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The Iraqi scenario in Afghanistan. Questions to Russia's security
Material posted: Publication date: 12-11-2014

The whole world is anxiously watching developments in the middle East. The jihadists of the Islamic State in the shortest possible time managed to create a kind of ersatz government, which now threatens the regional stability and the existence of separate countries and governments.

The situation is so serious that the newly gained strength of the discussion on the premature withdrawal of American troops from Iraqi territory. However, the U.S. government is impossible such developments. Instead, the American government hastily cobble together disparate players in the Middle East to fight with radical Islamists of the.

In the recent past, the world community was faced with something similar. The Soviet Union, despite the fact that I spent a huge amount of work to create a stable state in Afghanistan, failed to leave a strong government. The withdrawal of the Soviet forces allowed the civil war to flare up with renewed vigor. As a result, representatives of the Taliban. After September 11, the Americans, accusing them of aiding terrorism, has spent in Afghanistan military operation.

It is obvious that for all the time spent by American forces in Afghanistan, they failed to create a strong state, able to respond to internal challenges. Similarly, American commanders failed to organize a strong state apparatus in Iraq. The inability of Iraq's internal cohesion has led to a rapid disintegration of the country under pressure from Islamic state militants.

In connection with the foregoing, it is appropriate to raise the issue of Afghanistan's future, wider – throughout Central Asia.

The Phenomenon Of The Islamic State

From small groups acting in Syria, the Islamic State has become a threat on an international scale. Unexpected growth of the group contributed to a number of factors. Important see the following:

1. The errors of the American command

The American armed forces, leaving Iraq behind them have left a strong civil and military institutions. Army, police, intelligence services, created from scratch - has shown low efficiency in the fight against the few jihadists.

In the internal politics of Iraq, the U.S. command made a bid for Nuri al-Maliki, the representative of the Shiite majority of the country. The former Prime Minister systematically squeezed out the Sunnis from the highest echelons of government and the armed forces, replacing them with his people. Dissatisfied with the policy of Baghdad's Sunni tribes, in consequence, was instrumental in promoting Islamic State on the territory of Iraq.

After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime, Washington decided to disband the BAATH party. Academician Primakov, in his book “Confidential. The middle East" , noted that the dissolution of the party was a mistake. In the Baas 90 per cent of the members were careerists, many of whom were willing to cooperate with the us command. Moreover, the BA'ath party is the only thing that United the diversity of Iraq in one piece, inside the party quietly coexisted with Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds.

Betting on political refugees, the Americans blundered. Nothing but political infighting this step to no avail.

The idea of American universalism had failed. Stream American experience of democracy in Iraq has clearly failed. Wasn't absolutely take into account local specifics, history, culture.

There are serious doubts about the applicability of democracy in the middle East in the Arab countries, which often turns into a controlled or imitation democracy. Dr. Kissinger, in his new book "World order" writes that the attempt to bring democracy in Arab countries is a Sisyphean task.

2. The organization of the Islamic state

Experts note the organization of the Islamic State . On the territories seized by the Islamic State, there are many public institutions, there is relative order based on Sharia law. Some officials continue to work in their places. The population controlled territories, in the majority, loyal to the Islamists. Those who resisted the new government – either physically destroyed or sold into slavery. One of the key organizational roles played by former officers of the army of Saddam Hussein.

3. Resource base

For the first time in history, in the hands of terrorists are the same number of resources. The retreating army left Iraq to the jihadists a large number of modern American weapons. Moreover, in the hands of the radicals took over the Mosul – a city of one million people, institutions, warehouses, banks.

There is information saying that perhaps the terrorists hit a chemical weapon. Even if such statements are not credible, Islamic state terrorists have all the resources to create such in the shortest time.

The property of the IG have hit the oil fields of Northern Iraq. Selling oil at a lower price, every day the leadership of the Islamic State receives about $ 3 million. Different revenues come from the trafficking of arms and people, the taxation of the local population.

