• Friday, October 20, 2017

Do Pakistanis need to pay the price for America’s failure in Afghanistan?

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by Zarvan, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

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    Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi


    The United States of America began the war in Afghanistan in late 2001 after the mysterious terror attack, said to be carried out by Al-Qaeda, on the World Trade Center in New York and elsewhere in the United States. Following the attack, US President George W. Bush announced that “those who are not with us are against us.”

    Bush then declared war on Afghanistan to punish the Taliban government on the grounds that it had provided shelter to Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who was considered to be the mastermind of the terror strikes on America. As a consequence of the explicit threat made by Bush, a large number of countries, including Pakistan, joined the alliance, led by the US, against the Taliban.

    The continuous air strikes launched by the US on Kabul and other regions occupied by the Taliban strengthened their local foes, especially the so-called Northern Alliances. This led to the defeat of the Taliban and their retreat from the regions that were under their control including the capital city of Kabul. The Taliban militants then headed to the tribal regions on the border with Pakistan. According to some reports, which appeared during those days, some Taliban fighters secured a safe passage to the south by bribing local authorities.

    The US presence on the ground in Afghanistan was meager and it was the allied forces that waged the ground war. The allies relied on US air strikes that weakened the Taliban and eventually calm prevailed for some time. But that calm did not last long as the Taliban were making preparations for a new round of fighting.

    Taliban leaders started threatening the US troops and declared that Afghanistan would not be a safe place either for US forces or for any of the invading forces and that the country would be a cemetery for the invaders as it had been throughout the country’s history. After a brief period of time, the Taliban seized the opportunity for launching a counter attack, taking advantage of the preoccupation of American forces in its war in Iraq. This situation put heavy pressure on Pakistan to fight the war on behalf of the Americans to crush the Taliban. This was after the failure of the Americans, along with their Afghan allies, to defeat the enemy.

    Pakistan has made several attempts to flush the Taliban out of the tribal regions, but could not achieve the desired results because it was engaged in an asymmetrical and unconventional war. This angered the Americans who in turn accused Pakistan of illicit ties with some unknown groups. In fact, the war in the rugged tribal regions was not as easy as it was perceived to be by the US.

    Moreover, Pakistan also had to battle with the Pakistani Taliban and its affiliates. After the attack on an army school in December 2013, the Pakistan army launched an all-out war against various factions of the Pakistani Taliban and crushed them completely. Pakistan asked the Afghan government and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to eliminate the Taliban militants that fled to the eastern provinces of Afghanistan, but these militants went into hiding in those regions and launched attacks against both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Even after 16 years of war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and spending billions of dollars, the United States has failed to eliminate the Taliban and install a stable government in Afghanistan. At the same time, the US continues to blame Pakistan and accuses it of not doing enough to eliminate the terrorism that strikes Pakistan itself. The US administration is not ready to acknowledge Pakistan’s sacrifices and successes, with its limited resources, in eliminating the Taliban infrastructure, albeit with heavy casualties.

    When President Barack Obama came to power, he found a heavy legacy left behind by his predecessor George W. Bush, and considered that the war in Afghanistan was justifiable and a good war. It was, he felt, a war of necessity, unlike the war in Iraq, which, according to Obama, was a war of choice and should have been avoided. However, in the course of time, Obama also found that the goals of the war in Afghanistan were unattainable, and hence he seriously thought about the prospect of a withdrawal, but his military commanders did not share his view in this regard. Therefore, Obama passed the legacy that he had inherited to his successor Donald Trump.

    Trump announced a new strategy of sending additional troops to Afghanistan. Instead of thanking Pakistan for its sacrifices in the war against the Taliban, Trump accused Pakistan of granting safe havens to terrorists and at the same time threatened to expand cooperation with India, which, according to some observers, is involved in many of the developments in the region.

    While the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed the recent statements of Donald Trump, especially those pertaining to Pakistan, the Taliban again vowed to make Afghanistan a cemetery for Americans and turn it into a new Vietnam. However, in a recent interview with the BBC, Ghani invited the Taliban to participate in a dialogue to solve all outstanding problems in a peaceful way. This is what happened with the Colombian government and the rebels who laid down their arms and sat at the negotiating table and reached solutions that were acceptable to both parties.

