Iran picks apart Afghanistan. @elalusa Report w/Malcolm Hoenlein @conf_of_pres. Nader Uskowi, @washinstitute


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Iran picks apart Afghanistan. @elalusa Report w/Malcolm Hoenlein @conf_of_pres. Nader Uskowi, @washinstitute

Four senior Iranian commandos were among the scores of dead, Afghan intelligence officials said, noting their funerals in Iran. Many of the Taliban dead and wounded were also taken back across the nearby border with Iran, where the insurgents had been recruited and trained, village elders told Afghan provincial officials.

The assault, coordinated with attacks on several other cities, was part of the Taliban’s most ambitious attempt since 2001 to retake power. But it was also a piece of an accelerating Iranian campaign to step into a vacuum left by departing U.S. forces — Iran’s biggest push into Afghanistan in decades.

President Donald Trump recently lamented that the United States was losing its 16-year war in Afghanistan, and threatened to fire the U.S. generals in charge.

There is no doubt that as the United States winds down the Afghan war — the longest in U.S. history, and one that has cost half a trillion dollars and more than 150,000 lives on all sides — regional adversaries are muscling in.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan remain the dominant players. But Iran is also making a bold gambit to shape Afghanistan in its favor.

Over the years, the United States has taken out Iran’s chief enemies on two of its borders, the Taliban government in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Iran has used that to its advantage, working quietly and relentlessly to spread its influence.

Aug 11, 06:48 AM
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