20 November 2010

The Great Game

I'm linking to the Guardian, but the rest of the Brit mass media also reports below the fold the key deal now confirmed at the NATO summit meeting with Afghan President Karzai.
The Kremlin and western governments appear poised to embark on a range of joint security, political and military projects aimed at closing the worst period of friction since the cold war. Russian President Medvedev and NATO leaders are expected to agree on a range of policies and projects today, from Afghanistan to joint analysis of future security threats.

The Russians have agreed to expand NATO supply routes to and from Afghanistan, to service Afghan helicopters, train Afghan pilots and conduct joint programmes with the west aimed at countering the Afghan heroin trade.
OK - that will help take Pakistan out of the loop, and without that there is no hope whatever of getting out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Afghanistan has ALWAYS been a big geopolitical chili up Russia's arse, and now they are going to recover some of the influence they lost in 1979-88, with the blessings and indeed the gratitude of their old Cold War opponents.


  1. "Taking Pakistan out of the loop" - which has already been something of a factor re. the drones -may now be even a bit of a favour to them. If the Pak military high command could somehow reduce their principal focus from 'the threat of India' to the much more pressing threat from within, it might help to save their civilian government from imploding under the very present threat from the militant jihadi militias in the Southern Punjab and throughout the Pukhtun areas.