a local warlord and proceeded to expand its control throughout Afghanistan, occupying Kabul in September 1996. By the end of 1998, the Taliban occupied about 90% of the country, limiting the opposition largely to a small mostly Tajik corner in the northeast and the Panjshir valley.

The Taliban sought to impose an extreme interpretation of Islam—based upon the rural Pashtun tribal code—on the entire country and committed massive human rights violations, particularly directed against women and girls. The Taliban also committed serious atrocities against minority populations, particularly the Shi'a Hazara ethnic group, and killed noncombatants in several well-documented instances. In March 2001, as part of a drive against relics of Afghanistan's pre-Islamic past, the Taliban destroyed two Buddha statues carved into cliff faces outside of the city of Bamiyan.

From the mid-1990s the Taliban provided sanctuary to Osama bin Laden, a Saudi national who had fought with the mujahideen resistance against the Soviets, and provide a base for his and other terrorist organizations. Bin Laden provided both financial and political support to the Taliban. Bin Laden and his Al-Qaida group were charged with the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998, and in August 1998 the United States launched a cruise missile attack against bin Laden's terrorist camp in southeastern Afghanistan. Bin Laden and Al-Qaida have acknowledged their responsibility for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.

Taliban announcing its Build Back Better program on Afghan TV, August 29, 2021.[10][11]

Following the Taliban's repeated refusal to expel bin Laden and his group and end its support for international terrorism, the U.S. and its partners in the anti-terrorist coalition began a military campaign on October 7, 2001, targeting terrorist facilities and various Taliban military and political assets within Afghanistan. On October 22, 2001, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware gave a speech insisting that U.S. goals—rooting out al-Qaeda and helping establish a friendly successor government to the Taliban—would require U.S. ground troops far beyond the small number of Special Forces already in place.[12] Under pressure from U.S. military and anti-Taliban forces, the Taliban disintegrated rapidly, and Kabul fell on November 13, 2001.

Afghan factions opposed to the Taliban met at a United Nations-sponsored conference in Bonn, Germany in December 2001 and agreed to restore stability and governance to Afghanistan—creating an interim government and establishing a process to move toward a permanent government. Under the "Bonn Agreement," an Afghan Interim Authority was formed and took office in Kabul on December 22, 2001 with Hamid Karzai as Chairman. The Interim Authority held power for approximately 6 months while preparing for a nationwide "Loya Jirga" (Grand Council) in mid-June 2002 that decided on the structure of a Transitional Authority. The Transitional Authority, headed by President Hamid Karzai, renamed the government as the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA). One of the TISA's primary achievements was the drafting of a constitution that was ratified by a Constitutional Loya Jirga on January 4, 2004.

US-Afghan war 2001-2021

See also: Afghan War

Operation Enduring Freedom easily defeated the Taliban in late 2001 and it seemed the war was over quickly. But the Taliban regrouped, especially in the southern provinces, with sanctuaries inside neighboring Pakistan in remote areas where the government of Pakistan had little authority. By 2003 the insurgency in the south was in operation, funded by opium production. Important factors for the return of insurgency include the initial mistakes made in 2001; radical Islamic support from Pakistan; weaknesses of the Hamid Karzai government, especially its feeble and corrupt national army and police; the question of legitimacy and offenses to traditional tribal and Islamic values and beliefs; and, finally, the extent to which NATO forces became part of the problem by angering the tribes. The insurgency controlled numerous areas and engaged in terror attacks on civilians and guerrilla warfare against American and NATO forces. Al-Qaeda terrorists—the only Arabs in Afghanistan—had been welcomed by the Taliban in 1999 and built their bases there. They have been largely destroyed or fled to Pakistan, according to the U.S. Army, having fewer than 100 people left in Afghanistan.

Seven years after the overthrow of the Taliban, America and NATO forces were still fighting Taliban forces in parts of the country, especially in the south.[13] There was no sign that Western troops would be withdrawing from Afghanistan in the foreseeable future. Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander of the United States coalition forces stated his commitment to accomplishing the mission, saying, "The United States will not leave Afghanistan until the Afghan people tell us the job is done. The war on terrorism began here in Afghanistan and it continues today. We must never forget that."[14]

In Aug. 2009, General Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan said the Afghan government was riddled with corruption and NATO was being undermined by tactics that alienate civilians. He called the Taliban insurgency "a muscular and sophisticated enemy" that uses modern propaganda and systematically reaches into Afghanistan's prisons to recruit members and even plan operations. He said official corruption is as much of a threat as the insurgency to the mission of the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, as the U.S.-led NATO coalition is widely known. The weakness of state institutions, malign actions of power-brokers, widespread corruption and abuse of power by various officials, and ISAF's own errors, have given Afghans little reason to support their government," McChrystal reported.

McChrystal told Washington that he urgently needs more forces within the next year; without them, he warned, the eight-year conflict "will likely result in failure." By November no decision had been made on the urgent request.[15]

The 2009 presidential election was badly tainted by fraud. Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, the main opponent of President Hamid Karzai, pulled out of the runoff in November, and Karzai was declared reelected for another five-year term. His legitimacy and support was seriously weakened by the election frauds, but the U.S., NATO, and the UN have agreed to keep him in power.

Afghan Republic 2001-2021

Three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, on October 3, 2001, Sen. Joseph Biden, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, proposed a billion dollars in aid to a yet to be formed Afghan interim government. The amount was almost twice as much as U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan proposed and more than triple what the Bush administration asked for.[16] Harmid Karzai formed an interim government on 22 December 2001 until elections could be held after the removal of Taliban rule by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) forces. On January 10, 2002 Joe Biden arrived in Afghanistan on a four-day fact-finding visit and met with Karzai.[17] In 2002 and 2003, when Afghan tribal councils gathered to write a new constitution, the U.S. government gave “nice packages” to delegates who supported Washington’s preferred stance. “The perception that was started in that period: If you were going to vote for a position that Washington favored, you’d be stupid to not get a package for doing it,” according to a U.S. official who served in Kabul at the time.[18]

On October 9, 2004, Afghanistan held its first national democratic presidential election. More than 8 million Afghans voted, 41% of whom were women. Hamid Karzai was the winner and was inaugurated on December 7 for a five-year term as Afghanistan's first democratically elected president. In 2014 Ashraf Ghani was elected as new president of Afghanistan and held office until the fall of Kabul in August 2021.

Nation building

Three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, on October 3, 2001, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware proposed on the Senate floor a billion dollars in aid to a yet-to-be-formed Afghan interim government. The amount was almost twice as much as U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan proposed,[19] and more than triple what the Bush administration asked for.[20] Sen. Biden, who spoke for the Democrats in Congress, wanted more than just removal of the Taliban and degrading al Qaeda. Biden wanted nation building. Biden wanted to flood the new government with cash, which ultimately corrupted the new Karzai regime, and created an anti-Western, anti-corruption, pro-Taliban resurgence and backlash.

Sen. Joe Biden advocating for boots on the ground and nation building at the Council on Foreign Relations, October 22, 2001.

On October 22, 2001, Sen. Biden, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, gave a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations insisting that U.S. goals—rooting out al-Qaeda and helping establish a friendly successor government to the Taliban—would require U.S. boots on the ground far beyond the small number of Special Forces that the Pentagon had recommended. Biden said, "There is no way that you can, in fact, go after and root out al Qaeda and or Bin Ladin without folks on the ground, in caves, risking and losing their lives. And I believe that the tolerance for that in the Islamic world is significant, exponentially higher, than it is for us bombing."[21] Under pressure from U.S. military and anti-Taliban forces however, the Taliban disintegrated rapidly, and Kabul fell on November 13, 2001.

Hamid Karzai formed an interim government on 22 December 2001 until elections could be held after the removal of Taliban rule by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) forces. On January 10, 2002 Biden arrived in Afghanistan on a four-day fact-finding visit and at Bagram Airforce Base. The Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility had been prepared to receive jihadis. Bagram was a major collection point for preliminary interrogation. Sen. Biden said, "These are some real hard, hard, hard cases. But unless we gather the list of leaders which we -- I have in my pocket here...the possibility of them being able to do guerrilla kind of attacks on military here are real."[22]

In 2002 and 2003, when Afghan tribal councils gathered to write a new constitution, the U.S. government gave “nice packages” to delegates who supported Washington’s preferred stance. “The perception that was started in that period: If you were going to vote for a position that Washington favored, you’d be stupid to not get a package for doing it,” according to a U.S. official interviewed by the Washington Post who served in Kabul at the time.[23]

According to The New York Times, beginning in December 2002 throughout Karzai's terms of office, Karzai's office was funded with "tens of millions of dollars" of black cash from the CIA in order to buy influence within the Afghan government. The NYT stated that "the cash that does not appear to be subject to the oversight and restrictions." An unnamed American official was quoted by The New York Times as stating that "The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan was the United States."[24]

Once it became the narrative that the U.S. was there to improve life for Afghans the venture became subject to withering critiques. In an investigative report by the Washington Post, a forensic accountant analyzed "3,000 Defense Department contracts worth $106 billion dollars concluded about 40% of the money ended up in the pockets of insurgents, criminal syndicates, or corrupt Afghan officials." The Spectator noted, "On Ivy League campuses, students are taught to decry colonialism, but Ivy League diplomats who sought to remake Afghanistan and Harvard's image were among the most ambitious practitioners of colonialism in world history. Alongside the billions for bombs went hundreds of millions for gender studies in Afghanistan. According to a USAID observer, the gender ideology included in American aid routinely caused rebellions out in the provinces directly causing the instability America was supposedly fighting."

