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Russia’s military support

Russia is more prominent in Afghanistan’s history than any other nation-state. Proximity and relations of the two countries dominate the contemporary history. Once upon a time, Moscow was a good friend and then became a villain and now again mending ties. In politics, yesterday’s enemy is today’s friend because politics all about interests and bargaining. Those who invaded this country, Russia enjoy advantage over them in some aspects. The British Empire invaded Afghanistan three times, in 1839, 1878 and 1919. It divided the country while drawing the Durand Line. The line has been drawn on the chest of Afghans. The Soviet Union has invaded this country in 1979 and left hundreds of thousands of people killed and injured. The killings could not be justified. But, it also built roads, factories and townships. Unfortunately, insurgency has grown in presence of the US-led coalition troops. Afghan security forces are fighting the insurgents in almost every part of the country.

At such a time, military support from Russia is a good gesture. Moscow has decided to provide 10,000 AK-47 assault rifles to Afghan police. Although, it will not bring significant changes in the security situation but it is worth-appreciating.  The Russian authorities want to improve capability of Afghan security forces to quell threats posed by Daesh (Islamic State) and other militant groups.

For Russia, elimination of the Islamic State would not be a walk-over, as the Middle Eastern terrorist group is getting support of some regional players in Afghanistan.

The group is a serious threat to regional stability. Therefore, Moscow shall devise the ways and means for destroying Daesh. But, the Afghan security officials should be taken into confidence and on board. Afghan security forces shall be strengthened against Daesh. Afghan law enforcement agencies need more advanced trainings and weapons to stand the wear and tear of extremism and militancy. Russia shall not support the Taliban against the Islamic State because it will create challenges for the Afghan government. Afghan government shall not be held responsible for mistakes of the US. We shall not go to the vexed question whether the Taliban or Daesh is worst. Terrorists are terrorists as President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani said.

Support to Taliban against Daesh is not only interference but a serious blunder. Some of Russian astute politicians are of the opinion that they should not lose the vantage ground that they had gained in Afghan politics in the recent years. Relations between the two countries are growing at good speed. Afghans trust Moscow that’s why the Afghan legislators and Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum visited Russia this year to cement the ties further and get military support. As everything is in the state of angry commotion, the regional powers including Russia, China and India shall pour oil on the troubled waters to help the war-devastated country.


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