Falliti gli ultimi colpi d’ala dell’anatra zoppa – IlGiornale.it
Russia is worried that terrorists could be fleeing from Syria to Afghanistan and is moving to counter. It has many of the same goals as the US in Afghanistan, but different motivations.
Next month, Donald Trump will inherit the nation’s longest war – the war in Afghanistan. More than 8,000 United States troops remain there, 15 years on, primarily to support Afghan forces in their battle against the Taliban, while the Islamic State, or ISIS, has also gained a foothold.
For a president-elect who abhors nation-building – and castigated President Obama for prematurely pulling out of Iraq – Afghanistan presents few good options.
Peace talks with the Taliban, hosted by Pakistan, have gone nowhere. Afghan troops are more effective, but still reliant on US air power. The Taliban’s territorial control is at its greatest extent since it lost power in 2001.
One wild card is Russia. This week Russia hosted talks on Afghanistan’s security with Pakistani and Chinese envoys, the third such meeting and a sign, say analysts, of rising Russian concern over instability and Islamic extremism on the borders of its sphere of influence.
Could Moscow be a useful partner in Afghanistan? Or will it only add to the regional rivalries that perpetuate the conflict?
On one hand, Afghanistan is not Syria. There, Russia supports a regime that the US opposes. In Afghanistan, both powers want to see the Kabul government deny sanctuary to ISIS and Al Qaeda. That could present a common agenda.
“The Russians have been content to see the US tied down in Afghanistan and watch from afar. Now ISIS is making inroads in Afghanistan … I think Russia is starting to get worried,” says Lisa Curtis, an expert on South Asia at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
But Russia, which still bears the memory of the disastrous 1979 Soviet invasion, has a narrower agenda than the US has had in Afghanistan.
“Russia’s interests are not so much in Afghanistan itself but in preventing any instability spilling over into Central Asia,” says Paul Stronksi, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Russia’s pursuit of that agenda has made its role hard to pin down. For instance, Russia has warned that ISIS fighters from Syria are flowing into Afghanistan, giving them a rear base to attack Russia. In response, it is deepening its ties to the Taliban, seeking to root out ISIS from its Afghan sanctuaries, say analysts.
That could be useful for brokering political talks with Kabul – a US goal. But any material support for the Taliban would undermine US efforts to build Afghan forces capable of defeating all militants. Russia has denied helping the Taliban and said its goal is to promote peace talks.
“What we see from Moscow is a short-term tactical approach that could backfire on them,” says Ms. Curtis, a former US diplomat and adviser to the State Department.
Russia’s diplomacy has also raised hackles in Kabul. The Afghan government complained this week that it had been excluded from the Moscow talks. In a joint statement, China, Pakistan, and Russia said they would invite Afghanistan to the next meeting.
They also said that China and Russia would work with the United Nations to promote peace talks by removing Afghans from sanctions lists, a reference to Taliban leaders who are barred from international travel.
As a candidate, Mr. Trump gave few clues about his views on Afghanistan, a war that had largely fallen from public view. Given his claims that Mr. Obama “founded” ISIS because he yanked US troops from Iraq, US military deployment in Afghanistan is unlikely to end anytime soon, say analysts.
Trump might want to step up the pace of counterterrorism missions, in addition to the training and support for Afghan troops, says Curtis. “It’s safe to assume we’ll remain engaged in Afghanistan.”
One difference between Iraq and Afghanistan, says Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, is that political leaders in Afghanistan want US troops there, unlike former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Mr. Korb says he expects Trump to continue a policy of trying to nudge the warring parties toward negotiations while supporting Afghan military and civilian forces – roughly in line with Obama’s current policy.
“We’re in a situation where the costs are relatively low. We may not be winning but we’re not losing dramatically, and the hope is that we could get some sort of settlement,” he says.
Is the OSCE still relevant?
On this week’s “Conflict Zone,” Lamberto Zannier, OSCE Secretary General, discusses how his organization can maintain relevance in a world with aggressive states, brutal dictators and a troubling political landscape.
The Cold War is slowly coming back to life, with the conflict in Ukraine simmering, Russia buzzing American warships in the Baltic and Soviet-era bombers lurking near European airspace.
