An attentive analysis of the ways in which the alter-globalization galaxy enacts its antagonism to the system, especially in regard to national and transnational political, economic and military institutions,
reveals both how the alter-globalization movement implements its antagonistic demands above all through social networks and counter-forums and the extent to which it is capable of mobilizing non-homogeneous groups, often by exerting substantial influence on the choices made by political decision-makers on one hand, and capable of implementing vast and widespread disinformation campaigns on the other. Like all technological instruments, also social networks can cut both ways: like two-faced Janus, they can incite terrorist violence or contribute to the consolidation of antagonist ideologies by catalyzing discontent or just as equally consolidate consensus around national and super-national political and/or military institutions. Attempts at censure in today’s democracy would be destined to fail because the web offers such a wide variety of technological solutions that any type of shutdown imposed could be bypassed. Even if the manipulation of information is not only possible but desirable in a context of information warfare between institutions and movements or between national institutions themselves, in fact, the web offers the possibly to provide counter-information also through film footage and photos taken by cell phones and transmitted via Youtube. As regards the role played by information in the contexts of both sociology and social psychology, the domination of a particular piece of information and the ability to spread it can have such profound effect on civil society that Gen. Sullivan, ex-Chief of General Staff of the US Army, once claimed that information is the equivalent of a victory on the battlefield. On the other hand, as aptly noted by Luther Blisset, theoretician of anti-establishment media warfare, it is necessary to act within the mass media communication system and fight the power structure using its own arms. In light of these considerations, the definition of war as “…a struggle of opposing wills between organizations that use any violent or coercive means (armed conflict, cold war, evident and occult coercion) available to impose their own best interests or point of view” provided by Gen. Fabio Mini appears more appropriate than ever. The relevance of this definition depends on the absence of the adjective “military” and the presence of the expression “any struggle” between organizations. This means that the previous limit on the participants in traditional war – opposing nations – disappears and gives way to an opposition between nations and economic or social groups and/or political and other types of organization. In this light, also the definition provided of netwar by Arquilla and Ronfeldt is extremely interesting because it amounts to the aggregate of activities conducted for the purpose of disturbing, damaging or modifying what a determined population knows or thinks it knows about itself and its surroundings. In other words, what the antagonists have promoted and continue to promote through the social network may be considered warfare strategy in the Minian sense of the term, and more exactly, in information warfare, and therefore in propaganda and deception or altered, deceitful and/or misleading information. As correctly observed by Capt. Alfonso Montagnese, the Social Media are instruments of mass communication and relation whose utilization takes place in cyberspace using hardware (Internet, cell phones, pc, etc.) and software (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.). Compared to traditional media channels, social media users can interact and overcome geographic limits in real-time. Yet when social networks are used in an asymmetric context of conflict (with a governmental institution or a national or multinational industry one on side with a group of alter-globalization activists on the other, for example), the opposition takes form alternately in psychological warfare (through disinformation and propaganda) and antagonistic mobilization with the expenditure of reduced resources. The political and cultural subjects that have enacted asymmetric-type oppositions can largely be grouped as national subversive groups (Marxist-Leninist groups, anarchical-insurrectionist groups); antagonist movements/extra-parliamentary powers (anti-global, environmental protection, anti-nuclear power groups, xenophobe groups, organized sports hooligans, right-wing extremist groups); non-profit associations/foundations; religious groups, and trade union/political party groups. Appropriately, Capt. Montagnese mentions the comments of Gen. Francesco Lombardi, Ce.Mi.S.S. Military Sociology Department vice-Director and Head, who emphasizes how the protest movements of the future will still manifest themselves through physical conflict, the illegal occupation of public space, demonstrations, and rioting, and as in the past will still have antagonistic ends, but will differ from those of the past in the interaction between the demonstrators themselves, between the demonstrators and the power against them, and between the demonstrators and the world at large.
Strategic warning must certainly be included among the counter-measures to be enacted, and horizon scanning is extremely important because as noted by Montagnese it permits threat trends to be monitored in the mid- and long-term, the orientation of opponent force to be identified, and their evolution to be predicted. Specifically, national security institutes must draft a Social Media Strategy capable of alternating offensive activity through influence, deception, and propaganda with defensive activities like counter-propaganda, counter-interference, and the early warning conducted through the direct or indirect use of Social Media.
The Social Network and alter-globalization
In the context of the antagonism of the alter-globalization movements, the independent networks developed by civil society in the wake of Seattle (such as Indymedia, for example) have proven to be fundamentally important in globalizing the antagonism and making it more widespread and efficacious; these activists have made use of independent networks to convey clearly defined ideological content: ecologist, pacifist, anti-militarist, anti-capitalistic. In such regard, the promoters of these networks, whether consciously or unconsciously, have adopted as reference at the levels of both topic and mobilization technique the protest movements of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s in their implementation of both virtual and operative activism. The structure of these networks is naturally horizontal and this affords a greater degree of freedom in the flow of information while precluding every form of hierarchy similar to those of traditional political organizations. At the base of these networks lies the conviction of the existence of a universal right to knowledge and networking and that this right is an essential component in the exercise of the rights of citizenship in the context of participative democracy. It is enough to consider in this regard the networks of hacker movements that trace their roots to the social movements of ‘70s, the cyberpunk/artistic avant-garde, internationalism, and the self-managed social centers in general. Specifically, during an encounter in Naples in March 2001 against the Global forum, the Italian hacker movement implemented a technique known as netstrike designed to jam institutional internet sites. Again in 2001, but this time in Genoa, the independent networks were able to create a media center capable of efficacious counter-information for the purpose of de-legitimizing the work of the law enforcement system. In Italy, the Isola nella rete – the most significant entity inside the independent network is undoubtedly important. Founded as an association in the mid-‘90s with the purpose of placing communication and mobilization tools at the disposal of social movements, through an extensive network of links, the association has constructed an authentic virtual community of the antagonists. It is enough to consider that a dossier entitled “Under Accusation” that documents the violations of individual rights during the Genoa demonstration has been created in the Isole nella rete and that the new media sociologists use the expression controversial political communication to define this new communication vehicle, intending the combination of techniques or repertory of communication actions adopted to de-legitimize national, transnational and/or determined representatives of the same as an expansion of democracy. This new approach in communication has opened representative democracy to alternating direct and indirect criticism of increasingly wider scope. Another expression employed by mass-media sociologists is “counter-democracy”, which is used to emphasize the increasingly important role played by alter-globalization movements in monitoring and criticizing the institutions that hold political and economy power in blogs, forums, on-line campaigns, and mailing lists as tools that coordinate the activities of different groups. In this sense, Facebook becomes a fundamentally important instrument of counter-information because when it is used in an antagonist context, it can transform the consumption of news articles into a participative and antagonist process at both virtual and physical level. In this regard, the experience of the Popolo viola bears much significance. Using Facebook, it has proven capable of organizing at national level a campaign such as the one entitled No Berlusconi day with great visibility. Another example of political aggregation with antagonist ends in mind is provided by Beppe Grillo’s blog, which has now become a new place of meeting, encounter, and political interaction among citizens. This blog succeeds in attracting fairly constantly a considerable participation of around 200,000 visits a day and over 1000 comments on every single posted entry; beyond that, the blog has led to the birth of around 400 local groups in over 200 cities under the name Amici di Beppe Grillo (Friends of Beppe Grillo). The blog’s operative efficacy is demonstrated by the fact that between 2007 and 2008 it proved capable of collecting from a minimum of 350,000 to a maximum of 1,350,000 signatures for a