    It is yet to be seen whether this strategy will work or if it will meet the same fate as the failed strategies of Ghani’s predecessors.

    — Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi is a former Saudi diplomat who specializes in Southeast Asian affairs. He can be reached at algham@hotmail.com


    http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/...the-price-for-Americas-failure-in-Afghanistan
     
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  2. Khafee

    Khafee SENIOR MEMBER

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    Do Pakistanis need to pay the price for America’s failure in Afghanistan?

    The United States of America began the war in Afghanistan in late 2001 after the mysterious terror attack, said to be carried out by Al-Qaeda, on the World Trade Center in New York and elsewhere in the United States. Following the attack, US President George W. Bush announced that “those who are not with us are against us.”

    Bush then declared war on Afghanistan to punish the Taliban government on the grounds that it had provided shelter to Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who was considered to be the mastermind of the terror strikes on America. As a consequence of the explicit threat made by Bush, a large number of countries, including Pakistan, joined the alliance, led by the US, against the Taliban.

    The continuous air strikes launched by the US on Kabul and other regions occupied by the Taliban strengthened their local foes, especially the so-called Northern Alliances. This led to the defeat of the Taliban and their retreat from the regions that were under their control including the capital city of Kabul. The Taliban militants then headed to the tribal regions on the border with Pakistan. According to some reports, which appeared during those days, some Taliban fighters secured a safe passage to the south by bribing local authorities.

    The US presence on the ground in Afghanistan was meager and it was the allied forces that waged the ground war. The allies relied on US air strikes that weakened the Taliban and eventually calm prevailed for some time. But that calm did not last long as the Taliban were making preparations for a new round of fighting.

    Taliban leaders started threatening the US troops and declared that Afghanistan would not be a safe place either for US forces or for any of the invading forces and that the country would be a cemetery for the invaders as it had been throughout the country’s history. After a brief period of time, the Taliban seized the opportunity for launching a counter attack, taking advantage of the preoccupation of American forces in its war in Iraq. This situation put heavy pressure on Pakistan to fight the war on behalf of the Americans to crush the Taliban. This was after the failure of the Americans, along with their Afghan allies, to defeat the enemy.

    Pakistan has made several attempts to flush the Taliban out of the tribal regions, but could not achieve the desired results because it was engaged in an asymmetrical and unconventional war. This angered the Americans who in turn accused Pakistan of illicit ties with some unknown groups. In fact, the war in the rugged tribal regions was not as easy as it was perceived to be by the US.

    Moreover, Pakistan also had to battle with the Pakistani Taliban and its affiliates. After the attack on an army school in December 2013, the Pakistan army launched an all-out war against various factions of the Pakistani Taliban and crushed them completely. Pakistan asked the Afghan government and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to eliminate the Taliban militants that fled to the eastern provinces of Afghanistan, but these militants went into hiding in those regions and launched attacks against both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Even after 16 years of war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and spending billions of dollars, the United States has failed to eliminate the Taliban and install a stable government in Afghanistan. At the same time, the US continues to blame Pakistan and accuses it of not doing enough to eliminate the terrorism that strikes Pakistan itself. The US administration is not ready to acknowledge Pakistan’s sacrifices and successes, with its limited resources, in eliminating the Taliban infrastructure, albeit with heavy casualties.

    When President Barack Obama came to power, he found a heavy legacy left behind by his predecessor George W. Bush, and considered that the war in Afghanistan was justifiable and a good war. It was, he felt, a war of necessity, unlike the war in Iraq, which, according to Obama, was a war of choice and should have been avoided. However, in the course of time, Obama also found that the goals of the war in Afghanistan were unattainable, and hence he seriously thought about the prospect of a withdrawal, but his military commanders did not share his view in this regard. Therefore, Obama passed the legacy that he had inherited to his successor Donald Trump.

