Taliban untie their hands and open the way to all of Central Asia, and from there to Russia.
In the United States, plans have been made to withdraw their military contingent from Afghanistan since 2011. And indeed, during this time, the number of US troops has fallen markedly – from the original 130,000 (under President Barack Obama) to the current 12,000 soldiers and officers. Now, according to NBC News, the US Department of Defense is developing plans for an accelerated withdrawal from Afghanistan even of this. what influencing, military contingent. And they are only waiting for a corresponding order from President Donald Trump. Obviously, the Pentagon took into account that the American military had to carry out an unexpected withdrawal of troops from Syria in an incredible hurry. Therefore, the Yankees who are still serving in Afghanistan, the Pentagon was allowed to pack their bags in advance.
Actually, the USA declared the war in Afghanistan completed back in 2014. When it was considered that the Taliban’s forces were defeated and it’s possible to transfer control of the country into the hands of the government of the country recognized by the UN Operation Enduring Force, which has been carried out in Afghanistan since 2001 in response to the well-known September 11 attacks, has changed its name and became “Strong Support” – a NATO mission to train and assist government forces. In addition to training colleagues, American special forces periodically take part in field raids, but their intensity has noticeably decreased. Including due to a decrease in the contingent, which was planned to be reduced to 8.6 thousand (at that time, the staff of each Soviet division in Afghanistan was 10-12 thousand people). And now it is likely that the United States can withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan.
The head of the Pentagon, Mark Esper, who visited Afghanistan on October 20, met with US troops and NATO missions there. On his Twitter, he wrote: “I am glad to see that Lieutenant General Austin Scott Miller, Commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has done a great job to ensure that Afghanistan will never again be a refuge for terrorism. Committed to supporting a free and democratic Afghanistan. ”
Mission Complete? But then, why did the Expert recently announce in Kabul that the United States can only reduce its contingent so far without harming the fight against terrorist groups operating in this country?
The peace treaty with the Taliban, which provides for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, was carried out by the American side for several months. However, in September, after the terrorist attack in Kabul, Trump said that he considers these negotiations “dead”.
Initially, it was known that the draft agreement between the United States and the Taliban provided for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan within 135 days after the signing of the document. At the same time, there was an agreement on the reduction of troops with the Afghan government, which does not tire of criticizing Washington for negotiations with the rebels. But at the same time, it is trying to negotiate with the Taliban herself, realizing that after the Americans leave, they will have to somehow coexist with them.
- In addition to the military aspect of the presence of American troops in Afghanistan, there is also an economic one, – says political analyst Alexander Zimovsky.
– Now Americans spend $ 45 billion a year on the war in Afghanistan (some newspaper people in the United States talk about $ 50 billion). Is it a lot or a little? In general, with this money you can feed a country like Belarus, for example, for two years.
Under Obama, when there were more than one hundred thousand American soldiers in Afghanistan, these expenses reached $ 100 billion a year. Trump struggled with the US presence in Afghanistan long before he became president. Already in March 2012, Trump announced on his Twitter that “Afghanistan is a total disaster.” In November 2013, Trump called Obama a “dumb-headed leader” for his efforts by the previous administration to extend the tenure of the US military in Afghanistan until 2024.
Not surprisingly, after the victory in the election, Trump came to grips with the issues of the Americans’ departure from Afghanistan. He is convinced that this is the “new Vietnam.”
Initially, in Afghanistan, the Americans pursued several strategic goals: training the Afghan army and police; material and technical supply of anti-Taliban forces; counter-terrorism struggle and intelligence gathering. And in 2017, the founder of Blackwater PMC Eric Prince proposed replacing the regular army in Afghanistan.
His own company is better, of course. Prince called this the “MacArthur model”, alluding to the fact that Afghanistan should be handed over to one person (who doesn’t know, during the invasion of Afghanistan the Americans replaced 18 commanders with their own group there).
As a true entrepreneur, Prince led accounting calculations. In particular, he named the sources of income for the Taliban. Including – lapis (Afghan lapis lazuli), marble, gold, pistachios, hashish and opium. Moreover, lapis lazuli in profitability in second place after the Taliban’s opium business.
The Americans, by the way, carried out satellite geological mapping of the territory of Afghanistan, the so-called hyperspectral visualization. And they counted a trillion dollars of minerals in the country.