law proposal made at popular demand. At international level, another successful example of popular mobilization is certainly the American movement known as MoveOn.org, which even if it cannot be considered unequivocally a part of the alter-globalization movement has, in any case, dealt with similar questions and adopts similar operating methods. In the context of new media sociology, this organization is known as a meta organization, meaning that it is radically decentralized and possesses a number of specific characteristics, including that of consisting of an organizational core of limited dimensions that serves as both facilitator and producer of organizational processes. First of all, it has smaller size than traditional organizations because its nucleus oscillates between 20-30 people; secondly this organization does not have a physical office ands therefore has ho administration costs. In other words, in legal terms, MoveOn.org resembles a cross-linked non-profit organization. This organization has a mailing list of 5 million members and is currently the most authoritative pressure group on the US political scene at network level. Its significance is demonstrated by its role in a promotional campaign for Obama that raised 88 million dollars in 2008 and provided the future president with 933,000 volunteers. Back on the Italian scene, much of the alter-globalization movement has used freeware software to create its own websites on the basis of precise assumptions: a common struggle against multinationals and their influence, and the establishment of an alternative society to the current one based on the freedom of information and spontaneous self-organization. Above and beyond the purely idealistic motivation, it is evident that the use of freeware gives anti-global movements an undeniable economic advantage. It is no coincidence that during the 2005 World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre, Brazilian President Lula committed his nation to both freeware and open-source software. One of the most important characteristics of the anti-global organizations that use the telematic network is certainly the promotion of alternative information that lets the public participate firsthand in the management of certain aspects of communication, provides additional documentation to sympathizers of determined movements like the peace movement or the antagonistic left. Another extremely important aspect is the need to integrate information with widespread work in the territory by creating, for example, local branches that collect all the most pertinent information on the issues under consideration. Another alternative communication tool is certainly TeleStreet, or in other words, “street television” that is closely linked to the local dimension. In purely technical terms, street television is born in a neighborhood or some other small center of inhabitation. Historically speaking, street tv was born with the 1977 movement and more precisely in the free radio movement. One particularly important event regarding street tv occurred in 2003, the year when numerous Italian tv activists promoted the widespread flying of rainbow-colored peace flags in their towns. The public addressed by Italian anti-global movements – prevalently the people who use Internet through websites and mailing lists – is a global and therefore heterogeneous one. The websites Indymedia, ControllArmi and Peacelink are undoubtedly particularly significant in the context of alter-globalization movements. ControllArmi, for example, is nothing but a website that runs by the Rete Italiana per il Disarmo (Italian Disarmament Network) set up in March 2004. This network has proven capable of mobilizing its resources to report the amendments made to Law No. 185 regulating arms exports; in particular, ControllArmi was born precisely to defend Law No. 185 and obtained an impressive and significant success after applying pressure to certain influential representatives of parliamentary institutions. The establishment of ControllArmi arose from the need to exert short-term control over arms sales on one hand and general disarmament in the long-term on the other. The presence of a number of important alter-global movements such as Rete Lilluput, Attac, Arci, Acli, Fiom-Cgil, Fiom-Cisl, Pax Christi, Un ponte per…, and Emergency in the organization is significant. The study of arms and the general disarmament desired in the future can be seen in the organization’s detailed analysis of every aspect of the world of arms, starting from small arms and covering international arms brokers, nuclear arms, depleted uranium, and the economic and political problems linked to the legal and otherwise exportation of arms. Also extremely interesting are the organization’s bonds with Iansa – the global small arms control movement founded in England – and with Safer World set up to monitor and study armaments; equally significant is the pressure exerted on the European Parliament – together with Safer World – in the defense of Law No. 185.
Counter-forums and the alter-globalization movement
According to the alter-globalization movements, only diplomats or government representatives who were never publicly elected usually take part in the world’s decision-making summits, but this, on the contrary, reflects a balance of power between nations. In other words, the alter-globalization movements lay claim to a logic of direct democracy that would enable civil society movements to become key players on the international scene. The counter-forums are characterized as unofficial meetings that deal with the same problems as traditional forums but with a deeply critical stance in regard to the choices made by governments and even those of neo-liberal companies on one hand, and on the other, the counter-forums utilize operative methods far different from those used by traditional ones (including counter-information, civil disobedience, etc.). From the historical point of view, counter-forums first came into existence in the ‘60s with the Tribunal against war crimes in Vietnam created in 1967 and then in the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal founded in Algiers in 1976 and instituted in definitive form in 1979. Naturally enough the composition of these tribunals – far from being impartial and unbiased – reflects world views with a strong ideological slant: in favor of the under-developed world, anti-capitalist and anti-militarist. Another historical root of the counter-forums that Mario Pianta identifies lies in the Peace movements that developed during the ‘80s. Experts on alter-global movements explicitly acknowledge the extent to which experiences in the leftist and ecologist movements of the ‘70s and ‘80s were fundamentally important because a large part of the activists on these fronts continued their activities in alter-globalization movements. As regards the risk posed to national and transnational military institutes, it must be remembered that some of these counter-forums have questioned the need for the existence of NATO and demanded the democratization of the UN, intending by such term the widespread presence of alter-globalization organizations in UN decision-making processes. From the historical point of view, the first counter-forum undoubtedly took place in Seattle (1999) and was organized alternately by structured and unstructured groups and an articulated organization that succeeded in bringing 60,000 people to the city. The media impact created by the counter-forum was such to raise hopes of a grass-roots globalization to be achieved precisely through such counter-forums. The Davos counter-forum of 2000, the counter-forum held in April in Washington, the one held in May, 2000 in New York called the Millennium Forum with 1200 participants must also be remembered in this sense. The apogee of such counter-forums was certainly the one held in Porto Alegre in January 2000, the fruit of an alliance between the Brazilian Workers’ Party, the trade unions, and the Sem Terra and Attac movements. This event with worldwide media coverage featured the participation of 20,000 activists from every continent and was the launching pad for the counter-forum to the G8 meeting in Genoa held in July, 2001. Naturally enough, one of the reasons for which these counter-forums developed is to pose a challenge to the nation-state system and the neo-Liberalist economy on the political and economic levels. The strategy pursued by the exponents of these counter-forums was – to use Mario Pianta’s expression – alternately reformist (this approach centers its attention on procedural change and specific political choices and is a strategy developed by the NGOs for the purpose of implementing integration with inter-governmental organizations wherever possible), radical alternative (an approach that places existing concentrations of power in serious doubt and indicates new models of collective actions such as new democratic structures as alternatives to neo-Liberalist structures), and lastly the strategy of resistance, which has been particularly developed in the undeveloped world for the purpose of implementing coordinated antagonistic action at national and international level. The strategy pursued so far by institutions – above and beyond the legitimate repression of manifestations of violence – has consisted in enacting surface level modifications in their political plans on one hand and in integration through co-opting whenever possible, on the other. The UN has chosen to accept some of the demands made by civil society and to acknowledge the validity of certain anti-Liberalist choices made by numerous NGOs, permitting these latter in this way to increase the gap between transnational institutions and intensify – for example – the contrast between decisions made by NATO and those made by the UN. At any rate, it is clear that the long-term strategy pursued by the counter-forums is to implement real and therefore structural change in the system. In this sense, it is well worth analyzing certain aspects of the document issued by the Assembly of Young People’s UN in Perugia, Italy, in September 1995. Firstly, it is clear that the alter-global movement wishes to convey all transnational institutions into the United Nations system, and that member nations must abandon thinking in terms of national security as the first step towards real disarmament (and the conversion