(WHITEHOUSE) President Biden Press Statement Remarks Report: Evacuations in Afghanistan after ‘virtual meeting’ of G7 together with NATO & UN #AceNewsDesk report

#AceDailyNews reports on the Remarks by President Biden on Evacuations in Afghanistan following G7 Virutal Meeting on Tuesday …..

President Biden Remarks

1:49 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. I’ve just met with the Vice President, Secretary Blinken, Secretary Austin, National Security Advisor Sullivan, and other members the national security leadership team in the Situation Room to discuss our ongoing efforts to evacuate American citizens, third-country civilians, Afghan allies, and vulnerable Afghans. And I want to provide the American people with a brief update and the — on the situation in Afghanistan.

August 20, 2021

East Room

Since I spoke to you on Monday, we’ve made significant progress. We have secured the airport, enabling flights to resume. Not just military flights, but civilian charters and other — from other countries and the NGOs taking out civilians and vulnerable Afghan — vulnerable Afghans.

And now we have almost 6,000 troops on the ground, including the 82nd Airborne providing runway security, the Army 10th Mountain Division standing guard around the airport, and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assisting the civilian departure.

This is one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history. And the only country in the world capable of projecting this much power on the far side of the world with this degree of precision is the United States of America.

We’ve already evacuated more than 18,000 people since July and approximately 13,000 since our military airlift began on August the 14th. Thousands more have been evacuated on private charter flights facilitated by the U.S. government.

These numbers include American citizens and permanent residents, as well as their families. It includes SIV applicants and their families — those Afghans who have worked alongside us, served alongside of us, gone into combat with us, and provided invaluable assistance to us, such as translators and interpreters.

The United States stands by its commitment that we’ve made to these people, and it includes other vulnerable Afghans, such as women leaders and journalists.

In fact, working in close coordination with the management of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, we have successfully evacuated all 204 of their employees in Afghanistan on U.S. military aircraft earlier this week.

We have established the flow of flights, and we’ve increased the number of people we are moving out of the country.

We paused flights in Kabul a few hours this morning to make sure we could process the arriving evacuees at the transit points, but our commander in Kabul has already given the order for outbound flights to resume.

Even with the pause, we moved out 5,700 evacuees yesterday, and we’re working on a variety — to verify that number of the Americans that are still in the country as we work on this because we’re not — don’t have the exact number of people who are — Americans who are there. And those who may have come home to the United States, we’re not — we want to get a strong number as to exactly how many people are there, how many American citizens, and where they are.

Just yesterday, among the many Americans we evacuated, there were 169 Americans who, over the — we got over the wall into the airport using military assets.

We’re also facilitating flights for our Allies and our partners, and working in close operational coordination with NATO on this evacuation.

For example, we provided overwatch for the French convoy bringing hundreds of their people from the French embassy to the airport.

These operations are going — are going to continue over the coming days before we complete our drawdown.

We’re going to do everything — everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted if — because of their association with the United States.

But let me be clear, any American who wants to come home, we will get you home.

But make no mistake: This evacuation mission is dangerous. It involves risks to our armed forces, and it is being conducted under difficult circumstances.

I cannot promise what the final outcome will be or what it will be — that it will be without risk of loss. But as Commander-in-Chief, I can assure you that I will mobilize every resource necessary.

And as an American, I offer my gratitude to the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who are carrying out this mission. They’re incredible.

As we continue to work the logistics of evacuation, we’re in constant contact with the Taliban, working to ensure civilians have safe passage to the airport. We’re particularly focused in our engagements on making sure every American who wants to leave can get to the airport. Where we have been — seen challenges with Americans — for Americans, we have thus far been able to resolve them.

We’ve been able — we’ve made — look, we’ve made clear to the Taliban that any attack — any attack on our forces or disruption of our operations at the airport will be met with a swift and forceful response.

We’re also keeping a close watch on any potential terrorist threat at or around the airport, including from the ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan who were released from prison when the prisons were emptied. And because they are, by the way — to make everybody understand — that the ISIS in Afghanistan are the — have been the sworn enemy of the Taliban.

I’ve said all along: We’re going to retain a laser-focus on our counterterrorism mission, working in close coordination with our allies and our partners and all those who have an interest
in ensuring stability in the region.

Secretary Blinken, who is with me today, met this morning with our NATO Allies in consultation about the way forward so that Afghanistan cannot be used as a — in the future as a terrorist base of attack — to attack the United States or our Allies.

For 20 years, Afghanistan has been a joint effort with our NATO Allies. We went in together and we’re leaving together, and now we’re working together to bring our people and our Afghan partners to safety.

In the past few days, I’ve also spoken directly with the British Prime Minster, Mr. Johnson; Chancellor Merkel of Germany; and President Macron of France.

We all agreed that we should convene and we will convene the G7 meeting next week — a group of the world’s leading democracies — so that together we can coordinate our mutual approach, our united approach on Afghanistan and moving forward.

We are united with our closest partners to execute the mission at hand.

We’ve also discussed the need to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance, such as food, aid, and medical care for refugees who have crossed into neighboring countries to escape the Taliban; and to bring international pressure on the Taliban with respect to the treatment of Afghan peo- — the Afghan people overall, but including Afghan, particularly, women and girls.

The past week has been heartbreaking. We’ve seen gut-wrenching images of panicked people acting out of sheer desperation. You know, it’s completely understandable. They’re frightened. They’re sad — uncertain what happens next.

I don’t think anyone — I don’t think any one of us can see those pictures and not feel that pain on a human level.

Now we have a mission — a mission to complete in Afghanistan. It’s an incredibly difficult and dangerous operation for our military.

We have almost 6,000 of America’s finest fighting men and women in Ka- — at the Kabul Airport.

And we’re putting their lives on the line — they’re doing it — in a dangerous place to save other Americans, our Afghan allies, and citizens of our al- — our allies who went in with us.

You know, I — I talk — I talk to our commanders on the ground there every single day, as I just did a few hours — an hour or so ago. And I made it clear to them that we’ll get them whatever they need to do the job. They’re performing to the highest standard under extraordinarily difficult and dynamic circumstances.

Our NATO Allies are strongly standing with us — their troops keeping sentry alongside ours in Kabul.

As is the case whenever I deploy our troops into harm’s way, I take that responsibility seriously. I carry that burden every day, just as I did when I was Vice President and my son was deployed to Iraq for a year.

There’ll be plenty of time to criticize and second-guess when this operation is over. But now — now I’m focused on getting this job done.

I would ask every American to join me in praying for the women and men risking their lives on the ground in the service of our nation.

As events evolve over the coming days, my team and I will continue to share the information and update the American people on exactly where things are.

We’ll use every resource necessary to carry out the mission at hand and bring to safety American citizens and our Afghan allies. This is our focus now.

And when this is finished, we will complete our military withdrawal and finally bring to an end 20 years of American military action in Afghanistan.

Thank you, and may God bless you, our troops, our diplomats, and all those serving in harm’s way.

And now I’ll take questions. AP, Zeke Miller.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. You vowed that your election would usher in an era where the world could count on America to live up to its promises. You promised to leave Afghanistan, but you also promised not to — to help — to bring out those who helped America in its war effort. We’ve seen these heart-wrenching images at the Kabul airport of people trying to get there, to say nothing of the people who can’t get to that airport.

You made the commitment to get American troops out, to get the American citizens out. Will you make the same commitment to those who assisted in the American war effort over the last 20 years? Number one.

And then, number two: What’s your message to America’s partners around the world who have criticized not the withdrawal, but the conduct of that withdrawal, and made — made them question America’s credibility on the world stage?

