Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 13, 2021

U.S., NATO Give Up - Will Leave Afghanistan By September 11

This from the Washington Post is surprisingly good news:

Biden will withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021

President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, people familiar with the plans said, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that first drew the United States into its longest war.

The decision, which Biden is expected to announce on Wednesday, will keep thousands of U.S. forces in the country beyond the May 1 exit deadline that the Trump administration negotiated last year with the Taliban, according to one person familiar with the matter, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to describe plans that are not yet public.

While the Taliban has vowed to renew attacks on U.S. and NATO personnel if foreign troops are not out by the deadline, it is not clear if the militants will follow through with those threats given Biden’s plan for a phased withdrawal between now and September.

The decision comes after a U.S. initiative to press for a unity government in Afghanistan only created more dead end proposals and was likely to fail.

The initiative was to include Turkey, India and others to create a complicate plan of power sharing in Kabul. The larger strategic thought behind that plan was to keep Afghanistan as a base from where the U.S. could harass China. Turkey's role under the plan was to organize jihadist Uighur fighters which would be trained in Afghanistan and elsewhere to then get inserted into Xinjiang to interrupt the Belt and Road Initiative projects that run through that area:

Pentagon and CIA are reluctant to vacate Afghanistan by May 1. Turkey will be overseeing an open-ended US-NATO presence. The US hopes to retain a strong intelligence presence backed by special operations forces. A report Friday in the CNN disclosed that “CIA, which has had a significant say in US decision-making in Afghanistan, has “staked out some clear positions” during recent deliberations, arguing in favour of continuing US involvement.”

The scale of the CIA activities in Afghanistan are not in public domain — especially, whether its regional mandate extends beyond the borders of Afghanistan. The CNN report cited above lifted the veil on “one of the most heavily guarded bases” of the CIA — Forward Operating Base Chapman, “a classified US military installation in eastern Afghanistan.”

Suffice to say, given the presence of the ISIS fighters (including those transferred from Syria to Afghanistan — allegedly in US aircraft, according to Russia and Iran) — the nexus between the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and above all, the presence of Uighur, Central Asian and Chechen terrorists, Turkey’s induction as the US’ buddy in Afghanistan is indeed worrisome for regional states. Turkey has transferred jihadi fighters from Idlib to Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh to fight hybrid wars.

Significantly, Turkey has abruptly shifted its stance on the Uighur issue after years of passivity and hyped it up as a diplomatic issue between Ankara and Beijing. China’s ambassador to Ankara was summoned to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry last Tuesday.
China and Russia are vigilant about the US intentions in Afghanistan. (See my blog China resents US presence in Afghanistan.) And both have problematic relations with Erdogan. Turkey’s ascendance on the Afghan-Central Asian landscape cannot be to their comfort. During his recent visit to Tehran, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi voiced support for Iran’s membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to visit Tehran on April 14.

This week Turkey was supposed to host a meeting between the Afghan government and the Taliban. But yesterday the Taliban announced that they would not take part in it:

Afghanistan’s Taliban said it can’t participate in a peace conference in Istanbul slated for April 16 that had been aimed at reaching a political agreement between the country and the Taliban militants.

“Our current position is that we can’t participate in the conference during that date, although the Istanbul conference is still under our consideration,” the Islamic group’s spokesman Mohammad Naeem said in a text message, without providing further details.

Behind the Taliban stands Pakistan. It is there where Russia and China pulled strings to sabotage the U.S. plans:

When Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov landed this month in Pakistan, marking Moscow’s first high-level ministerial visit to Islamabad in nearly a decade, the diplomat’s presence was laden with geopolitical intrigue.

While Lavrov’s overt mission was to court Pakistan’s support for Russia’s new bid to promote a political settlement in war-torn Afghanistan, his unspoken agenda focused on indications the US will delay its avowed withdrawal from the war-torn nation.

Lavrov arrived in Islamabad with a bag of promises ranging from possible defense, energy and infrastructure development cooperation. While the offers were warmly received by Pakistan, the two sides are still far from developing any type of strategic partnership.

Pakistan currently depends on IMF loans the distribution of which is under U.S. control. But with Russia and China chipping in Pakistan may not lose too much. The main reason why Pakistan did not agree with Biden's initiative is that it included India as one of the nations involved in the scheme. That was an amateur mistake from the get go.

As we wrote at that time:

In [his letter] Blinken announced that he would ask the UN to convene the foreign ministers of Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States to discuss a unified approach for supporting peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan, which supports the Taliban, is likely to reject any inclusion of its arch enemy India into such a process.


For obvious strategic reasons Pakistan can never allow its enemy India to gain a foothold in Afghanistan.

Nor can China and Russia allow the U.S. to stay in Afghanistan:

Both Russia and China are opposed to an open-ended US military presence in Afghanistan, a country where both have grand infrastructure development designs and security concerns.

Specifically, America’s military presence in Afghanistan is seen as a stumbling block for the completion of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) trade and integration schemes.

Chinese diplomatic officials have recently claimed in press briefings that the US is using its military and intelligence presence in Afghanistan to stir trouble in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, where as many as one million ethnic minority Uighurs have been interned in so-called “vocational” camps.

With Biden announcing a final day for the retreat the Taliban are likely to prolong their ceasefire with the U.S. until that day but will continue their fight against Afghan government forces and ISIS. They will probably wait with overrunning the cities the government forces currently still hold until the last foreign soldier has left. Then the government forces are likely to fall apart and the warlords who currently rule in Kabul will fight with each other and the Taliban. A year or two later the Taliban will have the whole country under control.

As the Annual Thread Assessment released today by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence notes about Afghanistan:

We assess that prospects for a peace deal will remain low during the next year. The Taliban is likely to make gains on the battlefield, and the Afghan Government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support.
  • Kabul continues to face setbacks on the battlefield, and the Taliban is confident it can achieve military victory.
  • Afghan forces continue to secure major cities and other government strongholds, but they remain tied down in defensive missions and have struggled to hold recaptured territory or reestablish a presence in areas abandoned in 2020.

Leaving Afghanistan and dumping those great plans of using it as a Uighur base against China is the right thing to do.

This lets me hope that Biden will stick to it:

Lara Seligman @laraseligman 16:28 UTC · 13 Apr 2021

BREAKING: Senior administration official says the withdrawal from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 is NOT conditions based. Biden has judged that "a conditions based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever."

Then again - the CIA and the Pentagon have ways and means to change such presidential decisions. We will know on 9/11 if they let Biden get away with this one.

Posted by b on April 13, 2021 at 17:11 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b.... i wonder if the usa troops relocate to syria-iraq?? also, at what point does turkey recognize that working with the usa is a lose, lose proposition?

and pakistan... while they go thru the imf which is controlled by the usa, they also get bribes from ksa-uae as i understand it... fortunately for pakistan there leader khan has a lot of merit and potential to be a world leader... i suspect he will make the right decisions moving forward here and that not everything is about the hostilities towards india... india on the other hand with modi - is a problem for india as i see it.. it is a complicated geo-political game and i don't profess to understand it that well.