of national military institutions in an international police force under the authority or command of the United Nations). It also emerges that nations must create an unarmed, non-violent force in replacement of today’s military, and lastly, that education in peace and human rights must be initiated in public schools and training institutes. The considerations made in the Tavola della pace (The Peace Table) in the Documents of the Assembly of the People’s UN drafted in Perugia between 1995 and 1999 are particularly interesting. First of all, the authors of this document express the need to bring institutions like the World Monetary Fund and the World Bank under the control of the United Nations; they also expound the concept that member nations must abandon thinking in terms of national security once and for all; thirdly – and consequently – the pacifism theorized in the document implies disarmament, the cessation of the international arms trade, the conversion of national military institutions in an international police force under the authority or command of the United Nations, and above all the creation of an unarmed, non-violent force in gradual replacement of today’s military. In light of these proposals, the refusal of the document’s authors to legitimize rightful warfare or interference on humanitarian grounds is clearly evident; on the other hand, the authors express the need to internationalize penal law through international courts, to condemn neo-Liberalism, and above all, emphasize the determinant role that must be played by organizations coming from civil society if a positive change is to be made, organizations that play – and can play – a determinant role in the establishment of world peace, a fair economy enhanced by solidarity, the promotion of human rights and democracy. Equally significant is the idea of education that emerges clearly from the document: the authors of the Tavola della pace also emphasize the need to promote education in the principles of world peace, human rights, and non-violence in the curricula of public schools. These proposals formulated at the Tavola della pace are democratic in nature but a more careful reading – especially one capable of identifying the operative implications of these proposals – clearly reveals their substantially antagonistic nature, and therefore one of radical rupture with the existing order. The proposals that the Tavola della Pace intends to achieve are as follows: first of all the dismantling of international trade organizations and the gaining of access to the nerve centers of transnational power by first gaining credit at the institutional level at UN level, the substitution of existing institutions for the purpose of planning an international policy and economics completely opposed to the one in existence. Secondly, the Tavola della pace aims at the elimination of the existing national and transnational military institutions and their substitution with non-violent armed force. The unswerving and radical rejection of neo-Liberalism – the third aspect – induces the document’s authors to identify in fair trade and solidarity organizations – such as alternative banks such as the ethical or sustainable banks – the only feasible alternatives capable of dismantling the current commercial organizations founded on the principle of mere capitalistic profit. Lastly, the fourth aspect, the emphasis posed on educating young people in the principles of peace at school and university level, really aims at systematic psychological warfare through widespread disinformation to induce them to reject the legitimacy of military institutions, which are portrayed only as illegitimate and immoral institutions. In short, the program formulated by the Tavola della pace is to every effect a political program – and one wide in scope, to be sure – that aims at taking power – even with the use of non-violent instruments (and therefore rejecting the traditional techniques or military overthrow, terrorism or guerilla warfare) and replacing the existing military and economic institutions with others controlled by delegates from lay and religious organizations of pacifist and alter-globalization origin.
Cap. CC Alfonso Montagnese, Impatto dei Social media sulla sicurezza nazionale, OSN, 2011
Lorenzo Mosca e Christian Vaccari, Nuovi media, nuova politica? Partecipazione e mobilitazione on-line da MoveOn al movimento 5 stelle, Franco Angeli, 2011
Mario Pianta, Globalizzazione dal basso. Economia mondiale e movimenti sociali, Il Manifesto Libri, 2001
Donatella della Porta e Lorenzo Mosca, Globalizzazione e movimenti sociali, Il Manifesto Libri, 2003
Umberto Rapetto-Roberto Di Nunzio, Le nuove guerre, Bur, 2001
Francesca Veltri, La rete in movimento. Telematica e protesta globale, Rubbettino, 2005
Russia, Turkey and UAE: The intelligence services organize and investigate
The FSB (Federal’naja Služba Bezopasnosti Rossijskoj Federácii, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) – created in 1995 from the ashes of the Komitet Gosudarstvennoj Bezopasnosti (KGB), the State Security Committee – is ready for additional responsibilities under the new national security strategy. President Putin’s recent redefinition of the FSB’s role provides some indications on the national security strategy that will soon be announced – a strategy that will affect seas, borders and the security of strategically important intelligence.
On June 1, 2021 President Putin issued a decree outlining the new priorities that will be given to the FSB in Russia’s revised national security strategy, which replaces the one that officially ended last year.
The changes to the Intelligence Service’s regulatory framework, including the peripheral one, provides some indications on the Russian security priorities. Some of the main changes include additional responsibilities for intelligence security, counterterrorism, border control and stronger protection of maritime interests.
Border control and the various references to counterterrorism in its broadest sense – as recently defined by Russia – means entrusting the security service with a number of new areas and tasks, including the redefinition of procedures to detect political radicalisation.
Border control is also strengthened in the revised rules, with FSB border guards acquiring records, filing and storing biometric data and obtaining and processing DNA information obtained during border checks.
The details on access to Russian soil shed light on the Kremlin’s problems with its own fellow countrymen. In the article on the FSB’s involvement in controlling entry into Russia, the decree mentions the “territories requiring special authorisation” such as Transnistria, some parts of Georgia and Eastern Ukraine, and states that the FSB will be involved in a national programme to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Russians living abroad.
Intelligence is a valuable asset and its security has always been one of the Kremlin’s main concerns. Therefore, the new strategy makes the FSB the leading agency, not just the end user regarding computers, security and telecommunication encryption.
It will oversee and supervise the implementation of the new technological security throughout the community. All this was outlined in December in a law that redefined the role of the FSB’s Centre for State Licensing, Certification and Protection. It will grant licences for the use of “special technical means and equipment intended to receive information secretly”.
The FSB will also examine patents for classified inventions. In addition to its official role in intelligence warfare, the FSB has been tasked with producing more security measures to protect the identity of Russian intelligence agents, and keep the confidentiality of its own officials, officers and soldiers.
The Internal Security Service will also set up a new procedure to inspect agents and individuals entering the army, the intelligence services and the Federal Administration. Using the protection of marine life as an additional task, the FSB will also have increased responsibilities for the seas, including competence and powers over the protection of fishing grounds outside Russia’s exclusive economic zone, the establishment of checkpoints for fishing vessels entering or leaving the zone, and the power to suspend the right of passage for foreign vessels in certain Russian maritime zones.
The Service will also define the structure of operational offices in maritime zones. These measures follow a law adopted last October outlining the FSB’s role in “establishing control and checks in fisheries and the conservation of sea biological resources”.
An important concept in Russian history and life is the silovik. He is a representative of law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, armed forces and other structures to which the State delegates the right to use force. This concept is often extended to representatives of political groups, but also to businessmen, associated with power structures in Russia or formerly in the Soviet Union.
As a jargon term, this word is used in other languages as a broad political term in everyday conversation and in journalism to describe political processes typical of Russia or the former Soviet Union. The etymology of the word is the Russian word sila, meaning strength, force and power.
Trying to renew the aforementioned concept, President Putin provides momentum and injects new impetus into the meaning of this word. After putting the issue on the agenda of the National Security Council of May 28 last, the President is now pushing for the publication of the national security strategy. It has been delayed despite the fact that the Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation (Sovet bezopasnosti Rossijskoj Federacii), Sergej Vachrukov, had announced it was to be published in February.
As we might commonly believe, the steps to strengthen the Russian secret services are not so much focused on the aforementioned and movie-style “derby” between secret agents, but are mainly targeted to Russia’s traditional “Ottoman” adversary, namely neighbouring Turkey.
President Erdogan’s official meeting with the UAE’s National Security Advisor, Tahnun bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and the renewed ties with Abu Dhabi are the result of behind-the-scenes regional intelligence operations in which the Kremlin wants to see straight and clearly.
