Author Topic: Did we do all that just to make it safe for Russia's return to Afghanistan?  (Read 4558 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline E.R. Campbell

  • Retired, years ago
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 453,270
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,054
This is reproduced, without comment, under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Financial Times:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/09455d54-cebf-11e3-8e62-00144feabdc0.html#axzz30wCextuM
Quote

Afghanistan: Moscow brings back the memories

By Michael Peel in Kabul

May 5, 2014

The Russians are returning to Afghanistan. A quarter of a century after the end of the Soviet occupation, Moscow wants Russian businesses to revive 150 creaking old Soviet-era projects in the country – and help build the economy and security in its regional neighbour.
The pioneer $25m investment is the Kabul Housebuilding Factory, an attempt to capitalise on the enduring popularity of the Afghan capital’s sturdily built Soviet-era apartment complex known as the Macroryan. Moscow is also renovating the imposing green-roofed former Soviet cultural centre and has plans for other ventures, including a giant Kabul breadmaking factory.

These efforts are being overseen by Andrey Avetisyan, Russia’s urbane ambassador to Afghanistan, who was previously posted to Kabul as a young diplomat. After the Soviet retreat, Afghanistan collapsed into a vicious civil war that ended with the Taliban capturing Kabul in 1996 and publicly hanging the Soviet-backed President Mohammad Najibullah.

The country may still be dotted with Soviet tanks and artillery from the struggle with the Mujahideen resistance, but the passage of time has also nurtured a wistful central Asian version of the Ostalgie that enveloped some East Germans after reunification with the West. Even Hamid Karzai, the president, has praised the Soviet Union as “efficient” in its spending – in implied contrast to the multibillion-dollar injection of western money since the US-led invasion to oust the Taliban in 2001.

Some Moscow initiatives have flopped so far, such as an attempt to build an international consortium to renovate the Salang road tunnel through the Hindu Kush. But as western aid projects wind down and Nato prepares to withdraw most of its troops, it is also another reminder of how Afghanistan’s strategic position as a bridge between Europe and Asia will continue to be a magnet for ambitious foreign powers.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 10:19:51 by E.R. Campbell »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
Like what you see/read here on Army.ca?  Subscribe, and help keep it "on the air!"

Offline milnews.ca

  • Info Curator, Baker & Food Slut
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Relic
  • *
  • 385,135
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 20,834
    • MILNEWS.ca-Military News for Canadians
If it's OK for Russia to be concerned about one part of its backyard that the West has some links to/history with, it's hard to say it's not OK for it to be concerned about another part.  After all, based on the ubiquitous "they're surrounding us (again)" message track, Russia's title for this thread after 9-11 could have been:
Quote
"Did we do all that just to make it safe for Russia the West (to) return to Afghanistan?"
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 180,885
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,618
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
But let's not over-estimate Russia.

Russia is not going to regain the colonial control it had over the Stans.  And the Northern Alliance was essentially an alliance of Stanis that lived within the boundaries of Afghanistan. The Stans (and Mongols) are doing their best to follow independent foreign policies - and I doubt if they will be as concerned with Western perceptions as the Ukrainians if Putin tries to pull the same stunts.

Additionally, if Russia were actually capable of delivering these projects then why are they still looking for westerners to build their ships and the Chinese to build a land-link from Russia to Crimea over the Kerch Straits?

I really believe that the West's next best play is to encourage the rise of the Turks along the Silk Road.  Bypass Vlad entirely.  Med, Turkey, Caspian, Stans, Mongolia (South Korea?) 

That is why Syria matters.  That is why the Caucasus matters.  That is why Afghanistan matters.

