Friday, October 09, 2015

New Front for Russia

The situation in Kunduz, Afghanistan, might be even more alarming then what the United States and its allies originally thought it would be. After the city fell into the hands of the Taliban and the accidental bombardment from the US Air Force of a hospital there; the region is more than ever under scrutiny. The Taliban are now gathering their forces in the northern region of Afghanistan and may consider going into Tajikistan, where they also have sympathizers. They are feeling embolden by their victory in Kunduz and the newfound pressure put on the US and Afghan army to intervene in the region.
This situation has caught the attention of another permanent member of the United Nation Security Council. Russia and President Vladimir Putin are feeling more and more concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, and a possible spillover to other countries of central Asia. Especially if they are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO); this agreement between Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan ensures that every member will assist the others in case their territory is invaded or their political stability is at risk. With Kunduz being just 70 kilometers away from the Tajik border, Moscow does not want to take any chances and has deployed, as of October 7, 2015, seven more combat helicopters to its base in Tajikistan that also happens to be the most important one that the Kremlin has outside of Russia.
Russian officials seem to be ready to open a second front even though they are currently involved in Syria in the fight against radical Islam. This news, even though it has been partly overshadowed by what Russia is currently doing in Syria, seems to indicate that President Putin wants to play a bigger and more decisive role in the fight against religious extremism. An extremism that Russia actually believes to be the direct result of poorly handled interventions the Middle East and Central Asian regions by the United States and NATO.
The new will to take military control of the situation, demonstrates one more time that Russia is really determined to regain its status of international military power and that it may not shy away from intervening further and further away from its borders if their interests are at risk.


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