#Britain has stopped evacuating #Afghans and is now moving to wind down its military presence in Kabul.
The #ISKP attack yesterday was the most lethal attack on #US troops in Afghanistan in a decade, and in 2011 the US was engaged in offensive operations - something that could be called "a war" - which it has not been since 2014.
The casualty figures for the US security presence low, and the benefit - providing key capacities that sustained the Afghan state, which bore the brunt of the fight to keep the jihadists at bay - was very significant. All lost now, for no reason.
The determination to drive the #US troop presence in #Afghanistan to zero is purely ideological. If people don't like the Germany/Japan analogy, can consider the #Philippines: providing key capacities for a state facing an insurgency that poses regional and even global threats.
Difficult to imagine a populist movement getting going about the #US troops in the Philippines. In Afghanistan, it's related to how they got there, but it only reiterates the fact: ideology is driving people, not reason - they want to make a point about withdrawing *all* troops.
Death toll from the #ISKP attack yesterday is likely to exceed 150
Such a horrible predicament for Afghans, risking death to get out at the airport or risking death by staying under the Taliban.
In Turkey's borderlands, fleeing Afghans get frosty welcome reuters.com/world/middle-e…
The #Taliban killed Mawlawi Zia ul-Haq (Abu Umar al-Khorasani), the #ISKP leader arrested on 11 May 2020, on 16 August 2021, the day after they took Kabul and opened the prison with hundreds of other ISKP jihadists. @WSJ interviewed Zia two days earlier: wsj.com/articles/isis-…
A small thing but the use of "ISIS-K" - "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria Khorasan" - needs to stop. It makes no sense. The group is called the Islamic State Khorasan Province (#ISKP).
"Even with [#US] tactical successes, #Al_Qaeda has not been defeated in AfPak, and the group enjoys significant support in the regional jihadist landscape. Its goal of rebuilding will be easier with the #Taliban in control of Afghanistan." thesoufancenter.org/intelbrief-202…
#pt: "Bin Laden has been dead for a decade, but Al-Qaeda still maintains a strong presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ... [T]here is cause for concern that Al-Qaeda could once again [use Talibanized Afghanistan to] plan attacks against the West."
#pt: To rebuild after 2001, "#Al_Qaeda relied upon loyalists from its Pakistani jihadist allies, including battle-hardened Kashmiri jihadists and sectarian militants from the Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ)," a wholly owned subsidiary of #Pakistan's ISI.
Bergen is right: it is "ludicrous" for #Biden to say the US can strike back at #ISKP. Without US troops on the ground and a friendly government in #Afghanistan, there is no intelligence stream and the nearest drones are 1,000 miles away in the Gulf:
#Spain has ended its presence in #Afghanistan, its last diplomats have left and are now in Dubai. reuters.com/world/asia-pac…
Gunfire was reported at the eastern gate of the Kabul Airport a couple of hours ago. jpost.com/breaking-news/…
Money before honour has been the way of Progress for quite some time.
A "Message to Canadians" from Amrullah Saleh, the legal acting president of Afghanistan macdonaldlaurier.ca/message-canadi…
This component of the #Bagram Airbase disaster should be getting more attention: a massive prison with some of the most capable jihadists was abandoned overnight and left for the #Taliban to open up after they overran the capital.
Even from the Biden administration's own selfish point-of-view, the political price is going to be very high when one of those jihadists from the Bagram prison the Taliban was left to open coordinates or carries out a terrorist attack against a Western target.
It is useful to have official confirmation from the Pentagon that the #Taliban freed thousands of #ISKP prisoners; this had been suspected but unclear to this point.
Congressmen call on Biden to recognise the Panjshir resistance as the legal government of Afghanistan. Amrullah Saleh, who is in Panjshir, is the designated president under the laws of the republic Biden let the jihadists destroy.
The death toll from yesterday's #ISKP attacks now stands at 170.
Turns out there were British fatalities yesterday after all.
Pentagon says the ISKP attack yesterday was one suicide bomber, not two, which would explain why #IS's claim only included one profile
This simply isn't true: senior operatives in the Haqqani Network overtly, simultaneously hold senior posts in the Taliban.
Larger issue: these "groups" ... aren't. It's a fluid network directed by #Pakistan's ISI. The Haqqani Network is de facto synonymous with Al-Qaeda, has senior Taliban roles, and (as Mullen said) is a wing of ISI. [For more, see: bit.ly/3BhPCJZ]
#France met with the head of the #Taliban's "head of political office" in #Qatar on 26 August
#Biden said - less than 24 hours ago - "We will get out our Afghan allies out". It was clear that that was not true, and now it is confirmed.
Islamic State Pakistan Province (#ISPP) releases a picture of two of its dead operatives, Abed al-Balushi and Adnan al-Balushi.
Utterly shameless: having just imposed a military "solution" on Afghanistan, #Pakistan says it was "truthful" all along in saying there was no such solution.

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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. trtworld.com/opinion/the-dy…
#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. wsj.com/articles/insid…
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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