US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

2.6. Afghanistan / Pakistan

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The National Interest vom 01.01.2019

"The Iraq Exit Strategy Will Not Work in Afghanistan"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/iraq-exit-strategy-will-not-work-afghanistan-40022

Tanya Goudsouzian warnt davor, die geplante Halbierung des US-Truppenkontingents in Afghanistan nach dem Vorbild der im Irak verfolgten Abzugstrategie durchzuführen. Im Fall Irak hätten mehrere Faktoren zum Sieg über den IS beigetragen, die auf Afghanistan nicht zuträfen. "(...) by 2017, the country declared victory against the terrorists which today remain no more than a localized terrorist organization — hardly the significant, almost existential threat it posed to Baghdad in 2014. While many factors came into play, three stand out as most consequential to the Iraqi success. First, when the military failed to stop Daesh from moving virtually uncontested towards Baghdad and the politicians had no answers, the clerics stepped in. Iraq’s religious Marjiyah establishment issued fatwas for young men to rise and join the militias, and they did. (...) Second, the Iraqi military was purged of its corrupt, politically connected leaders who had been installed by former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. (...) Third, Daesh overplayed its hands and lost the support of the citizens of their self-proclaimed caliphate. (...) None of the conditions essential to success in Iraq 'travel well' to Afghanistan and cannot be incorporated into a new Afghanistan strategy post-U.S. withdrawal."

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Deutsche Welle vom 30.12.2018

"Taliban lehnen Verhandlungen mit Regierung in Kabul ab"

https://www.dw.com/de/taliban-lehnen-verhandlungen-mit-regierung-in-kabul-ab/a-46897840

Die Taliban lehnen Friedensverhandlungen mit der afghanischen Regierung weiterhin ab, berichtet die Deutsche Welle unter Verweis auf die Nachrichtenagentur Reuters. "Die afghanische Regierung wiederum beharrt auf eigenen Gesprächen mit der radikal-islamischen Terrormiliz. Ein enger Berater des vom Westen unterstützten Präsidenten Ashraf Ghani erklärte, man wolle eine direkte diplomatische Verbindung zu den Taliban herstellen. 'Die Gespräche sollten in Afghanistan sein', sagte der Berater, der namentlich nicht genannt werden wollte. 'Es ist wichtig, dass die Taliban dies anerkennen.' Nun ruhen alle Hoffnungen auf US-Unterhändler Zalmay Khalilzad, der momentan die Vorbereitungen für Friedensverhandlungen trifft. Berichte über einen Abzug eines großen Teils der US-Truppen erhöhen die Erwartungen auf baldige Ergebnisse."

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Die Welt vom 19.12.2018

"Für die Bundeswehr geht es in Afghanistan nur noch ums Durchhalten"

https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article185747470/Bundeswehr-In-Afghanistan-geht-es-nur-noch-ums-D
urchhalten.html

Thorsten Jungholt zieht anlässlich der Afghanistan-Reise von Verteidigungsministerin von der Leyen ein kritisches Zwischenfazit des Bundeswehreinsatzes vor Ort. "Denn tatsächlich wird die Lage am Hindukusch von Jahr zu Jahr schlechter. Die Ausbildung der afghanischen Sicherheitskräfte kommt nicht voran. Von den über 1000 deutschen Soldaten, die am Hindukusch stationiert sind, kümmern sich nur rund zwei Dutzend um diesen Auftrag. Der große Rest ist mit Sicherungs- und Schutzaufgaben sowie dem Betrieb des Camps beschäftigt. Trotz der Milliardeninvestitionen in den Aufbau der afghanischen Armee sei von militärischen Strukturen wie einem Zug oder einer Kompanie wenig zu erkennen, heißt es hinter vorgehaltener Hand. Wenn die Einheiten der Afghanen in den Einsatz ziehen, biete sich eher das Bild eines 'Haufens'. (...) Für die Bundeswehr im Norden geht es nur noch ums Aushalten – und um die Hoffnung, dass Khalilzad nach 17 Jahren des Einsatzes endlich ein politisches Ergebnis erzielt, wie immer es aussehen mag."