Posted by: james | Apr 13 2021 17:23 utc | 1

I hate to be negative, but I wonder if something specific has been planned between now and September that might cause them to "have to reconsider". In particular, note that Afghanistan has almost 1000km of border with Iran.

Posted by: bill baly | Apr 13 2021 17:23 utc | 2

@ bill baly.. that is just being realistic given the usa's track record... hey! but don't rain on this temporary moment of happiness, lol..

Posted by: james | Apr 13 2021 17:26 utc | 3

US strategy could be to continually set more deadlines for complete withdrawal hoping that the Taliban will hold off on attacks giving US and NATO time to re-entrench. May 2021 deadline, Sept 2021 deadline, May 2022 deadline, ... Why think US would keep it's word?

Posted by: Joe | Apr 13 2021 17:26 utc | 4

bill baly @ 2

Exactly what i was thinking. I look at a map and don't expect they'll all really leave.

Posted by: spudski | Apr 13 2021 17:29 utc | 5

This will be an interesting test of empire's ongoing control of the narrative in Afghanistan.

This can kicking of troop withdrawal to September is just more time to create a ruse to stay longer.

If the Taliban attack the remaining forces after May 1 then control of the narrative may be lost and empire forced to leave on someone else's time frame/narrative....there needs to be a number of those/these strategic losses to bring empire down "safely", IMO....we are hoping for the same in Ukraine.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 13 2021 17:37 utc | 6

I expect the US sees war against Iran as inevitable. They need to take troops out of "harms way". Intentions of clearing out of Iraq are also underway. I doubt the US intends to clear out of Syria because it serves forward logistics. Trump's efforts to reunite the Arabs has moved them toward new possibilities of a united front against Iran. Consolidation of fronts would be a likely activity in the scheme of things. In the meantime - Associate Press 6 Apl.- "Netanyahu will likely require the backing of Raam, a small Arab Islamist party. Raam’s leader, Mansour Abbas, has left the door open to cooperating with Netanyahu if he aids Israel’s Arab sector, which has long suffered from crime, discrimination and poverty." This seems consistent with the general turn to the Arab Right...

something to ponder anyway, ...I don't think peace as sane policy is breaking out because Biden is in.

Posted by: Phlipn Pagee | Apr 13 2021 18:03 utc | 7

As with the Big Lie within the WaPost excerpt at top--Afghanistan's invasion and occupation was planned well prior to 911--I see Biden's plan as yet another lie since the Outlaw US Empire as many of us have explained over and again cannot leave if it wants to continue its Geopolitical policy centered on disrupting Chinese and Russian development, along with that of their ever growing number of partners. I also note there's no mention of the CIA's heroin addiction. As such, I discount this "news" as just more of the same thrash that came before.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 13 2021 18:16 utc | 8

11. September, eh?

They are mocking us. They like to send messages like that, these people are psychopaths. They are saying "we did 911 and we got away with it".

There is no point in listening to what they say, only what they do.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 13 2021 18:31 utc | 9

The zombie US empire will never leave any country unless they are firmly expelled. Like an undead corpse, the US will keep its mercenaries fighting long after any hope of victory or positive outcomes is eliminated. It sucks for countries like Afghanistan that are subject to the infestation in the meantime.

Like others in this thread, I suspect there may be many opportunities for the US to find a compelling "reason" to stay longer.

Posted by: worldblee | Apr 13 2021 18:32 utc | 10

"We will know on 9/11 if they let Biden get away with this one."

Presumably even before. 2,500 (or more like 5,000?) troops aren't just going to disappear overnight. A gradual withdrawal leading to a final date in September is how one presumes this would be carried out?
A major troop redeployment of this size leaves a logistical footprint even most civilians would be able to spot some months away, particularly with the US DoD and its endless list of contractors.

Posted by: Et Tu | Apr 13 2021 18:33 utc | 11

Sorry, but I'm not buying it.Sept is a long way off and something will happen which will require us staying past the deadline.

Posted by: ian | Apr 13 2021 18:34 utc | 12

- Withdrawel ? Don't believe one word of it. I think we will see a Iraq style withdrawel. Leaving troops behind in a number of military bases. Like Bagram air base.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 13 2021 18:52 utc | 13

"President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, people familiar with the plans said"

Wow. Time for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Apr 13 2021 19:00 utc | 14

I predict Biden will be dead by August

Posted by: ld | Apr 13 2021 19:15 utc | 15

The quoted report also confirms that the USA is on for a Second Cold War with China:

China poses the biggest threat to the U.S., a new intelligence report says.

And Russia, albeit just a shadow of the USSR, is still a threat in strictly military terms:

Intelligence Report Assesses Russia as US' 'Largest and Most Capable WMD Rival'

Posted by: vk | Apr 13 2021 19:40 utc | 16

I will believe it when I see it.

Posted by: General Strike | Apr 13 2021 19:45 utc | 17

This is just a late April Fool's prank.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Apr 13 2021 19:59 utc | 18

This was was "dangerous to American security" 4 months ago.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 13 2021 20:01 utc | 19

Biden has apparently requested a meeting with Putin in a third country to discuss arms control and 'other issues'. While there has been ongoing diplomatic contact about Ukraine the US has continued to send arms to the country and Zelensky has appealed for NATO support saying that immediate support is better/less costly than waiting for 'Russia to attack'. So how many centers of power are there in Washington at the moment? Does Biden control the CIA? Or can they and State effectively subvert plans of the Executive branch? So Biden makes plans for Afghanistan and Iran suggesting a less belligerent course is on the table... but is it really?

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 13 2021 20:03 utc | 20

remember Saïgon

"That withdrawal may be completed well in advance of Sept. 11," the official said. Any remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan would be a number the administration, in consultation with allies, determines is required to protect American diplomats in the country, the official said.

Pressed on the merits of a "conditions-based approach," rather than a withdrawal deadline, the administration official added this morning that as far as the president is concerned, "a conditions-based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever."

The specifics of the timeline are highly relevant: Biden has been facing a May 1 deadline -- negotiated by the Taliban and the Trump administration -- with the expectation that Taliban forces would escalate attacks on coalition forces unless the White House announced a U.S. exit. Whether they'll be satisfied with the newly announced September withdrawal target remains to be seen.

Not a false annoucement. To much phone call with Ghani, Nato & others. Cornered.
US need 10,20,50.000 more "boots on ground" to stay. And too much bodybags.

