“If a shopkeeper from Quetta can make a fool of them and keep them engaged in talks for months, how do they believe they can defeat the Taliban?”
~ Mohammad Hafiz, a senior Taliban commander, in response to recent revelations that NATO officials were negotiating with an impostor.
by George Friedman
In 1989, the global system pivoted when the Soviet Union retreated from Eastern Europe and began the process of disintegration that culminated in its collapse. In 2001, the system pivoted again when al Qaeda attacked targets in the United States on Sept. 11, triggering a conflict that defined the international system until the summer of 2008. The pivot of 2008 turned on two dates, Aug. 7 and Oct. 11.
On Aug. 7, Georgian troops attacked the country’s breakaway region of South Ossetia. On Aug. 8, Russian troops responded by invading Georgia. The Western response was primarily rhetorical. On the weekend of Oct. 11, the G-7 met in Washington to plan a joint response to the global financial crisis. Continue reading