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A Strange New World of War: China’s ‘Pivot’ to the Greater Caspian

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Due to changes in recent geopolitical events, Russia and China cooperate and coordinate politically, militarily, and economically to an extraordinary degree. This new teamwork almost always carries a tinge of anti-Western and anti-American implications.  

Russia and China and an assembly of smaller states such as Iran are committed to remove America from its role as sole geopolitical leader in the world. Their collective objective is to capitalize on the lack of an American response to their combined regional and global relevance. The China-Russia Axis now cooperates against American interests in almost every imaginable area. The level of this global cooperation presents a very serious challenge to the global status quo.

The new coordination between China and Russia is not only visible in massive economic agreements that exclude the U.S. dollar but in other areas as well. China has been emulating the Russian strategy of micro-territorial expansion, by claiming various disputed islands in the East and South China Seas. Both nations tend to use their energy resources and other raw materials as strategic leverage in the global economic market. Both Moscow and Beijing have been blamed for large-scale anti-American cyberwarfare, leading to massive intelligence theft and industrial espionage. It is also important to note that China is converting its oil imports into Yuan as opposed to the U.S. dollar and Russia is wholeheartedly behind this maneuver. This is concerning to America as it is anticipated that China will soon assume the role of the world’s biggest oil importer along with its recent achievement of making the Yuan a world reserve currency. Both Russia and Iran are now using Yuan instead of the U.S. dollar for all oil sales with China.

This mutual economic geostrategy is what holds China and Russia together most of all. Their bilateral trade rose to $95 billion in 2014. While the trade numbers are impressive, the reality is that China cannot ignore the fact that U.S. is its top trading partner while the E.U. is for Russia. At this time China cannot afford to sacrifice or isolate the lucrative U.S. market entirely. And while the United States is aware of this “axis of convenience” between Russia and China, the primary task ahead for the U.S. is to determine how to reset its relationship with both China and Russia before it is too late. If the current economic geostrategy is not stopped by 2040, then China’s GDP could be 40% of world GDP.

In addition to Russia, China and Iran have negotiated ways to cooperate on civilian nuclear power as well as increasing their mutual oil business interests. It is clear that China is achieving its goal of having Middle East countries turn to Beijing for economic benefits, weapons trade, and technology. In its fight against the American “Pivot to Asia,” China has turned out to be a skilled and capable negotiator. Maybe that aspect of Beijing’s skill set was underestimated by the policymakers in Washington. While the United States worked diligently to convince allies against supporting Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China has managed to successfully convince many American allies to support it. The Chinese were proud to announce that not only did American allies like the United Kingdom, France, and Germany sign up as founding members, but Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates did as well.

The final insult was the announcement of Iranian membership. That took place while the United States was trying to apply financial pressure on Iran during the final details of the JCPOA. While the Middle East’s pivot to Asia is being positively reciprocated by the Chinese, that itself does not mean that Beijing wants to take on the exact role of the United States in the Middle East. China is not seeking the active role of ‘world cop’ in Middle East conflicts. China would prefer influence by proxy than openly and directly. The risk is easier to estimate and domestic backlash would not be as severe. Beijing has generally avoided the application of hard power thus far in its current era of ascendancy. With the counterstrategy to America’s “Pivot to Asia” policy, it is becoming clear that Beijing understands the true potential of soft power. All of these maneuvers undermine America’s traditional role as global leverager. The conflict in Syria is a perfect illustration.

The United States is trying to engage in very demanding diplomatic talks which include the foreign ministers of Russia and Iran, firm supporters of Assad, and nations such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which are opposed to the Syrian regime. It is too early to predict the long-term success rate of these current diplomatic negotiations. The weakness of current diplomatic talks is that they did not produce any agreements to establish areas of collaboration in the air campaigns or to share intelligence or target information in Syria. This lack of military and diplomatic cooperation between Russia and the United States is pushing both sides to resort to the Cold War-style tactics of political agitation and proxy war.  

Any potential alignment with Russia could also imply cooperation with Iraq via proxy and that could ostracize Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait. The United States is walking a fine line by attempting to court multiple sides while ensuring certain relationships do not escalate into something much worse than the current status quo. It is difficult to wage war when allies do not agree on the enemy. It is even more difficult when the allies are allies only on the particular conflict in question but are in fact adversaries in many other areas of geostrategy. This article illustrates the complexity and difficulty faced by the United States today, as opportunities to cooperate in one arena are off-set by bigger worries in others. Russia may seek American cooperation in Syria, but is actively working with China to weaken American financial dominance in the global market. America may need positive Chinese relations because of extensive trade and debt holdings, but it also has to make note China’s increasing maneuvers with clear adversaries Russia and Iran. Thus any analysis of the global economic market has to consider Syria, while Syrian analyses have to understand the ebb and flow of Asian capital markets. It is indeed a strange new world of war we live in.