“Geopolitics are back,” Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said on DW’s Conflict Zone with Michel Friedman. “We see competition, we see confrontation, we see lack of confidence in Europe. We also see a problem of lack of reconciliation after the end of the Cold War.”
Zannier is stuck in the middle, trying to be impossibly diplomatic. He is tasked with confronting human rights abuses and military aggression while staying on the good side of 57 countries that make up the largest intergovernmental organization in the world, including Russia, Ukraine, the United States and all 28 EU member states.
The question is, can an organization with such a broad mandate be successful at keeping peace, strengthening democracy and bridging divides?
Is the OSCE effective in Ukraine?
On April 28, the OSCE warned of a “blatant disregard” of peace agreements in Ukraine. With the conflict in eastern Ukraine ongoing since the Minsk agreement was signed in September 2014, the organization’s warning is sounding more and more like a broken record.
“It is difficult for the international community – and this is not only the OSCE – to stop a conflict of this magnitude,” Zannier said on Conflict Zone, defending the OSCE’s response to the crisis.
The OSCE has more than 700 monitors on the ground but they often have difficulty even observing effectively. Out of 37 land crossing points between Russia and Ukraine, OSCE observers are allowed at just two.
‘We are frustrated’
“We are frustrated because we would like to have access everywhere,” Zannier said. “We don’t have access everywhere but we have access to lots of places.”
Part of the issue is that observation missions like the one in Ukraine must be approved by consensus of all countries, so Zannier must remain extremely diplomatic.
“It’s more difficult to operate by consensus,” Zannier said. “It takes more time.”
It also takes speaking extremely carefully. At one point, Friedman asked Zannier if member states like Poland and the Baltics were right to be afraid of a Russian aggression.
“I think the concerns are legitimate and we are taking them into account, too,” Zannier said.
“So what does it mean: ‘taking concerns into account?'” Friedman asked.
“This means that I give them a platform to clarify, and, first of all, to express their concerns, and then to discuss them with everybody else,” Zannier responded.
Could the OSCE push harder for democracy and human rights?
The OSCE isn’t just a security organization, their mandate also extends to “respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought.”
On Conflict Zone, Friedman pressed Zannier on where the organization stands: “Are we talking about a Russian version of human rights? Are we talking about a Kazakh version of democracy? A Turkish one? Or perhaps western principles? I mean, which is it?”
“There is not a single model of democracy,” Zannier responded. “So democracy must take into account culture, history, social aspects of each of the countries. So there isn’t a blueprint that can be applied. (…) Democracy is work in progress.”
Zannier has worked in international diplomacy for his entire career, starting out in the Italian foreign service, working through positions at the United Nations and OSCE, with a focus on arms control and security issues. He was appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Kosovo from 2008 to 2011. He took office as Secretary General of the OSCE on July 1, 2011.
Russia invaded Ukraine last year, sending special forces to seize Crimea and thousands of Russian troops also occupy eastern regions of the country.
“NATO has to be able to defend any ally against any threat. We are able to do that today but we have also to recognise that the world is changing and therefore NATO has to adapt and now we are addressing the challenge of what we call long-term adaptation. We have also increased our presence in the eastern part of the alliance with more pre-positioning and also with the establishment of the small headquarters, the NATO force integration units and they are key because they are the link between national forces and NATO forces,” Stoltenberg said.
Over the last two years Russia has conducted numerous large-scale military exercises.
Most recently in October Russian elite special forces carried out anti-terrorist operation drills in the southern Krasnodar region bordering Crimean peninsula, annexed from Ukraine.
Watch also UT’s Viewpoint with NATO advisor and Polish military expert Boguslaw Pacek talking about Ukraine’s NATO prospects
The drills come against a backdrop of the invasion of Ukraine and thinly veiled threats to other former Soviet Republics.
In Moscow on Thursday, Russian President Putin vowed to protect Russians in conflict areas and said he would ensure Russians “living abroad” would always have “their interests” protected.
