Iran and Afghanistan.....sorting the wheat from the chaff

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by Barely_Black, Sep 7, 2011.

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  1. I have been hugely sceptical of the multiple reports of Iranian cross border activity in AFG, mostly because it is in US interest to paint Iran as the leading exporter of terror in the world, on a number of counts. It is a shame that the Sunday Times /Times sits behind a pay-for-content wall - 'cos it means that Miles Amoore's stuff doesn't get as widely aired. Although written some time ago, thought this might be worth a read and would be interested to hear comment
    PS Old Snowy - if this topic is unsuitable for this board, , don't bother pouring scorn - just PM me and I will remove the post.
  2. "First direct evidence" my arse.

    I've stayed at the Gandamack, opposite the Iranian Embassy in Kabul a few times and got to know the AK-Wallahs, sitting on their white, plastic chairs, apparently guarding the place.

    They were very vocal about the Iranian support for the Taliban.

    If you go to Herat, where the Ities were supposed to be policing the border (don't know if they still are), you'll find loads of Iranian arms smugglers.

    There was a hut on top of the hill in Kabul (2009) near that domed monument to some 'notable' Afghan or other - forgot now - that was full of 155mm shell fuses. All from Iran.

    The sooner the Israelis bomb the place, the better, imho.
  3. Well, duh. The US is thrashing around in Iran's backyard so why is anyone at all surprised that they are pushing back ? It would be news if they weren't involved.

    Thing is, this is a lot more subtle and long term than just killing foreign troops. The Iranians now have a great opportunity to expand their influence locally, now that Saddam has been removed by those obliging Americans. They have already ensured that the Iraqi state will not be aligned with the US, the fight is on to see whether or not they can get it to align with Iran. To this end they are showing that they are capable of stoking the fires in both Iraq and Afghanistan to make the US understand that it is very much in their interests to leave them alone.

    The alternative, a simultaneous outbreak of violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, will cost money and troops the US are not willing to spend.

    And as for Israel, the hardcore Iranian Mullahs probably praying they'll have a go. It is no exaggeration to say that the real threat to the existence of Israel is economic and perceptual; should they have to mobilise their mostly reservist forces for a long period the economy will tank; and any real threat to life and limb will result in an outflow of people and capital. Israel is unlikely to survive such events. However, paradoxically, Israel has to talk very tough to convince the population that they are safe and do not need to emigrate. A difficult balancing act, to be sure.
  4. Hardly new, Qom has had links with insurgent fighters in Afghanistan for decades.

    As Karzai, anticipating US withdrawal has sensibly been courting Iran. I'd fully expect the devious buggers to up their involvement and even with talibans that would like to string him up. They tend to back both sides and you'd have to anticipate a return too civil war if there is a precipitous withdrawal. The Iranians will want to build up loyalties just as they patiently did in Iraq. They also have every incentive to keep DC busy there, Iraq for Quds Force is practically done and dusted so they have spare capacity as well.

    However as Gen P. pointed out recently what Iran get up to in Afghanistan is pretty trivial compared to Pindi's pivotal and blatant role with folks like the Haqqani network. That is in no way diminished as far as I can tell, indeed it looks to me that they are ramping up for the end game.
  5. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Ha!.......and the reason that you won't hear Israel egging the U.S to attack Pakistan is that it is not in their direct national interest.....a US war with Iran would suit Israel down to the ground.

    And as to the Israeli economy tanking - well given that every US citizen currently subsidises said economy to the tune of around $200 per head of the US population that ain't about to happen any time soon.....

    And Alib - you just won your Forum Stereotype spurs ! Although you may find this hard to credit, there are any number of readers who will not know who Gen P is , how far Pindi is from the home of the Baluch shura or how much a ticket on the Haqqani Network costs these days ;-)

    ( is it time for Godwin's Law to kick in yet ?)