THE PRESIDENT: I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world. I have spoken with our NATO Allies. We’ve spoken with NATO Allies — the Secretary of State. Our National Security Advisor has been in contact with his counterparts throughout the world with our Allies, as has the General — or, excuse me, I keep calling him a General, but my Secretary of Defense.

The fact of the matter is I have not seen that. Matter of fact, the exact opposite I’ve got — the exact opposite thing is we’re acting with dispatch, we’re acting — committing to what we said we would do.

Look, let’s put this thing in perspective here. What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone? We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as well as — as well as getting Osama bin Laden. And we did.

Imagine — just imagine if that attack — if bin Laden had decided, with al Qaeda, to launch an attack from Yemen. Would we ever have gone to Afghanistan? Would there ever be any reason we’d be in Afghanistan — controlled by the Taliban? What is the national interest of United States in that circumstance? We went and did the mission. You’ve known my position for a long, long time. It’s time to end this war.

The estimates of the cost of this war over the last 20 years ranged from a minimum of $1 trillion to a think tank at one of the universities saying $2 trillion. That’s somewhere between $150 million a day and $300 million a day.

The threat from terrorism has metastasized. There’s a greater danger from ISIS and — and al Qaeda and all these affiliates in other countries, by far, than there is from Afghanistan.

And we’re going to retain an over-the-horizon capability that if they were to come back — to be able to take them out, surgically move.

So, this is — this is where we should be. This is about America leading the world, and all our allies have agreed with that.

And, by the way, before I made this decision, I was at the G7, as well as — met with our NATO partners, and I told them all. Every one of them knew and agreed with the decision I made to an end — end — jointly end our involvement in Afghanistan.

The first part of your question was — I can’t remember now.

Q It is: Are — would you commit to the same commitment — would you make the same commitment to bring out Afghans who assisted in the war effort?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Yes. We’re making the same commitment. There’s no one more important than bringing American citizens out. I acknowledge that. But they’re equally important, almost — is all those who — those “SIVs,” we call them, who, in fact, helped us. They were translators. They went into battle with us. They were part of the operation. As well as — we’re also trying to get out as many NGOs — non-governmental organizations — women’s organizations, et cetera. We’re doing all we can.

In the meantime, Secretary Blinken and I am going to be working with our Allies to see to it that we can bring international pressure on the Taliban to be — they’re looking to gain some legitimacy. They’re going to have to figure out how they’re going to maintain that country.

And there’s going to be harsh conditions we’re — strong condition we’re going to apply. And it will depend on whether they get help — based on whether or not how and well they treat women and girls, how they treat their citizens.

So, this is just beginning on that score.

Q And are you willing to stay passed the 31st to make that happen — to bring all the Americans out, to bring those SIVs out?

THE PRESIDENT: I think we can get it done by then, but we’re going to make that judgment as we go.

Now, Justin Sink of Bloomberg.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. You just said that you would keep a laser-focus on counterterrorism efforts and that you don’t see as great of a threat of terrorism from Afghanistan as other parts of the world. But if you and your administration so badly misassessed how quickly the Taliban would sweep through Afghanistan and we no longer have an embassy there from which to run intelligence operations, how can you at all be confident of your assessment of the risk of terrorism and the ability of the U.S. to conduct over-the-horizon missions to keep it in check? Can you tell Americans that they’re safe and will remain safe from terror attacks in Afghanistan?

THE PRESIDENT: I think you’re comparing apples and oranges. One question was whether or not the Afghan forces we trained up would stay and fight in their own civil war they had going on.

No one — I shouldn’t say “no one” — the consensus was that it was highly unlikely that in 11 days they’d collapse and fall, and the leader of Afghanistan would flee the country.

That’s a very different question than whether or not there is the ability to observe whether or not large groups of terrorists began to accumulate in a particular area in Afghanistan to plot against the United States of America. That’s why we retained an over-the-horizon capability to go in and do something about that if that occurs — if that occurs.

But in the meantime, we know what’s happening around the world. We know what’s happening in terms of what’s going on in other countries, where there is the significant rise of terrorist organizations in the Middle East, in East Africa, and other places.

And so, the bottom line is: We have to do — we’re dealing with those terrorist threats from other parts of the world in failed states without permanent military — without permanent military presence there. We have to do the same in Afghanistan.

Q And, sir, just on that initial assessment: We’ve learned, over the last 24 hours, that there was a dissent cable from the State Department —

THE PRESIDENT: Sure.

Q — saying that the Taliban would come faster through Afghanistan. Can you say why, after that cable was issued, the U.S. didn’t do more to get Americans out?

THE PRESIDENT: We’ve got all kind of cables, all kinds of advice. If you notice, it ranged from this group saying that — they didn’t say it’d fall when it would fall — when it did fall — but saying that it would fall; to others saying it wouldn’t happen for a long time and they’d be able to sustain themselves through the end of the year.

I made the decision. The buck stops with me. I took the consensus opinion. The consensus opinion was that, in fact, it would not occur, if it occurred, until later in the year. So, it was my decision.

Now, my — I got — my next is Stephanie Ramos, ABC.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Two questions for you. The military has secured the airport, as you mentioned, but will you sign off on sending U.S. troops into Kabul to evacuate Americans who haven’t been able to get to the airport safely?

THE PRESIDENT: We have no indication that they haven’t been able to get — in Kabul — through the airport. We’ve made an agreement with the — with the Taliban. Thus far, they’ve allowed them to go through. It’s in their interest for them to go through. So, we know of no circumstance where American citizens are — carrying an American passport — are trying to get through to the airport. But we will do whatever needs to be done to see to it they get to the airport.

Thank you.

Q And one more, Mr. President. Last month, my colleague Martha Raddatz interviewed Abdul, an interpreter who was on the frontlines with U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Overnight, we received a photo of Taliban militants coming to the door of his home, literally hunting him down. Thankfully, he was able to escape, but he is obviously still in mortal danger. What would be your message to Abdul, his wife, and his three young daughters?

THE PRESIDENT: We want you to be able to get to the airport. Contact us. We’ll see whatever we can do to get you there. We’ve got to get you out. We are committed to deal with you, your wife, and your child — to get all three of you out of Afghanistan. That’s the commitment.

Q Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Meredith Lee of PBS NewsHour.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. You mentioned just now using every resource available for evacuations. Why haven’t you ordered the military to expand the security perimeter around the Kabul airport? Do you have any plans to do so, given that it will likely require more U.S. troops? And are you considering rescue operations to recover Americans and Afghan allies stuck behind Taliban checkpoints?

THE PRESIDENT: The last answer is yes — to the last question. We’re considering every op- — every opportunity and every means by which we can get folks to the airport. That’s number one.

Number two, the reason why we have not gone out and started — and set up a perimeter way outside the airport in Kabul is that it’s likely to draw an awful lot of unintended consequences in terms of people who, in fact, are not part of the Taliban.

We’ve been in constant contact with the Taliban leadership on the ground in — in Kabul, as well as the Taliban leadership at Daho [Doha], and we’ve been coordinating what we are doing.

That’s why we were able — for example, how we got all of our embassy personnel out, how we got everyone out of the embassy safely that was at distance. That’s how we helped get the French out and — out of their embassy.

So, the question remains — there will be judgments made on the ground by the military commanders at the moment, and that — I cannot second-guess each of those judgments to be made.

