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Thread: Russia Joins the War in Afghanistan

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    Default Russia Joins the War in Afghanistan

    Asia Times, 25 Jun 08: Russia Joins the War in Afghanistan
    Moscow is staging an extraordinary comeback on the Afghan chessboard after a gap of two decades following the Soviet Union's nine-year adventure that ended in the withdrawal of its last troops from Afghanistan 1989. In a curious reversal of history, this is possible only with the acquiescence of the United States. Moscow is taking advantage of the deterioration of the war in Afghanistan and the implications for regional security could be far-reaching.

    A joint statement issued in Moscow over the weekend following the meeting of the United States-Russia Working Group on Counterterrorism (CTWG) revealed that the two sides had reached "agreement in principle over the supply of Russian weaponry to the Afghanistan National Army" in its fight against the Taliban insurgency.....

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    They already did so shortly after 9/11 ... I remember a parade of Northern Alliances warriors with T-55 and Russian-style uniforms (distinctive pattern).

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    This is interesting - I thought the intent was to arm ANA with Western (US) weapons?
    He cloaked himself in a veil of impenetrable terminology.

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    Council Member Anthony Hoh's Avatar
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    Default Yes but some things are still unanswered

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevely View Post
    This is interesting - I thought the intent was to arm ANA with Western (US) weapons?
    Stevely,
    Your right their is a big push with the small arms (50 cal and below), and although we are gifting Uparmored HUMMV's, the question of what a ANA mech Battalion or Air Assault element looks like, still seems open from what I've seen. Although the article doesnt mention it, Russia could fix a lot of BMP's /BRDM's. That could really help the ANA. (if you believe you need Mech platforms in a COIN fight, I really dont want to get into that one!) Plus the phasing in of NATO/ western weapons is still gonna take a while.
    Last edited by Anthony Hoh; 06-26-2008 at 02:09 PM. Reason: I went to air assault school not air assult school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Hoh View Post
    Stevely,
    Your right their is a big push with the small arms (50 cal and below), and although we are gifting Uparmored HUMMV's, the question of what a ANA mech Battalion or Air Assault element looks like, still seems open from what I've seen. Although the article doesnt mention it, Russia could fix a lot of BMP's /BRDM's. That could really help the ANA. (if you believe you need Mech platforms in a COIN fight, I really dont want to get into that one!) Plus the phasing in of NATO/ western weapons is still gonna take a while.
    Without getting into the M4/M16 discussion, doesn't it make more sense to arm the ANA with AK-47s anyway, due to the minimal maintenance and work the weapon requires? I always thought that was the plan anyway.
    Last edited by Granite_State; 06-26-2008 at 02:48 PM. Reason: Forgot something

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Post Don't see a problem with the equipping

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    Just think it might not be a good idea for any russian troops to show up to train on them. I can just imagine the way AQI and the Talibanned would spin that one.
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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default The irony...De facto cooperation

    Nearly 2 decades later mother Russia is returning (at the request of the USA and NATO ? ......who'd have thought ). Are WE really asking Russia to help US/NATO fight the very same folks we armed and trained to fight the Russians ?

    Got to wonder why Russia has now promised to not only resume (Russian) defense supplies to Afghanistan and now nearly 5 years later, finally grant NATO an overland corridor. I'd love to see the (ahem) transit fees (Pakistan will love the financial losses and attention)

    The Estonians think Russia is more than accommodating primarily due to (Russian) concerns over NATO leaving an "unfinished" Afghanistan on her back door with drugs and thugs, and, in the pathetic hopes NATO will shelve alliance membership plans for the Ukraine and Georgia.
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    Council Member Anthony Hoh's Avatar
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    Wink Sense we dont need any sense!

    Quote Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
    Without getting into the M4/M16 discussion, doesn't it make more sense to arm the ANA with AK-47s anyway, due to the minimal maintenance and work the weapon requires? I always thought that was the plan anyway.
    G_S We are doing alot to improve the capacity and capabilities of the ANA, fielding a new primary weapon system IMO is overloading the cart. Add the state of Afghanistan's finances, plus (this is a wild guess but) there is probably half a billion AK-47 rounds in this country. Now we have not only given the weapon system, but the cleaning kits, ammunition, the time used to train them, also that is a pretty insightful comment about weapon maintenance. I am not witnessing a military culture that prides itself on a clean weapon, not to mention the terrain and conditions dont help much. I read some interesting things about the fielding of the M16 in Vietnam, although Fairchild and Armalite had billed the model 16 as low/no maintenance, it only took about three years without a plan for weapons maintenance before a lot of rifles really went #### up. (even after they had went back to the dupont IMR powder) I would also submit that the Russians did more to sell the DRAA on all things great and Kalshnikov. I have not really seen us/U.S. do any kind of information campaign on what the M16 family of rifles does better than the AK, (light weight, tighter MOA, etc) at the individual Soldier level.
    Last edited by Anthony Hoh; 06-27-2008 at 04:13 AM. Reason: add stuff

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Great Game - new turn?

    I too recall the Northern Alliance sudden appearance in uniforms and colums of tanks. There was a briefing in London at the time of this huge aid package, which I suspect "Uncle Sam" paid for. For profile reasons the aid did not cross the established frontier bridge(s), but a pontoon bridge built down river and out of sight.

    When the US & Northern Alliance were established in Kabul, amongst the allies arriving to help was a Russain military hospital - as I recall - which was at Bagram AFB. Until today I've not looked on the web to see whether it stayed long. Pretty sure the Russians are not in ISAF.

    Long ago in another thread I commented on the Indian support for the Northern Alliance (artillery and other advisers).

    So this armed diplomacy is not new and just 'The Great Game' once more.

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    When the US & Northern Alliance were established in Kabul, amongst the allies arriving to help was a Russain military hospital - as I recall - which was at Bagram AFB. Until today I've not looked on the web to see whether it stayed long. Pretty sure the Russians are not in ISAF.

    davidbfpo
    David, during our 5 consecutive tours from 2001 to 2005 there were no Russians at Bagram nor any sign of a decent hospital. Most of the base's buildings were built by the Corps of Engineers and were/still are semi-permanent.

    I do however recall some email from a female Air Force enlisted asking about the base exchange () and how often she could encounter using her M16
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    The Russians were never pleased with the increased US presence in "their backyard." Is this just a way to officially invite them to the table? Also an intentional "slap" at our NATO allies in Afghanistan?

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Russians in Kabul - after the war

    Quick Google found this article on a Russian hospital being airlifted in to Bagram and then errected in Kabul:

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/de...afgh-d03.shtml (first an unusual source found and fits in with the time scale 2001).

    http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/...ckval=GooglePM

    A small Russian team arries in Kabul: http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_world_story_skin/67208

    Comment upon the Russian supplies to the Northern Alliance: http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/1015/p13s1-wosc.html

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-30-2008 at 01:54 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Quick Google found this article on a Russian hospital being airlifted in to Bagram and then errected in Kabul:

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/de...afgh-d03.shtml (fitst unusual source found and fits in with the time scale 2001).

    davidbfpo
    Thanks for the research efforts, David !
    The sight of IL-76s on the tarmac unloading cargo were such common place, that we rarely gave the Russian aircraft and ground transportation another thought.
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Karzai criticises US-Russia drugs raid

    A puzzling story, not only on the Afghan aspects, but the Russian role in hitting a drug merchant's stock near the Pakistani border:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11659814
    davidbfpo

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