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Kabul intrigue and the security of Central Asia
Material posted: Pankratenko Igor N.Publication date: 07-11-2018
Who are seated at the negotiation table warring parties, he will receive the key to Afghanistan and the region as a whole.

Quite unexpectedly, the Afghan authorities dealt a crushing political defeat of its main enemy – the Taliban. (The Taliban banned in Russia.) No, it didn't require military efforts of the local security forces, which are already 17 years of foreign instructors have spent millions of man-hours and billions of dollars in a vain attempt to create something coherent and capable. Kabul did not tackle corruption, rampant racketeering and extortions from the population, did not start the industry and restored its control over the entire territory of the country.

The black hole, which by and large is on the world political map of Afghanistan, not suddenly became a territory of peace and prosperity. Just the results of the parliamentary elections on 21 October, the Kabul authorities declared a "historic" triumph-a successful and, accordingly, proof that "Afghans reject the ideology of the militants of the Taliban". What is called – cheap, cheerful and an additional argument in indirect dialogue with Moscow, which has become increasingly stringent. Since it is a question about the Taliban today has become a major stumbling block in relations between Russia and Afghanistan.

Actually, the position of Kabul is unequivocal – Moscow has no place in this matter, to cope without her. Moreover, such a nervous reaction by the Afghan elites only exists in the case when on a diplomatic horizon there that the Russian side. If the initiator of the dialogue with the leaders of the "Taliban" is Washington, Tashkent or Beijing – that the tone of the statements becomes much calmer.

The paradox is that without the active involvement of the Taliban in the political life of Afghanistan, no peace settlement there may not be, by definition. But this "inclusion" in Kabul perceived solely as a compulsion to share power, the ruling Afghan elite just "like death." Since the government, according to local tradition, is not just a status, it is primarily the management of financial flows, well-being and the strength of their clan, i.e., the guarantee of survival.

The mysterious Afghan "Makhno"

Stories about the Taliban that if they came to power, slender columns would be willing to attack adjacent territories, and remained horror stories. Which, however, having no relation to reality, however, was actively used for additional financing of the power structures, and the same Dushanbe more than successfully disbursed the funds allocated to his reflection "the threat of the Taliban" and Washington, and Moscow.

Sluggish chewing of the myth of a possible foreign expansion of the Taliban would continue outside players for a long time. Too different evaluated the prospects of the Taliban foreign players, too, different approaches existed in the capitals of the republics of Central Asia. If not, there were several factors that made the party the "Taliban" – and it tried to build almost everything, from Washington to Beijing on a completely different level, which has long been a familiar issue opened in some unexpected light.

A year and a half ago the information about the activity of the "Islamic state" in Afghanistan caused a very skeptical attitude. And quite reasonable as the "anti-terrorism" and "the escalation of threats associated with ISIS" ("Islamic state" is banned in Russia), first, has already been used for quite prosaic extracting real financial benefits both for individual services and entire States. Even Kabul officials there, he admitted reluctantly that the reports from the provinces and counties of the appearance of cells there IG often pursue the goal of obtaining additional allocations.

Secondly, the muddy flow of disinformation, regularly throwing in the propaganda services of the Caliphate really bothered to determine exactly in what cases we are talking about real cell IG, where is a typical franchise, using the flag and slogans of local groups to intimidate opponents.

By and large the particular clarity on this issue is not now, but added something new – in Afghanistan really was a third force, which with the same hatred and fighting with the Taliban and government forces, press area, albeit it in separate districts of the two Northern provinces where the "night authorities". That is, work according to the standard scheme, when a day runs the one power, and in the night is quite different.

But most importantly – these "Makhno-the Islamists" did not conceal their aggressive intentions to extend terrorist activities to neighbouring countries of Afghanistan. And this is radically changing everything because of one thing – the war of Kabul and the Taliban, and the other – the process of nesting and rooting on the territory of the Afghan terrorist international, which is systematically and persistently to beat on the security of the whole Central Asia.

The obvious – politically inexpedient

The solution to the problem, in General, on the surface of the legalization of the Taliban, the infiltration of its members in the political institutions of Afghanistan. That is granting him a place in the legal field, for which he carefully cut out at least a third force, though the fifth column of IG.

But here is the beginning of diplomatic maneuvers, scandals and intrigue. Since it is obvious that the one who put the Taliban and Kabul to the negotiating table and achieve the conclusion of agreements between them – and he will be in the next decade to control Afghanistan, and, therefore, will receive the key to security across Central Asia. Which, by the way, tied and the Chinese mega-project "One belt and one road", and less known, but no less legendary TAPI (Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India) that the idea of a TRANS-Afghan gas pipeline gradually and steadily turns into something absolutely global. However, so far only in the form of electronic presentations.

Indeed, the possession of such a key is expensive. And it is absolutely clear that the US absolutely opposed to the admission to it was Moscow or Tehran. That is why just recently, Washington has given the Taliban the entire "toxicity" of his contacts with the Iranians, declaring international terrorists, eight people from the leadership of the movement, seen in connection with the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps. And from these considerations, the representatives of the us administration are doing everything possible to disrupt the Moscow conference on Afghanistan, where the Russian side hoped to bring the Taliban and Kabul to the negotiating table.

The struggle for a monopoly on dialogue with the Taliban, which is rapidly unfolding before our eyes, is the most interesting configuration. The leader of the process unexpectedly became Tashkent, and agreed with this in Beijing and in new Delhi, Washington and Islamabad. Each and every one of its considerations, with certain reservations, but the overall objection in principle on this issue. Even Dushanbe and Ashgabat for all its painful vigilance in all that concerns the Afghan theme, the rejection of the idea of the arrival of the Taliban to power, in General, not particularly mind.

Official Kabul from happening is also not thrilled about the reasons mentioned above. But here's a paradox – the idea of a dialogue with the Taliban for them more acceptable than the fact that the dialogue will be held under the auspices of Moscow. In fact, there was a situation when the Russian side or need to continue their efforts on Afghanistan alone, despite the fact that the part of the other concerned capitals will be enthusiastic to put spokes in the wheel and otherwise derail the process or to abandon the idea, with serious reputational costs both in Central Asia and in the eyes of other external players in the Afghan issue.

And the Taliban are here to count it is not necessary, it is just for obvious reasons it is more profitable to engage in dialogue with the United States or with the people as authorized representatives indicate the White house. The best way out here, apparently, is to not fight for a monopoly in the dialogue with the Taliban. And not for the lead in the peace process in Afghanistan, and to be a cosponsor of this process, simultaneously building a scheme, in which the influence of Russia on events, including early eradication of new threats from Afghanistan, still remain. Because moderation is in order in the East sometimes brings more benefits than their total achievement.

Pankratenko I. N.


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