But the idea of — again, let me — let me get back to the fundamental point I made at the outset. When the decision was made by me that — and it was made some time ago, when I ran for President saying I wanted to get us out of Afghanistan — one of the things that is a reality is people now say to me and to others — and so- — many of you say it on air — that: Why did we have to move? Because no Americans are being attacked. Why did we withdraw those — why did we agree to withdraw 2,500 troops? No Americans were being attacked.

As I said before, the reason they weren’t being attacked was part of an agreement that Trump had made a year earlier. “We will leave by May 1st,” he said, “as long as there’s no attack on Americans in that year, period.” Number one.

Number two, the Taliban was taking large swaths of the countryside, north and south — none of the major areas, none of the major points of the capitals of each of these provinces, but they were all over the — all over the country.

And the idea that if I had said on May the 2nd or 3rd, “We are not leaving; we are staying” — does anybody truly believe that I would not have had to put in significantly more American forces — send your sons, your daughters — like my son was sent to Iraq — to maybe die? And for what? For what?

So the only rational thing to do, in my view, was to set up and pre-position American forces for the purpose of evacuation, and the aircraft — to pre-position those ahead of time so that we would be able to begin the process of evacuation of American citizens, SIVs, and others who helped us.

The last point I’ll make is this: Look, if we had decided 15 years ago to leave Afghanistan, it would have been really difficult. If we decided five years ago — if we start — if we continued the war for another decade and tried to leave, there’s no way in which you’d be able to leave Afghanistan without there being some of what you’re seeing now.

But what we’ve done so far is we’ve been able to get a large number of Americans out, all our personnel at the embassy out, and so on.

And, thank God, so far — knock on wood — we’re in a different position.

Scott Detrow.  Scott.  NPR.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  I just want to follow up on something you said a moment ago.  You said that there’s no circumstances where American citizens cannot get to the airport.  That doesn’t really square with the images we’re seeing around the airport and with the reporting on the ground from our colleagues who are describing chaos and violence.  Are you saying unequivocally that any American who wants to get to the airport is getting there and getting past the security barrier and to the planes where they want to go?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I thought the question was: How can they get through to the airport outside the airport?  And the answer is: To the best of our knowledge, the Taliban checkpoints — they are letting through people showing American passports. 

Now, that’s a different question when they get into the rush and crowd of all the folks just outside the wall near the airport.  That’s why we had to, I guess, ye- — was it yesterday or the day before? — we went over the wall and brought in — how many?

MR. SULLIVAN:  One hundred and sixty-nine. 

THE PRESIDENT:  One hundred and sixty-nine Americans.  So, it is a process to try to figure out how we — how we deal with the mad rush of non-Americans — those who didn’t help, those who are not on a priority list — just any Afghan — any Afghan to be able to get out of the country. 

And so my guess is that, no matter what, under what circumstances we — anyone — there’s not a whole lot of Afghanis — there’s a whole lot of Afghanis that just as soon come to America, whether there were any involvement with the United States in the past at all, rather than stay under Taliban rule or any — any rule.

So, what I was saying is that we have an agreement that they will let pass through the checkpoints that they — the Taliban — control.  They’ve let Americans through.

Q    But given this — given the negotiations with the Taliban, the scenes that we’re seeing, can you just fully explain why the plan wasn’t to go ahead with these evacuations of both Americans and allies before the drawdowns began, before Bagram was closed, looking back several months?  Because whether it was now or several months from now, there seems to be a broad consensus that the Taliban would make these gains and these would be needed at some point.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, yeah, at some point.  But the point was that although we were in contact with the Taliban and Doha for this whole period of time, that “some point” wasn’t expected to be the total demise of the Afghan National Force, which was 300 [thousand] persons. 

Let’s assume the Afghan National Force had continued to fight and ha- — and they were surrounding Kabul.  It’d be a very different story.  Very different story. 

But the con- — overwhelming consensus was that they — this was not — they were not going to collapse.  The Afghan forces, they were not going to leave.  They were not going to just abandon and then put down their arms and take off.  So, that’s what’s happened. 

Thank you very, very much.  Thank you.

2:17 P.M. EDT

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.25: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#biden, #g7, #nato, #united-nations, #whitehouse

(LONDON) Press Release Statement Report: Today, 24 August 2021, under the Presidency of the United Kingdom, we the Leaders of the Group of Seven met virtually to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. We were joined by the Secretaries General of the United Nations (UN) and NATO #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.25: We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the people of Afghanistan, and support the UN Security Council statement of 16 August. We express our grave concern about the situation in Afghanistan and call for calm and restraint to ensure the safety and security of vulnerable Afghan and international citizens, and the prevention of a humanitarian crisis. We call for adherence to obligations under international human rights law, including the rights of women, girls, and minority groups, and that international humanitarian law is upheld in all circumstances. We honour the significant sacrifices made by the Afghan people, people of our own countries, and countless others, who have worked toward a more peaceful, just and secure future for Afghanistan.

#AceDailyNews reports on G7 Leaders Statement on Afghanistan: 24 August 2021…

The Afghan people deserve to live in dignity, peace and security, reflecting the last two decades of their political, economic and social achievements, in particular for women and girls. Afghanistan must never again become a safe haven for terrorism, nor a source of terrorist attacks on others. Working with partners, in particular NATO allies, we will continue to fight terrorism with resolve and solidarity, wherever it is found. Any future Afghan government must adhere to Afghanistan’s international obligations and commitment to protect against terrorism; safeguard the human rights of all Afghans, particularly women, children, and ethnic and religious minorities; uphold the rule of law; allow unhindered and unconditional humanitarian access; and counter human and drug trafficking effectively. We call on all parties in Afghanistan to work in good faith to establish an inclusive and representative government, including with the meaningful participation of women and minority groups.

We affirm our enduring commitment to the people of Afghanistan, including through a renewed humanitarian effort by the international community. To this end we support the UN in coordinating the immediate international humanitarian response in the region, including unfettered humanitarian access in Afghanistan, and will contribute collectively to that response. As part of that, we will cooperate together and with neighbouring and other countries in the region on supporting Afghan refugees and host communities as part of a coordinated long-term regional response. We call on all partners of Afghanistan to support this effort and wider regional stability through multilateral channels.

As part of this, our immediate priority is to ensure the safe evacuation of our citizens and those Afghans who have partnered with us and assisted our efforts over the past twenty years, and to ensure continuing safe passage out of Afghanistan. We will continue to coordinate closely on this, and we expect all parties to continue to facilitate this, and to ensure the safety of humanitarian and medical personnel, and other international service providers. We will cooperate together, and with neighbouring and other countries in the region hosting refugees, on a coordinated approach to safe and legal routes for resettlement.

We will work together, and with our allies and regional countries, through the UN, G20 and more widely, to bring the international community together to address the critical questions facing Afghanistan. As we do this, we will judge the Afghan parties by their actions, not words. In particular, we reaffirm that the Taliban will be held accountable for their actions on preventing terrorism, on human rights in particular those of women, girls and minorities and on pursuing an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. The legitimacy of any future government depends on the approach it now takes to uphold its international obligations and commitments to ensure a stable Afghanistan.

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: Aug.25: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#afghanistan, #g7, #london, #nato

(KABUL) LATEST: Taliban warned on Tuesday that if Turkey extends its military presence in Afghanistan the Islamist group will view Turkish troops as “occupiers” and wage “jihad” against them.

#AceNewsReport – July.26: The United States has asked Turkey to secure Kabul’s airport after all American and NATO allied troops withdraw from the country by the end of next month.