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The Long War Journal vom 18.12.2018

"Taliban commander admits thousands of foreign fighters are embedded within group"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/12/taliban-commander-admits-thousands-of-foreign-fighters-ar
e-embedded-within-group.php

Ein hochrangiger Taliban-Kommandeur hat in einem NBC-Interview überraschend eingeräumt, dass sich in den Reihen der Gotteskrieger tausende ausländische Kämpfer befinden. Bill Roggio hält diese freimütige Aussage für "erstaunlich", da es sich bei den Kämpfern mit hoher Sicherheit um Al-Qaida-Mitglieder handele. "FDD’s Long War Journal has maintained for the last eight years that US military and intelligence estimates of between 50 to 100 al Qaeda in Afghanistan (later modified to 200) have been woefully low. (...) It is unclear why the Taliban leader felt the urge to admit that thousands of foreign fighters are fighting alongside his group (most these are without a doubt al Qaeda, note how the Taliban commander refers to them as 'foreign militants'). Perhaps he is emboldened by the US government’s desperation to negotiate with the Taliban, and is unconcerned that his comments will make US officials reconsider the Taliban’s relationship with al Qaeda. Regardless of the reason, the admission further validates eight years of research by FDD’s Long War Journal, which has rejected the absurd notions that al Qaeda was defeated in Afghanistan and the Taliban has distanced itself the group."

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NBC News vom 17.12.2018

"9/11 hangs over Taliban talks and assurances militant group has changed"

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/9-11-hangs-over-taliban-talks-assurances-militant-group-has-n946011

Die Gespräche der US-Regierung mit den Taliban werden immer noch von den Anschlägen des 11. Septembers 2001 und den Verbindungen der Gotteskrieger zur Al-Qaida überschattet, berichten F. Brinley Bruton und Mushtaq Yusufzai. "(...) even as diplomatic efforts gallop ahead, a crucial question looms over talks: Would a Taliban legitimized by an international peace agreement prevent foreign terrorists from plotting attacks from Afghan soil like Al Qaeda did before Sept. 11, 2001? It was the Taliban government's decision to protect bin Laden that triggered the subsequent U.S.-led invasion. Top military brass clearly feel there is a danger of history repeating. (...) 'I don’t think that the Taliban loves Al Qaeda,' [Vanda Felbab-Brown, an expert on international terrorism and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution,] said. 'But it does not necessarily mean that they can easily control them.' Even if they wanted to, it is unlikely that the Taliban could keep a promise to rein in foreign fighters and groups. For one thing, the central government in Kabul has always struggled to control the country. And then there is ISIS Khorasan, the Islamic State’s local affiliate which includes many disaffected Taliban fighters. While small in number, the group has been especially brazen and lethal."

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The Long War Journal vom 16.12.2018

"Taliban confirms meeting with US in the UAE"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/12/taliban-confirms-meeting-with-us-in-the-uae.php

Die Taliban haben bestätigt, dass sie sich am Montag in den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten zu Gesprächen mit Regierungsvertretern der USA, Saudi-Arabiens und Pakistans getroffen haben. "Notably absent from the Taliban’s statement is any mention of the Afghan government. The jihadists have publicly rejected any talks with President Ghani’s government, repeatedly describing it as an illegitimate 'puppet' of the US. According to Voice of America (VOA), the encounter in the UAE was brokered by Pakistan, after President Donald Trump requested Pakistan’s assistance in jumpstarting the talks. Citing Pakistani officials, VOA added that previous talks in Qatar stalled because the Taliban insisted on 'a date or timeframe' for the US and NATO withdrawal before participating in any sort of peace process with its Afghan foes. Such a timetable would be a major concession just to initiate negotiations. (...) It remains to be seen if Zalmay Khalilzad, who leads the American delegation, can actually get the Taliban and the Afghan government to sit down at the same table — or if the US will proceed without such talks. At least one American official claims they aren’t even really negotiating with the Taliban. 'We are not engaged in peace talks with the Taliban,' John R. Bass, the US Ambassador in Afghanistan, said earlier this month, according to TOLOnews. 'We are not negotiating on behalf of the Afghan people, we are not negotiating on behalf of the Afghan government, we are not in negotiating period.'"

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Al Jazeera English vom 15.12.2018

"Civilians, including children, 'killed in Afghan forces strike'"

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/12/civilians-including-children-killed-afghanistan-airstrike-18121515
0403232.html

Bei einem gezielten US-Luftangriff auf einen Taliban-Kommandeur in Afghanistan sind Berichten zufolge mindestens 20 Zivilisten, darunter 12 Kinder, getötet worden. "Friday's attack, against a local Taliban commander named Sharif Mawiya, was the latest in a series of operations targeting senior field commanders. Several Taliban commanders have been killed since the beginning of December by Afghan forces, backed by US advisers and air power but the tactic has also increased the risk of civilian casualties. Abdul Latif Fazly, a member of the provincial council, said eight women and 12 children were killed and more than 15 civilians wounded in the incident late on Friday."

