China's strategy in Afghanistan.


solarz

Brigadier
The moment Chinese soldiers set foot in Afghanistan you can bet the US will start funding and arming a terrorist group in Afghanistan to kill them.

Investing in Afghanistan may be a good thing for both China and Afghanistan, but the onus is on the Afghan government to provide safety within their own borders.

You're saying that as if the US wouldn't fund terrorist groups to kill Chinese workers.

Exactly. If the Afghan Gov cant provide safety for investment then all this talk about BRI, CPEC, Chinese mining etc is all meaningless.

The Afghan Gov should realise that security is everything. Security, security, security

The reality is that the Taliban have limited capabilities, so Afghanistan will be a highly dangerous work environment for the foreseeable future. China's choice is whether to absorb this risk, with the result of dead and/or kidnapped workers and engineers, to give up on Afghanistan as part of the BRI, or to partner with the Taliban to improve the security of Afghanistan.

To me, the choice seems obvious.
 

Overbom

Junior Member
Registered Member
The reality is that the Taliban have limited capabilities, so Afghanistan will be a highly dangerous work environment for the foreseeable future. China's choice is whether to absorb this risk, with the result of dead and/or kidnapped workers and engineers, to give up on Afghanistan as part of the BRI, or to partner with the Taliban to improve the security of Afghanistan.
Partnering with Afghanistan can also happen without having troops on the ground.

Provide military training, counter-insurgency training, small arms weaponry, intelligence capabilities/sharing, sell them some cheap drones and give them training etc.

There are plenty of ways for China to help the Taliban maintain stability in the country.
I repeat, troops on the ground is a disaster waiting to happen. China should stay away from such visible and physical presence in Afghanistan
 

plawolf

Brigadier
The moment Chinese soldiers set foot in Afghanistan you can bet the US will start funding and arming a terrorist group in Afghanistan to kill them.

Investing in Afghanistan may be a good thing for both China and Afghanistan, but the onus is on the Afghan government to provide safety within their own borders.

Easier said than done. Just how exactly is America going to make that happen with zero presence on the ground?

CIA assets wondering into Afghanistan trying to recruit locals to attack Chinese will be much more likely to end up with their own heads being presented to the Chinese by the Taliban on sliver platters.

Also, unlike American occupation forces, any Chinese military presence will be there at the invitation of the Taliban and with their full support. Said troops will also only be engaged in garrison and protect duty rather than going out on patrols. Trying to kill soldiers in their own bases is extremely low probability of success.

The Chinese are not itching to go into Afghanistan themselves militarily, but it will be an option if sophisticated foreign special forces started to directly attack Chinese assets in country that the Taliban are simply not equipped to deal with themselves.

But again, any Chinese deployments will be limited and highly specialised, and will most likely involve air policing operations to shut down foreign helicopter and drone operations in Afghanistan airspace rather than large scale boots on the ground stuff like what the Soviet’s and Americans were engaged in. Any boots on the ground outside the wire will be Chinese special forces.

Western special forces will not be able to operate without ISR, CAS and helicopter insertion/exfil. If they tried they will get butchered by the Taliban, especially if the Taliban can rely on Chinese ISR, CAS and maybe even helicopter insertion.
 

Mohsin77

Junior Member
Registered Member
The American way of conducting war isn't going to nudge into the direction that both Ricks and the German academic/military historian have talked about since the institution itself believes in it's unrivaled and peerless superiority over it's rivals.

I don't expect them to learn anything, despite their most recent defeat in Afghanistan. Their military is already blaming leadership and their media is doing the same. Denial is baked into America's DNA, which isn't surprising for a nation born from genocide of its natives.

Nevertheless, it's a perfect case-study for everyone else to learn from their mistakes. The same problem of blind orthodoxy is prevalent in most militaries. The US isn't alone in this. They're just the best example of this failure.
 

FireyCross

New Member
Registered Member
Unless the Afghan govt officially and explicitly request the Chinese to put combat boots on the ground, it should be avoided. Having trainers and technical experts to help build an Afghan security infrastructure and supply, provide training and maintenance for some basic but modern equipment is one thing, having troops on the ground is another.

