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The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, have captured 15 provincial cities in a weeks-long blitz and are closing in on the capital Kabul. With the rise of the Taliban, a hardline Islamist militant movement, a grave threat is looming over Afghanistan and also the entire South Asia. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has given a new sense of urgency to the world leaders to tackle the problem and prohibit this new outfit from propagating global jihad through arms and terror. predictions on how America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan will impact China’s regional and global standing. Some argue the withdrawal will free up American resources to focus on China and the Indo-Pacific. For others, the withdrawal opens a vacuum for China to exploit. Still others assert that Taiwan is now more vulnerable because Beijing has taken the measure of America’s resolve and competence and found it lacking.
To delve into this matter, on 24 th August, 2021, the Red Lantern Analytica was fortunate enough to have with them a very eminent guest, Mr. Michael Johns who is a co-founder of the U.S. Tea Party movement, the largest grassroots political movement in American history, which has supported adherence to the U.S. Constitution, limited government, and lower taxes and was broadly credited with Republican victories in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, the U.S. Senate in 2014, and helping pave the ground for the grassroots-led political victory of Donald Trump in 2016.
Michael Johns is also a leading U.S. foreign policy expert and has served previously as a White House presidential speechwriter to President George H.W. Bush and as a senior aide in the United States Senate and to former New Jersey governor and 9/11 Commission chairman Thomas Kean.
Michael has authored a book, The U.S. and Africa Statistical Handbook, several book chapters, and has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, National Review and other media. He is a regular analyst and commentator on public policy and related topics for global and U.S. television and radio networks. He is a graduate of the University of Miami, where he majored in economics and graduated with honors. He also studied abroad at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University, in the United Kingdom.
As a Heritage Foundation foreign policy analyst, Michael was a leading architect and proponent of the Reagan Doctrine of support for global political and insurgency movements confronting Soviet-backed communist regimes, including the resistance forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud in Afghanistan, which is widely credited with helping end the Cold War without direct U.S. military intervention. After the end of the Cold War, Michael ran global program development for the International Republican Institute, a non-governmental organization supported by the U.S. government that assists non-democratic nations and developing democracies with organizing and implementing democratic institutions, developing constitutions that protect individual rights, expanding women’s and indigenous peoples’ rights, and planning and holding free and fair elections. He has worked in-country throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union, including in Kuwait and Turkey.
He was asked about what he thought about his thoughts on the revival of the Taliban regime that may somehow weaken the US led liberal international order based on democratic values because the world’s most powerful autocratic country and human rights violator–China–is playing the key role in legitimizing the Taliban government, another great violator of human rights. To this he replied that the relationship between the CCP and the Talibans is a developed relationship but is currently underrated. The role of China in the Taliban issue is the one that deserves a great degree of scrutiny.This connection between the CCP and the Taliban can pose a great threat to international security. In context of the Taliban resurgence, many are of the opinion that there has been a considerable change in the Taliban Policy, but that’s not true. Talibans can never change. Their intention of spreading Global Jihad and the brutalities they perpetrate to achieve this remains the same. And in this process they are being offered sophisticated guidance from Pakistan’s ISI and patronized by CCP China. The fact that 9/11 was orchestrated by Osama Bin Laden is true, but it was much abetted directly or indirectly by the Taliban regime during that time, who offered them safe haven. The Taliban’s emergence was really the one that was developed out of Pakistan’s involvement, with a desire to see such a government in Kabul that might not be very interesting to the major world powers. Thus, no government except CCP China is recognizing the Taliban and no one should.
On asking how does the US, being a close ally to the UK, explain the UK’s decision to recognize the Talibans, pointing out the extreme brutality that this group has unleashed, Michael said that this group should never be recognized. However, he remarked, that Boris Johnson said they may need to speak with the Taliban but no UK diplomatic recognition of them has been extended (at least not yet).
On being asked about China’s long term goals in the process, John said that when China came out with its identity it was actually an aggressive plan to surpass the United States, and develop their monopoly in various sectors. It was the plan and the policy of the Xi-Jinping government to always control Central Asia. He gives the example of China’s Belt and Road initiative, which has two plans to be executed. One is to facilitate travel between Kabul and Pakistan, that would be the part of the broader transportation, and secondly, Afghanistan is very mineral rich and its key resources are very vital to China. China is slowly moving in and trying to broaden its influence as it did in Latin America. In Afghanistan it is trying to draw the support of a small group with extremist ideology and backed by another problematic regime of South Asia, Pakistan. Thus, as Johns points out India has a very significant role to play in the region. About the relationship between India and the United States, given the CCP’s aggression, including against India, is really significant.
Lastly, the vote of thanks was delivered by the interviewer Ms Sreoshi Sinha , Research Fellow, Red Lantern Analytica.

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