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NYT: "High-Level Talks Aim for an End to the Afghan War"

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 06:15 pm
Excerpt from story:

High-Level Talks Aim for an End to the Afghan War


KABUL, Afghanistan — Talks to end the war in Afghanistan involve extensive, face-to-face discussions with Taliban commanders from the highest levels of the group’s leadership, who are secretly leaving their sanctuaries in Pakistan with the help of NATO troops, officials here say.


The discussions, some of which have taken place in Kabul, are unfolding between the inner circle of President Hamid Karzai and members of the Quetta shura, the leadership group that oversees the Taliban war effort inside Afghanistan. Afghan leaders have also held discussions with leaders of the Haqqani network, considered to be one of the most hard-line guerrilla factions fighting here; and members of the Peshawar shura, whose fighters are based in eastern Afghanistan.

The Taliban leaders coming into Afghanistan for talks have left their havens in Pakistan on the explicit assurance that they would not be attacked or arrested by NATO forces, Afghans familiar with the talks said. Many top Taliban leaders reside in Pakistan, where they are believed to enjoy at least some official protection.




But:

.......The discussions appear to be unfolding without the approval of Pakistan’s leaders, who are believed to exercise a wide degree of control over the Taliban’s leadership. The Afghan government seems to be trying to seek a reconciliation agreement that does not directly involve Pakistan, which Mr. Karzai’s government fears will exercise too much influence over Afghanistan after NATO forces withdraw.

But that strategy could backfire by provoking the Pakistanis, who could undermine any agreement.

Mullah Muhammad Omar, the overall leader of the Taliban, is explicitly being cut out of the negotiations, in part because of his closeness to the Pakistani security services, officials said.

Afghans who have attempted to take part in, or even facilitate, past negotiations, have been killed by their Taliban comrades, sometimes with the assistance Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI......




Full story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/world/asia/20afghan.html?_r=1&emc=na




Any thoughts, any hope? Just trying to get the hell out?
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JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 07:32 pm
There's much to be discussed here, but it's important that we get the facts straight from the get go. This was not a war, it was an illegal invasion, it was a war crime.

Quote:


Obama's Af-Pak War Is Illegal
Monday 21 December 2009
by: Marjorie Cohn, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

Although the US invasion of Afghanistan was as illegal as the invasion of Iraq, many Americans saw it as a justifiable response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The cover of Time magazine called it "The Right War." Obama campaigned on ending the Iraq war but escalating the war in Afghanistan. But a majority of Americans now oppose that war as well.

The UN Charter provides that all member states must settle their international disputes by peaceful means, and no nation can use military force except in self-defense or when authorized by the Security Council. After the 9/11 attacks, the council passed two resolutions, neither of which authorized the use of military force in Afghanistan.

"Operation Enduring Freedom" was not legitimate self-defense under the charter because the 9/11 attacks were crimes against humanity, not "armed attacks" by another country. Afghanistan did not attack the United States. In fact, 15 of the 19 hijackers hailed from Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, there was not an imminent threat of an armed attack on the United States after 9/11, or President Bush would not have waited three weeks before initiating his October 2001 bombing campaign. The necessity for self-defense must be "instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation." This classic principle of self-defense in international law has been affirmed by the Nuremberg Tribunal and the UN General Assembly.

Bush's justification for attacking Afghanistan was that it was harboring Osama bin Laden and training terrorists, even though bin Laden did not claim responsibility for the 9/11 attacks until 2004. After Bush demanded that the Taliban turn over bin Laden to the United States, the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan said his government wanted proof that bin Laden was involved in the 9/11 attacks before deciding whether to extradite him, according to The Washington Post. That proof was not forthcoming; the Taliban did not deliver bin Laden, and Bush began bombing Afghanistan.

