Where Would Afghanistan Get Military Assistance?

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 23, 1998 | Go to article overview

Where Would Afghanistan Get Military Assistance?


I found the Sept. 16 Op-Ed column "The hunt is on for Osama bin Laden" to be quite interesting. The authors postulate that a U.N. Security Council vote condemning Taliban terrorism, combined with military assistance from Russia, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey to the Afghan government, would be sufficient to oust bin Laden from his sanctuary in Afghanistan. This raises several concerns. Politically, I cannot see the permanent members of the Security Council rushing to support such a U.S. proposal in the United Nations. Russia has major problems with its domestic Muslim minorities and has suffered military defeat at the hands of the Chechens. With the recent elevation to power of Yevgeny Primakov, and given the Russian attempts to re-establish their former influence in the Middle East, it is difficult to believe that they would do anything so certain to antagonize hundreds of millions of Muslims.

The Chinese are prospering from their lucrative trade in armaments to Afghanistan's neighbors, including Taliban-friendly Pakistan. So U.N. support from China is highly unlikely. France opposes U.S. initiatives, believing that to be a means to show independence from American influence and to maintain the illusion that it is still a world power. While the United Kingdom remains friendly, the recent U.S. attack on Sudan has provoked considerable rancor among British government officials who believe they have been "had" by the United States. …

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Where Would Afghanistan Get Military Assistance?
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