    Trump announced a new strategy of sending additional troops to Afghanistan. Instead of thanking Pakistan for its sacrifices in the war against the Taliban, Trump accused Pakistan of granting safe havens to terrorists and at the same time threatened to expand cooperation with India, which, according to some observers, is involved in many of the developments in the region.

    While the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed the recent statements of Donald Trump, especially those pertaining to Pakistan, the Taliban again vowed to make Afghanistan a cemetery for Americans and turn it into a new Vietnam. However, in a recent interview with the BBC, Ghani invited the Taliban to participate in a dialogue to solve all outstanding problems in a peaceful way. This is what happened with the Colombian government and the rebels who laid down their arms and sat at the negotiating table and reached solutions that were acceptable to both parties.

    It is yet to be seen whether this strategy will work or if it will meet the same fate as the failed strategies of Ghani’s predecessors.

    Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi is a former Saudi diplomat who specializes in Southeast Asian affairs.
    http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/...the-price-for-Americas-failure-in-Afghanistan
     
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  3. cloud4000

    cloud4000 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Taliban have consistently have said they are not coming to the negotiation table until their pre-conditions are met, one of which is the withdrawal of all foreign -- NATO/US -- troops from Afghanistan. How can US support a political solution if one of the key players refuses to negotiate; and has no incentive to negotiate.
     
  4. Iqbal Ali

    Iqbal Ali SENIOR MEMBER

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    lol the Afghan Taliban believe they are winning the war, which they are.

    Why should the Afghan Taliban negotiate then?

    Let American soldiers keep dying or get injured in Afghanistan.
    It will just be a graveyard of American soldiers.

    Those American idiots who decided to fight in an imperial war in Afghanistan.

    Also the human cost of the war is staggering.

    Check out this article:
    Retired Marine awaits double arm transplant
    UPDATE RETIRED MARINE GETS OK FOR ARM TRANSPLANTS



    Buy Now
    John Peck lives in a custom home in Spotsylvania and uses a prosthetic arm but hopes a double transplant will help him achieve his dreams.

    • FILE/THE FREE LANCE–STAR



    Buy Now
    Peck—pictured during a 50-mile ride with members of Boy Scout Troop 165—has grappled with isolation.

    • SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE–STAR



    Buy Now
    Spotsylvania resident John Peck works with trainer Patty Young last year at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond. He also travels north for care at Walter Reed.

    • SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE–STAR



    In the evenings, in the echoes of the expansive home built and equipped for him, retired Marine Sgt. John Peck imagines a new life.

    He wills the phone to ring. Perhaps this is it, he thinks when it finally does. The call from the Boston hospital that will set it all into motion.

    Peck was clearing the way for his fellow Marines while on patrol in Afghanistan in May 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. The blast claimed both of his legs and part of his right arm. Later, as he fought a virulent infection, doctors took his left arm to spare his life.


    Peck, a hulking, 6-foot-tall, 200-pound Marine, had become a quadruple amputee at age 24.

    It was like somebody hit the pause button on his life. Now he waits for a double arm transplant from Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the hope that it will start again.

    From the sun deck of his home at the Estates of Chancellorsville where he has learned to live in relative independence, he lists in order all he intends to accomplish when that day finally comes.

    They are big dreams, he concedes, with an unlikely chance of total success.

    He shrugs.

    “I’ve had worse odds.”

    A LIFE-CHANGING MEETING

    For more than two months after the blast, Peck lay in a medically induced coma at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. He’d endured more than two dozen surgeries; three times, his heart had stopped. An infection had nearly killed him.

    But by late 2010, he was well enough to meet with a team of visiting doctors from another hospital who discussed with him the possibility of a double arm transplant.

    Surgeons had successfully transplanted hands onto patients for a decade. But the first double arm transplant had occurred just two years earlier, in a hospital in Munich, Germany, where a team of 40 people attached two donor arms onto a 54-year-old farmer who’d lost his in an accident.

    Peck wasn’t comfortable with the doctors he met with that winter. He gave up on the idea.