It is important to highlight the human factor. Members of the Baath party after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, have been outlawed. 2010, most of them were released from prison, including the current leader of the military wing of the IG – Haji Bakr. These people almost immediately joined the radicals from ISIS. Experienced officers to train terrorists in military science, helped to coordinate their actions. The actions of former Baathists and their organizational experience allow to maintain control over the conquered territory.

It is possible that many former army officers of Saddam Hussein now occupy key positions of the IG, and in the future will be fully defined policy of the Islamic State.

4. Image

The strength of the IG can be called the idea of establishing an Islamic Caliphate. It sounds especially attractive to poor people of the Arab street. A separate danger is posed by the followers of radical Islam from Europe and USA, responded to the appeals of the Islamic State.

One of the features of the grouping lies in the fact that fighting for the Islamic State comes not only mercenaries, but also highly educated people. This "temporary migration" gives radical Islamists a strong aid, including in the creation of weapons of mass destruction.

Powerful propaganda fighters of the Islamic State launched a vast global network. Every day there are several promotional clips highlighting the successes of the jihadists . A particularly successful product was the film “clash of swords” that spread throughout the Middle East. The premiere of this film helped to increase the recruitment of new group members.

In the world wide web there are many sites openly supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and sham. Worth noting and developed network of recruiters around the world.

Dangerous trend, which tries to promote ISIS in the Islamic world – the fashion for killing infidels, fighting for the faith. The propagandists of the Islamic state are trying to return to the Arab historical memory – one that made Arabs of the great conquests since the seventh century of our era. Much attention has been given to the opposition of the “fallen and depraved” West and the “righteous” of the East.

All of the above and allows the Islamic state to act effectively in the controlled territories, and to build on the successes against the Syrian, Iraqi army and Kurdish militia.

The success of the Islamic State resonate among terrorist groups, many of which have already pledged the loyalty or even obedience of the IG. The representatives of the Islamic State made a statement, which endorse the activities of radical groups in Egypt . It is especially important to emphasize and messages from the camp of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Threat Of Afghanistan

Summarizing all the above, you should pay attention to another country, where until the end of 2014 will be withdrawn U.S. forces - Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has never been a peaceful territory. Since 1973 the country stagger the coups, foreign invasion, civil war. The arrival in 2001 of the international coalition forces have not brought stability and tranquility. As in Iraq, the American command failed to resolve the contradictions between the major groups of the population, to create a stable social and state institutions , and finally even to establish the authority of the new Afghan government throughout the country. Unlike the Soviet command, the Americans virtually ignored the social side of life – do not build hospitals, schools and critical infrastructure.

In the country a large proportion of the population lives below or near the poverty line . Corruption in Afghanistan has taken monstrous proportions . In this environment, radical Islamic teachings are becoming more popular.

As in Iraq, the idea of American universalism failed miserably. Another idea, which could unite the state into a single entity, could not be found. This vacuum was successfully filled a radical Islamic teachings. The Americans lost the battle for the minds of men, so the increased arming of local forces, often leads to the opposite effect from intended. It is appropriate to recall about the Soviet and the American experience in Iraq training local forces, and to what results it led.

Well aware, but having no other choice, the U.S. command still creates and teaches the major business units of the army and police.

Withdrawal of the USSR troops from Afghanistan has shown that weapons created by the Soviet regime, without external support, could not hold the situation under control.

After the completion of the international mission in 2014, there is a real possibility that radical Islamists will be able to capture large areas. Americans are not to decide on a ground operation in the region immediately after the withdrawal of its troops, given the fact that they refused from that of Iraq.

The situation in Iraq, to the spread of ISIS, in many respects similar to that now in Afghanistan. This should deserve the attention of the world community.

