Jeff Seldin Profile picture
May 31 16 tweets 12 min read
Current state of the #Taliban

Taliban has consolidated control over #Afghanistan, per @UN report released on Friday

41 UN sanctioned individuals are in the cabinet & sr level positions
#Taliban "have favored loyalty & seniority over competence, & their decision-making has been opaque & inconsistent" per @UN report

"Various Taliban factions are maneuvering for advantage, with the #Haqqani Network the most successful & influential among them"
Some fissures may be emerging within the #Taliban

"The pro-Pashtun bias evident in the composition of the de facto authorities & poor treatment of #Tajik & #Uzbek Taliban runs the risk of provoking defections from those quarters" per @UN member state intel
Following clashes btw #Taliban #Haqqani Network forces & #Uzbek Taliban, "a number of Uzbek fighters" joined #ISIS-#Khorasan, per @UN report
#Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada thought to be in #Kandahar

"Outsiders’ access to the Taliban leader is limited, & Hibatullah himself has reportedly been less open to deliberation w/other Taliban leaders, w/whom he previously held regular consultations" per @UN report
#Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada "is said to have become more autocratic and dismissive of dissent" per @UN report

He remains in contact w/Mullah Yaqub, Sirajuddin Haqqani & Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar
#Taliban, Hibatullah taking more measures to conceal his location, inclu "minimized mobile telephone use, limited personal engagements and communications to and from the leader conducted mainly by remote courier and hand-written messages" per @UN report
More: #Taliban leader Hibatullah's authoritarianism "evident w/regard to key governance issues, such as the recent statement on girls’ education" per @UN "Taliban ministers & deputy ministers have the authority to rule on issues that are less controversial"
Ascendancy of #Haqqani Network in #Afghanistan

Per @UN report, they control interior, intelligence, passports & migration ministries

Haqqani Ntwk "has also become the best militarily equipped faction &controls a number of armed formations inclu. the elite Badri 313 Battalion"
"The #Haqqani Network now largely controls security in #Afghanistan, including the security of the capital, #Kabul" per @UN report
"The #Haqqani Network’s securing of key positions increases its capability to work wi/the foreign terrorist groups that are its traditional allies" warns @UN report

"Several Member States have expressed concern at the Haqqanis’ control over the issuing of identity papers"
#Haqqani Network "still regarded as having the closest links to #alQaida" per @UN report

"The group continues to be the trusted partner for local facilitation of safe havens and support for alQaida core..."
#Haqqani Network - #ISIS-Khorasan

Links exist "at the local, lower levels" per @UN report, but following the #Taliban takeover in August 2021 it was "not in the interest of the Haqqanis to nurture such linkages"
The current #Taliban military - per @UN intel, Taliban defense officials are seeking a total force of btw 300,000-350,000

7,000 recruits have completed training

Previous estimates put the total Taliban fighting force at 58,000-100,00
Some @UN member state intel finds #Taliban have created 3 special forces battalions to confront #ISIS-K:

Badri 313 Battalion-up to 700 fighters
Fateh Force- up to 1,000 fighters
Umari Force- # of fighters unknown
#Taliban airforce - @UN member state intel finds Taliban have 40 operational aircraft, inlcu. 2 Mi-17 helicopters, 2 BlackHawk helicopters, 2 Cayuse light helicopters, 2 Mi-24 helicopter gunships & 1 transport plane

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More from @jseldin

Jun 1
.@NATO allies surprised by #Ukraine's resistance vs #Russia

"Allies have certainly been impressed by the performance of the Ukrainian forces" @USAmbNATO Julianne Smith tells @GWUPMNS

"I think many of us were surprised by their ability to push back on Russian aggression"
"The level of of ... respect that you see across the alliance for Ukrainian forces right now is quite high" per @USAmbNATO
#Ukraine progress on the ground "not linear in all cases" per @USAmbNATO "We see moments where #Russia|n forces advance. We see moments where Ukrainian forces are successfully able to push back"
Read 12 tweets
May 31
JUST IN: @ODNIgov issues "Best Practices" report to protect right of #Chinese Americans during US intelligence operations

Report finds "policies & procedures reflect an appropriate focus on the protection of privacy, civil liberties, & civil rights" BUT makes 4 recommendations
.@ODNIgov recommends

1. agencies/components "reemphasize the prohibition on conducting intelligence & related security activities based on race or ethnicity, to include those related to the granting or revocation of security clearances, in
their training materials"

.@ODNIgov recommends

2. "All IC agencies and components are encouraged
to expand unconscious bias & cultural competency training to personnel involved in intelligence collection & security clearance processes"

Read 8 tweets
May 31
ICYMI: Intelligence shows "The relationship between the #Taliban & #alQaida remains close, w/the latter [alQaida] celebrating the former’s success & renewing its pledge of allegiance" per report from @UN Sanctions Monitoring Team released Friday
Intelligence from @UN members "suggest that #alQaida has a safe haven under the #Taliban & increased freedom of action" per report "[AQ leader] Ayman al-Zawahiri has issued more frequent recorded messages since August, & there is now proof of life for him as recently as Feb 2022"
#alQaida-#Taliban relationship "underscored by the presence, both in #Afghanistan & the region, of alQaida core leadership & affiliated groups, such as alQaida in the Indian Subcontinent (#AQIS)" per @UN report
Read 43 tweets
May 27
Happening now: @DeptofDefense briefing @PentagonPresSec
#Ukraine requests for #MLRS - "We're working every single day to get weapons & systems into Ukraine" per @PentagonPresSec, saying #Washington is aware of the requests by #Kyiv

"We're in constant communication w/them [Ukrainians]..."
"I won't get ahead of decisions" per @PentagonPresSec, re the #MLRS request by Ukraine
Read 16 tweets
May 26
NEW: NO US troops fighting in #Ukraine but there is a defense attaché - a colonel - at @USEmbassyKyiv,
per @PentagonPresSec

Kirby adds, "US troops will not be fighting in this war in #Ukraine" and that @StateDept has not changed its position regarding not having military guards
#Turkey pledge to expand buffer zones in northern #Syria - "We're obviously very concerned" per @PentagonPresSec

Points to risk to civilians and to anti-ISIS operations by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (#SDF)
"We are in daily contact with our #SDF partners in northern #Syria" per @PentagonPresSec

Adds #ISIS while diminished "remains a viable threat"
Read 5 tweets
May 26
Day 92 of #Russia's war in #Ukraine

Now 110 Russian Battalion Tactical Groups operating in #Ukraine, most in the south of #Ukraine, per a senior US defense official

"We assess that #Russia has made some incremental gains...still is fighting for control of the town of #Lyman"
"We blv that #Russia|n forces have been able to seize most of northeastern #Sievierodonetsk" per a senior US defense official
"No major changes" around #Kharkiv, per a senior US defense official

#Russia|n forces still within about 10km of the Russian border
Read 19 tweets

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