We bring to your attention a part of the briefing by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which concerns the NATO’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. This fragment clearly demonstrates the shift in Russian diplomatic language. Formerly, even criticizing the United States and its allies, the Russian Foreign Ministry chose neutral language whenever possible, trying to soften the edges. The most inconvenient facts were often left “behind the brackets”.
Today, they proclaim sharp statements and critical comments, pointing out all the major mistakes, failures and crimes committed by the Western allies. Perhaps such a change in rhetoric will not help to improve the climate of international relations. However, what is certain is that the audience worldwide will get a more complete and objective vision of what is happening, uncensored, as it is or as it is perceived by critics of the supporters of the new global order.
NATO’s decision to end its mission in Afghanistan
International media space is devoting substantial attention to ending NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. This topic was on the agenda for many years. As you remember, US presidents either withdrew or built up contingents there. We are now witnessing another stage of monitoring what is taking place.
We have noted NATO’s decision to withdraw its contingent from Afghanistan; this decision was announced following a similar statement made by Washington.
As we understand, the 20-year presence of NATO troops is ending in Afghanistan. Launched under the slogan of fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban movement sheltering it, the military campaign evolved into state development efforts in this particular Asian country. Western analysts admit that the Alliance’s Afghan mission can be described as abortive. Although experts and journalists are entitled to their own opinion, we would like other analysts also to make their assessments. It would be important to hear a report about long-term efforts by the relevant contingents at the UN Security Council that had issued the relevant mandate.
According to the most modest estimates, after two decades of confrontation, the Taliban control over 50 percent of the country’s territory and continue armed struggle with the government of Afghanistan. According to UN data, despite Al Qaeda’s diminished potential, this terrorist organisation still has its cells in 11 Afghan provinces. In conditions of NATO’s military presence, Afghanistan accommodates ISIS, a new global terrorist threat that now has around 4,000 militants in the country. They regularly perpetrate terrorist attacks, including those carried out in Kabul.
A deplorable situation has taken shape in the sphere of drug fighting. During NATO’s presence in Afghanistan, the area under opium poppy plantations has expanded more than 20-fold, to reach 163,000 ha in 2019. Afghanistan accounts for over 80 percent of the global opiates market. According to UN data, 24 out of the country’s 34 provinces produce narcotic drugs.
Despite multi-billion injections that exceed US allocations for postwar European economic rehabilitation under the Marshall Plan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan remains one of the poorest Asian countries, with one of the highest worldwide corruption levels; and at least 33 percent of the country’s economically active population is unemployed.
Billions of dollars, allocated for training the personnel of Afghan law enforcement agencies, have been squandered. Ten years into the infamous campaign, the United States was forced to admit that there is no military solution to the Afghan problems. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or crippled during this period of time. Many of them became victims of indiscriminate NATO attacks that the Alliance cynically describes as collateral damage (this is what they call people!), and tens of thousands more were forced to flee Afghanistan in search of a peaceful life. So far, Afghans comprise one of the largest refugee groups seeking asylum in Europe.
While leaving the country, the United States and other NATO members promised to continue supporting Afghan law enforcement and security agencies. It is a big question whether they will manage to accomplish this because, over a period of the past 20 years, the Alliance has failed to establish combat-ready local law enforcement agencies capable of independently defending the country and maintaining law and order there.
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