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Daily Evacuation Brief | January 29, 2022
Daily news about Afghanistan and the surrounding region, powered by Operation Snow Leopard
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LAST 24 HOURS:
· A delegation of leaders from the remnants of civil society arrived in Mazar to petition the Taliban to release several of the people arrested over the past week.
· Calls to alleviate the humanitarian crisis gained strength as more world leaders added their voices. Aid has begun to arrive, but the disbursement process has not been transparent.
· Russia announced it did not want war in Ukraine.
NEXT 24 HOURS:
· An announcement is expected from the Taliban about plans for education in the country. As a pre-condition for much of the promised aid, donor countries and organizations are demanding access to education for women and girls. It is unclear if the Taliban will comply.
· Some of the people arrested in Mazar are expected to be released.
· Work to reestablish power for Afghans affected when the Central Asia power grid went down will continue. Sources state about 60% of those affected will have power restored through Turkmenistani cooperation.
Cold War Tactics on Display
CONTEXT: Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan continue cooperative efforts to contain any potential threat of extremism that could flow out of the new Afghanistan. These efforts began almost immediately after the fall of Kabul and included security assistance measures in the form of equipment and weapons, troops and advisors, and access to intelligence and communications. Tajikistan received the bulk of the assistance and is considered the most likely avenue potential terrorists would use. With Kazakhstan is still reeling from nationwide civil unrest, Russia hopes to use both states as buffers and is supporting them accordingly.
DISCUSSION: Back in the Cold War the USSR and the West often employed strategies to counter one another, and a large part of it played out in the press. Both sides used the press to plant disinformation, send messages to operatives, curry favor with the international community, and blatantly threaten one another. Although contemporary accounts often suggest PRAVDA as the propaganda arm of the USSR, TASS was actually the single most important supplier of news coming into the USSR. It also produced the majority of propaganda that was transmitted abroad for roughly the entirety of the existence of the USSR.
We are seeing a small return to those tactics on display in Central Asia today. The modern TASS is being used to prepare the international community for what may turn into a proxy campaign against terrorism.
Two articles released within thirty minutes detail a potential threat against Tajikistan and the subsequent actions being taken to counter it:
Threat to Tajikistan from Militants in Northern Afghanistan still in place (https://tass.com/world/1394779)
Supplies of Russian Weapons to Help Tajikistan Enhance its Combat Readiness (https://tass.com/defense/1394789)
For those who experienced the Cold War, these articles would be difficult to distinguish from those printed in 1981. Especially with a few word changes (EG: terrorists with imperialists). Juxtaposing these actions in Central Asia with the drama playing out in Ukraine provides Millenials and Generation Z a glimpse of the realpolitik that was so prevalent in the latter half of the twentieth century.
While these articles don’t necessarily portend anything of significance for the current situation in Afghanistan, they effectively plant seeds for potential future actions Russia may want to take against terrorist organizations. They provide insight into Russia’s thinking and it appears Putin is drawing a line along the borders of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
ANALYSIS: If Afghanistan’s security situation deteriorates further, analysts agree that both nations will close their borders and the possibility of air/missile strikes against targets deemed terrorist training facilities will ensue.
Afghani to the Dollar: .0097 – 1 (as of 29 JAN 2022)
Threat to Tajikistan from militants in northern Afghanistan still in place — diplomat | Russian News Agency
DUSHANBE, January 28. /TASS/. Militants from various terrorist organizations operating in northern Afghanistan are a threat to Tajikistan, Russian Ambassador to Dushanbe Igor Lyakin-Frolov said in an interview with TASS…
Afghan Children Starving To Death As Hunger ‘Rapidly Spreading’ | Gandhara | By Abubakar Siddique
Graana walked for more than two hours to seek treatment for her starving 2-year-old son at a hospital in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. "My son couldn't walk because he was so weak,” the mother of five told RFE/RL's Radio Azadi. “Hunger had disfigured him to the extent that he started to look scary. I was hopeless…"
As Americans Consider Evacuating, Ukrainians Prepare for a Fight | The Dispatch | By Charlotte Lawson
In the days before Taliban fighters captured Afghanistan’s capital city, authorities such as the Afghan National Security Forces, Ashraf Ghani’s government, and the U.S. administration sought to maintain the appearance of control over a rapidly deteriorating situation. As several evacuees have told The Dispatch, the messaging was so strong that many Kabul residents didn’t grasp the severity of the situation until Taliban gunfire rang out on the city’s outskirts…
Briefing Pakistan’s National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Yusuf has also claimed that “organized terrorist networks” are operating in the country. “Had a very productive discussion on the National Security Policy (NSP) and Afghanistan. I am grateful for the appreciation we received for our work from members of the committee,” Yusuf tweeted…
International News Relating to Afghanistan
What does the Taliban’s victory mean for the Middle East? | UK House of Commons | By Philip Loft
Afghanistan’s neighbours—shown on the map below —have an interest in ensuring Afghan terror groups (such as Islamic State) are contained, and the country retains a functioning economy to stem a potential humanitarian crisis…
Citizens praised the proposal of the chargé d'affaires of the Afghanistan mission to the United Nations who called for the freezing of Afghan assets illegally transferred to the accounts of former government officials. The citizens said that many former government officials were involved in corruption and that they are currently living a luxury life abroad while the country is struggling on the edge of catastrophe…
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