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World Low expectations as Biden meets with Afghan leaders at the White House

15:35  25 june  2021
15:35  25 june  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Biden-Putin summit live updates: 'I'm always ready,' Biden says

  Biden-Putin summit live updates: 'I'm always ready,' Biden says President Joe Biden will meet face-to-face with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Switzerland on Wednesday amid rising tensions between the two countries.The two men will face off inside an 18th-century Swiss villa in Geneva, situated alongside a lake in the middle of the Parc de la Grange. The fifth American president to sit down with Putin, Biden has spoken with him and met him before, in 2016.

AMERICA’S MESSY EXIT: President Joe Biden meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s High Commission for National Reconciliation to, in the words of the White House, “highlight the enduring partnership between the U.S. and Afghanistan as the military drawdown continues.”

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The meeting is set for 3:30 p.m., and there is no press availability scheduled other than what’s known as a “pool spray,” in which cameras are allowed into the Oval Office for a brief photo-op, before the talks begin. Afterward, Biden helicopters off to Camp David for the weekend.

AP PHOTOS: Biden wraps up 1st overseas trip of presidency

  AP PHOTOS: Biden wraps up 1st overseas trip of presidency Joe Biden wrapped up the first overseas trip of his presidency Wednesday after rallying allies and facing off with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The eight-day, three-country swing included meetings with leaders of the Group of Seven wealthiest democracies in scenic Cornwall, England, and a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. In Brussels, Biden huddled with nearly a dozen NATO allies and met with the leadership of the European Union. The stop was meant to convey a united front among alliance members in standing up to Russian aggression and human rights violations. © Provided by Associated Press People watch Air Force One, carrying U.S.

"I don’t expect this visit to feature long shopping lists or in-depth negotiations. It’s going to come down to a series of conversations, many of them quite glum,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center, who said the Afghan leaders are looking for one thing: reassurance.

“President Ghani will be looking for reassurance from President Biden that the U.S. remains committed to providing diplomatic support for the peace process and financial assistance for the Afghan military,” Kugelman said. “Both are critical, and if either is withdrawn, Afghanistan stands to suffer in a big way.”

One thing Ghani and Abdullah want is for the United States to slow down the withdrawal, which will be mostly complete by next month, to buy them more time.

Opinion: For Afghan women, the US rhetoric of liberation has fallen short

  Opinion: For Afghan women, the US rhetoric of liberation has fallen short Lina AbiRafeh lived in Afghanistan for four years after the US invaded the country in 2001. Noting that the US has spent over $780 million to promote women's rights in Afghanistan in these last two decades, she says these rights hang in the balance as President Joe Biden prepares to withdraw US troops by September.I first landed in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, in the middle of the sweltering summer of 2002. It had taken four airplanes and more than 17 hours of flying, mostly over barren, rugged land, before the city encircled by mountains revealed itself.

“Assurances from President Biden that the final withdrawal won’t be complete until September will give Kabul and Afghan security forces some breathing room, and it will help strengthen morale, at least for a short period,” said Kugelman. “In reality, there’s little the Americans can do. They’re on their way out, and an agreement with the Taliban limits their options for targeting the insurgents on the battlefield.”

IMPENDING DOOM: “A new U.S. intelligence assessment says that the Afghan government could fall within six months of the American military departing,” reported the Washington Post, this morning.

“The assessment, distributed among U.S. officials within the past week, highlights an increasingly stark picture,” the report said. “The Taliban continues to take control of districts across the country, and Afghan military units are either laying down their arms or are being routed in bloody clashes.”

Biden to meet with Afghan President Ghani as violence surges

  Biden to meet with Afghan President Ghani as violence surges Biden to meet with Afghan President Ghani as violence surgesWASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden will meet at the White House with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah on Friday to discuss U.S. troop withdrawal amid a surge in fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban across the country.

ANOTHER GRIM ASSESSMENT: An analysis published yesterday by the respected military analyst Anthony Cordesman concludes that, as a practical matter, the U.S. has little choice at this point but to cut its losses.

“The time has come to write off Afghanistan. There are no signs that a strong, unified, and effective Afghan government is emerging,” he writes on the Center for Strategic and International Studies website.

“Brutal as it may be to say so, it is simply too late to reverse the departure of U.S. and allied forces that the Trump Administration planned as part of its original peace initiative. The U.S. has already withdrawn and closed too much. Too many forces and bases are gone, too many capabilities are lost, and the Taliban has already made too many gains,” writes Cordesman, who in the past has served as a consultant on Afghanistan to the Pentagon.

