Asia, Central Asia, News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia
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Views on the News 01/09/2021

Headlines:
China to Surpass Russia as America’s Main Nuclear Threat
US The Latest Victim in the Graveyard of Empires
Europe Doesn’t Want Afghanistan Refugees

China to Surpass Russia as America’s Main Nuclear Threat

The deputy commander of US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) claimed China will soon surpass Russia as Washington’s top nuclear threat. “There’s going to be a point, a crossover point, where the number of threats presented by China will exceed the number of threats that currently Russia presents,” Lt. Gen. Thomas Bussiere told an online forum on 27 August 2021. China’s nuclear arsenal is estimated to be somewhere between 300 and 350 warheads, while the US and Russia each possess around 6,000. Bussiere insisted it is not the size of China’s arsenal that makes them a threat, but how they’re “operationally fielded.” He said he believes China will overtake Russia as a nuclear threat “in the next few years.” The US views China as more of a threat because the US and China don’t have any nuclear treaties or dialogue mechanisms on the issue. The US has tried to include China in arms control talks with Russia. But Beijing has no interest in trilateral arms control due to its much smaller nuclear arsenal.

US The Latest Victim in the Graveyard of Empires

The Pentagon announced on Monday, 31 August, that the US completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, said the last plane took off from Kabul at 3:29 pm Eastern Standard Time, which was just one minute before midnight in Kabul. The completion of the withdrawal comes after a hectic airlift operation in which over 100,000 people were evacuated, including about 6,000 Americans. McKenzie said the US “did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out” and said there are still Americans in Afghanistan. After nearly 20 years of occupation the US is now the latest victim in the graveyard of empires. It thought it could succeed where empire before all failed.

Europe Doesn’t Want Afghanistan Refugees

European leaders visited Central Asia Monday, 31 August, in order to prevent Afghanistan’s crisis from turning into a repeat of the 2015 migrant crisis in Europe. European Council President Charles Michel discussed counterterrorism with Kyrgyzstan’s president and spoke with the leaders of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan over the weekend. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas went to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on August 31st and promised $590 million to Afghanistan’s neighbours in Central Asia to cope with refugees. Austria’s foreign and interior ministers hosted security talks involving the German interior minister, the Greek and Danish migration ministers, and representatives from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. After creating the very crisis that has caused chaos, Europe wants to clean its hands from the chaos it created.

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