#AceDailyNews says ….#Taliban says that if Turks extend their military presence in Afghanistan, it will wage jihad against them acording to a warning that came amid fresh battlefield moves that critics say show they are planning a military takeover of Afghanistan in defiance of their peace pledges, raising the prospects of a full-blown civil war if They Stay in Afghanistan,” by Ayaz Gul, VOA News, July 13, 2021:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday without elaborating that he had agreed with Washington on the “scope” of how to secure and manage the airport.

The Taliban condemned the deal as “reprehensible” and demanded Turkey review its decision.

“We consider stay of foreign forces in our homeland by any country under whatever pretext as occupation,” the group said in a media release. “The extension of occupation will arouse emotions of resentment and hostility inside our country towards Turkish officials and will damage bilateral ties.”…

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: July.26: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#afghanistan, #jihad, #kabul, #nato, #taliban

(POLAND) JUST IN: U.S Selling 250 Abram-Tanks as well as the necessary logistics package for their operation. The value of the deal will be more than 23 billion zlotys (about 6 billion dollars) #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.16: Earlier, Poland also announced plans to buy 24 drones from Turkey.Poland to buy hundreds of “Abrams” / armyrecognition.com

#AceDailyNews says POLAND: To purchase 250 Abrams-Tanks from the United States to deter Russia and according to Reuters , this was announced today by Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.

July.14, 2021

Poland to buy hundreds of "Abrams" / armyrecognition.com

It is noted that Poland, like many EU countries, is concerned about Russia’s aggressive behavior.

“Of course, this is a response to the challenges in the field of national security that we have faced … Our task is to deter a potential aggressor. We all know where this aggressor is,” Blaszczak said.

In May, Poland announced plans to buy 24 combat drones from Turkey. This will make it the first NATO country to purchase Turkish-made UAVs.

Earlier, the United States began working to increase the number of American instructors to train the Ukrainian military as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JMTG-U).

During the visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to Kyiv, the issues of expanding military aid to Ukraine were discussed.

(c)UNIAN 2021

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: July.16: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#arms, #kyiv, #nato, #poland, #turkey, #united-states

(WASHINGTON) Troop Withdrawal Report: As DoD has said that the last US and NATO forces have left Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, the epicentre of the war against jihadist militants for some 20 years #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.03: The pull-out could signal that the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is imminent: But the withdrawal from the sprawling base, north of Kabul, comes as the main jihadist group, the Taliban, advances in many parts of Afghanistan.

#AceDailyNews reports that in Bagram that the US and Nato forces leave key Afghanistan base on Thursday but according to AFP: U.S air force was still using Bagram on Thursday and President Joe Biden has said US forces will be gone by Sept.11: 2021: the deadline is the anniversary of the attacks on America in 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

The attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda, an international jihadist group then based in Afghanistan with the support of the Taliban, who had been in control of the country since the 1990s. A US-led coalition invaded the Afghanistan later that year to defeat both groups now how can the West fight terror after leaving

America now wants to end its longest war with its huge cost in human lives and vast expense, and is leaving security to the Afghan government. 

Some 2,500-3,500 US troops were thought to be still in Afghanistan until recently, and they are due to depart along with some 7,000 other coalition troops, leaving fewer than 1,000 American soldiers in the country.

Meanwhile, a resurgent Taliban, buoyed by the expectation of the foreign withdrawal, has overrun dozens of districts, amid fears that a new civil war could erupt after the departure of foreign forces in year of violence on the road to peace

A top target for the Taliban Bagram is a bellwether of what’s to come: This symbol of American military might was once a stronghold of Soviet forces. Now Afghan security forces will soon confront the challenge of securing this sprawling city within a city. Bagram is vital – in symbolic and strategic ways. Taliban fighters, advancing in districts across the country, have this prize in their sights. Even last October, residents of the town which has swelled all around it told us the Taliban were already in their midst.On a recent visit to the base, as the US packed up, we heard how Afghan security forces saw it as a mixed blessing.

There’s a wealth of military assets within its walls; but that treasure is a top target for Taliban, not to mention corrupt commanders and others eying this fortune: For the countless Afghans whose lives and livelihoods have long banked on this base – and who now feel abandoned – Bagram’s new chapter is deeply worrying. Why is Bagram so important?

The airfield, built up by the Soviets when they occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s, and named after a nearby village, lies around 40km (25 miles) north of Kabul: The US-led coalition forces moved in during December 2001, and it was developed into a huge base capable of holding up to 10,000 troops.

It is served by two runways, the most recent of which is 3.6km long, where large cargo and bomber aircraft can land: It has 110 parking spots for aircraft, which are protected by blast walls, and had a 50-bed hospital with a trauma bay, three operating theatres and a modern dental clinic, the Associated Press reports.From May 2021:

Top US commander General Scott Miller reflects on Nato forces’ time in Afghanistan ahead of its departureIts hangars and buildings included the main prison facility for people detained by US forces at the height of the conflict, which became known as Afghanistan’s Guantanamo – after the infamous US military prison in Cuba: Bagram was one of the sites identified in a US Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects, including the use of torture, carried out in detention facilities: Bagram ex-detainees say they still bear the scars

What happens next? An official ceremony to mark the handover of Bagram is expected to be held on Saturday, an Afghan official told Reuters news agency. About 650 US troops are expected to remain in the country, the Associated Press reports, to provide protection for diplomats and help guard Kabul’s international airport, a vital transport hub for the landlocked country:

They are guarding the airport alongside troops from America’s Nato ally Turkey, while a new agreement for its security is negotiated with the Afghan government: The airport’s US protection includes a counter-rocket, artillery, mortar system and the troops to operate it, as well as helicopter support.Other American troops will guard the US Embassy in Kabul.Military analysts say the ability of the Afghan government to maintain control over Bagram will be vital to its efforts to defend Kabul and push back the Taliban.

While the Taliban stopped attacks on coalition forces after signing an agreement with the US in February of last year, they have continued fighting government forces. A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, welcomed the US withdrawal from Bagram, telling AFP news agency it would “pave the way for Afghans to decide about their future between themselves” that a war is thought to have taken the lives of more than 47,000 Afghan civilians and nearly 70,000 Afghan troops, as well as the lives of 2,442 US soldiers and more than 3,800 US private security contractors, and 1,144 soldiers from other coalition countries. The Costs of War project at Brown University, which analyses America’s wars this century, estimates that the war has cost America a total of $2.26tn (£1.64tn).

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: July.03: 2021:

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: July.03: 2021:

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#afghanistan, #nato, #taliban, #troops, #us, #washington

(LONDON) Press Release Statement Report: Defense Secretary Ben Wallace Announces U.K. troops will continue to contribute to the NATO Mission in Kosovo (KFOR) until at least 2023 #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.16: The continuing presence of British Army personnel in the NATO force, which for over two decades has helped maintain peace and stability in Kosovo, signals the UK’s ongoing commitment to the wider Western Balkans region’s security, stability and prosperity:

MOD GOVUK underlines commitment to Western Balkans with extension of troops in Kosovo: The UK has been a key contributor to the UN-mandated NATO force, known as KFOR, since it first entered Kosovo in 1999 as a peacekeeping force to bring peace and stability following the conflict of the 1990s.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

NATO is the bedrock of UK security and it is because our Armed Forces step forward to protect peace alongside our partners that it remains so. The extension of our commitment to KFOR underlines our unwavering commitment to the Western Balkans region, where NATO has helped to bring stability for over two decades.