    Three years would pass before he heard a story about the world’s first successful double leg transplant—performed on a patient in Spain. By then, Peck, an Illinois native, had settled in Spotsylvania County for its proximity to Walter Reed and the Veterans Affairs hospital in Richmond. The house, designed and built with his unique needs in mind, was fully funded by veterans organizations.

    He researched the case in Spain in the faint hope that perhaps he, too, could be a recipient. His search took him to the website of a medical facility he’d never heard of before. Brigham and Women’s Hospital was looking for candidates in the U.S. for the same procedure.

    From that moment, he said, he was dogged, making calls and sending emails to the surgical team’s personal assistant. He sent photographs and links to news articles and begged someone to get back to him.

    They did. In January 2015, he traveled to the hospital and met with a large team of doctors.

    Because nothing remained of Peck’s left leg—which requires him to sit painfully on his pelvis—he was not a candidate.

    But they wanted to give him arms.

    ‘SOMEONE ELSE’S ARMS’

    Before he could go on the waiting list, Peck would have to undergo a battery of tests: CAT scans, ultrasounds and blood tests. Vein mapping, an electrocardiogram and a psychological exam.

    “They wanted to make sure I understood someone else’s arms are going to be attached to me and be OK with it,” he said.

    Even if a matching donor was found, and the surgery was a success, the road ahead would be grueling. He’d have to learn again the basic tasks he’d spent the last six years honing with the help of a prosthetic arm: How to pick up a phone and crack an egg and open a door and get in and out of a wheelchair.

    Recovery could take six months. When Peck finally went home, there would be quarterly visits, then biannual visits, to Boston for years. And even in the best cases, doctors explained to him, there would be limitations. He might hold a baseball and an orange in his new hands and not know the difference without looking.

    “You’re not understanding,” Peck told them, how little any of that mattered compared to all he’d been through. Compared to the chance to realize the now-buried dreams of his childhood.

    A DYNAMIC DUO

    He is optimistic, unwilling to consider for long any other scenario other than one in which a donor is found and the surgery is a success.

    “I raised him that way,” says his mother, Lisa Peck, who also serves as Peck’s primary caregiver.

    She was a single mother who often struggled to provide for her son. Christmases were especially difficult. But they lived by the mantra that they could get through anything together. That they would look for answers rather than dwelling on the problem.

    Not that what happened to Peck hasn’t tested them. Not that it’s somehow easy to live without your arms or legs.

    It is an isolating condition. In the evenings, after his mother leaves, the house can grow unsettlingly quiet. His handful of local friends have families to tend to. When he does get out, Peck says, he is often the subject of cruel comments whispered loudly enough for him to hear.

    But someday—maybe sooner rather than later—he’ll have arms again. He’ll be able to throw a baseball and work on a car and go the gym.

    He’ll go to culinary school and audition for television’s “Food Network Star” and maybe even get on the show and win it. He’ll open his own restaurant.

    And it’ll all start with a call.
    https://www.google.ca/search?q=quad...AhUF9IMKHXiWC4kQ9QEIODAF#imgrc=dLGUDovbnGj2DM:

    How many American lives have been ruined because of this Afghanistan war.

    From the American's perspective the war is not worth it.

    The Afghan Taliban is poised to win.

    The Afghan Taliban will storm Kabul once NATO leaves Afghanistan.
     

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  5. maximuswarrior

    maximuswarrior SENIOR MEMBER

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    You can already judge how much ‘Murica has won in opiumland. When a superpower has to literally get on its knees and continuesly plead others to do more. If this is called victory we need to redefine the meaning.
     
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  6. cloud4000

    cloud4000 SENIOR MEMBER

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    So what's this nonsense about Pakistan talking about a political solution to Afghanistan when it's obvious none is to be had? Either a) Pakistan is not genuine about its offer for political solution or b) they are incapable of bringing Taliban to the negotiating table.
     
  7. Path-Finder

    Path-Finder SENIOR MEMBER

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    Taliban are NOT coming to the negotiation table your buddies opened a consulate in the Gulf on their own initiative and nothing to do with Pakistan. Go to that consulate start negotiating with Taliban there. If we are incapable than you are walking with a finger up your arse.
     
