Saturday 31st of July 2021

battle ready-ish...

battle readybattle ready

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ukrainian population is divided between a part of European culture and another of Russian culture. This singularity offers Washington a playground against Moscow. For several weeks now, the drums have been beating, sounding war. But none of the allies want to die for Kiev or sacrifice themselves to Russia.

 

Will the allies have to die for Kiev?      by Thierry Meyssan

 

 

The US armed forces

1- The Anglo-Saxons have a hereditary enemy: the Russians. For them, Russians are despicable people, destined since Otto I (10th century) to be nothing but slaves, as their name indicates (‘Slavic’ means both ethnicity and slave). In the 20th century, they were against the USSR, allegedly because it was communist, and are now against Russia without knowing why.

2- Second adversary, enemies they have created for themselves by waging an "endless war" against them since September 11, 2001: the populations of the wider Middle East, whose state organisation they are systematically destroying, whether they are allies or adversaries, in order to "send them back to the stone age" and exploit the riches of their region (Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy).

3- Third adversary: China, whose economic development threatens to relegate them to second place. In their eyes, they have no other choice than war. This is at least what their political scientists think, and they even speak of the "Thucydides trap" in reference to the war that Sparta waged against Athens, frightened by its flight [1].

4 - The issues of Iran and North Korea are far behind the first three.

Joe Biden’s Interim National Security Strategy [2] or their Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community [3] keep repeating this from different angles.

Fighting three wars at once is extremely difficult. The Pentagon is currently looking at how to prioritise these. It will report in June. There is absolute secrecy about the commission that is doing this assessment. No one even knows who the members are. Yet without delay, the Biden administration is focusing on Russia.

Whether we are independent or subservient to the "American Empire", we must stop trying to avoid seeing. The United States of America has no other objective than to destroy Russian culture, Arab state structures, and - eventually - the Chinese economy. This has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimate defence of their people.

There is no other way to explain why the United States spends astronomical sums on its military that bear no relation to the budgets of those it describes as its "friends" or "enemies". According to the Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the US military budget is at least equal to the sum of the budgets of the other 15 most armed states [4].

Issues for confrontation with Russia

The US is concerned about Russia’s recovery. After experiencing a sharp drop in life expectancy between 1988 and 1994 (5 years less), it has recovered, then largely surpassed that of the Soviet era (12 years more), although its healthy life expectancy remains one of the lowest in Europe. Their economy is diversifying, particularly in agriculture, but remains dependent on energy exports. Their army has been renewed, their military-industrial complex is more efficient than the Pentagon’s, and it has acquired experience in Syria.

For Washington, the construction of the Nord Stream 2pipeline threatens to free Western Europe from its dependence on US oil. While the attachment of Crimea to the Russian Federation, and even that of Donbass, is at least partially a blow to Ukraine’s dependence on the American Empire (Crimea and Donbass are not of Western culture). Finally, the Russian military presence in Syria is slowing down the project of political destruction of all the peoples of this region.

"When you want to drown your dog, you say it has rabies"

It was undoubtedly President Biden who opened the hostilities by calling the Russian president a "killer". The two powers had never exchanged insults, even in the Gulag era. His interlocutor replied politely and offered to discuss the matter publicly, which he refused.

The United States has a short-term view of the world. They do not see themselves as responsible for their legacy. According to them, the evil Russians have amassed more than 100,000 troops in the vicinity of Ukraine and are preparing to invade it, as the Soviets did in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. But then it was not Russia, but the USSR; not the Putin doctrine, but the Brezhnev doctrine; and Leonid Brezhnev himself was not Russian, but Ukrainian.

The Russians, on the contrary, have a long-term view of the world. In their view, the barbaric Americans challenged the balance of power with the attacks of 11 September 2001. Immediately afterwards, on December 13, 2001, President Bush announced the withdrawal of the United States from the ABM Treaty. The United States then brought into NATO, one by one, almost all the former members of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR in violation of their promise at the time of the dissolution of the latter. This policy was confirmed by the Bucharest Declaration in 2008 [5].

