Russia, China and Iran take advantage of the vacuum left by the US in Afghanistan to get closer to the Taliban

September 13, 2021 by archyde

Russia, China and Iran take advantage of the vacuum left by the US in Afghanistan to get closer to the Taliban

© Copyright (c) 2021 Telemundo.
Russia, China and Iran take advantage of the vacuum left by the US in Afghanistan to get closer to the Taliban

In 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan to persecute Al Qaeda, an organization that it considered its greatest enemy: And then it stayed in that country.

Twenty years after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 against the United States, and amid the chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden has declared the end of an era of great military interventionism.

At all times, the rivals and adversaries of the United States have been pending of that decision.

[Los errores de Estados Unidos en Afganistán: un reporte detalla 20 años de desaciertos y políticas fallidas]

Russia, China and Iran see recent events as a clear demonstration that US international influence – which seemed impregnable after 9/11 when it garnered international support and sympathy almost universally – is waning. And, as the US withdrawal leaves a void in the region, establish relations with the new rulers of Afghanistan.

The fact that Russia, China and Iran seek a rapprochement with Afghanistan should come as no surprise, says Barnett Rubin, former senior adviser to the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the State Department.

“They watched us the whole time. This is just one more incident in America’s decline in power.”He said about the three countries.

[Las imágenes de afganos ensangrentados contradicen las promesas de cambio de los talibanes]

The scenes of chaos and anguish at the Kabul airport, when thousands of desperate Afghans tried to board the planes before the end of the military withdrawal on August 31, were a great public relations opportunity for the governments of those countries.

“The result is zero, if not negative,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week of Washington’s intervention in Afghanistan.

The cemetery of empires

Afghanistan is surrounded by China to the east and Iran to the west. And Russia looms over the north.

The proximity to Russia, China and Iran makes those countries careful to focus on Afghanistan because they do not want to take responsibility for a country that has been devastated by more than 40 years of war.

The Soviet Union invaded and occupied Afghanistan for 10 years, and its withdrawal was also seen as an international humiliation. and a sign of the imminent disintegration that brought about the fall of communism.

[Estados Unidos conmemora 20 años de los ataques del 9/11]

China, which shares a short swath of its territory with Afghanistan, is concerned that extremism will seep into the western Xinjiang region, where the government has detained hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities.

However, Beijing also sees the current situation as an opportunity to reactivate oil, gas and mining projects that could be very lucrative in Afghanistan, but have been delayed by security issues and other problems. On Wednesday, China said it will provide $ 31 million in emergency aid, including food and 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and also called on the Taliban to end their relations with terrorist groups.

Iran, which in 1998 almost entered a war with the Taliban over the assassination of 10 Iranian diplomats, has improved its relations with the group and is now one of Afghanistan’s biggest trading partners. But Iran’s Shiite leaders are concerned that the Sunni Taliban may allow the persecution of the Hazaras and other Shiite minorities. They are also concerned about the flood of Afghan refugees they have received, as they grapple with their worst coronavirus outbreak.

Russia, China and Iran take advantage of the vacuum left by the US in Afghanistan to get closer to the Taliban

© Provided by Telemundo
Soviet soldiers during the withdrawal from Kabul, Afghanistan, in May 1988.

[“Peor que a sus animales”. Estas son las prohibiciones y maltratos a las mujeres que imponen los talibanes en Afganistán]

For more than a century, various nations have intervened in Afghan affairs, which has turned the country into a war scene with great human and material losses, in addition to earning the name of being the “graveyard of empires.”

Now, Russia, China and Iran are laying the foundations to start relations with the new rulers of the country.

In July, representatives of the Taliban traveled to Russia and China to offer security guarantees and receive support from those governments internationally. Tehran has been the scene of talks between the Taliban and representatives of the previous Afghan government.

All three countries have chosen to keep their diplomatic missions in Kabul, although other nations closed embassies and evacuated personnel. It is not yet known whether they will officially recognize the new Taliban government.

[Este ‘marine’ latino se alistó por su madre y murió en Kabul. “Me siento orgullosa”, dice ella]

Shelter from terrorism

Afghanistan remains a dangerous stronghold of terrorism and, beyond the Taliban, a group associated with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda continue to have a presence in the country.

“Security in Afghanistan preserves security in Iran and insecurity in Afghanistan influences insecurity in Iran“Said Abolfazl Amouei, spokesman for the Iranian parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy.

“Iran has established contacts with the Taliban to keep its borders safe,” Amouei said, in an interview before the Taliban took office.

[“Estoy sola, no tengo a nadie”. Los refugiados afganos llegan a un purgatorio entre el infierno y la incertidumbre]

Since August 15, when they took Kabul, the Taliban have focused on consolidating control over Afghanistan, but it is not known whether they will be able to deliver on their promises to prevent Afghan territory from being used to threaten the security of other countries.

The 26 August, the Islamic State group Khorasan carried out a suicide bombing outside Kabul airport that killed more than 100 people, including 13 US servicemen, a fact that demonstrates the limits of Taliban control in the country.

Twenty years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, it is not only the United States that has a vested interest in the next decisions of the Taliban. As the US government moves out of that region, neighboring powers will have a larger role to play in Afghanistan’s future.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my