Illicit activity in the maritime domain takes place within a complex cultural, physical, and political environment. When dialogue is initiated with a diverse range of stakeholders, policy recommendations can take into account region-specific limitations and opportunities. As noted in the Stable Seas: Sulu and Celebes Seas maritime security report, sectors like fisheries, coastal welfare, and maritime security are intrinsically linked, making engagement with a diverse range of local stakeholders a necessity. This collaborative approach is essential to devising efficient and sustainable solutions to maritime challenges. Engagement with local stakeholders helps policymakers discover where in these self-reinforcing cycles additional legislation or enforcement would have the greatest positive impact. Political restrictions against pursuing foreign fishing trawlers in Bangladesh, for example, have allowed the trawlers to target recovering populations of hilsa while local artisanal fishers suffer. In the context of the Philippines, the Stable Seas program and the Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation recently conducted a workshop that highlighted the importance of consistent stakeholder engagement, resulting in a policy brief entitled A Pathway to Policy Change: Improving Philippine Fisheries, Blue Economy, and Maritime Law Enforcement in the Sulu and Celebes Seas.
Consistent communication with local stakeholders on regional anomalies allows policymakers to modify initiatives to adjust for the physical, cultural, and political context of a maritime issue. The physical environment affects how, where, and why illicit actors operate in the maritime domain. Knowledge held by local stakeholders about uninhabited coastlines, local currents, and the locations of important coastal communities helps policymakers find recognizable patterns in the locations and frequency of maritime incidents. The 36,289 km of coastline in the Philippine archipelago means that almost 60 percent of the country’s municipalities and cities border the sea. The extensive coastline and high levels of maritime traffic make monitoring coastal waters and achieving maritime domain awareness difficult for maritime law enforcement agencies. A Pathway to Policy Change outlines several recommendations by regional experts on ways to improve maritime domain awareness despite limitations imposed by a complex physical environment. The experts deemed collaboration with local government and land-based authorities an important part of addressing the problem. By engaging with stakeholders working in close proximity to maritime areas, policymakers can take into account their detailed knowledge of local environmental factors when determining the method and motive behind illicit activity.
Culture shapes how governments respond to non-traditional maritime threats. Competition and rivalry between maritime law enforcement agencies can occur within government structures. A clearer understanding of cultural pressures exerted on community members can help policymakers develop the correct response. Strong ties have been identified between ethnic groups and insurgency recruiting grounds in Mindanao. The Tausug, for instance, tend to fight for the MNLF while the MILF mostly recruits from the Maguindanaons and the Maranao. Without guidance from local stakeholders familiar with cultural norms, correlations could be left unnoticed or the motivations for joining insurgency movements could be misconstrued as being based solely on extremist or separatist ideology. Local stakeholders can offer alternative explanations for behavioral patterns that policymakers need to make accommodations for.
Local stakeholder engagement allows policymakers to work on initiatives that can accommodate limitations imposed by the political environment. Collaboration with local stakeholders can provide information on what government resources, in terms of manpower, capital, and equipment, are available for use. Stakeholders also provide important insights into complex political frameworks that can make straightforward policy implementation difficult. Understanding where resource competition and overlapping jurisdiction exist enables policymakers to formulate more effective initiatives. Despite strong legislation regulating IUU fishing in the Philippines, local stakeholders have pointed out that overlapping jurisdictions have created exploitable gaps in law enforcement. In A Pathway to Policy Change, local experts suggested that the government should lay down an executive order to unify mandates in the fisheries sector to address the issue. Similarly, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is highlighted as a region that heavily influences maritime security in the Sulu and Celebes seas. Working with government officials to understand how policy initiatives need to adjust for the region’s semi-autonomous status ensures maritime issues are properly addressed. BARMM, for instance, issues fishing permits for its own waters in addition to government permits, which can cause inconsistencies. Working alongside local stakeholders allows policymakers to create initiatives that take into account special circumstances within the political system.
Private Sector Engagement
Extending engagement with local stakeholders to the private sector is particularly important during both the policy research and implementation processes. Encouraging private stakeholders to actively help counter illicit activity can help policymakers create a more sustainable and efficient solution to security threats. As A Pathway to Policy Change highlights, private companies already have a strong incentive from a business perspective to involve themselves in environmental and social issues. Governments can encourage further involvement of private stakeholders like blue economy businesses and fishers by offering tax breaks and financial compensation for using sustainable business practices and for helping law enforcement agencies gather information on illicit activity. Offering financial rewards to members of the Bantay Dagat program in the Philippines, for example, would encourage more fishers to participate. Governments can also double down on educational programs to raise awareness of important issues threatening local economic stability. By communicating consistently with local stakeholders, policymakers can both more accurately identify maritime security needs and more comprehensively address them.
The unique physical, cultural, and political context in which maritime issues take place makes the knowledge of local stakeholders an invaluable asset. While many important types of information can be collected without working closely with stakeholders, there are also innumerable important aspects of any given context which cannot be quantified and analyzed from afar. Engagement with stakeholders provides a nuanced understanding of more localized and ephemerial factors that affect regional maritime security. Engaging with local stakeholders allows policymakers to capitalize on opportunities and circumvent limitations created by the political, cultural, and physical environment surrounding maritime issues in order to create sustainable, long-term solutions.
The impact of the joint security coordination between Israel and Turkey in Afghanistan
First: Analysis of the potential scenarios of (Israeli-Arab or Iranian-Arab security coordination on Afghanistan), or the extent of success of the (joint security coordination between Turkey and Israel inside Afghanistan), according to the Israeli intelligence point of view
Second: My analysis of the (content of the speeches of the Israeli military intelligence men and the Israeli Mossad) about the intelligence cooperation between Tel Aviv and Washington regarding Afghanistan… (I’m attaching it for the first time globally from an Egyptian researcher as a complaint to the international academic community towards the Israeli research and academic institutions and national libraries for not providing me the available researches, documents, data, and analyses and the required published Israeli publications on China’s relations with Egypt and the region)
Third: My analysis of the content of Israeli military intelligence websites and reports on (the joint security coordination between Israel and Turkey in Afghanistan in the face of the Taliban), its conflict with the Indian-Emirati interests as partners of Tel Aviv in the face of Turkey, and its impact on (the Abrahamic-Israeli peace agreements in the Arab Gulf and the East middle)
Fourth: Analyzing the possibility of Israel’s game in the future to form (a new joint Israeli-Arab security umbrella as an alternative to the joint Arab defense agreement) to protect against the threat of terrorism and confront terrorist organizations after the Taliban rule, focusing on (analyzing the role of the United Arab Emirates in the success of the Israeli security alliance in the region)
The Egyptian researcher has tried to analyze the content of Israeli military intelligence websites and reports regarding the Israeli Mossad intelligence presence in Afghanistan and the future expectations regarding the future potential scenarios and game of Israel’s strategy to make a (joint security coordination with Turkey in Afghanistan), and its affect on the Indian-Emirati interests as partners of Tel Aviv in the face of Turkey, and its impact on (the Abrahamic-Israeli peace agreements with Emirates and the Arab Gulf States).
On the other hand, the Egyptian researcher has attempted to analyze as well the Israeli potential scenarios and reactions to form (a new joint Israeli-Arab security agreement) to protect the Israeli interests and confront terrorist organizations after the Taliban rule, focusing on analyzing the role of the United Arab Emirates in the success of the Israeli security alliance in the region.
So, the Egyptian researcher has analyzed the following aspects to highly understand the whole situation and its potential impacts on the Middle East region and its security and stability, as the following:
First: Analysis of possible scenarios (Israeli-Arab or Iranian-Arab security coordination on Afghanistan), or the extent of success (joint security coordination between Turkey and Israel inside Afghanistan), according to the Israeli intelligence point of view
Perhaps the expected US withdrawal from Afghanistan opened the door wide for advanced analyzes regarding what the situation will be in the coming period, and most importantly to me the extent of its relationship with the Middle East region, and the balance of regional and international powers within it.
