All posts tagged: Taliban

Reasons to be Cautious About US ‘Withdrawal’ from Afghanistan

James O’Neill The weeks before and since Christmas have seen and acceleration of efforts to achieve a peace settlement in Afghanistan. What is interesting is that the countries that have an important stake in there being a peaceful Afghanistan are driving this process: Russia, China, Pakistan and the Central Asian republics adjoining or proximate to Afghanistan. Officials from these countries have met in Moscow and Astana and are due to meet again in Moscow on 5th February 2019. They are meeting with Taliban officials, Afghanistan Government representatives (although not in an official capacity) and in the case of the Moscow talks, a representative from the United States embassy. The United States has had separate talks with Taliban officials in Qatar, and on 25 January announced an agreement in principle on two crucial and linked elements: that foreign forces would be withdrawn within 18 months from the signing of a ceasefire agreement; and a pledge by the Taliban that Afghanistan would not be used as a basis for attacks by Islamic extremists on the United States. …

Getting Out of Afghanistan, Staying Out of Venezuela

David Lindsay As it was always going to do, the war in Afghanistan is culminating in the victory of the people who had never had anywhere else to go. Apparently, the restored “Taliban” are going to be made to promise not to allow Afghanistan to be turned into a base for jihadis. Well, good luck with that, but it would at least be an improvement on Kosovo, Iraq or Libya following our own works of improvement there. Or on Saudi Arabia, whence came the attacks of 11th September 2001. Or on Sudan, the oil-rich country that is in the midst of a popular uprising but which is not all over the news. In the form of Elliott Abrams, the oil-rich country that is in the midst of a popular uprising and which is all over the news is now under the benign gaze of the people who brought peace and order to Kosovo, to Afghanistan, to Iraq, and to Libya. Oh, yes, they did. They did not in any way bring Islamist terrorism, or rampant …