The other thing to avoid is over-egging the pudding. You don't want to provide the Taliban with full capabilities which they then turn against you. They need just enough power to be able to provide a secure environment for BRI projects, not enough to go causing trouble elsewhere. They are only friendly as long as they need help. Keep them in need of that help.
 

Mohsin77

Junior Member
Registered Member
Western special forces will not be able to operate without ISR, CAS and helicopter insertion/exfil.
I think these would still be available to JSOC & the CIA if the priority of a mission is high enough. They may be able use Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan, where the Indians are also based. If that fails, they'll set up another temporary route. Even if JSOC has problems infiltrating flag-carrying assets, the CIA can use SOG and their illegal non-flag carrying assets and drones etc. Keep in mind, the US was even violating the Soviet Union's airspace throughout the Cold War with recon flights. While their conventional forces have gotten worse, the reach and capability of JSOC/CIA is one thing the US has actually improved over the last 20 years. It doesn't win wars, but it's still annoying.

With that said, their mission-set in Afghanistan won't be kinetic anymore. There won't be any firefights with the Taliban. It will mostly be recruiting and managing assets, which can then cause trouble for the surrounding region. There's still a lot of local groups in the area who are willing to work with them clandestinely.

I think China should exploit this situation for the strengthening of BRI, but it shouldn't expect a magical vacuum that it can comfortably slip into without any problems. The US and India are not fans of the BRI and they will cause problems. No one becomes a superpower for free. The intelligence agencies of the US and India haven't gone anywhere, nor have their local assets on the ground who are still getting a regular paycheck. Whatever space was created by the fall of Kabul will fill up quickly. Physics might not abhor a vacuum, but Geopolitics does.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
I think these would still be available to JSOC & the CIA if the priority of a mission is high enough. They may be able use Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan, where the Indians are also based. If that fails, they'll set up another temporary route. Even if JSOC has problems infiltrating flag-carrying assets, the CIA can use SOG and their illegal non-flag carrying assets and drones etc. Keep in mind, the US was even violating the Soviet Union's airspace throughout the Cold War with recon flights. While their conventional forces have gotten worse, the reach and capability of JSOC/CIA is one thing the US has actually improved over the last 20 years. It doesn't win wars, but it's still annoying.

With that said, their mission-set in Afghanistan won't be kinetic anymore. There won't be any firefights with the Taliban. It will mostly be recruiting and managing assets, which can then cause trouble for the surrounding region. There's still a lot of local groups in the area who are willing to work with them clandestinely.

I think China should exploit this situation for the strengthening of BRI, but it shouldn't expect a magical vacuum that it can comfortably slip into without any problems. The US and India are not fans of the BRI and they will cause problems. No one becomes a superpower for free. The intelligence agencies of the US and India haven't gone anywhere, nor have their local assets on the ground who are still getting a regular paycheck. Whatever space was created by the fall of Kabul will fill up quickly. Physics might not abhor a vacuum, but Geopolitics does.
With China doing airspace policing duties, it’s not going to be so easy. If the security situation deteriorates that badly, China can just get the Taliban to close Afghanistan airspace put up some drone AWACS and operate on a shoot on sight policy for unknown bougies with manned fighters and/or drones.

Shooting down just one chalk full of seals on illegal cross boarder missions will have the whole operation cancelled by Washington due to the bad PR and because China operating out of Afghanistan with official sanction is going to have absolute escalation dominance over whatever CIA/JSOC FoB they get set up. The more they escalate the more Americans die at the end of the day.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
The US-India response wont be directly kinetic in nature. It will be indirect via proxies.
Proxies only work when you can directly supply them and provide them with safe haven safe from attack to stop them being totally eradicated. Just how does the US-Indian alliance plan to achieve any of that against the Taliban in Afghanistan exactly?

Without adequate support, any proxies sent in will be lambs to the slaughter against the Taliban alone. No need for China to lift a finger militarily.
 

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