- In general, the idea was for PMCs to intercept all flows, all caravan routes, and saddle all key passes, breaking the logistics of the Taliban, -Alexander Zimovsky continues.
- As one movie character said: «Not for free, hehe.»
Here, of course, Prince’s ideas came in conflict with the interests of the CIA, which (for a minute!) Holds 3,000 of its officers in Afghanistan and is not averse to “indulging” in the sale of opiates. That is, in Washington there are a lot of people living on “dividends” and “kickbacks” from the Afghan war. What matters to them is not the result, but the process. The result for the Americans in Afghanistan is unattainable. This was stated in the memorandum, which was prepared for Trump at the Pentagon at the beginning of last year. Indeed, it is impossible to forever fight with sellers of pistachios. This is Khoja Nasreddin always said.
I will add that, with all the saturation of Afghanistan with American troops and agents, the situation there today is such that in Kabul the commander of the US group two kilometers between his residence and headquarters overcomes exclusively by helicopter.
And, last but not least (the last, but not less), Trump, in addition to the economic tasks of eliminating the Afghan bottomless hole for dollars, is solving its main task – to be re-elected for a second term. Therefore, the global strategy for him is sideways. And intra-electoral tactics are a priority. If in order to enter the second term it is necessary (according to Trump) to leave Afghanistan, Trump will leave. Or create a vivid illusion of leaving. Put a propaganda smoke curtain, let’s say. And in the second term, on the blue eye, will restore statusquo. And he will also say that this is his decision. Believe good business.
One could be glad or confront about the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Like, we left there in 1989 after a ten-year presence, so you also didn’t succeed. In fact, for Russia in the upcoming event, there are much more minuses than plus. And the main danger is that the Islamists from Afghanistan, who will expand their influence and strengthen their positions in the country itself, will undoubtedly move towards Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. And from there they will begin to seep into Russia. This is a very dangerous trend, which is also noted in the CSTO, talking about the likely breakthrough of extremists into the territory of these countries.
By the way, on October 21 in Tajikistan, the teachings “Indestructible Brotherhood-2019” began. The commander of the troops of the Central Military District of the Russian Federation, Alexander Lapin, noted that these exercises are taking place “against the backdrop of an unstable situation in the world and the worsening situation in Afghanistan.”
Though not to the full extent, but the US presence in Afghanistan was a certain limiting factor for the Taliban, who were distracted by “resistance”. Now, in addition to the American troops, 9,000 troops from 38 NATO countries are in Afghanistan. The military from Germany are training government troops in the north of the country, the Italian contingent in the west, Turkish in Kabul. Most of the member countries sent their units to Afghanistan out of solidarity with the United States, so now they are likely to withdraw their troops and trainers after the Americans. In this case, the government army will lose not only professional training, but also military support in those garrisons where foreign contingents are deployed.
Let us recall the Soviet experience – after the departure of troops in 1989, President Mohammad Najibullah did not last long. And, despite its government army, which was still well armed with the USSR, it was defeated in front of Mujahideen troops in 1992. And then he was executed by the Taliban in 1996.
The withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan will also undoubtedly lead to a weakening of central authority in Afghanistan. What will create the prerequisites for chaos. Power in the country can be seized by terrorist groups.
In Afghanistan, there are still many supporters of al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State. The IS is especially widely represented here by fighters who fled from Syria under the blows of the government army and Russian VKS. It is very likely that these forces, after the Americans leave, will try to gain control over part of the country’s territory and will soon declare it the next caliphate.
What is the position of Russia in this regard? On the one hand, Moscow does not want a long-term US stay in Afghanistan. On the other hand, it secretly hopes for the success of NATO forces there as a deterrent in the advancement of extremist groups to the borders of the CIS. The forced withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan can lead here to a new round of civil war and an internal political crisis. In such a situation, Russia is unlikely to stand on one of the parties to the conflict. And even more so, it does not dare to attack the same rake a second time: to send its own troops into Afghanistan.
In this case, the most likely option is the creation of buffer zones in northern Afghanistan with the participation of the armies of the CSTO countries. Plus – Moscow will try to actively cooperate with Iran and Pakistan, which are far from the last players in this region.