US and Russia agreed on not accepting or supporting the restoration of the Taliban regime what is so-called “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”, expressed in a joint statement just a week after the US-Taliban peace deal was inked.[1] But still the “blame game” did not over between US and Russia concerning issues related to Afghanistan.

However, very recently, on 30th June, many popular American media such as The NY Times and The Washington Post reported on the existence of a Russian bounty program that pays Taliban fighters who kill any American military-man/service-member, as it is claimed by US government.[2] But, Russia refuses to have any program of such kind. In wake of this allegation report, Kabul should once again pursue both (Washington and Moscow) aiming to have them remained committed in the achievement of the long-lasting goal of Afghanistan which is nothing but peace and stability. Indeed, Afghan people truly deserve to live in peace and security.

Generally, as part of their struggle for supremacy of world, there has long been many layers of high and low conflict between US and Russia (formerly as the Soviet Union) in almost all parts of the world, perhaps more than everywhere in Afghanistan throughout many decades of the warship and instability, particularly after Soviet invasion of the country in late 1979. In fact, during the 1980s US has extensively supported the Afghan resistance group called Mujahiddine, both financially and militarily, in their combat against Soviet Union’s troops and the pro-Communism regime of Dr. Najibullah. So, it is not so surprising if Russia does the same against the American military in Afghanistan’s soil.

Currently, due to the allegation of Russia’s paying cash for the lives of US service members in Afghanistan, though has not been proved yet but it carries all the potential to bring a new level of conflict between the White House and the Kremlin. If proven true, the consequence will make the US and Russia enter into a new era of hostility that can impact Afghanistan’s peace process in many ways. True or not, such allegation, since it is an external one, can be kept out of the context by a sound and active diplomatic maneuvering. In this faltered situation, it is imperative for Afghan diplomatic machinery to be more active aiming to avoid any external allegation or “blame game” that may damage the ongoing peace process of Afghanistan. For this purpose, Regional-Security-Diplomacy as means of Foreign Policy should be presented by Afghanistan to Russia and the US. Hence, it is advisable that Afghanistan should approach the US and Russia diplomatically before it gets late.  

In fact, more recently, in the previous month (mid-June), initiated by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a trilateral virtual meeting was held among high-level officials of Afghanistan, Russia and the US. The meeting concluded by expecting an initial meeting of the negotiating teams -­­­­­ Afghan government and Taliban group – on framing the negotiation agenda.[3] Following that, a new initiative should be done by the government of Afghanistan, as soon as possible, to the ends to have Russia and the US remained committed in the facilitation of Afghanistan’s peace process.

In conclusion, it is to be noted here that despite having all sorts of competitions among themselves, the great powers, especially the US and Russia, bear a unique responsibility towards the world at large. To keep the peace and discourage the proliferation of mass destructing weapons, let be of a nuclear, biological, or chemical one, or any other global challenges such as Climate Change requires working together. The issues related to Afghanistan’s peace and security (particularly the challenges of Terrorism, Extremism and narcotic) are not an exception but necessitate all, especially the regional and global powers, to work together. To this ends, Afghan Diplomacy needs to be more active in finding the scope of cooperation rather than competition between the great powers (US and Russia) at least in issues concerning Afghanistan.

DISCLAIMER – The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Khaama Press News Agency. We welcome opinions and submissions to Khaama Press Opinions– Please email them to info@khaama.com.


[1] https://www.dawn.com/news/1539436

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/us/politics/russian-bounties-afghanistan-intelligence.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

[3] https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/us-russia-expect%C2%A0immediate-start-initial-intra-afghan-talks

Author

  • Sayed Maqsood Sadat is Ph.D. (International Relations) Candidate in Gujarat University, India. He holds a Master's degree in “Geopolitics & International Relations” from Manipal University. His research interests include Foreign Policy & Diplomacy. He can be reached through E-mail address (sayed.maqsood.sadat@gmail.com) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/S.Maqsood.S). He tweets by the Twitter account (https://twitter.com/S_Maqsood_S).