Everyone knows the peculiarity of Ukraine: Western culture in the West, Russian culture in the East. For about fifteen years, the country was politically frozen, until Washington organised a pseudo-revolution and put its puppets, in this case neo-Nazis, in power [6]. Moscow reacted quickly enough for Crimea to declare its independence and join the Russian Federation, but it hesitated for the Donbass. Since then, it has been handing out Russian passports to all the inhabitants of this Ukrainian region for which it is the only hope.

The Biden administration

President Biden was known, when he was a senator, for introducing legislation in the Senate that was devised by the Pentagon. When he became president, he surrounded himself with neo-conservative figures. We cannot repeat it enough: the neo-conservatives were Trotskyite militants who were recruited by Republican President Ronald Reagan. Since then, they have always remained in power, except during the parenthesis of Jacksonian President Donald Trump, switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party and back again.

During the colourful Maïdan ’revolution’ (2013-14), Joe Biden, then vice-president, took up the cause of the neo-Nazis who were agents of Nato’s stay-behind networks [7] He ran the operation with one of the then assistant secretaries of state, Victoria Nuland (whose husband, Robert Kagan, is a founder of the Project for a New American Century, the fundraising arm of Republican George W. Bush). President Biden decided to make her the deputy to his new Secretary of State. She relied on the then US ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, now posted in Athens, Greece. As for President Biden’s new Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, he is both judge and jury because his mother is of Ukrainian origin. Although he was raised in Paris by his mother’s second husband, te lawyer Samuel Pisar (advisor to President Kennedy), he is also a neo-conservative.

Preparing for the confrontation with Russia

In mid-March 2021, the United States and its Nato partners organised the Defender-Europe 21 manoeuvres. These will continue until June. This is a repeat of the mega-exercise Defender-Europe 20, which was reduced and shortened due to the Covid-19 epidemic. It is a huge deployment of men and equipment to simulate a confrontation with Russia. These manoeuvres are joined by a nuclear bomber exercise in Greece, attended by the aforementioned Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

On March 25, President Volodymyr Zelensky published the new Ukrainian Security Strategy [8], three weeks after President Joe Biden published the US one.

Responding to Nato, Russia undertook its own manoeuvres on its western border, including its border with Ukraine. It was even sending additional troops to Crimea and as far as Transnistria.

On 1 April, the US Secretary of Defense called his Ukrainian counterpart about a possible increase in tension with Russia [9]. President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a statement saying he was monitoring Russian moves that could be provocative [10].

On 2 April, the United Kingdom organised a meeting of the British-Ukrainian Defence and Foreign Ministries, under the responsibility of British Minister Ben Wallace [11] (who was very active in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict [12]).

On April 2, President Joe Biden called his Ukrainian counterpart to assure him of his support against Russia. According to the Atlantic Council, he announced his decision to give him a hundred combat aircraft (F-15, F-16 and E-2C) currently based at Davis-Monthan air base [13].

On April 4, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Democrat Adam Smith, negotiated with Ukrainian parliamentarians to provide large subsidies to the Ukrainian army in exchange for the Ukrainian commitment to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline [14].

On April 5, President Volodymyr Zelensky paid a visit to Qatar. The official purpose was to develop trade relations. Qatar is the main supplier of weapons to the jihadists and, according to our information, the question of possible financing of fighters was discussed. The director general of the military manufacturer Ukroboronprom, Yuriy Gusev, was on the trip. It was he who had supplied weapons to Daesh on order from Qatar [15].

On April 6, Lithuania, which in the past protected the western part of Ukraine in its own empire, enquired about the military situation [16].

On 6 and 7 April, British General Sir Stuart Peach, Chairman of the Nato Military Committee, visited Ukraine to clarify the reforms necessary for the country to join Nato [17].

