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Europe

Russia Will Rescue Europe From Its Energy Crisis

Russia Will Rescue Europe From Its Energy Crisis

13 SEPTEMBER 2021

Far from weaponizing energy to let Europe freeze out of supposed geopolitical spite, Russia has used its energy exports during this time of crisis as a tool for repairing bilateral relations and improving how its partners’ publics perceive of it.

The US-propagated false information warfare narrative that Russia allegedly weaponizes its energy exports to Europe was put to rest after the Eurasian Great Power promised to ride to its neighbors’ rescue to help them survive the current energy crisis. In fact, despite previously fearmongering about the Nord Stream II pipeline that was ultimately completed, the US itself was importing more oil from Russia than ever before to the point that Bloomberg (which cannot credibly be considered a Russian-friendly outlet, let alone one that spews so-called “pro-Russian propaganda”) was forced to report in August that “Russia Captures No. 2 Rank Among Foreign Oil Suppliers to US”. This surprising fact is confirmed by the US Energy Information Administration’s own statistics from their official website.

Outgoing German Chancellor Merkel, who’s regarded as the most powerful and influential force in the EU, said that Russia is fulfilling all of its contracts and isn’t to blame for the bloc’s energy crisis. Russian President Putin earlier attributed the spike in energy costs to an hysteria and mess on the market caused by inaccurate speculations and the mismanagement of many countries’ de-carbonization transitions. He also said that the European Commission made a mistake switching from long-term gas contracts to spot trading. The Russian leader then reaffirmed that Gazprom never refused to increase gas supplies when requests where in place and instructed his Energy Minister to ensure that transit through Ukraine is maintained. All of these developments prove that Russia is the EU’s most reliable energy partner.

The recently completed Nord Stream II gas pipeline and the earlier completed Turkish Stream one will greatly contribute to the bloc’s energy security, especially in terms of helping it survive the ongoing crisis. The US’ opposition to both projects was self-serving and intended to pressure its partners into relying on its much costlier and comparatively less reliable LNG exports. The whole world now sees that it would have been counterproductive had the EU fully complied with America like its patron wanted. Thankfully there still remain some US allies which retain a semblance of strategic sovereignty and understood the wisdom in expanding energy ties with Russia despite American pressure to curtail them.

This all proves several important points. First, it’s the US that’s an unreliable partner for Europe in all respects, not Russia. The Eurasian Great Power is rushing to its neighbors’ rescue, but this wouldn’t have been possible had its partners fully complied with the US’ pressure to curtail and ultimately cut off energy ties with Moscow. Therein lies the second point, namely that the US was the one that sought to weaponize energy exports on politically Russophobic pretexts in order to make the EU dependent on its costlier and less reliable LNG exports. The third point is that the US employed false information warfare narratives in pursuit of that failed end, which should further reduce its credibility in the eyes of the European public in hindsight.

Going forward, this same European public should hopefully come to realize that the politically Russophobic beliefs that some of them regrettably espouse were the result of the US’ information warfare campaign against them. Far from weaponizing energy to let Europe freeze out of supposed geopolitical spite, Russia has used its energy exports during this time of crisis as a tool for repairing bilateral relations and improving how its partners’ publics perceive of it. The American and Russian approaches to so-called “energy diplomacy” therefore couldn’t be more different since the former regards these means as a weapon towards the end of dominating its “partners” while the latter sees it as an opportunity to improve relations, perceptions, and standards of living.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, US, EU, Nord Stream, gas supply.


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South Asia

Moscow Sent A Strong Signal To India By Condemning The Quad As Anti-Russian

Moscow Sent A Strong Signal To India By Condemning The Quad As Anti-Russian

22 SEPTEMBER 2021

Moscow Sent A Strong Signal To India By Condemning The Quad As Anti-Russian

India doesn’t have any anti-Russian intentions and is even remaining loyal to its S-400 air defense deal with Moscow despite Washington’s sanctions threats. Nevertheless, Patrushev considers the bloc that it’s part of to be a regionally destabilizing force whose overall impact negatively affects Russian interests.

Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev condemned the Quad as anti-Russian in a recent interview. He also described it as “an Asian NATO prototype” that pursues anti-Chinese policies too. This was a strong signal to India, which joined that emerging US-led military alliance due to its members’ shared intent to contain China. India doesn’t have any anti-Russian intentions though and is even remaining loyal to its S-400 air defense deal with Moscow despite Washington’s sanctions threats. Nevertheless, Patrushev considers the bloc that it’s part of to be a regionally destabilizing force whose overall impact negatively affects Russian interests.

The timing of his remarks is also significant since it comes ahead of the Quad’s first-ever in-person summit on 24 September. Patrushev is also probably aware of how uncomfortable India has become after being left out of the new Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) trilateral military alliance. New Delhi shares those countries desire to contain China and thought that it could play a leading role in this respect only to be kept in the dark during this bloc’s secret negotiation process. With this in mind, Patrushev is hoping to encourage his country’s special and privileged strategic partner to reconsider its participation in such US-led attempts.

The ideal scenario would be for Moscow to mediate a rapprochement between New Delhi and Beijing, though that might not happen due to their deep differences over sensitive issues. These include their disputed frontier, India’s controversial revocation of Article 370 in August 2019, its subsequent publication of a map laying claim to Chinese-administered Aksai Chin, warmongering comments from its officials, and New Delhi’s last-minute decision to remain outside of last year’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), among many others. Even Russia’s world-class diplomats can’t realistically bridge all of these very serious differences.

Rather, the most practical outcome that Russia likely hopes for is that India will reach an unofficial “non-aggression pact” with China for responsibly managing these disputes across an extended period of time. During the interim, they can seek to “normalize” their relations as much as they can considering these unresolved issues. The path to this scenario is only possible if India no longer attempts to militarily contain China in the aggressive way that it’s thus far done through the US-led Quad. By continuing to do so, it risks destabilizing Eurasia and therefore worsening the overall strategic situation for Russia.

Patrushev doesn’t expect the Chinese-Indian rivalry to disappear overnight, which is why Russia aspires to remain the South Asian state’s top military partner in order to help it balance the People’s Republic. In practice, this takes the form of their trusted military cooperation on sensitive technologies such as the S-400 deal and their joint collaboration on the Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles which they plan to export to the Philippines and potentially other regional countries that are in fierce territorial disputes with China. If countries like India are going to keep balancing China, then Russia prefers for them to receive relevant wares from it, not the US.

