Today is the day the #US will decide if it is going to evacuate everyone, or stick to #Biden's self-imposed deadline in #Afghanistan.
This messaging from the State Department about the #Taliban having pledged to allow #Afghans who helped us leave the country even after the #US military departs is either criminally naïve or a horribly cynical way of consigning thousands of people to death
The Pentagon messaging matches up with that of the State Department: very much looks like the #US is preparing the ground to leave #Afghans it owes a duty to behind, but to pretend there's some kind of process or agreement to get them out
#Iran's theocracy will send all the weapons from the Afghan army that fled onto its territory to the #Taliban |
It is astonishing that even at this late stage the Biden administration is a hindrance in many ways to getting at-risk Afghans out of the country, even as other parts of the government are doing everything they can.
Kind of extraordinary they would admit to this, and beyond extraordinary that they've done it.
Former Obama official advocates bankrolling one enemy (#Taliban) lest other enemies (#China, #Russia) have to pay for them. Somehow perfect that his name is Adam Smith.…
"[Ahmad] Massoud is looking for a 'face-saving' way to capitulate without calling it a surrender ... [and] keep Taliban forces out of Panjshir ... [but] Massoud will be unable to hold out for long if the Taliban lose patience in negotiations"…
#pt: "In a last ditch effort to stop a #Taliban military offensive, the #Panjshir forces sent a delegation to #Pakistan last week to negotiate. But the Taliban, flush from a stunningly quick military victory, are not in a mood to compromise, said the adviser to [Ahmad] Massoud."
Should be noted: the #Panjshir resistance has denied the Telegraph story, which was based on an "adviser" to Ahmad Massoud
#Pakistan's diplomatic facilities and journalists seem to be doing just fine under the #Taliban, while other foreign embassies and journalists, foreign and domestic, are having a horrendous time in re-Talibanized #Afghanistan. Curious.
This a great breakdown of the Doha deal, which excluded the Afghan government and undermined it, but gave the #Taliban what they wanted (total power) and the #US what it wanted (withdrawal). #Trump and #Biden chose this.
#Taliban spokesman told #China's state media on Aug. 19 he wants the CCP to have a "very big role" in #Pakistan's jihadi funland of #Afghanistan. On Aug. 23, Peking said it "welcomed" the chance to exploit Afghanistan.…
#CIA Director William Burns had a "secret meeting" (that was promptly leaked to the WaPo) on Aug. 23 in Kabul with the #Taliban's on-ground leader Abdul Ghani Baradar, presumably to beg for the safety of the thousands of hostages at the airport.…
#pt The CIA was involved the arrest of the #Taliban's on-ground leader Abdul Ghani Baradar eleven years ago, and now the CIA director makes personal trips to Afghanistan to treat with this criminal zealot, in whose hands the #Biden team has left the fate of thousands of people.
Forgot about this speech. Both Trump and Biden suggested the Taliban could be "counter-terrorism partners", certainly against ISKP and maybe against Al-Qaeda. Ridiculous as this is, it was quite possibly among the topics between Burns and Baradar
The @Reuters account of the death of photographer
@dansiddiqui, a terrible tragedy.
You can see the way the emphasis is being shifted onto the numbers evacuated by the Biden administration and its media surrogates ... I assume it will work, too, and they'll be able to bury jihadizing a country and allowing hundreds of deaths for no reason.
#China has been one of the major victors from the #US withdrawal from #Afghanistan, and, like everything else about this fiasco, that was known or knowable in advance.
The #Taliban: not as counter-terrorist-y as all that
I shouldn't be flippant, but there were - are - real people who proposed that the Taliban was a counter-terrorism partner. These were not randos; they were/are people in the government, with responsibility for these issues, and this is a real thing they not only thought but said.
It would be proper for the press to begin referring to this as the "hostage crisis" that it is. What an appalling mess.
"A knock at the door could spell doom. Every passing hour seems endless. That's the new reality for many Afghans who feel they have most to fear from the Taliban and have gone into hiding ... includ[ing] employees of the collapsed government, civil society activists and women."
"Taliban fighters have set up checkpoints throughout Kabul ... There have also been some reports of Taliban going door to door in search of former government workers and civil activists.…
The United Nations putting its foot down with a firm hand
Suspect the #US troops on the ground would have brought those #Afghan troops who are helping hold the airport with them, come what may, but it is good to have the administration okay it in advance. The right message. For once.
As expected: #Biden is sticking to his Aug. 31 deadline, despite allies' requests to extend it so everyone can get out. Cute that it is presented as a Pentagon recommendation.
New pictures of the remnants of the anti-Taliban forces in Panjshir
The #Taliban has appointed Abdul Qayyum Zakir, a terrorist who was once imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, as "defence minister of their Islamic Emirate in #Afghanistan |…
#Biden is 90 minutes late for this speech ...
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the #G7 have agreed a plan for dealing with the #Taliban, and the first condition will be that the jihadists allow Afghans to continue leaving after Aug. 31.

