Turnabout Is Fair Play or What Goes Around Comes Around
One must remember that the main reason Russia left Afghanistan after suffering horrible military losses is that the U.S. supplied those attacking them with arms and other logistic support.
Now with one of the largest natural resource supplies of rare earth elements in the world, Afghanistan has a strategic importance far exceeding any isolated political or opium supply agenda.
Also, do not forget that Russia, like China, responds to past humiliations in ways that “save face”. Viewing the fact that America’s foreign policies have had significant undesirable effects on both nations from the break up of the Soviet Union as a result of the economic impact of Vietnam to China’s losses in Vietnam and Korea, it is not surprising that neither nation trusts us.
Additionally, our foreign policy errors such as imposing majority rule (Shi’ite) in Iraq unintentionally helped al-Qaeda and ISIS. Russia’s Syrian involvement is partially a response to our policies. Both China and Russia view Sunni jihad as a serious security threat.
With all that is going on, be it in the Ukraine, Georgia, or the South China Sea, it is more reasonable to assume that turnabout is fair play is to be expected from those we are at war with, at least economically speaking.
Regardless, whether it is in individual personal relations or playing out on the world’s political stage, integrity and trust are necessary for success. For all governments, from the corrupt Putin dynasty to the merciless Chinese totalitarianism of the Communist Party, injustice sustained by force cannot endure.
“We’ve had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by Afghan leaders and [they] said, this was given by the Russians to the Taliban.”
Russia arming Taliban For months, U.S. military commanders have sounded alarms that Russia is supporting the Afghan Taliban, and now the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, has gone a step further, accusing Moscow of directly arming the Taliban.
“We’ve had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by Afghan leaders and [they] said, this was given by the Russians to the Taliban,” Nicholson said in an interview with the BBC.
Meanwhile, American military commanders are drumming up support for the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, promising that new troops and equipment and a closer relationship with Afghan forces will reverse Taliban gains.
“This is not another year of the same thing we’ve been doing for 17 years,” Gen. Joseph Dunford , chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Washington Post. “This is a fundamentally different approach.”
That note of optimism comes as the Taliban have made significant territorial gains, with the group now openly active in 70 percent of Afghanistan’s territory. Afghan military forces, meanwhile, are taking casualties at a record level. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani continues to drum up support for a peace initiative that would bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, but so far a a breakthrough appears far off.
China’s global kidnapping campaign Extralegal renditions and coercive repatriations are an increasingly common tool of the Chinese government, Foreign Policy contributor Zach Dorfman reports.
Chinese officials have beaten and drugged Chinese economic or political fugitives living abroad and forced them onto planes or shipping vessels headed back to China. In other cases, they have threatened family members to get their targets to return home. It may even be happening within U.S. borders.
Idlib in the crosshairs With Syrian government forces and their Russian allies pursuing a scorched earth strategy to reclaim rebel-held territory, Idlib province may be their next target, the New York Times reports. The population of the province, which borders Turkey, has doubled in recent years, and Idlib now represents the largest patch of rebel-controlled territory.
Getting tough on Russia? Some advisers to President Donald Trump are pushing him to adopt a tougher line on Russia on the heels of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain and an ensuing diplomatic crisis, according to the New York Times. Trump so far hasn’t signed on to a policy of levying additional sanctions on Moscow.