While the United States has been distracted by the 2016 election and the political upheaval that followed, Russia has been quietly aiding and abetting America’s enemy in her longest war, the Taliban in Afghanistan.
After the disastrous term of Barack Obama, United States policy in the region foundered, like an ancient ship on the rocks. Russia has taken advantage and the Pentagon is worried. President Trump has a lot on his plate but he has to make room for Afghanistan.
Russia has “begun to publicly legitimize the Taliban,” and recent Russian and Iranian actions in Afghanistan “are to undermine the United States and NATO,” the top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John Nicholson Jr., said in Senate testimony in February, reported the Washington Post.
Russia most likely wants to exact some type of karma for the defeat of Soviet forces by Afghan mujahadeen during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1970s. The CIA supplied sophisticated arms to the Islamic fighters who eventually aligned with Osama Bin Laden after America abandoned the region after the Soviets withdrew.
Evidence is emerging of Russian and Taliban high-level contacts and possible armaments like shoulder-fired RPGs and night-vision equipment.