Categories
South Asia

Pakistan refuses to allow US military to use its bases | Source: Yeni Safak

Pakistan’s foreign minister confirmed that his country refused to give any military base to the US for monitoring Afghanistan after foreign forces withdrawal from Kabul. According to the US media, after Pakistan’s refusal, Washington is exploring options to get bases in Central Asia near the Afghan border. However, Russia could oppose this.

Source: Yeni Safak


MORE NEWS ABOUT SOUTH ASIA:

South Asia

 

FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.


Categories
central asia

Tajikistan undertakes actions that lead to escalation of tensions on border, Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry says | Source: AKI Press

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan expressed protest against illegal actions of Tajikistan after containers were put up and a significant amount of military personnel and military vehicles were deployed in undelimited border zone in Unzhu-Bulak area of Chon Alay district of Osh region.

Source: AKI Press


MORE NEWS ABOUT CENTRAL ASIA:

Central Asia

 

FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.



Categories
central asia

Putin signs law on ratifying military cooperation deal with Kazakhstan | Source: Tass

MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA – DECEMBER 3, 2020: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin holds a video conference meeting with representatives of disability.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on ratifying a treaty between Russia and Kazakhstan on military cooperation. It will cover a broad range of issues, including, the delivery of armaments and hardware, participation in joint bilateral and multilateral drills and troop combat training.

Source: Tass


MORE NEWS ABOUT CENTRAL ASIA:

Central Asia

 

FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.



Categories
central asia

US plans to build military facilities in West, Central Asia | Source: Mehr News

Some Russian media outlets have claimed that the Pentagon will allocate funds for the construction of US military facilities in West and Central Asia. Meanwhile, some Afghan media outlets reported that the United States is building a military base in the Shalozan and Terminal areas near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Kurram District.

Source: Mehr News


MORE NEWS ABOUT CENTRAL ASIA:

Central Asia

 

FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.



Categories
central asia

Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan Agree To Joint Security Controls Along Disputed Border | SOURCE: RFERL

Kyrgyz soldiers guard a water supply facility outside the village of Kok-Tash near the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.

Kyrgyz and Tajik officials have agreed to jointly control along a disputed segment of the border to ease tensions following deadly clashes late last month. The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the volatile Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan meet.

SOURCE: RFERL


MORE NEWS ABOUT CENTRAL ASIA:

What is happening in the Central Asia?

FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.



Categories
central asia

Russia, Kazakhstan to hold joint naval drills in Caspian Sea | SOURCE: TASS

Russia and Kazakhstan will hold joint drills with the naval forces in the Caspian Sea to practice providing security of shipping and fighting terrorism.

SOURCE: TASS


MORE NEWS ABOUT CENTRAL ASIA:

What is happening in the Central Asia?

 

FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.


LATEST REPORTS:


Categories
Expert Analysis

Here’s A List Of The US’ Top Failures In Afghanistan

16 APRIL 2021

Here

The US’ War on Afghanistan spectacularly failed to accomplish anything positive of significance.

US President Biden’s announcement that his country will initiate its full withdrawal from Afghanistan on 1 May and complete it by the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on America’s top failures there over the past two decades:

Topple The Taliban

Not only does the Taliban still control a significant swath of Afghanistan, but it’s poised to return to power through peaceful means via the planned establishment of an inclusive transitional government.

Defeat Terrorism

While Al Qaeda’s reported capabilities to plan international attacks from Afghan soil have successfully been destroyed, the entrance of ISIS to the battlefield from 2014 onward means that such threats still remain.

Build A “Democratic” Afghanistan

Far from being the regional beacon of Western-style “democracy” that America envisioned, modern-day Afghanistan is a cesspool of anti-democratic practices, corruption, and extra-judicial killings.

Support Human Rights

Some women now enjoy broader rights in line with the new socio-political model externally imposed upon parts of the country, but many Afghans have also fallen victim to the occupiers’ vicious human rights abuses.

Extract Rare Earth Minerals

Despite having an estimated $1 trillion of rare earth minerals under its soil, the Western occupation forces have failed to extract these on any large enough scale to make a strategic difference due to Taliban attacks.

Destabilize The Central-South-West Asian Regions

Late US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s plans to divide and rule those three regions through externally provoked “Balkanization” processes didn’t succeed due to the targeted states” Hybrid War resilience.