While there is still a deep political divide both between Russia and Turkey, and between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, the Turkish President hopes to encourage future Emirates’ investment. Turkish President Erdogan’s unprecedented meeting with the UAE’s national security representative, the aforementioned al-Nahyan, in Ankara on August 18 can be largely attributed to the work of the two countries’ intelligence services over the last few months.
There is a desire to turn a new page after eight years of icy relations, crystallised by the 2013 overthrow of Egypt’s leader Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood’s member close to Turkey and firmly opposed by the United Arab Emirates.
Steps towards reconciliation began on January 5, 2021 at the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in al-Ula. The Summit marked the end of Qatar’s isolation, thus paving the way for a resumption of relations between the UAE and Turkey. After the Summit, al-Nahyan flew to Cairo where he met President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who strongly encouraged him to begin a new chapter with Turkey.
At the same time, Egypt’s intelligence service, Mukhabarat al-Amma, engaged in secret talks with its Turkish counterpart, the Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatıı. However, it was al-Nahya’s meeting with the Turkish intelligence Chief, Hakan Fidan, in Cairo a few weeks later that achieved the first results.
That meeting was organized by the Chief of the Mukhabarat al-Amma and by Abbas Kamel, al-Sisi’s regional Director, along with Ahmed Hosni, the strongman of Jordanian Dayirat al-Mukhabarat al-Amma, that King Abdallah II had sent from Amman. Since then, there were eight additional meetings between Turkey and Abu Dhabi, which then led to the aforementioned meeting of President Erdogan with al-Nahyan, with the possibility of holding a future Summit between them.
This rapprochement still has difficulty hiding the deep divide between the two countries on key regional issues such as their respective positions on Syria and Libya, in particular. While they have managed to find some common ground for understanding – ending smear campaigns and trade blockades; resuming visa issuance; direct air links and the return of Ambassadors – President Erdogan and al-Nahyan are simply keeping quiet about their current irreconcilable differences.
Political considerations are put aside to facilitate future UAE’s investment in Turkey.
On August 25, the Emirates’ Group International Holding CO announced it would invest massively in Turkey’s health and agrifood industries, while it seems that the sovereign fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is willing to lend Turkey 875 million US dollars.
Is it just business? Russia is investigating.
Power Vacuum in Afghanistan: A By-product of An Incompetent Geopolitical Contract
I still recall the evening of December 18, 2011, when I read the news of the last U.S. troops being pulled out of Iraq, that ended an eight-year-long military involvement in the region. Somehow the news instantly gave me an uneasy feeling knowing that a catastrophic storm was awaiting and will mark the beginning of a cataclysmic civil war. Within hours of U.S. military troops leaving the land, Iraqi’s rival Sunni and Shi’ite factions resumed a kind of political infighting that threatened a lurch back into turmoil. Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered an immediate dissolution of his Sunni deputy and issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni Vice President. Not only Sunnis gradually lost the authority of power in the government and security discourse, but the Sunni elites, who challenged Maliki were subsequently either tortured or killed. Out on the streets, after the ISF raided the home of Iraq’s minister of finance, who was also a member of Iraqiya coalition, Sunni protest broke out in Fallujah; and the fire spread across the country. Iraqi Security forces killed between 50-65 civilians on Maliki’s order. This led to the most notorious consortium in the history of global terrorism – an alliance between the Sunnis and ISIS. On July 21, 2013, ISIS initiated a 12-month campaign called the ‘Soldier’s Harvest’ on Iraqi security forces, teamed up with Sunni tribal leaders and former Baathists, and ultimately forcing ISF to evacuate Fallujah and remnants of its government. Soon after, ISIS attacked Abu Ghraib prison freeing up to 1000 minacious inmates, including senior al-Qaida leaders and militants. Empowered and endued with Sunni support, ISIS officially seized Fallujah, parts of Ramadi and Mosul, by June 2014. By gripping Mosul alone, ISIS gained $480 million in stolen cash and armed itself with two divisions’ worth of military weapons and ammunition that were left behind by the U.S. military troops. And, within six months, ISIS became the world’s most well-funded and equipped terrorist group in the world – controlling approximately 100,00 square kilometers of territory across Iraq and Syria at its zenith. Not just the Middle East, ISIS spread its terror tyranny globally as well with strategic attacks on Paris and Brussels.
So, what led to the birth of ISIS? Two words – Power vacuum; and the U.S. policy in Iraq between 2010 and 2011 actively created this geopolitical conditions in which ISIS thrived.
Stages of Power Vacuum – From The Birth of ISIS in Iraq to Rise of The Taliban in Afghanistan
If one thing that we have learned from the U.S led invasion in Iraq is that an incompetent geopolitical contract abhors a political vacuum. In political science, the term power vacuum is an analogy that deconstructs and artificially manufactures power relations and political conditions in a country that has no identifiable central power or authority. In a critical situation like this, the inflow of armed militia, insurgents, warlords, dictators, and military coups to fill this vacuum becomes an organic response, and it comes with a cost – the cost being a noxious civil war and national unrest. On the other hand, a power vacuum can also thrive in conditions following a constitutional crisis where the majority of the ruling government entities resign or are removed, giving birth to an unclear anecdote regarding succession to the position of power.
What happened in Iraq starting December 2011, and what is happening in Afghanistan today in 2021, is a result of a power vacuum – a by-product of an incompetent geopolitical contract. Twenty years after being forced into power annihilation by the U.S led military bases in Afghanistan, the Taliban is now actively resuming its power as the U.S continues to execute its full exit. Within hours of Joe Biden announcing the official termination of U.S military involvement in the country, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani worded a farewell post on social media, vocalizing that he must leave the country to prevent bloodshed. Today, the only remnant left of his political presence is his departing statement, “Long Live Afghanistan.” With the President fleeing the country, and creating a constitutional crisis of succession to the position of power, what we are witnessing is the manifestation of the initial stage of power vacuum. Soon after the President abandoned the country, the Taliban released a statement declaring that the group has taken over Kabul, a capital city of 6 million civilians, and is working to restore law and order. Considering the reputation of the Taliban – infamous for brutality, repression of women, and execution of religious minorities in the past, the idea of restoration of law and order appears antagonistic.
However, I am not interested in deconstructing the inimical and deleterious ideologies of the Taliban, but unfolding the mechanisms of the power vacuum in Afghanistan. With the Taliban now actively trying to fill this power vacuum created after Ghani’s disappearance, the second stage is at play. The primary question here is not about who will form the national government, but what type of alliance will be established among entities to procure this power. The typology of this alliance – its fundamental values, utility, durability, and workability, will regulate Afghanistan’s democracy and sovereignty in the coming years. If one turns back to 2011 in Iraq, you will recall how the alliance between Sunni tribal leaders and ISIS gave birth to a global terror reign. This was a direct result of abysmal policy deliberation and the abrupt exit of the U.S military troops from Iraq. So, the question is – now that the U.S military troop has ended its twenty-year-long involvement in Afghanistan, what type of alliance will be formed to fill this power vacuum? Will it be as catastrophic as Iraq? As the Taliban continues to coercively occupy the cities, Matthew Levitt, Director of Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy adds, “The possibility is very strong that Afghanistan will have both – a weak government and a government that has a close alliance with the elements of al-Qaeda. To add, there is an element of ISIS, ISIS Khorasan, as well. Although the Taliban doesn’t like them, but as we are witnessing the effort to evacuate people through Kabul airport and the threats of ISIS suicide bombers coming into Kabul, the fact is that the Taliban probably won’t for a very long time have control over all of the city, let alone all of the country. So, there will be an element of a safe haven even for groups that the Taliban doesn’t like – groups and alliances that will use Afghanistan as a base from which to operate and carry out terrorist attacks nationally and globally.”
