Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, September 20th, 2018

US-Russia Tie and its effect on Afghanistan’s Evolution

To show backlash against the recent sanction posed by the US, Kremlin issued a decree for the expulsion of about 800 staff members of the US diplomatic centers in Russia. Although, at the last days of its mission, the Obama administration expelled a number of Russian diplomats from its territory, Moscow closed its eyes to the issue and did not resort to a tit-for-tat act so as to avoid aggravating mutual tension.
It was estimated that with Trump’s administration, the US-Russia relations would come to a new phase. In addition to thawing relations between the two countries, their ties were believed to resolve many regional and global challenges. But this dream did not come true and the relation of both world’s nuclear powers hit the rock bottom and may change into the time of cold war and beyond it.
Within the last three years, the US-Russia tension escalated regarding several issues and was compounded since 2014. Ukraine, a state in Eastern Europe, is one of the controversial issues between the two countries. The Russian President Vladimir Putin calls the evolution in Ukraine a sort of coup by the United States and its western allies and believes that the US constitutes crisis in this region, particularly with the expansion of NATO to the east and the deployment of anti-missile systems in Europe which posed insurmountable challenges to Russia’s border. The confrontation of the two countries in Syria’s conflict is the next reason behind their tension. The US is highly enraged with the involvement of Russia in this conflict and views it one of the main sponsors of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. With Assad at the helm, Syria’s issue will not be resolved, according to the US. On the contrary, Moscow considers US responsible for the protracted war in Syria saying that Washington has prolonged the conflict and extended the crisis in the Middle East through its political and military support to the Damascus opposition.
The US is highly frustrated with the Russia’s interference in its presidential election and calls it a big betrayal. In spite of the fact that Russia denied this claim, US officially accused Russian government of conducting cyberattack against its political organizations declaring it aimed to disrupt America’ electoral process.
It was speculated based on the mentioned facts that Trump will seek to change the US-Russia’s confrontation to a sustainable interaction. However, it seems that Trump, despite his probable tendency, could not break the prevalent structure or heighten the burden of accusation through cultivating a close relation with Moscow. Therefore, he preferred the public demand to his personal desires and signed new sanctions against Moscow.
Although the two countries had never enjoyed a satisfactory relation, yet this tie will come up with more challenges since the friction between the interests of both countries is predictable in a broad perspective and a serious mutual confrontation will be in the offing.
The issue of their diplomats is likely to be resolved through negotiation; however, the political relations between Kremlin and White House will remain strong – which will put an adverse effect on many countries.
Afghanistan is one of the countries that will be affected via the said relations since this country is in an abnormal state. The protected war led to the emergence of radical groups with different ideology that paved the ground for the involvement of many countries in this issue.
Russia has given up its non-interference policy regarding Afghanistan’s issues, particularly in recent years. Backing the Taliban is one of the issues that cannot be concealed in Russia’s regional policy since it supports this group as an option against ISIL. Reports say that Moscow, in addition to its political support, does not relinquish its arm assistance to this group, which has reinforced the Taliban more than ever before.
It is feared that such supports will be compounded and Moscow fuels the conflict through equipping the Taliban so as to hamper the victory of its political opponent the US as it is doing in Syria.
It is also a matter of concern for Afghan officials that the more the Taliban are equipped and inspired the more Afghan government will sustain harm. Further, it will put Afghan government under question that why the Taliban are able to continue the war for years.
The government will have to prioritize ensuring security and stability and use all its possible equipment in defeating the enemy and gaining upper hand militarily. It should further utilize all political and diplomatic options in the best possible way and strengthen its ties with its international allies. Otherwise, if this trend continues, the situation will go from bad to worse.