Avoid A Vietnam 2.0 Scenario

The US ignobly repeated the same Vietnam scenario that it hoped to avert by ultimately withdrawing from Afghanistan following a dishonorable defeat at the hands of militarily less sophisticated foes.

———-

All told, the US spectacularly failed to accomplish anything of significance in Afghanistan. None of its objectives, whether stated or speculated, succeeded. The only ones who benefited from this war were the military-industrial complex and especially those within it who stole at least $19 billion in public funds.

EgjymzKXcAEZe3b

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Afghanistan, Taliban, Central Asia, Biden.


MORE EXPERT ANALYSIS:

EXPERT ANALYSIS

MORE GEOPOLITICS ISSUES:

GLOBAL GEOPOLITICS NEWS

FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.


Categories
Expert Analysis

America’s Following In Russia’s Diplomatic Footsteps In Afghanistan

9 MARCH 2021

America

US Special Afghan Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s new approach to resolving the War on Afghanistan follows in Russia’s diplomatic footsteps by encouraging the creation of an inclusive government between Kabul and the Taliban and including India as an official party to the international talks on this topic, though it also innovates upon Moscow’s proposed solution by suggesting that Turkey host such negotiations in the coming future.

Late last month President Putin’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov made headlines after proposing the creation of an inclusive transitional coalition government in Afghanistan between Kabul and the Taliban, yet the US is now officially following in Moscow’s diplomatic footsteps after its own Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad gave a letter from Secretary of State Blinken to the country’s top political leaders suggesting the same solution. I explained the Russian approach at length in my analysis at the time about “How Russia’s Special Afghan Envoy Wants To Save The Struggling Peace Process”, which should be reviewed by the reader in order to obtain a more solid understanding of the Great Power’s evolving position towards the conflict. As for the US, it seems to have realized that this outcome is inevitable and therefore decided to take the wind out of Russia’s diplomatic sails to an extent by attempting to take leadership of this political process. In addition, America is following Russia’s lead by including India as an official party to the international talks on this topic while innovating upon its proposed solution by suggesting that Turkey host such negotiations in the coming future.

New Delhi was already invited to participate in the Moscow peace process, but that round of talks couldn’t ever be as important as anything that Washington leads by simple virtue of the fact that America retains the largest foreign military force in Afghanistan. Although the US observed the talks in the Russian capital, it didn’t actively participate in them, though it seemingly learned enough to realize that it’s in the country’s grand strategic interests to ensure that India isn’t excluded from the latest round that it wants Turkey to host. This can be explained by the US’ efforts to continue courting India to its side against China in the New Cold War, which is all the more urgent for it after New Delhi and Beijing agreed to a synchronized de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last month. In my analysis at the time about “How India’s Regional Strategy Is Adapting To The Post-Trump Reality”, I attributed it to New Delhi’s uncertainty over Washington’s envisioned geostrategic role for it under the Biden Administration due to concerns about the impact of a possible US-Chinese detente and repeated threats to sanction the South Asian state over its decision to purchase Russia’s S-400 systems.

The diplomatic elephant in the room is unquestionably the global pivot state of Pakistan, whose consistently pragmatic approach to resolving the conflict by including the Taliban as a legitimate political party to the conflict’s solution (in spite of its official designation as a terrorist group by countries like the US and Russia) ultimately ended up being supported by everyone except India and Iran, both of which have a history of serious problems with the group. Nevertheless, those two are forced by diplomatic inertia to go along with events whether they like it or not, though the US doesn’t want them to feel left out of the process because it fears the political consequences that this impression could have on India’s anti-Chinese Quad activities and the recent push to revive the Iranian nuclear deal. Washington also knows how sensitive New Delhi and Tehran are towards the optics of Islamabad being right all along and even influencing Moscow of all parties to go along with its consistently pragmatic approach to resolving this conflict. There are also more indirect motives at play too which concern the Central Asian strategy that the Biden Administration inherited from Trump.

I analyzed this last year in my piece about how “The US’ Central Asian Strategy Isn’t Sinister, But That Doesn’t Mean It’ll Succeed” where I explained how America is exploring the option of “economic diplomacy” to ensure its post-withdrawal influence in the Eurasian Heartland. Not only does it aspire to use N-CPEC+ as a means for enhancing its role in the region, but it also hopes that the eastern branch of India’s North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) through Iran to Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics can result in New Delhi counterbalancing Moscow’s and Beijing’s influence there afterwards. This explains why the US has always granted a sanctions waiving to India for its Chabahar port project. It also adds a new strategic dimension to Blinken’s written announcement that Turkey will hold Afghan talks in the coming future. Washington has an interest in seeing the Lapis Lazuli Corridor from Afghanistan to the EU via Turkmenistan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, and Turkey be completed in order to expand Turkish and European influence in this same space for geostrategic “balancing” purposes.

