“Never in our wildest dreams could we have believed we could beat a superpower like America with just our Kalashnikovs”…

soldier, military, uniform

This is a round-up of various tweets, TV shows and articles that give interesting perspectives on what is going on in Afghanistan. The Times tours Bagram Air Force Base, which is now in Taliban control. Click through to see all the tweets. One of the odder decisions of the Americans was to give the Afghanis airplanes and helicopters. There was just the small matter of them having very few people who could fly them or service them. You can be …

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Afghanistan Exposes the West’s Crisis as it did the Soviets’

Soviet APCs depart Afghanistan as part of the first phase of troop withdrawal in 1986.

The Soviet Empire was undone by three things – firstly, overstretching itself, especially through the acquisition of a series of Global South satrapies from Nicaragua through Ethiopia to Vietnam in the 1970s and 1980s; secondly, misrepresenting realities to itself so as to fit Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy; thirdly, because its leaders no longer believed in that political religion even as they presided over a system that permitted no alternative. Mohammad Najibullah’s government hung on in Kabul for three years after Soviet troops …

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The fall of Afghanistan shows Europe can no longer depend on the US & UK to protect our security interests

The rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the deafening silence from the White House and UK Government demonstrates one of the most extraordinary blunders of intelligence and analysis in history in regard to the strength of the Taliban. The Taliban’s lightning onslaught is far quicker than those in power can even arrange a meeting to formulate a response. While some may lay the blame on former President Trump who formerly announced the withdrawal of US troops from the region in …

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Live Cricket: Ireland v Afghanistan at Stormont – 5th ODI

After a somewhat controversial victory in the 4th One Day International on Sunday, Afghanistan have a 2-1 lead going into today’s 5th, and final, ODI against Ireland’s cricketers at Stormont.  Afghanistan won the toss and put Ireland in to bat.  Live video via CricketIrelandTV.  Cricinfo has the usual over-by-over text commentary.  Ireland made 265 for 5 from 50 overs, with an unbeaten 160 runs for opening batsman Ed Joyce.  Afghanistan chasing 266 runs to win.  Update Afghanistan made 253 for 9 …

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Live Cricket: Ireland v Afghanistan at Stormont – 4th ODI

With the series level at 1-1 after 3 games, Ireland’s cricketers take on the touring Afghanistan team at Stormont today in the 4th One-Day International of 5 scheduled matches.  Afganistan won the toss and chose to bat first.  Cricinfo has the over-by-over text commentary.  Live streaming video via CricketIrelandTV.  Update Afghanistan made 229 for 7 from 50 overs.  Update 2 Ireland 150 all out from 41.0 overs.  Afghanistan win by 79 runs and take a 2-1 lead with one match remaining. Pete Baker

Live Cricket: Ireland v Afghanistan at Stormont – 3rd ODI

Live streaming cricket from Belfast as Ireland take on Afghanistan in the 3rd ODI of a 5 match series.  The first was rained off, and on Tuesday Afghanistan comfortably withstood Ireland’s attempt at chasing down the total of 250 runs they set in the 2nd ODI after being put into bat.  This time, Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat, setting a total of 236 all out from 49.1 overs.  Ireland require 237 from their 50 overs to level the series …

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“But today, identity seems more central to politics than ever before.”

Brian’s noting of the advice from Richard Haass to the Israeli government reminded me that there are other places, and administrations, who have received similar ‘lessons’ from The Process™ here.  Afghanistan, for example.  Of course, it always helps to have well-placed friends [writing your speeches! – Ed].  And it’s worth noting that Richard Haass’ role here was not without criticism…  His successor, Mitchel Reiss, has been more forthright in his recounting at times.  ANYhoo…  There’s also Iraq.  Where the BBC now reports Almost every …

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“It is as if someone is trying to hide the sun with two fingers.”

Another ‘lesson’ from the Northern Ireland Process, being implemented in a more systematic manner elsewhere… Afghanistan’s government is rewriting history, literally. The education ministry has endorsed a new history curriculum for school students that deletes nearly four decades of the country’s war-torn past. The government says textbooks based on the new curriculum will help bring unity in a country traditionally polarised along ethnic and political lines. But critics accuse ministers of trying to appease the Taliban and other powerful groups …

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ICC World Twenty20 2012 Qualifier Final

Both Ireland and Afghanistan have qualified for Sri Lanka, and Ireland have already played one match today, but hopefully the final will be a close game.  Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bat.  Live text ball-by-ball commentary here.  Adds  Or, thanks to John below, watch it live here. Afghanistan 152 for 7 from 20 overs. Update  Afghanistan made 152 from their 20 overs.  Not as high a total as they were threatening, thanks to a spirited bowling and fielding performance by Ireland.  Key moment being …

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ICC World Twenty20 2012 Qualifier Tournament

After defeating the Netherlands by seven wickets in Dubai, Ireland’s cricketers are just one win away from a final showdown with Afghanistan in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament.   Getting to the final would also secure a place in the World Twenty20 2012 in Sri Lanka in September.  To get there, though, they need to beat Namibia, who lost to Afghanistan by 47 runs in an earlier preliminary final. Namibia are also the only team to have defeated Ireland in the qualifying tournament to date.  That, however, was in …

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Time to end the war in Afghanistan?

Yesterday was the deadliest day so far for the United States of its 10-year war in Afghanistan, as thirty members of the American special forces were killed when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter. That brings the US death toll since the start of the conflict to over 1,000. The UK has lost over 300. Afghanistan: countless thousands (ISAF / NATO hasn’t cared to count too closely). This year, the projected total cost to the US relating to Afghanistan is …

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