“Measures like keeping small numbers of U.S. military advisors in or near Afghanistan, finding some way to keep military contractors in the country, providing limited advisory and maintenance support from the outside, boosting intelligence cadres in Kabul and near Afghanistan – and all the other ‘forlorn hope’ approaches to provide support after September 1, 2021, are token measures that at best provide a political cloak for withdrawal.”

US could slow Afghan withdrawal amid Taliban gains

  US could slow Afghan withdrawal amid Taliban gains The Pentagon says September is still its withdrawal target as the Taliban seizes land and weapons.Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the deadline for a full withdrawal by 11 September was still in place, but the pace may change.

EVACUATION PLANNED FOR AFGHAN ‘HELPERS’: The Biden administration is in the final stages of planning to evacuate tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for or with Americans during the 20 years of combat and who now face retribution from the Taliban.

The group is often referred to by the shorthand “interpreters,” but it includes everyone from security, drivers, embassy workers, and their families — more than 50,000 people altogether and perhaps as many as 70,000.

Members of Congress who have been pressing the administration to act more expeditiously to grant special immigrant visas to those who qualify have been told the plan is to move the refugees to a third country for processing.

“I'm confident that the president wants to get them out. But I won't be confident as a Marine veteran until I see the operational plan,” said Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts, on CNN. “I want to see a detailed operational plan. I want there to be a clear person in charge of this effort responsible for making it happen. And I want the administration to reiterate its commitment to getting it done, to completing this mission no matter how long it takes.”

Moulton and other members of Congress who have served in the military, including former Green Beret Rep. Michael Waltz and former Army Ranger Rep. Jason Crow, have suggested Guam as the logical place to process the evacuees safely.

Afghanistan is disintegrating fast as Biden's troop withdrawal continues

  Afghanistan is disintegrating fast as Biden's troop withdrawal continues Earlier this week, a lone Taliban gunman with a red skull cap and a rifle sauntered up to the gates of Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan's fourth largest city, and snapped a selfie. © SIFATULLAH ZAHIDI/AFP/AFP via Getty Images Afghan forces near an armored vehicle during ongoing fighting with Taliban fighterson the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the capital city of Helmand province, on May 5. The last time the Taliban controlled the city was 20 years ago, when they left hundreds of captives in steel trucking containers to suffocate and die in the scorching desert heat.

“We did the groundwork to make sure Guam was onboard with this, which took some effort here in Congress,” said Moulton. “We've laid out Guam. It's what we think as the best option. But frankly, if the administration has a better option, that's good by us.”

After the fall of Saigon in 1975, some 130,000 Vietnamese refugees passed through Guam.

US PLANS TO EVACUATE AFGHANS WHO HELPED DEPARTING TROOPS

Good Friday morning, and welcome to Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Victor I. Nava. Email here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at DailyonDefense.com. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @dailyondefense.

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HAPPENING TODAY: Before heading over to the White House, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is scheduled to visit the Pentagon for a meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at 11:30 a.m.

ABOUT THAT EVACUATION: At yesterday’s Pentagon briefing, spokesman John Kirby hinted that the evacuation of Afghans would likely be conducted by chartered commercial airliners, not U.S. military aircraft.

An inside look at the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan: ABC News exclusive

  An inside look at the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan: ABC News exclusive Gen. Austin Scott Miller, directing the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan acknowledged to ABC News' Martha Raddatz that the security situation is "not good." Gen. Austin Scott Miller said he stands by his belief that there cannot be a military victor in Afghanistan, but he told Raddatz that as the Taliban continues with its military operations across the country, while also engaging in peace talks, "you're starting to create conditions here that doesn't -- won't look good for Afghanistan in the future if there is a push for a military takeover" that could result in a civil war.

“I would just remind — and you know this — that not all such evacuation operations require the military aircraft to conduct,” Kirby said. “I don't want to get ahead of things, but as you well know, it's not like we haven't done this before using chartered aircraft, commercially leased aircraft, or contracted aircraft.”

“The idea here is to be able to facilitate their departure from Afghanistan to another location so that they can complete the SIV process,” Kirby said. “Whether that leads to all of them coming to the United States or some, I mean, we just don't know.”

NO IRAN DEAL: State Department officials poured cold water yesterday on reports that the U.S. was close to a deal with Iran about reentering the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the Iran nuclear deal.