To be absolutely, neither Pakistan, India, Iran, nor Turkey have any intentions of expanding their influence in Central Asia via their respective “economic diplomacy” initiatives of N-CPEC+, the NSTC’s eastern branch, and the Lapis Lazuli Corridor in any “unfriendly” manner that goes against Russian and/or Chinese strategic objectives there, but the inevitable cumulative effect of more countries getting involved in the Eurasian Heartland will ultimately result in a greater “balance” of interests there. All relevant parties with the exception of India support the Golden Ring proposal that I elaborated on in my March 2018 analysis, “From ‘Bandwagoning’ Against Eurasia To ‘Circling The Wagons’ In The Center Of It”, but this ambitious vision of course requires very close coordination between each stakeholder which might still take some time to materialize. In the interim, the US hopes that it can encourage “emerging dynamics” of “natural (albeit ‘friendly’) competition” to take hold and therefore offset this scenario, especially relating to the exploitation of mutual strategic suspicions between China & India, and perhaps even to a lesser extent, Iran & Turkey.

It’ll be really interesting for observers to watch how America’s latest diplomatic initiatives in Afghanistan play out, particularly its push to include the Taliban in an inclusive government as well as the US’ encouragement of greater Indian and Turkish roles in this overall process, but it mustn’t be forgotten that Washington is basically following in Moscow’s footsteps when it comes to this political solution. It was Russia’s tacit embrace of Pakistan’s consistently pragmatic stance to include the Taliban as a legitimate party to the peace process despite its designation as a terrorist organization that inspired the US to change its position in response, as well as Moscow’s support of New Delhi’s involvement in all of this. The Turkish element is a unique twist that wasn’t foreseen but nevertheless aligns with America’s envisioned “economic diplomacy” towards the post-war region. The ideal outcome would be the peaceful establishment of a joint Kabul-Taliban government (at least for the time being) in parallel with tangible progress being made on building the Golden Ring in such a way that India could play a constructive role in it too, but the actual outcome is likely to be a lot more complex than that.

EgjymzKXcAEZe3b

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Russia, Afghanistan, Taliban, India, Turkey, Kabul, Balancing, Central Asia, CPEC, CPEC+, N-CPEC+, Lapis Lazuli Corridor, NSTC, Iran, Economic Diplomacy.


MORE EXPERT ANALYSIS:

EXPERT ANALYSIS

MORE GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES:

GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS

FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.


Categories
Expert Analysis

What’s The Future Of Afghanistan After Trump?

What’s The Future Of Afghanistan After Trump?

13 JANUARY 2021

What

Russian Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov is fairly certain that President-Elect Biden won’t do much to turn the tide on outgoing President Trump’s drawdown from Afghanistan despite newly promulgated legislation hindering the prospect of further cuts, but he’s also concerned that US troops might be replaced by private military contractors in a scenario that he warned would be a mistake.

Russia’s Prediction For Afghanistan

Many questions are swirling about President-Elect Biden’s foreign policy upon his impending inauguration next week, but one of the most relevant for all of Eurasia is what his stance will be towards the US’ seemingly never-ending War on Afghanistan. Russian Special Presidential Representative for Russian Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov is fairly certain that President-Elect Biden won’t do much to turn the tide on outgoing President Trump’s drawdown from Afghanistan despite newly promulgated legislation hindering the prospect of further cuts, but he’s also concerned that US troops might be replaced by private military contractors in a scenario that he warned would be a mistake. This is a pretty sound prediction which deserves to be elaborated upon more at length in order to better understand the logic behind it.

The US’ New Central Asian Strategy

The author explained last year how “The US’ Central Asian Strategy Isn’t Sinister, But That Doesn’t Mean That It’ll Succeed”. It was pointed out that Trump’s official vision for the region as articulated by his administration’s “Strategy For Central Asia 2019-2025” sharply contrasts the unstated one pursued by his predecessors. Instead of focusing on terrorist-driven divide-and-rule Hybrid Warfare, it concentrates mostly on peaceful regional connectivity in order to calmly expand American influence into the geostrategic Eurasian Heartland. The non-violent means that are to be relied upon to this soft power end should be commended, though one shouldn’t also preclude the possibility of some elements of the former informal strategies remaining in place, especially following Biden’s inauguration.

