(Asia News)Putin prevented a US plan to manage Afghanistan operations from Central Asia

August 20, 2021

According to the American newspaper, “The Wall Street Journal, “ Putin told his American counterpart Joe Biden during their meeting in Geneva last June 16, that Moscow opposes any military role of the United States in the Central Asian region, and that China will also reject this role.

Current and former US officials revealed that the talks between the two leaders showed that Moscow is more keen on keeping “Central Asia” as an exclusive area of ​​its influence, than on expanding cooperation with a new US president on the turbulent situation in Afghanistan.

 Russians have no interest in the United States returning” to the region, said Paul Goble, a former expert on Eurasia at the US State Department. 

The newspaper quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov as saying that Russia “does not understand how any form of the US military presence in Central Asia would improve the security of the countries hosting this presence, or their neighboring countries.”

He added that this American presence “will certainly not be in Russia’s interest,” stressing that the current situation in Afghanistan “did not lead to any change in this situation.”

American alternatives

The “Wall Street Journal” indicated that this Russian refusal will complicate the US administration’s plans, especially in light of the increasing need for what the Pentagon calls “anti-terror capabilities across the air”, after the Taliban movement took control of the capital, Kabul, and the collapse of the Afghan government.

Without the ability to reach Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, the United States would have to rely on its bases in the Gulf and aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean to send its planes to Afghanistan, the newspaper said.


A senior US military official pointed out that the problem with this option is that the flight from the Gulf, for example to Afghanistan, takes a long time, to the extent that the drone may spend more than 60% of its mission only in flight, which, he says, limits the ability to carry out sorties and air strikes. . 

power struggle

The United States used bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan during the early stages of its operations in Afghanistan, but it left Uzbekistan in 2005, and Kyrgyzstan in 2015, after pressure from Russia and China on the countries of the region to reduce their military cooperation with China.

Given the proximity of Central Asian countries to Afghanistan, the US military viewed it as a potential hub for reconnaissance flights, or drone strikes, against armed groups in Afghanistan.

According to the newspaper, the United States has pushed to strengthen cooperation with these countries recently. Last July, Elizabeth Sherwood Randall, the White House’s senior official for homeland security, led a US delegation to an international conference in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to discuss potential cooperation in combating terrorism and foreign policy issues. the other, the White House said at the time.

But Moscow has worked to intensify its diplomatic efforts with officials in Central Asia, to thwart any foothold for Washington in the region, according to what the “Wall Street Journal” quoted a senior US official as saying.

In recent weeks, Russia has also conducted a series of joint war games with forces from Tajikistan, where it has a military base, and Uzbekistan, stressing its pledge to help the region in the face of any security threats from 


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