The Taliban said hours ago no more Afghans could leave starting *today*.
#Biden's speech, set for 1hr45mins ago, has been rescheduled, now starts in 15 minutes.
The #Netherlands moving to get their people from #Afghanistan while there is still time.
And now #Biden is 20 minutes late for the rescheduled speech, two hours after the initial start time.
Wonder if this is the cause of the massive delay in Biden's speech
"[#Biden's] overall job approval rating now stands at 41% ... a big drop ... Until last week, national polls generally showed his approval rating above 50%. ... [O]nly 32% of independents say he's doing a good job."…
Seems the #US is winding things up. Probably leaves about three days for people to get to the airport in #Kabul - what that looks like in terms of processing is anyone's guess.
The #Taliban announced earlier today it was going to prevent any more #Afghans leaving, and now seems to have blocked the way to the airport for everyone - #Americans, Westerners, the lot.
#Britain (and other #NATO states) seem to be running their own policies, not coordinated with the #US, which is doing ... something else.
#Biden is twenty minutes late for a speech that has been re-scheduled twice and is now nearly five hours late.
Here we go ... #Biden is starting by talking about his "build back better agenda"
#Biden starting with all this guff about healthcare, infrastructure, and climate change is surreal ....
#Biden claims "significant progress" on evacuations #Afghanistan, 77,700 since 14 August and 6,000 people in the last 12 hours. Says "currently on a pace to finish" by 31 August, though this "depends on the Taliban continuing to cooperate" and asked DoD for "contingency" options.
#Biden says the risk of an "ISIS-K" attack is growing but the "sworn enemy" the #Taliban has taken "steps to work with us to get our people out", albeit this is "tenuous" and already there have been some gun battles.
#Biden says there is "thorough screening" of the #Afghans coming to the #US, congratulates allies who have been coordinating with the Americans and getting those Afghans who helped them out.
#Biden again uses the talking point about #Afghanistan being less of a terrorist threat than other places where #US troops are not on the ground [which was obviously true *while those troops were there*] and claims there is an "over the horizon" capability.
Blinken will speak tomorrow to update on #Afghanistan. And after that 12-minute speech - five hours late, half or more on domestic politics - #Biden walks away without taking any questions.
White House declares itself giddy with success
#Trump just could not help himself: had he said nothing he would have looked better
These people, other than being insane, are not helping the administration, which is not feeling the pressure it should right now to correct a catastrophic policy track.
This is happening in #Britain, too: overt support for the #Taliban. The most alarming aspect is how far outside the Islamist scene "proper" this sentiment has spread and is being expressed fairly forthrightly.
"[E]vacuations are likely to slow considerably by Friday ... That isn't nearly enough time to evacuate all the Afghan[s] ... who helped the 20-year U.S. effort ... and it may not be enough time to remove every American, officials acknowledged."…
#pt: CIA director "proposed [to Baradar] to extend the withdrawal date by four days, offering a promise to hand over a functioning airport to the Taliban ... and leaving a Turkish staff to run it. But the Taliban refused to entertain any extension, two defense officials said."
#pt: "Asked why more vulnerable Afghan citizens hadn't finished the Special Immigrant Visa process sooner, the State Department has pointed fingers at the Trump administration" 🙄
The administration is fuming at this - and has thrown out claims that military resources were diverted and spaces on planes taken - but it is pretty clear that isn't true; they're just embarrassed. And military people clearly facilitated the trip
After the #Biden administration has conducted itself with such honesty over the months leading up to the collapse in #Afghanistan, what reason have we to doubt them now?
The politest way to put it is that #Biden's 70,000 figure "raises questions" when set against the independent evidence available to us

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Kyle Orton

Kyle Orton Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

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

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!