We have noted in a previous blog that the fighting by Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan has been spilling over into neighbouring Tadzhikistan. Given the instability of that country lying within the Russian orbit, Moscow has good reason for anxiety. We also suggested that were the Americans to leave Afghanistan as President Trump originally intended to do before the Deep State got to him, it is the Russians who have every reason to worry.
Signs are emerging that Russia is well aware of the danger. On 10 July the Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin joined a working meeting in Islamabad (Pakistan) alongside his counterparts from Pakistan, Iran and China; all of whom have one way or another fallen out with the United States in recent times. But they were not in Islamabad to talk about the United States; at least not in the first instance. They were there primarily to focus on the threat emerging from the penetration of Afghanistan by ISIS fighters fleeing Syria and Iraq (see svr.gov.ru).
If one needed clear indication that were the United States to evacuate Afghanistan a vacuum would emerge that would suck in the country’s anxious neighbours, this is surely it. The problem with ISIS is that Islamic terrorism is mobile, guerrilla warfare par excellence. And after their last, painful experience fighting in Afghanistan the Russians cannot afford to sit on their hands and wait it out.