KABUL, Afghanistan. June 30th, 2021. Despite efforts to try and keep the Afghan occupation going by right wing hawks, interventionist thinktanks and the Kabul regime, most European countries have finished their withdrawals as part of NATO’s Operation Resolute Support mission.
On Tuesday, the last 570 German troops left out of the northern city of Mazar, including special operators, marking the end of their 20-year occupation. It was the longest and bloodiest military deployment for the Bundeswehr since WWII, during which 59 soldiers were killed.
“This marks the end of a historic chapter – an intense deployment that has challenged and shaped us,” the German Defense Minister wrote on Twitter, adding that they planned to discuss “what was good, what was not good and what we’ve learned”.
Sky News reports that almost all of the 750 British soldiers and related equipment have “quietly withdrawn,” and that flag lowering ceremonies have taken place. If any troops will remain it will be to guard an embassy, which Sky reports is likely to be opened.
They also report that Italy and Poland, as part of the NATO mission, have also finished their withdrawals. The U.S. itself has moved nearly 900 C-17 cargo aircraft loads of material out of the country; about 140 more flights than last week. However CENTCOM have ceased reporting percentages on security grounds, and have switched to simply saying “more than 50%”.
The question of spec. ops
Last Tuesday, in what turned out to be a “major embarrassment for the Ministry of Defense, which is currently carrying out a detailed investigation into how the papers came to be lying on a street corner, in the rain, in the early hours of Tuesday morning,” classified defense documents were found at a bus stop and turned over to the BBC.
The cache included some labeled “Secret UK Eyes Only” and “Official Sensitive,” and contained some which described the U.S. requesting UK special forces remain behind in Afghanistan beyond the official NATO/U.S. candid deadline of Sep 11th.
American Conservative writer Kelly Beaucar Vlahos describes for the Quincy Institute, a thinktank promoting responsible American statecraft for a deteriorating world, that it’s possible the documents could have been left there for the BBC to find, as they were vague as to the opinions of the Defense Ministry.
Paul Adams, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent wrote that UK military entity that persists in the country, the documents say, “is assessed to be vulnerable to targeting by a complex network of actors,” and that “the option to withdraw completely remains”.
Neither the Pentagon, nor Biden himself has said whether counterterrorism operations, which both have admitted could continue following the withdrawal of forces, would involve human special operators. However Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby did say that a whopping 650-1,000 soldiers, which perhaps could be special operators, could remain to guard the U.S. embassy to spring up in the wake of the retreat.
This very curious incident, for which no details about who may have left the documents by the bus top, wouldn’t be the first time the British media-mega would be under manipulation of the government. As the journalist Max Blumenthal has reported, the BBC was just one of several British media companies that were part of a covert Foreign and Commonwealth Office operation to “weaken Russia,” by an extensive media doctoring program.