Interesting: remnants of the anti-Taliban forces in Baghlan had insider help. Given that much of the collapse came from side-switching because US pulled away logistics and air support that made the Afghan army function, does leave open the possibility they can switch right back.
Would require Western assistance to make the resistance viable, of course, and this will not be happening for a while, so long as the Taliban has thousands of our people as hostages in Kabul.
The US continues seemingly running down the clock on the SIVs, as it has done for many months
What is there even left to say about these people
US military doing its best in an impossible situation created by the US political leadership
Imran Hussain, a shadow minister in the Labour Party, releases a letter portraying Pakistan as victim rather than perpetrator of the Afghan disaster, saying he opposes any effort against the Taliban, and blames Western "arms manufacturers" for a war started by 9/11.
Interesting to have numbers for the contractors
The fundamental lack of seriousness in the #Biden administration is just stunning. They talk about the world with a sense of wonder and confusion that most children get over by age-5. It would be funny, if their incompetence hadn't killed so many people
Will nobody think of the pro-Biden spin doctors
This is what makes the "over the horizon counterterrorism" talking point so absurd - especially when that horizon is 1,000 miles away in the Gulf. With a tiny presence on the ground in #Afghanistan sustaining an allied state, we kept the jihadists at bay.
As the Taliban does its PR campaign for outsiders, inside the country it is hunting down journalists
Hesmat Ghani, brother of the fallen Afghan president, pledging allegiance to the #Taliban. Notable that the man he's giving his oath to is Khalil Haqqani, a senior talib who is simultaneously a senior #Al_Qaeda operative in Afghanistan.
Fantastically grim at the airport in Kabul.
That would appear to be that: Khalil Haqqani says that Ahmad Masud, son of the Mujahideen commander and leader of the remnants of the anti-Taliban forces in #Panjshir, has pledged allegiance to the #Taliban
The responses are fair and I should have caveated more: we're hearing from Khalil Haqqani that Ahmad Masud, the resistance leader, has pledged allegiance to the #Taliban. We have heard nothing from #Panjshir yet, and the jihadists have every reason to lie about this. Let's see.
Teaches me for taking anything the #Taliban says seriously:

Ahmad Masud, the leader of the Afghan resistance in #Panjshir, says he has channels of communication open to the Taliban but has *not* pledged allegiance to them.
Confirmation the #Taliban were lying about Ahmad Masud, the #Panjshir resistance leader, having pledged allegiance to them
Even the #Taliban now saying their commander Khalil Haqqani was lying when he said the resistance leader Ahmad Masud had pledged allegiance to them.
This is a considerable number, no doubt, but in relative terms this is nowhere near fast enough, and with the chaos and threats halting things today ...
Curious story from earlier of 150 #Indians being kidnapped; have to be followed up to see what happened there.
Thread 👇🏼 Going to be rather difficult for #Biden to run on foreign policy, competence, and empathy after the catastrophe he has orchestrated in Afghanistan and the sociopathic response he and his officials have had when asked about it.
#Biden promised Boris Johnson and other allies at the G7 in Cornwall, 11-13 June, that the #US would retain enough troops after the main withdrawal to keep Kabul secure, and instead everything was pulled out and the country collapsed.…
This doesn't seem like the path to maximising retweets at all
It really is conceivable #ISKP would try something in this chaos in Kabul; it has been using urban attack cells in and around the capital for some time, notably in targeting the electricity grid. But you'd want to be really, really certain before spreading that news.
Explains a lot: even with thousands of Americans besieged by jihadists in Kabul, Biden focuses on his domestic agenda
Among many things, a further embarrassment for this administration and the last one, and military officials and the analysts relying on them, who have insisted #ISKP was dead or as good as.
Hazara Shi'i militias battling the Taliban
Alarmingly small number and proportion of Afghans evacuated
Hekmatyar found his way home very easily