The reason for this is that Russia’s “military diplomacy” seeks to maintain the balance of power between its various partners, quite a few of whom are rivals of one another such as Armenia & Azerbaijan, China & India, China & Vietnam, and Iran & Saudi Arabia. By contrast, the US seeks to tip the balance of power in favor of its preferred partner with the expectation that this will encourage them to behave aggressively against their rival. The American method of “military diplomacy” is therefore aggressively intentioned and aims to dangerously disrupt regional balances whereas the Russian method is predicated on defense and retaining such balances.

India can therefore responsibly manage its rivalry with China by relying more on Russia than on the West. Continuing to participate in the Quad will only worsen Eurasia’s US-provoked security crisis and could potentially lead to unpredictable consequences up to and including another border war with China. India’s relevant needs can therefore be met by Russia, which will help it balance China without any serious risks to regional stability. The South Asian state should therefore take Patrushev’s condemnation of the Quad as anti-Russian very seriously and thus reconsider the wisdom of remaining within this US-led military alliance.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Quad, Russia, India, US, China, Balancing.


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The Politically Incorrect Truth About What Really Happened In Afghanistan

The Politically Incorrect Truth About What Really Happened In Afghanistan

5 SEPTEMBER 2021

The Politically Incorrect Truth About What Really Happened In Afghanistan

Many Americans might regard their government’s grand strategic objectives in this respect as lacking any morals, ethics, or principles considering that they now largely align with China’s, Pakistan’s, Russia’s, and even the Taliban’s despite the public having been made to think over the years that all four of them are their enemies.

Afghan Ambiguity

Average Americans are struggling to make sense of what just happened in Afghanistan last month since it all unfolded so suddenly. Most realized that the war was lost long ago and had turned into a so-called “endless” one, but few expected it to end the way that it ultimately did. Almost nothing that the Biden Administration did made sense to them, and few have any idea what’s in store for the future there. The purpose of this piece is to explain everything in “politically incorrect” terms in order to help everyone better understand it all.

A Hint Of What’s To Come

Let’s start with the jaw-dropping outcome first and then explain how it came to be. The US is now partially partnered with the same Taliban that it still officially designates as terrorists in their joint struggle against the comparatively greater evil of ISIS-K. America’s post-war plans for the region will also see it relying on China’s Belt & Road Initiative’s (BRI) flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in order to expand its economic influence in Afghanistan and Central Asia despite officially being in a New Cold War with Beijing.

The “unholy” US-Taliban anti-terrorist partnership isn’t perfect nor what either of those two initially wanted but was forged by shared interests during the last two weeks of the American withdrawal from Kabul. The Taliban protected Americans from those terrorists despite being officially designated by the American government as terrorists themselves because they hoped that Washington would continue providing some level of support for Afghanistan after the war ends, even if only indirectly through international organizations.

PAKAFUZ

That’s precisely what the US also plans to do, even if not right away, as evidenced by the “New Quad” that it established between itself, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan in late July that’s explicitly premised on promoting regional connectivity. This structure strategically comprises the three countries that agreed in February to build a railway (which can tentatively be called PAKAFUZ after the first letters of each participating country’s name) that’ll eventually connect Central Asia to the Arabian Sea via Afghanistan.

This infrastructure project aligns with the former Trump Administration’s “Strategy For Central Asia 2019-2025” that was unveiled in February 2020 just weeks before the US-Taliban peace deal later that month. It basically calls for using economic means to expand American influence in this broader region with an aim towards lessening those countries’ potentially disproportionate strategic dependence on the US’ Chinese and Russian rivals.

America’s Chinese-Friendly Taliban Guardians

The irony though is that it’ll inevitably result in the US relying on BRI’s CPEC in Pakistan in spite of the ongoing Chinese-American New Cold War, which is too “politically incorrect” of an observation for any American official to say out loud despite it being the strategic truth. Even more shocking for the US public is the fact that the Taliban was always expected from the get-go to guard this project through the US’ plans to incorporate it into the planned transitional government that was supposed to have been assembled before the withdrawal ended.

That plan went awry after former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani‘s ego got the best of him and he refused to resign as the Taliban’s primary political precondition for their participation. Furthermore, the Biden Administration refused to implement any military tripwires during the final months of its withdrawal such as making it clear that it would kinetically respond to any Taliban attacks against Afghan cities while US forces were still in the country. These factors emboldened the group to go on their fateful nationwide offensive.

Biden’s Dilemma

In Biden’s defense, attacking the Taliban under any pretext would have been a violation of the Trump Administration’s deal with the group and would have provoked them to attack the withdrawing American forces, thereby sabotaging the process and probably leading to the perpetuation of the war. While some have since claimed that he should have withdrawn the US’ military equipment that it gave to its Afghan National Army (ANA) allies, that would have caused a panic and precipitated their collapse due a lack of confidence.

Either way, the Biden Administration was in a dilemma, one which was largely attributable to the US’ human intelligence failures there over the past two decades as well as the self-sustaining ecosystem of lies built by members of its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”). The Pentagon truly (though wrongly) believed that the larger and better-equipped ANA would fight the Taliban and that the Afghan government wouldn’t collapse until the end of the year at the earliest.

The Truth About The Taliban

What it failed to realize this entire time is that the Taliban had successfully rebranded itself as a national liberation movement in the eyes of Afghanistan’s 75% rural majority despite still being designated as terrorists by Russia and others. This resulted in it generating enormous sympathy among many of those very same members of the ANA that were supposed to fight them as well as many of the country’s minorities, the latter of which reconciled themselves with living under their rule after they let minorities join their leadership ranks.

The “politically incorrect” conclusion is that the Taliban already won incomparably more hearts and minds than the US and its proxy government, which also means that the Pentagon unwittingly ended up training many Taliban sympathizers in the ANA who then largely surrendered en masse once the group approached the gates of their cities. That’s why the Taliban was able to seize so much US military equipment. Had the US known what was really happening on the ground this whole time, it would have likely withdrawn it all ahead of time.

The Partial US-Taliban Partnership

Instead, American decision makers (both military and political alike) were oblivious to how genuinely popular the Taliban’s national liberation cause had become among the Afghan people, especially those in the ANA and in the minority-majority northern parts of the country. Even though the Taliban are still officially designated as terrorists by the US, their enemy came to rely on them out of necessity to protect many of those Americans who were caught off guard by their offensive and hadn’t evacuated earlier.