Bush's rationale for attacking Afghanistan was spurious. Iranians could have made the same argument to attack the United States after they overthrew the vicious Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979 and the US gave him safe haven. If the new Iranian government had demanded that the US turn over the Shah and we refused, would it have been lawful for Iran to invade the United States? Of course not.

http://www.truth-out.org/1221094

0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 08:07 pm
@dlowan,
Hi, Dlowan. I was surprised to see this story pop up on my NY Times alert email this evening. I don't know quite to make of it.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 08:14 pm
I have read different stories about this. Some of them a few months back. I didn't know if anything would come of it, but am now hopeful the war can soon be ended.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 08:36 pm
@realjohnboy,
I'm a bit worried it'll be a Vietnam type thing.

Well, I guess it's better to just let the Afghanis kill each other than it is to add to their misery by killing a whole bunch more.

Damned if I know.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 08:39 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

I have read different stories about this. Some of them a few months back. I didn't know if anything would come of it, but am now hopeful the war can soon be ended.


My concern it just reverts back to the old war...with the Taliban in control again almost immediately. Goddess help the women...not that life changed much for them after the invasion...in some ways I gather it was worse.

Afghanistan is one hell of a buggered around with country....both by every major imperialist power in the last couple of centuries, and by their own tribalism and culture of corruption and general ability to make each other miserable.


Gee, I'd love to have some hope though!!!!
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 08:47 pm
@dlowan,
An open ended war that can go on another ten or twenty years is just as unacceptable. Mounting casualties, billions of dollars spent at the drop of a hat - For that elusive American style democracy I keep hearing about, but don't see. I am not callous to the people's dilemma. But I don't see us sitting on this territory forever.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 08:47 pm
@dlowan,
there is an article in the current issue of Foreign Policy that had me wondering what we'd hear about next in terms of Afghanistan.

Gotta find the link.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 08:57 pm
call me a cockeyed optimist but I'm pretty sure that a good show of arms technology/drones/satellite imagining along with a highly trained ground force will bring the tribal heathens to their collective knees. well that and xxxx billions of US dollars moving daily to the UAE, Peace and contentment is just around the corner.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 09:00 pm
@dlowan,
You know it has got to be bad when Uncle Sugar is willing to kiss old Taliban's butt for a chance to git away whole when Mr. Taliban can afford bullets but no toilet paper...
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 09:04 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

there is an article in the current issue of Foreign Policy that had me wondering what we'd hear about next in terms of Afghanistan.

Gotta find the link.


I went to both Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs....on FP I see a book which I have bought for my kindle....FA it is a premium article, and my subscription seems to have run out!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 09:04 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

call me a cockeyed optimist but I'm pretty sure that a good show of arms technology/drones/satellite imagining along with a highly trained ground force will bring the tribal heathens to their collective knees. well that and xxxx billions of US dollars moving daily to the UAE, Peace and contentment is just around the corner.


Oh, indubitable.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 09:08 pm
@dlowan,
as Robert McNamara so wisely pointed out so many years ago, winning the war is just a matter of body counts.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 09:12 pm
@dlowan,
Quote:
with the Taliban in control again almost immediately. Goddess help the women...not that life changed much for them after the invasion...in some ways I gather it was worse.


This is a red herring, a monstrous red herring. There wasn't any talk of the Taliban back when the Taliban were the Americans choice du jour. What's worse, to live a life under what has been for centuries or to be blown to smithereens and have no life at all or to have your children blown to smithereens.

Afghans can work out their own destiny. Talk like this only deflects away from the important issues, holding those responsible for these war crimes to account.

Let's have a wee bit of honesty here. The problem the Afghans have had has largely been caused by the US. Sure there have been the suckups but the major impetus for these war crimes, and they are war crimes, has been the USA.

Things just roll on and on. The bullshit flies:

Quote:
The United States billed the invasion of Afghanistan as a liberating moment for Afghan women.

"The last time we met in this chamber, the mothers and daughters of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes, forbidden from working or going to school," President George W. Bush said in his 2002 State of the Union address. "Today women are free and are part of Afghanistan's new government."