UK forces have since worked to enhance KFOR’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capability, significantly increasing the mission commanders’ situational awareness – ensuring the operation can provide a safe and secure environment for the entire population. KFOR acts as one of the main security providers in Kosovo, with troops contributed by some 30 nations including Italy, Turkey, Poland and the US, as well as the UK. The UK’s contribution includes a battalion-sized high readiness Strategic Reserved Force based in the UK, ready to deploy at short notice.

As set out in the recently-published Integrated Review into security, defence, development and foreign policy and Defence Command Paper, the UK remains committed to NATO which remains the bedrock of our security.

It comes after the Prime Minister announced in November an increase in Defence funding of over £24-billion across the next four years, enabling our Armed Forces to adapt to meet future threats.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Jun.16: 2021:

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#govuk, #kfor, #kosovo, #london, #mod, #nato

(BERLIN) JUST IN: German authorities prevented a group planning to visit the Iraqi city of Irbil to display solidarity with PKK terrorists in order to avert a potential dispute with NATO ally Turkey, a report said #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.15: The report noted that German state interests would significantly be affected in case of anti-Turkey activities or passive support for the PKK terrorists, as Turkey strongly opposes support for the terrorist group:

GERMANY: According to the report by Die Welt, pro-PKK Kurdish associations in Germany launched a “human shield” campaign for the PKK terrorists and were planning to send groups of people to Iraq in June.

by DAILY SABAH

A man passes an empty departure information board at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, June 3, 2020. (AP Photo)
DAILY SABAH

The incident took place at the Duesseldorf Airport on Saturday.

Police noted that the co-chairperson of the German Left Party (Die Linke) in Hamburg, Cansu Özdemir, and a group of 18 people were prevented from boarding a plane to Irbil for “the threat of damaging Germany’s reputation.”

Police also told the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) that they were unsure if they “could rule out any danger coming from members of this group that could potentially have long-lasting effects on Germany’s security concerns abroad.”

Last week, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stated that the PKK terrorist group has been sending members from Europe to northern Iraq to disrupt the stability and peace in the region.

The statement also said the preservation of the KRG’s stability, especially in Irbil, is a red line and that will not be allowed to deteriorate under any pretext or group.

The ministry’s statement also pointed out that if the aforementioned groups’ intentions were truly peace and tranquility, they should focus on Qandil because the unrest and warmongering stemmed from there.

The Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq are the PKK’s stronghold, and the group is active in many cities and towns. It occupies a large number of villages in the region and launches attacks on Turkey from there.

The PKK terrorist group has recently increased its multifaceted terrorist attacks by targeting legitimate representatives of the Kurdish people in northern Iraq, including Peshmerga forces and police officers, kidnapping civilians, targeting diplomatic missions and inciting peaceful protests to violence in the KRG.

The terrorist group, disturbed by the Baghdad-Irbil agreement of Oct. 9, 2020, that will end the PKK’s presence in the Sinjar region, is trying to spread the instability it has created in other occupied regions to the north of Iraq with terrorist acts and to divert attention from Sinjar.

The PKK also accuses the Irbil administration of collaborating with Turkey in its successful counterterrorism operations in northern Iraq, while also attacking the KRG’s Peshmerga forces.

Northern Iraq is known as the location of many PKK terrorist hideouts and bases from where they carry out attacks in Turkey. The Turkish military regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq. Turkey has long been stressing that it will not tolerate terrorist threats posed against its national security and has called on Iraqi officials to take the necessary steps to eliminate the terrorist group. Ankara previously noted that if the expected steps were not taken, it would not shy away from targeting terrorist threats.

Turkey has repeatedly urged German authorities to take action against the PKK, which has been outlawed in Germany since 1993.

The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for 40 years and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.

Despite its status as a designated international terrorist organization, the PKK has enjoyed relative freedom in European cities and has a particularly strong presence in Germany. PKK supporters have been allowed to hold rallies, recruit militants and collect funds in Germany, which is home to some 5 million people of Turkish origin, including Kurds.

The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it is still active, with nearly 14,000 followers among the country’s Kurdish immigrant population.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.15: 2021:

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#berlin, #germany, #iraq, #iraqi, #irbil, #kurdish, #nato, #pkk, #turkey

(KABUL, Afghanistan.) JUST IN: At least three teachers have died and 15 more people have been wounded after a roadside bomb hit a bus carrying university staff on Sunday #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.31: Professors and staff from Al-Biruni university were travelling through Charikar, the capital of Parwan province, about 70km (43 miles) north of the capital Kabul:

Afghanistan: ‘Bus blast kills three university staff and has seen increasing violence in recent weeks as the US and Nato prepare to withdraw all troops’ and NO group has claimed responsibility’

An Afghan police officer holding a rifle, May 2021
Afghan security forces are struggling against a rising wave of violence ahead of the US troop withdrawal in September

The deadline for the withdrawal is 11 September – 20 years to the day since the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. In the months which followed, the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan, forcing the Taliban – a hardline Islamist movement – from power and beginning an almost two-decade long war. 

Saturday’s blast happened at around 15:15 local time (10:45 GMT), Bagram police reportedly said. 

A spokesman for the ministry of higher education said some of the wounded teachers are in a critical condition. The university’s chancellor was also reportedly injured in the attack.

US and Nato officials have recently said that the Taliban has so far failed to live up to commitments to reduce violence in Afghanistan. The group has denied the allegation. 

Earlier in May Taliban militants captured a district near Kabul, the second district in a week to fall to the group. The Islamic State group are also active in the country. 

Saturday’s attack comes just weeks after blasts close to a secondary school in Kabul killed at least 60 people and injured more than 100. 

Students were killed as they left their classrooms. Most of the victims were girls. 

On Tuesday Australia announced it was closing its embassy in Afghanistan due to the “increasingly uncertain security environment” in the country. Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers have been killed and injured. This 2019 video tells their story.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.31: 2021:

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#afghanistan, #bus, #explosion, #kabul, #nato

(NATO) USCG REPORT: The Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) conducted a series of operational exercises with Ukraine, May 9, 2021, in the Black Sea #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.13: Hamilton was honored to conduct at-sea operations with the Ukrainian navy,” said Capt. Timothy Cronin, commanding officer of Hamilton, “Because we have shared interests, these events promote our strong partnership in ensuring safe and lawful activity in the Black Sea.”

USCGC Report: ‘Hamilton conducts exercises conducted maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, and ship handling operations with the Ukrainian navy vessel Island-class patrol boat Starobilsk (P 241). These operations were designed to increase interoperability as a part of a regional effort to bolster maritime partnerships with NATO partners’

Operation In Black Sea

U.S. Coast Guard sent this bulletin at 05/11/2021 08:58 AM EDT:

The U.S. Coast Guard has a long and enduring partnership with regional maritime forces, particularly in strengthening maritime forces in Georgia and Ukraine. Hamilton conducted at sea engagements with the Georgian coast guard and a port visit in Batumi, Georgia, last week.

“This was a great opportunity to interact and share best practices with the Ukrainian navy,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Dunsavage, Hamilton crew member. “Both of our crews take pride in being professional mariners, and today, we proved that. We look forward to doing it again.”

Hamilton is the first U.S. Coast Guard cutter to visit the Black Sea since 2008. The last U.S. Coast Guard cutter to visit the Black Sea, USCGC Dallas (WHEC 716), sailed to the Black Sea twice, in 2008 and 1995.

Hamilton is the fourth national security cutter and is the fifth cutter named for the father of the U.S. Coast Guard – Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and advocate for the creation of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service.

The U.S. Coast Guard remains operational during COVID-19, following all COVID-19 safety precautions and regulations.

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a routine deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations, working alongside NATO Allies and partners, building maritime domain awareness, and sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards.

