Category Archives: Analysis

The U.S. Military Needs to Learn How to Train Auxiliary Armies

Source: Foreignpolicy.com

America’s war in Afghanistan is now over, but the war over the war has only just begun. The sudden collapse of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police looms large in these new debates among policy wonks, politicians, and journalists.

Images of captured U.S. equipment in the hands of the triumphant Taliban brought bitter reminders of Islamic State soldiers celebrating in American armored vehicles after Iraqi security forces suddenly collapsed in 2014. How could these security forces, which the United States had spent so much time and resources training and equipping, collapse so quickly?

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Blame-shifting over US withdrawal ignores deeper failings in Afghanistan

Source: Guardian

The deeply partisan US Congress is rarely a conducive place for national introspection and Tuesday’s Senate hearing on the Afghanistan withdrawal did not provide an exception.

In the midst of the point-scoring and blame-shifting on display in the senators’ questions to the nation’s military leadership, it was clear that it was a contest to apportion shares in failure.

And behind the debacle of the pullout that left tens of thousands of vulnerable Afghans behind, there were fleeting references to the far deeper failure of the preceding two decades – a reckoning that has only just begun for the Pentagon and the US foreign policy establishment.

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What the Arab Gulf is thinking after the Afghanistan withdrawal

Source: Atlantic Council

Following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, three heavyweights in the Gulf are carefully navigating the aftermath—each calculating what it stands to gain (or lose) in its relationship with the United States.

How does this development alter their perceptions of security, and how will it impact their dynamics vis-à-vis Washington? Based on recent travel to the region and several conversations with officials, here’s what to expect:

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John Pilger: The Great Game of Smashing Nations

As a tsunami of crocodile tears engulfs Western politicians, history is suppressed. More than a generation ago, Afghanistan won its freedom, which the United States, Britain and their “allies” destroyed.

In 1978, a liberation movement led by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) overthrew the dictatorship of Mohammad Dawd, the cousin of King Zahir Shah. It was an immensely popular revolution that took the British and Americans by surprise.

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Afghanistan, 20 Years After the September 11 Attacks

Source: Voice of America

ISLAMABAD – Twenty-four-year-old Tamana Zaryab Paryani is too young to remember the last Taliban rule, from 1996-2001, but she recalls the horror stories her mother told her.

“My mother said Taliban were a terrorist group … it was a brutal time. They used to stone people to death,” Paryani told VOA in a WhatsApp call from Kabul, where she and nearly 20 other women are regularly protesting in the streets against the very group her mother warned her about.

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How Kabul became an evacuation bottleneck and a prime terror target: The Last 96

Source: Fox News

A new series “Fox News Digital Originals” analyses the reasons behind the fall of Kabul and the last days before the evacuation mission this year. It contains some nuanced information but should be read with a grain of salt considering the source.

Mick Mulroy, a former senior Defense Department official in the Trump administration who now thinks it was a mistake to negotiate with the Taliban, and other experts give their analyses on why the Afghan National Army was not able to defend the country against the Taliban.

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Books, films and art about 9/11, 20 years later

Source: Deutsche Welle

On September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center fell victim to a terrorist attack. Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger planes, flying two of them into the iconic skyscrapers. Two other hijacked planes crashed into the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died, including many first responders who had rushed to the scene in downtown Manhattan to help.

The terrorist attacks went down in history as a turning point in time, triggering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now, 20 years later, the cultural world is still dealing with the events of 9/11. Works of architecture, visual arts, film and television are asking important questions such as “How can we mourn? How do you rebuild a city? What should have been done better?”

DW rounds up some of the most significant developments in the cultural realm.

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9/11, the ‘war on terror’ and the consequences for the world

Source: Deutsche Welle

Twenty years have passed since the September 11 attacks. At Ground Zero in New York, the towers of a new World Trade Center rise above the skyline, and there is a memorial to the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks. The city has bounced back and now has more residents than in 2001. Until the pandemic, the economy was booming. 

But nothing is how it was in the US, large parts of the Middle East, and Afghanistan. The Taliban may be back, but when a terrorist attack recently killed some 170 Afghans and more than a dozen US soldiers during an evacuation operation at Kabul airport, it was the so-called “Islamic State” that claimed responsibility. That organization did not even exist 20 years ago when the “war on terror” began. Its emergence is closely linked to how the “war on terror” has been carried out.

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