On 9 April, in accordance with the Montreux Convention, the Pentagon informed Turkey of its intention to transit warships through the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits.

After discussing weapons and money with Sheikh Tamin in Qatar, President Zelinski came to talk about men with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on 10 April 2021.

On April 10, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Istanbul as part of regular consultations between the two nations [18]. In view of the Qatari endorsement, Nato member Turkey immediately began recruiting international jihadists in Syria to fight in the Ukrainian Donbass. Turkish military instructors were also sent to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, the headquarters of the International Islamist Brigade [19], created by President Erdoğan and his then Ukrainian counterpart with Tatars loyal to Washington against Russia.

Logically, the Russian Federation was amassing troops on the Ukrainian border. So its partners in the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) questioned it about its manoeuvres. The Russian side only answered evasively. The Vienna Document (1999) obliges OSCE members to provide each other with all information on the movements of their troops and equipment. But we know that the Russians do not operate like the West. They never inform their people or their partners during an operation, only when their deployments are over.

Two days later, the G7 issued a statement expressing concern about Russian movements, but ignoring those of Nato and Turkey. It welcomed Ukraine’s restraint and called on Russia to "stop its provocations" [20].

On April 13, on the occasion of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting with the Ukraine/NATO Commission, the United States pulled out all the stops. All the allies - none of whom wanted to die because the Ukrainians could not get a divorce - were invited to support Kiev and denounce Russia’s "escalation" [21]. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held extensive talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kouleba [22]. War was inexorably on the way.

Suddenly, President Joe Biden lightened the mood by phoning his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. He proposed a summit meeting, whereas Putin had dismissed the proposal for a public debate when he had insulted him [23]. After this initiative, war seemed avoidable.

On April 14, Antony Blinken, however, summoned his main allies (Germany, France, Italy and the UK) to mobilise them [24].

On April 15, President Joe Biden gave his vision of the conflict, expelled ten Russian diplomats [25] He imposed sanctions on Russia, which was accused not only of rigging elections to get President Donald Trump elected, but also of offering bounties for the assassination of US soldiers in Afghanistan and of attacking federal computer systems using SolarWinds software.

Predictably, Russia expelled a similar number of US diplomats. In addition, it set a trap for a Ukrainian diplomat, who was caught in the act of espionage with classified documents in his hand.

Continuing on his path, President Volodymyr Zelensky went to meet his French and German counterparts, President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel. While deploring the Russian escalation and reaffirming their moral support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, they were evasive about what would happen next. In the end, if the United States and Russia are to meet and discuss, it is a bit early to die for Kiev.

 Thierry Meyssan Translation 
Roger Lagassé    Read more:  https://www.voltairenet.org/article212801.html   FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

completion of readiness...

RUSSELS (Sputnik) - NATO believes that "any steps" towards de-escalation are important, a NATO official said on Thursday, when commenting on the Russian Defence Ministry’s announcement on the conclusion of military drills in the country’s south.

Earlier in the day, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the completion of snap combat readiness checks in the southern and western military districts. He also ordered the general staff, the military districts' chiefs and the airborne forces to start returning the troops to the places of their permanent deployment starting Friday, conduct a detailed analysis and sum up the results of the checks.

 

"We have taken note of the announcement by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. Any steps towards de-escalation by Russia would be important and well overdue. NATO remains vigilant and we will continue to closely monitor Russia’s unjustified military build-up in and around Ukraine. NATO stands with Ukraine, and we continue to call on Russia to respect its international commitments and withdraw all its forces from Ukrainian territory," the official said.

 

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/202104221082701877-nato-on-end-of-military-drills-in-southern-russia-steps-towards-de-escalation-important/

 

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opium in the room...

 

by F. William Engdahl

 

The Biden Administration has announced an Afghanistan US troop withdrawal date of September, 11, 2021, symbolically exactly two decades after the game-changing 911 attacks in New York and Washington. However the Pentagon and White House are saying nothing about one of the main reasons the powers that be who control Washington have remained in Afghanistan since the fake chase after a former CIA contract employee named Osama bin Laden. 