Obama escalation

See also: Obama war crimes
Af-UStroops.jpg

Despite campaigning against "dumb wars," Barack Obama made escalating the troop level a high priority.[25] In September 2009, the Pentagon pushed back against liberal Democrats who oppose sending additional combat troops to Afghanistan, telling Congress that success would probably require more fighting forces, and certainly much more time. Washington is debating the new report by Gen. McChrystal, the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, who believes a properly resourced counterinsurgency war means more forces, more time and more commitment to the development of a strong Afghan government capable of defending its own country.[26] Some 4,000 more American trainers will arrive by November, bringing the American troop level to 68,000.

The ruling Democratic party in the United States was split three ways: a small number of hawks who agreed with Obama's decision to escalate the troop level; a large number of doves who opposed it; and a sizable group that was uneasy with the Obama troop surge but willing to loyally support his decision. Each one thousand American soldiers in Afghanistan cost a billion dollars a year; Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated that the continued operations would be financed by borrowing.

In the first half of 2010, 250 contractors reportedly died in Iraq and Afghanistan - more than the 235 military personnel who fell during the same period.[27]

Bowe Bergdahl swap

When Barack Obama released five Taliban commanders from the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for American deserter Bowe Bergdahl in 2014, he assured Americans that the enemy combatants would not be allowed to return to Afghanistan. 6 American soldiers lives were lost searching for the American deserter.[28] Upon Bergdahl's return, Obama celebrated Bergdahl as a heroic “POW,” a designation the Pentagon never gave him. Khairullah Khairkhwa, one of the five released from Guantanamo, sat across the table from Joe Biden’s personal representative in Moscow in the spring of 2021, where Mullah Khairkhwa was part of the Taliban delegation that negotiated the terms of the US withdrawal. Mullah Khairkhwa is the mastermind of the Taliban takeover, even though the Pentagon classified Khairkhwa as too dangerous to release.

Khairkhwa assured the Biden junta that the Taliban would not retaliate against Afghans who worked with the US military or the US-backed government in Kabul. However, reports out of Kandahar and Kabul soon after the fall of Afghanistan indicate the Taliban was going door to door with a kill list to wipe out their enemies. Mullah Khairkhwa previously served as the Taliban’s interior minister prior to 2002, where he oversaw Islamist punishments, including beheadings and stonings.[29]

All five of the terrorists in the Bowe Bergdahl swap assumed prominent positions in the Taliban interim government announced on September 11, 2021:[30]

  • Acting Minister of Information and Culture: Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah
  • Defense Deputy Minister: Mullah Mohammad Fazil
  • Acting Director of Intelligence: Abdul Haq Wasiq
  • Border and Tribal Affairs Minister: Mullah Norullah Nori
  • Acting Governor of Khost Province: Muhammad Nabi Omari[31]

Total collapse under Biden

Democrat socialist leader Joe Biden's gift to Taliban terrorists.[32]

When the Biden regime abandoned Bagram Airbase on July 2, 2021 without giving notice to the Afghan government and Afghan National Army,[33] it sent a signal to the highest levels in the Afghan government that the United States would not provide the aircover and support for the Afghan army in its war with the Taliban - a mission they had prepared for 20 years.[34] It was no surprise when the Afghan Army abandoned the field and refused to fight, and the Afghan government fell, as scripted by the Biden regime.[35]

With the August 2021 Taliban takeover of major cities, it was clear that it was Biden who failed the Afghan war.[36][37][38] And Billions spent by US in Afghanistan on Afghan army, at the end, rather benefited the Taliban.[39] Planes, guns, night-vision goggles, ended up being the Taliban's new U.S.-made war chest.[40]

Not surprisingly, The Qatari pro-terror network Al Jazeera was given exclusive access to the presidential palace by Taliban.[41]

Even CNN had to admit that it's: "some of most dire days of his presidency."[42]

Global media slammed Biden as a ‘joke.’[43]

Taliban atrocities included executions,[44] even killing kids in front of their parents.[4] Afghans became fearful of brutal regime return.[45]

Writer:[46]

Joe Biden is derelict in his duty. His State Department failed to prepare adequately to get Americans and our allied Afghans out of the country in time. His Department of Defense made the decisions that left our resources and materiel to be used by the Taliban. His intelligence units were the ones he now claims — despite evidence to the contrary — never warned that the Afghan government could fall so fast.

This was a failure of many institutions of American government. But above all, it was a failure of the Commander in Chief.

Among the allies for example, Biden rattled U.K. With his Afghanistan policy.

From The New York Times:[47]
the chaotic departure from Afghanistan has drawn comparisons not to helicopters flying out of Saigon but to an earlier debacle: the 1956 Suez crisis, in which a humiliated Britain was forced to pull out of Egypt, having failed to dislodge its nationalist leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

One of the big gainers at Taliban's rise is the "tiny Qatar", capable of disproportionate intervention in their affairs not hers.[48]

The congratulators

As in 9/11 atrocity,[49][50] it was Arab-Islamic Palestinians who cheered on. This time Hamas officials.[51][52][53]

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the Taliban saying they "broke the chains of slavery in the country". [54]

Just a few days later, the Pakistani Army held a meet and greet with the Taliban at the Torkham border crossing where they took selfies with each other. [55]

Qatar's Al-Jazzera also celebrated Taliban rise as a win for Islamic "nation."[56]

Fall of Kabul 2021

See also: Biden/Harris foreign policy and Rape jihad
Biden/Harris withdrawl during the Rape of Afghanistan.

On July 8, 2021, Joe Biden said from the White House, "I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of conducting war."[57] The same month the U.S. Defense Department said it was providing the Afghan Air Force 35 Black Hawk helicopters and three A-29 Super Tucanos. The United States spent $83 billion equipping and training the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), including $10 billion in aircraft and vehicles.[58] Less than a month after Biden's statement, several Black Hawks helicopters and other aircraft were seized by the Taliban. Many of the aircraft and helicopters are armed. These A-29 Super Tucanos can fire laser-guided and other types of bombs. The Afghan government also had 50 American-made MD-530 attack helicopters, which are armed with machine guns and rockets. The Afghan Air Force had UH-60 Black Hawks and Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters, as well as C-130 and Cessna transports, and a small fleet of armed Cessnas.[59]

As Biden withdrew American troops, the Peoples Republic of China began expanding their Belt and Road Initiative with a $62 billion aid package to Afghanistan to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).[60]

As the impending crisis escalated, White House chief propagandists Jen Psaki said "The Taliban has to make an assessment about what they want their role to be in the international community." Her comments came as reports flowed in of Taliban fighters going door-to-door and forcibly selecting girls as young as 12 to reward as brides for the victorious jihadis.[61]

Bodies lay strewn on the streets of Kandahar.[62] It was a repetition of what the Taliban had done in all the other provinces to the elite counter-terrorism forces that fought alongside Americans. Panic ensued as the Kabul airport was flooded with people fleeing the Taliban terror. Some people were stampeded to death.[63] Three young men clung to the tires of an airplane, only to fall on top of people's houses once the plane was airborne.[64]

Once inside the city, the Taliban had all the records with names of everyone who served in the Ktah Khas (KKA) or Afghan Special Forces, and began a house-to-house search for them.[65] The KKA counter-terrorism experts who were trained by and fought alongside Americans suffered the same fate others did in the provinces, and were summarily executed.[66]

While the Biden regime did not inform the U.S. Afghan allies it was abandoning Bagram Airbase,[67] Army Gen. Chris Donohue, commander of the 82nd Airborne, did inform the Taliban commander whom he had been coordinating with on August 30, 2021 that the Biden regime was abandoning the Kabul airport, according to CENTCOM commander Gen. Frank McKenzie.[68] Donohue had refused entry to the airport of American citizens with passports to leave Afghanistan.[69][70][71][72] This was done with the full knowledge of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley.[73]


An Aug 17, 2021 Report: Hamas leader meets with Taliban, lauds radicals for seizing Afghanistan.[74]

On Aug 19, 2021, The Taliban declared the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.' It's the same name it used when it brutally ruled the country in the 1990s.[75]

The Taliban has been ccused of killing children in reign of terror.[76]

Since Taliban take over, a long list of atrocities have been documented within weeks.[77]

Protesters in Kabul chanted 'Pakistan, Pakistan, Leave Afghanistan,' realizing that Pakistan is behind the rise of Taliban in Afghanistan.[78]

Baradar 'the Butcher' was reportedly to lead new Afghan government. He started the Taliban in 1994 with late leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. He then became known for some of the Islamic militants’ most deadly tactics, including planting improvised explosive devices along streets their enemies would be on, calling the IEDs “flowers.”[79]

Experts warned, that terrorism will increase under Afghanistan's newly appointed Taliban government.[80]

Despite clear contradiction between Biden's statements in August/2021 and the military in September/2021, his spokesperson still tried to spin.[81]  

Fall out as a result of Biden's conduct

As a result, the liberal, Biden-election helper Washington Post sounded the alarm: The storms of August: Biden's devastating month stokes midterm fears among Democrats.[82]

Simply put "The Afghanistan mess is truly Biden’s disaster."[83]

From Biden's mistakes: U.S. strategy put Defense and State departments on divergent paths: The troops pulled out but the diplomats stayed—and were left exposed when the Taliban took over.[84]

Even at the White House, an official was 'appalled and literally horrified' that Biden stranded Americans in Afghanistan.[85]