The FBI doesn't believe that OBL is responsible for 9/11, the US justice department hasn't indicted OBL. But all there is is talk about how bad the Taliban are. The Taliban haven't instigated illegal wars of aggression against any country. It's preposterous to suggest that could ever happen.

And the truth:


Quote:
Malalai Joya, called the "bravest woman in Afghanistan," is finishing up a U.S. tour where she has pressed the Obama administration to pull the military out of her country. She says nothing could be worse for women than what she sees as the current civil war.

Surrounded by powerful men twice her age, Malalai Joya, then 27 and the youngest person elected to the Afghan parliament, raised her hand to speak. She denounced the warlords and drug traffickers in the government and stood up in favor of women's rights.

That was 2005, four years after the United States invaded Afghanistan.

Two years later, Joya was expelled from parliament for criticizing the warlords who she says remain in control of the country under U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai.

Multiple times, her enemies have tried to kill her, forcing her to hide in safe houses and wear a burka.

Now, 31-year-old Joya, known widely as "the bravest woman in Afghanistan," has come to the United States to promote her new book and deliver a message to the U.S. government as the Obama administration, according to widespread press reports, considers some level of troop buildup.

On tour from Oct. 23 to Nov. 12, she's made the following demand in some two dozen engagements from New York to Los Angeles: "Leave my country as soon as possible."

Joya is one of a handful of Afghan women speaking out against the occupation of Afghanistan and drawing attention to the worsening condition of women. Following the end of her U.S. tour, she will head to Canada for another round of speaking engagements.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16182









0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Oct, 2010 09:16 pm
According to a BBC article tonight...
200o "coalition" troops have died in combat since 2001 in Afghanistan
521 in 2009
588 so far in 2010
40 in October, through the 15th
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 10:54 am
@realjohnboy,
"combat" is too sneaky a word; it reeks of the propaganda that has surrounded this debacle.

It gives the impression that these folks were there in Afghanistan for some legal purpose, some purpose that can be justified. They were there as part of an illegal and immoral invasion of a sovereign country. They were, as Mark Twain said, uniformed assassins.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 04:48 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

as Robert McNamara so wisely pointed out so many years ago, winning the war is just a matter of body counts.


Well hell, that's why we lost 'Nam. The country just wasn't committed to the wholesale slaughter of the North Vietnamese, what with namby-pamby television news stories showing nekkid slope children running through the roads as their clothes and skin were being burned off by napalm. The country just didn't have the intestinal fortitude. Friggin' pinkos.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 05:55 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Afghanistan is one hell of a buggered around with country....both by every major imperialist power in the last couple of centuries, and by their own tribalism and culture of corruption and general ability to make each other miserable.


You mentioned this in another thread.

The current situation dates back to the mid-1960s. The seeds were sown in 1963 when Zahir Shah, the King of Afghanistan, was able to realize his promise of introducing reforms. In 1964, there was a new constitution with free elections, a guarantee of civil rights, the civil liberation of women and universal suffrage. That, of course, did not last long. Under the aegis of the new constitution, left wing parties quickly organized publicly (they were, of course, already existent). Although there is no evidence that the United States had a hand in his overthrow (the lack of rumors of the involvement of Central Intelligence is significant, since they were often blamed even in situations in which such an allegation was preposterous), the withdrawal of American support for the King in the wake of electoral success of the Socialists and Communists may well have doomed his reforms. He was overthown by a coup in 1973--at which point a civil war was already on a low boil--political conservatives blamed unpopular reforms like the civil liberation of women on the Socialists and Communists. Zahir Shah abdicated rather than see his country plunged into full-scale civil war, but it was too late.

With the usual political engineering, the better organized Communist Party took over the national government in 1978, with a very dubious allegation of majority support. Central Intelligence began to arm rebels against the regime, and at that point, the Soviet Union intervened. A religious conservative from Saudi Arabia (of, i believe a Yemeni clan), a Wahabbi named Osama bin Laden, set up a base for the distribution of the American arms and supplies in the tribal lands of Waziristan, which straddle the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. It was called simply, "The Base," which was rendered al Qaeda in Arabic.

