President Ghani broke his silence for the first time three years after he acceded to power by acknowledging that there was the possibility of an encounter between world superpowers, which sends a very dangerous message to Afghanistan. The president has accused Russia of aiding the Taliban, who according to him, were fighting against Afghan people at the behest of a country who has massacred millions of Afghans.
While Russia, as other regional states, not only had backed the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, but also had complete coordination with NATO in some areas besides allowing its supply cargos to pass through its territory. Moscow supported the alliance because it considered the existence of extremist groups in Afghanistan as a threat, and thought that the US had come to Afghanistan to fight against terrorism. However, US activities gradually made Russia deeply skeptical of American intentions. The growingly tense situation in Afghanistan after a decade and a half of American military presence boosted Moscow’s skepticism. After the emergence of Daesh in Afghanistan, Russians thought their doubts came true; therefore, they dubbed Daesh an American conspiracy and project.
To counter the threat of Daesh, backing the Taliban was the cheapest and easiest option for Moscow, the very tactic the US used against the Soviets in Afghanistan. That way Russia wanted to both suppress the Islamic State terrorist group, and contribute to the defeat of its historic rival in the country, where they had also experienced a similar collapse from the US-backed Mujahedeen. It has effectively turned Afghanistan into a battlefield of a retaliatory and proxy war between global powers, one whose victims will only be Afghans on both sides, and Afghanistan would be the loser even if it wins and other sides the winners even if they lose it. If Afghans don’t take wise actions given the sensitivity of the situation, the four decade-long conflict can continue for a century.