As if Biden's troubles weren't enough, Vice President Kamala Harris is just too prone to verbal fumbles that pour more fuel on the Biden administration's fires.[86]

A bombshell leaked transcript showed that on July 23, 2021, Biden pressured Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to create the “perception” that the Taliban weren’t winning, “whether it’s true or not,” in a phone call just three weeks before the insurgents seized control of the country.[87][88]

Biden was called 'Feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap' by mom of slain Marine.[89]

During ceremony for dead marines, Biden appeared to look at his watch.[90]

Rep. Michael Waltz said that Joe Biden gave all of US bases away in Afghanistan. [91]

The Taliban offered Kabul to U.S., but Americans said no. A report in the Washington Post describes a secret meeting between U.S. military leaders and the Taliban.[92]

Haqqani network

On August 18, 2021 NBC News reported that the U.S. was working with the Taliban to evacuate Americans and allies out of Afghanistan. Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Gen. Mark Milley stated, "Through the State Department, the Taliban are facilitating safe passage to the airport for American citizens, that is, U.S. passport holders." An exchange with a reporter and defense minister Lloyd Austin went like this:

Kabul airport suicide bombing, August 26, 2021. 170 dead.[93]
Q: It seems to me like barring a lobotomy by the Taliban; you have three pathways ahead of you. One, you can expand the perimeter and establish a corridor into Kabul to get our Afghan allies out. Two, you could extend the August 31 deadline of withdrawing. Or three, you can just leave the tens of thousands of Afghans who've helped us over the past 20 years behind. Which one is it going to be?

SEC. AUSTIN: First of all, as I said, we're going to evacuate everybody that we can physically possibly evacuate. And we'll -- we'll conduct these -- this process for as long as we possibly can. We will continue to deconflict issues with -- with the Taliban. And we will stay focused on securing the -- the airfield. We cannot afford to either not defend that airfield or -- or -- or not have an airfield that secures where we have hundreds or thousands of civilians that can access the airfield at will and put our forces at risk.

Q: But that doesn't answer the question. I mean, you're still saying you're focused on the airfield. These -- these people can't get into the airfield.

SEC. AUSTIN: Well we're going to do everything we can to continue to try to deconflict and create passageways for them to get to the airfield. I don't have the capability to go out and extend operations currently into Kabul. And where do you take that? I mean, how far can you extend into Kabul, you know, and how long does it take to flow those forces in to be able to do that?

Q: So it sounds like you're saying this depends on diplomacy with the Taliban, that's it. That's our only option is getting them to agree to do this.[94]

Biden told George Stephanopoulos the same morning that "one of the things we didn't know is what the Taliban would do in terms of trying to keep people from getting out, what they would do. What are they doing now? They're cooperating, letting American citizens get out, American personnel get out, embassies get out, et cetera.[95]

On August 19, 2921 VOA announced Khalil Ur-Rahman Haqqani had been placed in charge of security around the Kabul airport.[96] On August 22, 2021, Haqqani told Al Jazeera, “all Afghans” should feel safe under their Islamic Emirate, and that a “general amnesty” has been granted across the nation’s 34 provinces. "If we can defeat superpowers, surely we can provide safety to the Afghan people," said Haqqani, "All of those people who left this country, we will assure them of their safety," Haqqani went on. "You’re all welcome back in Afghanistan."[97] The Haqqani network was already executing civilians and former members of the Afghan National Army, according to the United Nations.[98]

On August 26, 2021, after days of heightened alert from intelligence,[99][100] a rival[101][102][103] --to Taliban-- jihadi Islamofascistic[104] group, known as ISIS k attacked[105][100] Kabul airport, murdering at least 12, including at least 13 US serviceman and injuring dozens.[105]

The masacre increased the fears of intensified jihadism.[106]

Government and Political Conditions

Taliban fighter holding a group of women and children against a wall with a UN Sustainable Development poster, August 17, 2021.[107]

In early September 2021 during talks in the Presidential Palace over forming a new cabinet, Abdul Ghani Baradar was physically attacked by Khalil ul Rahman Haqqani, a leader of the US terrorist-designated Haqqani Network. Baradar pushed for an “inclusive” cabinet that included non-Taliban leaders and ethnic minorities, which would be more acceptable to the rest of the world, the people said. Khalil ul Rahman Haqqani rose from his chair and began punching Baradar. Their bodyguards entered the opened fire on each other, killing and wounding a number of them. While Baradar was not injured and left Kabul for Kandahar to speak with Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, effectively the Taliban’s spiritual head.[108]

Principal Government Officials

  • Emir - Mullah Baradar
  • Acting governor of the Afghan Central Bank - Mohammad Idris[109]
  • Minister of the Interior - Sirajuddin Haqqani[110]
  • Al Qaeda chief - Ayman al-Zawahiri

Foreign Relations

Before the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan pursued a policy of neutrality and Cold War nonalignment in its foreign relations. After the December 1979 invasion, Afghanistan's foreign policy mirrored that of the Soviet Union. Most Western countries, including the United States, maintained small diplomatic missions in Kabul during the Soviet occupation. Repeated Taliban efforts to occupy Afghanistan's seat at the UN and Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) were unsuccessful.

The fall of the Taliban in October 2001 opened a new chapter in Afghanistan's foreign relations. Afghanistan is now an active member of the international community, and has diplomatic relations with countries from around the world. In December 2002, the six nations that border Afghanistan signed a ‘Good Neighbor' Declaration, in which they pledged to respect Afghanistan's independence and territorial integrity. In 2005 Afghanistan and its South Asia neighbors held the first annual Regional Economic Cooperation Conference (RECC) promoting intra-regional relations and economic cooperation.

Pakistan

The 1978 Marxist coup strained relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan took the lead diplomatically in the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference in opposing the Soviet occupation. During the war against the Soviet occupation, Pakistan served as the primary logistical conduit for the Afghan resistance. Pakistan initially developed close ties to the Taliban regime, and extended recognition in 1997. Pakistan dramatically altered its policy after September 11, 2001 by closing its border and downgrading its ties. Afghanistan and Pakistan are engaged in dialogue to resolve these bilateral issues.

Iran

Afghanistan's relations with Iran have fluctuated over the years, with periodic disputes over the water rights of the Helmand River as the main issue of contention. Following the Soviet invasion, which Iran opposed, relations deteriorated. Iran supported the cause of the Afghan resistance and provided financial and military assistance to rebel leaders who pledged loyalty to the Iranian vision of Islamic revolution. Iran still provides refuge to Afghan ex-patriots. Following the emergence of the Taliban and their harsh treatment of Afghanistan's Shi'a minority, Iran stepped up assistance to the Northern Alliance. Relations with the Taliban deteriorated further in 1998 after Taliban forces seized the Iranian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif and executed Iranian diplomats. Since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan's relations with Iran have improved. Iran has been active in Afghan reconstruction efforts, particularly in the western portion of the country.

Russia

During the reign of the Taliban, Russia became increasingly disenchanted over Taliban support for Chechen rebels and for providing a sanctuary for terrorist groups active in Central Asia and in Russia itself, and therefore provided military assistance to the Northern Alliance. Since the fall of the Taliban, the Karzai government has improved relations with Russia, but Afghanistan's outstanding foreign debt to Russia still continues to be a source of contention.

Tajikistan

Afghanistan's relations with Tajikistan have been complicated by political upheaval and civil war in Tajikistan, which spurred some 100,000 Tajiks to seek refuge in Afghanistan in late 1992 and early 1993. Also disenchanted by the Taliban's harsh treatment of Afghanistan's Tajik minority, Tajikistan facilitated assistance to the Northern Alliance. The Karzai government has sought to establish closer ties with its northern neighbor in order to capitalize on the potential economic benefits of increased trade.

China

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a militant organization that seeks to fight against CCP excesses and abuse of human rights in Xinjiang. The ETIM comprises Uyghur fighters with one goal to liberate East Turkestan or Xinjiang from the clutches of the CCP. Over one million Uyghur Muslims are in internment camps. With the growth of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the growth of ETIM followed a similar trajectory. The Taliban was going to help the ETIM in its cause of liberating Xinjiang. Instead, the Taliban turned to the CCP. Beijing bought the Taliban and the CCP controls a puppet regime in Afghanistan.

Intelligence reports from Afghanistan and Turkey indicate that the ETIM is negotiating an alliance with the Islamic State of the Harassan province. There are at least 500 ETIM fighters in Afghanistan and its borders, with most of them concentrated in Badakhshan province in northern Afghanistan, linking with Xinjiang in china via the Wakhan corridor. The ETIM fears that the Taliban will act against them and hand them over to the MSS, the Chinese Ministry of State Security.

The ETIM has been estimated by the U.N. Security Council to have up to 3 500 fighters. However, the RTIM's goal to liberate Xinjiang and carve out a separate East Turkestan is not what entirely worries the CCP. The more concerning factor is the impact that a strong ETIM can have on China's Belt and Road projects, not just within China, but all across the region. Four of China's six 'Silk Road Networks', including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor emanate from or pass through Xinjiang. These roads aim to connect China with Russia, central, southern, and western Asia, reaching the Mediterranean Sea.

A United Nations Security Council report confirmed that ETIM, apart from basing itself out of Afghanistan, is also pursuing a transnational agenda.

The Taliban has pledged to actively support the CCP's Belt and Road Initiative. In 2008, a Chinese corporation won a $3-billion tender to develop the Mes Aynak copper mine in Afghanistan, one of the world’s largest. In 2011, a Chinese company won the right to develop an oil field in Amu Darya. Afghanistan is also home to some of the world’s largest rare earth deposits.

