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The Top 5 Conflict Variables In Afghanistan

The Top 5 Conflict Variables In Afghanistan

24 AUGUST 2021

The Top 5 Conflict Variables In Afghanistan

There still remain several variables that could continue to destabilize the country in the coming future.

The Taliban’s lightning-fast takeover of Afghanistan ended the most important phase of the country’s civil war but hasn’t yet concluded that conflict completely. There still remain several variables that could continue to destabilize the country in the coming future. These are:

1. The US & NATO Extending Their Withdrawal Beyond The September 11th Deadline

Western leaders are under pressure from their people not to fully withdraw from Afghanistan until all of their citizens and ideally also their local allies are safely evacuated, but extending the deadline beyond September 11th would risk provoking Taliban attacks.

2. The US & NATO Bombing The Taliban’s Seized Military Equipment

The withdrawing forces are very concerned about the Taliban’s seizure of Western military equipment including warplanes and tanks, and there are already some efforts being made within some of their countries to encourage their leaderships to bomb those assets after they withdraw from Afghanistan.

3. The “Panjshir Resistance” Continuing To Militarily Oppose The Taliban

Although its prospects of long-term success are practically nil, the so-called “Panjshir Resistance‘s” continued military opposition to the Taliban could possibly provoke a disproportionate response from the group that could in turn be exploited by some members of the international community to delegitimize their rule.

4. Armed Ethno-Religious Minorities Resisting The Taliban

Whether inspired by the “Panjshir Resistance” or whatever else, some other armed ethno-religious minorities elsewhere in the country might also eventually end up resisting the Taliban with time, which could perpetuate the civil war as well as worsen average Afghans’ suffering.

5. Deteriorating Socio-Economic Conditions Provoke Urban Unrest

The Taliban’s failure to respect minorities’ and women’s rights could provoke urban unrest among the people who re already distrustful of that group, as could deteriorating economic conditions brought about by the West’s attempts to isolate the Taliban in the event that they don’t eventually recognize its rule.

These five conflict variables can potentially be counteracted in the following ways:

1. Put International Pressure On The US & NATO To Withdraw By Their Deadline

The Taliban’s international partners like Russia and China (both of which still designate it as a terrorist group despite having pragmatic political and security relations with it) should make it clear that extending their withdrawal deadline will risk provoking another round of war and worsening the regional security situation.

2. Raise Global Awareness Of The Taliban’s Anti-Terrorist Credentials

Russia and China should also inform the international community of the Taliban’s genuine anti-terrorist credentials as the most formidable force against ISIS-K, which means that they require their seized Western military equipment in order to ensure regional stability and thus prevent another refugee crisis as well.

3. Russia & China Should Consider Mediating The Taliban-“Panjshir Resistance” Conflict

Russia and China should consider putting their diplomatic skills to use in mediating a political solution to this pressing issue in spite of Moscow’s earlier clarification that it doesn’t have any intent to do so since the “Panjshir Resistance’s” military defeat by the Taliban might delegitimize the latter’s rule.

4. Incorporate Regional Militias Into The New Afghan Security Forces

The Taliban must prioritize incorporating regional militias into the country’s new security structure together with resolutely rooting out the corruption that doomed its predecessor’s forces and eliminating the tendency towards warlordism in order to preempt the possibility of ethno-religious revolts.

5. Respect Promises & Court Foreign Investment

The Taliban must absolutely abide by its promise to respect minorities’ and women’s rights to ensure social stability while courting foreign investment from its regional partners in order to sustainably improve the economic situation by positioning Afghanistan as the crossroads of multipolar connectivity processes.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Afghanistan, Taliban, Russia, China, US, NATO.


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UK planned for NATO-led force of ‘like-minded’ allies to remain in Afghanistan after US troop pullout, defence minister admits | Source: RT

Slamming the US-Taliban peace deal as “rotten” and “flawed”, UK Defence Minister Ben Wallace has revealed that Britain tried to form a military coalition of “like-minded” allies to support Afghan forces after American troops left. However, “nearly all” of the NATO member states were apparently “not interested”.

Source: RT


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Russia Warns Black Sea Becoming Dangerous Confrontation Zone Because of NATO Drills | Source: Fars News

The Black Sea is turning into a zone of dangerous military confrontation, as NATO exercises in the region provoke new conflicts, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Fourth European Department Director said. A military exercise (Sea Breeze-2021) took place in the Black Sea from June 28-July 10, with Ukraine, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Latvia among the key participants.

Source: Fars News


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Taliban take much of provincial capital in south Afghanistan | Source: ABC News

The Taliban pressed ahead with their advances in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, capturing nine out of 10 districts of the Helmand provincial capital. The fall of Lashkar Gah would be a major turning point in the offensive the Taliban have waged over the past months as U.S. and NATO forces complete their pullout from the war-torn country. It would also be the first provincial capital captured by the Taliban in years.

Source: ABC News


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Taliban Threaten Turkish Troops with ‘Jihad’ if They Stay in Afghanistan | Source: Voa News

An Afghan security forces personnel stands guard along a road amid ongoing fighting with Taliban fighters in the western city of Qala-i- Naw, the capital of Badghis province, July 8, 2021.

The Taliban warned Tuesday that if Turkey extends its military presence in Afghanistan the Islamist group will view Turkish troops as “occupiers” and wage “jihad” against them. The United States has asked Turkey to secure Kabul’s airport after all American and NATO allied troops withdraw from the country by the end of next month.

Source: Voa News


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Expert Analysis

Are Pakistani-Ukrainian Relations Problematic For Russia?