What is clear is that the US Administration is not being straightforward with its plans for Afghanistan and the so-called pull-out. The previously agreed May 1 date versus September 11 is clearly not about making a more graceful exit after a two decade war that has cost US taxpayers more than $2 trillion. The argument by some US Democrats that a full pullout with endanger the rights of Afghan women with the brutal Taliban culture of misogyny is clearly not what US and NATO soldiers have been protecting with their presence. What then is at stake?

Private Mercenary Occupation

While the Pentagon has been sly about giving any direct answer, it seems that what the Team Biden neo-cons are planning is a “privatized” US military presence. According to a report by Jeremy Kuzmarov, “over 18,000 Pentagon contractors remain in Afghanistan, while official troops number 2,500. Joe Biden will withdraw this smaller group of soldiers while leaving behind US Special Forces, mercenaries, and intelligence operatives — privatizing and down-scaling the war, but not ending it.” Already there are seven private military contractors in Afghanistan for every single US soldier.

Use of private military contractors allows the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies to avoid serious Congressional oversight. Typically they are special forces veterans who earn vastly more as private security contractors or mercenaries. Their work is simply classified so there is almost no accountability. The New York Times reports, citing current and former US officials, that Washington “will most likely rely on a shadowy combination of clandestine Special Operations forces, Pentagon contractors and covert intelligence operatives” to conduct operations inside Afghanistan.

The current Afghan government led by Ashraf Ghani, like that of Hamid Karzai is a creation of the United States. Ghani will remain Washington’s proxy in Kabul. His military is funded by the United States at a cost of around $4 billion per year. For what?

What is missing from the public discussion of Afghan troop presence is the 800 pound gorilla in the room: drugs, specifically heroin.

The 800 Pound Gorilla

Some of these private soldiers of fortune are not doing nice things. DynCorp is one of the largest contractors there. As of 2019 DynCorp had gotten over $7 billion in government contracts to train the Afghan army and manage military bases in Afghanistan. One of the publicized tasks of DynCorp and other US mercenary personnel in Afghanistan has been to “oversee” destruction of Afghan poppy fields that supply an estimated 93% of world heroin. Yet the clear evidence is that that opium and its global distribution has been a major province of the CIA along with the US military who guarantee secure air transport via airbases in Kyrgyzstan as well as Afghanistan into the western heroin markets. DynCorp has little to show for that drug eradication, or were they doing something else?

CIA, Mujahideen and Afghan Opium

When the US first occupied Afghanistan, claiming retribution for the Taliban role in aiding Osama bin Laden in the 911 US attacks, a severe anti-opium policy of Taliban had reduced harvests to almost zero. By October, 2001, just before the US invasion, the UN acknowledged that the Taliban reduced opium production in Afghanistan from 3300 tons in 2000 to 185 tons in 2001. According to Canadian economist and historian Michel Chossudovsky, “immediately following the October 2001 invasion, opium markets were restored. Opium prices spiraled. By early 2002, the domestic price of opium in Afghanistan (in dollars/kg) was almost 10 times higher than in 2000.” The Anglo-American invasion of Afghanistan successfully restored the drug trade. The Guardian reported that, “In 2007 Afghanistan had more land growing drugs than Colombia, Bolivia and Peru combined.” That was six years into the US military occupation.

Within several years of US occupation under Karzai, opium crops were at all-time record levels. One of the largest Afghan opium warlords then was the brother of Karzai. In 2009 the New York Times, citing unnamed US officials, wrote that, “Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years…” In 2011 Ahmed Karzai was gunned down, mob-style, at his home in Helmland by one of his bodyguards. Helmland is the largest opium province in Afghanistan. If Helmland were a country it would be the largest opium producer worldwide. Was it accident that the CIA paid money to Karzai for at least eight years or did The Company have a stake in the business of Karzai?

