Afghan evacuations continue, Saudi Arabia tilts toward Russia, and some cool technology that could change the world.
Evacuations continue in Afghanistan, with the U.S. having now evacuated more than 58,000 people. President Biden plans (as of now) to hold to the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline, but he’s facing tremendous bi-partisan pressure on that, as well as pressure from many European countries. Biden has asked the Pentagon to prepare contingency plans, in case he decides to extend beyond it.
One thing that hasn’t gotten a lot of news in Afghanistan is that the Taliban hasn't captured all of the country yet. One province has vowed to resist. It’s in the Panjshir Valley, which is just over 90 miles north of Kabul. You can read more about this resistance in the article below from CNN.
One pretty big piece of news from one of the men who led the effort in Afghanistan barely made the news this week. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, said he was wrong to support encouraging former President Obama to train up the Afghan Army. Given the sudden collapse of the Afghan Army, Mullen said that Biden had been right to want to withdraw troops more than ten years ago.
The interview is only four minutes long and well worth the watch. (It has certainly helped sway my views some.)
One final point about Afghanistan, before moving on to other topics. This point made below is something that will be worth watching, especially now that the Taliban is saying it doesn’t want doctors, engineers, and other professional Afghans to leave the country.
The Taliban will have to be more modern this time or it will face some kind of resistance from the urban areas.
In other foreign news, I was startled to see the news below.
Khalid bin Salman خالد بن سلمان @kbsalsaudMet with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu to explore ways to strengthen the military and defense cooperation between our two countries. We discussed our common endeavor to preserve stability and security in the region, and reviewed shared challenges facing our countries. https://t.co/T7lVdITZPt
We probably should have seen this coming. America has increasingly been at odds with Saudi Arabia. It’s way too early to know if this is some kind of major re-alignment, but it’s certainly not welcome news to a country we’ve been allied with for at least 30 years.
Finally, I thought I’d end this post with some good news I came across on Twitter. Way too many negative things going on, so let’s end on a positive note!
Check out this story below for something that will give you some hope.
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Stan R. Mitchell
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