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Ethnic War a Newfangled Pakistani Forward-policy for Afghanistan

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According to the intelligence information, Pakistan’s ISI is trying to start ethnic and maneuvering war again in Afghanistan, of which distinct objective is to refurbish the age-old enmity between the Achakzai and Noorzai tribes in the southwest zone. Besides, they want to start an ethnic war among Pashtuns and non-Pashtuns across Afghanistan, and between the northern and southern directions, thus, the prominent leaders of the Taliban, who are led by the ISI, have been entrusted with the task. As in the east and north of Afghanistan, Pashtun Taliban militants are oppressing other Non-Pashtuns, raiding their homes; however, no high-ranking Pashtun Taliban officials are preventing them because the ISI network leads this strategy. In order to revamp a civil war in Afghanistan, score of influential figures have been summoned by the Pakistani military establishment. 

The latest examples are as follows: Two days ago, the Pashtun Taliban killed the former police chief and an influential tribal leader in Mandol district of Nuristan province, which caused many emotions against Pashtuns especially about southwest zone of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in order to afresh the years of hostility between the Noorzai and Achakzi tribes in the southwestern region of Afghanistan, the ISI network raised the issue of a mass grave by several leading Taliban militants, especially by the current governor of Kandahar province and Noorzai tribe leading leader, Haji Mohammad Yousef Wafa.

Qari Aslam Noorzai call for by Pak security forces

At a time when the former leader of the Noorzai tribe, the leading smuggler of drugs and heavy weapons in Central and South Asia, and the financial supporter of the first Taliban regime, Haji Bashar Noorzai was released from the US prison in Guantánamo. The Noorzai tribe once again became twice as strong and dominant in Afghanistan, especially in the southwest zone.  Resulting threats towards the Achakzai people, on the other hand, ISI has started rapid efforts to recommence the years of enmity between these two tribes.

Hajee Feyzullah Khan Noorzai meets Pak military Intelligence

Recently, Pakistan’s intelligence network ISI, with the help of some leading social media and high-ranking Taliban officials, has kept the issue of finding a mass grave in Kandahar province in the southwestern zone of Afghanistan broiling, namely by inducing  the blame-game. Meanwhile, local tribal leaders and residents of Spin Boldak district claim that such a grave is the grave of those who were taken out of their homes by the Taliban after August 15.  Since, they were connected to Achakzai tribe and on the other hand, they served in the security departments of the overthrown Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that is why the Taliban night raided their houses, and massively killed them.

Moreover, mass murdering Hazaras at their educational institutions via suicide bombing and meantime blowing up the worship places of Sufi-Muslims, who preach the non-violent form of Islam, while calling for De-weaponization and De-politicization of Islam.

Consequently, by applying such a forward-policy, Pakistan will achieve its fancied strategic-depth in Afghanistan, while subjugating the Afghan Nation.

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Pakistani Intelligence Agencies ignite Tribal Conflicts in Pak-Afghan Region

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According to the intelligence information, Pakistani intelligence community supported by some international rings want to once again spread dispute and disharmony among the tribes in Afghanistan and Pakistan; subsequently the centuries-old evils and wars between the tribes will once more take a new color and become fresh. Recently, rumors of the discovery of a mass grave in Kandahar province in the southwestern zone of Afghanistan are spreading; the blame for this mass murder falls on the former police chief of Kandahar province and the former leader of the Achagzai tribe, General Abdul Razaq Achagzai.  In order to afresh raising the reaction of the Norzi tribe against the Ackzai and anew the evil and war between these two tribes. Even though the current governing body of Afghanistan is completely under the control of the Noorzi tribe, because most of the high-ranking leaders of the Taliban, including the leader of the Taliban, Sheikh Haibatullah, are related to the Noorzi tribe, so there is a greater threat posed to the Achakzi tribe.

Even now, in spite of such menaces, more than 6000 Achakzi families live in Kandahar province, whose members served in the security departments under the command of General Abdul Razaq Achakzi, a staunch opponent of the Taliban.  Currently, in such a tense situation that the Taliban administration has control over Afghanistan and the head of this administration is connected to the Nurzi tribe, the harsh criticism of General Abdul Razaq Achakzai’s mass killings is logical, which can cause international and internal outcries.  As a result, the major victims will be the youths and leading tribal leaders of the Achakzai tribe.

By the advent of Taliban on August 15, 2021, in the first four months, more than 600 youths and tribal leaders from the Achakzi tribe were killed in the southwest zone of Afghanistan, while applying night operations or raids by the Taliban. The most famous case happened to the family of Haji Fida Mohammad Achakzai in Spin Boldak district. Haji Fida Muhammad Achakzai, known as Haji Fida Aka, is a leading leader of the Achakza tribe of Spin Boldak district and had close relations with the family of General Abdul Razaq Achakzai.

