Russia slams NATO’s Afghanistan exit plan

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by Yusuf, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    BRUSSELS — Russia’s foreign minister sharply criticized NATO’s plan to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan by 2014, saying Thursday that coalition troops should remain in the country until Afghan government forces are capable of ensuring security.

    “As long as Afghanistan is not able to ensure by itself the security in the country, the artificial timelines of withdrawal are not correct and they should not be set,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

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    NATO plans to hand over lead responsibility for the war against the Taliban to the Afghan army and police by the middle of next year, and to withdraw its troops by the end of 2014. It has already started drawing down its forces, which reached a peak of about 140,000 last year.

    NATO leaders say that Afghan forces are improving rapidly and will be able to counter Taliban guerrillas after 2014. But critics have pointed to widespread drug use and the high desertion rate among government forces as signs that it remains unprepared to handle the insurgents.

    The Afghan army and police are scheduled to expand to over 350,000 members in the next several months. NATO has already handed over to them responsibility for security over half of the country’s population, and the transition is set to continue.

    Lavrov, who attended a meeting of NATO defense and foreign ministers in Brussels, said China and other countries in Asia were also worried about the withdrawal schedule.

    Moscow views NATO’s military effort in Afghanistan as crucial for its own security, including helping to prevent instability from spreading into ex-Soviet Central Asia.

    Russia has provided NATO with air corridors and railway routes for carrying supplies to and from landlocked Afghanistan. The link has become particularly important since Pakistan blocked NATO supplies from crossing its territory following an alliance airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani border troops in November.

    On Thursday, Lavrov and NATO ministers discussed a plan to give the alliance a new logistics facility on Russian territory to transfer military cargo to and from Afghanistan.

    The proposal now being considered by Russian lawmakers would for the first time allow alliance members to set up a logistics facility in Ulyanovsk, Russia, for troops and cargo.

    Officials said there were “no differences” between the two sides on the use of the air base in Ulyanovsk.

    “We expect to expand the transit options offered to us by Russia ... to Afghanistan,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after the meeting. “We appreciate very highly Russia’s contribution, which is based on our shared interests and contributes to our shared security.”

    The former Cold War rivals remain sharply at odds, however, over a U.S.-led NATO missile defense plan in Europe that Washington says is aimed at deflecting a potential Iranian threat. Moscow fears it will eventually become powerful enough to undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent.

    Despite those differences, Russia has also cooperated with the alliance in suppressing piracy off the Somali coastline and in such areas as anti-terrorism, counter-narcotics and search-and-rescues at sea.

    Russia slams NATO’s Afghanistan exit plan - Air Force News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times
     
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  3. devgupt

    devgupt Regular Member

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    The recent attack had targeted Russian embassy- it would only harden Russian resolve to destroy Taliban.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Notwithstanding the targeting of the Russian embassy, it is in Russian interests that the US remains.

    It will keep the Taliban at bay, as also the Chinese.

    Russia is not very happy with the increasing Chinese influence in Central Asian Republic and its neighbourhood!
     
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  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    It's in Indian Interest too that the US remains in Astan for a longer time. We will lose heard of hard work and investment if Talibunnies come back.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Russia is waking up to the reality!
     
  7. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    If US remains in A'stan it is a triple whammy for Russia

    Taliban in check
    China in check
    USA bleeds economically in the protracted war
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is time for all to smell the coffee and go for it shoulder to shoulder!
     
  9. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    Russia must be giggling inside since US is going the way Russian did....... what you do comes back to you. Universal rule.
     
  10. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    It is good for both giants to forget their pasts and join hands for keeping in check the upcoming superpower. Russia is better served by joining hands with US rather than China.
     
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  11. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Taliban will come back anyway it's just a matter of time.....

    Afghanistan cannot be ruled by a central government unless some iron hand dictator comes into being.... I think that after the US led NATO's withdrawal Afghanistan would become a hell hole.... which might drag Asia into oblivion.........
     
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  12. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    China should be worried about NATO's withdrawal that'll leave China's investment unprotected, such as MES AYNAK the world's second-biggest unexploited copper mine.
    US troops provide security for Chinese copper mine project in Afghanistan - Democratic Underground

    Or will Russia and China flag under SCO into Afghanistan once the freeloading is over?
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^

    I don't expect Russia to get into Afghanistan again. They have a bigger concern - their dwindling population. They are not going in there. It's much easier, should they see a threat, to send in bombers and bomb Afghanistan, but no boots on the ground. Do not forget, even after the collapse of the USSR, when there was civil was in Tajikistan, where the Taliban was trying to support the Islamists, Russia would send their bombers into Afghanistan and bomb them.

    Will PRC send in their soldiers into Afghanistan to protect her interests? That only Chinese members can tell.

    It would have been nice if the US and NATO could continue to stay longer, but I completely understand their pressing needs, mainly lack of money, and Obama's desire to get re-elected and live up to his promises of ending wars. The fact that OBL has been caught makes it difficult for the US government, especially at a pre-election period, to explain the voters why the US is still fighting this war.
     
  14. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    If NATO is to stay firefighting till A'stan (Karzai) is fully capable that's fantastic for Russia and China but very unlikely.

    Peripheral countries + Afghanistan itself must already have developed a Plan B in face of the inevitable. So, Pakistan will be very instrumental for us in a post-NATO A'stan thanks to its connection with Taliban. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
     
  15. ganesh177

    ganesh177 Regular Member

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    If russia wants USA to stay in afghanistan then they must provide full supply support to nato.
    Mere words are not enough, should back it up with actions to provide convenience to the nato stay in afghanistan.
     
  16. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Maybe I think those countries that are more directly interested in NATO staying in Afghanistan (more than NATO countries) should be offering more financial, diplomatic, political aid to the US (let's face it US is the most important force in this coalition) and its allies?
     
  17. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Not only that Russia offers little in support to NATO in Afghanistan it would impede NATO plans in general in every possible way. I call this obstructionism.

    But then again, maybe Russia's plea for NATO to stay in Afghanistan (actually this means US stays there), is a recognition that the US has not bleed enough there, unlike the USSR before its withdrawal. Maybe Putin et al really would want to see US bankrupt and defeated in Afghanistan more than leaving behind a credible Afghan security force. Otherwise, Russian direct participation in training this forces would be much welcome.. and I have reasons to believe that NATO would actually welcome such move.
     
  18. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    The gospel perhaps, is the US would continue its security service there after 2014 (in another way)

    U.S., Afghan officials initial proposal on future ties - CNN.com
     
  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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