It is worth noting that the alliance between the Taliban and al-Qaeda started with its leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, who pledged their allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar in kid 1990s, and accepted Omar as Amir al-Mu’minin (Commander of the Faithful) of all Sunni Muslims. Al-Zawahiri later re-affirmed this pledge to Omar’s successors. Soon after, al-Qaeda gained substantial freedom to operate in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. In return, al-Qaeda doled out money to the Taliban. Since then, to up till now, the alliance between Taliban and al-Qaeda has flourished mutually. Soon after the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda congratulated the group and spoke about their alliance for Kashmir liberation in India. A letter was addressed to the Taliban by al-Qaeda and was shared on Twitter by a journalist. It read, “Allah! liberate the Levant, Somalia, Yemen, Kashmir, and the rest of the Islamic lands from the clutches of the enemies of Islam.”
If this alliance continues to grow stronger to seize power, the probable birthing of one of the deadliest terror organizations is certain – a terror entity that would not only have passive support of the Taliban but would surpass the atrocities committed by ISIS in Iraq. This is a direct result of Biden’s ham-fisted deliberation to exit Afghanistan abruptly, leaving a space to harbor national unrest, the collapse of a democratically elected government, procurement of this political vacuum by insurgents, and brutal violence by the Taliban against its civilians. In short – the fall down of Afghanistan democracy.
The third stage of the power vacuum is yet to mature in Afghanistan. This stage expediates the process of procurement of power, if any of the entities trying to seize power acquires economic funding and gets equipped with advanced military weapons. Jan Pieterzoon Coen, a leading officer of the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, said, “There’s no trade without war; there’s no war without trade”. He was right. The establishing of power requires a trade that allows an alliance of immaterial ideology between groups and hoarding of material resources (weapons and money) to execute the ideology. In 2011, the Islamic State armed itself with two divisions’ worth of military weapons and ammunition that were left behind by the U.S military troops. They used these weapons to terrorize the civilians, execute opposition, and expand their captured territory. Another material resource may include stolen or funded cash apart from military machinery. For example, by gripping Mosul alone, ISIS gained $480 million in stolen cash. And, within six months, ISIS became the world’s most well-funded and equipped terrorist group in the world – controlling approximately 100,00 square kilometers of territory across Iraq and Syria at its zenith. So, what we observe here is that the acquisition of economic funding or military weapons gives birth to an effectively exercised political control through coercive means, and internalization of this coercive mechanisms by the civilians. In both cases, the mission is accomplished – an attempt to seize power vacuum by occupying the land and psyche of its civilians. Today, a similar narrative is at play in Afghanistan. The speed with which the Taliban swept across Afghanistan is reminiscent of Islamic State militants taking weapons from the U.S.- supplied Iraqi forces, who like the Afghan Air Force offered little resistance. Grey Myer and Scott Neuman writes, “The Taliban wasted no time in gloating over their new war booty. Photos and video posted to social media show the Taliban posing with captured aircraft, trucks, Humvees, artillery guns and night-vision goggles captured. Such equipment could be used to suppress internal dissent or fight off their rivals. Before the Taliban captured it, the Afghan air force had more than 40 operational U.S.-made MD-530 helicopters. The Taliban has already shown itself ready and willing to use U.S.-made small arms and other technology. Non-weaponry technology like the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment, U.S. devices containing biometric data, could be used to find potential threats in hiding. I have fallen into the hands of Taliban.” This stage is climacteric
in materializing the procurement of power into a reality. Even if they would be protest in Afghanistan against the rise of the Taliban as the central power, Taliban will use the overwhelming amount of potential weaponry to stifle the dissent and expand their captured territory to places like Panjshir valley.
Who will procure the power in Afghanistan?
The Taliban will eventually seize power, but it would form a weak government, with under-the-table alliance with al-Qaeda; and would potentially foster the inflow and breeding of other groups like ISIS and ISIS Khorasan in Afghanistan. With opium and rich copper deposits, the international intervention is likely to be seen – motivated by self-interest as opposed to the interest of advocating for civil rest and peace in Afghanistan. Beijing has already held a talk with Taliban officials over the implementation for strategic engagement. It is highly possible that the $25 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is extended to Afghanistan now that the U.S has vacated the country. Financial support would most likely be delivered hand-in-hand with Beijing’s strongest ally in the region – Pakistan, allowing the Chinese government to persuade the Taliban to sever links with East Turkestan Islamic Movement group, who have executed terrorist attacks in Xinjiang province. On the other side of the border, India – a Hindu extremist governed country, is also in injudicious talks with the Taliban. Taliban’s close association with al-Qaeda can potentially create a political defilement and unrest in Kashmir, India. This may manifest into border security threat and infiltration of terrorists – manufactured by al-Qaeda, but with the Taliban’s blessings as the central power. To conclude, to think of Afghanistan as a ‘graveyard of empires’ is a zombie narrative. It is being revived to deflect, distract and distort the failure of Biden and the U.S military policies in Afghanistan. The truth is far simpler than we complicate – The creation of a power vacuum in Afghanistan is a direct result of abysmal foreign policy deliberation and the abrupt exit of the U.S military troops. It is indeed a by-product of an incompetent geopolitical contract. Biden’s administration must be held accountable for harbouring a space for demolition of a democratically elected government and rise of the Taliban terror in Afghanistan.
The establishment of a communist Shiite state in Afghanistan
Given the internationally known Egyptian researcher’s specialization in Chinese and Asian political affairs, specifically the (academic and research studies related to communist and leftist currents and movements around the world, especially connected with China and perhaps the Russia’s ideological stance on them in the first place), as well as my research and academic area of endeavor to internationally study and analysis of the development of communist movements and currents, and leftism waves internationally, and by applying this to the Afghan interior landscapes, after the Taliban movement’s control and trying to analyze the impact of my mentioned above analysis on the intellectually, organizationally and politically dispute between (Da’esh organization “ISIS” in Afghanistan with the leaders of Taliban movement), the Egyptian researcher reached out to an important conclusion, which she will later try to accurately prove it, through the gate of Russian-Chinese-Iranian control over the Afghan interior lands, through spilling over of the (Shiite sectarian and communist ideological game), in view of the intersection of the China, Russia and Iran agenda by spreading the (communist, leftist, nationalist ideologies, then spilling on the Iranian Shiite sectarian), as an attempt to deradicalize the Afghan jihadist movement of the Taliban movement and possibly the Da’esh organization “ISIS”, through (reviving the Afghan Liberation Party) against the ideology of Da’esh organization “ISIS” and Taliban leaders, and searching for the Afghan old leaders of the (Afghani Communist Party) related to China and the old legacy and inheritage of the Soviet “USSR”.
Hence, the Egyptian researcher analyzed that the success of Russia, China and Iran in (establishing and reviving communist ideology and Shiite doctrine) is the (only guarantee) for them at the present time, to confront the influence of Da’esh organization “ISIS” on the one hand, and perhaps to confront the “Taliban insurgency” in the future on the other hand, as the ideological and doctrinal gate is a real guarantee to support – although it requires a relatively long effort to support and study – the feet of the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians inside Afghanistan.
Here, we find that the expected American withdrawal from Afghanistan after its failure may have come as a result of very many factors that Washington could not predict or study well, which was met with a kind of (ideological and sectarian propaganda) in the three countries “China, Russia, and Iran”, with the celebration of all means of communication. The official Chinese media, its think tanks and research centers talked about the American failure in Afghanistan in terms of the (failure of the Western liberal-democratic American model and values in the face of Chinese anti-communist propaganda by their victory over the misleading American values of human rights and the dissemination of American liberal democracy), and others.
