OPINION

Russia Likely to Help Bring Order to Parts of Afghanistan After Collapse, Ex-US Official Says

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russia and remnants of the Northern Alliance will likely help maintain a semblance of order in some portions of Afghanistan after Kabul collapses in the wake of the American troop exit, former senior adviser to the Acting US Defense Secretary, Army Colonel Doug Macgregor, told Sputnik.

On Tuesday, US Central Command said the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan was 90 percent complete. Last week, commanding General Austin Miller warned that Afghanistan might be on the path to civil war after Washington is done pulling out forces.

“Remnants of the former Northern Alliance will doubtlessly re-emerge with Moscow’s help to preserve some semblance of order in the Western part of the country,” Macgregor, a military historian and tactician, said when asked about what happens if the country slides into civil war.

Macgregor said the prospects are “poor” that the Afghan government will be able to remain in power and avoid collapsing after the US exits.

The US military withdrawal from Afghanistan, Macgregor added, is long overdue as he argued when then-President Donald Trump decided to withdraw forces.

“[The] withdrawal is being quickly and efficiently accomplished,” Macgregor said.

Neighboring Asian nations will act to protect their own interests directly and to prevent Islamist extremists operating from Afghanistan to spread uncontrollably across the region, Macgregor said.

“India will cooperate with Russia and Iran to contain the influence of the Sunni Islamist elements in Afghanistan and Pakistan. China will try to complete its transportation infrastructure through Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan provided the Chinese can be protected. If not, the Chinese will pick other routes,” he said.

Russia will cooperate both with Central Asian governments and with Iran to prevent the Taliban from spreading their power and influence, Macgregor explained. He acknowledged that the Taliban has already crossed into Tajikistan where Russia has a military base.

“Moscow knows it must work with its Central Asian neighbors and Iran to actively contain the Sunni Islamist bacillus plus heroin industry in Afghanistan,” he said.

The Biden administration should seek to work constructively with Moscow and Beijing in combined efforts to maintain stability in the region, Macgregor advised.

“Whether Washington assists in any meaningful way is unknown, but Washington should do so if possible. Washington is far more likely to be successful in reducing the criminality in Afghanistan by supporting others in the region if we cooperate,” he said.

Macgregor was a successful combat commander in the 1991 Gulf War when his armored forces decisively defeated Iraq’s Republican Guard in the Battle of 73 Easting.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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