Opinion

Lights Back On at Bagram Air Base as Chinese Planes Reportedly Land. China Denies.

The Lights back on at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan may portend something serious, if unconfirmed reports of Chinese planes landing there are true. From that base, China could spread problems throughout the Middle East. One of those problems could be anti-drone technology that could prove problematic for the administration’s “Over the Horizon” plans.

There have been multiple reports of Chinese military planes arriving at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. The move would be an attempt by China to strengthen ties with the Taliban and embarrass America.

Dr Lawrence Sellin, Col, US Army Reserve, RET

lights back on at Bagram
Twitter screenshot of Bagram Air Base
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China is denying the report, and so are the Taliban. But somebody turned the lights back on at Bagram and somebody’s planes landed. China has been talking with the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. They expressed an interest in occupying the former US base last month. But the lights back on at Bagram could be a harbinger of something concerning to US military officials. If they’re paying attention.

Bagram Air Base had all of its power turned off when the US abandoned the facility. So who turned the lights back on at Bagram?

It comes after Yun Sun, director of the China Program at the Stimson Center think tank, said China would likely be very interested in occupying the airbase following the US pullout.

US forces in Afghanistan abandoned their main base at Bagram airport overnight in July – shutting off the lights and slipping away into the night without telling government forces who were supposed to take it over.  

The military airfield, located roughly an hour from Kabul, was first established by the Soviets during their own occupation of Afghanistan, after which it was seized by US forces and used as one of their main operating bases for 20 years. 

According to U.S. News & World Report, China has been considering sending military personnel and economic development officials to Bagram airbase, and has conducted a ‘feasibility study’ on the effect of such a plan as part of its ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

A move to occupy Bagram airbase would go towards strengthening relations with the Taliban and further embarrassing America. 

Daily Mail

China’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, denied the reports of China’s presence in Afghanistan, calling the report ”fabricated.”

The reports are “unconfirmed” because the US has little intelligence availability in Afghanistan after the total withdrawal. We are operating from a distance. Locals spotted the military planes landing at Bagram. Keep in mind that China is no friend of Muslims no matter how much “diplomacy” occurs- just view their persecution of the Uighur Muslims in their own nation. The Communist government of China could wreak havoc on the people of Afghanistan.

So why are the lights back on at Bagram? Was it the Afghani resistance? Was it the Taliban? Or did the Chinese actually drop in and start fixing the place up again?

H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. All of her posts on Conservative Firing Line are also posted on Uncle Sam's.

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