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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 19-Feb-2021
19-Feb-21 World View -- Afghanistan prepares for war, as Nato postpones military withdrawal decision

Web Log - February, 2021

19-Feb-21 World View -- Afghanistan prepares for war, as Nato postpones military withdrawal decision

Book on history of Vietnam nearing publication

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Afghanistan prepares for war, as Nato postpones military withdrawal decision

Feb 29 2020 signing ceremony for US-Taliban peace agreement (Tolo News)
Feb 29 2020 signing ceremony for US-Taliban peace agreement (Tolo News)

On Thursday, Nato defense ministers met in Brussels and decided to postpone the planned withdrawal of Nato troops, previously scheduled for May 1. The Taliban have threatened that unless the troops are withdrawn, then there will be a major escalation in the Taliban's spring fighting season, and indeed the violence is already increasing.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban are poised to return to power in Afghanistan, either through negotiations or through a renewed civil war, after they had been removed from power by the United States in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks.

In 2009 I wrote, based on a Generational Dynamics analysis summarized below, that peace was impossible in Afghanistan, no matter how many troops the US and Nato sent there, which means that the Taliban would return to power if American troops withdrew. That prediction is being proven true once again, and we now appear close to a historic dénouement.

In February 2020, the Donald Trump administration reached a delusional agreement with the Taliban to bring a new era of peace to Afghanistan. America and Nato would remove all its troops by May of this year and, in return, the Taliban would stop funding al-Qaeda and would sever all its ties to al-Qaeda. The Taliban didn't promise to stop violence altogether, but did promise to "tone down" the violence.

As part of the agreement, peace talks took place between America and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. These peace talks were also completely delusional. The Afghan government weren't in the talks. And NATO, which also has troops in Afghanistan, weren't in the talks. In fact, the entire "peace process" has always been delusional.

Trump removed all but 2,500 troops from Afghanistan, and had every intention of removing all troops by May 1, but Joe Biden has promised to review that decision. But what happens now is now a Brussels decision rather than a Washington decision.

Nato postpones decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan

Nato still has 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, and they were scheduled to leave by May 1 as well. It's clear that's not happening, simply from the fact that they haven't yet "started packing."

BBC's Lyse Doucet interviewed Nato's Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday. Parts of what he said were hopeful but delusional, but in other parts he conceded that the hopeful parts were not going to happen.

The Taliban are claiming that they've met their commitments to reduce violence and end ties with international terrorists. However, violence has been increasing, not decreasing. Furthermore, a UN panel headed by Edmund Fitton-Brown has found that "There is still clearly a close relationship between Al Qaeda and the Taliban. We believe that the top leadership of Al Qaeda is still under Taliban protection."

The Taliban are promising a major escalation of violence unless the US and Nato troops withdraw by May 1. Since it's clear that the troops will not withdraw by May 1, it's clear that a major escalation in fighting will begin in the new spring fighting season.

Here is what Stoltenberg said in the interview (my transcription):

"So we really believe that this not the time to make a final decision, because we'd like to give every chance to the peace process, the peace talks, to succeed.

Those talks are fragile and difficult, there is no easy option in Afghanistan, but there is still a possibility to reach a lasting political agreement, and all parties should engage in those talks, and the Taliban must reduce violence and must negotiate in good faith, and they must stop cooperating with the international terrorists.

And by doing that, they will also provide the platform to find a political solution.

[Question: So you may be in Afghanistan for many years go come?]

Absolutely, as I said, there are no easy options in Afghanistan, and we face many difficult dilemmas. If we decide to stay beyond May 1, then we risk more violence against our troops, and of course we risk continued long-term involvement in a very difficult operation in Afghanistan. But if we leave, we risk that Afghanistan once again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists, planning attacks against our own countries as we saw on 9/11 and also losing all the gains we made on human rights, especially for women over last years.

So this is difficult. That's the reason at this stage why we believe this is not the right time to make a final decision on whether we leave or stay, but continue to support the efforts to re-energize the peace talks.

[Question: The Taliban say they have kept their commitments. Do you believe you have solid evidence that they have not cut there ties with al-Qaeda, that there is still a risk that Afghanistan could once again be a safe haven to launch attacks against Europe and the United States?]

What we have seen is an increase in violence, not a decrease in violence. We have seen that the peace talks are almost stopped, there is hardly any progress at all.

And the Taliban has to do more and they have to live up to their commitments especially related to counterterrorism, break ties with terrorist groups."

According to Doucet, this is so far the worst Taliban fighting season ever, and it will get worse when the snow melts. In fact there's been so little snow this winter, the doctors in the National Police Hospital said that they had never seen so many casualties from so many provinces at this time of year.

So the delusional parts of Stoltenberg's interview are when he says, "we'd like to give every chance to the peace process, the peace talks, to succeed." That's delusional because there is zero probability that the peace talks will succeed, since the Taliban are committed to them not succeeding, and are using the peace talks as a ploy to get the Nato forces to withdraw, so that the Taliban can overrun Kabul and resume the control they had before they were ejected by American forces after 9/11/2001.

According to a European diplomat: "This war is not winnable, but Nato cannot allow itself to lose it pitifully." That's the choice facing Nato right now.

And so the war will go on and be substantially escalated again when the Taliban's spring fighting season begins in earnest.

Why the Afghan peace agreement must fail

I've written many times that, based on a Generational Dynamics analysis, there is no possibility whatsoever of a successful peace agreement. I started writing about this in 2009, when I predicted that Barack Obama's "surge" into Afghanistan would fail. That prediction has been 100% correct so far.

The following is a summary of the Generational Dynamics analysis:

Afghanistan's last generational crisis war was an extremely bloody, horrific civil war, in 1991-96. The war was a civil war, fought between the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan versus the Northern Alliance of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban are radicalized Pashtuns, and when they need to import foreign fighters, then can import their cousins from the Pashtun tribes in Pakistan.

Indeed, it's much worse than that. The ethnic groups in Afghanistan are COMPLETELY NON-UNITED and loathe each other. Pashtuns still have scores to settle with the Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks that formed the Northern Alliance, especially the Shias. These opposing groups have fresh memories of the atrocities, torture, rape, beatings, dismemberments, mutilations, and so forth that the other side performed on their friends, wives and other family members, and they have no desire to be friends or to work together. They'd rather kill each other.

So when Jens Stoltenberg says that Nato wants to give the peace process a chance, he knows that statement is delusional, and the only relevant statement is the one by the unnamed European diplomat: "This war is not winnable, but Nato cannot allow itself to lose it pitifully."

Book on history of Vietnam nearing publication

As regular readers know, I have been writing a book on the history of Vietnam, to complement my previous books on the histories of Iran and China. The book is nearing publication, and I now expect it to be published on Amazon in March.

Here are the front and back book covers:

Front and back covers of forthcoming book on history of Vietnam
Front and back covers of forthcoming book on history of Vietnam

John Xenakis is author of: "World View: War Between China and Japan: Why America Must Be Prepared" (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 2), June 2019, Paperback: 331 pages, with over 200 source references, $13.99

John Xenakis is author of: "World View: Iran's Struggle for Supremacy -- Tehran's Obsession to Redraw the Map of the Middle East" (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 1), September 2018, Paperback: 153 pages, over 100 source references, $7.00,

John Xenakis is author of: "Generational Dynamics Anniversary Edition - Forecasting America's Destiny", (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 3), January 2020, Paperback: 359 pages, $14.99,


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