  8. cloud4000

    cloud4000 SENIOR MEMBER

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    If Pakistan was capable the Taliban would be at the negotiation table right now. This is the point.
     
  9. Path-Finder

    Path-Finder SENIOR MEMBER

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    Taliban don't want to talk! They have said it themselves.
     
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  10. SOUTHie

    SOUTHie SENIOR MEMBER

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    Talibans are like 'my way or the highway'
     
  11. Iqbal Ali

    Iqbal Ali SENIOR MEMBER

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    And whys should the Afghan Taliban talk? The Afghan Taliban are winning the war.

    They can just simply wait the USA out.
    Its just a matter of time.

    Q&A: Afghan Taliban open Doha office
    • 20 June 2013
    • From the sectionAsia
    [​IMG]
    Image captionTaliban spokesman Mohammed Naeem said the group wanted to talks to Afghans
    Afghans confirm Taliban leader's death
    The Taliban have opened their first official overseas office in the Qatari capital, Doha, saying that one of their main aims was to "meet Afghans".

    The group has long refused to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai or his government, branding them puppets of the US.

    This office is the first step for expected peace talks which many hope will take place despite the many obstacles, as the BBC World Service's Dawood Azami explains.

    Who is involved and where?

    The main parties are the Afghan government and its High Peace Council, the US and the Taliban. There have been meetings between Taliban representatives and US officials over the past two years.

    The Taliban have also sent their representatives to conferences on Afghanistan in Germany, Japan, and France but if talks proceed this would be the first time the group has met Afghan government representatives for direct talks.

    From now on, the Taliban will have a known address and authorised representatives who can openly talk, meet and travel. The Qatar office means the Taliban are no longer only a fighting group, but have a political arm too.

    Why do the Taliban need a Qatar office?

    Taliban representatives have been in Qatar for more than a year and are said to number more than 20.

    For years, the Afghan government and its Western backers were trying to contact the Taliban who didn't have a known address.

    Meetings aimed at resolving the Afghan conflict peacefully took in hotels or similar venues in various countries. But as a confidence-building measure, and as a way of providing security for Taliban leaders to participate in talks, finding them a permanent address became a priority.

    Allowing the Taliban to open an office in Turkey, Qatar, UAE or Saudi Arabia were possible measures. The Taliban's preferred venue was Qatar because they considered it to be neutral. The US was also happy with the Qatar option.

    What are the main obstacles?

    Within hours of the Taliban office opening Mr Karzai raised his concerns about the peace process not being Afghan-led. He suspended plans for Afghan officials to meet the Taliban in Qatar, underlining how fraught the process will be.

    His concerns were so great that US Secretary of State John Kerry had to promise that the Taliban flag and their sign reading The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would be removed. The flag remains, albeit on a shorter flagpole.

    There are other obstacles.

    The first is that the Taliban insist on the complete withdrawal of foreign forces as a pre-condition to becoming part of a political settlement.

    [​IMG]
    Image captionPresident Hamid Karzai said the security handover was a "great day" for Afghanistan
    Nato's combat troops are due to leave the country by the end of 2014, but the US plans to station forces after that as part of a bilateral security agreement. Details are still to be agreed by Kabul and Washington.

    The shape of the future Afghan government is another issue over which the parties disagree.

    Another possible obstacle comes from civil groups and women's rights activists who fear a political settlement resulting in the Taliban's inclusion in the Afghan government would mean limitations on their freedoms.

    The official opening of the Taliban's office was delayed because President Karzai was concerned it could be used for recruitment, fundraising and making contacts with other countries. He was looking for guarantees the office would only be used for peace talks.

    Mr Karzai visited Qatar twice this year and on his latest trip Qatar reportedly accepted his demands for guarantees. These included that:

    • Talks should eventually move to Afghanistan
    • Talks should result in the ending of violence in Afghanistan
    • The Taliban office should not become a venue for other countries to exploit or use for their own interests
    What are the main aims of the three parties?