The Taliban ensured that most of them reached the airport safely and thus proved to the American government that its designation of them as terrorists is outdated, especially in light of their shared struggle against ISIS-K. All of these dynamics should have been obvious to any objective observer but the vast majority of those across the world were so surprised at the speed by which everything that they thought about the conflict was flipped upside-down that they weren’t able to accurately assess what was happening.

Too Little, Too Late

Furthermore, the Biden Administration – just like its three predecessors – was never fully truthful with the American people and failed to explain all of this to them ahead of time like it should have done. To the President’s credit, he eventually did broach some of these themes in his recent speeches, but it too little too late to reshape perceptions and reassure everyone that everything was under as much control as it possibly could be given the very difficult circumstances.

He also came off as defensive and therefore potentially untruthful since his explanations occurred only after his administration came under unprecedented pressure. Even if he was upfront about everything right at the start of the Taliban’s lightning-fast nationwide offensive when it became increasingly clear that the “deep state” totally miscalculated the on-the-ground dynamics there, it would have still been too abrupt of an explanation for the American people to accept since they’d been lied to for so long about the war.

The Raw Truth

It’s understandable that folks would find it difficult to understand how the same Taliban that’s still officially designated by their government as terrorists was supposed to become part of an inclusive government prior to the withdrawal’s completion, help the US fight against the comparatively greater evil of ISIS-K, and then defend the PAKAFUZ project for expanding their country’s influence into Central Asia which is ironically partially dependent on their Chinese rival’s BRI investments in CPEC that America is supposed to be opposed to.

This is all too much for the average American to comprehend which is why the “politically incorrect” explanation is being withheld from them even though part of it has gradually been introduced to the public by Biden out of political necessity ever since last month’s fast-moving events. The US is partnering with a group that it still officially regards as terrorists in order to fight against other terrorists and also hopes that the first group guards a planned regional connectivity project through Afghanistan that’s partially reliant on China’s BRI.

Debunking Lies About The Taliban & China

These strategic truths debunk several major American lies. The first is that the Taliban aren’t truly terrorists in the traditional sense that the US public regards this word as meaning otherwise their government wouldn’t ally with it against anyone else, let alone depend on it to protect evacuating Americans and then a regional infrastructure project through post-withdrawal Afghanistan. The second is that BRI isn’t as bad as they’ve been made to believe since its CPEC investments will lay the basis for the US’ future Central Asian strategy.

In fact, PAKAFUZ can be considered as a synthesis of American, Chinese, Pakistani, and even Russian strategic connectivity visions since it serves all of their interests. The US and Pakistan want to expand their economic influence north, China wants to facilitate Islamabad’s plans in this respect since PAKAFUZ is de facto the northern expansion of CPEC, and Russia regards this corridor as its route to the Indian Ocean that it’s struggled for centuries to reach.

Debunking Lies About Russia & Pakistan

Two more lies are therefore debunked through this supplementary observation. The first pertains to Pakistan, which many Americans are resentful of since they consider its reported support of the Taliban as having been the primary factor that ensured their country’s military defeat in Afghanistan. Be that as it may, their government is now economically allying with Pakistan through the “New Quad” and PAKAFUZ in order to expand its influence in Central Asia via post-withdrawal Taliban-led Afghanistan.

The second lie relates to Russia, and it’s that the US will always supposedly seek to “contain” it, yet PAKAFUZ will actually enable Moscow to finally succeed for the first time ever in its centuries-long quest to reach the Indian Ocean. Many American decision makers regarded their 1980s support of the Taliban’s mujahideen forefathers as being partially premised on preventing the USSR from using Afghanistan as a spring board to eventually invade Pakistan for that purpose, yet now their government is facilitating this connectivity goal.

Concluding Thoughts

All of this just goes to show how complicated the realities of International Relations really are. Many Americans might regard their government’s grand strategic objectives in this respect as lacking any morals, ethics, or principles considering that they now largely align with China’s, Pakistan’s, Russia’s, and even the Taliban’s despite the public having been made to think over the years that all four of them are their enemies. It’s little wonder then that these “politically incorrect” truths are still being withheld from them by the “deep state”.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Afghanistan, Taliban, US, Russia, China, Pakistan, PAKAFUZ.


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Robust Russian-Indian Defense Ties Prove That New Delhi Still Values Moscow

Robust Russian-Indian Defense Ties Prove That New Delhi Still Values Moscow

3 SEPTEMBER 2021

Robust Russian-Indian Defense Ties Prove That New Delhi Still Values Moscow

Russia and India’s “military diplomacy” with one another and jointly with others has strengthened their strategic partnership.

The recalibration of Indian grand strategy over the past decade away from its prior model of non-alignment towards the de facto pro-Western pivot that it describes as multi-alignment raised concerns about the future of Russian-Indian relations. This trend was commenced in response to the Indian leadership beginning to view neighboring China’s rise as a threat. The US aims to contain the People’s Republic, which is why India found a commonality of grand strategic interest with it and decided to prioritize the comprehensive improvement of their relations. By contrast, Russian-Chinese ties have only strengthened during this time, which is why some Indians began to regard the Eurasian Great Power as unreliable when it comes to their anti-Chinese goals.

Russia will never do anything to harm its Chinese and Indian strategic partners’ interests, unlike the US which seeks to play India off against China in order to divide and rule Asia. Moscow’s military cooperation with both Great Powers is motivated by the desire to retain a balance of force between them whereas Washington wants to tilt the balance in New Delhi’s favor at Beijing’s expense. Even so, India realized that it cannot completely rely on the US to meet its military needs after being threatened with CAATSA sanctions for its planned purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems. That deal also importantly signified the start of India once again recalibrating its military relations between both Great Powers and moving closer to Russia as a result.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released a report in March 2021 comparing trends in international arms transfers between the periods 2011-15 and 2016-20. it found that there was a whopping 53% fall in relevant Russian exports to India during that time. Even so, Head of International Cooperation and Regional Policy of Rostec state corporation Victor N. Kladov told The Hindu during late August’s Army 2021 exhibition in his country that their defense trade was worth $15 billion over the past three years. The outlet reported that the bulk of this was attributable to some big ticket deals such as the S-400s, which Mr. Kladov praised India for remaining committed to despite US sanctions threats.

