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Retired Australian Diplomat Expects Swift Afghan Reconstruction under BRI, but Warns of Five Eyes Sabotage

Aug. 17 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Tony Kevin, a retired Australian career diplomat, drew some lessons from the “entirely predictable” “ignominious rout” of Afghanistan’s Ghani regime, in an article, “The U.S. Disaster in Afghanistan and the Growing Influence of Russia and China,” posted today to the Australian public policy blog “Pearls and Irritations.”

“China has offered substantial economic help through the Belt and Road Initiative to the Taliban, with the agreed quid pro quo that the Taliban will not support any Islamist insurgencies in the Xinjiang province of China. Relations between the Taliban government in Afghanistan and the Russian and Chinese governments will be based on mutual respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he believes.

Therefore, “Afghanistan’s economic and social reconstruction could be swift, provided that it is not handicapped by continuing Western military interventions,” he warns.

“There are some angry and vengeful voices in the Five Eyes strategic community already calling for continuing American drone- and bomber-launched missile attacks on Afghanistan cities from the air. No military purpose would be served now by such prolongation of hostilities and I hope that President Biden would firmly veto any such pointless aggression.”

Kevin is more optimistic that this second Taliban government could be more moderate than the first, than he is that the U.S. military-industrial complex and the Australian elites now integrated into it will learn their lesson from the defeat.

His argument for possible Taliban moderation now, is that, because regional support from neighbors such as Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China, “will help to back up Afghanistan’s sovereignty,” the new government, thus freed from some of the previous Western pressure, could moderate its religious and social policies along the lines of how Afghan society has evolved, especially in respect of the role and rights of women.

He adds an important caveat: “An urgent national priority should be to stamp out the very profitable opium trade and the corruption and abuse of power this trade fosters. The Taliban has said it is determined to do this. We shall see.”

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