Is Amerika finally waking up?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 13 2021 20:20 utc | 21

Project Insanity can anyone confirm this stuff

Posted by: snake | Apr 13 2021 20:23 utc | 22

Looking at the map I can see that one future flashpoint is the border region between Iran and Pakistan up to Afghanistan. This is an area known as Baluchistan, where separatist elements among the Baluchi people in Pakistan at least have been present for a long time. No doubt US, UK and probably also Saudi and UAE intel have been feeding the separatists. They will be a threat to Chinese and Pakistani BRI cooperation and planning to build port and maybe oil-refining facilities on Pakistan's coastline.

Of course Turkey would be itching to park Uyghur jihadists in Afghanistan so they can also infiltrate Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and create trouble in those states to draw Russian attention away from Syria. At the same time Iran's eastern border regions and the city of Mashhad in NE Iran (one of Iran's largest, and a major pilgrimage site) in particular become vulnerable.

Whoever in the US govt thought of inviting Turkey to participate in "shoring" up Afghanistan's future security needs to go into an asylum, never to be released.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 13 2021 20:25 utc | 23

BS the murderous global vandal will not leave. It will have to be thrown out. Turkey, its pet war hound needs the same treatment.

Nothing Biden says can be believed, he speaks with forked tongue.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 13 2021 20:27 utc | 24

It could be that Biden is implementing a "skinny" Friedman Unit: Just five more months instead of six.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Apr 13 2021 20:28 utc | 25

Jen @23--

Since Imran Khan became Pakistan's PM, he's worked hard with Iran to expand economic opportunity in Baluchistan in an effort to deter terrorist recruiting there which has had a positive outcome. Indeed, the cooperation between Iran and Pakistan hasn't been noted much at all by Western media but has by both Irani and Pakistani press. The change of direction in their relations is a coup for both and is one factor that helped seal the Sino-Irani deal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 13 2021 20:43 utc | 26

snake@22 - interesting read. The sting operation is familiar to me from other sources, the rest - not so much.

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 13 2021 20:47 utc | 27

@ snake | Apr 13 2021 20:23 utc | 22

by Th. Meyssan

French, englisch not found

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 13 2021 20:47 utc | 28

The US is just trying to calm things in Afghanistan so that it can focus more on Ukraine and Syria. There is no intention of leaving. The empire thinks its efforts in Ukraine will be finished by September, at which point it can go back to messing with Afghanistan.

Don't let your wishful thinking overpower your reason and your knowledge of history, people. The empire isn't giving up. It is just changing focus for a little while. Afghanistan is much too important a base from which to harass the neighbors, and then there are the CIA's poppy fields and heroin production. You wouldn't want the Hunter Bidens of the world to have to slum it and get their fixes from fentanyl, would you?

This is just the empire trying to be clever and thinking it is smarter than everyone else. Let's not prove them right about that, OK?

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 13 2021 20:55 utc | 29

America is leaving Afghanistan?


Only in US military body bags--thousands of body bags.

America needs to continue its colonial occupation of Afghanistan as a platform to deploy its beloved Freedom-Loving Head Chopping Jihadists against China, Russia, or Iran--and thus prevent Eurasian integration in general. In short, it's a launch pad for American and now apparently Turkish state-sponsored terrorism.

In addition to other factors like US control over Caspian Basin energy, rare earth minerals, and opium, this is one of the (real) reasons why America invaded Afghanistan in the first place--imperial penetration of a region of the world that is an essential geopolitical crossroads of Eurasia and thus of maintaining the American Empire itself.

The Sept. 11th "terrorist attacks" were the oh-so-fortuitous New Pearl Harbor (or Reichstag Fire) that conveniently fell into America's lap and provided it with the rationalization to launch its invasion of Afghanistan and phony War on Terror in general, which continue to this day. ​

This war on terrorism is bogus

A War in the Planning for Four Years

One of the leading geostrategists of American Empire, Zbigniew Brzezinski openly admitted the importance of American domination of Eurasia in The Grand Chessboard: "For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia... Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia - and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.”

And as Pepe Escobar says, America is the Empire of Chaos. The United States is deliberately sowing chaos around the world as a geopolitical weapon to destabilize those (Eurasian) nations that resist the USA's unipolar imperial order. Chaos can be promoted through American sponsorship of "pro-Democracy" terrorists, Cold War-style tensions, or outright wars--hybrid or conventional.

Empire of Chaos

Given all this, America's promises about withdrawing from Afghanistan are as worthless as America's allegations about Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction; Syria using chemical weapons such in Douma; Russia interfering in US elections or poisoning Alexey Navalny or the Skripals, or a Uighur "genocide" in China.

In other words, they are unadulterated, primo All-American Bullshit.

The self-styled American Beacon of Liberty in actuality is the Beacon of Lies.

Nothing out of the mouth of the USA regime or its Lügenpresse "Free Press" can be trusted.

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 13 2021 21:13 utc | 30

kicking the can down the road another few months. if we were going to leave we'd have started already.

Posted by: annie | Apr 13 2021 21:13 utc | 31

I dunno, did Kamala Harris approve of this?

In other news, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed war reparations for the North American Indian Nation. In a statement to the press the senator said, "We must not overlook the great suffering of all my people who were forced off their land by the European white devils. They were persecuted as much as the slaves of Africa who now enjoy all the entitlements the Democratic Party has given them.

We must not forget the ongoing abuses of their heritage by the Cleveland Indians, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Braves. These egregious uses of our sacred surnames by professional sports teams must be stopped in order to remove any association with the red man who only wishes to live on the reservation with dignity."

When congressional representative Sheila Jackson Lee heard of Warren's comments she responded, "Indians are always complaining about their land being stolen. They're just going to have to wait their turn."

Meanwhile Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve said, "We can't afford to bailout everyone, otherwise deficit spending will drive inflation through the roof."

So remember little people, keep your heads down and facemasks on, because the government cares about your welfare, at least that's what they tell us.

Posted by: PokeTheTruth | Apr 13 2021 21:19 utc | 32

A person familiar with the deliberations told the Washington Post that if the U.S. pushed back its May 1 withdrawal deadline without a clear exit plan by another time "we will be back at war with the Taliban, and that was not something President Biden believed was in the national interest ...

US bodybags are not something Biden's regime... Blabla

Ze ± Ukronazis are now officially informed

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 13 2021 21:22 utc | 33

It sounds like stalling, an attempt to stabilise a front. The US has to prioritise; Afghanistan can go on the back-burner. They cannot leave because saving face is all they've got, but they cannot stay because the Taliban will bleed them. Hence this limbo—we are leaving but for now we are staying, yada, yada. I'm waiting for the (very unlikely?) moment when Chinese or Russian-sourced anti-ship missiles are launched out of (say) Venezuela and splits a US carrier in half: once the bluff has been called the dominoes will start toppling. Australia will crap itself (especially when it wakes up to the fact that those F-35s it bought are lemons).

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 13 2021 21:33 utc | 34

Brian Cloughley, British and Australian armies’ veteran, former deputy head of the UN military mission in Kashmir and Australian defense attaché in Pakistan expresses an opinion at Strategic Culture.

