US-Russia clash, its potential implications for Afghanistan

Saturday, 08 April 2017 16:28 Written by  Heart of asia Read 346 times

US President Donald Trump, who partly opposed former US governments’ military policies, particularly American invasions of other countries, was dubbed a hope for positive change in the world. Prior to becoming US president, he had called the Iraq war a mistake, calling on American leadership not to intervene militarily in Syria. Also, his relations with Russia were viewed as an indication of prevention of any clash between the two superpowers.


Trump’s actions continued to contradict his slogans after taking up office. Despite his previous disapprobation, he authorized cruise missile strike against targets in Syria. The Pentagon has acknowledged to have fired about 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian military base. The US says it has conducted the attack in Idlib province in retaliation for President Bashar al-Assad’s government’s use of chemical weapons against civilians, drawing serious reaction from Russia. As a strong supporter of Assad regime, Russia has called the strike as an act of aggression against an independent state, with President Vladimir Putin saying that it has badly damaged his country’s already strained relations with the US. 

As superpowers, the confrontation between Russia and United States is a threat to global security; however, the level of such threat is very serious for countries in which these global powers have military presence and political influence under one name or another. Among these nations is Afghanistan following Syria because it is currently home to thousands of American troops and shares borders with the Central Asian countries which are the Russian influence. 

Tension between the US and Russia not only dashes the hopes of peace and stability in Afghanistan but can also be a signal of yet another dangerous and prolonged war. If the current tension escalates to a degree where both countries strike each other’s military targets, it will have irreversible impacts on Afghanistan.  

The responsibilities of Afghan government scale up in the current delicate situation because there is a dire need for an active foreign policy more than ever, one that can protect Afghan interests and territorial integrity.  The leadership of the National Unity Government (NUG) and all Afghan political actors should act with utmost caution and given the delicacy of the situation. Afghanistan should not be allowed to become a theater of a more serious conflict for the interests of others.