"I absolutely reject that somehow, what's about to happen to women because of the #Taliban taking over the government is simply something we have to tolerate as the prince of doing business in South & Central Asia."
@BrookingsInst@MiddleEastInst "Where this really began to unravel was then when U.S. chose to make a separate deal with the #Taliban, to exclude the #Afghan govt & to set a certain date for when we'd depart... only then did we begin to see the real problem unfold."
@BrookingsInst@MiddleEastInst "When we departed, there was a very real signal: 'you are on your own'... The advisors left... When we pulled out, we took out about 18,000 contractors... the way we equipped them, they relied wholly on those contractors."
Note to all -- it *is* possible for both these things to be true:
1) The #Afghanistan withdrawal has been a debacle, due to a lack of planning; hurried schedule; & ignoring worst-case scenarios.
2) The USG & NATO evacuation effort in recent days has been extraordinary & heroic.
Similarly, while it's entirely legitimate to argue that staying in #Afghanistan for 20yrs was illustrative of mission creep and strategic errors, that doesn't in any way mean that a withdrawal was guaranteed to result in chaos, humanitarian crisis & a terrorist state.
If a public figure is telling you that policy 'failure' in #Afghanistan made chaos inevitable -- he/she is lying to you.
If a public figure tells you that the heroic [crisis] evacuation effort is evidence that everything's fine -- he/she is also lying to you.
More than any other aspect of the #Afghanistan withdrawal, this is what should have been 100% avoidable.
And as @RepAdamSchiff has just stated, the IC *did* warn of a swift #Taliban victory -- this was *not* an intelligence failure, it was a political/decision-making one.
@RepAdamSchiff The #Taliban aren't stupid; they know the U.S. (& #NATO allies) are under pressure -- #Taliban fighters have significantly increased their intimidation of Afghans outside #HKIA - countless reports of beating, whipping & even gunfire.
If I'm not mistaken, #Biden hasn't yet mentioned the appalling suffering, panic & terror being felt by so many across #Afghanistan -- it's all about defending the withdrawal & blaming the disaster on #Afghans.
Just a bafflingly tone deaf message, considering global attention.
- What's "step by step"?
- Are the steps conditional or unconditional/predetermined?
- What's the timeline?
- OIR has no combat troops, so language here is ambiguous.
Is #Baghdad playing politics again & making a mountain out of a molehill?
I'd guess that NSC #MiddleEast Coordinator McGurk asserted the existing USG position -- that U.S. troops won't be in #Iraq forever; the mission is changing (combat to advisory); and a withdrawal will gradually happen.
#Baghdad has pounced on that to assuage internal concerns.
With a deal done at UNSC on Friday, cross-border aid will continue flowing via Bab al-Hawa, but doubts about #Russia's obstructionism remain; needs [will] continue to rise & perceived concessions raise Qs re. the long-term.
Earlier this evening, penholders #Norway/#Ireland distributed a draft resolution specifying that crossings at Bab al-Hawa (NW) & al-Yaroubiya (NE) should be opened July 10.
In response, @USAmbUN has indicated the U.S. still demands all 3 crossings be opened (+ Bab al-Salameh).
@USAmbUN Though it's still early days, the effect of U.S pressure & behind-scenes face-off/negotiations has begun to emerge:
- @RussiaUN publicly praised recent U.S. sanctions safeguards & #COVID-linked sanctions easing
- @USAmbUN asserted support for cross-line being 'part of solution.'
@USAmbUN@RussiaUN This would give some credence to things I've heard privately & what Joey Hood suggested in an earlier @StateDept_NEA briefing -- that there's some hope that a compromise will be found that allows cross-border (at minimum, via Bab al-Hawa) to continue.
.@frontlinepbs's documentary on #HTS leader Abu Mohammed al-Jolani begins at 10pm EST tonight -- it's already caused shockwaves in the jihadist world.
I've been studying #HTS (& its predecessors) & Jolani's leadership for 10yrs -- the story has profound analytical implications.
@frontlinepbs Few could have imagined in 2012-13 that Jolani's Jabhat al-Nusra would years later have a new name & be speaking in quasi nationalist tones; running a semi-technocratic "govt"; proactively engaging w. international NGOs & media; & seeking to establish dialogue w. Western govts.
@frontlinepbs The path between '12 Nusra & '21 #HTS is complex & strewn with inter-factional conflict; vicious internal strife; geopolitical manipulation; and above all, the impact of #Syria's nationwide uprising.
In breaking from #AlQaeda, #Jolani sparked a massive intra-jihadist debate.
- "We've adopted a campaign of annihilation... a surround, constrict & annihilate strategy."
@charlie_savage@MiddleEastInst@brett_mcgurk@JoeBiden#pt: There's little/no debate across the partisan divide about the costs associated with "collateral damage" in CT strikes - BUT there *is* an active bipartisan debate about where to draw the line of risk under certain conditions.
Very interesting -- ahead of the D-#ISIS Small Group meeting, @aawsat_News says the coalition is considering expanding policy to include combating #ISIS in areas controlled by the #Assad-#Russia-#Iran alliance, which it says has "failed" to defeat #ISIS.
@aawsat_News It's been clear for a long time that #ISIS's resurgence, particularly in #Syria's central 'Badiya' desert was (a) sustainable & (b) eventually going to spillover into @CJTFOIR/#SDF areas on the eastern side of the #Euphrates.