The Argument Against Another “Surge”

The former Vice President is bringing a bunch of Obama-era and -influenced officials (back) to the White House, hence why many feared that he might even seriously countenance repeating that administration’s infamous but ultimately failed “surge”. The geopolitical times have greatly changed since then, however, and there doesn’t seem to be any real interest in doing so under the current conditions. Not only is the planet reeling from what the author described as World War C — which refers to the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes unleashed by the international community’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19 — but America is on the brink of launching a domestic version of its “War on Terror” in response to Capitol Hill’s storming last week and the US must also adapt to China’s growing leadership role in the world. These take precedence over the Taliban.

Improved US-Pakistani Ties Augur Well For Afghanistan

The author touched upon those last developments as well as the Biden Administration’s lack of trust in the Modi one in his analysis earlier this week for Pakistan’s Tribune Express about “The Three Factors That Will Shape The Future Of US-Pakistani Relations”. It was concluded that bilateral relations will improve as a result of these pressures, which in turn will further reduce the possibility of the US doubling down on its failed War on Afghanistan. The Taliban peace process, for as imperfect as it is, has veritably led to some noticeable results over the past year. Not only would it be a waste for Biden to scrap all of that just for the sake of spiting his predecessor, but it wouldn’t serve much of a grand strategic purpose anyhow considering the progress that’s being made on implementing the Trump Administration’s Central Asian strategy.

Trump & Biden: Different Visions, Shared Interests

In fact, it’s in Central Asia where Trump and Biden have a unique confluence of interests. The former’s economic-driven policy of engagement dovetails well with the latter’s plans to assemble a so-called “Alliance of Democracies”. Both are non-military means for expanding influence and perfectly complement one another. While Biden will probably retain the US’ troop presence in Afghanistan or even slightly increase it for domestic political reasons should he find it convenient to do so, he’s unlikely to devote as much military time and effort to the conflict as Obama did for the earlier mentioned reasons. While the Central Asian Republics don’t practice Western forms of democracy, the US nevertheless subjectively regards them as being different in substance from Russia and China’s governing models, and thus comparatively more “legitimate” to partner with.

The Military-Industrial Complex’s Pernicious Influence

Even so, the US’ powerful military-industrial complex won’t take too kindly to its most direct interests being threatened in the region through the civilian government’s decision to keep troop levels at an all-time low. Bearing this in mind, it makes sense for Biden for execute the Trump Administration’s reported proposal to privatize the conflict through private military contractors (PMCs) as the latter are an important cutting-edge part of the military-industrial complex, albeit one which enables Washington to retain a degree of “plausible deniability”. Many former servicemen transition from the Armed Forces to PMCs upon their honorable discharge because it pays much better, thus making these entities practically one and the same except in the legal sense, with both fulfilling the important task of guarding Afghanistan’s $1 trillion in rare earth minerals.

Concluding Thoughts

Looking forward, Biden (or rather, the power structure behind him) might not make much political progress on resolving America’s War on Afghanistan, but he probably won’t make things much worse either. Rather, this “endless war” might continue to persist, but simply become more and more “forgettable” so to speak. Should he feel that it would be politically convenient to do so in the domestic sense, then he might either slightly raise the troop levels or publicly announce that some of the existing ones will be switch out for PMCs. His intelligence agencies will probably continue to foment low-intensity destabilization scenarios across the region, but likely won’t concentrate too much effort on this as the US’ grand strategic focus shifts elsewhere in light of the new domestic and international conditions in which the fading unipolar hegemon is forced to adapt.

EgjymzKXcAEZe3b 

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Afghanistan, Russia, Pakistan, Trump, Biden, Central Asia.


MORE EXPERT ANALYSIS:

EXPERT ANALYSIS

MORE GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES:

GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS

FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Categories
Expert Analysis

Why Wasn’t There Any Post-Election Turmoil In Tajikistan?

Why Wasn’t There Any Post-Election Turmoil In Tajikistan?

16 OCTOBER 2020

Why Wasn

Unlike fellow former Soviet Republics Belarus and even neighboring Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan’s latest elections didn’t result in any turmoil even though one might have expected it to have due to some similarly discernible risk factors, but that wasn’t the case (at least not yet) for five primary reasons.