With the repression by the Afghan communists, and then the Russians, many of the more militant tribesmen in the south of Aghanistan, in and below the Hindu Kush, sent their sons to madrassas in Pakistan. Madrassa simply means a school, secular or religious, but these boys were sent to religiously fundamentalist schools. In Arabic, the name talib was given them, meaning a seeker, and previously just a simple cognate for a student. This was the origin of the Taliban, the plural of talib.

I suspect people know the rest of the story. Since 1963, Afghanistan has been involved in civil war, or war with invaders, to a greater or lesser extent. Even after the Russians pulled out, civil war continued, because the Taliban had been able to seize the bulk of the mechanized weapons of the former Afghan communists, and were able to rally the Pathans (or Pushtuns, as they now seem to be called), the tribesmen of their regional homeland. At first the people of Afghanistan welcomed the Taliban, as being the group most likely to end the civil war, and because of their hard line against the Drug Lord/War Lord regimes which had sprung up in nearly every city during the decline of the communist government at the end of the Russian war. They were soon disillusioned, however. The Afghan people don't really want the Taliban, but they are no more enamoured of Karzai and his cronies. Karzai was a supporter of the Taliban until they killed his father, and he is likely to deal with them if he believes his political future depends on it. Bush's Forty Thieves of Baghdad were so eager to invade Iraq, that they simply restored to the old Drug Lord/War Lord regimes, using the old, shop-worn Western excuse that the people weren't fit for democracy, and they wanted strong leadership. This situation continues to these days, and badly hampers efforts to establish a genuinely independent and democratic government. Other than those who profit from his regime, it is likely that most Afghans have little use for and no trust in Karzai. Left with the alternative of him or the Taliban, they find themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The civil war after the Russians pulled out was largely carried out on ethnic lines, with War Lords in other parts of the country able to mobilize support among ethnic Uzbek, Tajik and Hazara communities. The Taliban and al Qaeda are Sunni fundamentalist, and in the north of Afghanistan, much of the population is Shi'ite, especially in the northwest, on the border of Iran. The Persians are the largest Shi'ite concentration in the world.

If the United States withdraws, and especially if the Taliban look like taking over again, there is little doubt that the Tajiks, Uzbeks and any Shi'ites in Afghanistan will take up arms against a fundamentalist, religious regime, and one which they justifiably see as racist. Certainly the Taliban would be ruthlessly anti-Shi'ite. Even if no one else interferred, the Persians would certain take steps to support Shi'ites in Afghanistan.

It's a very complicated situation, more even than this post suggests. As in almost any such situation, there are no easy answers, and anyone who claims that the solution is simple, is being simplistic and probably serving their own political agenda.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 06:01 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
I suspect people know the rest of the story.


No, they most assuredly do not. And your cute little narrative was planned with that in mind, was it not, Setanta, the "historian"?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 07:24 pm
The earliest we know of what we now call Afghanistan comes from Hindu legendary history. Through the center of the land is a mountain range known as the Hindu Kush. There is a great deal of contention about the origin of the name, but the great majority opinion is that it comes from Farsi, and that it means "the killer of Hindus." Hindu for the people and Hind for the land come from Farsi (i.e., Persian). Those who believe that the name means "killer of Hindus" are about equally divided between those who claim that it simply refers to the harsh climate of the mountains, and those who claim that it refers to the disastrous losses the Hindus suffered in crossing the Hindu Kush in the face of the opposition of the local tribesmen. The Aryan invasion theory of the spread of people in central Asia, the middle east and Europe has been discredited, but there is no doubt that Sanskrit is an Indo-European (or in the more modern term, an Indo-Iranian) language--so at some point the speakers of Sanskrit migrated to the valley of the Indus River, and then east into the rest of the subcontinent. Hindu and Hind very likely derive from the Farsi rendering of the name of that river and its valley, and the Greco-Macedonia invasion about a thousand years later gave the west the name Hindos or Indos, from whence, India.