The Egyptian researcher was able, through her extensive reading in the recent period of all the analyzes that occurred under her eyes, regarding the possible roles of (Israeli, Iranian, Arab, Pakistani, Turkish) parts at Afghanistan to understand all what is going on in secret between the various previous parties, and its relationship to the Arab region and the Middle East in general, and this is what moved the researcher to research on several analytical fronts, regarding:
The impact of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan on the Middle East, the export and expansion of terrorism and the increase in the frequency of terrorist operations from the “leaaders of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq” known as “ISIS” in the region to demonstrate their defiance of the United States of America after its failure to manage the file of the war on terrorism in the region. Afghanistan, and how this relates to French President “Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Iraq” and his announcement of the French partnership with the countries of the region and Iraq to fight terrorism.
The Israeli-Iranian conflict and the extent to which it is affected by the increasing influence of Iran in Afghanistan through (the Hazara and Tajik Shiite minorities) in Afghanistan, and the extent to which Israel is able to recruit other ethnic and national sects, mainly in Afghanistan, to monitor these “Iranian movements in Afghanistan”, and Israel’s attempt to extend relations with countries The geographical neighborhood of Afghanistan, such as India, Bhutan and the Central Asian countries, to gather Israeli intelligence information about the Taliban’s movements and alliances with the Iranian side in that region, and whether it poses a threat to the security of Israel and the Middle East.
Which is closer to Arab cooperation against the idea of (exporting terrorism to the region from Afghanistan), according to the preference of interests, do we cooperate with Iran or Israel? In the sense that thinking, as I understood it analytically from the Iranian and Israeli points of view, is mainly focused on “the game of regional interests with the Arabian Gulf and Middle Eastern Countries”, which deepens our understanding of how the Israelis and Iranians work in this context, ie:
“Iran is presenting itself as the ideal partner for coordination with the Arab countries, especially the Gulf states, to help them protect their borders from the danger of Taliban militias extending and intrusion into the Arab interior, and on the Israeli side, the matter has become similar to that, with Israel trying to export itself as the most affected and dangerous than the danger of the Afghan Armed militias and extremist jihadist movements that target the security and stability of the Hebrew state, so Israel is trying from now to extend relations of cooperation and security and defense partnership and perhaps sign joint military agreements between Israel and its allies in the region who seek to undermine the influence, penetration, and influence of jihadist movements and extremist militias to the borders of the countries of the region, which is what a number of Arab countries, especially, the Gulf states, may push to coordinate security cooperation with the Israeli side to defend the security of the region and combat terrorism, as the Israeli side mainly promotes it”.
Here remains the most dangerous question, related directly to the previous question, and which stopped me for a long time with study, research and analysis, about:
What can actually happen if terrorism spreads to the Arab world and the Middle East from Afghanistan and the threat of ISIS and all the extremist groups and organizations associated with it spreads? Will the Arab regimes agree to form (a joint Israeli-Arab security umbrella to strengthen their collective front in the face of the threat of terrorism) as an alternative to the joint Arab defense umbrella to confront terrorism, which excludes any security rapprochement with Israel?
What are the forms of US-Israeli intelligence cooperation in Afghanistan, and its relationship to the Middle East? For example, the Egyptian researcher found that all Israeli military and intelligence analyzes have focused mainly on “the necessity and importaof Iransraeli coordination with Turkey to closely monitor the situation in Afghanistan” with the exclusion of Iran and Pakistan, of course, and the Israeli rapprochement with Turkey in the recent period to coordinate the matter about how to deal with the new situation and how to control it, which has not been analyzed at all in the countries of the region.
In the same context, the Israeli promotion of the importance of rapprochement with Turkey as an ideal choice for them in Afghanistan began, and we find that the same question is being repeated, regarding:
“Does Israel in Afghanistan tend to cooperate with Turkey more than (Pakistan, India), and why?”. This is according to what the Egyptian researcher has seen from Israeli military and intelligence analyzes that are publicly published in their military sites.
Accordingly, the Egyptian researcher analyzed when trying to track the effects of the future US withdrawal from Afghanistan on the future of Egypt, the Middle East and the region in general, and their relations with the surrounding regional powers to coordinate security with them primarily in (whether Israeli-Arab or Iranian-Arab coordination or the success of joint security coordination between Turkey and Israel or the possibility of success Israel in forming a security umbrella and front of alliances with the Arab world to confront terrorist organizations), according to the different analytical viewpoints, and in my personal belief that the future may bring us many surprises.
Second: My analysis of the (content of the speeches of the Israeli military intelligence men and the Israeli Mossad) about the intelligence cooperation between Tel Aviv and Washington regarding Afghanistan… (the Egyptian researcher is attaching for the first time a complaint to the international academic community towards the Israeli research and academic institutions and national libraries for not providing the researcher with the required available documents, data, research and analyses and the required published publications on China’s relations with Egypt and the region)
The Egyptian researcher has been very interested several years ago in trying to track all (Israeli military and intelligence analyzes), through well-known military sites, such as:
Breaking Defense & Debka
In addition to my constant knowledge, research and academically, of all the analyzes of the (Israeli Institute for National Security Studies) “INNS”
On the personal and analytical level that I am conveying to you, I found that in particular, the only department or program that interests me in the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies is the “Chinese Studies Program”, due to my precise specialization in Chinese affairs, and my continuous attempts to track all Israeli analyzes of Sino-Egyptian relations, and trying to present it to Egypt and the region every once in a while.
Hence, the Egyptian researcher will attempt to present her new international analysis for the first time, attached to it (a complaint submitted by me to the lack of cooperation from the Israeli academic and research institutions with me as an internationally and regionally known academic in Chinese and Asian political affairs, and the Israeli side’s reluctance to provide me with the required data and linking this to the aforementioned analysis), as follows:
The Egyptian researcher thinks that perhaps today I had the opportunity academically to complain about (the lack of cooperation by all Israeli academic and research institutions with the Egyptian researcher academically and research, and the failure to provide me with all the analyzes that interest me in my research area), and I do not know whether this is an Israeli intention or not?, whether (the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies) “INNS”, or the “Israeli National Library of the Hebrew University of Al-Quds”, which (contains almost all copies of all research published in all Israeli academic and research institutions).
The Egyptian researcher was also very interested in what stopped the Egyptian researcher and I think that it would “astonish the international, American and Western academic community as a whole”, when I tried to send emails to the “Israeli Institute for National Security Studies” with my real personality and all my academic data for verification, in order to provide me and sending all the researches published by them mainly on (Sino-Egyptian relations or China’s relations with the region, from an Israeli academic point of view, mainly , for academic and research purposes), is:
“The Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, and specifically the “Chinese Studies Program” inside it, deliberately omitted and ignored the content of my request in the first place, and even deliberately sent them another email to their new branch in the Chinese capital “Beijing”, that is, to open the branch of the “Institute for Israeli National Security Studies in China”, to inquire From him about the required documents, and in my personal opinion, Israel is trying to draw the Egyptian researcher’s attention to their new branch in the capital, “Beijing”, despite “the absence of these Israeli academic analyzes in the first place at the branch of the Institute for Israeli National Security Studies in Beijing” related to analyzes and research on China-Egypt relations. And the region from the point of view of the Israelis themselves, so I think that this Israeli reluctance to cooperate with me in research and academically regarding my research areas and my specialization in Chinese political affairs, certainly has a “negative impact” on the Israeli academic side, because we do not understand in the region, the Arab world and Egypt the point of view of Israeli academics On Egypt’s relations with China and the region, mainly from an Israeli point of view, and therefore, it hinders Israel’s plans and attempts to build bridges of cooperation and political normalization or perhaps cooperation with all the countries and states of the region and the Arab world, and I believe that the opportunity has now opened for me for the whole world to read my view on that dangerous part related to our desire as Egyptian and Arab academics to understand the way of thinking and analyzing Our academic colleagues in Israel, however, there is Israel’s reluctance to cooperate with us in this regard, and I am confident that it is a point that has been raised for the first time internationally, especially with my complete possession and full of academic courage, by asking me all Israeli analyzes, statements, research and documents available for publication and public viewing in their libraries and research and academic centers, primarily, and by giving me the opportunity, as an Egyptian academic in Chinese and Asian political affairs, and even for all my other academic colleagues to review them, to understand the Israeli academic viewpoint on it, and “I’m confidentiality that my complaint will find a great international and academic resonance, due to my desire to understand Israel academically and the reluctance of the Israelis to help me in this matter”.
