CIA Chief William Burns Secretly Meets Taliban Leader Abdul Ghani Baradar

According to a senior diplomat in the region and another source familiar with the matter, the CIA Chief William Burns secretly met with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar.

CIA Chief William Burns Secretly Meets Taliban Leader Abdul Ghani Baradar

The meeting was first reported by The Washington Post. The news comes as US President Joe Biden is expected to decide whether to extend the Aug. 31 deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from the country amid growing pressure from key allies.

That expected decision comes as thousands desperately await evacuation in the wake of the militant group’s rapid takeover of the country.

The Taliban have warned any delay in the withdrawal would cross a “red line” and threatened consequences.

In a press conference Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid accused the U.S. of instigating Afghans to leave the country, particularly skilled people, and said they would prevent Afghans from heading to the airport in Kabul but allow foreigners to go.

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The U.S. will now have to contend with Baradar and other senior Taliban leaders, who are in the process of choosing a new government Baradar is expected to lead, a commander with the militant group told NBC News.

Baradar was arrested more than a decade ago in a joint U.S.-Pakistani operation and held for eight years in Pakistan.

He was released from prison in 2018 and served as the Taliban’s chief negotiator in peace talks in Qatar that produced an agreement with former President Donald Trump’s administration to withdraw U.S. military personnel by May 1 of this year.

After he was inaugurated, Biden said the withdrawal would be completed by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

He then moved that forward to Aug. 31 but is now facing pressure from international allies to delay in order to allow more evacuations to take place.

Cables of the Afghan war leaked by WikiLeaks have exposed intimate cooperation of the CIA with Osama Bin Laden as well.

Complex underground fortresses were built in the 1980’s with Osama bin Laden and CIA cooperation.

Tora Bora was known to be a stronghold location of the Taliban, used by military forces against the Soviet Union during the 1980s.

Tora Bora and the surrounding Safed Koh range had natural caverns formed by streams eating into the limestone that had later been expanded into a CIA-financed complex built for the Mujahideen.

According to current and former military officials the Taliban have seized U.S. military biometrics devices that could aid in the identification of Afghans who assisted coalition forces.

With NATO forces out of Afghanistan, the Russians will largely provide security in the region and China will be exploring the possibility of restructuring Afghanistan’s supply and trade chains after twenty years of war.