If the Chinese are sincere they will strike bargains with their neighbours, the same as the US has with Canada, and will engage them in mutually beneficial trade for their resources rather than constantly threatening them with replacing Russian colonists with Chinese colonists.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline E.R. Campbell

  • Retired, years ago
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 453,270
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,054
The Chinese want the Russians out of the Stans and they want the resources in the Stans but they, the Chinese, don't want to be too close to the Stans. The Turkic peoples of the Stans, like the Chinese Uyghurs as barbarians, maybe they're Asian barbarians, which puts them a small step above the Russians, but they are not "civilized people" - see Zhonghua (中華/中华) or Huaxia (華夏) which refer to how the Chinese see themselves as the centre of civilization and everyone else, all those who are not Chinese, as less and less and less civilized: barabraians.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
Like what you see/read here on Army.ca?  Subscribe, and help keep it "on the air!"

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 180,885
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,618
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
If I were playing China's cards, from my Western Scots Capitalist perspective, I would be converting Tibet and XinJiang into Hong Kong and working to withdraw troops and effort away from subjugating a restive people in order to control access to resources.  Instead I would be spending that money to buy the resources directly from the people sitting on them and pay them a license fee - much like the Yanks do with our resources. 

It costs less in the long run.   Of course it also requires a modicum of trust and an understanding that compunction is not control.

In considering Han attitudes to barbarians - how are the Manchu perceived?
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline E.R. Campbell

  • Retired, years ago
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 453,270
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,054
The Chinese, the Han, have absorbed successive waves of barbarians from the North, including the Shatuo, the Khitan and, lastly, the Manchus, the Qing Dynasty. In each case the Chinese relied upon the notion that the barabraians would succumb to the comforts of cities and silk, to music and philosophy and would become Chinese, civilized, in other words.

But the peoples of the West, Turkic peoples like the Shatuo, are less and less amenable to the siren song of civilization ~ Islam, with its own notion that it, not Chinese civilization, offers a complete solution to all of humankind's problems, is part of the problem. It, Islam, is seductive to poor, uneducated people, just as Christianity was 1,000 years, even 500 years ago, with its promise a of a better life in the hereafter.

I've offered this purely anecdotal evidence before, but here it is again : an acquaintance, a mid to senior level official said to me that there was a simple solution to Xinjiang. "We going to f__k them out of their majority status," he said. "We're sending young men, by the thousands and tens of thousands into the West. The young Uyghur women prefer rich, secular, Chinese men, who offer them good homes and a secure future, to thick headed, religious Muslims - in a few generations the pure Uyghurs will only be a memory. It will be the same with their separatism. Those we don't absorb we'll kill."

Your point about buying resources is a good one, that is, as far as I can see, the Chinese plan for the Stans and for Siberia.

Many, many Chinese would like to be rid of both Tibet and Xinjiang but they, most Chinese, are bound to an idea that anything that ever was Chinese is still Chinese and the  and the expansion into the West, mostly by the Qing, means that Tibet and Xinjiang are now part of China - welcome or not.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
Like what you see/read here on Army.ca?  Subscribe, and help keep it "on the air!"

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 180,885
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,618
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
"We going to f__k them out of their majority status," ...

Clearly, as we have discussed before, that wouldn't be the first time it has happened in that neighbourhood.  Back to Ruadhrig and his tartans - the only thing they haven't found are his pipes.



And talk about taking coals to Newcastle - if I can find the reference - they may have been selling Ukrainian pottery to China.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline E.R. Campbell

  • Retired, years ago
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 453,270
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,054
Dragging this thread farther and farther  :off topic:

The archaeological evidence around the Mummies of Urumchi, especially the textile evidence is fascinating and suggests that 4,000 years ago Western European, possibly, Central European almost certainly weaving technology (long vs short looms, or something like that) was in the Taklamakan Basin, and it also suggests that trade between China and the West may have started much earlier than generally agreed until now.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
Like what you see/read here on Army.ca?  Subscribe, and help keep it "on the air!"

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 180,885
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,618
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
Dragging this thread farther and farther  :off topic:


My deepest and sincerest apologies.  I just can't help myself.  Everything is connected to everything.  ;D
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"