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Telepolis vom 15.12.2018

"Chaos nach Parlamentswahlen"

https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Chaos-nach-Parlamentswahlen-4248743.html

Emran Feroz berichtet, dass alle in Kabul abgegebenen Stimmen der afghanischen Parlamentswahlen vom Oktober offiziell für ungültig erklärt worden sind. Angesichts des "Chaos" müsse davon ausgegangen werden, dass der Aufbau demokratischer Institutionen in Afghanistan tatsächlich gescheitert sei. "Am Ende sind es (...) stets korrupte Kriegsfürsten und Polit-Eliten, die Wahlentscheidungen zu ihrem Gunsten fälschen. Gleichzeitig profitieren davon andere Kräfte, etwa die Taliban, die die Wahlen ohnehin als illegitim betrachteten und sich nun bestätigt fühlen werden. Für den Rest der Bevölkerung gilt: Egal, wie optimistisch man einst gewesen ist, damit wird langsam aber sicher Schluss sein. Denn wenn nicht einmal in der Hauptstadt eine Wahl funktionieren kann, wo dann?"

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Al Jazeera English vom 11.12.2018

"The Afghan government should not be sidelined in peace talks"

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/struggle-peace-talks-taliban-181210135032300.html

Safiullah Taye würde es für einen "desaströsen" Fehler halten, wenn die USA und Russland die afghanische Regierung bei ihren jeweiligen Verhandlungen mit den Taliban weiter an den Rand drängen sollten. "By engaging directly with the Taliban, countries like the US and Russia are able to pursue their own geopolitical interests. The US is eager to stabilise Afghanistan and secure its continuing presence in the country to stave off Chinese, Iranian and Russian influence in the region. And Russia is seeking to reassert itself in Afghanistan after a 30-year absence to potentially curtail the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on its southern flank and to open another front in its soft confrontation with the US. But by conducting direct talks with the Taliban, the two countries demonstrate that they perceive Ghani's administration as weak and incapable of undertaking a viable peace process. Thus, the international community, led by the US and Russia, are effectively shunning the Afghan government and taking over negotiating peace on its behalf. (...) External actors bypassing elected bodies in the country could be significantly damaging to Afghanistan's political institutions. It would delegitimise the Afghan government and legitimise an armed group which has wreaked havoc in the country for decades."

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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty vom 09.12.2018

"This Afghan Man Sold His 5-Month-Old Daughter To Survive: 'Did I Have A Choice? You Tell Me.' And He's Not Alone."

https://www.rferl.org/a/life-or-death-impoverished-afghan-families-sell-children-to-survive/29645930.html

Shapoor Saber und Frud Bezhan haben mit einem afghanischen Mann gesprochen, der sich aufgrund von Verschuldung und Armut gezwungen gesehen habe, seine Tochter zu verkaufen. "The UN's children's agency (UNICEF) has said at least 161 children between the ages of 1 month and 16 years were either betrothed or married off in exchange for a dowry, or sold outright by their parents from July to October in the provinces of Badghis and neighboring Herat. UNICEF said parents were using the money to pay off debts or to buy food. The legal marriage age for girls is 16 and 18 for men, but child marriage is common in rural Afghanistan. UNICEF says incidences of child marriage and child-selling, which are not unheard of in the most impoverished and conservative areas of the war-torn country, have been exacerbated by a devastating drought. UNICEF says around 223,000 people have been uprooted from their homes in the drought-hit western provinces of Herat, Badghis, and Ghor this year."

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The Long War Journal vom 28.11.2018

"Afghan government’s negotiating position completely at odds with Taliban’s"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/11/afghan-governments-negotiating-position-completely-at-odd
s-with-talibans.php

Bill Roggio erwartet, dass die afghanische Regierung in den Verhandlungen zur Beendigung des Krieges an den Rand gedrängt werden wird. Die Verhandlungsposition Kabuls spiegle nicht die militärische Realität wider. Die Regierung selbst werde von den Taliban als "Marionette des Westens" abgelehnt. "The Taliban has refused to directly negotiate with the Afghan government, which it again views as a puppet of the West. Instead, the Taliban has insisted on directly negotiating with the US, which it views as the real power broker, and insists that the US withdraw its troops from the country. Only then can the Taliban make 'peace.' The US and international community, in its haste to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban at any cost, has delegitimized the Afghan government and weakened its potential negotiating position, assuming the Taliban will even negotiate with it. It is difficult to see how the Afghan government can remain a party to the so-called peace process given those conditions."

