Russia Won’t Let The World Forget What The US Did To Afghanistan
Far from being ‘isolated’ and ‘rogue’, Russia is at the centre of international efforts to respond to this crisis and is quickly becoming the world’s conscience on Afghanistan.
The Russian Permanent Mission to the UN published a press release that condemned the US for seeking to shift responsibility for the current Afghan crisis and get other countries to help rebuild that war-torn state instead. It concisely described the sequence of events that led to the present predicament whereby the Norwegian Prime Minister just warned that “1 million children (are) at danger of starving, half the population in need of aid, 90% are really out of any proper working”.
“The Afghan Aid Game Is A Gamble That No One Can Afford To Lose”, not just for reasons related to that country’s immediate humanitarian crisis, but also because its further worsening could create space for terrorist groups like ISIS-K to expand and possibly even prompt a regional refugee crisis unseen since 2015. Even before the US’ chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan last August, Russia emerged as the global voice of reason for explaining what should be done and why.
Although Pakistan is considered to be the country that enjoys the closest ties with the Taliban, Russia is a close second in spite of still officially designating them as terrorists. It pragmatically cooperates with the group in the shared interests of peace, security, and development. As a Great Power, it’s much more capable of informing the world of everything that’s happening there than Pakistan is, with which it nowadays cooperates very closely as well in an increasingly strategic way.
Its UN Mission’s press release wasn’t a partisan statement, however, since it has everything to do with helping average Afghan civilians and nothing to do one way or the other with the Taliban. It’s all about setting the historical record straight in order to imbue international aid efforts with a renewed sense of urgency so as to hopefully avert the impending worsening of this potentially unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis.
This noble aim contrasts with the US-led Western Mainstream Media’s warped portrayal of Russia and its strategic motives. Far from being “isolated” and “rogue”, Russia is at the center of international efforts to respond to this crisis and is quickly becoming the world’s conscience on Afghanistan. It’s able to leverage its rising appeal across the non-Western world to inform the global masses about what’s really happening in Afghanistan, why, and what must be done to improve the situation there.
That’s quite a change from decades ago when the former USSR was militarily active in Afghanistan. A lot of the world united against it and Moscow ultimately had to withdraw after 9 years, though in a dignified manner altogether different from the shameful one that the Americans just experienced. It also didn’t destroy the country prior to departing either and the USSR’s local allies remained in power for the next several years instead of collapsing prior to their withdrawal’s completion.
Nowadays Russia has returned to Afghanistan but solely in a diplomatic and moral way. It’s doing its utmost to remind the world what the US did to that country, rally the international community’s aid efforts, and be the global conscience on this crisis. These new roles speak to just how fundamentally different Moscow’s 21st-century grand strategy is from its late 20th century one during the final years of the Soviet era. This is purely because of President Putin’s pragmatic and visionary leadership.
Unlike in times past, Russia is focused on becoming the supreme balancing force in Eurasia in order to accelerate the emerging Multipolar World Order, not lead its own unipolar one for ideological reasons. Returning to Afghanistan in a completely different way than before confirms the seriousness of its new grand strategy. It also starkly contrasts with the US’ shameful withdrawal from that country and shows that Russia is responsibly filling the void that its Great Power rival just left.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.