While Washington and the CIA have denied supporting the huge Afghan opium trade, the CIA history since the Vietnam War with drug warlords suggests otherwise. As Alfred W. McCoy documented during the Vietnam War era in his ground-breaking book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, the CIA was deeply involved with Hmong tribesmen in Laos who were involved in opium trade. They claimed it was necessary to twin their support. Later it was found the CIA Air America was involved in secretly shipping opium from the Golden Triangle.

During the 1980’s US-financed Mujahideen war against the Soviet Red Army in Afghanistan, the CIA allegedly turned a blind eye as Osama bin Laden and thousands of “Afghan Arabs” he recruited. Afghan warlords such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar were enriching themselves along with the Pakistani ISI intelligence with vast drug trade profits. To imagine that the CIA, and private mercenary armies such as DynCorp closely tied to the agency, are today involved in the world’s largest opium and heroin source requires no great leap of faith. 

In 2018 Alfred McCoy made a damning indictment of the US war in Afghanistan. He asked, “How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for more than 16 years – deploying more than 100,000 troops at the conflict’s peak, sacrificing the lives of nearly 2,300 soldiers, spending more than $1trillion on its military operations, lavishing a record $100bn more on ‘nation-building’, helping fund and train an army of 350,000 Afghan allies – and still not be able to pacify one of the world’s most impoverished nations?” His reply was that the US presence was not about nation-building or democracy. It was about heroin: “Throughout its three decades in Afghanistan, Washington’s military operations have succeeded only when they fit reasonably comfortably into central Asia’s illicit traffic in opium,” he charged. “Its opium production surged from around 180 tons in 2001 to more than 3,000 tons a year after the invasion, and to more than 8,000 by 2007.

By 2017 the opium production reached a record 9,000 tons. After more than 16 years of US military occupation. Somewhere here is a very dirty and criminal story and the CIA as well as related private military contractors such as DynCorp appear to be in the middle of it. This is maybe the real reason Washington refuses to honestly leave Afghanistan. As Pepe Escobar points out, contrary to the narrative in Western media that the Taliban control the Afghan opium trade, “this is not an Afghan Taliban operation. The key questions — never asked by Atlanticist circles — are who buys the opium harvests; refines them into heroin; controls the export routes; and then sell them for humongous profit…” He points to NATO, noting that Russian citizens are “collateral damage” of the Afghan heroin ratline as much as Americans. “The Russian Foreign Ministry is tracking how tons of chemicals are being illegally imported into Afghanistan from, among others, ‘Italy, France and the Netherlands’, and how the US and NATO are doing absolutely nothing to contain the heroin ratline.”

The US operations in Afghanistan, the world’s largest opium producer, is far from ending. It is merely changing form.

 

 

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

 

Read more:

https://journal-neo.org/2021/04/23/the-politics-of-heroin-and-the-afghan-us-pullout/

 

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weapon pandemic...

 Governments around the world have increased their military spending to a level not seen since 1988 despite their economies suffering during the pandemic, a fresh study has said, adding that the US was ahead of the curve again. 

Back in 2020, nations all over the world have been struggling to support their economies through the times of hardships and lockdowns caused by the onslaught of Covid-19. Those efforts apparently did not prevent them from spending more money on the military than ever before in more than three decades, the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has shown.

The world’s military expenditures have risen by 2.6 percent in comparison to the previous year and reached $ 1.981 trillion – “the highest level since 1988” – a SIPRI report published on Monday said. Over the last decade, global military spending increased by almost 10 percent.

The increase came in a year when the world’s “gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 4.4 percent,” the research institute notes, adding that the increase caused “the biggest year-on-year rise in the military burden since the global financial and economic crisis in 2009.”

“We can say with some certainty that the pandemic did not have a significant impact on global military spending in 2020,” said Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, a researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program. Still, some countries, like South Korea and Chile, preferred to spend some of the planned military funds on pandemic response while others, like Russia and Brazil, spent “considerably less” on defense then planned in 2020.