With the Egyptian researcher completely amazed at the question about (the reasons for the Israeli refusal to provide her with what she wants from research and academic data concerning her research and academic area in Chinese political affairs and its relationship with Egypt and the countries of the region, and trying to follow it from an Israeli point of view), knowing that I was surprised that “The Israeli National Library” has put in its own archive my own published papers within a book on China and Israel on its own website network, however, the “Israeli National Library officials” refused to provide me with important documents that they mainly have for public viewing, regarding my international analysis of the previous publication, on:
(The leaked Russian documents to the Israeli National Library during the period of the Israeli military rule in Palestine from 1948-1968)
Although the Russian documents are available for public viewing on the “Israeli National Library” website, “the Israelis refused to provide them to me completely by opening the link for them to view them, as an academic and research cooperative with me as an Egyptian academy known to them and internationally”, which is what I’m going to tell you, and I was very surprised.
Perhaps this previous point – although it may seem unimportant in the context I am talking about – is of great and utmost importance to me, related to the reasons for this (the Israeli selection and choice of those with whom Tel Aviv cooperates, and its schools and research institutions welcome them according to its interests).
Based on (the Israeli selective selection process for those who cooperate or refuse to cooperate with them), this quickly moves me to study and analyze (the aspects of Israeli-American intelligence and military cooperation in Afghanistan), especially after a number of Israeli officials visited Washington at the end of August 2021 as an Israeli request to strengthen intelligence cooperation (between the CIA and Mossad), in light of the United States’ exit from Afghanistan.
In general, and returning to my analytical point in this context, related to “analyzing Israel’s relationship with the Afghan issue after the withdrawal of the United States of America and the control of the Taliban’s rule”, the Egyptian researcher follows the most prominent of those Israeli defense and military sites, to get acquainted with their military vision for dealing with the region and for aspects of cooperation. The required, for fears of (the growing threat of the terrorist organization “ISIS” and its extension to Israel and its borders with Egypt, Lebanon and also Syria, given the occupation and the Israeli presence in the Syrian Golan Heights). We will find here, that the Israeli military intelligence analysis confirmed:
“The Israeli diplomacy prefer to open political, and even military channels of communication with Turkey regarding Afghanistan, to protect the “State of India” as Israel’s militarily ally in the South Asia region, given the difficulty of Israeli military-intelligence coordination with Pakistan and Iran as allies of China in the face of India, as an ally of Washington”
This brings the Egyptian researcher to a more serious point related to the reasons for the Turkish presence in Afghanistan, and the attempt to be present and communicate with the Taliban leaders to the extent that the Taliban leaders asked Turkey to modernize and rebuild the international airport in the capital “Kabul”, and whether that was (with a joint Turkish coordination with Israel in the face of (the Iranian-Pakistani moves as allies of China against India), whereas India is Washington’s ally in the region around Afghanistan)?
Here, the Israeli intelligence and military focus on the necessity of (improving the exchange of US-Israeli intelligence information) comes amid renewed fears that (the terrorist organization of ISIS) will use Afghanistan as a hub to launch new attacks on American and Israeli targets, whether in Afghanistan or the Middle East.
Here, the Israeli Mossad officers, through their military and intelligence positions, blame (ISIS in the Afghan province of Khorasan), the branch that focuses on Afghanistan, for the suicide bombing that targeted “Kabul Airport”, and resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people after the withdrawal of the United States of America from Afghanistan, including (13 American soldiers).
By following the Egyptian researcher on the Israeli military and defense sites, she found Israeli analyzes that confirm:
“There are indications that ISIS and its various proxies are terrorist acts, and it is now encouraged by the success of the Kabul airport and the lack of an appropriate American response to it as it exits Afghanistan”
Here, the Israeli military analysts agree on:
“Raising fears that the US intelligence network in Afghanistan will inevitably be paralyzed by the Biden administration’s departure from the country, with little human intelligence left behind and a possible lack of any intelligence on the horizon, even if at least a little of that intelligence on paper is needed to counter ISIS”
And here remains (the most dangerous analysis that the Egyptian researcher stopped at much, because based on it, the rest of her other analyzes will be based very carefully), which is the Israeli intelligence and military analysis published on Israeli defense and military sites, with the confirmation of the Israeli military generals, that:
“Israel’s major covert operation in the region could help complement US intelligence efforts in Afghanistan and elsewhere”
Here came the confirmation of Mossad officers and military generals in Tel Aviv, according to a special coverage on the Hebrew “Breaking Defense website”, which specializes in defense and security affairs, in their published statements, affirmed that:
“The Americans know that these Israeli capabilities can save lives, even in remote places”
With the confirmation of the Israeli military sources, according to the “Israeli military Breaking Defense Hebrew website”, about:
“That Mossad is particularly adept at taking raw data and turning it into action, and that people in Israel’s intelligence services see the little details that in many cases are crucial to stopping terrorist attacks”
In a publicly published statement in the Hebrew media and press, according to the head of the internationally known Israeli intelligence service “Ephraim Halevy”, the former head of the Israeli Mossad “Ephraim” mentioned literally, according to the “Breaking Defense website”, saying that:
“There are very close ties between terrorist organizations in countries bordering Israel, such as Syria and Lebanon, and similar organizations in the international arena”
With the most dangerous statement of the Egyptian researcher, which revealed all the dimensions of the Israeli game, and analyzed them carefully, according to the statements of the former head of the Israeli Mossad, “Ephraim Halevy”, about:
“Through close Israeli monitoring of terrorist organizations’ actions in neighboring countries, Israel is obtaining intelligence information that is “extremely vital to our allies” that would not be available without Israeli human intelligence sources on the ground”
In response to a request to comment on the statements of the former Mossad chief, the spokesman for the “American embassy in Jerusalem”, said that:
“We do not comment on intelligence issues”
It is worth noting here that the discussion about the increasing intelligence relations between Israel and the United States of America regarding Afghanistan comes after (the visit of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency “William Burns” to Israel in August 2021, and then he made a surprise trip to Afghanistan to meet the Taliban leadership), without any official clarification about the relationship between my visits to Kabul and Tel Aviv directly, which is something from my point of view, which raises a big question mark for me and I must stop at it for a long time, regarding (the visit of the Director of American Intelligence to Israel, then his visit to Afghanistan directly and not vice versa).
We also find the talks that took place between the Israeli Prime Minister (Naftali Bennett in Washington at the end of August to meet with President “Joe Biden” to discuss the US-Israeli intelligence plans in the post-Afghanistan era), but the meeting, which was scheduled due to the Kabul attack, was postponed to later date.