U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.12: 2021:

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#black-sea, #nato, #ukraine, #united-states, #uscg

(NORWAY) JUST IN: NATO Plans to dock ‘Nuclear Submarines’ in the city of Tromso according to NRK News #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Apr.24: Among other things, there is a conspicuous lack of material and competence for rescue and health personnel who may have to assist in the event of an accident:

‘Can Have Fatal Consequences’: Norwegian City ‘Ill-Prepared’ to Welcome NATO Nuclear Submarines and are set to dock soon outside the Norwegian city of Tromsø due to a contested recent agreement, the municipality has no plans for the mass evacuation of people in the event of a radioactive leak or other emergency, national broadcaster NRK reported.

“As is said in the contingency plan, which will be ready 1 May, we lack the necessary training on everything in the plan, and we also lack the necessary equipment,” the director of Tromsø municipality, Stig Tore Johnsen, told NRK, admitting that the authorities don’t have what is needed if something goes wrong when the nuclear submarines arrive.

“We don’t plan for the entire city of Tromsø to be evacuated in the event of an incident. It is a not very relevant scenario, and not very likely to happen, so we cannot plan for it,” Johnsen said.

‘Betrayal of Population’: Norwegian Municipality Welcomes NATO’s Nuclear Subms in Major U-Turn Despite Popular OppositionAccording to Johnsen, the municipality currently lacks information about when the first submarine will arrive. However, in two weeks, a digital public meeting under the auspices of the Armed Forces will be held about the planned calls.

While the contingency plan is almost finished, this doesn’t mean that everything is in place.

“The plan doesn’t necessarily mean that we have done all the exercises, acquired expertise in incidents that may occur or other material. There are things that will remain after 1 May,” Johnsen admitted.

Earlier this year, the Norwegian Armed Forces completed a classified 80-page risk and vulnerability analysis for the arrival of nuclear submarines. According to NRK, though, the Armed Forces treat a nuclear accident as an unlikely scenario. But it can happen, and in the event of an accident, the consequences can be death, damage to health over time and great radioactive harm to nature and the environment. The Armed Forces’ own analysis shows that may ultimately be relevant to evacuate large parts of Tromsø. In the words of the national broadcaster NRK, “If a nuclear accident occurs, it can have fatal consequences for Tromsø.”

Municipal council representative Jens Ingvald Olsen of the Reds party, previously a staunch opponent of port calls by nuclear-powered vessels in Norway, is highly critical of how the authorities handle this issue.

“It is quite obvious that the municipality, the University Hospital of Northern Norway, and the police are ill-prepared to handle submarine reception as of today. What is happening now confirms what we have been criticising over the past five years,” Olsen told national broadcaster NRK.

Deputy mayor of Tromsø, Mads Hegge Jakobsen of the Centre Party, said that the position in the municipal council has been taken and that is unlikely for it to turn around on this issue.

Previously, the upgrade of the port facilities in Tromsø triggered popular and political opposition, as well as criticism from environmentalists, including Greenpeace.

Tromsø, 76,000, is the largest urban area in Northern Norway and the third largest north of the Arctic Circle in the entire world, trailing only Russia’s Murmansk and Norilsk.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Apr.24: 2021:

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#nato, #norway, #nuclear-submarines

(WASHINGTON) State Dept Report: We need to close the book on a 20-year war,” is how a US official put it when he broke the news on Tuesday that the last US troops would be out of Afghanistan by 11 September #AceNewsDesk report

Afghans face pivotal moment as US prepares to ‘close the book’ Two decades on, what does this “book” say about the country that some 10,000 US-led Nato forces will soon leave behind Biden ON YouTube in 4-hours here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Nsj4wfg1c

VIDEO HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Nsj4wfg1c

4 hours ago

By Lyse Doucet
Chief international correspondent

The Afghan war: The short and long story

Soldiers from the Afghan National Army's quick reaction force run drills and prepare their readiness level at their base on the outskirts of Maidan Shahr, Afghanistan, on Saturday Nov. 7, 2020.
Despite the push for peace, the Afghan National Army is braced for further violence

It’s a dramatically different country than the shattered land and pariah state of the Taliban toppled in the US-led invasion of 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.

But this withdrawal window is decisive. It could accelerate a push towards peace, or a descent into violence that shreds the more open society which has been taking root – however slowly and unevenly – over the past two decades. 

“The best possible outcome to expect is that this withdrawal timeline serves as a catalyst and a mechanism to pressure Afghan parties to reach a political settlement by September or face a bloody Syrian-style civil war,” warns Tamim Asey, Executive Chairman of the Institute of War and Peace Studies in Kabul. 

Few would have expected this last chapter of the US military mission to read like this: a triumphal Taliban poised to return to power on the battlefield or through peace talks where they hold most of the cards; much-vaunted “gains” slipping away by the day in a wave of targeted killings of the educated, active, and ambitious lifeblood of an emerging society. 

Many Afghans now fear a terrible tumbling towards civil war in a conflict already described as one of the most violent in the world. 

“I worry most when timelines are attached to their pullout, but not conditions,” regrets an Afghan human rights activist. “The Taliban will just wait them out and won’t get into substantive issues.”

It’s a view echoed by others. 

“I wish President Biden had conditioned the troop withdrawal timeline with zero killings on the ground by all parties between May and September,” reflects Orzala Nemat, director of the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU). 

AFPUS and other Nato troops have long been the target of Taliban attacks

But the senior administration official who briefed journalists on the pullout was adamant: “The president has judged that a conditions-based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever.”

There’s also a pledge to “use our full toolkit to ensure the future that the Afghan people are seeking has the best chance of coming about”. 

But Washington’s best bargaining chip has been its military might. The departure of all foreign troops now bolstering Afghan government forces has been the Taliban’s single-minded pursuit as their fighters keep inching back, district by district, across a growing number of provinces. 

There were no good options on President Joe Biden’s desk when he inherited last year’s US Taliban deal which committed Washington to a 1 May troop pullout in exchange for Taliban security guarantees and a vaguer commitment to reduce violence and pursue peace talks. Is peace with the Taliban possible? (2019 report)

The security of the United States – the reason that first brought its troops in – had to be a deciding factor. And other Nato forces are expected to follow the US lead.

“This is not 2001, it is 2021,” was how a senior US official replied when questioned about the continuing threat posed by groups like al-Qaeda and Islamic State which still have a presence in Afghanistan. 

“We judge the threat against the homeland now emanating from Afghanistan to be at a level we can address without a persistent military footprint in the country and without remaining at war with the Taliban.”

“The decision was always going to come down to a broader political judgment about American interests writ large and from that perspective, the decision makes sense,” says Laurel Miller, director of the Asia Programme at the International Crisis Group and a former US State Department official. 

But regret quickly creeps in.

“It’s a tragedy that the US didn’t get serious about trying to stitch together a peace process in Afghanistan much earlier, before the thread ran out,” comments Miller, who had been involved in some of the first tentative efforts exploring negotiated solutions.

Now it’s the seriousness of Afghan leaders, on all sides of this conflict, which is paramount. 

“The voices of the Afghan people are very clear and unified in calling for peace, justice, and the preservation of national and democratic values,” emphasises Nemat of AREU. “But the political elite are still trying to maximise their share of power in a power-grabbing opportunity just like 1992.”

History throws a long dark shadow in Afghanistan. Many of the same power brokers and warlords who turned their guns on each other in a frenzy of infighting after the Soviet troop pullout of 1988 have been given pride of place in a new negotiating process which has been taking shape. 