“We still have serious differences that have not been bridged, serious differences with Iran over the host of issues, whether it’s the nuclear steps that Iran needs to take to come back into compliance, the sanctions relief that the U.S. will be offering, or the sequence of steps that both sides would be taking,” said a senior State Department official at a background briefing for reporters yesterday.

“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. And since everything is not agreed, we still don’t have anything nailed down,” the official said. “Let me make it absolutely clear: We just concluded round six. We will be resuming or coming back for round seven sometime in the not-too-distant future, and we wouldn’t be doing that if the deal were already done.”

IRAN POISED TO RETURN TO GLOBAL OIL MARKETS IF BIDEN REVIVES NUCLEAR DEAL

DEFUND THE MILITARY? Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley’s spirited defense of teaching cadets at West Point about the tenets of “critical race theory” has sparked a backlash from conservative Republicans who argue Milley doesn’t seem to grasp the divisiveness of the theory.

Afghan pullout has US spies reorienting in terrorism fight

  Afghan pullout has US spies reorienting in terrorism fight WASHINGTON (AP) — The two-decade war in Afghanistan has given U.S. spies a perch for keeping tabs on terrorist groups that might once again use the beleaguered nation to plan attacks against the U.S. homeland. But that will end soon. The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is leaving intelligence agencies scrambling for other ways to monitor and stop terrorists. They’ll have to depend more on technology and their allies in the Afghan government — even as it faces an increasingly uncertain future once U.S. and NATO forces depart.“You may not be blind, but you’re going to be legally blind,” said Rep.

“I've read Mao Zedong. I've read Karl Marx. I've read Lenin. That doesn't make me a communist,” Milley said during testimony at Wednesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee. “So, what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”

Milley’s argument — that members of the U.S. military need to be “open-minded and be widely read” — set off a rant last night on Fox News by host Laura Ingraham.

“We are sending our tax dollars to this military in an attempt to weed out so-called extremists, which just means conservative evangelicals as far as I can tell. ... We’re paying for that? Why is Congress not saying, ‘We’re not going to give you a penny until all of this is eradicated from the military budget.’ Nothing. This is my offer to you: nothing. That's what I would say. I am totally outraged by him and his ridiculous response.”

“No, you’re right, Laura,” said Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, a Republican who was a guest on Ingraham’s show. “I understand your anger because I’m upset about it as well. You’re 100% correct. Congress should not be sending money to the military in order to teach critical race theory.”

“Go after their budget,” Ingraham said as she wrapped up the segment. “The only thing they understand is their budget, their money. That’s it. That’s all they understand.”

REPUBLICANS DRAG 'RIDICULOUS' MARK MILLEY 'WHITE RAGE' DEFENSE OF CRITICAL RACE THEORY

GIVE APPLE DAILY THE GOLD: Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has introduced a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to staff and the editors of the Apple Daily for courage and determination in the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s tyranny.

Beijing closed down Hong Kong's pro-democracy paper by freezing its assets, saying it was in violation of a draconian national security law imposed last year in response to mass pro-democracy protests

“The men and women who ran Apple Daily are heroes. Let’s be clear about why they just ran their last issue: Their defense of free thought and speech made them scary to the Chinese Communist Party. They courageously stood up to kangaroo courts and told the truth. The Apple Daily journalists exposed Chairman Xi as a man afraid of the people he seeks to hold down,” said Sasse. “The free world owes them our gratitude, and the least we can do is award them the Congressional Gold Medal.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The Rundown

Washington Examiner: US plans to evacuate Afghans who helped departing troops

Washington Examiner: Russia warns of 'a real conflict' with NATO over Black Sea naval exercises

Washington Examiner: Allies irritated as Germany and France try to follow Biden with Putin summit

Washington Examiner: Republicans drag 'ridiculous' Mark Milley 'white rage' defense of critical race theory

Washington Examiner: Iran poised to return to global oil markets if Biden revives nuclear deal

Washington Examiner: US says 'all countries should be concerned' about arms sales to Myanmar junta

Washington Examiner: WWII Medal of Honor recipient welcomes great-grandson into Marines

Washington Post: Afghan government could fall within six months of U.S. military withdrawal, new intelligence assessment says

AP: US to keep about 650 troops in Afghanistan after withdrawal

AP: Taliban gains drive Afghan government to recruit militias

Reuters: China Says After Massed Drills That Taiwan’s Future Lies In ‘Reunification’

The Drive: Guam's New Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System Could Go Underground And Mobile

ISNI News: Panel: All Services Need Long-Range Strike Capabilities

Defense One: Black Sea Incident Shows Russia's Determination to Claim Waters Illegally