UN Efforts

The United Nations was instrumental in obtaining a negotiated Soviet withdrawal under the terms of the 1988 Geneva Accords. In the aftermath of the Accords, the United Nations assisted in the repatriation of refugees and provided humanitarian aid such as food, health care, educational programs, and support for mine-clearing operations. From 1990 to 2001, the UN worked to promote a peaceful settlement between the Afghan factions as well as provide humanitarian aid. Since October 2001, the UN has played a key role in Afghanistan through the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA), including spearheading efforts to organize the Afghan presidential elections held in October 2004 and National Assembly elections held in 2005.

Relations with the United States

Former U.S. Embassy in Kabul, painted over with the Shahada after Joe Biden's botched Afghan exit.

The first extensive American contact with Afghanistan was made by Josiah Harlan, an adventurer from Pennsylvania who was an adviser in Afghan politics in the 1830s and reputedly inspired Rudyard Kipling's story "The Man Who Would be King." After the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1934, the U.S. policy of helping developing nations raise their standard of living was an important factor in maintaining and improving U.S.-Afghan ties. From 1950 to 1979, U.S. foreign assistance provided Afghanistan with more than $500 million in loans, grants, and surplus agricultural commodities to develop transportation facilities, increase agricultural production, expand the educational system, stimulate industry, and improve government administration.

In the 1950s, the U.S. declined Afghanistan's request for defense cooperation but extended an economic assistance program focused on the development of Afghanistan's physical infrastructure—roads, dams, and power plants. Later, U.S. aid shifted from infrastructure projects to technical assistance programs to help develop the skills needed to build a modern economy. The Peace Corps was active in Afghanistan between 1962 and 1979.

After the April 1978 coup, relations deteriorated. In February 1979, U.S. Ambassador Adolph "Spike" Dubs was murdered in Kabul after Afghan security forces burst in on his kidnappers. The U.S. then reduced bilateral assistance and terminated a small military training program. All remaining assistance agreements were ended after the December 1979 Soviet invasion.

Following the Soviet invasion, the United States supported diplomatic efforts to achieve a Soviet withdrawal. U.S. contributions to the refugee program in Pakistan played a major part in efforts to assist Afghans in need. This cross-border humanitarian assistance program aimed to increase Afghan self-sufficiency and help Afghans resist Soviet attempts to drive civilians out of the rebel-dominated countryside. During the period of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S. provided about $3 billion in military and economic assistance to Afghans and the resistance movement.

The U.S. supported the emergence of a broad-based government, representative of all Afghans and encouraged a UN role in the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

According to Trump-era Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller as reported by Defense One,[111] President Trump never intended to fully withdraw from Afghanistan, but rather leave behind a counterterrorism force of 800-850 at Bagram Airforce base.

"We did plenty of wargames on this and we knew what the minimal force structure was,” he said this week. “The number was 800. If this all goes bad, what is the minimal force structure needed to maintain [counterterrorism] strike and reconnaissance capability? We can do it for 800, 850.”

Defense One was able to confirm Miller’s account of the 800-personnel study independently with another former NSC staff member.

Miller said he understood Trump’s May 1 [2021] withdrawal deal to be a negotiating tactic.

Geography

The country is known for its mountainous terrain. The huge Hindu Kush mountains form a barrier between the Northern provinces and the rest of the country. This mountain range has also divided Afghanistan int three very different geographic regions known as; The Central Highlands, The Northern Plains, and the Southwestern Plateau. The altitude, climate, and soil conditions in Afghanistan varies greatly on where in the country you are.[112]

People

Afghan girls.jpg

Afghanistan's ethnically and linguistically mixed population reflects its location astride historic trade and invasion routes leading from Central Asia into South and Southwest Asia. While population data is somewhat unreliable for Afghanistan, Pashtuns make up the largest ethnic group at 38-44% of the population, followed by Tajiks (25%), Hazaras (10%), Uzbek (6-8%), Aimaq, Turkmen, Baluch, and other small groups. Dari (Afghan Farsi) and Pashto are official languages. Dari is spoken by more than one-third of the population as a first language and serves as a lingua franca for most Afghans, though Pashto is spoken throughout the Pashtun areas of eastern and southern Afghanistan. Tajik and Turkic languages are spoken widely in the north. Smaller groups throughout the country also speak more than 70 other languages and numerous dialects.

Afghanistan is an Islamic country. An estimated 80% of the population is Sunni, following the Hanafi school of jurisprudence; the remainder of the population—and primarily the Hazara ethnic group—predominantly Shi'a. Despite attempts during the years of communist rule to secularize Afghan society, Islamic practices pervade all aspects of life. In fact, Islam served as a principal basis for expressing opposition to communism and the Soviet invasion. Islamic religious tradition and codes, together with traditional tribal and ethnic practices, have an important role in personal conduct and dispute settlement. Afghan society is largely based on kinship groups, which follow traditional customs and religious practices, though somewhat less so in urban areas.

Economy

Afghan RCD.gif

In the 1930s, Afghanistan embarked on a modest economic development program. The government founded banks; introduced paper money; established a university; expanded primary, secondary, and technical schools; and sent students abroad for education.

Historically, there has been a dearth of information and reliable statistics about Afghanistan's economy. The 1979 Soviet invasion and ensuing civil war destroyed much of the country's limited infrastructure and disrupted normal patterns of economic activity. Gross domestic product had fallen substantially because of loss of labor and capital and disruption of trade and transport. Continuing internal strife hampered both domestic efforts at reconstruction as well as international aid efforts. However, Afghanistan's economy has grown at a fast pace since the 2001 fall of the Taliban, albeit from a low base. In 2004, Afghanistan's GDP grew 17%, and in 2005 Afghanistan's GDP grew approximately 10%.

In June 2006, Afghanistan and the International Monetary Fund agreed on a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program for 2006-2009 that focuses on maintaining macroeconomic stability, boosting growth, and reducing poverty. Afghanistan is also rebuilding its banking infrastructure, through the Da Afghanistan National Bank. Several government-owned banks are also in the process of being privatized.

Agriculture

Opium cultivation in Afghanistan.

The main source of income in the country is agriculture, and during its good years, Afghanistan produces enough food and food products to provide for the people, as well as to create a surplus for export. The major food crops produced are: corn, rice, barley, wheat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. In Afghanistan, industry is also based on agriculture, and pastoral raw materials. The major industrial crops are: cotton, tobacco, madder, castor beans, and sugar beets. The Afghan economy continues to be overwhelmingly agricultural, despite the fact that only 12% of its total land area is arable and less than 6% currently is cultivated. Agricultural production is constrained by an almost total dependence on erratic winter snows and spring rains for water; irrigation is primitive. Relatively little use is made of machines, chemical fertilizer, or pesticides.

Overall agricultural production dramatically declined following severe drought as well as sustained fighting, instability in rural areas, and deteriorated infrastructure. The easing of the drought and the end of civil war produced the largest wheat harvest in 25 years during 2003. Wheat production was an estimated 58% higher than in 2002. However, the country still needed to import an estimated one million tons of wheat to meet its requirements for the 2003 year. Millions of Afghans, particularly in rural areas, remained dependent on food aid.

Opium has become a source of cash for many Afghans, especially following the breakdown in central authority after the Soviet withdrawal, and opium-derived revenues probably constituted a major source of income for the two main factions during the civil war in the 1990s. Opium is easy to cultivate and transport and offers a quick source of income for impoverished Afghans. Afghanistan produced a record opium poppy crop in 2006, supplying 91% of the world's opium. Much of Afghanistan's opium production is refined into heroin and is either consumed by a growing regional addict population or exported, primarily to Western Europe.[113]

Afghanistan has begun counter-narcotics programs, including the promotion of alternative livelihoods, public information campaigns, targeted eradication policies, interdiction of drug shipments, as well as law enforcement and justice reform programs. These programs were first implemented in late 2005. In June 2006, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that the Afghan Government eradicated over 15,000 hectares of opium poppy.

Trade and Industry

Afghanistan is endowed with natural resources, including extensive deposits of natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, and precious and semiprecious stones. Unfortunately, ongoing instability in certain areas of the country, remote and rugged terrain, and inadequate infrastructure and transportation network have made mining these resources difficult, and there have been few serious attempts to further explore or exploit them. Coal deposits have been widely exploited.

The most important resource has been natural gas, first tapped in 1967. At their peak during the 1980s, natural gas sales accounted for $300 million a year in export revenues (56% of the total). Ninety percent of these exports went to the Soviet Union to pay for imports and debts. However, during the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, Afghanistan's natural gas fields were capped to prevent sabotage by the mujahidin. Restoration of gas production has been hampered by internal strife and the disruption of traditional trading relationships following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Trade in smuggled goods into Pakistan once constituted a major source of revenue for Afghan regimes, including the Taliban, and still figures as an important element in the Afghan economy, although efforts are underway to formalize this trade.

Transportation

In the 1960s, the United States helped build a highway connecting Afghanistan's two largest cities. It began in Kabul and wound its way through five of the country's core provinces—skirting scores of isolated and otherwise inaccessible villages; passing through the ancient market city of Ghazni; descending through Qalat; and eventually reaching Kandahar, founded by Alexander the Great. More than 35% of the country's population lives within 50 kilometers of this highway, called, appropriately, modern Afghanistan's lifeline. In 1978, the Soviet Union invaded. By the time its forces withdrew more than a decade later, more than 1 million Afghans had been killed and 5 million had fled. Civil war followed. The Taliban emerged, controlling all but the remote, northern regions. Afghanistan was terrorized by this group, which was dogmatically opposed to progress and democracy. More than two decades of war had left the Kabul-Kandahar highway devastated, like much of the country's infrastructure. Little could move along the lifeline that had provided so many Afghans with their means of livelihood and their access to healthcare, education, markets, and places of worship.