Here, the Egyptian researcher noted, according to the same American websites, to analyze the reasons for “Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali’s meeting with US President Joe Biden”, that “Naftali Bennett” carried with him two requests mainly during (Israel’s meeting in Washington on Afghanistan), and the two Israeli requests, they are basically:
A) The first Israeli request from the United States of America regarding Afghanistan:
Naftali’s requests from the American side mainly focused on joint coordination on Afghanistan, whereas the United States open foreign military funding to help Israel more quickly buy new fighters of “F-15”. And for the United States to help buy additional “Dome” interceptor missiles
With the Israeli assurance to the American side, according to Israeli military intelligence websites, that:
“Israel’s purchase of Dom missiles from Washington became necessary for Tel Aviv after Hamas fired nearly Dom missiles during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict earlier this year 2021”
B) The second Israeli request from the United States of America regarding Afghanistan:
The request of “Naftali Bennett”, the Prime Minister of Israel, came from Washington, that:
“Israel wants to get about $1 billion in new money to cover both Iron Dome’s needs and the Israeli Air Force’s ‘special munitions’”
Here, the Egyptian researcher noted, that the Israeli delegation of “Naftali Bennet” left Washington without obtaining a firm commitment on either of the two issues of funding from the United States of America.
Here, the Egyptian researcher concluded by reading the United States’ meeting with Israel, that Washington shed light on:
“Biden’s full support for the renewal of the Iron Dome system in Israel”
The Egyptian researcher also noted that Israel, in its requests from Washington, has linked (the US-Israeli cooperation on Afghanistan depends on Iran, which Washington was convinced of in the first place). Where we find that after the secret meeting session between (Biden and Naftali Bennett) in Washington, US President “Biden”, confirmed:
“The United States is committed to ensuring that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, but he has not backed away from his administration’s hopes for a political solution”
The most important thing here is what Joe Biden confirmed, regarding leaving all options open with the Israeli side regarding Iran, and dealing with Afghanistan or any other files that may arise for the benefit of the Hebrew state itself, as confirmed by US President Joe Biden, about:
“We put diplomacy first and see where that leads, but if diplomacy fails, we are ready to resort to other options”
And we conclude through the previous analysis very briefly in that part related to (how and the mechanism of Israeli coordination with the United States of America regarding Afghanistan), the words of US President “Joe Biden”, regarding Afghanistan, and his attempt to include “Iran” in the American-Israeli political equation, regarding everything related to security coordination and defense cooperation between Washington and Tel Aviv on Afghanistan.
Third: My analysis of the content of Israeli military intelligence websites and reports on (the joint security coordination between Israel and Turkey in Afghanistan in the face of the Taliban), and its conflict with the Indian-Emirati interests as partners of Tel Aviv in the face of Turkey, and its impact on (the Abrahamic-Israeli peace agreements in the Arab Gulf and the East middle)
The most prominent Israeli military intelligence reports, which were reviewed by the Egyptian researcher, came from (the well-known sites close to the Israeli military intelligence departments immediately after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan), and with the Taliban movement taking over the reins of power and control in the country. With the entire situation, and an (analysis of the content and context of the statements of the military spokesmen in Tel Aviv), by referring to the sites of the Israeli military intelligence, most notably, are:
The Hebrew “Breaking Defense” website, as an intelligence and security website, specialized in defense and security affairs.
“Debka website”, it’s an Israeli military intelligence website, headquartered in Jjerusalem. It is a well-known Israeli military intelligence website, providing mainly (Israeli military commentary) on issues related to terrorism, intelligence, national security, international and military relations, with a special focus on the Middle East. Knowing that DEBKAfile had won – in its Israeli military and intelligence capacity – the (Best Award-winning Website among the global websites), for its diverse and comprehensive intelligence analyzes from (Forbes International Magazine). Forbes magazine specifically identified the “archives” section of DEBKAfile as “the best part of this Israeli military intelligence site”, but Forbes magazine warned at the same time that (most of the information is attributed to unspecified sources). Based on the Egyptian researcher’s tracking of the most prominent and important reports, data and statements of the aforementioned Israeli military and intelligence sites, through which, the Egyptian researcher was able to extract and analyze the following scenarios and points:
By informing the Egyptian researcher of most of those “unknown or unidentified Israeli military and intelligence sources or the Israeli military identity”, she noticed that there is almost unanimous agreement in the Israeli analyzes issued by those Israeli sites, that (Turkey is the best and optimal option for For Israel to coordinate joint security with it in Afghanistan and on its borders to monitor the movements of the armed Taliban movement), given the difficulty of security coordination between Israel and Iran or Pakistan, given the impossibility of doing so, as is known.
Although Turkey has been publicly excluded several times from any “secret military cooperation with Israel”, the succession of events made the Egyptian researcher pause for a long time to analyze “the features of the increasing Turkish role and influence inside Afghanistan and the extent of its relationship with Israel”. The first thing that stopped me here, in research and analysis, is that (the Turkish request to manage the airport of the Afghan capital, “Kabul”).
But (this matter related to Turkey’s request from the Taliban leaders has been rejected), and this was what the spokesman for the Taliban movement, whose name is (Zabihullah Mujahid) publicly stated. In the name of the “Taliban movement”, that “the leaders of the Taliban movement want good relations with Ankara, but we strongly disagree with the presence of Turkish military forces in our country, because this is considered interference in our internal affairs”.
The Egyptian researcher also noted the extent of the Turkish insistence on (negotiating with Taliban leaders regarding the status of the international airport in Afghanistan under Turkish administration, with Turkish-American and international coordination), which was rejected by the Taliban leaders, with confirmation (Zabihullah Mujahid), spokesman for Taliban, that:
“Ankara does not allow us to send our forces to it to secure one of its airports, because this deed interferes in the internal affairs of other countries and is very dangerous, but despite that, we are ready to negotiate with Turkey, and it must realize our concerns, and we negotiated to settle and solve the dilemma”
The most important thing that caught my research and analytical attention was (Turkish negotiations with the United States to ensure the security and management of Hamid Karzai International Airport), with the Turkish assertion to Washington and the world that these fears are increasing from “the airport falling into the hands of Taliban leaders and militias since the movement launched an attack against the Taliban Afghan army”. In fact, the Turkish justification for the reasons for this insistence on its request to control the Afghan international airport was that “the Taliban movement has been leading a comprehensive attack against the Afghan forces since the withdrawal of US forces in May 2021 from Afghanistan”, while the international forces began the process of their final exit from the country at the end of last August 2021.
Perhaps what the Egyptian researcher concluded here is the question about (the reasons for this Turkish offer to control the international airport of Afghanistan), despite the presence of many international and regional forces that are closer and more understanding with the Taliban leaders and can present this request to them, discuss it and negotiate about it, especially Iran and Pakistan, but rather and Central Asian countries close to the immediate borders of Afghanistan.
In my opinion, too, “the Taliban movement may have read the scene carefully, and noticed the extent of Turkey’s adherence to being in the most sensitive and strategic areas in Afghanistan under the pretext of “maintaining regional and international peace and security”. Therefore, the Taliban sought to miss the opportunity for Turkey politically and security, and he himself what was confirmed by (Zabihullah Mujahid), the spokesman for the “Taliban“, by confirming the actual control of the Taliban movement over most of the regions of Afghanistan, sending messages of global reassurance, and in particular to the neighboring countries of Afghanistan, that:
“The leaders of the Taliban movement spoke with “neighboring countries about the crossings, and the situation will be urgently controlled and organized in the best way, and there will be no problem”
On the other hand, the policies of Turkish President “Erdogan” as a defender of the Muslim Brotherhood and the currents of political Islam contradict (the Abrahamic Alliance for Peace between Israel, the UAE and the Gulf), hence the Turkish-Israeli rapprochement, according to the analysis of the (weakening the Abrahamic-Israeli alliance to conclude peace agreements Political normalization with the countries of the Middle East, as well as his opposition to the UAE and the Hindu nationalist orientation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rejects Turkey’s sponsorship of political Islam currents), as well as India and the UAE’s explicit accusations of Turkey of encouraging their opponents, so both India and the UAE reject Turkish influence in Afghanistan and its surrounding area.