Perhaps this was confirmed by the Egyptian researcher during an international meeting as a press interview with me, published in the Iranian famous newspaper of (Tehran Times), on August 27, and then the dialogue of the Russian diplomat “Dmitry Polansky”, who is the current (first permanent deputy of the Russian mission to the United Nations), on August 29, In the same Iranian newspaper.
Noting that the Iranian journalist (Mohammed Mazhari), who hosted me and the Russian diplomat at the United Nations “UN” for the interview, is one of the most famous Iranian journalists.
With my strong belief that Iran has carefully selected and nominated the personalities with whom it conducted the interview, regarding the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, as evidenced by my interview with the (Russian delegate at the current permanent mission to the United Nations), given my closeness to the Chinese side and all of its files in the Middle East, and my extensive study of all files of interest to the Chinese in the region with its (Russia and Iran allies) from an academic research point of view, as well as for my internationally well-known academic relations with all sides, and my internationally participation on an almost daily basis with American and Western research groups, mainly for discussion and analyzing of all developments related to China, Asia and the world, with my attempts to focus analytically on the effects of any international events on the Middle East and the Arab world, given my affiliation with that region. With the keenness of all concerned international academic parties to provide me on a daily basis with all international publications, writings and analyzes related to China’s relations with the United States of America, and my keenness as an international well-known known Egyptian researcher and academician to academically and analytically understand and express for the views of all parties, with my full acknowledgment, that we are still missing in our Arab world to a clear academic and research role, and the presence of international think tanks in our Arab region is capable of providing our Arab street with various ideas, analyzes and opinion polls that are always neutral and new, about (Chinese, Russian, Iranian, Turkish, Israeli, Asian parties) and others, to see all the analyzes of each of them according to his point of view by focusing on my research areas in Chinese political affairs, balancing with my current attempt to analyze and present these issues to the Egyptian public opinion and the Arab peoples, and analytically add to it to serve our orientations and thought in our relations with the great and regional powers in the region.
The Egyptian researcher is still believing that – and I think that everyone agrees with me and shares this opinion completely with me – that the post-pandemic (Covid-19) world is in dire need of peaceful initiatives in all aspects, away from the ideas of hegemony, control, dependence and unilateralism, and even away from the logic of alliances and dividing the world on “fighting fronts”, as the Americans did, by dividing the peoples of the world even at the technological level, with the American logic of that (peoples who follow authoritarian digital technology are non-democratic following China, and others adopt liberal democratic digital technology according to the American Western approach), which is inconceivable from my point of view, compared to the supposed role to be entrusted with the great and major powers around the world to serve the developing and poor peoples around the world. And this is the problem that the researcher is trying to study and analysis it academically by deeply research and transfer it to the region, given that everything that happens between the major and regional powers in the world, inevitably affects our Arab region and our peoples, whereas benefits of the region and its future directions, because, as I have mentioned, and I am still rejecting the principle of (dividing the world into alliances and advocating the principles of multilateral cooperation, multilateralism and cooperation among all for a better future for humanity and for all humanity), as a Chinese principle expressed and stressed out by the Comrade “Xi Jinping”, who has always advocated in all his current political speeches.
Accordingly, the Egyptian researcher will seek to try to trace the effects of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan on the (future and evaluation of the possibility of spreading the communist and leftist ideology of the Chinese Communist Party and spreading the Shiite doctrine on the Iranian model) to de-radicalize the Taliban and ISIS in general, according to the Egyptian researcher’s analytical point of view, and she will also present it Below, through her analysis, that the (gateway to the Russian-Chinese and Iranian interests in Afghanistan, whether economic or political, begins with spreading the communist ideology and re-establishing it inside Afghanistan, then spreading the Iranian Shiite doctrine through the minority Hazara and Tajik Shiites inside Afghanistan to defuse the extremism of the Taliban movement and the terrorist leaders of ISIS) to protect the interests of the three concerned mainly countries, are: “China, Russia, and Iran”, through the (ideological and sectarian door).
Here, the Egyptian researcher will develop a major analysis consisting of (several basic points to explain the interests of China and its allies in Afghanistan), and then my comprehensive analysis of how to preserve those interests through the dissemination of “communist ideology and Shiite sectarianism” to ensure their survival in Afghanistan and the exercise of a great regional role and influence.
What is noticeable here is that China is seeking to achieve several strategies in Afghanistan, the most important of which are: (fighting terrorism and expanding investments), as Beijing wants to achieve several major main goals in cooperation with its allies (Russia and Iran), and by subsequent planning that achieving those interests is done (ideologically and doctrinally). The Egyptian researcher will also analyze this, as follows:
1) China, with the help and support of Russia and Iran, wants it to prevent any contact between the “Taliban movement” and the Islamic militants of the China’s Uyghur minority who seek independence from China), who belong to the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement”, and who are accused of belonging to the Taliban activists in Afghanistan.
2) China seeks to expand its relations with the Taliban movement, and to integrate it into its global project of the Belt and Road, mainly through the Pakistani and Iranian gates.
3) Beijing views Afghanistan as the (main link between the Central Asian republics close to Russia, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) “CPEC”, as Afghanistan is a short-cut way to link (Central Asia and South Asia, and then between China and the Middle East), and Afghanistan is a gateway to the Arabian Sea.
4) China is trying to make a strategic partnership with both Pakistan and Afghanistan to form what is known as the “Pamir Mountain Range”, which aims to establish a (new Silk Road linking the Caucasus with western China).
5) China considers (Pamir Mountains) as a strategic trade route linking the (city of Kashgar in the Xinjiang region of China to the city of Kokand in Uzbekistan on the Northern Silk Road).
6) Beijing continues its security relations with the help of Pakistan and Russia, and Iranian monitoring of the situation with the leaders of the (Taliban movement) to control the movements of Uyghur extremists belonging to the (East Turkistan Movement) and their extensions inside Afghanistan and the Middle East.
7) Beijing seeks to deepen security relations with Taliban leaders to preserve their interests. For example, Beijing invited representatives of the Taliban to visit it twice, during June and September 2019, to hold talks with Chinese officials, with the Egyptian researcher noting that this visit came during the American presence and the presence of the “NATO forces” inside Afghanistan.
8) Also, as it was rumored, China has a military base in Afghanistan, located in the (Wakhan Corridor mountain range) in Afghanistan, in order to protect China geographically and geopolitically from the movement of extremist elements from the Taliban and Turkistan Uyghurs to and from Afghanistan and the “Xinjiang” region in China, where it participates China crossed its border with Afghanistan through (Wakhan Corridor).
9) China is also trying to support its influence in Afghanistan to monitor all those (regional powers surrounding Afghanistan), which have close relations or competition with China.
10) China seeks, through its proximity to Afghanistan and Taliban leaders, to (protect its investments with Pakistan), in particular the (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) “CPEC”, and the Pakistani port of Gwadar), as well as its proximity to its strategic ally of (Iran).
11) China’s presence in Afghanistan can be close to the (State of Tajikistan), and its investments, especially after “Tajikistan” has been joined the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
12) China oscillates between opening up to the Taliban movement or supporting the anti-alliance against it, as China feared the (Taliban) after seizing power in the capital Kabul in 1996, and China also supported its ally Iran after the (Taliban movement) killed eight Iranian diplomats in the (city of Mazar-i-Sharif) of Afghanistan in 1998.
13) China sought to support Tehran in proximity to the (anti-Taliban Northern Alliance) prior to the 2001, whereas the USA led an invasion against Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.
14) There are Iranian attempts to convince its ally, China, that Iran’s Shiite minority in Afghanistan is the key and China’s eye of the Taliban leaders, through the (Hazara and Tajik Shiite minority) in Afghanistan.
