Many military and intelligence experts predicted that the withdrawal from Afghanistan would not be an easy operation. With chaotic evacuations and the devastating twin bomb attacks of last Thursday, they proved right.
Through the withdrawal Washington not only empowered the Taliban politically but also left behind millions of dollars’ worth of military equipment, arms, and ammunition leading to questions. Was this only in exchange for a safe evacuation or more? The “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and the United States of America” was signed in Doha on February 29, 2020. What was negotiated and agreed on since then? Is there a broader agreement? On July 8, President Biden was asked if he trusted the Taliban. This was his response: “It’s a silly question. Do I trust the Taliban? No…” Has this changed? Are the Taliban no longer an enemy but a partner? If so, has this been discussed with NATO partners? Have they agreed?
The war in Syria appears to be coming to an end and the return of ISIS fighters and families to their countries is becoming a major issue.
The UK is unwilling to agree to the return of Shamima Begum, an unrepentant ISIS wife. And the US State Department has said that Hoda Muthana, another ISIS wife “is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.”
Turkish daily Hürriyet reported today that the US has asked Turkey to undertake the protection of ISIS children. What that means is not clear, but it probably involves a US financial contribution to meet their needs, provide for their education, etc. It is more than likely that soon will come another proposal for the settlement of ISIS families in Turkey. After all Washington must think, a Turkish foreign minister had once referred to them as “angry kids”. Okumaya devam et →
The war in Syria appears to be coming to an end. During the past eight years it was migration which led to internal political challenges for European governments and to divisions within the EU. Now it is ISIS wives and fighters returning home. The prospect has preoccupied Western security services and think tanks for long, but it was Shamima Begum who triggered the public discussion. Since the UK has no diplomatic or consular personnel in Syria security minister Ben Wallace said he would not put officials’ lives at risk to rescue UK citizens who went to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State, adding “actions have consequences”. Many in the UK are said to oppose the return of ISIS fighters. Others believe the UK cannot refuse the return of UK citizens. Okumaya devam et →
Reaction to President Trump’s sudden announcement of troop pullout from Syria and the talks between Washington and the Taliban have reignited the debate on the war on terror.
On February 3, the New York Times editorial titled “End the War in Afghanistan” said:
“But as part of any withdrawal discussions, it should be made clear to the Taliban, the Afghan government and neighboring nations that if the country is allowed to again become a base for international terrorism, the United States will return to eradicate that threat…”
It then mentioned the possibility that the Taliban and regional players like Pakistan, Russia, Iran, India and China might work together on acooperative solution to stabilize Afghanistan and deny terrorists a regional base. And, it concluded by saying that America needs to recognize that foreign war is not a vaccine against global terrorism. (emphasis added) (1) Okumaya devam et →
It has been a month since President Trump declared victory against ISIS in Syria and said US troops were returning home. It was only to be expected that the decision would lead to questions. Because, this was an abrupt announcement made on Twitter apparently without adequate consultation not only with allies but also within the Trump administration. Thus, the past month witnessed twists and turns between Ankara and Washington regarding northeastern Syria.
Moreover, as statements from Moscow show Russia is unlikely to support Turkish-American understandings/arrangements there. The situation in Idlib also remains high on the Turkish-Russian agenda.
On November 10, 2016 Donald Trump said, “If Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100 percent, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it.”Okumaya devam et →
It has been two tumultuous weeks which started with President Trump’s tweet announcing the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
On December 20, responding to a question on the US pullout and ISIS by the correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, President Putin said: “There is a risk of these and similar groups migrating to neighboring regions and Afghanistan, to other countries, to their home countries, and they are partly returning. It is a great danger for all of us, including Russia, the United States, Europe, Asian countries, including Central Asia. We know that, we understand the risk fully.”
He also said “… let us not forget that their presence, the presence of your troops, is illegitimate as it was not approved by a UN Security Council resolution. The military contingent can only be there under a resolution of the UN Security Council or at the invitation of the legitimate Syrian Government. Russian troops were invited by the Syrian Government. The United States did not get either of these so if they decide to withdraw their troops, it is the right decision.” (emphasis added) Okumaya devam et →
21 May 2015
22 September 2015 will mark the 35th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq-Iran war which lasted eight years. This was followed by Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the First Gulf War. In 2003 it was the turn of the US to invade Iraq. In other words, an Iraqi born in the year 1980 or after does not know what peace is.
On 31 March 2015, PM Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of Saddam’s hometown Tikrit from Daesh by Iraqi security forces and popular mobilization units. Vice President Biden cautioned that the war in Iraq was far from over but sounded upbeat. There was talk about Iraqi forces getting ready for an offensive to liberate the entire Anbar province and later Mosul. Okumaya devam et →
10 April 2015
President Obama has again spoken to Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times. Although the interview essentially aimed at reassuring the people of Israel and Congressional opponents that the framework agreed upon in Lausanne represents the best possible solution under the circumstances, what the President said about the root causes of Middle East turmoil was also important.
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on 24 September 2013 the President had said, “The United States will at times work with governments that do not meet the highest international expectations, but who work with us on our core interests. But we will not stop asserting principles that are consistent with our ideals…”
This was before ISIS emerged as an additional threat to stability in the Middle East and beyond.