Tag Archives: taliban

World Review: 9/11, Trudeau, Putin and Patel

It is the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Two decades since 2,996 lives were lost in suicide attacks on the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In New York the occasion will be marked by families of the dead reading statements about their loved ones. The event will be closed to the public. Elsewhere in the world, the anniversary will be marked with foreboding. The attack was carried out by Al Qaeeda and was planned and coordinated from its base in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Within weeks a US-led NATO force toppled the Taliban government. There has not been a Jihadist attack on US soil since. President Biden has now withdrawn US forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban is back in power.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

Observations of an Expat: Nation Building

To nation build or not to nation build? That is the question vexing Western capitals in the wake of humiliating defeat and failure in Afghanistan.

Is it nobler to continue to attempt to export/impose Western political and cultural values to the rest of the world or does Afghanistan spell the end of a policy which has dominated foreign affairs since the end of World War Two?

When NATO forces invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 they had clear goal: Remove the ruling Taliban from power so that the country ceased to be a base for international terrorism.

But then the policy changed to nation building for two reasons.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

World Review: Qatar as power broker, EU rapid deployment and abortion in Texas

In one of history’s ultimate ironies, the West may end up working with the political organisation it overthrew and fought for 20 years. The reason? To prevent another more extreme Islamic organisation from using the central Asian country as a base for terrorism. ISIS-K has made it clear that it wants to use terror to undermine the West and export Islamic fundamentalism. It has also said that the Taliban leadership is as much a target for their suicide bombers as Americans.

At a Pentagon press conference this week, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Staff, described the Taliban, as “ruthless” but added that in war “you do what you must.” When asked if the US would cooperate with the Taliban, he said: “that is a possibility.”

Meanwhile British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab flew to Qatar which has been acting as intermediary between the West and the Taliban.

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World Review: Cuba, climate change, the Taliban and foreign aid

Cuba may be reaching the end of its search for Utopian Socialism – shop shelves are empty and people are hungry. Ten years from now 2021 will be known as the year that the world was dragged kicking and screaming to the reality of climate change. The Taliban continues its march to victory with the capture of a key border crossing in the southeast corner on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Boris Johnson’s win on foreign aid this week was the world’s loss.

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Britain faces a new global alliance

Next month there are planned peace talks with the Taliban … in Moscow, with the support of China.

This is a small symptom of the biggest tectonic shift in political alliances for more than 70 years. UK Liberal Democrats will be ahead of the curve if they appreciate the significance of this shift and have an opinion on the UK’s response.

As China reaches the point when its economy becomes the world’s largest, the Chinese leader Xi Jinping is pressing ahead with his ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. This is the new Silk Road from China to Europe across the land mass. Unlike the old Silk Road, this time it comes with vast Chinese investments in the countries involved, as China seeks global influence and new places to put its cash resources. There is a maritime equivalent; the ‘String of Pearls’, as China takes over ports at strategic points from Pakistan and Sri Lanka to Djibouti and Greece

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 22 January 2010

It’s January 22nd. It’s one year to the day since President Obama ordered Guantánamo Bay detention camp to be closed – within one year.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts – each with a question – that caught my eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • How good is the Taliban internal communications department?
  • Rob Blackie asks this because the Taliban have issued their members with a code of conduct:

    As anyone in internal communications will tell you – it’s getting people to read and internalise this sort of guidance that’s difficult.

  • How long does it take to deliver leaflets to the whole parliamentary consituency?
  • asks Philip Ling, Lib Dem PPC for Bromsgrove. Read on to find out his answer, and to take a couple of bundles off his hands.

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Opinion: Pull out our troops

It’s time that Liberal Democrats called for British troops to be pulled off the front line in Afghanistan. The justifications for their continuing presence vary with the day of the week and the desperation of the advocate.  I am not convinced by any of them.  I don’t know how we would recognise ‘success’ if it were to be claimed, and I don’t believe that our involvement is making the streets of Britain any safer.

Alone amongst the three party leaders Nick Clegg has voiced concerns not simply about shortages of helicopters (in the Great War the call was always for more …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 8 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 25 October 2009

Morning all. Clocks changed? Good. Now it’s time to catch up on the news including, as it’s a Sunday, another in my occasional series of “Forget Obama; forget West Wing – now THIS is what we should be copying from US politics”.

It’s the political ad that is just bursting to be copied for our next party political broadcast. Send you lobbying email to Cowley Street now. (Probably best do that now rather than after watching the ad. In case you don’t agree with me. But you’d be mad not to. This is quality political advertising at its very best.)

2 Big Stories

Pakistani army takes Taliban chief’s hometown

Pakistani soldiers captured the hometown of the country’s Taliban chief Saturday, a strategic and symbolic initial prize as the army pushes deeper into a militant stronghold along the Afghan border. An army spokesman said the Taliban were in disarray, with many deserting the ranks.

The 8-day-old air and ground offensive in the South Waziristan tribal region is a key test of nuclear-armed Pakistan’s campaign against Islamist militancy. It has already spurred a civilian exodus and deadly retaliatory attacks.

Washington has encouraged the operation in the northwest because many militants there are believed to shelter al-Qaida leaders and are also suspected to be involved in attacks on Western troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. military has also kept up its own missile strikes in the lawless tribal belt, including a suspected one that killed 22 Saturday. (Associated Press)

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments
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