Afghanistan: The Next Big U.S.-Russia Proxy Battle
If recent developments are any indication, Russia is becoming increasingly focused on and active in Afghanistan. The Russian government has held several consultations with Tajikistan on expanding security cooperation on the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border and has explored increasing the scope of its Central Asian military bloc, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). It has also increased its diplomatic engagement with the Taliban and, according to Afghan and U.S. officials, may even be providing security assistance to the group. Long a consideration for Russia, Afghanistan is growing in importance to Moscow at both the tactical and strategic levels. And as it does, it is becoming an increasingly important theater for the U.S.-Russia competition.
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WNU Editor: Russia's involvement in Afghanistan goes back centuries. But I do not see Russia wanting to become directly involved in Afghanistan's never-ending war .... especially now with its military intervention in Syria and its ongoing war against Islamic extremists in the Caucasus. In my humble opinion .... the Kremlin is positioning itself on what may happen next, and they are doing it by increasing their diplomatic engagements with Afghanistan's neighbours, with the Afghan government, and (probably) with the Taliban themselves. And as for the current U.S. military presence, the Kremlin wants no change in that status .... Russia Says U.S Withdrawal From Afghanistan Would Worsen Situation (ATN News).