15) China fears the rise of Da’esh organization “ISIS”, and the joining of more than five thousand Uyghur fighters to the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq “ISIS”, and fears that they will target China’s interests, so China developed a (security rapprochement strategy) from the Taliban movement to serve its interests in striking the “ISIS” and its extremist elements who joined these terrorist and extremist groups.
16) China, with the help and support of its ally Iran, is seeking to “secure their extended borders with Afghanistan and establish a buffer zone”, extending from the (province of Helmand in southern Afghanistan to the province of Kunduz in the north of the country), especially with the Taliban’s control of large parts of the provinces of (Helmand and Kunduz).
17) Also, China tends to believe that the (threat of the Taliban movement is less than the threat posed by “ISIS”), which is also present in Afghanistan.
18) The most dangerous thing for China after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan remains that it has a role in the (future of Afghanistan), through openness to all its components and forces, including, the “Taliban movement”, given the movement’s continued strength and effectiveness in the (internal Afghan balances), especially that shift of the major factor after the (Taliban’s control of more than 90% of the Afghan territorial lands after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan).
19) The most dangerous thing for the Egyptian researcher remains, with the existence of some security links for several years between the (Taliban leaders and the governments of China and Iran), as a part of (security relations and regional understandings), and to complement this important point, this explains the reasons for the (Taliban’s condemnation of the killing of the Iranian general “Qassem Soleimani”, as the commander of the Quds Force in Iraq), who was previously accused by the US administration of supporting the Taliban movement financially and logistically.
20) China’s motives in Afghanistan range from (fighting terrorism and containing the Taliban with the help and support of its ally the Russian bear), and this appeared after the invasion led by the United States of America, with praise from Russia and China, and the assertion of the Russian President (Vladimir Putin) that:
“Washington bore the burden of fighting terrorism at Afghanistan, and now we should make a campaign to purge Afghanistan from the quagmire of terrorism to the end”
21) And the most dangerous thing that drew the attention of the Egyptian researcher, is that despite the (Chinese-Russian agreement) on the threat of the “Taliban movement”, as a serious terrorist threat, Russia, with Chinese support, was playing a major role in (fighting the Taliban) as a corridor to supply American forces in its war Against the Taliban in Afghanistan from 2009-2015, with assurances of Russia’s contribution and support to Washington with several (military helicopters) in this effort against the terrorist leaders of the Taliban, with Chinese support for the Russian side in this context.
22) But the major transformation in the (relationship between Russia, China and the Taliban movement) has turned into something like a (security alliance) between the aforementioned parties, due to the emergence of the threat of (ISIS).
23) We find here joint Russian-Chinese fears of the threat of ISIS spreading to the (Chinese Muslim region of Xinjiang, and the Central Asian republics close to Russia’s borders and were part of the historical legacy of the Soviet Union), so both Russia and China will be the (supporters to the Taliban movement in the face of Da’esh organization “ISIS”).
24) Also, the (tense relations of China and Russia with the United States of America and the West), especially because of issues of trade competition or because of the increase in their military sales as Chinese and Russian-made weapons to anti-Western regimes and Washington, or because of those economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the West on Moscow after its decision The 2014 annexation of Crimea, and China’s support for Russia in this direction, all led to an increase in the rapprochement between Russia, China and the leaders of the Taliban movement.
25) The Egyptian researcher believes that (Russia and China) are now playing within the (theory of exchanging roles with the United States after its withdrawal in Afghanistan).
26) We also find the (Chinese-Russian alliance to find security solutions for Taliban leaders), through China’s agreement to host Moscow (two international conferences) that include leaders from the Taliban movement to discuss and explain the (current Afghan peace process), and Taliban leaders were invited, as well as parties from the Afghan jointly supervised by Sino-Russian.
27) Perhaps the very dangerous thing, on which the Egyptian researcher stopped a lot, is the accusations made by the American media, specifically, on July 2020 against the (Russian Military Intelligence Unit, with the Chinese support for it), by offering secret rewards to Taliban leaders, to encourage (armed extremists). Taliban to kill US and “NATO forces” stationed in Afghanistan.
28) We find here, despite the Russian and Chinese denials of the authenticity of these reports, but this has contributed to shedding light on mysterious Chinese-Russian dealings in Afghanistan, according to the American description of them.
29) We find that China and Russia have major interests after the withdrawal of the United States of America from Afghanistan in order to achieve the (strategy of containing the Taliban movement), especially because the (Taliban movement) is located, intertwined and intersected on the thorny, which is intertwined and linked with the important borders of both China and Russia, which are considered as their sphere of influence in a chain of mountain corridor and the Khan for China or in the Central Asian republics for Russia), and the use of the Taliban movement in the face of the Americans to prove and confirm their influence as the superpowers in the world.
30) The most dangerous relationship, which the Egyptian researcher has analytically observed, remains with China’s attempt to (ideologically) infiltrate the Afghan lands by promoting the failure of the (liberal model and Western American democratic rule, and seeking to revive and activate the Afghan leftist and communist ideological propaganda at home with the help of revolutionary movements that are ideologically close to China), especially the (Afghan Liberation Party and the old Afghan Communist Party leaders), who are closely related to the Chinese old leaders as well.
31) The Egyptian researcher paused a lot, as a new advanced analytical aspect of it, and as a future outlook on the relationship between the speech of Chinese President (Xi Jinping) at the (Central Conference on National Affairs in Beijing) on Saturday, August 28, 2021, and Beijing’s ideological attempt for communist, intellectual and revolutionary rapprochement with Leaders of (Afghan Liberation Party) opposed to the Taliban’s control of Afghanistan’s rule, despite the agreement of their agendas on the need to confront Washington and “NATO leaders” in Afghanistan.
32) Where the speech of Chinese President (Xi Jinping), who is also serving as a (General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China) at the (Central Conference on National Affairs), on Saturday, August 28, 2021, whose sessions are held for two days in the capital (Beijing) to discuss Chinese Minority Affairs, by calling for:
“Strengthening and Improving the Work of the Communist Party of China in National Affairs”
– As President Xi’s statement has focused on:
“The urgent need to consolidate a sense of belonging to the Chinese nation and adopt approaches with Chinese characteristics in dealing with national issues, promote high-quality development of the work of the Communist Party on national affairs in the coming years, and accelerate modernization in ethnic minority areas, concurrent with the need to improve the rule of law in the “Ethnic Minority Affairs” to prevent potential dangers and threats facing these groups, stress the importance of ethnic unity as the basis for China’s unified development, and call upon all the people of the entire Chinese nation to work together towards the goal of building a modern socialist country”
33) Here, the Egyptian researcher will make a greater leap to link between the speech of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, and the communist ideology of the Chinese Communist Party, and what the Egyptian researcher analyzed and highlighted as the most important words of Comrade “Xi Jinping” in the (Central Conference for National Affairs) on Saturday, August 28, 2021 in the capital of Beijing, and achieving:
“Chinese ideological rapprochement with the old senior and central leaderships of the Communist Party of Afghanistan” (Maoist), which mainly called (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan), then, the establishment of the “Afghan National Army”
34) With the Egyptian researcher’s attempt to trace the roots of the founding of the (Afghan People’s Democratic Party) and its relationship with China and Russia as well through (the ideological, not the economic, gateway), it became clear that there are old ideological communist links between the Afghan communists and the ancient Chinese communists.
35) Rather, the Egyptian researcher analyzed another matter, related to the same (the Russian left and communist ideological game of rapprochement with the old communists of Afghanistan and the revival of their old ties with the Soviet legacy), through the (Afghan Communist Party), which was initially established in 1965 in Afghanistan, with a great support from the Soviet Union, neighboring Afghanistan at the time.