The scene-setting by Washington’s military-industrial complex and in the Pentagon’s sub-office in Brussels includes warnings about a Russian “buildup” in the Arctic, as reported by CNN which quoted a Pentagon representative as saying “Russia is refurbishing Soviet-era airfields and radar installations, constructing new ports and search-and-rescue centres, and building up its fleet of nuclear and conventionally-powered icebreakers.” This activity is indeed taking place, and is happening in Russian sovereign territory, which has nothing to do with the Pentagon or anyone else. It’s not in any way similar to the U.S. military’s overseas “forward military presence” of some 200,000 troops in over 800 bases around the world.

And the idiot Biden and his clown cart of vandals wants to meet with world leaders? Or he will huff and puff and blow... what exactly?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 13 2021 21:36 utc | 35

Will all of the Amerikan contractors be leaving also or will Amerika ramp up hiring them.

Posted by: jo6pac | Apr 13 2021 21:41 utc | 36

snake #22

Thank you for that link. Barflies will read a trove of great investigative work here by Vanessa Beeley.

A recent sting operation carried out by the Commission for International Justice and Accountablity (CIJA) entrapped an unsuspecting academic member of the Working Group on Syria Media and Propaganda (WGSPM) into engaging in a series of email conversations with a fake “Russian agent”.

These emails were then supplied to the BBC producer, Chloe Hadjimatheou, who is responsible for a prolonged smear campaign against the Working Group, journalists and former diplomats who are challenging the establishment narratives on Syria — narratives that have sustained the “humanitarian” pretexts used to justify the ten-year proxy war against Syria by hostile states forming the US Coalition...

CIJA is a major cog in the wheel of politicised justice designed to crush countries legally that have resisted UK/US-dominated military interventionism, as Syria and her allies have done successfully for ten years. McKeigue’s briefing provides a rigorously researched analysis of why CIJA was incubated, and of the nexus of UK government bodies and intelligence agencies behind the operations in Syria.

My focus in this article is not on CIJA but on an ostensibly minor spin-off from the parent complex. I was intrigued by an “entertainment” company established in November 2019, one week after the death of James Le Mesurier, the former British military intelligence officer who founded the terrorist-linked White Helmets organisation financed by multiple governments invested in regime change in Syria, headed up by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (UK FCDO).

The CIJA sting and McKeigue’s subsequent briefing included the first mention of a company called Hotch Potch Entertainment, established by an erstwhile colleague of Le Mesurier, Alistair Harris, who is an influential fixer for UK FCDO interventionist policies globally. Harris was interviewed by BBC producer, Hadjimatheou, for the Mayday series, a concerted attack against the WGSPM and associated independent journalists who have been questioning mainstream narratives on Syria for years. The timing of the establishment of the company led me to investigate further.

Exposing this global network of UK based war criminals and perpetrators of crimes against humanity is the work of the people's heroes. Vanessa Beeley is a hero and off-guardian is on the right side of history in publishing this report.

Thierry Meyssan at reports" It turns out that [CIJA] chief executive, William Wiley (pictured), was also that of Tsamota law firm, domiciled at the same address. His company specializes in advising companies to avoid criminal prosecution, while his association is dedicated to organizing criminal prosecutions. Tsamota has worked for the United States and the United Kingdom and is included in the Panama Papers. William Wiley is said to have been a CIA analyst in Iraq." [machine translation]

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 13 2021 21:56 utc | 37

Biden to Taliban: "I will gladly pay you tomorrow, for a hamburger today".

Posted by: passerby | Apr 13 2021 22:04 utc | 38

Doing the right, smart, strategically sound thing?

I bet USA will find another creative blunder to do instead. As they say, USA does the right thing - just after it's exhausted every wrong approach. Boy, there are more mistakes to make, its not over yet!

Posted by: Abe | Apr 13 2021 22:08 utc | 39

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 13 2021 20:55 utc | 29

Exactly my thoughts. Very well put, Mr. Gruff. I'm a bit surprised that b has allowed himsef to remotely hope for a positive development on this front, relying on the statements on confirmed serial liars that take pride in their ability to present their never ending falsehoods as facts.

Posted by: Constantine | Apr 13 2021 22:19 utc | 40

Will they giveup on the heroine trade?

Posted by: jose carlos | Apr 13 2021 22:38 utc | 41

I'm reminded of how Lawrence Wilkerson described the strategic rationale for hanging on to Afghanistan. Wilkerson describes things in terms of potential: the potential to caust trouble in Xinyang. The potential to put a lot of hard power on the ground near to Pakistan and the Belt and Road.
B. describes it differently, as actions which are already being taken. I think there is a spectrum to work with.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 13 2021 22:46 utc | 42

I will believe it when I see it. The CIA is well practiced at fabricating events that undermine a President’s wishes and plans. We shall see how tight a ship Biden’s CIA director runs at Langley.

Posted by: Rob | Apr 13 2021 23:22 utc | 43

As stated earlier by poster 17: "I have to see it to believe it."

Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 13 2021 23:30 utc | 44

First off, this article doesnt mention opium fields. Thats the ONLY thing keeping the US in the country. CIA control of the drug trade brings in hundreds of billions of dollars and they wont give it up. If i'm the taliban, i start burning opium fields on may 2nd and or attacking any US troops patrolling them, since the US missed the deadline.

Posted by: cantmossadtheassad | Apr 13 2021 23:31 utc | 45

I'm with you Norwegian - 9 - 11?! Who are they kidding? What a slap in the face. And, BTW, Al que-da is now our ally. Right. Rollin rollin rollin. Keep those shekels rollin...

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 13 2021 23:44 utc | 46

I'm with the sceptics, its very long odds against them leaving. The world will likely be a different place by then, one way or another.

Posted by: MarkU | Apr 13 2021 23:52 utc | 47

The continuing Brzezinski plan is to disrupt Eurasia for bribes from MIC/Israel/Oil. The delay scam allows them to:

a. Transition to mercenary and secret forces there;
b. Build up Turkey and Ukraine to make trouble;
c. Maybe quiet the military while purged, avoid a JFK against Biden, or let him expire.

The Taliban will not be fooled, so the plan is a provocation to justify more bullying.

Posted by: Sam F | Apr 14 2021 0:02 utc | 48

For those who wonder about the people here, who doubt the empire's sincerity for any dealings with other nations, I submit this history. A bit dated, but highly relevant;

Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 14 2021 0:04 utc | 49

Karlof1 @ 26:

Thanks for the information about Imran Khan's plans for economic development in Baluchistan.

BTW I decided to Google "Balochistan" rather than "Baluchistan" and got more interesting and better links to news on the infrastructure and industry projects envisaged by Imran Khan's government. It is impressive that the Pakistani PM saw that his nation's political structures, and voting structures in particular which privileged local warlords over decades, have been a major impediment in Balochistan's progress. It is a wonder what a difference spelling makes in doing online searches.