Reviving the Road: Restoration of the highway has been an overriding priority of President Hamid Karzai. It is crucial to extending the influence of the new government. Without the highway link, Afghanistan's civil society and economy would remain moribund and prey to divisive forces. The economic development that the highway makes possible will help guarantee the unity and long-term security of the Afghan people. The restored highway is a visually impressive achievement whose symbolic importance should not be underestimated. It marks a palpable transition from the recent past and represents an important building block for the future. Recently, an official in Herat likened the ring road to veins and arteries that nourish and bring life to the "heart" of Kabul and the body of the country. The highway will not end in Kandahar: there are plans to complete the circuit, extending it to Herat and then arcing it back through Mazar-e Sharif to Kabul. The route is sometimes referred to as the Ring Road. As of December 2006, three-quarters of the Ring Road had been funded, with plans to be completed in 2007.

Landlocked Afghanistan has no functioning railways, but the Amu Darya (Oxus) River, which forms part of Afghanistan's border with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, has barge traffic. During their occupation of the country, the Soviets completed a bridge across the Amu Darya. The United States, in partnership with Norway, has agreed to reconstruct this bridge, which will stretch more than 650 meters over the Amu Darya/Pyandzh River between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, near Pyanji Poyon (Tajikistan) and Shir Khan Bandar (Afghanistan). The bridge is set for completion in 2007.

Afghanistan's national airline, Ariana, operates domestic and international routes, including flights to New Delhi, Islamabad, Dubai, Moscow, Istanbul, Tehran, and Frankfurt. A private carrier, Kam Air, commenced domestic operations in November 2003. Many sections of Afghanistan's highway and regional road system are undergoing significant reconstruction. The U.S. (with assistance from Japan) completed building a highway linking Kabul to the southern regional capital, Kandahar. Construction is soon to begin on the next phase of highway reconstruction between Kandahar and the western city of Herat. The Asian Development Bank is also active in road development projects, mainly in the border areas with Pakistan.

Humanitarian Relief

Many nations have assisted in a great variety of humanitarian and development projects all across Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. The United Nations, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other international agencies have also given aid. Schools, clinics, water systems, agriculture, sanitation, government buildings and roads are being repaired or built.

De-mining

Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world; mine-related injuries number up to 100 per month, and an estimated 200,000 Afghans have been disabled by landmine/unexploded ordinances (UXO) accidents. As of March 2005 the United Nations Mine Action Program for Afghanistan had approximately 8,000 Afghan personnel, 700 demobilized soldiers, 22 international staff, and several NGOs deployed in Afghanistan. The goal of the program is to remove the impact of mines from all high-impact areas by 2007 and to make Afghanistan mine-free by 2012. Between January 2003 and March 2005 a total of 2,354,244 mines and pieces of UXOs were destroyed. Training programs are also being used to educate the public about the threat and dangers of land mines. The number of mine victims was reduced from approximately 150 a month in 2002 to less than 100 a month in 2004.

Refugees and Internally Displaced People

Afghanistan has had the largest refugee repatriation in the world in the last 30 years. The return of refugees is guided by the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MORR) and supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization of Migration (IOM), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and a number of other national and international NGOs. As of December 2006, approximately 3 million Afghans remained in neighboring countries. The U.S. provided more than $350 million to support Afghan refugees, returnees, and other conflict victims between September 2001 and March 2006. Since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the country's non-opium economy has grown significantly and has allowed approximately 3 million people to return home.[114]

Health

In response to a strategy outlined by the Ministry of Health, the international community is supporting the government in rebuilding the primary health-care system. Tuberculosis remains a serious public health problem in Afghanistan. Since this strategy was outlined, the Afghan Government with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) has established 162 health facilities in 141 districts across the country. The treatment success rate in 2002 was 86%. WHO is also assisting the Ministry of Health and local health authorities to combat malaria where the disease is widespread. Through this project, 600,000 individuals are receiving full treatment for malaria every year. In addition 750,000 individuals are protected from malaria by sleeping under special nets provided under the project.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), Afghanistan has the seventh-highest number of measles cases in the world.[115]

Education

There were 45,000 children enrolled in school in 1993, 19% were girls. The latest official statistics show there are now 64,000 children in school, one third are girls. In addition 29% of the teachers in the province are women, compared with 15% in 1993. Effort is being made to ensure that teachers receive salaries on time and increasing the attendance of girls in school. The total enrollment rate for Afghan children between 7 and 13 years of age has increased to 54% (67% for boys and 37% for girls). A number of factors such as distance to schools, poor facilities and lack of separate schooling for boys and girls continue to be challenges to higher enrollment.


See also

External links

Further reading

  • Jones, Seth. In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan (2009) excerpt and text search
  • The book Horse Soldiers describes the previously secret 5-week campaign, materially aided by the CIA and Special Forces. [6]