I concluded in January of this year that “The Future Of US-Indian Relations Depends On New Delhi’s S-400 Decision” since it’ll show whether the South Asian state truly defends its national interests like Mr. Kladov believes or if it’ll submit to American pressure into becoming its new ally’s junior partner against China. As it presently stands, India has no such intentions of playing second fiddle to anyone as proven by its commitment to the Russian air defense deal. Military-technical cooperation has always remained the mainstay of the special and privileged Russian-Indian strategic partnership, and despite the negative trend that SIPRI recently reported, India evidently doesn’t feel comfortable sacrificing this and instead relies on it to retain balance with the US.

Had India compromised on its national interests by pulling out of the deal under American pressure, then it would have inevitably led to the irreversible deterioration of relations with Russia that would have seriously reduced its defense capabilities since it’s unable to realistically diversify away from its historical supplier anytime soon. Remaining committed to that deal complicates its ties with the US, though, but India believes that this is an acceptable cost for retaining its strategic sovereignty and still hopes that America might eventually grant it a sanctions waiver. Even if it doesn’t, India wouldn’t have lost out on all that much since its military-technical industry still remains dependent on Russia, not the US.

In fact, India seems to have once again begun to appreciate the reliability of its Russian partner after clinching so many big ticket deals over the past three years. The two sides are also looking to expand their military cooperation as well. The latest reports indicate that they’re negotiating an upgrade to the T-90S Bishma MBTs and Russia’s potential modernization of the Talwar-class guided missile frigates. They also just inked a deal for 70,000 AK assault rifles. Furthermore, they plan to export their jointly produced BrahMos supersonic cruise missile to countries in Southeast and West Asia, including the Philippines and potentially also Vietnam, both of which are embroiled in tense territorial conflicts with China in the South China Sea.

This last-mentioned observation shows that Russia isn’t afraid to cooperate with India in order to retain third countries’ military balances with China despite Moscow’s close ties with Beijing. Once again, it must be pointed out that Russia doesn’t seek to give anyone an edge over the other – neither China nor its other arms partners in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam – but to help each match the other’s growing capabilities with the hope that this would reduce the likelihood of a military clash between them and therefore improve the odds of a political solution to their disputes. The US, by contrast, hopes to give the Philippines, Vietnam, India, and others an edge over China in order to encourage them to provoke the same clashes that Russia hopes to avoid.

Russia’s and India’s planned BrahMos exports to third countries, especially those in the South China Sea, serve to positively reshape Indian perceptions about Russian reliability by showing that Moscow isn’t under Beijing’s influence like some in New Delhi fear. The Eurasian Great Power, just like its South Asian counterpart, doesn’t want to play second fiddle to anyone and is thus confidently showing the world that it’ll help others militarily balance China with Indian support the same as it helps China balance others such as India. Russia will never go as far as the US does by infringing on China’s interests, whether directly in the South China Sea or indirectly through the types of military equipment that it exports to its partners, but it’s still highly appreciated by India.

The BrahMos missiles can therefore be said to have been a game-changer in Russian-Indian military cooperation. Not only are they impressive in and of themselves, but their planned export to third countries embroiled in territorial disputes with China showed India that some of its experts were wrong about Russian intentions. This reassurance helped them to realize that they don’t need to put all their eggs in the American military basket, especially at the potential loss of their strategic sovereignty with time, which convinced them to remain committed to the S-400 deal despite the US’ sanctions threats. The end result is that Russia and India’s “military diplomacy” with one another and jointly with others has strengthened their strategic partnership.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, India, China, US, Balancing, BrahMos, Military Diplomacy.


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ISIS-K’s Kabul Airport Terrorist Attacks Were Inevitable

ISIS-K’s Kabul Airport Terrorist Attacks Were Inevitable

26 AUGUST 2021

ISIS-K

The world’s eyes are on that site so any terrorist group, let alone one as publicly-hungry as ISIS-K, would have regarded it as too tempting of a target to pass up.

The international community is shocked by ISIS-K‘s three attacks (and counting?) at the Kabul Airport that killed dozens of people, including at least 10 US soldiers, according to initial reports. A Taliban spokesman, whose group is still designated by Moscow as terrorists despite the Kremlin pragmatically engaging with it in the interests of peace and security, told Russian media earlier in the day that his group was the one that warned NATO about the impending attack that he claimed would be carried out to discredit them.

That scenario was the last thing that the Taliban would have wanted to happen because it risks providing the US the pretext for extending its withdrawal deadline in order to evacuate more of its citizens and their local allies. Be that as it may, it’s unclear whether the US will do that or if it might even prematurely end its operations. In any case, there shouldn’t be any question that none of this is the Taliban’s fault. ISIS-K is its sworn enemy, and the Taliban have gone to great lengths to present themselves as responsible security stakeholders.

Nevertheless, the Kabul Airport attack was inevitable. The world’s eyes are on that site so any terrorist group, let alone one as publicly-hungry as ISIS-K, would have regarded it as too tempting of a target to pass up. Furthermore, it’s a relatively “soft” target too because of how many civilians were swarming around the site despite recently being told to go home for their own good. Many didn’t heed these warnings out of desperation to escape the Taliban whom they sincerely fear despite the group promising not to carry out any reprisals.

Many commentators are pointing fingers trying to stick the blame on US President Joe Biden and/or the Taliban, but this is nothing more than a political exercise that overlooks the larger strategic dynamics at play. It should be taken for granted that certain lobbying forces might exploit this attack to pressure the American leader to extend the withdrawal deadline, order retaliatory strikes, or even wrap up his country’s evacuation operations before their deadline, but this shouldn’t be interpreted as meaning that some forces “were in on it”.

Although the original ISIS from which its “Khorasan” branch in Central & South Asia is derived was at the very least easily “corralled” by the US in the direction of shared interests (which in the “Syraq” case were Baghdad and Damascus), ISIS-K appears to be much more “autonomous”. The argument can be made that the group’s rise was the US’ “Plan B” for Afghanistan after its “Plan A” of an indefinite occupation there failed while its “Plan C” is the “Panjshir Resistance”, but this doesn’t mean that the US is completely “pulling its strings”.

Rather, ISIS-K operates opportunistically like all ISIS franchises by usually taking advantage of preexisting chaos exactly like what’s present in Afghanistan right now. The rapid collapse of the Ghani Government could have created a black hole for it to exploit had the Taliban not swiftly moved in to fill the vacuum, which importantly included seizing control of the thousands of pieces of American military equipment before its sworn enemies could, but there should have been no doubt that ISIS-K would at least try to attack the Kabul Airport.

