Should The U.S. Leave Afghanistan And Let Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, And India Sort It Out?

U.S. Marine Corps.

Jim Kane, RCD: Why America Should Let Its Rivals Play the Great Game in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has long occupied a contentious position between larger powers across South Asia. According to General John Nicholson, the Commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the Russian government is arming the Taliban insurgency. Pakistan, too, arms the Taliban to ensure Afghan weakness and limit Indian influence. Iran, for its part, arms the Shia Hazara and western Taliban in Afghanistan and cooperates closely with the Russians to undermine U.S. interests. China has gained a foothold in Afghanistan through mining operations and military operations on Afghan soil while working closely with Pakistan to build an overland trade route to the Arabian Sea.

Given centuries of constant conflict across South Asia, it is amazing that all of these regional powers are cooperating so effectively. China and the Soviet Union went to war multiple times in the 20th Century, and China and Pakistan were important supporters of the Mujahideen resistance during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The Russians provided massive military assistance to the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein in its war against Iran. Pakistan and Iran occupy different sides of the enduring Shia-Sunni divide.

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WNU Editor: The temptation for the U.S. to leave is definitely there. But it is not going to happen.

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