Мой первый журнал ISRS-Journal-АНГЛ - Page 48

If we assume that the Taliban adhere to the second option (with a high degree of probability, it can be argued that this is the case) and hopes to strengthen their bargaining position, and at the maximum, to win a military victory, then many of their recent actions acquire clear semantic outlines. The point is that the Taliban, along with contacts with the United States, began to use other negotiation platforms, in particular, the Moscow Format, created about two years ago by Russia to resolve the Afghan crisis. The Taliban leadership cannot but understand that the Afghan crisis today is an integral part of larger geopolitical and geo-economic processes in which the United States has entered a clinch with many of the world's leading players, who simultaneously have their own interests in Afghanistan. Among them, of course, it is necessary to mention Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan. Washington’s most difficult relationship is with Moscow, in which they see one of their most significant geopolitical opponents. The parties are in a mode of permanently expanding sanctions war and confrontation in Syria and Ukraine. With Beijing, Washington began a trade war for economic domination in the world. D. Trump also brought the United States out of the Iranian nuclear deal and resumed direct and secondary sanctions, trying to limit Tehran’s ability to pursue an offensive policy in the Middle East. Difficult relations between the United States and Pakistan, which reduced the issuance of the US military aid by $ 300 million (total aid amount for 2018 was 900 million) due to insufficient support for D. Trump’s Afghan strategy. 26 In the foreseeable future, the tension in the relations of all these actors with the United States will only increase and, given this, it would be naive to expect that Afghanistan will not increasingly become one of the sites of their global rivalry. The main reason that forces Moscow, Beijing and Tehran to be more active in the Afghan field is the issue of their national security. Afghanistan has become an ISIS home base, which does not hide its expansionist plans, as well as a drug factory that undermines the health of the nations of these countries. All these players are not satisfied with the situation in which the United States, maintaining the course of exclusive domination in Afghanistan, does not cope with the task of completely eliminating all these threats and moreover does not go for full-scale cooperation against the background of further deterioration of the situation with opium production and increasing influence of LIH in this country. As for Pakistan, they are not satisfied with the attempts of the United States to deprive their policy in Afghanistan of the freedom of the hands that Islamabad needs to play against India, which has relied on relations with Kabul. The Pakistani establishment sees in this bundle a threat to national security. At the moment, there are several indicators that indicate the rivalry of the parties in Afghanistan. First of all, it is the repeated statements by the US officials and experts that Russia is undermining the US efforts to stabilize Afghanistan through clandestine supplies of weapons to the Taliban, since it regards this movement as a legitimate force in the fight against ISIL- Khorasan 27 . Similar accusations are made against Iran, which is charged with provoking instability in the western provinces of Afghanistan 28 . Indicators of rivalry are also the efforts of Russia and China to create several formats of dialogue with official Kabul, which either minimize or exclude the US presence in them. These are the aforementioned "Moscow format" and the trilateral negotiation format "Beijing-Kabul-Islamabad." As for another indicator, we can note the incoming controversial reports about the possible construction by China of a military base in the Vakhan corridor (the extreme north-east of Afghanistan). The message first appeared on the pages of the South China Morning Post, but then a refutation by Chinese diplomats followed, but the situation still remains not clear enough 29 . Can Peace Be Won in Afghanistan? By Omar Samad, September 11, 2018. http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/can-peace- be-won-in-afghanistan 27 State Department: Russia, Iran ‘hedging their bets’ to back Taliban by Joel Gehrke. June 20, 2018. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/state-department-russia-iran-hedging- their-bets-to-back-taliban 28 Iran's Support for the Taliban Brings It to a Crossroads with Afghanistan by Aziz Amin Ahmadzai, May 21, 2018. https://thediplomat.com/2018/05/irans-support-for-the-taliban-brings-it-to-a-crossroads-with-afghanistan/ 29 China is helping Afghanistan set up mountain brigade to fight terrorism by Minnie Chan. 28 August, 2018. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2161745/china-building-training-camp-afghanistan-fight 50 26