Discover more from The Afghan Digest
Daily Evacuation Brief | February 20, 2022
Daily news about Afghanistan and the surrounding region powered by Operation Snow Leopard
LAST 24 HOURS:
Security forces killed three people and wounded more in two separate checkpoint incidents.
A 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck Badakhshan. No casualties or damage had been reported as of this printing.
NATO evacuated its staff from Ukraine.
NEXT 24 HOURS:
Given recent civilian deaths at Taliban checkpoints, it appears there is a heightened state of security, possibly in response to recent ISIS-K threats to launch attacks. At-risk Afghans are advised to avoid travel for the time being.
Pakistani diplomatic missions are expected to recommence issuing visas in Kabul and other Afghan consulate locations in 2 to 3 days.
Russian separatists on Ukraine’s border are expected to continue shelling Ukrainian forces in blatant disregard of the ceasefire.
THE BALD FACED LIE
CONTEXT: The Taliban regime has made repeated claims that “No foreign terrorist groups are in Afghanistan.” It’s an absurd claim—one that both the media and the regime itself has proven false on multiple occasions. The UN Secretary General raised the issue at the Munich Security Conference recently by voicing concerns over possible spillover of terrorism from Afghanistan. He rightly recognized the dangers that fragile states often pose to the international community given their lax internal security infrastructure and frequent sectarian schemes between hardline factions and international terror groups. Terrorists consistently do a phenomenal job of exploiting the periods of chaos caused by regime changes, and they are certainly doing so now in Afghanistan, presumably with the explicit support of the Haqqani network.
The Haqqani umbrella is undoubtedly wide. While much of the focus has been on ISIS-K and the TTP within Afghanistan, other groups like al-Qaeda, the Turkistan Islamic Movement, and Iran’s Quds Forces are also reputed to be enjoying a safe harbor in the country.
ANALYSIS: So, which countries will feel the effects of this cooperation first? We believe the following list of candidates for a terror attack is forming:
Pakistan will be the first target on the regional list. The Durand Line project is highly unpopular in Afghanistan and provides the TTP with a fixed hard target. Pakistani security forces will continue to suffer losses from groups such as the TTP.
Tajikistan will begin to see attacks, especially in the eastern portion of the country where the Turkistan Islamic Movement enjoys support. The Tajik president has been a particularly vociferous critics of the Taliban, and the recently arrived Russian reinforcements in the country present an attractive target for terror groups. Tajikistan is already experiencing border problems with its neighbor Kyrgyzstan, and the central government is thought to be weak.
China, although probably not directly threatened by terrorist attacks on its territory, is a target for several groups who may be operating in Afghanistan. The cross-border trade and infrastructure projects it is planning may invite attacks. Terrorists may target Chinese citizens in Afghanistan or Chinese projects.
India is an obvious candidate, but may benefit from both distance and extreme security measures it has put in place since the fall of Kabul.
Russia’s vacillating rhetoric toward the Taliban has been a form of maskirovka in order to reassure their CSTO signatory allies. They have also seriously minimized the hatred Afghans have long held against their former occupier.
Obviously, the United States, NATO allies, and other countries are priority targets for these terror groups, but it will take time to develop strategies to mount campaigns against them and build the capacity for far-reaching attacks. We strongly feel that regional targets will bear the brunt of attacks for the next 3-12 months.
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 91.86 AFN (as of 20 FEB 2022)
By Alex Crawford – inews
They’ve been teargassed, arrested in the middle of the night and held by the Taliban for weeks. Who knows what happened…
By Wida Forotan – Pajhwok Afghan News
Prices of petroleum products, gold, sugar and flour declined, but rates of other essential items stayed steady during…
A woman was killed and two more were injured in Afghanistan’s Kandahar after the security forces opened fire on…
By Ahmad Sohaib Hasrat – Pajhwok Afghan News
A doctor was shot dead by security forces after he did not stop his vehicle during a cordon in capital Kabul, officials said…
By Aditya Raj Kaul – News 18
The spillover of high tech modern weapons and advanced night vision devices left over by Americans in Afghanistan after the…
The Iranian foreign minister expressed sorrow over the continuation of immigration waves from Afghanistan into Iran and the country’s…
International News Relating to Afghanistan
By Ilya Gridneff – The Guardian
It was the toughest decision these judges ever made. To flee Afghanistan, the country they love and…
By Sputnik International
Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said Oslo is not considering the recognition of…
Before you go:
All our funds go toward caseworkers supporting evacuations, the evacuations themselves, and/or operational costs to keep this mission going.
Check out our other content:
Whispers: The best open source intelligence and analysis on Afghanistan. (weekly- members only)
Anatomy of a Crisis: Pragmatic thought leadership on disaster resilience and crisis management from a variety of experts. (weekly- members only)
Afghan Voices: Powerful Afghan voices making a difference in Afghanistan and around the world. (biweekly- all subscribers)
Allies in Action: Allies in Action who are committed to evacuation and resettlement efforts. (biweekly- all subscribers)
We won’t forget our allies.
We believe in sharing many opinions and looking from many different perspectives. This means we do not necessarily agree with everything shared in the news or contributor articles, but we believe it’s important to treat other perspectives with respect and to consider their point of view.