Despite (India’s encouragement of the Abrahamic peace agreements concluded between Israel, the UAE and the State of Bhutan with Indian mediation), India sees that Turkey is an obstacle to it. Therefore, tensions have escalated between India and Turkey, with (Turkey intensifying its support for Pakistan in the Kashmir issue in the face of India), since Erdogan’s rise to power, and what has increased the tension in Indo-Turkish relations is (Turkish President Erdogan’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly in 2019, and his public criticism of India for abolishing the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir). Hence, we understand the reasons for the Indian rejection of Turkish influence in Afghanistan, even if it was coordinated with its ally Israel, because of Turkish interference in the affairs of the Indian state, and public criticism of its policies.
Therefore, we find that, on the other hand, due to the Turkish stance against India’s policies, Indian Prime Minister “Narendra Modi” canceled a trip that was scheduled for him to Turkey in 2019.
Moreover, a part from the Indian dispute with Turkey over the Kashmir issue, Pakistan’s relations as well as a strategic competitor to India with Turkey, as well as (Pakistan’s rejection of the Abrahamic peace in the Israeli concept and its public criticism in favor of Turkey, as a security partner and supplier of arms to Pakistan), especially After Pakistan’s support for the Turkish intervention in “Libya and Azerbaijan”, and with (Pakistan’s desire to obtain a deal from Turkish drones, which increased India’s concerns about this close and joint security and military relationship between Pakistan and Turkey) in the face of Indian policies.
As well as the Indian dispute with Turkey for its support for Pakistan’s membership in the (Nuclear Suppliers Group with Turkey’s opposition by India’s membership in the organization at the request of Pakistan as a security ally of Turkey).
Therefore, in response from India to this growing threat from the joint security coordination between Turkey and Pakistan, (New Delhi turned to the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, especially the United Arab Emirates to support agreements of political normalization and the Israeli Abrahamic peace), according to what Israel is trying to promote. This new term is used in the region to encourage its countries to sign peace agreements with Israel, in order to counter Turkish influence through (Indian cooperation with Turkey’s main opponents, namely: Greece and the UAE), and to encourage their policies against Turkey.
Hence, we find (Indian support for Greece and the United Arab Emirates in the eastern Mediterranean region against “Turkish naval boat diplomacy”). New Delhi and Athens have also intensified their military coordination and cooperation to confront Turkish moves in the eastern Mediterranean.
In July 2021, (Greece and India) conducted a naval maneuver in the eastern Mediterranean against Turkey, in order to confirm (Indian support for Greece in the face of Turkish ambitions in the eastern Mediterranean), which is called “Indian maritime solidarity with Greece and the UAE in the face of Turkish naval ambitions” in the eastern Mediterranean.
Hence, we understand the reason for (the UAE’s inclusion of India in its camp as allies of Tel Aviv and Israel’s drinks of the Abrahamic peace), especially with Pakistan approaching Turkey, who reject the Abrahamic alliance announced between Israel, the Emirates and India, as well as the possibility of other countries entering the Middle East.
The new strategic consensus between (New Delhi and Abu Dhabi revolves around combating Islamic extremism and spreading the values and spirit of the Abrahamic Israeli peace in the face of Turkey and Pakistan), defending the sovereignty of their two countries, repelling the increasing influence of the Islamic political system led by Turkey, and undermining the (new Abrahamic peace efforts).
And in confirmation of joint security coordination and cooperation to spread and confirm (the Abrahamic alliance between India, the Emirates and Israel in the face of Turkey that rejects it), we find the UAE’s invitation to India to attend (the meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Abu Dhabi for the first time in 2019), and in the same year, it was the UAE’s granted “Narendra Modi” as well received the “Prize of Zayed Honor”, which is the highest civilian honor in the UAE, despite international outcry over his government’s campaign in Kashmir.
In December 2020, for the first time ever, (Indian Army Commander General “MM. Naravani” visited Saudi Arabia and the UAE), as an attempt to establish (security arrangements that include joint military exercises and security and intelligence partnerships between India, the UAE and its partners in the Gulf). It is understood from this Indian step that (its support for the Abrahamic peace policies led by Israel and the United States of America with the help of the Emirates in the region).
Based on Naravani’s visit to the UAE, India participated in air exercises hosted by the UAE in March 2021, alongside air forces from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as a joint Emirati-Saudi-Gulf attempt to (integrate India into the heart of the joint security arrangements in the Arabian Gulf to counter Turkish influence and penetration).
Hence, according to my personal and analytical point of view in this regard, which stems from my understanding of the logic of the Israeli strategic and military thinking for its presence in Afghanistan through Turkey, this can be understood and explained through that (the Israeli desire to move from political and economic relations to security coordination and defense and intelligence cooperation with various countries in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, even if it is indirectly through the presence in Afghanistan from the Turkish gate), and perhaps to collect more Israeli intelligence information about Afghanistan, as well as to monitor the movements and movements of Tehran directly confronting it, if Israel achieves this inside Afghanistan through “Israeli security coordination with Turkey inside Kabul”, this may (provide a broader movement space for Israel in an important circle that has an impact in the Middle East, and may make Israel an active part, according to the Israeli planning to try to integrate it in the future in the issues of security and defense coordination with the Arab world and Islamic), thus providing it with a broader regional role in the context of competition between regional powers over the region’s breadth, as Israel seeks through For its presence inside Afghanistan through (its intelligence coordination with Turkey, perhaps to invest it in order to integrate into the economies of the region, and to become a legitimate party in the paths of the network of relations and balances of power within the Middle East and the countries of the Arab Gulf).
Fourth: Analyzing the possibility of Israel’s game in the future to form (a new joint Israeli-Arab security umbrella as an alternative to the joint Arab defense agreement) to protect against the threat of terrorism and confront terrorist organizations after the Taliban rule, focusing on (analyzing the role of the United Arab Emirates in the success of the Israeli security alliance in region)
The Egyptian researcher was following the most prominent and dangerous Israeli analyzes after the Taliban movement took control of “Kabul”, and it consisted in asking this prominent question, which is:
“Can Israel start a new and comprehensive regional security dialogue for all in the region and the Arab world, mainly after the “Taliban” took control of the political power in Afghanistan, in a way that supports the US regional strategy that aims to achieve balance with Iran?”
Here, we find that the common American-Israeli fear, is that the growing threat of the terrorist organization of “ISIS” and the other terrorist militias in Afghanistan and on its borders who may create a (joint security integration and coordination between the countries of the region with Iran), known as: (Iranian integration with regional structures in the region to try to integrate them), which could create opportunities to reduce Arab-Iranian tensions in the Persian Gulf at Israel’s expense, including: (threatening basic American and Israeli interests).
Through the Egyptian researcher’s tracking of a number of Israeli intelligence and military sites to determine the degree of their analysis and understanding of the situation, specifically after the Taliban’s takeover, and the same Israeli fear of the spread of the danger of terrorism, militias and extremist terrorist movements and their threat to the security of the Hebrew state, my research and academic analysis came, as follows:
The United States of America has prepared well for attempts to integrate Israel into the heart of the same Arab regional security umbrella, and perhaps (the political or Abrahamic normalization agreements and the Israeli-Gulf peace, especially with the United Arab Emirates, is a series of American and Israeli attempts themselves, to integrate Israel in the future into the Arab circle security), despite the expected Arab and regional reservations.
Hence, Israel is trying to exploit the situation of the control of the Taliban and its militias, and the fear of the spread of a series of terrorist operations in the region and on Israel’s borders to make (security partnerships and alliances with the countries of the region to confront any future dangers), considering that this is the appropriate alternative or entrance to the idea choice for Israel’s proposal with the help of its first ally, Washington, to activate security and intelligence partnerships on the countries of the region, to form that “joint Arab-Israeli security alliance under the pretext of protecting the region surrounding Israel from the danger of ISIS terrorism and armed militias”.
Perhaps the most prominent sudden development that occurred in the file of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement and negotiations project, which has been frozen for many years, is those (American attempts to revive it again, despite the immaturity of the political conditions surrounding the activation of this thorny and complex file), as a suitable main entrance for the Hebrew state and the United States of America. In order to (present the security cooperation or the security alliance between Israel and the Arabs, in light of the common security and intelligence challenges facing them all from the fear of the spread of terrorist movements and operations in those countries surrounding Israel), and their impact on the security of Tel Aviv itself.