    The White House set two conditions: that the Taliban make a statement supporting a peace process and they also want to prohibit the use of Afghan soil to threaten other countries.

    Taliban leaders, most of whom have been subject to UN sanctions, see this as an opportunity to come in from the cold and present their case to the world.

    Apart from the withdrawal of foreign forces, the Taliban also want the release of at least some prisoners from Guantanamo and Afghan jails, as well as the removal of the remaining leaders on the sanction list.

    [​IMG]
    Image captionAfghan troops now tackle Taliban attacks like this one in Kabul on 10 June
    The Afghan government hopes it will be able to meet the Taliban directly without the involvement of a third party, such as Pakistan.

    US and Afghan leaders want the Taliban to join the Afghan government as a result of the peace process, without losing the achievements of the past decade.

    The peace talks will succeed, the Americans say, when the Taliban finally sever all ties with al-Qaeda, end violence and accept the Afghan constitution, including its protections for women and minorities.

    Have there been previous attempts at negotiation?

    President Karzai has long called on the Taliban to join the peace process. In late 2008 he even offered to provide security for the Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Omar, if he agreed to peace talks - this was not incentive enough.

    But while the government's efforts were focused on re-integrating Taliban fighters, they did not have a reconciliation strategy.

    The High Peace Council was established in 2010 and tasked with contacting the Taliban and convincing them to join the peace process.

    Sporadic contacts were made with a number of Taliban leaders but it did not have the desired outcome of provoking large-scale desertions.

    In turn, the Taliban did not trust the Afghan government and considered it a "puppet" of the US.

    The idea of engaging with the Taliban was initially controversial in the West but the idea of seriously engaging with the militants was explored at a 2011 peace conference.

    Are the Taliban now happy to talk to Afghan leaders?

    The Taliban have for years refused to speak to the Afghan government or members of the High Peace Council. They insisted that they wanted to talk to the US - which they called "the main party in the conflict".

    But the Taliban's statement as they opened their office says one of the main aims of the Doha office is "to meet Afghans".

    Although there was no recognition of President Karzai or his government and just a vague promise to talk to Afghans, "if necessary", that is still being read as an important shift.

    Does Pakistan have a role?

    Pakistan was one of the Taliban's main supporters from when it was launched in Kandahar in 1994 until the fall of the regime in 2001. Most of the Taliban's leaders reportedly then fled to Pakistan.

    Taliban representatives reportedly went to Qatar from Pakistan and the group is still considered to be heavily dependent on the support of certain elements in the country - although this has its limits.

    Pakistan's co-operation will probably prove critical to convince or pressurise the Taliban to reach a political settlement.

    [​IMG]
    Image captionHamid Karzai wanted guarantees about the Taliban's new office in Doha
    So, talks are as much between Afghanistan and Pakistan as they are between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

    President Karzai has reached out to Islamabad and Pakistan has been involved in background talks over the office in Qatar.

    Pakistani officials generally say Islamabad wants a "friendly, peaceful and sovereign" Afghanistan. But they are adamant that Pakistan's "legitimate interests" in Afghanistan must be recognised after the withdrawal of Nato troops.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-22957827

    The world is watching as events unfold in Afghanistan.

    We will see what happens :lol:

    The average American couldn't give a damn about Afghanistan.
     
  12. Path-Finder

    Path-Finder SENIOR MEMBER

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    Afghanistan is a cash cow! Minerals, Opium and War Economy.

    On the flip side is Taliban who is growing in strength!

    Between the rock and a hard place.
     
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  13. Iqbal Ali

    Iqbal Ali SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Afghanistan war is starting to look like an imperial war now.

    Osama Bin Laden is dead now. There is no need for USA to be in Afghanistan now.

    All USA forces should leave Afghanistan forever.
     
  14. Path-Finder

    Path-Finder SENIOR MEMBER

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    Iran is going to really ramp up its support for the Taliban. Another achievement of Trump
     
  15. Iqbal Ali

    Iqbal Ali SENIOR MEMBER

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    Iran won't support the Afghan Taliban.

    The Afghan Taliban are Sunni while Iran is Shia.