#Taliban/#ISI reportedly disrupting the Internet access of the #Panjshir resistance, whether in preparation for a final offensive is unclear.
This is absolutely extraordinary, all the more so for being presented as a myth-busting exercise.
The likelihood of a repeat of the 26 August attack by ISKP is very high
#Biden has given the Pentagon carte blanche to strike at #ISKP.
Khalilzad continues soft-peddling the #Taliban, refers to their leadership's promises to let Afghans leave as "positive", surely knowing the jihadists are lying
Central Asian security types have been panicking for a while about their own nationals among the jihadists in Afghanistan - they really were hoping not to border the Taliban - and now about becoming the through-way for foreign jihadists
Seems there was an effort by #Turkey to recruit #Syrians to guard the Kabul airport, though the whole notion of a Turkish role at the airport is currently in some flux.
#France and #Britain will, tomorrow, propose a plan to the Security Council to make an area of #Kabul into a United Nations-flagged safe zone that can continue humanitarian operations.

This must be what the French met the Taliban about in Doha days ago. reuters.com/world/asia-pac…
There it is: #US forced President Ghani from office even before the #Taliban took over, rather than making any attempt to support him, and when the jihadists obviously broke the "deal", Ghani, in just the clothes he owned (no crates of cash), sensibly fled
And just where do these qualified Taliban experts who can run an airport come from?
Noticed that bit: if these "assessments" were ever made they were clearly wilfully false - created precisely to give cover when Biden's decision caused catastrophe - since #China and #Russia are obviously thrilled beneficiaries of US Afghanistan withdrawal
Apparent #TTP ("Pakistani Taliban") attacks continuing within #Pakistan
Two Afghan journalists were killed in the #ISKP attack at the airport as they prepared to go into exile, their profession - built nearly from scratch over the last twenty years - now once again nearly destroyed.
One of the many left-behind stories we are going to have because of this deadline, this one from #Italy:
.@RobertClark87 makes the case for support to the #Panjshir resistance, the last pocket of anti-Taliban control in Afghanistan: sundayguardianlive.com/news/west-must…
"U.S. forces are in the final phase of leaving Kabul ... and just over 1,000 civilians at the airport remain to be flown out before troops withdraw, a Western security official said" reuters.com/world/asia-pac…
Six #ISKP operatives have been captured by the #Taliban, four of them Afghan and two from #Malaysia, according to the Taliban's "intelligence chief" Mawlawi Sayfullah Muhammad. malaysianow.com/news/2021/08/2…
The #Taliban's "intelligence chief": "We've just beaten the armies from 36 NATO countries"
Guess we'll have to wait for the fourth attempt to see if the administration can be honest about the Taliban and Haqaani Network being one and the same thing (as they are with Al-Qaeda)
Initial reports of an explosion at Kabul airport. Cause not clear yet
Initial reports of a rocket attack at Kabul airport. Still unclear
Khalilzad's role in all of this is a standing scandal
Footage of the explosion in what seems like a residential area of #Kabul. Could be a rocket attack; also seems possible it is a drone strike.
The explosion in Kabul was a #US drone strike, presumably against #ISKP, according to officials speaking to @Reuters.
#US drone strike - which is what fhe explosion was earlier - thwarted the expected #ISKP car bombing, according to officials talking to @AP.
The administration is a joke. Just moves from one lie to the next without any shame. Now they're preparing to leave people behind and use their imaginary "leverage" to make the Taliban let them go, having promised everyone would be out by Aug. 31.
A disaster at the end to match all the others
Sex apartheid restored to #Afghanistan and the beginning of the end for female higher education
Let's see how long this Taliban "commitment" lasts
That qualification about "want[ing] to leave" is going to be doing a lot of heavy-lifting in the administration's messaging after Tuesday, a strategically weird thing to do - it gets them through a few news cycles but it's not going to be very convincing.
Official statement on the #US drone strike earlier: took out the #ISKP car bomb and there was a secondary explosion.
By early May, the administration was being warned by people on the ground that it needed to get the Afghans out. Yet, even after briefings about the terminal dangers on Aug. 3 and Aug. 11, Biden went on vacation on Aug. 14, the day before Kabul fell. nytimes.com/2021/08/21/us/…
#pt: "An intelligence assessment presented at the meeting [of Biden officials on 24 April] estimated that Afghan forces could hold off the Taliban for one to two years."

Which they could have - or indeed another twenty years, with the US troops and contractors in place.
CENTCOM's McKenzie met Abdul Ghani Baradar in Doha on Aug. 15. The Taliban offered to leave the city of Kabul with the #US military, but Mckenzie told him the jihadists could take it, so long as they left the airport to the US until Aug. 31. washingtonpost.com/world/2021/08/…
#pt: There's an interesting effort by US officials to continue blaming President Ghani, including for their nod to the Taliban to take over Kabul. But this is a grotesque distortion: it was they who cut the floor from under him and left him facing butchery and murder.
Case in point: blaming President Ghani is a very common trope from the Biden administration and its surrogates, part of their chauvinistic appeal - which is finding supporters on the Trumpist Right - that the Afghans were unworthy of American sacrifice
A guest was brought onto "Afghanistan TV" (owned by General Din Mohammad Jurat) to tell Afghans not to be afraid ... with two armed #Taliban members stood behind him.
Something that will probably only be looked into once it is too late: the administration is playing fast and loose with the SIV numbers — as it is with all the numbers. Perhaps at some point we'll also know what was behind their resistance to the SIVs.

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More from @KyleWOrton

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 8 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
4 Sep
#Pakistan's use of #Islamists to interfere in #Afghanistan does not begin in 1979—that jihad project had begun in 1973 and all the Mujahideen groups were formed before the Soviet invasion—but the origins go back to c. 1956 for a cluster of reasons. <Mini Thread>
#Pakistan inherited the #British concept of "strategic depth", i.e. the need for a buffer against the most dangerous imperial rival (#Russia), and thus from foundation sought to make #Afghanistan into a client state.

[@husainhaqqani, "Between Mosque and Military", pp. 164-6]
#pt: Pakistan's move to vassalise #Afghanistan began in earnest in 1956, after the creation of the Pakistani constitution, with its "Objectives Resolution", creating an Islamic Republic, which had impacts not only internally, allowing the state to define "Muslim", but externally.
Read 8 tweets
4 Sep
While #Pakistan's death squads were at work in #Afghanistan, its ambassador in the US, Asad Majeed Khan, told officials "[the Taliban] were not seeking retribution, and in fact were going home to home to assure Afghans that there will not be reprisals" politico.com/news/2021/09/0…
"The Biden administration has been unusually circumspect about revealing its contacts and discussions with Pakistan."

Presumably trying to figure out if the ISI and the Haqqani Network are separate entities. (Spoiler: they are not)
Quite the phrasing here from @Politico:

"Pakistan has been more helpful to the United States in its fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, but even that cooperation has been questioned," given, you know, Bin Laden being sheltered near Pakistan's premier Army garrison
Read 4 tweets

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