Watch the video & Source: Putin repeats promise to ‘defend’ Russians abroad while NATO prepares for worst – watch on – uatoday.tv
Earlier today the Obama White House attempted to downplay any links to ISIS in relation to the recent Russian airline disaster that took place shortly after Metrojet Flight 9268 took off from Egypt last week on its way back to Russia, killing everyone on board.
For days British officials have quietly suggested foul play while U.S. officials were noticeably tight-lipped.
Now some within American intelligence are voicing very similar thoughts to their British counterparts, despite the Obama White House’s apparent desire that no official statement on the matter be made.
As for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, he is said to be at this very moment reviewing a myriad of counter-measure options – all of them intending to “unleash hell” in the form of powerful military-based retribution the likes of which ISIS militants have yet to have faced.
Putin is said to have already initiated warnings to various Middle East nations of his intent while ignoring the Obama White House, though some have suggested Russian intelligence officials have been in contact with Pentagon officials directly as a sign of professional courtesy.
Apparently it is Barack Obama himself Mr. Putin has no use and even less regard, for. One D.C. Whispers source went so far as to suggest part of the Obama administration’s hesitation to make public statements regarding the Russian airline tragedy is based upon concerns there is a Muslim Brotherhood connection and that measures are being taken by administration officials to make certain no such connection, if in fact it exists, will become part of the investigation.The Muslim Brotherhood is a radical and highly influential Islamic group with strong ties to the Obama White House. DEVELOPING…
Tra i molti articoli riguardanti Putin e le sue discussioni sui recenti fatti che coinvolgono la Russia nella guerra al terrorismo in Siria, l’articolo che segue da una buona visuale sui problemi che tutto il mondo potrebbe presto dover affrontare.
Non si può negare che, nell’immobilismo generale, Putin sia al momento l’unico Leader “occidentale” a contrastare con mano ferma la predominanza terroristica nella regione. Non solo, spesso le sue allocuzioni palesano e ripercorrono pensieri comuni letti nei vari commenti a fatti recenti in tutte le piattaforme di social media, ovvero, la dove a parlare non sono testate giornalistiche strumentalizzate o politici che mirano a conquistare una o un’altra fazione, ma sono “la gente qualunque”, che vedendo ciò che succede nel mondo esprime il suo “semplice ed ingenuo” pensiero!
Si potrebbe pensare che anche il Presidente Putin legga i Social media, e nel tentativo (per il momento di successo) di conquistare l’opinione pubblica, segua semplicemente il desiderio del popolo. Ma bisogna comunque fare attenzione; non bisogna infatti credere che “il lupo” sia improvvisamente diventato buono, bensì capire che comunque la si voglia mettere e guardare, quel lupo sta facendo il suo interesse, e che quando esso cesserà, probabilmente, ritornerà ad essere quel lupo che tutti conoscevamo.
In virtù di questa mia considerazione allora, sarebbe bene che le nostre forze politiche smettessero di tergiversare su ogni decisione (quasi come se il tempo possa realmente risolvere i problemi la dove ormai sono diventati fatti), ed iniziassero ad attuare delle reali politiche estere difensive dei nostri e degli altrui diritti e territori!
Come sempre vi lascio all’articolo dal quale ho preso spunto, con la certezza che molti di voi non potranno far altro che pensare: “cavolo, Putin ha proprio ragione”!
Agli Usa: “perchè fare distinzione tra i terroristi in moderati e non moderati? Le armi fornite alla cosiddetta opposizione ‘moderata’ in Siria sono finite direttamente nelle mani dei terroristi”.
ROMA (WSI) – L’avvento di una guerra mondiale sta diventando ogni giorno più probabile. A lanciare l’allarme – o la minaccia? – è Vladimir Putin, presidente della Russia, che non ha assolutamente intenzione di fare un passo indietro nelle strategie ben chiare di politica estera, e che accusa piuttosto gli Stati Uniti: “loro e solo loro sarebbero responsabili dell’escalation delle tensioni in Medio Oriente e nel mondo”… Anche perchè poi, sul fronte del disarmo nucleare – sottolinea – non c’è stato alcun progresso. Avevamo il diritto di aspettarci che lo sviluppo del sistema missilistico di difesa degli Usa si sarebbe fermato. Ma non è accaduto nulla del genere, dal momento che invece continua. Questo è uno scenario molto pericoloso, che arreca danni a tutti, inclusi gli Stati Uniti stessi. (…)
Alcuni hanno anche l’illusione che una vera vittoria di una delle varie controparti possa essere raggiunta in un conflitto globale, senza conseguenze irreversibili per lo stesso vincitore – sempre se ce ne sarà mai uno”, è quanto ha detto Putin, in occasione del forum di Valdai, che si è tenuto a Sochi.