 When Kandahar province fell to the Taliban before August 15, the two young sons of him were killed by the Taliban on the first night, unfortunately none of the Taliban officials took any action to prevent the tragedy. Nevertheless, this time, there is a plan going on at the international level to renew the age-old differences between the Achakzai and Norzai tribes, which the international media warmly supports.  If this time the internal differences and conflicts between the Achakzai and Norzai tribes in Afghanistan get sturdier, then it will have damaging effects not only in Afghanistan, but also, serious negative measures will be taken against the Norzai under the leadership of Mahmoud Khan Achakzai, the head of the Achakzai tribe, in the Pakhtunkhwa provinces of Pakistan.

In the meantime, the decision of the Pakistani government to hand over the Pashtun areas in Pakhtunkhwa provinces to the Taliban was approved and supported by the Nurzi tribe, conversely, this action of the Pakistani government was strongly condemned by Mahmoud Khan Achakzai and PTM leader Manzoor Pashtun.

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Afghan Zarqawi is shot dead in Panjsher valley of Afghanistan

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According to intelligence information, the leading Taliban commander Maulvi Habibullah Sheeran, who was known as Zarqawi, a resident of Zhrhai District, Kandahar Province, in the southwestern zone of the Taliban was killed in Panjsher battle.

Meantime, the intelligence report indicates, Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir, the general military officer of Panjshir and Andrab and the deputy of the Ministry of National Defense, was injured in Panjshir on Friday, September 16 at 3:25 p.m.

Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir, who is considered one of the leading and influential war commanders in the southwest zone of the Taliban, has the support of about 4,000 low-ranking and high-ranking Taliban fighters. He is one of the Taliban military commanders who, during the first mobilization of the Taliban, formed the Taliban group with the support of Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid, the founder of the Taliban, and attracted hundreds of young men from Helmand province to the Taliban group.

When the Taliban came to power for the second time in Afghanistan, due to internal differences among the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir left the Taliban for a short time and went to his native Kajki district of Helmand province. However, due to the many efforts of the Taliban, especially Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir’s assistant and the current head of security of presidential palace  Mullah Mutaullah Mubarak, He joined the Taliban again and was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Defense.

Taliban leaders made more efforts to reunite Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir with the Taliban, because he was an influential military leader, and on the other hand, Taliban leaders were receiving reports that Mullah Qayyum Zakir wants to join ISIS against Taliban. Nevertheless, when he joined with the Taliban leaders for the second time, he was assigned the position of Deputy Minister of Defense, So, for a period, he cooperated with the Minister of Defense Maulvi Yaqoub as a military advisor in the Ministry of Defense.

 When the rumors of the fall of the northern part of Afghanistan were spread and the fighting between the NRF or the National Resistance Front and the Taliban in Panjshir and Andrab intensified, Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir, based on the special permission of Sheikh Haibatullah, Appointed General Military Officer of Northern Afghanistan. In addition, from September 9, under his leadership, a special military operation named Al-Fath began in Panjshir and Andarabs to clear and liberate northern Afghanistan from the fighters of the National Resistance Front.

As a result of the operation, from September 9th to September 16th, dozens of NRF fighters were also killed but the casualties of Taliban fighters are methodically shown below, although scores of Taliban fighters were destroyed.

  • The bodies of 60 to 70 Taliban fighters who were killed in the battle of Panjshir have been transferred to Uruzgan province.
  •  The dead bodies of 50 Taliban fighters have been transferred to Kandahar Province.
  • The dead bodies of 33 Taliban fighters have been transferred to Helmand Province.
  •  The dead bodies of 22 Taliban fighters have been transferred to Ghor Province.
  • The dead bodies of 11 Taliban fighters have been transferred to Takhar province.
  • The dead bodies of 6 Taliban fighters have been transferred to Kunduz Chahar Dara.
  •  The dead bodies of 12 Taliban fighters have been transferred to Zabul province.
  • The dead bodies of nine Taliban fighters have been transferred to Wardag Province.
  • The dead bodies of 10 Taliban fighters have been transferred to Dandi Ghori in Baghlan province.  

Last Friday, September 16, in the bloody battle, Mullah Qayyum Zakir, the military officer in charge of Panjshir and Andrab, was seriously injured and eight of his bodyguards, who were residents of Helmand and Uruzgan provinces, were killed. Mullah Qayyum Zakir was transferred to the 400-bed hospital in Kabul at 10 o’clock in the evening on September 16, and former Taliban doctor Atiqullah was invited to Kabul from Al-Khair Hospital of Balochistan province of Pakistan for treatment.

There is a bloody war going on in the north of Afghanistan and around 300 al-Fatih forces are going to Panjshir from Kabul tonight and may reach tomorrow. Meanwhile, in Vienna, the plan for the formation of a new military and political movement was announced in a three-day meeting of the anti-Taliban political officials of the former government of Afghanistan. Moreover, based on that military plan, after dividing Afghanistan into five major parts, the political and military leaders of each zone will start preparing their organizations against the Taliban, and they will use such political and military tactics as the Taliban used against the government of the Republic of Afghanistan during the last 20 years of resistance.

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