Thursday, April 1, 2010

China, the Taliban, al Qaeda, Iran, Russia, Iraq, and Afghanistan - Connections

Vox Contra writes of The Unconsidered Enemy-
"I don't buy it. We are in the region because of al Qaeda, so for all this to be true you would have to establish a connection between them and either Russia or China."
The connections are difficult to grasp because they are indirect in nature. Below is a compilation of published connections between China, the Taliban, al Qaeda, Iran, Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

First, we need to define the Taliban and al Qaeda.

The Taliban, also Taleban, is a Sunni Islamist political movement that governed Afghanistan from 1996 until they were overthrown in late 2001 during Operation Enduring Freedom. It has regrouped since 2004 and revived as a strong insurgency movement governing at the local level and fighting a guerrilla war against the governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Al-Qaeda, alternatively spelled Al-Qaida and sometimes Al-Qa'ida, is an Islamist group founded sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless arm and a fundamentalist Sunni movement calling for global jihad.

Difference Between Taliban and Al qaeda - While the Taliban are restricted to a particular region, the al qaeda has no boundaries.

Second, we need to understand the Chinese and Russian relationship with Iran

Kish Collections: Iran and the Elephant in the Room - see embedded links
NTI: China's Nuclear Exports and Assistance to Iran
The Heritage Foundation: Iran's Friends Fend Off Action at the U.N. Security Council: Here's Why

And finally, the link between Iran and the Taliban

CNN (4/4/2010): U.S. official says intel suggests Iran plans to ship arms to Taliban
ASIA PACIFIC NEWS: Taliban commanders given training in Iran Iran is desperate for Nato to fail in Afghanistan - "Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are providing training and equipment to the Taliban"
Frontpage: The China-Russia-Iran Axis - "I have and will continue to refer to Russia and China as the Iranian Protectorate ... Iran's EFP weapons sent into Iraq have claimed 10% of all American casualties in the entire war"

Some direct Chinese connections to the Taliban have been published

ABC Radio: 'The new game' - China's activities in Afghanistan - "Beijing was also reported to have signed a memorandum with the Taliban on providing economic and technical assistance."
BBC News: Taleban 'getting Chinese arms'

And then there is Afghanistan...

AP: Afghan leader visits China, signs economic pacts - "Karzai called Iran — with which Afghanistan shares a long land border — "our brother nation" with whom it had excellent relations."

Additional web links which identify connections (caution, unverified sources)-

The Taliban’s China Connection
China's Taliban Connection

More links will be added to this post as time permits.  If you are aware of additional links, please comment.

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