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More from @KyleWOrton

15 Sep
In Sept. 1971, the KGB's Oleg Lyalin defected from the London Embassy and told the British government about the really alarming (and some quite bizarre) "special actions" the Soviets had been planning on the West, precipitating the mass expulsion Soviet spies in Operation FOOT.
The interesting thing is that this meant the West was quite well aware, from near the beginning of Andropov's renewed campaign, that Soviet terrorism was a very real phenomenon, and yet down to the end most in the West considered it a "conspiracy theory"
The KGB recruitment of Wadi Haddad of the PFLP in 1970 was the turning point: his Palestinian group was given weapons that even Eastern Bloc states hadn't received and given tasks as various as kidnapping CIA officers and assassinating Soviet defectors.
Read 7 tweets
15 Sep
#Pakistan's claim to be a victim of terrorism rests on groups like #TTP ("Pakistani Taliban"), but it was the Army/ISI who created the jihadist emirate in North Waziristan where this group was formed, with the active and ongoing assistance of the ISI's loyal Haqqani Network. ImageImage
#pt: "The Foutainhead of Jihad", pp. 164-5.
The #Haqqani-run enclave in North Waziristan, operating with the full backing of #Pakistan's ISI, not only nurtured the #TTP the Pakistanis would later portray as a mortal foe, it of course supported the "Afghan" #Taliban and was where #Al_Qaeda organised many post-9/11 plots. ImageImage
Read 9 tweets
14 Sep
#IS established itself in "Af-Pak" by building off the Afghan Salafist community that took root in eastern areas via the Arab presence there beginning many decades ago. The Salafis had some second thoughts, but the #Taliban is now pressuring them, too.…
#pt: The Taliban made an approach to IS-Centre in 2015 to ask that ISKP not be used to open another jihadist front, since this would distract from the war with the West. No dice. IS didn't even bother to reply.
#pt: The original Pakistani, mostly TTP, leadership of #ISKP was killed off quite quickly and replaced with Afghan Salafis. The current leader, though, Dr. Shahab al-Muhajir, seems to be a former Haqqani Network operative, and has peeled away other parts of that network.
Read 4 tweets
13 Sep
The lengths the #KGB went to in trying to destroy #Solzhenitsyn even after he had been expelled from the Soviet Union are extraordinary, and not entirely irrational: they understood the danger he posed to them.

<Mini thread drawn from "The Sword and the Shield", pp. 312, 317-21>
Andropov first tried to expel Solzhenitsyn in autumn 1971, but Brezhnev listened to interior minister Nikolai Shchelokov, who said the great writer should be co-opted rather than persecuted. Andropov did not forget this, and later witch-hunted Shchelokov until he killed himself.
In late 1973, after Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov wrote an open letter that encouraged Congress to override the Nixon-Kissinger administration by passing Jackson-Vanik that linked Soviet trade privileges to human rights, Brezhnev said the KGB should have cracked down from the start.
Read 9 tweets
9 Sep
#Pakistan's ruler from 1999 to 2008, General Pervez Musharraf, wrote in his memoir: "It is true that we had assisted in the rise of the #Taliban after the Soviet Union withdrew from #Afghanistan" (p. 202). Image
Even after #Pakistan's General Musharraf disparages the "obscurantist" nature of the #Taliban and the "peace of the graveyard" they brought, he writes: "Nevertheless, we still supported them, for geostrategic reasons", to minimise Indian influence in #Afghanistan (p. 203).
Musharraf tries to create a narrative where #Pakistan was not engaged with the #Taliban at inception, even though the Saudis and UAE were (p. 201-11), which is absurd, and that the ISI had lost its "leverage" over the Taliban after it came to power (pp. 203, 209), equally absurd.
Read 9 tweets
5 Sep
"Though Mr. Biden reversed other Trump policies, he was inclined to go through with the Afghan [withdrawal] ... The military argued for keeping 2,500 troops ... Bagram air base was central to the military's plans" for drones and special forces.…
On 8 May, "The Pentagon wanted a discussion on an emergency evacuation of the embassy and how to plan to remove Afghans at risk, but White House officials asked that those issues be removed from the agenda"

Again, Biden cannot say he didn't know. Biden chose to leave the Afghans
Even Jake Sullivan thought closing Bagram Airbase was a bad idea, and in June there was a pause for four days. But Biden insisted on doing all this with 650 troops in Kabul, so the Pentagon could only protect either Bagram or HKIA, and Biden went with the latter.
Read 7 tweets

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