Displaying items by tag: power struggle
The UK has been in Afghanistan since 2001, with over 450 troops dying during the conflicts with the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. Defence secretary Ben Wallace said they now plan to ‘drawdown’ the number of troops from next month. Confirming the planned departure of forces, he also warned any attacks on existing troops would be ‘met with a forceful response’. The US has said it will withdraw all forces by 11 September, and NATO confirmed allies would begin withdrawing troops from 1 May. Pray that the patchwork of multiple different competing tribal leaders agree to negotiate territory boundaries and not revert to the violent clashes seen in the past. Pray that the fragile government will successfully prevent chaos in parts of Afghanistan currently strongholds for terrorists. Pray that future negotiations between the government and Taliban will lead to meaningful reductions in violence once foreign troops are out of the equation.
On 5 January a throng of Trump supporters swathed in red, white and blue had a ‘Jericho march’ around Washington in imitation of the Israelites besieging the city of Jericho. Some wore ‘Make America Great Again’ hats, waved flags featuring Trump, and held signs saying ‘Donald v Goliath’. Some were singing ‘How great Is our God’. The Georgia runoff on 6 January gave legislative advantages to the Democrats, while a rally gathered at the nation’s capital. Then Trump’s supporters stormed and ransacked the Capitol building, abruptly forcing Congress members and vice-president Mike Pence to flee the premises. Dozens were arrested, and at least four people were killed during the chaos. The next morning Trump agreed to leave office in an orderly transition of power, but he did not admit defeat or say he was conceding. He also failed to acknowledge publicly the deadly riot by his supporters inside the Capitol.
Anti-government protests over corruption and lack of jobs and public services have continued since early October. On 21 November, force by security guards failed to unblock Baghdad bridges and al-Tahrir Square where hundreds of protesters held their ground against bullets and teargas. They also have blocked roads around Basra. Road closures lead to large losses for the Iraqi economy and negatively affect the daily life of citizens by preventing the flow of food, medical supplies and other goods. Demonstrators demand comprehensive political reform, accountability for corruption, improvement of public services, and job opportunities. But protests are not reshaping the country's politics. They are affecting the entire region as new scandals against the government are revealed almost daily. The most recent exposed Tehran's growing influence in Iraq.