Interesting also that recent unrest and violence in Balochistan has targeted Shi'a Hazaras living in Balochistan. I am guessing this is not only the work of militants connected to Al Qa'ida who came across from Afghanistan in the 1990s and afterwards but also has the fingerprints of the local warlords through funding that may be both local and foreign (Saudi, Emirati, Turkish among others).

I hope you had a very good and safe cross-country trip to see your relatives and friends.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 14 2021 0:22 utc | 50

Good news! But I will believe it when I see it.

Afghanistan needs Iran and Russia's help.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 14 2021 0:29 utc | 51

ak74 #30

Thank you for the link to Tim Miles review of Pepe Escobar’s most recent work, Empire of Chaos: The Roving Eye Collection at Counterpunch, a good read. If I have any reservation, it is that Tim cites numerous men as his comparisons to Pepe Escobar: "The likes of Robert Fisk, Franklin Lamb, Chris Hedges, Alex Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair have all entered into, witnessed, and written very strongly and effectively on many geopolitical problems that plague our era."

I must add some extraordinary women to that list such as Vanessa Beeley, Abby Martin, Mnar Muhawesh and many others for sure.

Clearly Tim doesn't drink of the coolaid freely laid on at Counterpunch. Eric Graitser loves the stuff according to respected observer Stephen Gowans blog:

Apparently, the US Left has yet to figure out that Washington doesn’t try to overthrow neoliberals. If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were a devotee of the Washington Consensus–as Counterpunch’s Eric Draitser seems to believe–the United States government wouldn’t have been calling since 2003 for Assad to step down. Nor would it be overseeing the Islamist guerilla war against his government; it would be protecting him.

There is a shibboleth in some circles that, as Eric Draitser put it in a recent Counterpunch article, the uprising in Syria “began as a response to the Syrian government’s neoliberal policies and brutality,” and that “the revolutionary content of the rebel side in Syria has been sidelined by a hodgepodge of Saudi and Qatari-financed jihadists.” This theory appears, as far as I can tell, to be based on argument by assertion, not evidence.

So given the outright washington propaganda published by Counter Punch in Draitser's stenography, Stephen Gowans proceeds with the flogging:

Washington funnelled arms to Brotherhood mujahedeen in the 1980s to wage urban guerrilla warfare against Hafez al-Assad, who hardliners in Washington called an “Arab communist.” His son, Bashar, continued the Arab nationalists’ commitment to unity (of the Arab nation), independence, and (Arab) socialism. These goals guided the Syrian state—as they had done the Arab nationalist states of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq under Saddam. All three states were targeted by Washington for the same reason: their Arab nationalist commitments clashed fundamentally with the US imperialist agenda of US global leadership.

Bashar al-Assad’s refusal to renounce Arab nationalist ideology dismayed Washington, which complained about his socialism, the third part of the Ba’athists’ holy trinity of values. Plans to oust Assad—based in part on his failure to embrace Washington’s neo-liberalism—were already in preparation in Washington by 2003, if not earlier. If Assad was championing neo-liberalism, as Draitser and others contend, it somehow escaped the notice of Washington and Wall Street, which complained about “socialist” Syria and the country’s decidedly anti-neoliberal economic policies.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 0:42 utc | 52

The Empire is shrinking:

With Afghan Decision, Biden Seeks to Focus U.S. on New Challenges

The NYT is the USA's most important propaganda outlet. It has de facto status of the official newspaper of the USG.

It also customarily has two categories of pamphlets: opinions - which they can potentially invite anyone to write, and over which they legally have no responsibility for (i.e. it doesn't officially represents the newspaper's own position, even though it does); and analysis - which are always written by an official NYT journalist/editor, and do always represents the newspaper's position.

If we intersect the fact that the NYT is the USA's government official newspaper and the fact that this is an analysis piece, that means this article represents, de facto, a USG pamphlet, that is, a directive from the USG to the entire American people. It has the same status as a Lenin article in the Pravda (the difference being the real leaders of the USA are paying an intermediary and selling the whole stuff as fruit of spontaneous freedom of speech).

This is a fine piece of propaganda. Of the highest quality. In it, Mr. Sanger tells the American people their Empire is overstretched and will have to abandon its most distant province - Afghanistan - in order to recoup and emerge from this moment of economic and social crisis stronger than ever. Recommend the read.

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2021 0:45 utc | 53

Israel shenanigans are not liked by some englanders...

Former Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan has accused pro-Israel lobbyists of "the most disgusting interference" in British politics, and of negatively influencing the country's foreign policy in the Middle East. The veteran politician has also claimed that Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) went "ballistic" and blocked him from taking on a new post covering the region's affairs.

Duncan, a former Conservative MP and government minister, makes the sensational claims in his newly published memoir, In The Thick of It: The private diaries of a minister (published by William Collins, 2021). Speaking to journalist Michael Crick about his book for the MailPlus website, the 64 year-old blasted CFI and its undue influence in British politics.

Conservative Friends of Israel, he said, had injected a "Netanyahu-type view of Israeli politics into our foreign policy," referring to Israel's right-wing prime minister. He claimed that it had applied pressure on Theresa May's government to prevent him becoming Middle East minister at the Foreign Office.

Who would thought...

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 0:53 utc | 54

Too many pigs at the trough for this war to end.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Apr 14 2021 1:09 utc | 55

Jen @50--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, alternative spellings give different results. I have some of those on my home-based computer, but I'm still far away from Oregon. Saudi influence bent many minds the wrong way, and it appears that Khan stood up to them thanks to China's generosity and vision. I hope Khan will be able to guide Pakistan for as long as he desires.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 14 2021 1:17 utc | 56

Methinks the USA vandal government and its 'robust' military needs to start small to demonstrate its capacity to achieve great things through talks. Perhaps it needs to demonstrate to the world by holding 'talks' with this resourceful and very small power:... Trump did ;))

A mighty interesting book review by Stephen Gowans at What's Left:

A.B. Abrams’ Immovable Object: North Korea’s 70 Years at War with American Power

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 1:18 utc | 57

Come on, b, what is wrong with you these days? You took the Zelensky regime at is word on Donbass and now you're believing the Imperialist States of Amerikastan about this? Has anyone ever known either of these gangs to keep their word about anything?