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The Long War Journal vom 26.11.2018

"Analysis: US military grossly underestimates Taliban, al Qaeda force levels in Afghanistan"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/11/analysis-us-military-grossly-underestimates-taliban-al-qa
eda-force-levels-in-afghanistan.php

Bill Roggio wirft dem US-Militär in einem weiteren Beitrag vor, die Zahl der Taliban-Kämpfer in Afghanistan systematisch zu unterschätzen bzw. herunterzuspielen. "Once again, the US military has grossly underestimated the size and scope of the Taliban, despite battling the group head-on for the last 17 years. In its latest quarterly report, US Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) approximated the Taliban’s strength as between 28,000 and 40,000 fighters. That number should be doubled, at the minimum, because the USFOR-A estimate is wildly unrealistic given the level and intensity of fighting in Afghanistan, as well as the number of Taliban casualties claimed by Afghan security forces. (...) the Taliban’s strength is likely to number well over 100,000 fighters. US military and intelligence officials who track the Taliban agree. One official told LWJ that the Taliban likely has more than 70,000 fighters and tens of thousands of support personnel and supporters. Another said that the Taliban “could not possibly do what it has done with merely 40,000 fighters; double or more realistically triple that number, and you are closer to the truth.”

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War on the Rocks vom 26.11.2018

"Ten Years After Mumbai, the Group Responsible is Deadlier Than Ever"

https://warontherocks.com/2018/11/ten-years-after-mumbai-the-group-responsible-is-deadlier-than-ever/

Stephen Tankel schreibt, dass die pakistanische Terrorgruppe Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), die für den blutigen Anschlag in der indischen Metropole Mumbai vor zehn Jahren verantwortlich gemacht wird, heute gefährlicher denn je sei. Die Gruppe pflege nach wie vor enge Kontakte zum pakistanischen Geheimdienst ISI. "India executed Kasab in late November 2012, almost four years to the day after the Mumbai attacks began. U.S. authorities arrested David Headley, the Pakistani-American who conducted reconnaissance for the attacks, in the United States, where he is currently in prison. But their leaders in Lashkar-e-Taiba and the ISI handlers supporting them got away pretty much scot-free. The Pakistani authorities charged seven of the group’s members, including the group’s second-in-command, in connection with the attacks. Not surprisingly, none were convicted in Pakistani courts, or extradited to India. All are back on the street. The ISI handlers who supported the attack reportedly moved on to other assignments. Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders not only remain at large. They and the group their organization arguably have more influence in Pakistan than ever before."

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Council on Foreign Relations vom 26.11.2018

"A Decade On, Will There Ever Be Justice for the Mumbai Attacks?"

https://www.cfr.org/blog/decade-will-there-ever-be-justice-mumbai-attacks

Bei einer Serie von Anschlägen im indischen Mumbai wurden vor zehn Jahren mindestens 166 Menschen durch Mitglieder der in Pakistan ansässigen Terrororganisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) getötet. Alyssa Ayres stellt fest, dass viele der mutmaßlich verantwortlichen Extremisten in Pakistan bis heute nicht verurteilt worden sind. Sie empfiehlt eine Reihe von Büchern und Beiträgen, die sich näher mit dieser Thematik auseinandersetzen. "(...) the trial of seven members of this terrorist group has been stalled in Pakistan for years; earlier this year, former (and ousted) Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif made headlines (and controversy in Pakistan) for publicly acknowledging the activity of this group, and asking publicly why the trial could not be completed. On November 25, 2018, the United States issued a new 'Rewards for Justice' incentive of $5 million for 'information about the individuals responsible for these [Mumbai] attacks.' (...) In the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international collective focused on denying financial flows to terrorist groups, Pakistan was placed on the 'gray list' in June 2018. U.S. security assistance has been suspended for nearly a year due to Pakistan’s inaction on various terror groups operating from its soil."

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Al Jazeera English vom 23.11.2018

"'Will never rejoin': Record casualties take toll on Afghan forces"

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/rejoin-record-casualties-toll-afghan-forces-181123115957675.html

Seit 2015 sind in Afghanistan offiziellen Angaben zufolge fast 30.000 Militär- und Polizeiangehörige getötet worden. Diese hohen Verluste können nach Ansicht von Experten nicht mehr aufgefangen werden. "That is an average of around 20 soldiers killed every day. (...) 'If the casualty rate continues like this, the day will come when we will have no one left to recruit,' warned military analyst Atiqullah Amarkhail. (...) the shocking mortality rate has sent the already shaky morale to new lows, with many soldiers questioning how much further they should push their luck. In the third quarter of 2018, the number of soldiers and police deployed across Afghanistan fell to 312,328 - nearly 9,000 fewer than only a year ago, and the lowest level for any comparable period since 2012, a US watchdog said in October. Reasons for attrition included fatalities, and soldiers going AWOL or declining to re-enlist, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said, citing the US defence department."

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