The US, however, still leads the list of the largest military spenders in the world by a wide margin. America’s military expenditures alone amounted to 39% of the global defense spending, SPIRI said, adding that the US also recorded one of the highest spending growth rates among the top 10 military spenders, surpassed only by Germany and South Korea, which have considerably smaller defense budgets.

 

“The recent increases in US military spending can be primarily attributed to heavy investment in research and development, and several long-term projects such as modernizing the US nuclear arsenal and large-scale arms procurement,” said Alexandra Marksteiner, a researcher with SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Program.

“This reflects growing concerns over perceived threats from strategic competitors such as China and Russia, as well as the Trump administration’s drive to bolster what it saw as a depleted US military,” she added.

The US closest “competitor” – China – spent around three times less money on defense and its military spending in 2020 accounted for some 13 percent of the global tally. Beijing did not have to raise its defense spending at the expense of increasing the military burden, since its economy was one of the few still growing in 2020.

India, Russia and the UK also made it to the list of the top five military spenders, although their defense budgets were considerably smaller than those of China, not to mention the US. Saudi Arabia was the only nation among the top 10 military spenders that had its defense expenditures decreased in 2020

The economic downturn coupled with the continuous increases in military spending helped some NATO members to hit the Alliance’s spending target as 12 member-states spent two or more percent of their GDP on defense, SIPRI notes, adding that only nine did so in 2019. France was particularly the one to cross the two-percent threshold for the first time since 2009.

Whether it would enhance the alliance’s capabilities is another issue, though, since the development “probably had more to do with the economic fallout of the pandemic than a deliberate decision to reach the Alliance’s spending target,” at least in some cases, da Silva said.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/522201-global-military-spending-pandemic-highest/

 

 

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looking for new latrines...

 

Fearing the possibility of triggering an armed response of the Taliban (organization banned in Russia) by delaying the withdrawal of the US-led military coalition from Afghanistan, Washington is trying to stay ahead of the schedule. As a matters of fact, senior NATO officials have revealed that the planned withdrawal is due to be completed by July 4 and not by September 11, as it had been previously announced.

But since a handful of questions associated with the future redeployment of these troops haven’t been resolved, Washington tacitly hints to its European allies that they should voice a request to postpone the withdrawal of American troops, under the pretext of other NATO members having a better opportunity to prepare for leaving the country that they still occupy.

However, the real situation on the ground looks different from what the US tries to present to the rest of the world through its massive propaganda capabilities.

The primary reason for the delay is the fact that senior military officials in Washington have categorically refused to surrender a foothold at the heart of Asia and that is why they are trying to obtain the consent of one of the regional powers to host American troops by all means available to them. After all, Washington did enjoy the capacity of exercising control within this region for a while, thus retaining a base for its future large-scale deployments against the countries that are described by the Western media as main opponents of the United States – Russia and China. At the same time, American military presence in Central Asia would allow the Pentagon to keep an eye on Pakistan, India, and Iran.

It is for this reason that US embassies across the region together with various Western emissaries have noticeably intensified their efforts to persuade local elites that there’s no way that they can lose the “American shield” that supposedly protects the post-Soviet space from terrorist threats and drug trafficking. At the same time, Washington demonstrates that it is willing to meet local capitals halfway, while promising various “bonuses” as a token of gratitude. In particular, it promises that it will hand over some of the military equipment and weapons transferred from Afghanistan in exchange for a military base, along with the development of economic and military ties with the United States, and various other “benefits”.

However, in this regard, one can’t help but ask the question: Will the future American bases in Central Asia, if they are to be created, become a stronghold against terrorism and drug trafficking coming from Afghanistan?

