The United States, under the leadership of Joe Biden, has reached an awkward stage. Today, the United States finds itself relying, or rather, hoping that Russia will collaborate with it for anti-terror operations in Afghanistan. This is not a joke, and neither are we being comical. A Democrat-ruled USA is seriously relying on Russia to allow Washington to station its troops and military hardware in Russian bases operating in Central Asian countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and others. The USA’s ‘war on terror’, under Joe Biden, has now become contingent on Russia’s willingness to cooperate with Washington. And Vladimir Putin is immensely pleased.
Sure, the growing bonhomie between the U.S. and Russia would mean the end of decades-long animosities between the two powers. That would be desirable for Vladimir Putin and his country, but for the Democrats, it would simply amount to political suicide. Democrats are the kind of people who warn you against getting too involved with a certain person, but end up in bed with the said person themselves.
How Has the U.S. Become So Dependent on Russia?
Well, Joe Biden’s botched up and unplanned pull out from Afghanistan is to be squarely blamed for the precarious situation the United States today finds itself in. The U.S. is in talks with countries that border Afghanistan about housing “over the horizon” counterterrorism operations that would allow the U.S. military to more easily surveil and strike targets in the Taliban-controlled nation according to senators who attended a classified hearing with Pentagon leaders this week. According to Politico, those sites include bases run by Russia in Central Asian countries.
During the classified session, senators were told that the option is being seriously considered. The disclosure to lawmakers on Tuesday came just hours after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin acknowledged that the U.S. has asked Russia for “clarification” about an offer from President Vladimir Putin to host the U.S. counterterrorism operations on Russian military bases in central Asia. By clarification, Secretary Austin meant that Washington had asked Moscow as to what extent Putin would allow the U.S. to operate out of Russian bases in the region.
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Meanwhile, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also described to senators the nature of his conversations with his Russian counterpart, Valery Gerasimov. The woke General, who has courted controversy for acting in contravention of former President Donald Trump’s decisions, effectively admitted that he is talking with his Russian counterparts in order for Moscow to allow the U.S. to use its bases in Central Asia for Afghanistan-centric operations.
Senate Armed Services Chair Jack Reed even went on to say, “It’s their territory. But I think, realistically, Russia has influence there.” “And so [Russia] may not have a veto, but they certainly have an influence. So, you have to talk to them.”
Russia Wrests Control of Central Asia from U.S.
Amongst the biggest of Putin’s exploits has been his ability to reinvigorate Russian influence in Central Asia, a region of Moscow’s privileged sphere of influence that had once warmed up completely to the United States of America. It was a long-drawn process, of course, and Russia invested heavily into it.
Now, with the abrupt U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Putin has taken complete control of the Central Asian region and all of a sudden, he has wrested it back from the US and turned it into his own backyard. The growing American influence in Central Asia was, of course, triggered in the 1990s by the Soviet collapse. At that time, the Soviet Union had just got fragmented and the five Central Asian Republics had come into being. Thereafter, the US further expanded its presence in the region in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack.
However, Washington D.C.’s inherently interventionist character soon clashed with the regional governments in Central Asia. Russia, on the other hand, kept establishing closer security ties with Central Asia. The Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) expanded its role in the region. In 2006, Uzbekistan joined the CSTO, even as US-Uzbekistan ties deteriorated. In fact, Russia also established a military base in vicinity of the US military base in Manas, Kyrgyzstan. Moscow also secured an agreement with Tajikistan to station 5,000 of its troops in the country.
Now, Russia’s influence in Central Asia has risen to the extent that the United States – which until recently exercised immense influence over countries in the region, is forced to hope for a collaboration with Moscow to further advance its war on terror.
Democrats Facing Many Questions
The Biden administration and Democrats at large are being asked questions which they have no answers to. For instance, what can Joe Biden possibly say when he is asked, “Is the war on terror over?” or “Does the U.S. still face a threat from Afghanistan?” The war on terror is far from over, and the Biden administration knows that. Additionally, the Al Qaeda is expected to regroup in Afghanistan in the next 6 to 36 months. Needless to say, the U.S.’ operations in Afghanistan must continue. However, Washington has simply lost all capability to conduct successful, pin-pointed and accurate strikes in Afghanistan – which is why on August 29, its failed drone strike ended up killing 10 civilians, including seven children, instead of those responsible for the Kabul airport bombings.
In such a scenario, the U.S. is desperately scrambling for new avenues out of which it can conduct strikes on Afghanistan. Sensing its desperation, Vladimir Putin offered Russian bases in Central Asia to Washington, and the Biden administration grabbed the offer like there is no tomorrow. It is fair to say that Russia now has the keys to the U.S.’ war on terror, and nobody but the Biden administration is to blame for putting the country in such a position.
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