The terrorist group was tempted by the thousands of civilians there, the Taliban obviously had difficulty with ensuring the site’s security since they’re an insurgent group that only just recently began taking on conventional security responsibilities in Kabul, and the entire world was glued to their screens watching the West’s panicked evacuation over the past two weeks. If the US or any of its allies were secretly behind this attack like some in the Alt-Media Community speculate, then the Taliban would have called them out ahead of time.

They didn’t, however, despite defying global “political correctness” by claiming that “there was no proof” that Osama Bin Laden was involved in 9/11. The group clearly isn’t afraid to share its interpretation of events so it wouldn’t make much sense for them to go against the conventional narrative about one of this century’s most influential events while self-censoring their views about who might have been plotting the Kabul Airport attack that they warned NATO about, especially if they felt that one of its members like the US was secretly behind it.

As difficult as it might be for some to countenance for whatever reason, sometimes even groups whose origins are connected with the US like ISIS’ are (considering that many of its founding members used to be imprisoned by the Americans in Iraq) “autonomously” carry out attacks without any secret foreign intelligence hand guiding them. They simply saw an opportunity and went for it, which in this case was intended to generate global publicity for their terrorist cause as well as possibly somehow or another influence the West’s withdrawal.

It remains to be seen exactly what ISIS-K’s goals were in carrying out these attacks. One line of thinking is that it wanted the West to remain mired in the Afghan quagmire to fight them and thus provoke the Taliban’s ire too by extending their withdrawal deadline. Another, however, maintains that the group hoped that they’d prematurely depart and thus score a soft power victory of sorts for their cause by making it seem like they were scared away by the attacks into abandoning the rest of their citizens and their local allies to public outrage.

Either way, the importance of what just happened is that it was inevitable, more than likely doesn’t have any connection to foreign intelligence agencies, and also proves beyond any shadow of doubt that those terrorists are against the Taliban. There will likely be more such attacks since ISIS-K just succeeded in recapturing the world’s attention, but it’s uncertain whether they’ll have the staying power to launch a sustained terrorist insurgency against the Taliban.

It would be a twist of fate if the Taliban eventually requested US military assistance against the group such as through airstrikes or special forces raids. Of course, that’s just pure speculation at this point since there’s no evidence that it’s considering such a thing, but if everything continues to deteriorate in the worst-case scenario, then the Taliban might have to rely on some sort of foreign support in order to retain power. The US might also bomb ISIS-K without the Taliban’s approval under the pretext of killing the Kabul Airport attacks’ organizers.

Either of these two scenarios could immensely complicate the post-withdrawal strategic situation in Afghanistan and neither should be completely ruled out at the moment. Everything is too fluid to make accurate predictions about what comes next other than the seemingly obvious one of more ISIS-K terrorist attacks. Their expected consequences are unclear, but what can be said for sure is that the situation is becoming more chaotic ahead of the West’s planned withdrawal instead of stabilizing like many hoped.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Afghanistan, ISIS-K, Taliban, US.


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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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Russia’s Balancing Act Is The Key To Averting Another Civil War In Afghanistan

Russia’s Balancing Act Is The Key To Averting Another Civil War In Afghanistan

22 AUGUST 2021

Russia

It’s incumbent on Russia to use all realistic means at its disposal to urgently convince the “Panjshir Resistance” to negotiate with the Taliban, ensure that the Taliban offers its opponents a fair deal with respect to the inclusive government that it’s promised to create, and prevent any Tajik civilians from crossing over the border to fight for their co-ethnics (and in the process potentially provoke Taliban-Tajik clashes that could automatically involve Russia through the CSTO).

Taliban-Russia Ties

The Taliban’s lightning-fast conquest of Afghanistan has resulted in the group becoming its de facto authorities in less than half a month’s time, though it still hasn’t been formally recognized as such because it continues to be designated as a terrorist organization by the international community. Nevertheless, Russia enjoys excellent political ties with the Taliban that were forged over the past few years of the Moscow-led Afghan peace process in spite of still banning the group for the aforementioned reason.

Recalibrating Russia’s Balancing Act In Afghanistan

The Eurasian Great Power’s pragmatic stance towards them is the result of its diplomatic balancing act which saw the Kremlin pioneer a new era of relations with former rivals in recent years in an attempt to position itself as the supreme balancing force in Eurasia, which its leadership regards as their country’s geostrategic destiny this century. In particular, Russia has invested tremendous time and effort in practicing this policy towards majority-Muslim states as part of what can be described as its “Ummah Pivot”.

The rapid collapse of the US-backed Kabul government saw Russia replacing that partner with the Taliban as its de facto interlocutor for managing national affairs while the anti-government role that this group played with respect to Moscow’s balancing act there has been replaced by the so-called “Panjshir Resistance” which popped up in its eponymous valley. It considers itself to be the successor of the erstwhile “Northern Resistance” that used to enjoy Russian support during the 1990s. Unlike then, however, the Kremlin has no intentions of militarily aiding this opposition force but instead wants it to compromise with the Taliban.

Strategic Symbiosis

This observation is evidenced by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announcing that he supports a political dialogue between those opposing forces, which was followed up by Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov declaring that “there is no alternative to the Taliban” and elaborating on the many reasons why the “Panjshir Resistance” is doomed. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Zhirnov revealed that the Taliban asked for his assistance in reaching a political solution with that group. This development speaks to the symbiotic strategic relationship between Russia and the Taliban.

Russia expects the Taliban to function as the region’s anti-terrorist vanguard against ISIS-K while the Taliban expects Russia to facilitate a political compromise with the “Panjshir Resistance”. These outcomes would be mutually beneficial if they succeed since they’d ensure regional stability by averting another Afghan Civil War. Moscow is the only force capable of potentially convincing the “Panjshir Resistance” to reach a deal with the Taliban since the former’s members are thought to be mostly Tajiks – Afghanistan’s second-largest ethnic plurality – and therefore within Russia’s indirect “sphere of influence” by virtue of its alliance with Dushanbe.

Is The “Panjshir Resistance” The US’ “Plan C”?