That would be an unlikely development, as two decades of American military occupation of Afghanistan clearly demonstrate. For the most part, the US military was preoccupied with ensuring the safety of its own servicemen, paying large sums of money to various Afghan extremist groups so that they lose appetite for attacking US military bases or interfering in the drug trafficking that has been skyrocketing under the auspices of US intelligence agencies for the last 20 years. It was the reluctance to even try to achieve its stated goals that doomed the US campaign in Afghanistan completely.

As for the alleged fight against terrorism that Washington likes to brag about, it was reduced to the attempts undertaken by the White House to legitimize the Taliban, which is not just banned in Russia, but has also been outlawed in a number of other countries. However, these days the Taliban is hardly the only terrorist organization that operates in Afghanistan. It is enough to recall how Washington removed the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan (banned in Russia) from its list of terrorist organizations. This formation operates in the north-eastern provinces of Afghanistan, those that are the closest to China. According to the French publication Atlantico, the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan receives funding from both American and Turkish intelligence agencies, and the US Embassy in Ankara is said to be the place that affiliates of this terrorist formation visit.

As a result, we see that behind the curtain of high notions that Washington likes to discuss so much lies a cunning plot that nobody wants to put to rest. Just like the world-famous test tubes that Colin Powell wielded at the UN that served as a pretext for Washington’s armed aggression against Iraq, so the infamous US-led “fight against terrorism” has also become a tool of US military aggression.

It is enough to mention that Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda (banned in Russia), wasn’t hiding in Afghanistan. He found refuge in Pakistan where, by the way, he was killed on May 2, 2011. And it is unlikely that his location was unknown to American intelligence agencies. And if it was so, they don’t even worth their salt! It’s just that twenty years ago Washington needed a foothold in Central Asia badly, and there was no way for it to unleash an armed intervention against a nuclear-armed Pakistan, or one of the countries of the post-Soviet space that were “hiding under the Russia umbrella”. It turned out that Afghanistan was the only “convenient target” for the US to attack, which would result in its painful downfall.

As for the current situation, Washington continues its attempts to take advantage of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan as a future location of its troops after their withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, the ministry of defense of Uzbekistan has already stated that the military doctrine of the country prohibits foreign troops from being deployed on its soil.

Therefore, the attention of the United States would quickly shift to Tajikistan. However, after the visit that Tajikistan’s president Emomali Rahmon paid to Moscow on May 9, where he negotiated both special preferences and funds for his country, it would be unrealistic to count on the redeployment of American troops to Tajikistan.

Therefore, Kyrgyzstan is now under the complete focus of Washington, on the back of its obvious dissatisfaction with the position Moscow took on the recent border conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Realizing this, Russian officials invited Kyrgyzstan’s president Sadyr Japarov to visit Moscow to mend shattered ties, while nullifying the damaged inflicted upon the relations of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. But Washington, nevertheless, is set to continue its attempts of persuading Kyrgyz elites, taking advantage of, among other things, the expertise of the recently appointed assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs – the former US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Donald Lu, who knows the situation in Central Asia in great detail.

Thus, the battle for Central Asia is only getting more intense as the United States draws new players in the heated competition between the countries of the region. Thus, a number of anti-Iranian remarks were recently made by Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani. At the opening of a dam in Nimruz province, he announced that Iran wouldn’t be able to use the water of cross-border rivers free of charge no more, although the corresponding agreement between the countries remains in force. China, with which Iran is strengthening its strategic cooperation, has also become an indirect victim of such remarks.

Under these circumstances, Russia and the Central Asian countries have recently begun discussing a road map that will allow the borders between the latter and Afghanistan to remain impenetrable for radical elements. It’s clear that the armed forces of Russia and Kazakhstan will have to work in close coordination with Tashkent, Ashgabat and Dushanbe to be able respond to the challenges that the Taliban and its affiliates may present to the regional stability in the future.

 

 

Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

Read more:

https://journal-neo.org/2021/05/15/while-withdrawing-troops-washington-craves-for-a-new-base-in-central-asia/

 

 

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