Five rockets fired at Kabul airport some hours ago, presumably by #ISKP.
CENTCOM said the other day it was able to deal with rocket attacks on #US forces in Kabul, and that appears true: all of the #ISKP missiles overnight were intercepted
Afghan commanders, driven from their country, might join the British army
The former Northern Alliance making a foredoomed effort at collective bargaining with the Taliban
Ukraine regarded as having performed magnificently in recovering stranded people at the Kabul airport
A sign that Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is still along the living
It's grotesque that Western officials (and analysts) have even allowed it to become a discussion whether the #Taliban will purge and massacre those who stood against it these last twenty years.
I was made aware yesterday that some Biden supporters think it is a partisan gotcha to point out that the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, the Haqqani Network, and any number of others are one and the same. See 👆🏻 and also see 👇🏻 for why that is not so
So this is a lie. There were people, in public, who anticipated that Biden's plan would collapse the Afghan government and lead to a jihadist takeover in very short order. It's also wrong to say the Afghan forces "folded"; the Biden team crippled them.
Guess it's kind of a "new Taliban" to actually exceed the cruelty and brutality of the last time.
Some very dangerous moments to come as this winds down in Afghanistan
Does not seem likely the #Panjshir resistance can find a surrender deal with the #Taliban; its minimal terms are so far above anything the jihadists are willing to grant.
All over ... except it isn't, not even for the US.
Hundreds of students from the American University are trapped in Afghanistan
Taliban arrests Afghan cleric Maulvi Mohammad Sardar Zardan, former head of the National Council of Religious Scholars of Afghanistan, shares photo in which he is blindfolded…
Anas Haqqani: GOP partisan, according to my timeline
Afghan journalists call for support from the "international community" while their Pakistani colleagues freely roam Afghanistan and refer to the Taliban takeover as a liberation
Really unclear what the rationale is from the Pentagon for refusing to name the #ISKP operatives killed in the 27 August drone strike in Nangargar
Pentagon reaffirms its original statements about the drone strike in Kabul thwarting another #ISKP attack
One of the #ISKP rockets got through the #US defences, though thankfully did no damage
The refugee crisis from #Afghanistan is already headed towards Europe, with #Turkey as the first port of call. The anti-refugee sentiment has been rising in Turkey recently for various domestic reasons; the chance of Afghans finding sanctuary there are low
Reported clashes earlier between the #Panjshir resistance and the #Taliban that ended in a massacre by the jihadists of their opponents.
Signs #Russia is bringing #Tajikistan into its #Afghanistan policy going forward, which probably means #India will have access to Afghanistan, and the Russians are already working closely with #Iran, likely to find some balance to #Pakistan's dominance
Planned #UN Security Council resolution will call on the #Taliban to allow people to leave after tomorrow, but the idea of a "safe zone" has been omitted.
Amrullah Saleh, the legal president of #Afghanistan and leader of the #Panjshir resistance, continues work:
Confirmation there were violent clashes today between the #Taliban and the resistance.
That would appear to be that: the last #US plane has left #Afghanistan and the #Taliban claim they have the airport.
Afghans begin adapting to the nightmare we said we were never going to consign them (and us) to ever again:
The #Taliban says it can't tell apart its own troops and #ISKP, so that's a great start from out "counterterrorism partners".
Official confirmation the #US is out of #Afghanistan, and the rescue efforts in all serious senses are at an end.
Among the Americans Biden left behind: Mark Frerichs, held by Haqqani Network the administration has spent the last week saying is not part of the Taliban, an argument rather undermined by Anas Haqqani, who told @newlinesmag this morning, "We are the Taliban".
"It's over" is certainly a phrase the Biden people shouldn't be allowed to get away with using. This war they escalated in Afghanistan is in no senses over; they didn't even get the Taliban to give back the US hostage they have held for two years.
Seems there are 250 #Americans who "wanted to leave" left in #Afghanistan after the #US withdrawal.
Thread should have been linked here
CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie with another weird answer: says there are definitely 2,000 "hardcore #ISIS fighters" in Afghanistan, but after the #Taliban opened the prisons that number is "as high as it's ever been". Then says, "That's a problem for the Taliban", apparently only them.
CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie at least confirms that the 500 Afghan troops who defended the airport alongside the US "and their families" were evacuated.
CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie, after saying he wanted to get the hundreds of Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans with papers out, that the "situation wouldn't allow it", which attributes to fate what was brought about by design.
CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie says his meeting with the #Taliban in Doha on 15 August was to deliver a message from Biden directly.

The significance is that @washingtonpost reports the Taliban offered to leave Kabul with the US, and McKenzie told them to take it, except the airport.
CENTCOM commander General McKenzie overstepped, frequently, what he was being asked about the military position and strayed into politics, defending the Biden administration's decision and even being (yet again) oddly praising of the Taliban. Just a bizarre piece of business.
The Taliban celebrate their victory in Kabul, a second time the jihadists believe they have overcome a superpower. Will not take long for the consequences of that to become manifest.
Just the absolute last person anyone wants to hear from at this moment.
The war is 45+ years old and it is not over
#Taliban leader claims that with the #US gone, #Afghanistan has full independence. It does not, of course: he and his comrades are the foot-soldiers of #Pakistan's occupation.
#Taliban enter the airport in Kabul the #US just left
The #US decision on Aug. 15 to give the nod to the #Taliban to occupy Kabul and to try to operate solely out of the airport (never mind the July 5 decision to leave Bagram) is one that the #Biden team will have to answer for. So this is interesting:
The #US at least denied the #Taliban some weapons ... while leaving it, the Haqqani Network, Al-Qaeda, and the rest of the jihadi coalition working for #Pakistan's ISI as the best-armed jihadist troops on earth.
Have a feeling this video of the #Taliban victory is going to become somewhat iconic.
#Biden administration messaging continuing to be in absolute top form.
It's clear that the number of Afghans who had the proper paperwork and have been left behind is in the tens of thousands. In terms of the actual number of Afghans who had a right to expect the US to honour commitments to them, far higher, of course.
A squalid episode amid a general catastrophe: the #Biden administration trying to seed the idea that #Britain was responsible for the #ISKP atrocity in Kabul
#Russia's presidential envoy for #Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, calls for the #US to give the state's frozen resources and other aid to the #Taliban.

NB: The Russians actually *have* listed the Taliban as a terrorist group, which the US never did.…
The #US's Kabul Embassy to be managed from Doha, because that is a very real thing that can actually happen.
Blinken's statement tonight is so far removed from reality - the way he talks about a "new chapter" of US-Afghan relations and so on is just mad.…
Blinken speaks as if #Al_Qaeda and the #Taliban are separate organisations, and you can just allow the Taliban to have access to passports and an airport, and that will all be fine and normal.
Blinken talks of the Taliban's "commitments on counter-terrorism". It's so crazy he tries to lie like this: the Taliban is entirely synonymous with Al-Qaeda.
585 Afghans pilots, crew, and their families are in #Uzbekistan, but cannot remain. These are some of the most hated people by the Taliban since the air force was - until the US disabled it - one of the most effective instruments keeping the jihadists down…
This is the issue with the Biden administration's messaging "strategy": to the extent it "worked" - and it didn't, it was terrible, but some in the press pretended - it was possible until Aug. 31. Now the disaster is undeniable and rolls for months

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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.…
#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.…
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"…
"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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