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Apr 14 2021 1:49 utc | 58

As I understand it Biden's committment only relates to amerikan military. As we can see here other Nato forces vastly outnumber amerikan forces already and following recent discussions amerika has had with Nato, I have no doubt that number will be ramped up over the next few months.
Turkey is a Nato member and their presence will be increased as will england who will be keen to get right into their 'great game' orientalist bullshit by supporting the CIA's activities in the east of Afghanistan.
Last time I looked CIA doesn't count as military as far as amerika is concerned, even when they are chocka with military 'advisors' running terrorist training.
This will pose a huge problem for China because if China does try any type of direct intervention against the Uighur terrorist training camps amerika will claim that such a direct move against 'afghan sovereignty' warrants amerika's return.
The Taliban have never been that successful in controlling large parts of the east where other tribes including Sayyids, Nuristani & northeast Tajiks & Uzbeks contest Pashtun primacy.
I have no doubt that as the Taliban take control over the rest of the nation, Nato, amerika & in particular Turkey will go for a partition a la Syria to keep their terrorist bases intact under the pretext of 'protecting' minorities.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 14 2021 1:53 utc | 59

the US Empire is not as almighty as it used to be, it is 'repositioning' some few thousands of it's forces - accordingly there will be more troops, money and resources going to its European nato vassals and poodles to harass and threaten Russia in the Black Sea, Baltic Sea and in the Arctic; also more anti-China covert operations not going through Afghani-Nam but through its puppet states in South and south-East Asia to destabilize Myanmar - a far more cost-effective way to disrupt the Chinese belt and road initiative; and of course, more ships and troops to the South China Sea area to once again badger China even more....

so you see, there are plenty of 'better' uses for the Empire's troops and billions (rather than to rebuild, re-educate, and re-industrialize the USA, of course!)

$750 Billion or more a year buys one helluva lot of ships, planes, ballistic missiles, grants from the NED, and covert operations

the military-industrial complex et. al. and their pigs at that public trough won't miss a beat!

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 14 2021 2:02 utc | 60

@59 Debsisdead

Posted by: ptb | Apr 14 2021 2:04 utc | 61

Mr. Phlipn Pagee

Peace & sanity require the breaking of the Judeo-Christians' ship of fools on the Rock of Islam.

That is still decades into the future.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 14 2021 2:14 utc | 62

Ms. Jen

Nothing recent about the violence against Shia in Pakistan, either in Baluchistan or in Karachi.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 14 2021 2:18 utc | 63

Peace & sanity require the breaking of the monotheistic religion's ship of fools on the rock of reason/logic.

The sooner that monotheistic religion shit is relegated properly to myth, the more likely are the chances that humanity will evolve back to awe of our ignorance of the Cosmos instead of killing each other because of monotheism.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 14 2021 2:21 utc | 64

Mr. karlof1

There is not much of coordinated cooperation at the national levels between Iran and Pakistan.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 14 2021 2:26 utc | 65

"U.S., NATO ... Will Leave Afghanistan By..."

Sorry, I'll believe it when I see it.
How many times have we seen this BS theme rolled out at certain media moments?
Come the day there will be an Afghan "event" that will require a delay and another stay extention while the "training and advising" (on opium production) continues.

Posted by: imo | Apr 14 2021 2:37 utc | 66

11. September, eh?
They are mocking us. They like to send messages like that, these people are psychopaths. They are saying "we did 911 and we got away with it".
There is no point in listening to what they say, only what they do.
Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 13 2021 18:31 utc | 9

Yep. Remember Turd Blossom?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14 2021 2:49 utc | 67

As far as Opium production goes, if there is still any amerikan involvement in that - which I highly doubt, western european countries as well as Russia have long been a major market for the afghan heroin/morphine mixture.
Germany, UK and France have both had major opiate epidemics from time to time and they will insist that part of the effort be devoted to knocking out Afghani production. amerika whose major source for smack was mexico before they swapped over to fentanyl never suffered as directly as europe has.
Poppy field may become local bargaining chips between Nato deployments and regional Taliban leadership, but the days of it being major & national are long gone.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 14 2021 2:55 utc | 68

psycohistorian @ 64; Stated;

"The sooner that monotheistic religion shit is relegated properly to myth, the more likely are the chances that humanity will evolve back to awe of our ignorance of the Cosmos instead of killing each other because of monotheism."

Absolutely....But, the power of myth and ritual are strong in the human condition.

Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 14 2021 3:48 utc | 69

What's to celebrate .. those troops will just be reassigned to either Syria, Iraq,or to Ukraine. Yay! sarc ...

Posted by: polecat | Apr 14 2021 3:58 utc | 70

Debsisdead #59
Biswapriya Purkayast #58

Thank you, and that is how it seems to me. They will never leave, never. The Taliban and others will need to throw them out.

I posted a link upthread #57 regarding a book review on North Korea. Worth a read if anyone has any doubt. This USA parasite will hang on forever.

The USA has been sanctioning, destroying, impoverishing, blockading North Korea for 70 years and they are not stopping. They DEMAND capitulation or they will destroy you.

The same fate as Qaddafi and Libya awaits any nation fool enough to believe any talks or trust one word, one action, one inference from the USA.

The war in Ukraine is cold today. The yankees will not go away and neither will the NATO Reich meddlers. Germany is a USA vassal state as is France and they will march on Ukraine and further east whenever the USA commander instructs. The war in Ukraine will be hot tomorrow or the the day that the USA/NATO murderers deem it to be.

No Russian or Chinese leader could ever trust one word from these killers and destroyers of nations.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 4:00 utc | 71

@ vetinLA | Apr 14 2021 3:48 utc | 69 who wrote in response to my rant
Absolutely....But, the power of myth and ritual are strong in the human condition.

Yes and no.

The myth of paganism or multi-deity religions and others don't have the same kill the non-believers focus that the monotheistic religions do. Western religions fly in the face of our ignorant reality with hubris of semi-truth being their biggest error.

I agree that ritual is strong in the human condition and ones like Potlatch of the America natives is one I would like to see ascendant again.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 14 2021 4:03 utc | 72

Mr. vetinLA

You be wrong then.

History of Polytheistic Indian states and kingdoms had been one of constant war, plunder, massacres, and rapine. How do you think Budhism became extinct in India? Mass murder, that was how. Those polytheistic Hindus had a funny custom of burning the widows alive, not for them the injunction of Leviticus to choose Life.

Today, in India, almost all acts of organized charity is performed by the Christians and not by anyone else. Muslims are, shamefully and regrettably, absent from public acts of charity, I guess they are busy making sure their womenfolks scarves are covering their skin, lest they incur God's wrath.

In the Americas, we had the truly Devil-inspired Aztec Kingdom. The evil of those deranged polytheistic natives of Mexico had deep roots in their evil-inspired religions, the Mayans likely the progenitors of those evil practices.

And then we have the polytheistic cannibals of the South Seas, the Fijians, the Maoris, and others.

Lastly, NAZIs were not religious, nor were the Communists. One can look at their records of the dead and murdered in Europe and in Asia to truly despair.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 14 2021 4:20 utc | 73

Afghanistan will be united and peaceful in one two years? Isn't that a bit optimistic? In order to block the New Silk Road and have terrorism hub at the Chinese border they don't need a stable Afghan government in charge of the whole country. It's enough to retain chaos.

Posted by: m | Apr 14 2021 4:44 utc | 74

Uncle Tungsten @52:

Back in the days of yore when I was still on Fakebook*, Draitser sent me a private message asking questions about 8ndonesia. I replied that as an Indian, I knew nothing more about Indonesia than anyone else. He didn't say anything after that. The man literally does not know the difference between India and Indonesia.