We find here that the US administration of President Joe Biden had given the green light to a high-level security and political delegation from Washington to head to the region, and try to hold meetings with the Arab, Palestinian and Israeli sides to test the waters on the possibility of moving the negotiations file and reviving the settlement project again. Additionally, the establishment of (an expanded security alliance between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves and the Arabs). Therefore, the American delegation headed to the region at the end of July 2021, and its first trip landed in Egypt, accompanied by holding meetings with Egyptian security and political authorities to discuss how to put the first step of the settlement project back on track, and bring the views closer to reaching a common point that helps break the stalemate. In this file, and then (discussing the file of common security challenges between Tel Aviv and the Arabs after responding to a minimum of those Palestinian and Arab demands in the face of Israel).
We find that the American delegation also headed to the Jordanian capital, Amman, as well as to Jerusalem, expressing that if the conditions matured, it might hold meetings with Palestinian President “Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen” inside the district headquarters in the “city of Ramallah in the West Bank”, there are intensive contacts from the American side with (Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Israel), to prepare and set the initial outlines for any American move in this thorny file related to sharing the Israeli settlement with the Palestinians, to ensure its success and to obtain the support and approval of all parties and to start from the last point At that point, negotiations were concluded, the last of which was at the end of 2014. The Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations have been suspended since April 2014, for several reasons, including: (Israel’s refusal to release former detainees and halt settlements). The US administration here began to move “from the stage of rhetoric to actions”, especially after (Washington’s decision to resume financial aid to Palestinian refugees).
From my analytical point of view, both Washington and Tel Aviv are planning a project to “integrate the Israeli state into the internal affairs and Arab regional security after making certain efforts at the point of settlement of the course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, and this is what the US administration has stated several times under the leadership of “Biden and Trump”. On the common security challenges facing the entity of Israel and the Arabs due to the stalemate in the peace negotiations between the two parties.
The Israeli strategic thought in this regard is clear and does not know any ambiguity, but the question posed is: “the arrangement of its dealings with the region is based on this new security logic”, and it is also trying to adapt the American perception to make American policy if it does not stand in support of such a strategy at least avoid rejection. There is no doubt that the Israeli policy proceeds with real awareness, based on “not to rush in its steps, not to rush after achieving its goals, and to wait for the right moment when the situation becomes ripe to advance the wheel of development”. In fact, the observer of Zionist diplomacy – and not Israeli policy – notes that it was prepared for the diplomacy of the Jewish state in this regard from a far-sightedness when it worked to transform the Arab national system into multiple internal systems, even in the economic sphere.
Israel’s future strategy revolves around two logics, both of which complement the other: the first: paralyzing the dangers it faces, and the second: working to achieve its Zionist goals, not in the sense set by the early Zionist fathers, but in the sense imposed by contemporary reality, which is “the security challenges facing the Hebrew state, and the flexibility that may entail with the Arab and Palestinian side to obtain what Israel aims to protect its borders and security”.
What caught the Egyptian researcher with great interest are the statements of Palestinian President “Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen”, published on Tuesday, December 30, 2018, when he spoke about:
“Security cooperation between Palestine and Israel is described as a Palestinian “national interest”, regardless of the Israeli behavior towards the Palestinians”
We find that the call of the Israeli Minister of Defense “Benny Gantz” on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, is the first with the UAE Minister of State for Defense Affairs “Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Bawardi”, focused on:
“The need to advance security cooperation between the two countries”
The Hebrew “Yedioth Ahronoth Newspaper” published a statement by Israeli Defense Minister “Gantz”, in which he said that he spoke with the emirati minister about “the need to advance the normalization agreement that establishes, including: security relations between the two countries and the region”. Which is now paving the way for a more formal and public security relationship. We find that “the new Israeli-Gulf alliance can create advanced early warning systems against Iranian missiles, and it can create the conditions for implementing a connected command and control network for missile defense and naval operations in the Red Sea, the northern Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. It also allows for a joint use of military technology and a regular exchange of information”.
According to the same Israeli future analysis, (Abu Dhabi could benefit greatly from increased security cooperation with Israel. For example, the Emiratis could request Israeli assistance in protecting the country’s critical infrastructure, including: oil and water desalination facilities, power stations and airports and sea ports). The Israeli missile defense system “Iron Dome” can also represent an addition in this regard. There were already some indications that the UAE might buy the (Iron Dome system) in the future.
According to the same Emirati future analysis, (the UAE can also benefit from Israeli support in the “fields of cyber security and intelligence,” and the Israelis had already supported the UAE for some time in this field, even before the normalization agreement), several Israeli companies, such as: “Aronatex” By providing Emiratis with products and services to enhance their intelligence and electronic capabilities. It is said that Emirati companies, such as: “DarkMatter”, brought in former Israeli army cyber experts from the (army’s 8200 secret unit) to work in the UAE.
Israel will also benefit from closer security relations with the Emirates, which are located in the Gulf near the southern flank of Iran, and thus the Emirates can provide a foothold for Israel to monitor and spy on Iran. What (confirms this joint step for security cooperation between Israel and the United Arab Emirates), is what was reported by several joint security intelligence reports between the two parties, according to which:
“The UAE and Israel are planning to develop a joint spy base on the Yemeni island of Socotra overlooking the Arabian Sea”
Regardless of the veracity of these reports, the UAE’s proximity to Iran (as well as the large Iranian population in Dubai) could provide Israel with access to Emirati intelligence about Iran and its regional activities.
Moreover, by establishing official relations with the Emirates, (it will become easier for Israel to coordinate regional security affairs with Saudi Arabia), even in the absence of official relations between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
On the other hand, the Emiratis can provide tacit support to Israel in the (Eastern Mediterranean region) that is increasingly important to Israel’s security. Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv are likely to cooperate closely with (Greece, Cyprus) and other members of the European Union in taking a strong stand against Turkey’s geopolitical ambitions.
The Horn of Africa region could also become a theater for increased Emirati-Israeli cooperation. For example, we find that countries, like: (Socotra, Puntland, Eritrea) are areas where “the UAE could facilitate a small Israeli presence to monitor potential hostile developments”, according to former US Defense Department officials in published statements, stating:
“Israel knows that most of these Arab regimes do not represent the people, which means that once they fall, the weapons will be in the wrong hands”
But on the other hand, the (increasingly complex dynamics in the UAE’s relationship with Syria and Iraq may complicate a closer security partnership with Israel), so Israel is now planning to help the UAE currently, according to the same Israeli security perception to reintegrate Damascus into Arab diplomacy, while targeting Israel regularly organizes Iranian-backed militias loyal to President “Bashar Al-Assad” in Syria to achieve Israel’s interests.
The same Israeli security thinking may apply to Iraq (considering the Iraqi state is an important regional balance area in the region that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are trying to return to the sphere of influence of the Egyptian, Saudi and Emirati bloc), and here, according to what the Israelis themselves analyze, (the Emirates need to be careful not to appear overtly supportive of potential future Israeli military strikes against Iranian-sponsored groups given Abu Dhabi’s relations with the governments in Damascus and Baghdad).
Here, we find that through this comprehensive previous analysis of the Egyptian researcher, Israel, with the help of its American ally and their Gulf partners in the Middle East, especially the United Arab Emirates, or regionally in the Asian region, with the help of “India and the State of Bhutan”, (Israel is trying to encircle and protect the network its regional and international interests to protect its areas of influence with the help of the United States of America), which can explain to us all the American-Israeli moves in the Gulf and Asian region itself to form that (the joint security umbrella between Israel and the Arabs and a number of Asian countries to protect Israel’s security, its borders, and the areas of its regional and international outlets, whether from Middle East or Asia), which may explain to us the reasons for this Israeli insistence on being among all those parties internationally and regionally to make partnerships and peace agreements and political normalization with them, as the researcher analyzed in the previous manner.