The first historical account of Afghanistan, other fragmentary Persian records came from the Greco-Macedonian invasion. Philip of Macedon had long planned an invasion of Asia, but the gobshite demagogue of Athens, Demosthenese, excoriated him, and built up a war party in Athens against him. So, he marched south and after some political wrangling which is not germane here, he defeated the Thebans and the Athenians in a battle which crippled Athens as a military power, essentially forever. He was unimpressed by the Spartans, and marched back to the north, with promises (which proved genuine) from the other Greek city states to support his invasion--they wanted the Persian threat eliminated. But he was assassinated before he could launch his campaign, and was succeeded by his son, Alexander III.

I suspect that most people know about Alexander and his conquest of the Achaemenid Persian empire. Alexander defeated the Persian emperor Darius for the second (and final) time at Gaugamela, and Darius fled the battle. Alexander considered that dishonorable (in his warped world view), and detemined to pursue Darius. Unknown to the Macedonians, Darius was by then the prisoner of his cousin Bessus, who was the satrap (a hegemonic client king) of Bactria. Bessus had Darius killed, and declared himself the new Achaemenid emperor. Alexander's advance guard found the dying Darius, and Alexander (dubiously) claimed that Darius had named him, Alexander, as his successor. Alexander then marched though the western portion of what is now Afghanistan, and pursued Bessus into Sogdiana, where one of his generals defeated him and where Bessus' men murdered him, then sued for peace.

This was when Alexander married Roxana, and began to adopt Persian customs, especially those which emphasized his near god-like status. This offended his Macedonians and Greeks, as did his incorporation of Persians and Bactrians into the army and his administration. He then marched around the western end of the Hindu Kush, to punish tribesmen who had raided his supply lines. One of the many Alexandrias he founded is modern day Kandahar. The Pathans fought savagely, but Alexander responded to every attack by pursuing the raiders into the mountains and destroying their villages. The Pathans were sufficiently impressed that he is remembered to this day, "Sikander" being the highest term of approbation for a military leader until quite recently.

Alexander the marched back north through the Hindu Kush, which further impressed the tribesmen. He campaigned again in Bactria, and then marched south into the Indus valley. He departs from the stage of Afghan history at that point.

*******************************************

Nobody had much interest in Afghanistan thereafter. The northern portions were under the control of various local "kings" (little differrent than modern War Lords) at various times. Kabul and Kandahar were the only cities of the south to flourish, if their senescence over nearly 2000 years can be described as flourishing. The Mongols overran the north of what is now Afghanistan, but there was no more attraction for them in invading the Hindu Kush than there was for the Indians. The tribesmen there were murderous and implacable fighters, and there was little wealth to be had. The great Mongol empire largely passed the Afghans by.

It took the Muslims nearly six centuries to conquer India, largely because they didn't go about in a serious manner. But they did overrun Persia, and then southen Afghanistan on their way to India. The Afghan tribesmen were mostly unimpressed--the Arabs were no more willing to attempt to subdue the Hindu Kush than the Mongols were subsequently. But they did leave Islam behind, and its strength as an organized religion overturned local paganism, and Islam soon spread through the Hindu Kush and the lands to the south.

Afghanistan again sinks out of sight in history. Worth little in terms of wealth, and with tribesmen sufficiently savage to discourage colonization, it was little more than a road, and that an uncertain one, between western Asia and the subcontinent.

But then the Russians began to appear over the horizon. As the Great Northern War wound down, Petr Alexeevitch (Peter the Great) began to cast an eye on the Caspian Sea, and the decrepit Persian state. He had successfully defeated the Crimean Tatars, and established a naval presence in the Black Sea in the 1690s. But in order to turn all of his attention and resources to the northern war against the Swedes, he concluded a treaty with the Turks, who undertook to end the raids into the Ukraine in return for Russian withdrawal from the Black Sea. Both sides kept their parts of the bargain, with Petr even turning over his huge new naval base at Tagarog.