Getty ImagesMany fear women’s rights in Afghanistan will suffer at the hands of warlords and the Taliban

There’s an argument that only they have the clout to strike a deal with the Taliban. But there’s also anxiety that they can’t and won’t speak for the Afghanistan of 2021 including victims of war crimes, women’s activists, and broader civil society. 

There’s a jumble of peace plans from political rivals, including a grand blueprint from President Ashraf Ghani’s office. A High Council for National Reconciliation has to first reconcile competing perspectives in Kabul.

As for the Taliban, they’re still fixated on the US’s broken pledge to pull out completely by 1 May.

“Until all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland, the Islamic Emirate will not participate in any conference that shall make decisions about Afghanistan,” announced Taliban spokesman Dr Mohammed Naeem in a Twitter post a few hours after news of the US decision broke.

The conference in question now is a “high level and inclusive conference” hosted by Turkey, Qatar, and the United Nations, set for Istanbul on 24 April. It’s a crucial piece in the Biden administration’s new Afghan jigsaw. The UN is being brought centre stage as efforts are stepped up to jump-start peace talks as well as forge a consensus among regional powers, each with their own Afghan proxies. 

In the Gulf state of Qatar, where teams of Taliban and Afghan government negotiators have been meeting on and off since September, some Taliban were heard using the English idiom “the ball’s now in our court” in reaction to news of a delayed US pullout. They’ve always insisted they’re in pursuit of peace.

“The Taliban leadership has shown no sign of wanting peace, and every sign of wanting to pursue a route to power through war,” assesses Kate Clark, Co-Director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network. 

The traditional “fighting season” looms amid reports of a blistering Taliban campaign in store; Afghan government forces are also braced for battle. 

“Who preserves the gains of the last 20 years if there’s worsening civil war or where the Taliban capture territory?” asks Clark. “Where there’s conflict, freedoms evaporate; where the Taliban rule they are as authoritarian as before, and few girls go to school above primary age in Taliban-controlled areas.”

Mindful of this hot button issue, the US is at pains to point it will “work with other countries using diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian tools to protect the gains made by Afghan women”.

“Biden wants to get out of the Afghan war, but not Afghanistan,” says Asey of the Institute of War and Peace Studies in an effort to present a brave face at this pivotal juncture.

As the US seeks to “close the book” on its longest war, Afghan minds are now sharply focused on the next chapter of their own longer war without end.

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Apr.14: 2021:

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#afghanistan, #nato, #taliban, #washington

AFGHANISTAN: ‘ Suicide Truck Bomber Attacks NATO Convoy ‘

#AceNewsReport – AFGHANISTAN:June.30: A suicide truck bomb in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday killed two civilians and wounded more than 40, AFP reported.

“It was a suicide truck bomber detonating his vehicle at the gate of police headquarters” in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, police spokesman Farid Ahmad Obaid said.

Afghan troops and police are battling the Taliban in the first “fighting season” since NATO left local forces to take charge of security.

@AceNewsServices

Ace Worldwide News

#farid-ahmad-obaid, #nato, #police-headquarters, #southern-afghanistan, #truck-bomb

MOSCOW: ‘ Drones being readied for Arctic monitoring missions ‘

#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW:June.10: Russian Defence Ministry said that group of Russian military industry experts has arrived in the far eastern Chukotka Autonomous Area to prepare the Eastern Military District’s drones for monitoring missions in the Arctic.

' Russia Prepares Drones for Arctic Mission's '
‘ Russia Prepares Drones for Arctic Mission’s ‘

A group of Russian military industry experts has arrived in the far eastern Chukotka Autonomous Area to prepare the Eastern Military District’s drones for monitoring missions in the Arctic, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a press release Wednesday.

“The drones will be used for surveillance of the littoral part of the Pacific Ocean, the mainland part of the zone of responsibility of the troops and forces in the northeast, and Navy combat training ranges,” Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov said.

@acenewsservices

#russia, #arctic-mission, #baltic-states, #combat-readiness, #eastern-military-district, #far-eastern-chukotka-autonomous-area, #kuril-islands, #member-states-of-nato, #mineral-oil-exploration, #ministry-of-defence-russia, #moscow, #nato, #russian-armed-forces, #russian-defence-ministry

POLAND: ‘ Former Army Commander & Ex-Defense Minister prepare for hybrid war scenario with Russia ‘

#AceNewsReport – Featured Interview:POLAND:June.07: Former Polish army commander and ex-Deputy Defense Minister Waldemar Skrzypczak says that Poland and the Baltic states prepare for ‘hybrid war’ with Russia, while adding that NATO’s combined military power comfortably exceeds the forces at Russia’s disposal.

 Two Norwegian sailors onboard the Norwegian support vessel Valkyrien

Sitting down for an interview for Baltic news hub Delfi, Skrzypczak defended NATO’s beefing up of its presence in countries along Russia’s border, arguing that “I wouldn’t say that this is an attempt to intimidate Russia, but rather the response by the [NATO] Alliance to a threat which could turn into an uncontrollable situation. What sort of threat? For example, a hybrid war.”

Skrzypczak noted that under the present balance of forces, the expanded Eastern European Rapid Response Force can handle the appearance of Russian ‘little green men’ “with ease.” However, ramping up the paranoia and alluding to a Russian fifth column in the Baltic states, the ex-general added that “the aggressor acts not only with the help of special forces.

His activity can be observed in a variety of fields –from military to political and the ethnic factor.” Skrzypczak did not make clear how this “ethnic factor” should be dealt with, noting only that “it is very important to understand what is happening and to provide a timely warning about the opponent’s [potential] actions.”

Commenting on the growth of NATO military might along Russian borders, including a growing permanent military presence, expanded and intensified exercises, Lithuania’s return to conscription, and Poland’s own intensive rearmament, Skrzypczak noted that NATO governments’ earlier policy was naïve for “blindly believing that good relations with Moscow [would] last forever,” adding that the conflict in Ukraine, for which he blamed Russia, “fell [on European politicians] like a cold shower.” In the general’s view, NATO’s more aggressive posture “is the only way to cool the hotheads in Moscow.”

Boasting that the generals of the Russian army “likely think of a conflict with NATO as a bad dream,” Skrzypczak noted that NATO’s military potential “exceeds at least several times the capabilities at Russia’s disposal,” adding that even on their own, the combined forces of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia would be a “tough nut [for Russia] to crack.” In the ex-general’s view, a war with NATO would “plunge Russia into chaos from which it would be unable to recover,” and for this reason “full-scale hostilities are not a threat.”

Retracting his earlier calls for Polish authorities to support Ukraine politically and militarily, Skrzypczak noted that this would be improper following “the Ukrainian parliament’s decision to recognize [Nazi collaborationist forces] OUN-UPA as fighters for Ukrainian independence.” Skrzypczak noted that “we Poles are against the honoring of the executioners of the Volyn massacre,” but added that “if we leave the Ukrainians alone, everything could end up even worse.”

Blaming Russia for the civil war in eastern Ukraine, caused in no small part by the radical nationalism supported by Kiev, Skrzypczak noted that while Russia is presently “trying to return to the international scene as peacemaker,” he remains hopeful that “the West will remain alert.”

Skrzypczak served as the commander of Poland’s land forces between 2006-2009, serving as the country’s deputy defense minister between 2012-2013.