Although Ahmad Massoud – the head of the “Panjshir Resistance” whose father of the same name was the legendary leader of the “Northern Resistance”known as the “Lion of Panjshir” – is close to the liberal-globalist imperialist Bernard-Henri Lévy (BHL) of Libyan War infamy and provocatively published an op-ed in the Washington Post requesting as much US military assistance as possible, it’s unlikely that anything significant will be forthcoming. Even if some was American support was received, without Russian support via Tajikistan, his movement stands no chance of succeeding but would only function as a US proxy for prolonging the war.

It’s unimportant whether some observers sympathize with Massoud’s comparatively more secular vision of Afghanistan since it’s objectively the case that his ties to BHL and direct appeal to the preferred media outlet of the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) confirm the counterproductive role that he’d play with respect to regional dynamics if his movement is allowed to continue. It might very well be that some neoconservative “deep state” forces regard him as their “Plan C” for Afghanistan after “Plan A” of an indefinite occupation failed just like their “Plan B” of ISIS-K did shortly after.

Strategic Dynamics

Russia has no interest in militarily supporting the “Panjshir Resistance” since it’s aware of the destabilizing role that it’s expected to play in sabotaging February’s agreement to build the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) railway that Moscow intends to utilize for expanding its economic influence to the Indian Ocean like it’s wanted to do for centuries. It’s true that the US also intends to use PAKAFUZ to expand its own economic influence northward into the Central Asian Republics, but it can indefinitely postpone that ultimate fallback plan if the “Panjshir Resistance” successfully functions as its “deep state” proxy for sabotaging Russia’s plans.

The US doesn’t even have to do all that much anyhow for the “Panjshir Resistance” to further destabilize the situation in Afghanistan. Its continued militant resistance to the Taliban (no matter how futile it may ultimately be) might be enough to provoke the country’s de facto leaders into reciprocally (if not disproportionately) responding which could then result in potentially uncontrollable grassroots furor in Tajikistan itself. The US might hope that this catalyzes a self-sustaining cycle of destabilization whereby that neighboring country’s citizens volunteer to fight for their co-ethnics in Afghanistan and thus provoke border clashes with the Taliban.

The Worst-Case Scenario

Russia would have no choice but to protect its CSTO mutual defense ally’s borders in order to “save face” before the world and not be seen as abandoning the country that it previously swore to protect in such a scenario regardless of whoever really provoked it. That could then immediately ruin Moscow’s pragmatic political ties with the Taliban, thus sabotaging the Eurasian Great Power’s diplomatic balancing act and consequently creating a dangerous situation whereby the group no longer has any significant external incentive to behave responsibly like the international community expects.

If the Taliban returns to its old ways by inertia due to another round of civil war, it’ll remain isolated and the US will therefore succeed in indefinitely postponing seemingly inevitable Eurasian multipolar integration processes such as PAKAFUZ as well as the expansion of Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) into Afghanistan. Put another way, all that the US has to do is indirectly shape the preexisting conflict dynamics in Afghanistan in such a way as to prevent the “Panjshir Resistance’s” collapse long enough to inspire Tajik citizens to volunteer to fight for their co-ethnics there in order to possibly set into motion this self-sustaining Hybrid War scheme as its “Plan C”.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s for this reason why it’s incumbent on Russia to use all realistic means at its disposal to urgently convince the “Panjshir Resistance” to negotiate with the Taliban, ensure that the Taliban offers its opponents a fair deal with respect to the inclusive government that it’s promised to create, and prevent any Tajik civilians from crossing over the border to fight for their co-ethnics (and in the process potentially provoke Taliban-Tajik clashes that could automatically involve Russia through the CSTO). The outcome of Russia’s efforts will shape the future of the broader region for years to come, which is why all responsible stakeholders sincerely hope that it succeeds.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Afghanistan, Russia, Taliban, Panjshir Resistance, US, ISIS-K, Hybrid War, PAKAFUZ, Balancing.


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Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were The First US Allies To Be Abandoned By Biden

Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were The First US Allies To Be Abandoned By Biden

19 AUGUST 2021

Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were The First US Allies To Be Abandoned By Biden

The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

The world is talking about the next US allies to be abandoned by President Biden after he shamefully hung his Afghan ones out to dry during America’s panicked retreat from the country. Some commentators believe that Ukraine might be next, but in reality, it and Poland were actually the first US allies whose interests were betrayed in pursuit of the so-called “greater good” despite Biden’s promises that he wouldn’t conduct his country’s foreign policy in the Machiavellian way that Trump did. I’ve been chronicling this for some time, but for those who haven’t closely followed my work over the past few months, here are my most relevant analyses accompanied by a concise summary of each:

* 8 April: “Why Does Ukraine Want War?

Ukraine provoked hostilities in Donbass in a desperate attempt to remain relevant to the new US administration at the behest of some of the anti-Russian members of its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) who wanted to sabotage Biden’s behind-the-scenes outreaches to Russia.

* 14 April: “Poland Must Wake Up To The Threat Of German Hybrid War

Germany has been actively working as America’s “Lead From Behind” proxy for overthrowing the conservative-nationalist Polish government through Hybrid War means connected to Berlin’s backing of its neighbor’s Color Revolution movement.

* 24 April: “What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

Russia didn’t fall for the trap laid out for it by hostile elements in the American “deep state”, though considerable credit for this somewhat surprising de-escalation also goes to Biden since he didn’t make matters worse like many predicted that he would at the time.

* 2 June: “Poland’s Counterproductive Foreign Policy Is Responsible For Its Present Predicament

Poland was shocked by Biden’s decision to waive most of the US’ Nord Stream II sanctions, but it should have seen this coming since the moment he stepped into office and actively begun diversifying its foreign policy instead of remaining entirely dependent on America’s “good graces”.

* 11 June: “Towards Increasingly Complex Multipolarity: Scenarios For The Future

I predicted that the US would “compromise” on the interests of some of its allies like Poland and Ukraine in pursuit of the “greater good” of pragmatically repairing relations with Russia so as to focus more of its efforts on actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

* 15 June: “How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

It then became increasingly obvious that Poland and the US have some irreconcilable grand strategic differences that far surpass their common military interests vis-a-vis Russia, but the aspiring Central European hegemon had yet to make any decisive moves to recalibrate its foreign policy in response.

* 24 June: “Polish-US Missile Defense Co-Op Is A Strategic Smokescreen

To preemptively thwart Poland from doing anything dramatic that could bolster its strategic independence, the US went ahead with their prior “missile defense” plans, which served the purpose of keeping Poland in its clutches and also misleading that country’s leadership into thinking that the US was still their “trusted” ally.