Putin ha confermato la sua volontà di abbattere il terrorismo, tornando a giustificare la strategia militare e di geopolitica che lo ha portato a intervenire in Siria.
“Noi continueremo a fornire assistenza a tutti i paesi minacciati dai terroristi”.
Una critica aperta verso la politica estera degli Stati Uniti è arrivata nel momento in cui ha affermato che non esiste alcun bisogno di fare distinzioni tra i terroristi moderati e non.
“Perchè fare questo gioco di parole e dividere i terroristi in moderati e non moderati. Qual è la differenza?”, ha detto il presidente russo. “Il successo nella lotta ai terroristi non può essere raggiunto usando alcuni di loro per rovesciare regimi che non piacciono, perchè poi è solo un’illusione quella di poterli gestire in un momento successivo”.D’altronde, “le armi che sono state fornite alla cosiddetta opposizione ‘moderata’ in Siria sono finite direttamente nelle mani dei terroristi”.
Secondo Putin, il pericolo è proprio nella convinzione degli Usa di avere la capacità di vincere una guerra contro quelle nazioni che fanno parte della loro lista nera (come appunto la Russia, l’Iran e la Cina).
“Washington crede che l’America possa vincere senza rischiare conseguenze simili ai danni che infliggono ai loro nemici. Ma questo, ha ripetuto Putin, è un calcolo sbagliato e pericoloso che potrebbe finire con il mettere in pericolo gli stessi cittadini Usa”.
“Vorrei sottolineare ancora una volta che gli interventi della Russia in Siria sono completamente legittimi, e hanno come solo scopo quello di ripristinare la pace”; “noi dobbiamo unire gli eserciti siriani e iracheni e le fazioni curde per sradicare il terrorismo e siamo pronti a coordinare le nostre azioni militari con i partner occidentali”. (Lna)
NEW YORK: Russia is building a military base in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s heartland, according to American intelligence officials, in the clearest indication yet of deepening support from Moscow for the embattled regime.The anonymous officials say Russia has set up an air traffic control tower and transported prefabricated housing units for up to 1,000 personnel to an airfield serving the Syrian port city of Latakia.Russia has also requested the right to fly over neighbouring countries with military cargo aircraft throughout this month, according to the reports.The claims, which will raise fears that Russia is planning to expand its role in the country’s civil war, will ratchet up tensions between Moscow and Washington over the future of Syria and its brutal ruler.Russia has been a key supporter of Mr Assad during the past four years of civil war, using its UN Security Council veto to ease international pressure on his embattled regime.On Friday Barack Obama met with King Salman of Saudi Arabia to repeat the US’s insistence that any lasting settlement in Syria requires an end to the Assad regime.It leaves the US and Russia implacably opposed in their visions for Syria.
In the first public statement confirming his country’s military involvement in Syria’s civil war against the Islamic state, Russian President Vladmir Putin has said his country is providing significant logistical support and training to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. He has denied reports that Russia has deployed combat troops to fight alongside the Syrians, but hinted that this might be an option in the future.
Putin said to the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency at an economic forum in Vladivostok, “To say we’re ready to do this today – so far it’s premature to talk about this. But we are already giving Syria quite serious help with equipment and training soldiers, with our weapons.”
Russia is known as one of the largest military suppliers to the Syrian government and has supported Assad in the Global arena, using its UN Security Council veto to support him during a war that has claimed over 250,000 lives, creating a wave of refugees fleeing the country. Russia has also delayed an international investigation into claims that Assad has used chemical weapons.
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