New York Times: British Warship Deliberately Sailed Close to Crimea, U.K. Officials Say

Reuters: Russia Warns Britain It Will Bomb Ships Next Time

USNI News: Harker: Navy Planning New Multi-Year Destroyer Buy

Stars and Stripes: Infantry Training More Intense As Marines Corps Makes Major Changes, Commandant Tells Senators

Bloomberg: Russia and China Make War-Gaming Fashionable Again in the West

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Rep Chris Stewart: We can still send Putin a message

Washington Examiner: Opinion: China goes through the looking glass with new human rights paper

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Gen. Milley is clueless on critical race theory

Washington Post: Defund the military? GOP’s anti-woke crusade dips into dicey territory.

Calendar

FRIDAY | JUNE 25

9 a.m. — Middle East Institute virtual discussion: “Iran, Russia and China in the Post U.S. Withdrawal Afghan Landscape,” with Mustafa Sarwar, senior editor of Radio Azadi; Reid Standish, correspondent at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Marvin Weinbaum, MEI Afghanistan and Pakistan studies director; and Fatemeh Aman, MEI non-resident senior fellow https://www.mei.edu/events

12 p.m. — Heritage Foundation virtual discussion: “Preview of the Heritage Foundation's 2021 China Transparency Report,” with Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Feith, adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security; Chad Wolf, visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation's Davis Institute; and Walter Lohman, director of the Heritage Asian Studies Center https://www.heritage.org/asia/event/virtual-preview

1 p.m. — Defense One Tech Summit, with Tim Grayson, director, Strategic Technology Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; Rob Joyce, director, Cybersecurity, National Security Agency; and Lisa Sanders, director of science and technology for special operations forces, acquisition, technology and logistics, U.S. Special Operations Command. https://d1techsummit.com

MONDAY | JUNE 28

2 p.m. — Hudson Institute virtual event: The U.S. Maritime Industrial Base and Competition with China,” with Rep. Rob Wittman R-Va.; Rep. Mike Gallagher R-Wisc; and Bryan Clark, Hudson Institute senior fellow. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-event

TUESDAY | JUNE 29

2 p.m. — Association of the U.S. Army’s Thought Leaders webinar, with retired Col. Tom Vossler and retired Col. Jeff McCausland to discuss their book, Battle Tested! Gettysburg Leadership Lessons for 21st Century Leaders. Register at: https://info.ausa.org/e/784783/s-Webinar-Series-Battle-Tested

11 a.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Committee hearing: “The Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Budget Request for the Department of the Army,” with Christine Wormuth, secretary of the Army; and Gen. James McConville. https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

4 p.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems hearing, “Department of Defense Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Information Assurance for Fiscal Year 2022,” with John Sherman, acting Pentagon chief information officer. https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

WEDNESDAY | JUNE 30

3 p.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Hearing: “Fiscal Year 2022 Rotary Wing Aviation Budget Request,” with Douglas Bush, acting assistant secretary of the army for acquisition, logistics and technology; Maj. Gen. Walter Rugen, director, Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team, Army Futures Command; Frederick “Jay” Stefany, acting assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition; Lt. Gen. Mark Wise, deputy Marine Corps commandant for aviation; Rear Adm. Andrew Loiselle, director, Air Warfare Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Darlene Costello, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics; Brig Gen. Mark August, director, Air Force Global Reach Programs. https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Young Americans who, in some future conflict, will need partners and allies on the ground, they'll make that same promise. They'll say, ‘Come work with us, and we'll have your backs.” If they look back at Afghanistan and see we abandoned our allies, then that's going to impact our national security, our ability to find allies in the future for decades to come.”

Former Marine Rep. Seth Moulton, on the moral imperative to evacuate Afghans who have helped the U.S. over the past two decades.

Tags: National Security, Daily on Defense

Original Author: Jamie McIntyre

Original Location: Low expectations as Biden meets with Afghan leaders at the White House

Afghan pullout has US spies reorienting in terrorism fight .
WASHINGTON (AP) — The two-decade war in Afghanistan has given U.S. spies a perch for keeping tabs on terrorist groups that might once again use the beleaguered nation to plan attacks against the U.S. homeland. But that will end soon. The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is leaving intelligence agencies scrambling for other ways to monitor and stop terrorists. They’ll have to depend more on technology and their allies in the Afghan government — even as it faces an increasingly uncertain future once U.S. and NATO forces depart.“You may not be blind, but you’re going to be legally blind,” said Rep.

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