References

  1. http://web.archive.org/web/20061013231925/https://www.president.gov.af/ (Archived 2006)/
  2. https://www.foxnews.com/world/taliban-take-over-afghanistan-whats-next
  3. Taliban takes control of presidential palace, poses for pictures inside Mark Moore and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, NYPost, August 15, 2021
  4. 4.0 4.1 Taliban shooting kids in front of their parents Mid-Day, Aug 8, 2021. According to local media reports, the Taliban have murdered more than 40 civilians in Malistan in the past one week. Most of these civilians were Hazaras.
  5. Biden let Afghanistan manage on its own against the Taliban. It ended in great humiliation than Vietnam The US president wanted to end the long war in American history on the symbolic date of September 11. Instead, al-Qaeda allies will celebrate the occupation of the country, which fell faster than Saigon in 1975. Guy Elster, Walla, 16 August 2021.
  6. Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) Tweeted: Thinking about the last time I left the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. It was dangerous then. I can only imagine what is happening now. Biden totally screwed this up. https://t.co/R4PSQnEvhM Aug 15, 2021
  7. D Greenfield, "A tenth of Biden’s Afghanistan aid will go to the Taliban", JNS, September 23, 2021.
    Why are American taxpayers funding the Taliban? Deborah Lyons, the head of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan, met with Sirajuddin Haqqani, a wanted terrorist with the Haqqani Network, a Taliban component with close ties to Al-Qaeda. Lyons had served as Canada’s ambassador in Kabul when the Taliban carried out a suicide bombing against a Canadian embassy convoy. Lyons put up a monument to the security contractors who were wounded and killed, but they sued after being abandoned afterwards.
  8. https://youtu.be/kYvO3qAlyTg
  9. https://www.defenseone.com/policy/2021/08/future-us-taliban-relations/184976/
  10. https://thepoliticalinsider.com/afghan-tv-host-tells-public-not-to-be-afraid-and-cooperate-while-surrounded-by-taliban-with-guns/
  11. "Build Back Better"
  12. Sen. Biden: "I think the American public and the Islamic world is fully prepared for us to take as long as we need to take. If it is action that is a mano-a-mano. If it's us on the ground going against other forces on the ground. The part that I think flies in the face of, and plays into every stereotypical criticism of us, is where this high tech bully that thinks from the air we can do whatever you want to do. And it builds the case, for those who want to make the case against us, that all we're doing is indiscriminately bombing innocents. Which is not the truth. Some innocents are indiscriminately bombed. But that is not the truth. I think the American public is prepared for a long siege. I think the American public has prepared for American losses. I think the American public is prepared, and the president must continue to remind them to be prepared, for American body bags coming home. There is no way that you can, in fact, go after and root out al Qaeda and or Bin Ladin without folks on the ground, in caves, risking and losing their lives. And I believe that the tolerance for that in the Islamic world is significant, exponentially higher, than it is for us bombing." @59:43
  13. U.S. Department of State, Vince Crawley, October 25, 2006, "NATO's Jones Urges Focus on Afghan Reconstruction, Rule of Law" "On July 31, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) took control of Afghanistan’s volatile southern provinces, part of a larger plan for NATO to provide security for the entire country. The handover was accompanied by an upsurge of violence against international forces."
  14. New York Times, CARLOTTA GALL, August 1, 2006, "U.S. Hands Southern Afghan Command to NATO"
  15. Bob Woodward, "McChrystal: More Forces or 'Mission Failure Washington Post, Sept 21, 2009
  16. Sen. Biden: "U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan has issued an appeal for $584 million to meet the needs of the Afghan refugees and displaced people, within Afghanistan and in neighboring countries. This is the amount deemed necessary to stave off disaster for the winter, which will start in Afghanistan in just a few weeks. We must back up our rhetoric with action, with something big and bold and meaningful. We can offer to foot the entire bill for keeping the Afghan people safely fed, clothed, and sheltered this winter, and that should be the beginning....We can kick the effort off in a way that would silence our critics in the rest of the world: a check for $1 billion, and a promise for more to come as long as the rest of the world joins us. This initial amount would be more than enough to meet all the refugees’ short-term needs, and would be a credible downpayment for the long-term effort. Eventually the world community will have to pony up more billions, but there is no avoiding that now, not if we expect our words ever to carry any weight.
    If anyone thinks this amount of money is too high, let me note one stark, simple and very sad statistic. The damage inflicted by the September 11 attack in economic terms alone was a minimum of several hundred billion dollars and a maximum of over $1 trillion. The cost in human life, of course, as the Presiding Officer knows, is far beyond any calculation. Pg. 18464
  17. https://www.army.mil/article/50258/biden_meets_karzai_visits_troops_in_afghanistan
  18. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-corruption-government/
  19. Sen. Biden: "U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan has issued an appeal for $584 million to meet the needs of the Afghan refugees and displaced people, within Afghanistan and in neighboring countries. This is the amount deemed necessary to stave off disaster for the winter, which will start in Afghanistan in just a few weeks. We must back up our rhetoric with action, with something big and bold and meaningful. We can offer to foot the entire bill for keeping the Afghan people safely fed, clothed, and sheltered this winter, and that should be the beginning....We can kick the effort off in a way that would silence our critics in the rest of the world: a check for $1 billion, and a promise for more to come as long as the rest of the world joins us. This initial amount would be more than enough to meet all the refugees’ short-term needs, and would be a credible downpayment for the long-term effort. Eventually the world community will have to pony up more billions, but there is no avoiding that now, not if we expect our words ever to carry any weight.
    If anyone thinks this amount of money is too high, let me note one stark, simple and very sad statistic. The damage inflicted by the September 11 attack in economic terms alone was a minimum of several hundred billion dollars and a maximum of over $1 trillion. The cost in human life, of course, as the Presiding Officer knows, is far beyond any calculation." CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—SENATE—Wednesday, October 3, 2001, Pg. 18464.
  20. The Original Sin of the War in Afghanistan, By Jonah Blank, The Atlantic, APRIL 20, 2021.
  21. Sen. Biden: "I think the American public and the Islamic world is fully prepared for us to take as long as we need to take. If it is action that is a mano-a-mano. If it's us on the ground going against other forces on the ground. The part that I think flies in the face of, and plays into every stereotypical criticism of us, is where this high tech bully that thinks from the air we can do whatever you want to do. And it builds the case, for those who want to make the case against us, that all we're doing is indiscriminately bombing innocents. Which is not the truth. Some innocents are indiscriminately bombed. But that is not the truth. I think the American public is prepared for a long siege. I think the American public has prepared for American losses. I think the American public is prepared, and the president must continue to remind them to be prepared, for American body bags coming home. There is no way that you can, in fact, go after and root out al Qaeda and or Bin Ladin without folks on the ground, in caves, risking and losing their lives. And I believe that the tolerance for that in the Islamic world is significant, exponentially higher, than it is for us bombing. That's the generic point I wish to make. I am not qualified enough to tell you. Although I can tell you what the military guys have said to me. This is not 1948. This is 2001. I'm not at all sure they're correct." @59:43
  22. http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0201/13/se.01.html
  23. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-corruption-government/
  24. Matthew Rosenberg. "With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan", 28 April 2013. 
  25. https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2010/09/24/obama-knows-the-war-is-dumb-but-prefers-power-over-peace/
  26. Thom Shanker, "Military Chief Suggests Need to Enlarge U.S. Afghan Force," New York Times Sept. 16, 2009
  27. https://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/05/24/114662/what-price-war.html#ixzz1Nz07pg5O
  28. https://nypost.com/2014/06/02/six-soldiers-died-searching-for-deserter-pow-fueling-backlash/
  29. https://nypost.com/2021/08/16/taliban-leader-was-freed-from-guantanamo-in-2014-swap-by-obama/
  30. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/09/07/four-gitmo-detainees-released-in-berghdahl-swap-are-now-taliban-ministers-for-afghan-government-interim-government-will-be-officially-introduced-on-sept-11th/
  31. https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2021-09-11-from-the-cells-of-guantanamo-to-the-ruling----the-story-of-5-officials-in-the-taliban-government.H1rAUgatGY.html
  32. https://therightscoop.com/bidens-gift-to-terror-stunning-infographic-shows-the-massive-new-arsenal-the-taliban-now-possesses/
  33. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57682290
  34. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-09/us-military-leave-bagram-air-base-afghanistan-equipment-handover/100277452
  35. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9900069/This-not-surprise-Afghan-experts-condemn-Biden-shock-Taliban-advance.html
  36. No, Biden Can’t Blame Trump For The Afghanistan Withdrawal Disaster Margot Cleveland, The Federalist, Aug 16, 2021.
  37. Biden Lost the Afghan War, Bob Lonsberry, Aug 16, 2021
  38. Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) Tweeted: Thinking about the last time I left the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. It was dangerous then. I can only imagine what is happening now. Biden totally screwed this up. https://t.co/R4PSQnEvhM Aug 15, 2021
  39. Billions Spent on Afghan Army Ultimately Benefited Taliban Associated Press, US News, Aug 17, 2021. Built and trained at a two-decade cost of $83 billion, Afghan security forces collapsed so quickly and completely — in some cases without a shot fired — that the ultimate beneficiary of the American investment turns out to be the Taliban.
  40. "Planes, guns, night-vision goggles: The Taliban's new U.S.-made war chest" Idrees Ali, Patricia Zengerle and Jonathan Landay. Reuters, Aug 18, 2021
  41. roi kais (@kaisos1987) Tweeted: The Qatari Al-Jazeera channel receives from Taliban exclusive access to the presidential palace in Kabul. No need to be surprised https://t.co/h53JupS8OP Aug 15, 2021
  42. "As White House scrambles on Afghanistan, Biden faces some of most dire days of his presidency." Kevin Liptak, Jeff Zeleny, Kaitlan Collins and Jeremy Diamond, CNN, August 19, 2021. (CNN)Two photographs of President Joe Biden this week neatly illustrated the White House's fight to contain the fallout of the biggest crisis of his presidency.
  43. Global media slam US, Biden as a ‘joke’ amid Kabul chaos Emily Crane, August 17, 2021. The global media are slamming President Biden as a “joke” and an “embarrassment” after the US evacuation of Afghanistan deteriorated into deadly chaos as terrified Afghans clung to military planes in an attempt to flee the Taliban takeover.
  44. Afghanistan: Advancing Taliban Execute Detainees, HRW, Aug 3, 2021
  45. Taliban Takeover Reminds Afghans Of The Brutality Of Their Previous Regime, PBS, Aug 16, 2021
  46. This debacle has exposed Joe Biden as a failed president, Ben Domenech, NYPost, August 19, 2021.
  47. Biden Rattles U.K. With His Afghanistan Policy, Mark Landler, NYT, Aug 18, 2021.
    Britain was the second-largest supplier of troops to Afghanistan, and the United States’ rapid withdrawal from the country has left some embittered. LONDON — In Britain, the chaotic departure from Afghanistan has drawn comparisons not to helicopters flying out of Saigon but to an earlier debacle: the 1956 Suez crisis, in which a humiliated Britain was forced to pull out of Egypt, having failed to dislodge its nationalist leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser. The problem is, Britain had very little to say about the timing or tactics of the most recent withdrawal, even though it suffered the second-most casualties in the Afghanistan war after the United States. That has left British officials embarrassed and embittered at President Biden. Some say he behaved more like his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, than an ally who promised a new era of American partnership.
  48. Ilan Zalayat @ilanzalayat Tweeted:
    While everyone is talking about the effects of the turbulent upheaval in Afghanistan on neighbors like China or Iran, it is becoming clear that one of the big gainers is actually the tiny Qatar capable of disproportionate intervention in their affairs not hers.

    Aug 19, 2021

  49. Palestinians Dancing in the Street, David Mikkelson, Snopes.com, Sep 11, 2020. Did CNN fake footage of 'Palestinians dancing in the street' after the terrorist attack on the USA? Status: false
    CNN did not air decade-old footage of Palestinians dancing in the streets. Eason Jordan, CNN’s Chief News Executive, confirmed that the video used on CNN was in fact shot on Tuesday, 11 September 2001, in East Jerusalem by a Reuters TV crew, not during the Persian Gulf conflict of 1990-91 — a fact proved by its inclusion of comments from a Palestinian praising Osama Bin Laden...
  50. Yes — Palestinians Did Celebrate After 9/11, Algemeiner, Feb 6, 2020
  51. "Hamas congratulates Taliban for ‘victory’ over America in Afghanistan." JNS, Aug 16, 2021. Officials of the terror group in Gaza said it proves that “the resistance of the peoples—foremost of which is our struggling Palestinian people—is destined for victory.
  52. What does Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban mean for the Middle East?' Ynet, Aug 16, 2021.
    Hamas already congratulated the Taliban on its victory. In recent days, members of the Hamas Politburo have met with those of the Taliban in Qatar. The Taliban congratulated Hamas on its “achievements” during the 11-days of fighting with Israel in May.
  53. Paliban Paleban, DP, Aug 17, 2021.

    1. Mutually congratulatory:

    'What does Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban mean for the Middle East?' Ynet, Aug 16, 2021. [1] Hamas already congratulated the Taliban on its victory. In recent days, members of the Hamas Politburo have met with those of the Taliban in Qatar. The Taliban congratulated Hamas on its “achievements” during the 11-days of fighting with Israel in May.

    2. Both wrap their jihadi bigoted butchery in "anti occupation" cloth:

    'Hamas says Taliban takeover proves Palestinians 'will achieve victory, i24NEWS, August 16, 2021. [2] "We congratulate the Muslim Afghan people for the defeat of the American occupation on all Afghan lands"

    Hamas on Monday congratulated the Taliban on the Islamist movement's takeover of Afghanistan, saying in a statement that "the demise of the American occupation and its allies proves that the resistance of the peoples, foremost of which is our struggling Palestinian people, will achieve victory."