@AceNewsServices

 

#russia, #baltic-sea, #baltic-states, #lithuania, #nato, #poland, #russian-armed-forces, #soviet-union, #ukraine

AFGHANISTAN: ‘ APPROVES US & NATO AGREEMENTS ALLOWING TROOPS TO STAY IN COUNTRY ‘

#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN – Nov.28 – Afghanistan’s upper house of parliament approved two agreements on Thursday with the US and NATO, allowing about 12,500 troops to remain in the country, AFP said.

The lower house of parliament approved the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US, and a similar pact with NATO, on Sunday.

President Ashraf Ghani signed the deals on his first day in power, while previous president, Hamid Karzai, had vigorously resisted the move.

#ANS2014 

#agreements, #nato, #troops, #us

WASHINGTON: ‘ ISIS OPENS A CONSULATE IN TURKISH CAPITAL AS THE LAST SEAT OF SATAN BEGINS ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – October 17 – Amid increasing doubts about Turkey’s loyalty to its NATO allies, the jihadist group ISIS has opened a consulate in the Turkish capital, according to a Middle East expert who monitors jihadist activity in the region.

The consulate in Ankara, apparently open with the tacit permission of the Turkish government, is issuing visas for those who want to join ISIS in its fight against the Syrian and Iraqi governments, the source said.

The ISIS army, declaring the creation of the first Islamic caliphate since the end of the Ottoman Turkish Empire a century ago, has brutally seized large portions of Syria and Iraq.

Turkey has resisted joining the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, refusing even to allow the U.S. to use its bases to launch attacks on ISIS targets in Syria or Iraq.

This week, Turkish warplanes and artillery bombed the camps of Kurdish rebels in the southeast of the country, near its borders with Iraq and Syria. U.S.-led coalition bombing has defended Kurds in Syria and Iraq from ISIS attacks. Turkey’s attack was on fighters of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK, which historically has sought a portion of Turkey to form the independent country of Kurdistan, along with parts of Syria, Iraq and Iran.

The ISIS consulate is in the Cankaya district of Ankara, operating freely, the Middle East source said, giving the ISIS caliphate the political recognition normally afforded a country.

“Maybe what ISIS is doing serves one way or another in a new caliphate state ruled by the ‘Ottomans,” the WND source said.

While President Obama caters to Turkey’s Erdogan to join the coalition and continues to provide technology to Turkey as a NATO member, sources say the U.S. Congress should act and examine Turkey’s ties to ISIS and its affiliation with jihadi terrorists and those who fund them.

Source:

#ANS2014

#isis, #nato, #washington

AFGHANISTAN: ‘ Two Senior Commanders of Haqqani Network Captured by Afghan Forces ‘

#AceNewsServices – AFGHANISTAN – October 16 – Two senior leaders of the Haqqani network have been captured by Afghan security forces, officials said Thursday.

Afghanistan Security forces captures two Senior Haqqani Commanders

Afghanistan Security forces captures two Senior Haqqani Commanders

The hardline group is behind sophisticated attacks on Afghan and NATO forces.

' Jalaluddin Haqqani '

‘ Jalaluddin Haqqani ‘

The National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan intelligence agency, arrested Anas Haqqani,

Anas Haqqani

Anas Haqqani

the son of the network’s founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, late Tuesday along with Hafiz Rashid, another commander, AFP reported.

“We hope that these two arrests will have direct consequences on the network and their center of command,” NDS spokesman Haseeb Sediqi said.

The Haqqani network was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani — an Afghan guerrilla leader bankrolled by the United States to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Now in his 70s and frail, he is believed to live with his family in Pakistan.

In the 1980s Jalaluddin was close to the CIA and Pakistani intelligence. He allied himself to the Taliban after they took power in Kabul in 1996, serving as a cabinet minister under the militia’s supreme leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

When American troops arrived after the 9/11 attacks, Haqqani sought refuge in Pakistan’s tribal district of North Waziristan and became one of the first anti-US commanders based in the border areas.

He has training bases in eastern Afghanistan and is close to Al-Qaeda. His fighters are active across east and southeast Afghanistan and in the capital Kabul.

The network is militarily the most capable of the Afghan Taliban factions and operates independently but remains loyal to Mullah Omar.

Unidentified gunmen attacked and killed Nasiruddin Haqqani, the group’s chief fundraiser and another son of its founder, on the edge of Islamabad last year.

A car bomb attack that killed more than 40 people in the Urgun district of Afghanistan’s Paktika province in July was blamed on the Haqqani network.

Source:

#ANS2014

#afghan, #afghanistan, #haqqani, #national-directorate-of-security-nds, #nato

KABUL: SUICIDE CAR BOMBING ON THE INCREASE AS WAY TO STOP NATO CONVOYS ‘

#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN (Kabul) – October 13 – A suicide-car-bomber rammed a NATO military convoy along a major road out of Kabul early Monday, killing one Afghan civilian, Reuters reported.

Afghan official says suicide bomber targets NATO convoy in Kabul, killing 1 civilian

Afghan official says suicide bomber targets NATO convoy in Kabul, killing 1 civilian

Hours later, another suicide bomber killed a woman outside a clinic in a province east of Kabul.

A third bomb exploded in a market on the Afghanistan capital’s northern outskirts, wounding 22 people including three children, officials said.

#ANS2014

#afghan, #afghanistan, #kabul, #nato, #suicide-car-bomber

TURKEY: ‘ Foreign Minister Says Ground Operation Against Islamic State Unrealistic On Our Own ‘

#AceNewsServices – TURKEY – October 09 – Turkey’s foreign minister says it cannot be expected to lead a ground operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria on its own.

Turkey has tanks deployed along its border within sight of the fighting inside Kobane

Turkey has tanks deployed along its border within sight of the fighting inside Kobane

Mevlut Cavusoglu also called for the creation of a no-fly zone over its border with Syria after talks in Ankara with new NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg.

Turkey is under intense pressure to do more to help Kurdish forces fighting IS in the strategic Syrian town of Kobane.

Reports say IS has been pushed back towards the outskirts of Kobane.

Earlier monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, quoting “reliable sources”, said IS controlled a third of the town and was advancing towards the centre from eastern districts.

Source: 

#ANS2014

#is, #islamic-state-is, #kobane, #kobani, #kurdish, #nato, #syria, #turkey

‘ Top Taliban Leader of Islamic Movement Claims Victory in War in Afghanistan ‘

#AceNewsServices – AFGHANISTAN – October 02 – The top leader of the Taliban Islamic movement, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has claimed victory in the War in Afghanistan over the US-led NATO forces in a special address to his supporters released on the occasion of Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday, Khaama Press reported on Thursday.

“Your Jihad and ungrudging sacrifices against the occupation have defeated the Americans, their Western allies and domestic supporters altogether with the Help of Allah,” he said in the message.

“All their strategies have proved to be ineffective, with their diplomatic efforts facing fiasco, besides disgrace and ignominy.

The NATO Summit in Wales under the leadership of America, the recent slandering in Afghanistan under the name of elections and the continuous advancements of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate are proofs, speaking well for themselves,” the Taliban leader added.

Mullah Mohammad Omar, who has a $10 million bounty on his head from the US State Department, has been hiding since the Taliban was overthrown in 2001 after the US invasion.

About 41,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban insurgency alongside Afghan soldiers and police. NATO’s combat mission will end in December.

Earlier this week, the United States, NATO and Afghanistan signed a deal to formally justify the presence of a limited military contingent in the Central Asian state after the formal withdrawal of international forces.

A follow-on force of about 12,000 troops is likely to stay into 2015 on training and support duties.

Source:

#ANS2014

#afghanistan, #central-asian, #kabul, #mullah-mohammad-omar, #nato, #taliban, #us-state-department