World NATO debates the lessons of mission creep in Afghanistan
Taliban could force 'existential crisis’ in Afghanistan, US watchdog says
The Taliban's surge in Afghanistan as the United States completes its withdrawal could lead to an "existential crisis," a U.S. oversight report said. © Provided by Washington Examiner The situation in Afghanistan is "bleak," and the "overall trend is clearly unfavorable to the Afghan government," a letter from the Special Inspector General John Sopko that accompanied Wednesday's quarterly report to Congress read. TWO NAVY SAILORS DIE OF COVID-19 COMPLICATIONSThe number of enemy-initiated attacks has increased since the U.S.
RIGA, Latvia (AP) — Barely 3 months after the chaotic U.S.-run troop evacuation from Afghanistan, NATO foreign ministers met Wednesday to debate a rapidly compiled report on the lessons to be learned from the military organization’s 18-year security presence in the conflict-ravaged country.
NATO took over the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2003, almost two years after a U.S.-led coalition invaded the country to oust the Taliban for harboring Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who was shot dead in Pakistan in 2011.
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Tom Wambsgans (Mattew Macfadyen) made an interesting analogy between the U.S. War in Afghanistan and eggs in "Succession" Season 3, Episode 6.And Episode 6 saw him make another interesting analogy.
It helped build up an Afghan army said to be around 300,000-strong, although the force was so riddled with corruption that even real troop numbers were unclear. Whatever its size, that army withered in just days in August in the face of a Taliban offensive.
In late August, more than 100,000 people were evacuated from Kabul during the frenzied final days of a U.S. airlift after President Joe Biden said American troops would leave. Thousands of Afghans remained, desperate to escape the uncertainty of Taliban rule.
Afghanistan's financial system is on the brink of collapse, the UN warned. The US is still keeping nearly $10 billion of its reserves frozen.
The United Nations said the country was in a "dire situation" and that there needs to be a way to help Afghan people without supporting the Taliban.A UN Development Program document seen by Reuters said that Afghanistan's banks desperately need help, and that the negative effects on Afghan people "would be colossal" if that help doesn't come.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg suggested before the meeting that the security operation became a victim of “mission creep” as the military alliance allowed itself to be dragged into helping rebuild the impoverished country.
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“NATO went into Afghanistan to prevent terrorists from using the country again to attack us,” Stoltenberg said, but despite that success “we must recognize that, over the years, the international community set a level of ambition that went well beyond the original aim of fighting terrorism.”
“And on that, we were not able to deliver,” he said.
China Seeks Taliban Promise to Wage War on Uighur Fighters in Afghanistan
"We hope the Afghan Taliban will make a clean break with all terrorist organizations including the ETIM and resolutely and effectively combat them," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted a delegation of the Taliban led by Taliban political committee head Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Wednesday, marking the group's latest in a series of international trips as its fighters take territory nationwide in Afghanistan amid a U.S. military withdrawal from the country.
The security effort cost the United States alone $2.3 trillion, and the price in lives includes 2,324 American troops and 1,144 personnel among U.S. allies, according to. NATO doesn't keep a record of those who die in its operations.
Those casualty figures are dwarfed by Afghan losses, which include more than 46,000 civilians, about 69,000 members of the national armed forces and police, and over 52,000 opposition fighters.
The actual job of identifying lessons was handled by NATO’s 30 deputy national envoys, under the lead of Assistant Secretary General for Operations John Manza, with the participation of several experts. The report requires no vote. NATO makes decisions unanimously, and Manza said it would be impossible to find consensus about such a document.
Lorne Cook reported from Brussels.
Russia wants deal to end NATO expansion while saber-rattling against Ukraine .
Russian President Vladimir Putin wants a deal to block the expansion of NATO, a demand brought forth amid widespread suspicions that Moscow is preparing a military offensive against Ukraine. © Provided by Washington Examiner “The only way to resolve the situation is to jointly develop long-term agreements that would prevent NATO’s further expansion to the east and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday, per state media.