foreign correspondents

Vladimir Putin’s hubris, and Dimitry Peskov’s flair for self-satire and parody; If Putin invades Ukraine, could that be his last rodeo?

What an irony it would be if Putin’s hubris led him to invade Ukraine, and the consequences of that action–as the Russian body bags came home, Russia was expelled from the SWIFT international payments system, suffered from severe sectorial sanctions, and Finland joined NATO–led to his removal from power.

If Putin invades Ukraine, it could be his last rodeo.

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Afghanistan today, September 3, 2021: The Taliban government is forming, with no nods to Western wishful thinking

The Taliban are forming their government in Kandahar, with few concessions such as those imagined by American and Western leaders in their illusionary wishful thinking. Espinosa reports from a source close to the Taliban that the protection of women’s rights seems to be a third priority, while there sa a push toward decentralization. The latter augurs poorly for those provinces under the control of the most hardline factions within the Taliban.

Those who know Afghanistan appear to be getting it right.


What is happening on the ground in Afghanistan? UPDATED August 29, 2021

“General amnesty has been granted,” he wrote, adding that “we are focusing on future.”
Yet there are growing reports of detentions, disappearances and even executions of officials at the hands of the Taliban, in what some current and former government officials describe as a covert and sometimes deadly pursuit of the Taliban’s enemies.

Leaving behind computer records that would enable the Taliban to identify who worked with the allies and acted as intelligence sources is inexcusable, as inexscusable as the American surrender and withdrawal which was not negotiated subject to serious conditions.
The closer you look. the more shocking and scandalous the Biden administration’s decisions and actions related to the American withdrawal seem to be.

The American military’s record is definitely mixed. While they seem to have done an impressive job with their airlift out of Kabul airport, given a disastrous lack of planning, perhaps the most enduring image of the U.S. military’s performance was their departure from Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night, without even telling their erstwhile Afghan “partners” they were leaving.

While there is ample blame to be shared by others, particularly Joe Biden, Anthony Blinken, and Jake Sullivan, Lloyd Austin was Secretary of Defense and directly responsible for the military’s failings. If there is to be any accountability for this catastropHe, Austin should be fired–along with Blinken and Sullivan.


Meet the Afghans America is abandoning

It is absolutely appalling to speak to fellow Americans, even those who are highly educated and intelligent, and to understand the abysmal nature of their ignorance about Afghanistan, what has happened in that country in the last 20 years, and the people who live there today.

American news coverage from Afghanistan had almost disappeared until this summer, when President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. forces rekindled interest in some readers about the future of the country after America’s retreat.

To counter this ignorance, The Trenchant Observer is introducing a new feature under the heading, “Meet the Afghans America is abandoning.”

It is late in the game to try to counter the ignorance of the American population about Afghanistan in 2021.

We should bear in mind that polls that show 60% or 70% support for Biden’s withdrawal decision are measuring the views of ignorant and ill-informed people.

This is not so much their fault as it is the fault of American society and culture in 2021, when there is little interest in U.S. foreign policy or what is going on in the rest of the world, and news media–except for a few leading newspapers–which reflect that lack of interest.

Please accept our invitation to meet and learn about some of the Afghans who America is abandoning to the mercies of the Taliban.


Foreign policy without International Law

Since the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and the foundational writings of Hugo Grotius, nations have paid attention to international law in…




REPRISE: After disappearing act, Vladimir Putin remains prime suspect in Nemtsov assassination

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After disappearing act, Vladimir Putin remains prime suspect in Nemtsov assassination

Developing See (1) “Ukraine Update: Overview and signficance of the continuing Russan invasion »Nemtsov assassination represents a stark warning to the opposition: ‘Criticize Putin, especially…