*Zuckerberg seems to have disappeared Russell Bonner Bentley from Fakebook, who regularly posted invaluable reports from Donetsk. Now there's a surprise.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Apr 14 2021 5:22 utc | 75

re this ignorant utter tosh:
"And then we have the polytheistic cannibals of the South Seas, the Fijians, the Maoris, and others."

Cannabilism played a very limited role for Pacifica people. Eating one of the organs of a foe, usually the heart or the liver was used occasionally by young warriors in an attempt to gain the power of dead enemy leaders but it was never widespread.

However like just about every other claim fyi makes here, he is really repeating myths used by european imperialists to justify their thefts rapes and murders. for example the claims by englanders of the numbers of other Tangata Whenua killed by Ngāti Tama and Ngāti Mutunga simply could not have occured - they had insufficient muskets & gunpowder to have been the people responsible for such a huge crash in population numbers By more than 50% or 100,000 humans in Aotearoa's South Island.
What we do know is that the englanders' accusations coincided with the beginning of european settlement - their genocide by musket and disease (measles, smallpox, influenza) is a much more likely cause.

fyi's intolerance of any superstition other than his own, is a classic example of the propaganda imperialists have always used in a vapid attempt at self-justification, he will never comprehend how humanity really functions unless he can strip away the delusional power cravings and deceit of his superstition.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 14 2021 6:02 utc | 76

@ Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14 2021 2:49 utc | 67

Yep. Remember Turd Blossom?

Being Norwegian I wasn't familiar with that term, but I looked it up. Karl Rove...indeed.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 14 2021 6:10 utc | 77

Hoarsewhisperer #67

"Yep. Remember Turd Blossom?"

Yes and thank you. I also remember Urban Moving Systems and I guess they will get the contract to repatriate all the hardware. They are likely already dancing in Tel Aviv.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 6:27 utc | 78

Debsisdead #76

Tosh did he say? Tosh indeed. The odd brain nibble was occasionally reserved for the monkeys and even then the prions never sleep.

Fyi comrade Debsisdead, Integrity Initiative is the likely cashier for rsoles like this. They smear and they smear and they smear but at heart we know they the brains of an englander.

Now over here at the bar of excommunicated souls we are noshing on fine beer and Zelensky sizzles with fyi fries. You are welcome to join.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 6:34 utc | 79

.... have the brains of an englander... :))

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 6:35 utc | 80

Biswapriya Purkayast #75

Thank you, that proves it then - christ they are a braindead bunch.

By the way the closing paragraph of that piece at counter punch by Jim Miles is truly vomitous and it reveals that he sips on the cool aid:-

"In the meantime, Empire of Chaos is an essential and entertaining if severe read that will bring you up to date on the actual impacts of U.S. geopolitical policy."

"entertaining" indeed! Such genteel folk these book reviewers at counter punch. What a complete wimp outfit.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 6:45 utc | 81

@uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 6:27 utc | 78

I also remember Urban Moving Systems and I guess they will get the contract to repatriate all the hardware. They are likely already dancing in Tel Aviv.

I do remember Urban Moving Systems, and as far as I can tell they did their little dance also on 22. July 2011. They like dates with double digits and will likely arrange another party on a suitable date true to that tradition.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 14 2021 6:48 utc | 82

"we had the truly Devil-inspired Aztec Kingdom"

was a nice justification for a takeover and plunder. The imperial propaganda didn't change that much in last couple of centuries.
Nor have its ideologues.

Posted by: Tito | Apr 14 2021 6:50 utc | 83

Ukraine weather update: rain rain and rain

But it is also raining on the Russian side to the east so they are getting wet military training experience too;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 6:52 utc | 84

Tito #83

Thank you and then I have to say that the murderous Aztecs had a short life before they met with the murderous Spanish. Oh that the USA had such a short span.

Here is an interesting 12 minute video examination on one of the the Aztec predecessors. Not a bad site for archaeological inquiry.

The Nazca seem to be equally badly behaved as they slaughtered the peaceful predecessors but at least continued their line drawing.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 7:00 utc | 85

Tut,tut, nobody here seems to believe the blowouts of braindead Biden? Why ever not? Of course they will "leave". Only it is far to expensive to move them physically, isn't it? All the US has to do is rename them. They will be known in the future as American Afghan Weaponised Social Humanitarian Intelligence Trainers (AAW-SHIT).

All that needs to be done is make new arm badges. These could be made by several Mexican immigrants from ICE detention camps, working for freedom fries in "temporary" sweat shops. Wouldn't cost a bomb either, just enough to cover several down payments to Congress members and Hunter.
An early estimate puts the amount at about a simple billion with cost over-runs and the high price of Velcro included. Chicken feed, Just ask the Fed. (That should read "the well fed").


Seriously - NATO to the "rescue". The US is reported to be sending about 40'000 troops to Europe to ...whatever... the Russians (who are surprise, surprise, in Russia but near Ukraine). So Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are to see the US toops progressively replaced with an EU Sucker-force, who will be required to heavily invest in new US weapons. Tie them closer to the US, while all the Command structure remains under the Pentagon.

NATO is probably supposed to replace US troops in all the other occupied countries where someone might get shot at.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 14 2021 7:19 utc | 86

I remain skeptical for following reasons:

1. I have repeatedly read that there are many times more contractors and mercenaries present than "American troops". There is no mention of these.
2. The drug trade has been mentioned by others above. It is key to the CIA covert ops funding globally.
3. There is no way that the the ISIS / ex-ISIS Uyghur fighters transported there from Syria and Iraq will be left to their own devices by the CIA/Pentagon. They are just too valuable and easy an asset. Recent attempts to involve Turkey were in all probability related to managing them as well.
4. Related to the above, there is absolutely no way that I see the US/NATO giving up there most valuable and strategically located forwarded bases - at the Xinjiang doorstep.
5. India will have concerns with a Taliban run Afghanistan (Kashmir is seething and an opportunity for "sympathizers" to rake it up. I am sure they have wrenches they can throw into the works. With India out of the picture, the inevitable commonality of interest between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan will basically make it irrelevant in the region.
6. If the US/NATO indeed vacate, it will create an opportunity for China to engage the Taliban and BRI will be unstoppable. Given that so much of the US agenda currently is focused on stymying that in any way possible, it just does not make any sense to surrender control.

To add to the above, from today to 11th September there are 150 days. Thats 150 opportunities to find ways and excuses to renege on any commitment. Sure, may buy some positive publicity for now. However, better to curb any early enthusiasm by referring to the Russian assessment of "agreement-incapable".

Posted by: db | Apr 14 2021 7:30 utc | 87

Meanwhile Lavrov is in Pakistan doing business:

In the last fiscal year, trade between the countries stood at almost $350m, up 45 percent from the year before, according to Pakistani central bank data. However, Lavrov stated the true figure was US$790 million, citing an increase of Russian Wheat exports.

