US Trying to Set Up Presence Near Afghanistan Under Pretext of Fighting Terror, Russia Says

Wednesday, 6 October, 2021 - 23:53

Washington began reaching out to Afghanistan's neighbours, including Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, in May after President Joe Biden announced that the US would be withdrawing from the country after nearly 20 years of war and occupation. So far, all US overtures in this direction appear to have been rejected.

The United States has not given up on its geopolitical aspirations in West Asia, and is seeking to shore up its position in countries neighbouring Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting terrorism, Yuri Kokov, deputy chief of the Russian Security Council, has said.
"Indeed, there are threats of a geopolitical nature [to Russia], stemming from the fact that the Americans have not actually abandoned their ambitions in this region," Kokov said, speaking to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper in an in interview published on Wednesday.

"On the contrary, under the pretext of countering terrorist groups, they are seeking to gain a foothold in countries neighbouring Afghanistan, and to create bases there for their unmanned aerial vehicles and training centres for the training of local military personnel, law enforcement and special services. In essence, this means bringing NATO infrastructure even closer to Russia's borders," the official warned.

Commenting on the "dynamic" and "contradictory" processes taking place in Afghanistan, including the dramatic and unexpected collapse of the Afghan government and security forces in a matter of days in mid-August, Kokov suggested that one of the only things that could be stated "with confidence" was that "the 20-year military campaign by the United States and its allies in Afghanistan not only ended in vain, but in many respects also aggravated the crises in this country."

"The most important thing when it comes to the fight against terrorism is the result. We see that as a result of the coalition's presence in Afghanistan, the country was essentially taken over by the international terrorist organisation known as the Taliban Movement," Kokov added.
The official expressed fears that Afghanistan may once again be thrust into civil war, given the heterogeneity and ethnic composition of the country, as well as the influence of clan, tribal ties, and traditions, plus the degradation of the humanitarian situation – which he said could strengthen radical groups. "[These factors] pose a danger of the spread of terrorism to Central Asia and into Russian territory," Kokov warned.

Source: Sputnik