For Russia, the strengthening of jihadists in Afghanistan means new challenges to security. First, the already large flow of drug trafficking may increase. Secondly, that the most dangerous ideas of radical Islam can be disseminated on the territory of Central Asia. The Arab spring showed how easy it can fall in a strong authoritarian regimes, and the chaos can be formed in their place. We have to say about its possible continuation in CA, in another form, considering local specificity.

You should pay attention to the statement by the Islamic State to start a war in Russia. Some experts suggest the revitalization of communication is with the Caucasus Emirate. However, between the two groups there are quite serious differences of up to charges of apostasy. Leaders give speeches, calling each other misguided in calling for a return to the "path".

A serious threat to the Russian Federation can become the return home of Russian nationals fighting alongside the Islamic State. It was repeatedly reported about the groups composed of the North Caucasus militants, some of whom are in the IG leadership positions.

Reports are coming in of large numbers of militants from Central Asia, fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and sham . They are able to go back home and spread the ideas of radical Islam in their countries. To take into account is the transparency of borders, and also relatively easy to get to from the countries of the former USSR in Russia. The combination of all of these facts, creates a real threat to the Russian Federation.


The departure of American troops from Afghanistan, increases the probability of the rise of radical groups within the country, with subsequent spread to the Central Asian region. Once in the trap of its own policy, Americans are in no hurry to fix it, anyway, with his own hands. The opposition, which managed to create an Islamic State at the moment, very little to fight radical Islamists.

Abandoning the ground operation in Iraq, the White house is unlikely to approve sending troops to Afghanistan. It's not just in the upcoming U.S. presidential election in 2016, not only in the inability of the American leadership to acknowledge their mistakes, as well as in psychological characteristics of American society, who remember very well about the tragedy of Vietnam.

The world community should take a number of specific actions to prevent disaster in Central Asia:

  1. To undertake diplomatic efforts in support of the new President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. Need real support and cooperation with this government.
  2. The world community should put pressure on the United States, in terms of effective security in the country. As in Iraq, the Americans have a moral responsibility for what is happening.
  3. To start a closer cooperation in intelligence sharing among States, to pass information to the government of Afghanistan on radical groups and their movements in the region.
  4. You must monitor returning jihadists back and arrest them. To exchange data between countries according to their movements. To conduct joint operation for their detention.
  5. Real involvement of Pakistan in addressing the security of the region. Destabilization of the regime in Kabul will undoubtedly have an impact on Islamabad. Whether in this case the Pakistani government to keep the situation under control very big question.
  6. States bordering Afghanistan needs to strengthen and develop their boundary line, to prevent the entrance of terrorists into their territories.


The calls, which bears the Islamic State, threatening the security not only of the Middle East, but to the entire world order. Many radical Islamic groups around the world stand under the flags of the IG. No exception, and radical formation from the countries of Central Asia.

Promote the dissemination of radical Islam in the region could become possible to destabilize the government in Afghanistan. The current situation in the country gives grounds to speak about the threat of lifting jihadica groups and new civil war in the country. The arrival of the radical Islamists to power will almost certainly mean a real threat for all countries in the region.

Russia, as an important actor in the region should make efforts to create a real counter-scenario of the coming to power of radicals in Afghanistan. Moscow required the close cooperation with States in the region, attracting other big players such as China and Pakistan are interested in maintaining peace and tranquility in Central Asia. Now you need to consider this threat as possible, work through scenarios to prevent it.

The military operation in Afghanistan by the armed forces of Russia should be considered in the absolute last turn. Moscow should not the lives of their soldiers to correct the mistakes of others.

The spread of radical Islam was the new threat of the twenty-first century. The Russian Federation and other States need to confront this threat. The opposition of the followers of radical Islam in Afghanistan should be the main objective not only the new government, the Ahmadzai, but also the world community.


Prilepsky P. And



  1. That stability about which one can speak in the middle East.
  2. Evgeny Primakov. Confidential. The middle East on stage and behind the scenes. Russian Newspaper. Moscow. 2011.
  7. ibid.

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