Regardless, there is plenty of room for expansion. Pakistan’s middle class consumer base is about 122 million, or about 50% of its total population, and readily accessed as the country is urbanizing.

The two countries have also been involved in major infrastructure projects, with Russia constructing a major gas pipeline along the length of Pakistan. That can also provide Russian LNG to the country, with Pakistan negotiating to have pipelines built to Karachi and Lahore.

The Russia-India-Pakistan discussions concerning Afghanistan as all regional parties want peace and for much-needed infrastructure to be put in place. The proposed Intra-Afghan Railway for example, would link land-locked Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states to South Asia by traversing Afghanistan and exiting at Pakistan’s Gwadar and Karachi Ports giving access to the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 7:59 utc | 88

@ db

Also sorta ironic, considering China played a pivotal role in arming and training the Muhjahiden in the first place, which destroyed Afghanistan and shunned in socialist development.

The Taliban was a movement that was formed to as a reaction against Muhjahideen. The Muhjahideen was a theological, fighting-for-faith force, while the Taliban is a tribalist/nationalist force.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 14 2021 7:59 utc | 89

Onw reason that The US troops in Afghanistan might be forced to come to some new "arrangements" with the neighbouring countries is that they are landlocked.
Supply lines are all compromised in the long term. They even had to go through Russia earlier.

I don't know how they expect to solve this problem.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 14 2021 8:10 utc | 90

Fars news reports a Mossad base in northern Iraq was attacked with resulting casualties.

A Mossad center came under attack by "unknown resistance forces" in the North of the country, Iraq's Sabereen News, citing security sources, reported late on Tuesday, adding that the attack resulted in the death and injury of a number of Israeli forces, including a senior officer, dealing a “heavy blow” to the regime and its spy agency.

“Tomorrow, we’ll share some pictures of the operation,” Sabereen News said.

The incident came hours after an Israeli ship was attacked in the Emirati port of Fujairah, causing damage but no casualties.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 8:29 utc | 91

@ uncle tungsten

Great news!

Posted by: Smith | Apr 14 2021 8:39 utc | 92

MK Bhadrakumar provides a much deeper and nuanced analysis of Turkey's role than my sheepish attempt above!!

Posted by: db | Apr 14 2021 9:08 utc | 93

Here is a list of Australia's remarkable achievements when it realised that Here Comes China.

Banning Huawei Technologies and ZTE from the 5G network over unfounded national security concerns, doing the bidding of the US by lobbying other countries, foreign interference legislation viewed as targeting China and in the absence of evidence.

Politicization and stigmatization of the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia and creating barriers and imposing restrictions, including the revocation of visas for Chinese scholars.

Calling for an international independent inquiry into the COV1D-19 virus, as a political manipulation echoing the US attack on China.

Incessant wanton interference in China’s Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan affairs.

Spearheading the crusade against China in multilateral forums

The first non littoral country to make a statement on the South China Sea to the United Nations, siding with the US’ anti-China campaign

Spreading disinformation imported from the US around China’s efforts of containing COV1D-19.

Legislating scrutiny of agreements with a foreign government targeting China and aiming to torpedo Victoria’s participation in B&R

Providing funding to anti-China think tanks for spreading untrue reports, peddling lies around Xinjiang and so-called China infiltration aimed at manipulating public opinion against China

Early dawn search and reckless seizure of Chinese journalists’ homes and properties without charges or explanations

Thinly veiled allegations against China of cyber attacks without any evidence

Outrageous condemnation of the governing party of China by NGOs

Racist attacks against Chinese and Asian people.

Unfriendly and antagonistic reports on China by media that poison the atmosphere of bilateral relations

Between 2015-2020, China lowered tariffs on Australian products for six consecutive years. Ninety-five percent of the products we sell to China now enjoy zero tariffs. On Singles Day alone, 2,000 Australian businesses sold over US$720 million worth of goods to Chinese customers in 24 hours–yet the Australian government has been politicizing trade and investment issues, and constantly violating market principles by discriminating against Chinese companies.

Since 2018, it has rejected a dozen Chinese investment programs on the pretext of ‘national security concerns,’ rejections that led directly to large Chinese losses. Even more significantly, it banned Chinese companies from 5G network construction, citing spurious ‘national security’ threats. It initiated one-hundred six anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations of Chinese products, compared to four such Chinese cases on goods from Australia.

Lucky country has all those taxpayers to help out from the huge Covid recession with more and more closed retail stores everywhere. That is clever thinking. Perhaps the Australian Diplomatic Service needs a name change to the Australian Craven Idiocy Department.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 9:17 utc | 94

@5 spudski There simply aren't enough US servicemen inside Afghanistan to threaten Iran with.

Quite the reverse; if the USA decides to attack Iran then they will attempt that from the air. So they would remove ground forces from Afghanistan and move them to Syria (where the Iranian Revolutionary Guard troop numbers are quite small).

Leaving troops in Afghanistan would guarantee a humiliating defeat for the USA, but the latter might allow a faux "victory" against a small Iranian expeditionary force.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 14 2021 10:00 utc | 95

@uncle tungsten | Apr 14 2021 7:00 utc | 85

The Nazca seem to be equally badly behaved as they slaughtered the peaceful predecessors but at least continued their line drawing.

Predecessors to the Nazca people were the enigmatic Paracas culture with elongated skulls that were not the result of skull binding. The skulls were much larger than the skulls of the Homo sapiens sapiens and they had clearly different cranial plates.
Similar skulls have been found in Crimea...

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 14 2021 12:34 utc | 96

@Stonebird | Apr 14 2021 7:19 utc | 86

NATO is probably supposed to replace US troops in all the other occupied countries where someone might get shot at.

I forgot who said it, but I read this truism recently:

When they are shooting at you when you leave, you lost. Pure and simple.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 14 2021 12:40 utc | 97

@ Posted by: db | Apr 14 2021 7:30 utc | 87

Read the link I posted. Private contractors and CIA will stay. Biden's plan is just for the withdrawal of the regular forces.

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2021 13:13 utc | 98

I wouldn't be surprised if the US withdraws from Afghanistan in line with the new deadline. The strategic situation that led the US to occupy Afghanistan in 2001 has changed considerably. Nearby Iran, China, and Russia are all more able to compete with the US than they were in 2001, and NATO logistics go through Pakistan, which seems to be seeking greater independence from the US.

Of course, the value of working out of Afghan bases for the CIA might be greater than the risk, in which case we might see the US go back on its word.

Posted by: Peltast | Apr 14 2021 13:25 utc | 99

We've heard this many times before, so I'm not holding my breath. The Great Game in Central Asia will only increase in strategic importance. If anything, U.S. troops will be replaced by private contractors.

Posted by: Leif Sachs | Apr 14 2021 13:35 utc | 100

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