36) The ties on which Russia is based ideologically with the help of China to revive the old communist and leftist revolutionary ideological hopes in Afghanistan remains the help of the Afghan Communist Party, led by the communist (Mohammed Daoud Khan) with Soviet help for him at the time, in the coup against his cousin (Muhammad Zahir Shah), who founded the (Republic of Afghanistan), however, shortly after the communist coup in Afghanistan, (Daoud Khan) became against the Afghan Communist Party itself, therefore, the Afghan government pursued the Afghan communists at that time, and worked to cut their relations with the Soviet Union in 1987.
36) Perhaps the Egyptian researcher has analyzed something dangerous that no international study has addressed, related to the (Sino-Russian communist ideological future in Afghanistan to revitalize their future roles as a matter of reviving the old nationalist and revolutionary communist projects), through the revival of the (Afghan Communist Party). Reviving and establishing the (Afghan National Army) and increasing and supporting their influence in Afghanistan militarily and economically, but through (the communist ideological portal), and with the return of the Egyptian researcher to the history of communism and leftism in Afghanistan, she found that the Afghan National Army fought against the former Afghan government and was able to depose the president (Mohammed Daoud Khan) from the presidency, and founding the (Democratic Republic of Afghanistan).
37) The Russian and Chinese leaders have also taken an increasing interest in (Afghan Liberation Party), which is largely present in Afghanistan, has leftist revolutionary ideas, and a political agenda that converges with the Taliban movement, such as: the expulsion of the Americans and “NATO forces” from Afghan lands, but (Hizb ut Tahrir Al-Afghani) has an anti-Taliban ideology, in its extremism and its extremist approach.
38) Hence, the Chinese and Russian leaders began to pay more attention to (Afghan Liberation Party), starting in 2015, especially its secret network of relations with (the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, Iran and the Shiite minority of Hazara and Tajik in Afghanistan, close to Tehran), as a guarantee for them to be inside Afghanistan, after the success of (Afghan Liberation Party) to infiltrate many (Afghan youth organizations), and that it operates as a (civil wing of many Shiite groups), including the (Lebanese armed group Hezbollah).
39) What the Egyptian researcher stopped at a lot and as a (future insight) to her, is her search for the hidden and underlying reasons behind the silence and negativity of the Afghan government during and throughout the presence of the American forces and “NATO” inside Afghanistan, and the silence of the legitimate government of Afghanistan, which basically enjoys the confidence of the Americans and the international community regarding the activity of (Afghan Liberation Party), which adopted a largely negative approach in dealing with (Afghan Liberation Party), which sparked widespread criticism in some Afghan political circles during the period of the Americans and “NATO” control over the Afghan lands themselves.
40) Hence, the Egyptian researcher found that the (lack of the seriousness of Afghan officials’ dealing with the Afghan Liberation Party, and their failure to take it seriously), confirms her theory of the (Sino-Russian rapprochement with the (Afghan Liberation Party), perhaps with the help of the same legitimate Afghan government supported by the US and internationally) and their support for it. This led to the growing influence enjoyed by the Afghan Liberation Party in (rural and urban areas) inhabited by a majority of Sunnis, despite the presence of large Shiite elements linked to “Tehran and the Lebanese Shiite group of Hezbollah”.
41) It became clear here to the Egyptian researcher, that (Afghan Liberation Party) inevitably and certainly constitutes a great threat to any upcoming Afghan regime and affects even the influence of the “Taliban movement”, which controls large parts of the country, due to the party’s acquisition mainly of the attention of foreign actors in the Afghan state, and it was headed by China and Russia, without anyone paying attention to that with highlighting, studying, researching and analyzing.
42) When the Egyptian researcher studied the origins of the “Afghan Liberation Party”, it became clear to her that it is an (unofficial party), since it began to work (unofficially) in opposition to the US-backed Afghan government since 2003. And he set his ultimate goal in “overthrowing the Afghan government, which is backed mainly by the United States”.
43) In order to achieve the Chinese, Russian and also Iranian ideology in the face of Washington, the Egyptian researcher analyzed the modus operandi of the “Afghan Liberation Party”, which consists of several (various stages), which are as follows:
– First: The Afghan Liberation Party is trying to mobilize the population to cooperate with it, by spreading anti-state propaganda, and working to achieve this by publishing books, magazines, periodicals and brochures on its official website.
– Second: The party is trying to penetrate society through mosques, universities, and religious schools in Afghanistan.
– Third: Hizb ut-Tahrir’s goal is to overthrow the Afghan government backed by the United States (mainly peacefully) during the political process. Although he relied on peaceful efforts at the beginning, but he believes that if all these peaceful steps fail, he intends to use force or violent jihad to overthrow the former legitimate Afghan government led by (Hamid Karzai and then Ashraf Ghani).
– Fourth: Hizb ut-Tahrir believes that (ISIS) has distorted the Afghan people’s perceptions of what the (Islamic State) should look like, in agreement with (Russian, Chinese and Iranian orientations), due to (ISIS) intense focus on violence and brute force.
Here, we can find that (Da’esh Organization) or “ISIS” – according to the Afghan Liberation Party – is heavily influenced by outsiders, because it has no ideological basis to rely on.
Through this comprehensive analysis of the Egyptian researcher, it becomes clear the presence, linkage and intersection of (communist and leftist ideology in the relationship of China and Russia with Afghanistan and the leaders of the Taliban movement inside the Afghan interior landscape itself).
The Egyptian researcher also analyzed the pattern and intensity of Russian and Chinese dependence on the (Hazara and Tajik Shiite minority in Afghanistan, supported mainly by Tehran), in the face of the Taliban movement, both before and after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as the existence of a kind of (secret coordination of the leaders of the Afghan Liberation Party of the Shiite sect with Iran and the Shiite Hazara minority supported by Tehran in the Afghan interior, while seeking to penetrate areas of work and the presence of the Sunni majority in Afghanistan).
The Egyptian researcher’s analyzes remain of the text and content of the last speech of Chinese President “Xi Jinping” at the “Chinese National Minorities Conference in Beijing” at the end of August 2021, with an analysis of the connotations of his words and the depth of meanings said by Comrade “Xi Jinping’s speech”, by emphasizing the need to revive Chinese national projects, the great Chinese nation, and the Chinese dream to exist around the world and protect its influence and borders through the gateway of ethnic and national minorities in the Chinese state, which prompted the Egyptian researcher, in a previous and comprehensive manner, to analyze the (ideological relations between the Afghan communists, especially the old ones, with the old leaders of the Chinese Communist party as well as the Russian side, given their intertwined relations with the old legacy of the Soviets and their support for the Afghan Communists).
The new and final analysis of the Egyptian researcher remains emphasizing the agenda of both the (Afghan Liberation Party and the old Afghan National Democratic People’s Communist Party), by reviving the work of the (Afghan National Army), which may coincide with the future Chinese, Russian and Iranian efforts to have a permanent and continuous presence inside Afghanistan.
Therefore, the final outcome of the future game for the Egyptian researcher remains the (ideological game), in view of the agenda of China, Russia and Iran to spread (communist leftist, nationalist ideological agenda and then Shiite sectarian), as an attempt to (de-radicalize Afghani jihadist movement of the Taliban) and perhaps the Da’esh organization (ISIS), through the (revival of the Afghan Liberation Party against the ideology of ISIS and the Taliban and the Afghan Communist Party).
From here, the Egyptian researcher found that the success of Russia, China and Iran in (establishing and reviving communist ideology and Shiite doctrine) is the only guarantee for them to confront the influence of ISIS and possibly the Taliban rebellion in the future, and a real guarantee to entrench the Russian, Chinese and Iranian feet inside the Afghan interior landscape.
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