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Official warns that Taliban control of Afghanistan will reshape the Middle East | Taliban

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A senior Gulf official said the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is a devastating earthquake that will shape the Middle East for many years, warning that – despite claims of moderation – the armed group is “essentially the same” as it was last time. in power.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the rapid and chaotic US withdrawal also raises serious questions for Gulf states about the value of US security promises over the next 20 years.

“Afghanistan is an earthquake, a devastating, devastating earthquake and that will stay with us for a very, very long time,” the official said on Monday.

He added that this incident represented a complete break with the outdated Carter Doctrine – a commitment that the oil-dependent United States would use military force to defend its interests in the Gulf.

Can we really count on an American security umbrella for the next 20 years? I think that’s a big problem right now – really a big problem.”

Noting that 20 years of war, which is supposed to be a “battle against those who hijacked Islam”, has left no legacy in Afghanistan, he predicted that a Taliban takeover would raise concern among leaders in West Africa and the Sahel about the emergence of extremism Confident Islamic modern.

The official added that he did not expect the Taliban to behave any differently than when they were in power before, saying, “They are basically the same but they are smarter in the world.”

The biggest surprise, the official said, was the utter incompetence of the US operation and signs of bureaucratic infighting that has distorted American thinking.

He said Afghanistan would likely be seen as a victory for Pakistan and an opportunity for China – with the United States playing an insignificant role. “If there is a geopolitical conflict over Afghanistan, we will see Pakistan and China on one side and India and Iran and Russia on the other,” the official said. And I don’t think the Americans will be part of the geopolitical struggle over Afghanistan.

Several Gulf states have already begun to readjust their foreign policy to account for the declining US dependence on oil and the country’s growing popular isolationism, but the official said he now expects this process to be accelerated, leading to a realignment in alliances and desire for it. Some of the historical competitors to establish more realistic relationships. The official said the overall goal would be to calm tensions in the region.

The official added that he expects to see more discussions between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the future, as well as the United Arab Emirates and Iran. The official also pointed to the signing of a defense agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia as a sign that in the post-carbon era, the Gulf states wanted to diversify their security sources away from the United States.

Iran, under its previous government led by Hassan Rouhan, has begun secret talks with Saudi Arabia on the level of intelligence cooperation, but this may now become more open. Bahrain is already seen as looking for new alliances in the region including through the Ibrahim agreement with Israel, and in the case of the UAE through the restoration of diplomatic relations with Syria.

The focus will be on ‘trying to make this area less of a pressure cooker’.

Sources

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/13/taliban-takeover-of-afghanistan-is-an-earthquake-for-middle-east

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