“The American campaign in Afghanistan has failed. Afghanistan risks becoming a global incubator of international terrorism. It has, in fact, already partially grown to become it,” said Russian Foreign Ministry’s Director of the Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov, who also serves as President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy to Afghanistan.
Speaking in an interview on Monday with the Moscow-based Izvestia daily, Kabulov underlined that the Kremlin does not see the need for further presence of US military forces in the war-ravaged nation.
“Moscow never hastened the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. But since the US Army [campaign] there has come to nothing, let them leave Afghanistan.”
The Russian diplomat further emphasized that Moscow firmly opposes Washington’s idea of replacing its regular army troops in Afghanistan with military contractors saying, “The US is in despair, and [its] plans to replace the professional armed forces with mercenaries are stupid.”
“It will not lead to anything good: mercenaries will simply break into a run. They recruit them from around the world, offering cash. How are they going to fight against the Taliban?” he asked.
The development came after US President Donald Trump stated on Thursday that he is “very close” to announcing a new strategy on Afghanistan.
“It’s a very big decision for me,” he told reporters in Bedminster. “I took over a mess, and we’re going to make it a lot less messy.”
This is while Commander to US forces in Afghanistan Army General John Nicholson described the situation in Afghanistan as a “stalemate” during a hearing earlier this year before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
He further stated that while he has enough troops for counterterrorism operations against the likes of local Taliban militants as well as al-Qaeda, and Daesh terrorists, he would like several thousand more in order to boost the capabilities of the Afghan security forces.
“I have adequate resourcing in my counter-terrorism mission,” Nicholson claimed in February. “But the train, advise and assist mission has a shortfall of a few thousand troops,” he added, noting that the extra troops could come from the United States and its allies, many of whom are fighting in Afghanistan.
The US commander further asserted that the new offensive capability would eventually “break the stalemate in Afghanistan,” but it would also require an upsurge of troops stationed in the terror-torn country in order to adequately train Afghan forces, specifically urging more funding for Afghanistan’s air force.
The US has spent more than $780 billion in Afghanistan since 2001, according to the National Priorities Project (NPP), which further insists that “every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $4 million” for the US military intervention in Afghanistan.