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Thread: New Great Game

  1. #1
    Fuck Trump The Man's Avatar
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    New Great Game

    There is a new "Great Game" afoot in Afghanistan, a new struggle for control.of the country, between the US and its Western allies and the democratic Afghan government in Kabul on one side, and an alliance of China, Russia, Iran, and Pakistan on other, with the latter, apparently, supporting the Taliban, ostencibly against ISIS, but also against the pro-US Kabul government:

    Russia barred the U.S. from the Afghanistan peace conference held in Moscow on Wednesday, much to the consternation of Afghanistan. The peace conference was surrounded with public recriminations. Russia, China, Pakistan, and Iran are on one side, and Afghanistan and India are on the other. Pakistan, Iran, and Russia have supported the Taliban, which is an insurgent organization that frequently uses terrorist tactics against civilian targets. China had direct talks with the Taliban last year, and its military vehicles have recently been spotted in Afghanistan. Russia says support of the Taliban will counter the Islamic State, which is the more dangerous foe. But such support will really just weaken the current elected government of Afghanistan, and its U.S. supporters, and give Russia a new client in the region. The U.S. should reconsider whether Russia can be trusted as a responsible ally against terrorism.

    Russia disparages the elected government of Afghanistan as unwilling to fight Islamic State. At the conference last year, Russia only invited Pakistan and China. For Russia not to invite NATO members who have been most involved in trying to bring peace, development, democracy, and the rule of law to Afghanistan is insulting, but perhaps not surprising since Russia, and its ally China, oppose U.S. influence in the region. As the U.S. and its allies retreat from Afghanistan, Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan are trying to fill the resulting power vacuum by allying through the Taliban against not only Islamic State, but against the current democratically-elected government of Afghanistan. This will result in more Taliban influence in Kabul, and could hasten or even lead to the overthrow of the elected government.

    That is unfortunate for the citizens of Afghanistan, who will lose their relatively secular government in exchange for more violence, the old fundamentalist Islamic government of the Taliban, or both. It will also be a very public failure of the U.S. and NATO. The Taliban are known for their opium trade, harsh laws against women, and blowing up of massive ancient Buddhist statues during their rule from 1996 to 2001. It is unfortunate that Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan prefer to side with the Taliban, rather than support the elected Afghan government.
    Russia Bars U.S. From Afghanistan Peace Conference, Supports Taliban Terrorists

    Very interesting.

  2. #2
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    ALL the world Players (except China) go into those mountains, thinking they can take and hold it.

    Take it....for a few weeks, maybe months, but, no one, will hold all of that nation.

    And what, exactly is it worth? Lots to terrorist factions needing a safe space. Good financial base for heroin markets.

    And, that's about it......
    Thanks from Hollywood and The Man

  3. #3
    Fuck Trump The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rorschach View Post
    ALL the world Players (except China) go into those mountains, thinking they can take and hold it.

    Take it....for a few weeks, maybe months, but, no one, will hold all of that nation.

    And what, exactly is it worth? Lots to terrorist factions needing a safe space. Good financial base for heroin markets.

    And, that's about it......
    I think they have some valuable minerals, or something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    I think they have some valuable minerals, or something?
    You would think, with all the mountains.

    When the Soviets invaded, it was to prop up a Communist Dictator. (With one of the COOLEST names ever: Babrak Karmal...)

    When the US went invaded, it was to take out the Taliban, and hunt down barbarians.

    When Alexander invaded, it was...well, to conquer another land (And, it is suggested he may have heard stories of China......)

    None of the above managed to hold the region. Just as China has a tenuous hold on Tibet (They RULE it, but, just how strict is Chinese authority exhibited on the average citizen in Tibet?)

  5. #5
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    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...rugs-and-crime

    Afghanistan’s opium production has risen by an estimated 43% this year, the UN has said.

    The annual increase on 2015 levels was due in part to estimated growth of 10% in the area under cultivation, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said, from 183,000 to 201,000 hectares.

    The UNODC said estimated opium production in 2016 was 4,800 tons, underscoring a “worrying reversal” in efforts to combat problems associated with illegal drugs.
    The report said (pdf) that 93% of the cultivation took place in southern, western and eastern parts of Afghanistan, the world’s biggest producer of opium.

    Regions beset by insurgent activity cultivated the most opium, including Helmand and Kandahar.
    Follow the money.

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