Are Pakistani-Ukrainian Relations Problematic For Russia?

6 JULY 2021

Are Pakistani-Ukrainian Relations Problematic For Russia?

Pakistani-Ukrainian relations, and in particular the possible impact that Islamabad’s observance of the Sea Breeze 2021 exercises might have on its ties with Moscow, are a non-issue for Russian-Pakistani relations.

There’s been some discussion on social media in recent days about whether Pakistani-Ukrainian relations are problematic for Russia. Those who regard them as such believe that Islamabad should keep Kiev at arm’s length considering that Foreign Minister Qureshi said during a call with his Russian counterpart last month that “relations with Russia are a key priority for Pakistan’s foreign policy.” They’re concerned that Russia might become suspicious of Pakistani strategic intentions, particularly its growing military cooperation with Ukraine, and that this might decelerate the pace of their ongoing rapprochement. Proponents of this interpretation are especially worried about Pakistan’s decision to observe NATO’s Sea Breeze 2021 exercises in the Black Sea.

These well-intended individuals’ views are understandable since they feel very strongly about the positive trajectory of Russian-Pakistani relations and therefore don’t want anything to offset this exciting geostrategic development. Nevertheless, there’s arguably nothing for them to be seriously concerned about. Pakistani-Ukrainian military cooperation chiefly concerns Islamabad’s arms procurement program and not the export of equipment to Kiev that could potentially tip the scales in its favor against Moscow. Moreover, Pakistan’s observance of the ongoing NATO naval drills is consistent with its status as a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA). Russia’s military cooperation with India is far more meaningful yet that hasn’t harmed its ties with Pakistan.

Russian-Pakistani relations have recently matured to the point where each country’s ties with third parties don’t negatively effect their partnership. If anything, sometimes the complicated state of their relations with other countries could actually serve to intensify their relations. This might be the case when it comes to US-Pakistani relations. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s (PMIK) principled refusal to host US bases, meet with the CIA Director, and participate in any more of America’s wars must have been regarded very positively in Moscow. Russia also likely took note of the fact that US President Joe Biden has yet to speak with PMIK despite being in office for nearly half a year already. The American leader seems to be shunning his Pakistani counterpart.

The increasingly complicated nature of US-Pakistani relations is occurring in parallel with the improvement of Russian-Pakistani ones, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re connected. Rather, the first-mentioned is due to Pakistan’s refusal to continue behaving as an American proxy while the latter is the result of Islamabad deciding to diversify its foreign partnerships in order to avoid any disproportionate strategic dependence on a single country like used to be the case with the US. US-Pakistani relations didn’t worsen because of the Russian-Pakistani rapprochement and Islamabad’s growing ties with Moscow are independent of its relations with Washington. Even so, it’s natural that Russian-Pakistani relations will intensify against this backdrop.

Returning back to the topic of this analysis, Pakistani-Ukrainian relations and in particular the possible impact that Islamabad’s observance of the Sea Breeze 2021 exercises might have on its ties with Moscow, this is presently a non-issue for Russian-Pakistani relations. Russia acknowledges Pakistan’s right as a sovereign state to engage in “military diplomacy” with whatever other countries that it wants to as long as these efforts aren’t directed against Moscow. Pakistani-Ukrainian military relations are aimed at procuring more equipment for the former’s armed forces. In addition, observing those earlier mentioned NATO drills is meant to maintain cordial relations with the US and NATO considering Pakistan’s formal military relationship with them.

Far more important to Russia is the practical state of US-Pakistani relations, which is currently very complicated. Moscow would obviously prefer for Washington not to retain any regional military bases following its impending withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11th. Although it has no influence over Pakistan’s decision on the matter, it must certainly be pleased with PMIK’s independent foreign policy course. Any speculative Russian concerns about the impact of Pakistani-Ukrainian relations, especially their military dimension, pale in comparison to the importance of US-Pakistani relations’ presently complicated nature. That being the case, those who’ve recently been worried about Russian-Pakistani relations have nothing to fear.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine, US, Afghanistan, NATO, Military Diplomacy.


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Hamas Slams Arab States for Joining NATO Drill Alongside Israel | Source: FARS NEWS

The Hamas resistance movement denounced the participation of four Arab countries alongside Israel in a US-led NATO war game, describing it as a “betrayal” of the Palestinian cause against Israeli occupation. Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the participants.

Source: FARS NEWS


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Afghanistan: Taliban captures territory as NATO withdrawal continues | Source: Euronews

Afghan soldiers pause on a road at the front line of fighting between Taliban and Security forces, near the city of Badakhshan, northern Afghanistan, Sunday, July. 4.

The Taliban has captured more territory in Afghanistan in recent days from fleeing Afghan forces, as NATO troops continue to pull out of the country. The Taliban now control roughly a third of all 421 districts and district centers in Afghanistan.

Source: Euronews


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Russia: ISIS building up forces in N. Afghanistan as NATO exits – report | Source: Jerusalem Post

Islamic State militants are building up their forces in northern Afghanistan as US and NATO troops leave the country and it’s a worry for Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Source: Jerusalem Post


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Ukraine, US to start Black Sea drills despite Russian protest | Source: Al Jazeera

Ukraine and the United States will start a military exercise involving more than 30 countries in the Black Sea and southern Ukraine, despite Russian calls to cancel the drills. The exercise follows a rise in tensions between NATO and Moscow, which said it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to chase it out of Black Sea waters off the coast of Crimea.

Source: Al Jazeera


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