    3. Both love using human shields.

    Orde Kittrie: "Help NATO by Holding Hamas Accountable for Terrorist War Crimes." May 19, 2021. [3]

    'Taliban using human shields, says Afghan army general.' The Guardian, Feb 17, 2010.[4]

    'Civilians say Taliban use of human shields shows weakness, cruelty.' Dec. 12, 2018. [5]
  54. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYoH378Ju_Y
  55. https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/pakistan-news/pakistan-army-and-taliban-show-true-colours-hold-meet-and-greet-and-selfie-session-at-border.html
  56. Al-Jazeera Reporters Celebrate 'Taliban Victory', 'U.S. Defeat' As Historic Triumph For Islamic Ummah, Memri, August 18, 2021.

    Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 9503.

    The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's takeover of the country sparked many reactions worldwide, including in the Arab world. Conspicuous among these reactions were expressions of joy by Islamist organizations such as Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the International Union of Muslim Scholars and various elements identified with the Muslim Brotherhood.
  57. https://freebeacon.com/national-security/bidens-afghanistan-predictions-were-all-wrong/
  58. https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2021/08/us-spent-83-billion-training-afghan-forces-why-did-they-collapse-so-quickly/184529/
  59. https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2021/08/taliban-captured-helicopters-can-they-capture-air-force/184525/
  60. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9755531/China-prepares-Afghanistan-following-Americas-departure-Belt-Road-program.html
  61. https://www.wsj.com/articles/afghans-tell-of-executions-forced-marriages-in-taliban-held-areas-11628780820
  62. https://rumble.com/vl8ixd-stunning-video-people-dead-on-kandahar-streets-after-violent-taliban-takeov.html
  63. https://www.the-sun.com/news/3479109/taliban-jalalabad-afghanistan-kabul-uk-troops-2-2/
  64. https://twitter.com/AsvakaNews/status/1427172720446373892
  65. https://therightscoop.com/sheer-terror-in-kabul-taliban-now-going-door-to-door-looking-for-afghans-who-fought-alongside-us-military/
  66. https://americanmilitarynews.com/2021/07/graphic-video-shows-taliban-reportedly-executed-surrendering-afghan-special-forces-troops/
  67. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9758175/US-left-Afghan-airfield-night-didnt-tell-new-commander.html
  68. https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2021/08/inside-final-hours-kabul-airport/184975/
  69. https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/services/files/84E1CBFE-B7F5-4E89-87E4-0823EDEA28E4
  70. https://twitter.com/newsmax/status/1431018570822062081
  71. https://www.dailywire.com/news/retired-marine-says-hundreds-of-their-rescued-orphans-christians-turned-away-by-u-s-military-ended-up-in-hands-of-the-taliban
  72. https://dailycaller.com/2021/08/30/ron-johnson-american-citizens-blocked-kabul-airport-state-department/
  73. https://justthenews.com/sites/default/files/2021-08/YonEmailToMajorRedacted.pdf
  74. Report: Hamas leader meets with Taliban, lauds radicals for seizing Afghanistan Daniel Siryoti and Shahar Klaiman, Israelhayom, Aug 17, 2021. Taliban reportedly praises the terror group "for their steadfast opposition to the Zionist enemy." Hamas threatens to resume border protests unless Israel allows Qatari cash to be transferred to the Gaza Strip.
  75. "The Taliban have declared the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,' the same name it used when it brutally ruled the country in the 1990s " Sinéad Baker, Business Insider, Aug 19, 2021.
  76. Former Afghan minister claims Taliban killing children in reign of terror Yaron Steinbach, NYPost, Aug 25, 2021 — Former Afghan Interior Minister Massoud Andarabi says that the Taliban are killing civilians as they tighten their hold on Afghanistan.
  77. [Atrocities Committed By The Afghan Taliban Since The Fall Of Kabul] Memri, September 2, 2021.
  78. Realizing That Pakistan Is Behind Rise Of Taliban In Afghanistan, Protesters In Kabul Chant 'Pakistan, Pakistan, Leave Afghanistan,' As Afghan Taliban Appoint FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani As Interior Minister, Tufail Ahmad, Memri, September 8, 2021
  79. Taliban co-founder ‘Baradar the Butcher’ to reportedly lead new Afghan government Emily Crane, NYPost, September 3, 2021. Feared Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar — who was once nicknamed “Baradar the Butcher” — will lead the new Afghan government, sources within the militant group told Reuters... Baradar, whose brutal history attracted the moniker “Baradar the Butcher”, arrived in Kabul two weeks ago to start talks about the new government. Baradar started the Taliban in 1994 with late leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. He then became known for some of the Islamic militants’ most deadly tactics, including planting improvised explosive devices along streets their enemies would be on, calling the IEDs “flowers,” according to a 2010 profile in the Times of London.
  80. Terrorism will increase under Afghanistan's newly appointed Taliban government, experts warn Natasha Turak, CNBC, Sep 8 2021
  81. Brooke Singman, "Psaki claims military advisers were 'split' on troops in Afghanistan, despite Milley testimony", Fox News, Sep 28, 2021.
    White House press secretary adds that the commander in chief 'makes those decisions'
  82. The storms of August: Biden’s devastating month stokes midterm fears among Democrats, Sean Sullivan, Tyler Pager and Annie Linskey, Washington Post, Aug 28, 202
  83. The Afghanistan mess is truly Biden’s disaster and other commentary Post Editorial Board, NYPost, August 29, 2021.

    White House watch: It’s Biden’s Disaster.

    “The American people broadly agreed with” President Biden’s “decision to end the war in Afghanistan,” and it was his predecessor “who did the deal with the Taliban for a full American withdrawal,” but “none of that absolves Biden of responsibility for a pullout that has been, by any reasonable measure, a debacle,” The Hill’s Niall Stanage explains. Any “idea that the final US operations were going to be seen as some kind of against-the-odds moral victory . . . vanished in the dust of” Thursday’s attacks. The prez might recover politically, but “the chaos of Kabul has left a taint of weakness and incompetence on the Biden White House that will not be erased soon, if at all.” ....

    By “allowing Iranian-sponsored Taliban groups not only to become a part of the new government of Afghanistan but help Tehran solve the problem that threatens it the most, the US has made Iran an immediate winner of the Taliban takeover,” fumes David Patrikarakos at Spectator World. Despite tension with the Taliban, Iran has “long sponsored various Taliban groups, particularly in the country’s southwest,” where the Helmand River supplies water to both nations. Experts think “it’s no coincidence that Zurang fell first during the Taliban advance,” with one saying, “Iran-sponsored Talibs took the city to take control of the water for Tehran.” Iran’s “chronic water problems” now “threaten the stability of the state. Years of water mismanagement” have caused shortages that provoked riots — and “scared” the regime. “You can terrorize people demanding civil rights off the streets, but if they are dying of thirst then a bullet won’t hold much fear.”
  84. The Mistakes Behind the Biden Administration’s Afghanistan Withdrawal Miichael R. Gordon, Gordon Lubold, Vivian Salama and Nessica Donati, WSJ, Sept. 5, 2021. U.S. strategy put Defense and State departments on divergent paths: The troops pulled out but the diplomats stayed—and were left exposed when the Taliban took over.
  85. White House official 'appalled and literally horrified' that Biden stranded Americans in Afghanistan: report Houston Keene, Fox News, Sep 1, 2021. Biden vigorously defended his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, despite leaving Americans behind.
  86. Kamala Harris’ cackling is Joe Biden’s job security Post Editorial Board, NYPost, August 28, 2021.

    Vice President Kamala Harris’s team canceled press access to her remarks to US troops at Pearl Harbor on Thursday — surely because it feared yet another disaster for the veep at the site of a terrible attack on America, the same day as the horrors in Kabul.

    Harris is just too prone to verbal fumbles that pour more fuel on the Biden administration’s fires.

    Just the week before, Harris broke into a bizarre cackle when reporters asked about the early stages of the Afghan crisis. And that's hardly her only nails-on-chalkboard moment.
  87. Biden pressured Ghani to create ‘perception’ Taliban weren’t winning Emily Crane, NYPost, September 1, 2021.

    President Biden pressured Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to create the “perception” that the Taliban weren’t winning, “whether it’s true or not,” in a phone call just three weeks before the insurgents seized control of the country, a bombshell leaked transcript shows.

    Biden and Ghani spoke for roughly 14 minutes on July 23 in what would be their final call before the Taliban overran the government and Afghanistan descended into bloody chaos amid the botched US withdrawal, according to a transcript and audio obtained by Reuters.

    Much of the call was focused on what Biden referred to as the Afghan government’s “perception” issue.

    “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said.
  88. Biden pushed Afghanistan president to 'project a different picture' weeks before Taliban takeover Joey Garrison, AP,  USA Today, Sep 1, 2021. Less than four weeks before the fall of Afghanistan, President Joe Biden urged Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani to demonstrate a more capable military defense to change the "perception" as the Taliban made significant gains.
  89. President Biden Called ‘Feckless, Dementia-Ridden Piece Of Crap’ By Mom Of Slain Marine B911, August 29, 2021.

    United States Marine Rylee McCollum, 20, was killed in Thursday’s terror attack at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. The fallen Marine’s mother, Kathy, said on a radio show that Americans who voted for Joe Biden “just killed my son.”