Sino-Russian regional activities after Afghanistan
After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last August, Russia warned against the threat from the extremist organisation of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the increase in drug trafficking.
The Taliban have decided to cooperate with Russia, China and Iran to maintain regional security. The news agency France-Presse reported that the Taliban had participated in high-level talks in Moscow. During that time, ten countries requested emergency humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan and said that the countries which have recently withdrawn from Afghanistan should provide funds to help with reconstruction. The countries are the following: China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Before that meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned that some ten thousand ISIS fighters had gathered in Northern Afghanistan to spread religious and ethnic discord. The Soviet Union once bordered on Afghanistan and Russia still considers this area a zone of influence.
Putin reported in mid-September that the ISIS leader was planning to send people disguised as refugees to neighbouring countries in Central Asia.
The countries participating in the Moscow talks stressed in a joint statement that they were concerned about the actions of terrorist organisations and reaffirmed their willingness to continue to promote security in Afghanistan to contribute to regional stability.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticised the absence of US officials during the meeting. He said earlier that ISIS-affiliated fighters and al-Qaeda were trying to take advantage of the power void in some parts of Afghanistan.
In the joint statement, the participating countries urged the Taliban to implement appropriate and cautious domestic and foreign policies and adopt a friendly policy towards Afghanistan’s neighbours.
In terms of internal policy, they demand that the Taliban respect the rights of ethnic groups, women and children. Prior to that meeting, Taliban representatives had met with EU and US officials and had also travelled to Turkey, hoping to gain official recognition and assistance from the international community.
The Taliban are in desperate need of allies at the moment because Afghanistan’s economy is in danger due to the loss of international aid, rising food prices and increasing unemployment.
With specific reference to China and Russia, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the signing of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation, relations between the two countries entered the third decade of stability and friendship.
Currently, however, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan has led to at least two negative outcomes for China and Russia: 1) Afghanistan, located in the ‘backyard’ of China and Russia has destabilised; 2) the conflict has been chaotic and the future is uncertain and after thirty years since the end of the Cold War, the United States has freed itself from that burden to focus on the challenges of the two major Eurasian powers.
Before the US withdrawal – although the Sino-Russian-US geopolitical game continued to intensify – Afghanistan was still the place where the interests of the three countries overlapped and the parties were all interested in achieving a “soft landing” on the issue.
Since 2019 the three countries have been working together in the form of an enlarged “troika” to peacefully resolve the Afghan issue. For Russia and China, the US military presence in Afghanistan was a double-edged sword: it did not only represent a geographical threat, but could also effectively contain radical Islamic forces in the region.
Both China and Russia hoped that, after reaching a sustainable peace agreement with the parties involved in Afghanistan, the US military would withdraw from Afghanistan in an orderly way to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a “terrorist sanctuary” again.
The quick US defeat in Afghanistan, however, without agreements and/or compromise solutions, was unexpected for China and Russia, especially when, on May 11, the US military evacuated the Kandahar airport without informing the Afghan government, etc.
China and Russia have no choice but to face an Afghanistan whose political future is doubtful. The two superpowers, however, have completely different attitudes towards the Afghan issue: the former is more proactive in contacting all parties inside and outside Afghanistan.
On May 11, at the Second Meeting of the Five Foreign Ministers in the format of “Central Asia and China” held in Xi’an, the Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, had warned that “foreign troops should withdraw from Afghanistan in an orderly and responsible manner to prevent hasty actions against Afghanistan”. A few days later, the Chinese Foreign Minister told his Afghan counterpart that China was “willing to host Afghanistan’s internal talks and help its efforts against terrorism”. In mid-July, during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Dushanbe, Wang Yi reiterated that proposal.
It was in that context that Wang Yi paid an official visit to Tajikistan on July 14 and then participated in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers’ meeting and met Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Tashkent the following day. Furthermore, on July 16, Chinese President Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with the then Afghan President Ashraf Ghan. Xi Jinping urged “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political dialogue to promote national reconciliation and peace processes”. He also promised to provide more assistance to Afghanistan in the fight against Covid-19 and hoped that the Afghan side would provide more protection to Chinese citizens and organisations in Afghanistan.
Ten days after US forces suddenly withdrew from Bagram Air Base (July 6), i.e. when Xi Jinping and Ghani were in talks, the United States announced that the new deadline for the US withdrawal was August 31, thus causing the Afghan army’s collapse across the country as early as late July.
On July 28, while meeting Taliban political leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Tianjin, Wang Yi said: “The sudden withdrawal of the US and NATO troops from Afghanistan marks the failure of US policy in Afghanistan. The Afghan people are now faced with an important opportunity to stabilise and develop their country”.
Baradar hopes that China will increasingly participate in the peace-building process in Afghanistan and play a greater role in the country’s reconstruction and economic development. Wang Yi said the Taliban should draw a clear line with terrorist organisations such as ISIS. In response, Baradar promised that the Afghan Taliban would “absolutely not permit any force to do anything harmful to China on the territory of Afghanistan”.
Baradar is not the first to visit China. Before September 11, 2001, the Taliban had contacts with China but, after the tragic events, China supported the Afghan Northern Alliance and the aforementioned contacts with the Taliban were interrupted for several years. Nevertheless, China has never classified the Taliban as a terrorist organisation.
China’s active diplomacy towards Afghanistan has two main reasons: firstly, security concerns, particularly China’s Western borders; secondly, economic interests, because all of Afghanistan’s neighbours are countries linked to the Silk Road Initiative.
In the actual operation, security and economy are closely related and are both essential. On July 14, the shuttle bus of the Dasu Hydropower Project in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Northwest Pakistan, was attacked by terrorists. The attack caused the death of thirteen people, including nine Chinese citizens. The Dasu Hydropower Plant is part of the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Moreover, as a neighbouring country to Afghanistan, China has a 92-kilometre-long border at the eastern edge of the 300-kilometre-long Wakhan Valley, which is connected to this war-torn country. According to reports, China provided about 70 million dollars in military assistance to Afghanistan between 2016 and 2018 and helped the Afghan army establish a mountain brigade dedicated to fighting terrorism in the Wakhan corridor.
Furthermore, during the two decades in which the United States occupied Afghanistan, China’s investment there included millions and millions of dollars in economic assistance, including various projects such as schools, hospitals, flats and food assistance, and trained thousands of Afghan students and technicians in China and Afghanistan.
Since 2017 China, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been discussing the possibility of extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan. Nevertheless, some major economic projects, such as the 2008 four billion dollar contract for the Anyak copper mine and the 2011 contract for the Amu Darya Basin joint oil and gas field development, have been suspended due to security concerns.
Unlike China, Russia has considered the Taliban a terrorist organisation since February 2003, but this has not prevented it from having contacts with them. On August 13 last, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stressed: ‘We are in dialogue with all important political forces in Afghanistan, including the Afghan government and the Taliban, the representatives of Uzbeks and Tajiks and others”.
In fact, the representatives of the Taliban visited Moscow as early as November 2018 to participate in the peace Conference hosted by Russia. They also held two meetings in 2021 (on March 18 and July 8) to participate in tripartite consultations, Russia’s preferred format for dialogue. Two days before the Taliban took control of Kabul, Foreign Minister Lavrov envisaged an enlarged tripartite consultation mechanism to include Iran and India in addition to Pakistan. Outside Afghanistan, Russia has invested many resources in Central Asia and has considerable influence in the security field (Collective Security Treaty Organisation).
As important countries, many global problems are related to the relationship between China and Russia. Western countries, like colonies led by the United States of America, have preferred to have hammers in their hands and nails in their eyes. China and Russia have not followed the Western model, but have gone their separate ways. This is a hope for the countries that have been devastated by the US interference (former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, African countries, etc.), and it is also a hope for the Westphalian world order disrupted by the United States after the Twin Towers attack.