* 12 July: “Former Polish PM Tusk Ridiculously Alleged A Kaczysnski-Putin Conspiracy

Germany proxy Donald Tusk escalated the Hybrid War on Poland by claiming that the country’s viciously Russophobic grey cardinal was secretly Russian President Putin’s puppet, which preemptively thwarted his target’s plans to claim the same about him following his return to the country to lead the Color Revolution.

* 15 July: “It’s Time For A Polish-Russian ‘Non-Aggression’ Pact In Belarus & Ukraine

In the face of such increased Hybrid War pressure against it, the most pragmatic thing that Poland could do is clinch a so-called “non-aggression” pact with Russia in their overlapping “spheres of influence” in order to focus more of its security services’ efforts on defending itself from the joint US-German regime change campaign.

* 19 July: “Poland Should Follow Ukraine’s Lead By Using China To Balance The US

As unexpected as it was for most observers to acknowledge, Ukraine’s US-controlled puppet government actually began making serious moves to use China as a “balancing” force against America, which should have inspired Poland to follow suit as a means of showing the US how dissatisfied it is with the ongoing Hybrid War.

* 26 July: “The US-German Hybrid War Against Poland Is Intensifying

Poland’s lack of resolve in defending itself from the joint US-German Hybrid War only served to embolden its nominal “allies” to intensify their regime change campaign, which threatened to make matters much worse for its beleaguered conservative-nationalist government.

* 29 July: “The West Is Pressuring Poland & Russia Due To Their Conservative-Nationalist Values

Poland and Russia are interestingly in the same boat vis-a-vis the West since the latter is pressuring both of them due to their conservative-nationalist values, which Warsaw has yet to realize and thus explains why it’s still in a state of shock after its so-called “allies” so decisively turned against it.

* 13 August: “Ukrainian Ethno-Fascism vs. Russian Multiculturalism

Ukraine’s response to America’s strategic betrayal of its interests hasn’t been to pragmatically explore a possible rapprochement with Russia like it should have done if its leadership had any wisdom but to counterproductively double down on its Russophobic policies.

* 12 August: “Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

The combination of US-German Hybrid War pressure and the unexpected migrant crisis coming from Belarus might finally cause Poland to rethink its self-defeating regional policy of functioning as America’s anti-Russian puppet after receiving literally no rewards for this role nor relief from the regime change pressure upon it.


Having indisputably established that Poland and Ukraine were the first US allies to be abandoned under Biden, it’s now time to talk a little bit more about the latter’s predicament. President Zelensky plans to finally meet his American counterpart at the end of the month, but many observers are wondering why it’s even taken so long. One possible reason other than the US leader’s deliberate mistreatment of his country’s ally is that he’s simply embarrassed because of the slew of scandals connecting him to that country such as the Burisma one with his son Hunter and Biden’s bargain with Poroshenko to fire former General Prosecutor Shokin who was investigating the first-mentioned scandal.

Biden also wanted Zelensky to bend over and accept that America was “compromising” on Ukraine’s interests as part of the “greater good” related to repairing relations with Russia in order to more actively refocus the US’ efforts on “containing” China. The Ukrainian leader understandably felt betrayed by Biden and began to lose faith in America’s reliability as an ally, which explains why his country started reaching out more to China lately. Even so, nothing that Kiev might do can fully protect its interests if Washington cuts a deal with Moscow over Eastern Ukraine like some commentators now speculate might be in the cards as part of their gradual rapprochement.

As for Poland, it too has been caught with its pants down by Biden’s pragmatic deal-making with Russia and also doesn’t have any realistic means to defend its interests in response to them being “traded away” by the American leader. Unlike Ukraine whose conservative-nationalist values are supported by the US because they take the extreme form of ethno-fascism that can be weaponized to keep Russian influence there at bay, the Polish government’s comparatively more mild values are seen as a threat to the entire Western project because of the possibility that they can influence other EU members and thus undermine the US’ plans to have Germany’s liberal-globalist ideology dominate the continent in order to control its countries by proxy.

Poland and Ukraine are therefore at America’s mercy. Their interests were betrayed by their “ally” even before Biden abandoned his country’s Afghan “allies”. Observers should become more aware of this fact since it shows that nobody should have been surprised by what just happened in that South Asian country. The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific. It remains to be seen how much more “collateral damage” the US’ “allies” will suffer as a result of this policy, but there’s no longer any denying that such a Machiavellian policy exists.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Poland, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Biden, Trump.


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Afghanistan: The Great Western Escape

Afghanistan: The Great Western Escape

13 AUGUST 2021

Afghanistan: The Great Western Escape

The “Great Western Escape” from Afghanistan carries with it powerful imagery that speaks to the countless failures of the international coalition.

The Taliban are taking over Afghanistan a lot quicker than most observers expected, which is prompting a Western exodus from the war-torn country. More than a dozen regional capitals have fallen to the group over the past week, including the second-largest city of Kandahar. Everyone is now bracing themselves for what seems to be the Taliban’s inevitable march on Kabul even though the international community is still desperately trying to clinch a last-minute peace deal to avert that dark scenario. Some countries are also threatening not to recognize the Taliban if it returns to power by force, but that might not deter it.

The “Great Western Escape” from Afghanistan is now underway. The US just deployed several thousand Marines to facilitate the evacuation of its citizens and is begging the Taliban not to attack its Embassy. Canada and the UK are also dispatching some forces to assist their compatriots in this respect too. India already evacuated some of its citizens and is reportedly preparing for the contingency scenario of how to complete its own full civilian and diplomatic withdrawal if the Taliban reaches the Afghan capital. All of these countries fully supported Kabul but now have nothing to show for it despite two decades’ worth of investments.

The palpable panic in the international community and especially among Western and Western-allied countries like India is due to their failure to pragmatically adapt to rapidly changing circumstances that their strategists should have seen coming long ago. The Afghan National Army (ANA) was always a paper tiger propped up by foreign air support. It never commanded any real power on the ground outside of a few cities. Once the US stopped bombing the Taliban as much as it used to, its fighters regrouped en masse and started taking over regional capital after regional capital, focusing first on the border regions and now moving towards the interior.