But he definitively defeated the Swedes in 1709 at Poltava in the Ukraine, and the entire resources of his empire were not needed to continue the war against Sweden, so he began to look further afield. Although he had moved to the Black Sea in the 1690s to end the incursions by the Tatars (clients of the Osmanli Turks), he also clearly understood the commercial value of warm water ports which communicated with the east. Any of the very valuable goods from the east which could be brought to Russia could then be very cheapley shipped to western Europe on the extensive Russian river system. So, in the ealy 1720s, he marched into the Caucasus and threatened war against a very weak Persia, which capitulated to all of his demands, giving him warm water ports on the Caspian Sea, and access to the goods of the east.

The governments of western Europe understood all of these equations, too, and they were not forgotten by the English when they came to conquer the subcontinent in the late 18th century. Persia could never have stopped the Russians if they decided to march to the sea, and so began "the Great Game" between England and Russia to control the petty monarchs of western Central Asia, including Afghanistan. It was considered axiomatic among English policy makers that the Russians wanted a warm water port on the shores of the ocean, and that if not forestalled, they would march through Afghanistan and conquer at least the Punjab to get one. Actually, the Russians were not really in a position to do it, but English paranoia about India had already become legendary--c.f. their reaction to the paltry French invasion of Egypt in 1798.

In 1839, an Anglo-Indian army commanded by General Elphinstone managed to take Kabul, largely because the move was unexpected. But the tribesmen were so offended by this invasion of infidels, that they began to come down out of the mountains to camp around the British cantonment, without reference to the weak and ineffective Afghan king. In the winter of 1841-42, the situation became so desparate that the army could no longer get supplies locally, so Elphinstone decided to retreat. He had about 5000 troops, and more than 10000 depedents and camp followers.

In January, 1842, he began his retreat to Jalalabad (in what is now Pakistan), less than a hundred miles away. It was a disaster. The tribesmen hung on his flank, reducing the already slow retreat to a crawl, and constantly attacked the trains in the rear. Elphinstone tried to save their dwindling supplies by moving the trains into the center of the column, but that brought the march to a halt. The tribesmen attacked. In a pitched battle, his army was destroyed. For the tribesmen, it was a glorious victory--they got to enact a muderous slaughter, they got what was to them the riches of his paltry supply train, and they were able to eradicate the invading infidels. Three men made it to Jalalabad, an English surgeon and two sepoy infantrymen--every other man, woman and child was slaughtered.

This was a horrible defeat not only for British arms, but for their prestige. It is arguable that this humiliation encouraged the sepoy mutinty of 1857. The immediate response of the English was to send another army into Afghanistan, and they leveled Kabul, rescuing a handful of hostages still held there. But this retribution fell on the head of the urban population of Kabul, and not the tribesmen who had done the slaughter, and in a manner which seems over thousands of years to be typical of them, they were unimpressed.

In 1878, the British in India again invaded Afghanistan, on the excuse of the slaughter of merchants from India. They took Kabul, and then marched on Kandar, finally and definitively defeating the Afghans in 1880. But the true reason for the invasion was Russia. After the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Russia turned its eyes again to the east, and to Afghanistan. They forced the Afghan king to accept a Russian diplomatic mission, and the British immediately demanded that they accept a British mission. When the Afghan king refused, they cobbled together their excuse, and invaded. It was but another chapter in the Great Game. The military results were actually inconclusive, but the English had forestalled any Russian advance from Central Asia, and the Russians turned to the east. The Great Game was in abeyance once again.

Before the Russians could mount any subsequent threat, a weakened and enfeebled imperial government signed a convetion with the British (1908?). The Great War intervened, and, of course, the Bolsheviks took over the Russian empire. Stalin seems not have been interested in warm water sea ports, or in challenging the British again in Afghanistan. Soviet agents provacateurs operated in Afghanistan, but posed no serious threat. They were, however, the origin of the Afghan socialist and communist parties which rose to power after Zahir Khans reforms.
 

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