The development and progress of human civilisation cannot have only one pathway, nor should there be only one model. As a Chinese saying goes: “Those who are fit for themselves but forgets the others are abandoned by the people; those who deny themselves and rise again are admired by everybody”.
A More Diverse Force: The Need for Diversity in the U.S. Intelligence Community
As part of a hiring initiative meant to attract new and diverse hires, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) released a new recruitment video in March of 2021. The video featured a Hispanic female discussing her background and time in the CIA, as well as why she chose to serve her country. She says at one point, “I’m a woman of color. I am a mom. I am a cis-gender millennial who’s been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder…I did not sneak into CIA. My employment was not and is not the result of a fluke or a slip through the cracks. I earned my way in, and I earned my way up the ranks of this organization”.
The video showed a woman who cares for her family, cares for her country, and desires to see a difference be made in the world. However, some took issue with the advert though, though these criticisms came over a month after the video first was published and made available to the public.
In a tweet, the Republican Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, said, “If you’re a Chinese communist, or an Iranian Mullah, or Kim Jong Un…would this scare you? We’ve come a long way from Jason Bourne”. Many criticized Cruz for his usage of Jason Bourne, a fictional CIA Paramilitary Operations Officer, yet he took to Twitter once again to clarify, saying, “My point is that CIA agents should be bad-asses—not woke, fragile flowers needing safe spaces”.
Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted “China & Russia are laughing their asses off watching CIA go full woke…If you think about it, wokeness is the kind of twisted PSYOP a spy agency would invent to destroy a country from the inside out”. Others, including popular conservative commentators like Dinesh D’Souza and Meghan McCain, also criticized the ad calling a “joke” or “insane” while others went as far to say that the CIA was “actively looking to recruit the most immodest, narcissistic, grotesquely self-serving people in the world”.
Criticism towards the ad did not purely come from the Conservative, rightist personalities either, but also members of the left. Left-leaning publications such as The Intercept and Jezebel both critiqued the ad. It seems that, from all sectors of American public and political life, this advert and total tactic was heavily derided; from members of the left, it was cringey and irrespective of the agency’s long and controversial history while, from members of the right, it was ineffective national security and intelligence policy.
However, what many seem to be forgetting is that diversity within the intelligence world is an extremely important factor in creating effective and accurate foreign policy and in gaining the most up to date and accurate intelligence.
Intelligence analysis is probably the most important part of the Intelligence Cycle and holds just as much, if not more, importance as the end result, the intelligence estimate or packet. To put it simply, if the analysis is corrupted in some way, shape, or form by either the analyst’s personal views or tainted by poorly verified intelligence, then the action taken based upon this intelligence could result in missteps or negative affects to U.S. policymakers, military units, or regions in which the intelligence affects. Throughout history, there are an abundance of examples in which intelligence analysts have misinterpreted situations due to their own biases about a nation, political ideology, or have been selected specifically to sort through intelligence in order to back up a preconceived opinion.
One of the best examples in showing how analysts’ personal views, both conscious and subconscious, can affect their overall analysis is the 1954 coup d’état of Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz.
The coup, which was given the CIA codename Operation PBSUCCESS, was a mission in which the U.S. government, via the CIA and U.S. State Department, engaged in fomenting a coup to remove Árbenz, the leftist president who had approved of agrarian reforms within Guatemala. To justify an invasion, members of the State Department and CIA tried to link Árbenz to Guatemalan communists, yet this proved very difficult as there was “no evidence that Arbenz himself was anything more than a European-style democratic socialist”. A CIA paper, published two months before the coup, also, “did not cite any direct contact between Guatemalan Communists and Moscow. The paper offered ideology, not facts…”.
A master’s thesis written by a student at West Virginia University extensively and exclusively covers the CIA’s decision making process, detailing how, “CIA reports from the early 1950s also demonstrated this fear [of Communism]… The “red scare,” in essence, affected nearly all Americans. Many in the Eisenhower government also felt that Moscow had a nefarious hidden hand and controlled communist sympathizers around the globe,” while also noting that the, “ONI [Office of Naval Intelligence] did not feel that CIA had valid reasons or enough sources to reach the conclusion it did regarding Soviet intentions in Latin America”. The heightened fears of Communism and the Soviet Union that permeated the minds of analysts within the State Department and CIA (as well as the desires by some to ensure the survival of the United Fruit Company in the country) resulted in intelligence that was skewed to believing that the Guatemalan government was embracing Communism, when, even according to the CIA’s own histories, was baseless.
Based upon this example, as one can see, the intelligence provided to the U.S. government was based upon analyst biases and did not accurately reflect how the Guatemalan government under Árbenz operated nor how entrenched the Communists were in political life. The fear of Communism overwhelmed the amount of solid and fact-based analysis, resulting in an invasion that removed a democratically elected president.
This coup eventually resulted in the emplacement of a right-wing, military government, which would rule until 1996, overseeing a brutal civil war complete with death squads, acts of genocide committed by presidential administrations, political assassinations, and a drastic increase in governmental corruption. Members of the CIA who were involved in the operation too regretted their actions and acknowledged that the outcome did not benefit Guatemala, the U.S., or Latin America. Operation PBSUCCESS did not bring about a U.S.-friendly democracy, but a U.S.-friendly military dictatorship that engaged in war crimes and severely destabilized the entire country. The failure of this operation to bring about a democracy and U.S. intervention in the country in the first place was, in my own view and examination, based upon biased analyses by the CIA which promoted the view that Guatemala was becoming sympathetic to Communists and the operation itself shows just how important intelligence analysis is.
Not only is analysis an incredibly important tool within the intelligence cycle as a whole, but the analyst themselves are highly important. The analysis is only as good as the analyst and if the analyst is biased, limited in their outlook or worldview, or come from a sole section of society, then the analysis will reflect those beliefs. Most of the analysts involved in the Guatemalan operation were white and male, most likely coming from middle-class backgrounds and either having military service or Ivy League education or both. These beliefs and hiring processes which exclude persons beyond the majority of America’s populace can significantly hinder an agency and promote a poor world outlook. The majority of persons in countries in which the U.S. is involved, thinking of becoming involved, or are creating analyses in anticipation of potential foreign policies are not white or male nor from wealthy societies; they are, most often than not, of an extremely different mindset than many Americans, live in poverty or close to poverty, and have an immensely different culture. While the CIA has made some headway in this area, retired CIA case officers and analysts have made claims that the CIA (and the Intelligence Community as a whole) are severely underperforming and not effectively recruiting towards people from outside of that select pool.
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, Jr.’s comments about the CIA lowering their standards and fostering an environment in which the CIA now is ineffective at creating intelligence or defending the United States from foreign threats (not being “badass” enough) is nonsensical. If anything, the inclusion of persons who are not white or male, who have experience outside of the military, who are knowledgeable on issues beyond military, intelligence, and national defense/security makes for a more well-rounded force and an agency more effective at analyzing collected intelligence, crafting accurate and informed recommendations, and allowing past mistakes, the misreading of important political events, to take hold. Including strong, analytical persons from more minority backgrounds into the national security framework will perform wonders for American intelligence analysis and in making influential policy decisions.
To quote Marc Polymeropoulos, a retired CIA officer, “Diversity is an operational advantage. Simple as that. I want case officers who look like the UN”.
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Landmark decision gives legal teeth to protect environmental defenders
A 46-strong group of countries across the wider European region has agreed to establish a new legally binding mechanism that...
Plastic pollution on course to double by 2030
Plastic pollution in oceans and other bodies of water continues to grow sharply and could more than double by 2030, according to an assessment released on Thursday by the UN Environment...
Global Warming And COP26: Issues And Politics
The president’s massive social services and infrastructure package is under consideration by Congress. The problem is Senator Joe Manchin, a...
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