Although several potential routes exist along the Wakhan Corridor and via Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, here is why China is planning to link CPEC to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, after the humiliating exit of American troops, the US Treasury has frozen $9.4 billion of Afghanistan‘s Central Bank reserves.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. US Military Equipment Left Behind In Afghanistan: Quantifying The “Staggering Costs”
    Authored by Adam Andrzejewski via Forbes.com,
    The U.S. provided an estimated $83 billion worth of training and equipment to Afghan security forces since 2001. This year, alone, the U.S. military aid to Afghan forces was $3 billion.
    Putting price tags on American military equipment still in Afghanistan isn’t an easy task. In the fog of war – or withdrawal – Afghanistan has always been a black box with little sunshine.
    Not helping transparency, the Biden Administration is now hiding key audits on Afghan military equipment. This week, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com reposted two key reports on the U.S. war chest of military gear in Afghanistan that had disappeared from federal websites.
    #1. Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of U.S. provided military gear in Afghanistan (August 2017): reposted report (dead link: report).
    #2. Special Inspector General For Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) audit of $174 million in lost ScanEagle drones (July 2020): reposted report (dead link: report).
    U.S. taxpayers paid for these audits and the U.S.-provided equipment and should be able to follow the money.
    After publication, the GAO spokesman responded to our request for comment, “the State Department requested we temporarily remove and review reports on Afghanistan to protect recipients of US assistance that may be identified through our reports and thus subject to retribution.” However, these reports only have numbers and no recipient information.
    Furthermore, unless noted, when estimating “acquisition value,” our source is the Department Logistics Agency (DLA) and their comprehensive databases of military equipment.
    Vehicles and airplanes
    Between 2003 and 2016, the U.S. purchased and provided 75,898 vehicles and 208 aircraft, to the Afghan army and security forces, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
    Quantities and examples of key U.S.-funded Military Vehicles for Afghanistan.  OPENTHEBOOKS.COM
    Here is a breakdown of estimated vehicle costs:
    · Armored personnel carriers such as the M113A2 cost $170,000 each and recent purchases of the M577A2 post carrier cost $333,333 each. 
    · Mine resistant vehicles ranges from $412,000 to $767,000. The total cost could range between $382 million to $711 million.
    · Recovery vehicles such as the ‘truck, wrecker’ cost between for the base model $168,960 and $880,674 for super strength versions.
    · Medium range tactical vehicles include 5-ton cargo and general transport trucks were priced at $67,139. However, the family of MTV heavy vehicles had prices ranging from $235,500 to $724,820 each. Cargo trucks to transport airplanes cost $800,865.
    · Humvees – ambulance type (range from $37,943 to $142,918 with most at $96,466); cargo type, priced at $104,682. Utility Humvees were typically priced at $91,429. However, the 12,000 lb. troop transport version cost up to $329,000.
    · Light tactical vehicles: Fast attack combat vehicles ($69,400); and passenger motor vehicles ($65,500). All terrain 4-wheel vehicles go up to $42,273 in the military databases.
    U.S.-Funded Aircraft For the Afghan Forces  OPENTHEBOOKS.COM
    This month, the Taliban seized Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft. As late as last month, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense posted photos on social media of seven newly arrived helicopters from the U.S., Reuters reported.
    Black Hawk helicopters can cost up to $21 million. In 2013, the U.S. placed an order for 20 A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft for $427 million – that’s $21.3 million for each plane. Other specialized helicopters can cost up to $37 million each.
    The Afghan air force contracted for C-208 light attack airplanes in March 2018: seven planes for $84.6 million, or $12.1 million each. The airplanes are very sophisticated and carry HELLFIRE missiles, anti-tank missiles and other weaponry.
    The PC-12 intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance airplanes use the latest in technology. Having these planes fall into Taliban control is disconcerting. Civilian models sell new for approximately $5 million each and the military planes could sell for many times that price.
    Basic fixed-wing airplanes range in price from $3.1 million to $22 million in the DLA database.
    Of course, helicopter prices also range widely depending on the technology, purpose, and equipment. For example, according to the DLA, general purpose helicopters range in price from $92,000 to $922,000. Observation helicopters can cost $92,000 and utility helicopters up to $922,000.
    Even if the Taliban can’t fly our planes, the parts are very valuable. For example, just the control stick for certain military planes has an acquisition value of $17,808 and a fuel tank sells for up to $35,000.
    Lost drones
    In 2017, the U.S. military lost $174 million in drones that were part of the attempt to help the Afghan National Army (ANA) defend itself. But the ANA didn’t immediately use the drones and then lost track of them.
    This week, the SIGAR audit on the $174 million drone loss disappeared from its website.
    Weapons, communications equipment, and night vision googles
    Since 2003 the U.S. gave Afghan forces at least 600,000 infantry weapons, including M16 rifles, 162,000 pieces of communication equipment, and 16,000 night-vision goggle devices, according to the GAO report.
    Key Weaponry funded by U.S. into Afghanistan  OPENTHEBOOKS.COM
    The howitzer is the modern cannon for the U.S. military and each unit can cost up to $500,000; however most are in the $200,000 price range. At the higher end, there’s GPS guidance on fired shells.
    A common price of a M16 rifle is $749, according to DLA. Adding a grenade launcher can push the price of the M16 to $12,032. M4 carbine rifles are slightly more expensive with unit prices as high as $1,278.
    Just the sights on night-vision sniper rifle scopes can run as high as $35,000, however, most vary in price between $5,000 and $10,000.
    Here are the costs of other types of weaponry provided to Afghan forces:
    · Machine guns, i.e. the M240 model, were priced between $6,600 and $9,000 each.
    · Grenade launchers cost between $1,000 and $5,000 each; however, in 2020, the manufacture sold 53 for $15,000 each.
    · Army shotguns were acquired for only $150 each, according to DLA.
    · Military pistols cost $320 each, such as the .40 caliber Glock Generation 3.
    Key U.S.-Funded Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Equipment into Afghanistan  OPENTHEBOOKS.COM
    Each Aerostat surveillance balloon costs $8.9 million. Each ScanEagle drone costs approximately $1.4 million according to recent procurement news. Even as late at 2021, U.S. appropriations for the Wolfhounds radio monitoring systems approached $874,000.
    Night vision devices: The total cost for the 16,000 night-vision goggles alone could run as high as $80 million. Individually, the high-tech goggles were priced between $2,742 and $5,000 by the DLA. Other equipment like image intensifiers are commonly priced at $10,747 each; however, sophisticated models run as high as $66,000 each.
    Radio equipment: the cost of equipment adds up – receiver-transmitters ($210,651); sophisticated radio sets ($61,966); amplifiers ($28,165); repeater sets ($28,527); and deployment sets to identify frequencies run up to $18,908.
    However, if the Taliban doesn’t have the expertise or technologies to program the equipment, it will become obsolete quickly. Or it could be sold off to other countries who wanted to acquire U.S. technology.
    And there’s more… years 2017 through 2019
    From 2017 to 2019, the U.S. also gave Afghan forces 7,035 machine guns, 4,702 Humvees, 20,040 hand grenades, 2,520 bombs and 1,394 grenade launchers, according to the since removed 2020 SIGAR report, reported by The Hill.
    An unnamed official told Reuters that current intelligence assessment was that the Taliban took control of more than 2,000 armored vehicles, including American Humvees, and as many as 40 aircraft that may include UH-60 Black Hawks, scout attack helicopters and ScanEagle military drones.
    Crucial quote
    “We don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone, but certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday, The Hill reported.
    “And obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.”
    Critic
    Republican Senators have demanded that there be a full count of U.S. military equipment left in Afghanistan.
    In a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the lawmakers said they were “horrified” to see photos of Taliban militants taking hold of military equipment, including Black Hawk helicopters.
    “It is unconscionable that high-tech military equipment paid for by U.S. taxpayers has fallen into the hands of the Taliban and their terrorist allies,” the lawmakers said in the letter.
    “Securing U.S. assets should have been among the top priorities for the U.S. Department of Defense prior to announcing the withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
    by Tyler Durden
    Monday, Aug 23, 2021 – 10:40 PM
    Me: To the Taliban for free and to use against the American troops, still in Afghanistan after 31st August 2021 – good place for the Taliban to find out how effective the weaponry is?
    The US Army could have set demolition charges aroud all of the equipment, so that if it could have fallen into Taliban hands, it got destroyed, remotely, or bombed out of existence – so why not?

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