They wisely preempted the scenario of foreign forces supporting anti-Taliban proxies from neighboring countries and are now proverbially (or perhaps quite literally) going for the kill by potentially capturing Kabul. All the money that Kabul’s allies invested in Afghanistan was wasted on corruption and ulterior projects such as utilizing that country as a springboard for destabilizing neighboring ones through armed militants that targets such as Pakistan regard as terrorists. Nothing of substance was ever invested in actually improving the lives of regular Afghans and progressively winning the hearts and minds needed to sustain their government.

To its credit, India did indeed invest quite a lot in Afghan infrastructure projects and played a leading role in supporting anti-Taliban proxies, but the former were taken for granted by the locals as something that they rightly deserved and not as a reward of any sort for keeping the Taliban at bay while the latter were brutal, corrupt, and thus counterproductively improved the population’s perception of the Taliban by contrast. India could have entered into emergency talks with the Taliban upon its initial successes after the US announced its full withdrawal plans but refused to do so for whatever reason at the expense of its interests.

India is now fleeing Afghanistan together with its Western allies, all of whom are leaving in shame and knowing that this outcome wasn’t inevitable. Had they sincerely invested in Afghanistan’s people, none of this might have happened, but they all pursued ulterior strategic motives that never truly had anything to do with reconstructing this war-torn country. Each of them also spewed propaganda to the foreign audience that their own decision makers themselves ultimately ended up believing after some time which claimed that the Taliban weren’t genuinely popular and were thus doomed to be defeated.

The “Great Western Escape” from Afghanistan carries with it powerful imagery that speaks to the countless failures of the international coalition. The retreating forces’ soft power is destroyed by none other than their own hand after they showed the world that they couldn’t accomplish anything that they officially set out to do despite two decades and literally trillions of dollars in total invested towards that end. Nothing was ever as it seemed to be and none of them were honest about what was really happening there. The truth has finally been revealed though and it isn’t pretty, but it’ll hopefully be a lesson for everyone if they choose to learn from it.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Afghanistan, Taliban, US, Canada, UK, India.


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Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

12 AUGUST 2021

Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland – the top “Three Seas Initiative” states most active in the US-backed Hybrid War on Belarus – are experiencing some unexpected trouble at home and along their frontiers with that former Soviet Republic which might cause them to rethink their aggressive policies against Minsk for pragmatism’s sake.

Recent developments might compel the “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland into backing off from the active role that they play in the US-backed Hybrid War on Belarus. Each of them has suddenly experienced some unexpected trouble either at home and/or along their frontiers with that former Soviet Republic. All three of them are struggling in their response to the surge in illegal immigration coming from their shared neighbor, which Minsk denies is being weaponized by its leadership as an unconventional response to their pressure upon it but which nevertheless seems to at the very least be “passively facilitated” by it. Furthermore, Lithuania and Poland recently saw some large-scale protests in response to contentious domestic policies, all the while the Color Revolution in Belarus continues to peter out into practically nothing.

Vilnius saw some chaos outside its parliament earlier in the week due to its people’s fury at the authorities’ plans to legally discriminate against non-vaccinated citizens. Meanwhile, Warsaw and several other Polish cities saw demonstrations against the government’s media reform bill which has drawn the ire of the country’s nominal American and German allies. That development also resulted in the governing coalition fraying after the sacking of a Deputy Prime Minister and subsequent withdrawal of his party from that selfsame coalition due to their opposition to that policy. Furthermore, Poland just submitted to the EU’s “financial imperialism”. All of this coincided with Belarusian President Lukashenko signaling a “phased leadership transition” in the coming future and detained anti-government blogger Protasevich admitting that the coup against him failed.

With each of these four countries caught up in their own domestic crises, it’s therefore sensible that Lukashenko extended an olive branch to his 3SI opponents and in particular Poland with the hope that they’d accept so that everyone can then focus more on resolving their more pressing problems at home. It’s unclear whether this attempt at a so-called “non-aggression pact” will bear any fruit, but it’s a welcome development in any case. It also puts the onus on those three countries over whether or not to continue escalating regional tensions like Minsk accused Vilnius of recently doing along their shared border. The argument can be made that some of those countries, especially little Lithuania, have a self-interested desire in provoking a regional crisis in order to sabotage the US’ efforts to broker its own “non-aggression pact” with Russia and focus more on China.

Be that as it may, it’s veritably in their national interests to seriously consider Belarus’ olive branch. Latvia and Lithuania are disproportionately affected by the regional migration crisis coming from Belarus due to their small populations. Lithuania also has to confront the unexpectedly violent resistance to its COVID-19 policies on top of whatever unconventional response China might undertake following Vilnius’ decision to host a de facto so-called “Taiwanese embassy” as part of its ploy to become the US’ top regional partner. Poland is under even more pressure than both of its 3SI allies combined since it must confront the intensifying US-German Hybrid War against its ruling conservative-nationalist party. Warsaw is in no position to continue waging a US-backed proxy war against Belarus, especially since Washington is waging its own against Warsaw right now.

The 3SI-driven perpetuation of the US-backed Hybrid War on Belarus is a waste of time and money for the three vanguard states involved. They’re now paying unexpected costs along their border and in terms of the associated social instability that their failure to deal with this regional migration crisis might entail. Protasevich’s admission that the coup against Lukahsnko failed should be the final nail in the coffin of that regime change campaign. Keeping it going only drains those three 3SI states of resources that would be better invested at home during these increasingly unstable times. In particular, it distracts the Polish security services from dealing with the more urgent task of thwarting the US-German Hybrid War. Gray Cardinal Kaczynski should have hopefully realized by now that fighting this proxy war won’t protect Poland from the US’ latest plots against it.

The best-case scenario is that Poland pragmatically accepts Belarus’ olive branch even if it doesn’t publicly make too much of a fuss about it for “face-saving” reasons. That would take the wind out of Latvia’s and Lithuania’s regime change sails and encourage them to follow suit. They still might not do so though if they’ve riskily gambled that their subjectively defined national interests are best advanced by continuing that campaign at the US’ behest, but Poland’s increasingly less prominent participation in it, if not eventual abandonment of its “active measures”, would greatly neutralize its effectiveness. What’s most important is that aspiring regional hegemon Poland reconsiders its policies in this respect. Even piecemeal progress on this front could have a positive effect on the region and bolster Poland’s defenses against the US-German Hybrid War at home.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Three Seas Initiative, US, Russia, Germany, Illegal Immigration, Hybrid War, Color Revolution, Regime Change.


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