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Russia to Strengthen Security Efforts in Central Asia

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On what the Russian and Afghan Ministers of Defence agreed upon

Russia to Strengthen Security Efforts in Central Asia

Originally appeared at Rusplt, translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront

At the V Moscow Conference on International Security, held in the capital, over 500 senior military representatives from 80 countries were present, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The acting Minister of Defence of Afghanistan Mohamed Stanekzai discussed with his Russian colleague Sergei Shoigu the problem of narcotics contraband, military cooperation and the fight against terrorism, reports the Sputnik agency.

“We are part of one region, we have common problems: terrorism, narcotics, and economic questions. These are fundamental important problems that we discussed with the Minister of Defence of Russia”, he explained.

The main announcement at the conference is the creation of the institute of national military advisors. The press did not cover the details, but apparently it refers to the creation of a council of representatives of the armed forces of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries with extensive powers of negotiation and decision-making, such as the rapid deployment of troops to regional terrorist threats.

For rapid deployment troops are needed, that are just as fast: these include troops, brought to combat readiness in no less than a span of three days. The Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu declared: “We are interested that our allies and partners form into compact armed forces, highly mobile, equipped with the latest armaments and military equipment, able to reliably and effectively face the challenges and threats to national security”. Although the statement is addressed to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), it nevertheless can be extended to the countries of the SCO.

Davlat Vaziri, speechwriter for the Ministry of Defence of Afghanistan, in a discussion with Rusplt said that Russian and Afghan ministers reached agreements on several topics. For example, they decided to create a joint committee to expand the fight against international terrorism, a committee with a wide range of military-technical cooperation for strengthening Afghanistan’s defence capabilities with the help of the Russian Federation. The parties agreed, as well, to exchange military intelligence information. In addition, the Russian Federation will increase the quota for the representatives of the Afghan armed forces for training in our military institutes. Presently Russia accepts each year between 30 and 40 people per military specialties.

The strengthening of the military component of the SCO is highly beneficial in the context of the situation in Afghanistan, especially if it will be accepted in the organization as a permanent member. In that case, it is possible to reorganize quickly its armed forces and make them more effective in the fight against terrorism. With active support from the other members of the SCO, but especially from the Russian Aerospace Forces, defeat of the main terrorist forces is fully realistic in the course of the year or a bit longer. If this becomes reality, Afghanistan will be firmly consolidated in the orbit of Russian influence.

But we have to understand that such a step will greatly exacerbate relations with NATO, which clearly tries to make Afghanistan a foothold in the direction of Russia, as well as China. At any rate, experts believe that the Central Asia countries, safe and almost inaccessible for now, will become a rear battle theatre for NATO forces, especially against China. Without a doubt threats and terrorist actions will turn into conflicts.

If measures need to be implemented, such as the strengthening of the military component of the SCO, they need to be done decisively and quickly. If today NATO approaches the borders of the Russian Federation from the Eastern European countries, then soon the alliance will be approaching on our southern borders from Afghanistan to Central Asia. That is why the USA and NATO are interested in the intensification of chaos and other instabilities in the region, with its centre in Afghanistan, to create artificial conditions to bring it into their alliance.

According to the military expert Atiqullah Baryalai, well known with foreign military advisers in Kabul, the West is afraid of Russia. As the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation unexpectedly deployed on Syria, these same forces can deploy quickly and successfully in any corner of Afghanistan, the more so because of Russian military bases in Kirghizstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan which is on their doorsteps.

Speaking at the conference, the ex-president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai rebuked the USA and Pakistan in the unfair game in the region and pointed out that the West cannot guarantee peace and stability in Afghanistan without the support and cooperation of the Russian Federation, China, India and Iran.

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