FRANCO-AMERICAN JUMELAGE

French Cities linked to US Cities

TRACKING INFLUENCERS IN THE NEWS IN AUGUST 2021

Edelman: Edelman has announced the launch of Edelman Global Advisory (EGA), formed through its acquisition of American strategic consultancy Basilinna. The new firm will focus on public relations and public affairs services, and its co-COO and managing principal is Gurpreet Brar, former general manager of Edelman in Brussels.

Edelman Brussels: In addition to his current role as head of health at Edelman Brussels, Nicola Scocchi has been appointed head of health policy for the EMEA region.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AL QAEDA AND THE AFGHAN TALIBAN

The history between the two groups can be traced back to the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union. AlQaeda and an important sub-group of the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, are bound by ties of marriage among families of key leaders. Al-Qaeda also remains popular among the rank-and-file of the Taliban. There appears to be a firm political basis for the relationship. Both groups fit into each other’s ideology-based political projects.

PAKISTAN RELATIONS WITH THE TALIBAN

Pakistan has had a paradoxical role in Afghanistan – accused of providing covert support to the Taliban on one hand, while playing a major supporting role in the US war on terror against al-Qaeda on the other.

THE NEW CHESSBOARD ACTORS IN CENTRAL ASIA

HOW IRAN VIEWS THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN?

The Iranian regime has celebrated the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and is supporting a peaceful transition of power that includes the Taliban. Iran will likely recognize the Taliban government in the months ahead if Iranian leaders conclude that they can cooperate with the group. Tehran seeks to work with the Taliban and other international actors to achieve its strategic objectives in Afghanistan.

HOW CHINA SEES THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN

China’s view of the situation in Afghanistan is almost entirely about managing threats. China is now anxious on multiple counts. Its perennial concern, going back to the Taliban’s last time in power, is the potential for Afghanistan to become a safe haven for militant groups targeting China. Chinese economic and political interests in the wider region have grown considerably since then, though, and Beijing is also worried about the spillover effects in neighbouring countries, particularly Pakistan.

HOW RUSSIA SEES THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN?

The American withdrawal from Afghanistan offers some opportunities to Russia – but exposes it to greater uncertainty and risk. Russia has long been ambivalent about the US/NATO force presence in Afghanistan. On the one hand, Moscow recognised, and valued, the stabilising role they played in the country over the past 20 years, restraining extremist groups and bolstering the Afghan authorities – thereby protecting Russia’s southern approaches.

HONOURING ONE OF THE BRAVEST JOURNALISTS OF THE WORLD

Clarissa Ward is CNN’s chief international correspondent based in London. Recently Clarissa reporting fearlessly live on the ground from Afghanistan and has shown incredible bravery. For more than 15 years, Clarissa has reported from front lines across the world from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen to Ukraine to Georgia and Iran. She’s one of the great references of the profession and deserves to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom as a direct witness to the fall of Kabul.

Clarissa has won multiple awards for her reporting:

AFGHANISTAN: THE FAILED STATE SCENARIO

How will the Taliban govern and what can be done to protect the nearly 38 to 40 million people that will now remain in Afghanistan under the Taliban’s rule. The Taliban are inheriting a failed state in a deep economic crisis.

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