GCC’s anticipated political quagmire in Afghanistan

Ensuring Socio-economic Justice

Crescent International

Safar 04, 1443 2021-09-11

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

From media coverage to humanitarian aid, involvement of GCC regimes in Afghanistan will ultimately lead to friction between the US puppets ruling these countries.

As soon as NATO troops fled Afghanistan, a flight from the UAE carrying humanitarian aid arrived in Afghanistan.

Those who follow Abu Dhabi’s nefarious regional politics understand that this is essentially a political gesture.

Apart from the UAE, Qatar’s relatively favorable media coverage of the new Taliban-led government is visible and can only fully be explained as a political decision by Doha.

The Saudi regime is also showing willingness to provide some form of support to the new Afghan government.

Those with elementary understanding of regional political and security architecture would grasp the basic reality that these regimes’ involvement in Afghanistan has Washington’s approval.

This does not mean that the players will not pursue their own goals.

For the UAE and Saudi regime, their primary interest is to try and leverage the Taliban against Islamic Iran as a sectarian card.

Abu Dhabi and Riyadh would love to recreate hostile relations between Islamic Iran and the Taliban resembling the 1990s.

This, however, is unlikely due to completely different geopolitical and economic realities today.

Taliban’s workable relationship with Iran is one of the reasons Qatar will experience friction with the UAE and Saudis in Afghanistan.

Doha does not want to spoil its relations with Tehran and will orient its political compass differently from the Saudis and the Emiratis.

Overall, the biggest challenge to the three GCC entities will be that the Taliban do not owe their ascendance to power to any external force.

Even if one accepts the exaggerated corporate media’s narrative that the Taliban are a Pakistani proxy, past Pakistani governments imprisoned and handed over the movement’s leaders to the US.

The Taliban certainly do not owe their victory to any of the GCC regimes.

Most importantly, due to decline of the influence of al-Qaeda and Arab fighters in Afghanistan, the Deobandi Taliban are largely insulated from Saudi ideological manipulation.

This is another reason why Qatar is likely to enjoy greater influence in Afghanistan in comparison to the UAE and the Saudis.

Taking into account Doha’s recent bad relations with the Emiratis and Saudis, this will further aggravate friction among GCC regimes.

It appears that Turkey and the GCC regimes understand the Taliban have gained significant popular credibility among Sunni Muslims as an anti-imperialist force.

Muslims may have a different understanding of Islam than the Taliban but that does not diminish their admiration for the success of Kabul’s new rulers.

NATO member Turkey and the GCC regimes realize that the new authorities in Afghanistan can potentially become a new Sunni Islamic alternative.

Both would like to avoid this development.

While this aspect might seem exaggerated to some readers, Turkish and GCC moves in Afghanistan need to be studied through this crucial angle if people want to get a deeper understanding of fast-paced developments in the region.


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