Tajikistan’s latest elections came and went without any turmoil unlike the recent ones in fellow former Soviet Republics Belarus and even neighboring Kyrgyzstan, the first of which is now in the midst of an ever-intensifying Color Revolution while the latter just experienced a successful regime change operation which led to the president’s resignation. Some observers expected Tajikistan to follow in their footsteps, especially since it has some similarly discernible risk factors such as a long-serving ruler, an impoverished population (even before the onset of World War C), and a history of internationally criticized election results (to put it mildly). The very fact that this wasn’t the case, however (at least not yet), can be attributed to five primary factors:

* Lucid Memories Of The Former Civil War Deter Regime Change Scenarios

Tajikistan’s former civil war from 1992-1997 was a complex conflict with regional, clan, and religious dimensions. It’s estimated to have killed at least 65,000 people and internally displaced 20% of the population. President Rahmon, who first took office at the beginning of the conflict, still rules the country to this day. Although some members of the population might still be unhappy with him or eventually became fatigued after his nearly three-decade-long rule, they all remember what a tragedy the civil war was and few want to risk doing anything that could repeat it, such as unleashing a Color Revolution or returning to anti-state militancy.

* Afghanistan’s ISIS-K Threat Reminds Everyone Why Stability Is So Important

Even among those “well-intended” members of society who might silently wish for profound political change, they’re keenly aware of the ISIS-K terrorist threat in neighboring Afghanistan. In the event that Tajikistan is destabilized because of post-electoral unrest, the world’s most notorious terrorist group might be able to more easily exploit events in order to establish a territorial foothold in Central Asia. Lucid memories of the former civil war already act as a powerful regime change deterrent for many, but for the most “passionate” among them who might still clamor for change, then the threat of ISIS-K might deter all but the most radical “activists”.

* The “Islamic Renaissance Party” Is Banned & Foreign-Linked NGOs Are Regulated

The “Islamic Renaissance Party” (IRP) played a key role supporting the opposition during the civil war and resultantly earned the right to be legalized as the only such Islamist party in the region after the conflict ended. It was once again banned five years ago and subsequently linked to several terrorist attacks in the country. Some Westerners argue that banning it radicalizes its members, but one can also argue that the IRP was already becoming a front for radical goals. Tajikistan’s regulation of foreign-linked NGOs complemented its crackdown on the IRP by reducing external influence over its domestic political processes, thus stabilizing the state.

* Tajikistan’s “Strongman” System Keeps Regional & Clan Conflicts Under Control

Objectively speaking, Tajikistan’s contemporary politics are a textbook example of a “strongman” system. President Rahmon has thus far succeeded in keeping regional and clan conflicts under control unlike neighboring Kyrgyzstan which jettisoned its “strongman” model after its Color Revolutions in 2005 and 2010. As can now be seen, so-called “democratic” Kyrgyzstan (as described by its many NGOs’ Western patrons) is much more unstable than “strongman” Tajikistan, which vindicates many of the controversial moves that President Rahmon made during his time in office. To his credit, he’s kept the peace for almost a quarter of a century.

* Russian Intelligence Likely Has Greater Freedom To Thwart Hybrid War Threats

Tajikistan is Russia’s first line of defense from Afghan-emanating Hybrid War threats, both those related to ISIS terrorism and also the “Weapons of Mass Migration” which might be driven from the Central Asian region to the Eurasian Great Power due to the first-mentioned trigger factor. It’s likely a lot easier for Russian intelligence to thwart these threats by cooperating real closely with its political allies within a “strongman” system compared to a “democratic” one like in Kyrgyzstan. It therefore can’t be ruled out that Russia played a leading role behind the scenes in ensuring that there wasn’t any post-election turmoil in Tajikistan.

——————–

The five primary factors that were elaborated upon above help explain why Tajikistan didn’t become destabilized after its latest election unlike Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. That said, instability might eventually erupt in the country if the younger generation has little to no memory of the civil war and becomes politically and/or religiously radicalized through the internet. It’s difficult for a faraway observer such as the author to measure those variables, though they mustn’t be discounted in principle since they represent latent threats that could spiral out of control if left unchecked. One should assume that there are domestic and external forces interested in exploiting them, but the speculated role that Russian intelligence plays in securing the country’s political stability should hopefully suffice for ensuring that no such dark scenarios transpire anytime soon.

Tags: Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Russia, Central Asia, Regime Change, Hybrid War.

EgjymzKXcAEZe3b 

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst


FREE SUBSCRIPTION

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.