Why Russia is important for Afghanistan?

The failure of the US strategy in the region is making huge spaces for Russia to get involve in different strategic issues deeply. The military involvement of Russia in the Syrian conflict is the clear sign of Russia growing muscles in the world’s politics. The tough position on the Ukrainian issue is also an indicator of Russian increasing political and economic power.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and success in the cold war, America pursues unilaterally the military solution to every issue. After 9/11 incident, America directly invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. Which has brought a number of political changes in the regional diplomatic chains and equations. The American military huge presence in the region has also compelled other regional power to revise their interest and approaches.

The New York Times in a recent report has quoted that “Russia pulls back from cooperating with the US on Afghanistan.” It shows the fresh fissure between Moscow and Washington relations. Russian special envoy to Afghanistan Mr. Zamir Kabulov has already said that “Honestly speaking, we’re already tired of joining anything Washington start. The Kremlin, he added, “has no desire to participate in what the Americans organize ‘on the fly’ just for their own pre-election interests and where they give us the role of extras on the set.”

This new development is also a challenge for the Afghan government to defrost and balance the equation with both Moscow and Washington. Russia is also exerting a military presence in Tajikistan along with the border of Afghanistan in order to deconstruct the potential threat strategically. The Tajik, Uzbek and Turks Islamic fundamentalist threat is a lethal challenge for the Russian security. According to the Russia security understanding, this different ethnic Islamic radical madness could gain leverage from the chaotic Afghan land. This strategic complication always forced Russia to engage deeply in the Afghan affairs.

Afghan syndrome has many angles, but from the north, the Russian role has been missing from our media circle. Our foreign office must give due attention to the north, a very important regional player. As with Russia, we have historically very deep political and cultural relationship. The Russian political expert, historian and literary figures had endowed very significant role in the understanding of Afghanistan whole socio-political existence.

The Afghan Nation has deep respect for the Russian positive constructive contribution in Afghanistan and welcomes this legacy for further continuation. Russia too must learn a lesson from the history and invest more capital in education, security and economic sectors because Afghanistan passing through a very difficult phase. The main pillar of the Russian policy interest in Afghanistan must be restoring peace rather be in a strategic competition with the US and NATO. Russia must invest in the institutional building of the emerging modern Afghan state. As such kind of contribution will give a more enduring result to the Russian interest. The stable and responsible Afghanistan is the best guarantee of the stable Central Asia. Russia must also use different soft power while winning the hearts and minds of the Afghans as now the Indian leadership is doing so. The Russian masterminds should not think to fuel the fundamentalism in the north of Afghanistan for the very known interest just to get military power in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Azerbaijan.

It is indeed very good news for the whole Afghan Nation that Russia recently gifted 10,000 automatic rifles and millions of rounds ammunitions to the Afghan government. It surely increases our defense capability and security. It also shows that Moscow is ready to support the Afghan Nation and has a stake to contribute and engage deeply. About this important cooperation, Afghan National Security Adviser, Hanif Atmar has rightly stated that “This important donation is from an important friend of Afghanistan in a crucial time for Afghanistan and the region. He further added that “The guns and ammunition were provided under an existing security agreement between the two countries.”

The Russian ambassador, Alexander Mantyskiy also said, “His country is willing to work with Afghanistan to counter the insurgency and other challenges in a more bilateral way.” After 2001, Russia has contributed very positive role to support the new democratic change and also invested in different developmental projects and schemes. Now it is too very important for the Afghan government to reciprocally response this positive gesture of the Russian contribution and bring balance while setting relations with the regional and international players.


The Afghan Tribune | Editorial | Published: February 26, 2016, 12:49 PM

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