Recently it has been reported that Russia would support the Taliban in its fight against ISIS. The Taliban had denied this previously but a senior Afghan Taliban commander has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin held a ‘secret’ meeting with Mullah Akhtar Mansour, the current Taliban chief, to discuss possible Russian support for the Taliban. Though Russia would not supply them with arms and ammunition, Russia would be supplying them with intelligence and information.
Historically, former Soviet Union and the Taliban were enemies of each other. Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan and the following Soviet–Afghan War which lasted over nine years, lead to the death of 1 to 1.5 million civilians. Taliban, who had received aid from several Western countries and their allies in the Middle East and Asia, fought against the Soviet Army and allied Afghan Govt. forces combined and had defeated them.
Today situation is different. Afghanistan is bordered on the north by former Soviet republics Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan and these nations lie between Russia and Afghanistan. It is said that there is an increase in number of radical ISIS fighters in Afghanistan. Russia is also worried about jihadists from its own Caucasus region and former Soviet republics like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan who have joined with ISIS to fight in Syria against the Assad Government ruling in Syria. The return of these jihadists to their parent nations would lead to spread of ISIS ideology to these nations which would be a bigger threat to Russia than the rise of Taliban. It appears that it is for this reason that Russia is seeking to assist Taliban to halt the advance of ISIS and keep it away from its borders. Thus the saying the enemy of my enemy is my friend is proving to be true even here.
Thus it gets clear that the allies and enemies are decided as per the need of the moment and these keep changing as the time changes. This reminds me of a passage from the third world war book written by Dr. Aniruddha Joshi; it says “As far as international politics is concerned, there is neither a permanent ally nor a permanent friend every nation chalks out its strategy based on its own selfish interest.”
|| Hari Om || || Shriram || || Ambadnya ||