    “That feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap just sent my son to die,” the distraught mother said. “I woke up at four o’clock this morning, two Marines at my door telling me my son was dead. So, to… right before me and listen to that piece of crap talk about diplomatic crap with frickin Taliban terrorists who just freakin blew up my son and no, nothing, to not say anything about oh my god, I’m so sorry for families. So, my son is gone.”

    “I never thought in a million years [my son] would die for nothing, for nothing, because that feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap who decided he wanted a photo-op on September 11,” she said. “That’s what kills me. I wanted my son to represent our country, to fight for my country. But I never thought that a feckless piece of crap would send him to his death and smirk on television while he’s talking about people dying with his nasty smirk. The dementia-ridden piece of crap needs to be removed from office. It never would have happened under Trump.”

    “You just killed my son with a dementia-ridden piece of crap who doesn’t even know he’s in the White House. He still thinks he’s a senator.”
  90. Biden slammed for appearing to look at his watch during ceremony for dead MarinesTyler O'Neil, Fox News, Aug 29, 2021
  91. Rep. Michael Waltz: Joe Biden Gave All Of Our Bases Away In Afghanistan Aug 28, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X81LPw2H2E4. https://www.divisionet.com/2021/08/29/michael-waltz-warns-of-consequences-after-biden-gave-all-of-our-bases-away-in-afghanistan-newsweek/
  92. Taliban offered Kabul to U.S., but Americans said no: report Ronn Blitzer, Fox News, Aug 30, 2021.

    A Washington Post report describes a secret meeting between U.S. military leaders and the Taliban.

    House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Michael Waltz argues every time the Taliban doesn't get access to billions in foreign reserves, economic assistance or international recognition, 'these thugs' can walk down the street and 'take another hostage.'

    Taliban fighters took the Afghan capital city of Kabul faster than anyone anticipated earlier this month – including the Taliban – but according to a Washington Post report, the U.S. had an opportunity to hold the city only to willingly turn it over.

    When Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the city began to collapse as gangs were reported to be taking over. This led to U.S. military leaders meeting and reaching an agreement with the Taliban, a U.S. official told the Post.
  93. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9934115/STUART-RAMSAY-sends-vivid-angry-dispatch-Afghanistan.html
  94. https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Transcripts/Transcript/Article/2738086/secretary-of-defense-austin-and-chairman-of-the-joint-chiefs-of-staff-gen-mille/
  95. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/full-transcript-abc-news-george-stephanopoulos-interview-president/story?id=79535643
  96. https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/hardline-haqqani-network-put-charge-kabul-security
  97. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/22/all-afghans-should-feel-safe-under-taliban-says-security-chief
  98. https://www.euronews.com/2021/08/24/un-has-credible-reports-of-summary-executions-of-civilians-by-taliban
  99. Afghanistan, Again, Becomes a Cradle for Jihadism—and Al Qaeda, Robin Wright, New Yorker, Aug 23, 2021. The terrorist group has outlasted the trillion-dollar U.S. investment in Afghanistan since 9/11.

    The Taliban takeover is the biggest boost to Al Qaeda since September 11th and a global game changer for jihadism, one analyst said... In April, a U.S. intelligence assessment warned Congress that Al Qaeda’s senior leadership “will continue to plot attacks and seek to exploit conflicts in different regions.” The jihadist group, which carried out the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, was active in fifteen of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provinces, primarily in the eastern and southern regions, the United Nations reported in June. The Taliban and Al Qaeda remained “closely aligned and show no indication of breaking ties,” it noted, as like-minded militants celebrated developments in Afghanistan as a victory for “global radicalism.” In a haunting final report on the lessons learned from America’s longest war, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, warned that the U.S. decision to pull out the last U.S. troops “left uncertain whether even the modest gains of the last two decades will prove sustainable.” The decision to pull out was made by President Trump in February last year, with the timetable decided by President Biden in April this year.

    With the Taliban takeover, the trillion-dollar investment in a campaign to contain Al Qaeda may have changed little since 9/11. Bruce Hoffman, a senior fellow for counterterrorism and homeland security at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of “Inside Terrorism,” was blunter. “The situation is more dangerous in 2021 than it was in 1999 and 2000,” he told me. “We’re in a much weakened position now. We’ve learned so little.” The Taliban takeover is the biggest boost to Al Qaeda since 9/11 and a global game changer for jihadism generally, Rita Katz, the executive director of the Site Intelligence Group, a leading tracker of extremist activity worldwide, told me. There is a “universal recognition” that Al Qaeda can now “reinvest” in Afghanistan as a safe haven, Katz said. Jihadism effectively has a new homeland, the first since the collapse of the isis caliphate in March, 2019. “It foreshadows a new future that sadly couldn’t have been further from what we would hope for after twenty years of war,” she said. It’s a boon for Al Qaeda and its franchises, which now stretch from Burkina Faso in West Africa to Bangladesh in South Asia. “Militants from across the world—whether they be regionally focussed Islamists or globally focussed jihadists—will surely seek to enter Afghanistan’s porous borders,” ...Since the Taliban takeover, Al Qaeda has bragged that its calculus worked, unlike isis’s, according to Soufan and the Site Intelligence Group. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based largely in Yemen, heralded the “beginning of a pivotal transformation” worldwide. In North Africa, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb celebrated the rapid sweep of Taliban military victories as proof that violent jihadist struggle is “the only way to restore the Ummah’s glory.” (“Ummah” is the Arabic term for the global Muslim community.) The Taliban victory has also breathed new life into groups far afield, including some of Al Qaeda’s rivals. “The Taliban’s victory is a story that can be bent to energize and justify any jihad or Islamist uprising, no matter how many years of bloodshed it may bring,”...Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, based in Gaza, gloated that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan proved that Palestinians, too, will ultimately achieve their return to former Palestinian lands in Israel—“by the permission of Allah.” The common thread among the congratulatory messages is that God’s guidance—rather than American fatigue with a costly war or the crumbling of the Afghan government and military—was responsible...
  100. 100.0 100.1 Slaughter in Kabul Suicide bombings hit Kabul as America scrambles to leave, Economist, Aug 26, 2021.

    Islamic State has inflicted the worst loss on American forces in a decade.

    AS THE AUGUST 31st deadline to conclude the evacuation of Afghanistan loomed, the drumbeat of warnings grew louder. On August 24th President Joe Biden warned of an “acute and growing risk” of a terrorist attack, by the local branch of Islamic State (IS), against Kabul’s airport, thronged by thousands of Afghans desperate to escape the Taliban’s rule. On August 25th several governments told their nationals to keep away from the airport. On August 26th a British minister warned that intelligence pointed to “a very imminent, highly lethal attack”. Alas, it came later that afternoon.
  101. Afghanistan crisis: Who are Isis-K?, Frank Gardner, BBC, Aug 26, 2021
  102. Who ISIS-K is and why they don't fight with the Taliban, Charles Miranda, Herald Sun, Aug 27, 2021. ISIS-K, a splinter group of ISIS from Syria, was created in 2015 from disgruntled Afghan Taliban fighters and militants from Pakistan.
  103. ISIS-K, the group behind the Kabul airport attack, sees both Taliban and the U.S. as enemies, Hannah Allam and Souad Mekhennet, Washington Post, Aug 27, 2021. The group’s rivalry with the Taliban is a microcosm of the competition between al-Qaeda and its more radical spinoff, the Islamic State, analysts say. There are generational and doctrinal splits between the groups, with the Islamic State brand more popular with militants in recent years because it managed to capture territory and create a short-lived extremist fiefdom that spanned Iraq and Syria.
  104. Eurasia Will Pay for Afghanistan’s Descent into Islamofascism, Angel Jaramillo Torres, National Interest, August 23, 2021.  
  105. 105.0 105.1 At least 13 US service members killed in Kabul airport attack, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN, August 26, 2021
  106. How Bombing in Kabul Stokes Fear of Jihadi Revival Lisa Beyer and Sylvia Westall, Bloomberg, Aug 26, 2021.

    The explosions outside Kabul’s international airport underscored a familiar worry in Afghanistan: the country remains home to thousands of fighters dedicated to jihad, or Muslim holy war. The South Asian country’s rugged landscape and its 2,600-kilometer (1,600-mile) border with Pakistan makes it an ideal hiding place for militants from al-Qaeda, Islamic State and other groups. The fear is that the victory of the Taliban has only increased the dangers. Islamic State was the prime suspect in two blasts that killed 12 U.S. service members and at least 60 Afghans as the U.S. directed a military-led evacuation. [...]

    According to the UN report, there are approximately 8,000 to 10,000 foreign jihadists in Afghanistan. The majority are affiliated with the Taliban, many are allied with al-Qaeda or Islamic State, and the rest support insurgencies in their homelands in Central Asia, the north Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, Pakistan and the Xinjiang region of China.
  107. https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1427625314935615502
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  109. https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/8/23/taliban-appoints-central-bank-chief-as-prices-rise-cash-runs-out
  110. https://dailycaller.com/2021/09/09/peter-doocy-challenges-psaki-wh-calls-taliban-businesslike-professional/
  111. https://www.defenseone.com/policy/2021/08/trumps-pledge-exit-afghanistan-was-ruse-his-final-secdef-says/184660/
  112. http://web.archive.org/web/20100105194833/https://www.afghan-web.com/geography/lr.html
  113. UN warns of soaring Afghan opium, BBC, Sep 2, 2006
  114. http://web.archive.org/web/20061022212707/http://www.control-risks.com/default.aspx?page=605
  115. https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/measles/data/global-measles-outbreaks.html
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