The Liberal Ironist has an update on the previous report on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s agreement to attend the upcoming NATO summit in Lisbon November 19th-21st. The Guardian has extraordiary news about the prospect of Russian rapproachment with NATO. NATO officials and the Russian government are entertaining a variety of as-yet broad proposals for Russian assistance to the War in Afghanistan. The measures under consideration include everything from increased access to Afghanistan from the north, logistical support for the war effort, and (if this development is tolerated by the Afghan government) a Russian role in training the Afghan military and security services.
The article points out that Russian cooperation with NATO on the War in Afghanistan is timely both for Russia and the United States. Russia is dealing with a heroin problem; at least 93% of the World’s opium comes from Afghanistan. Meanwhile, abiding suspicion between the Afghan and Pakistani governments–and a visible deterioration in relations between the US and Pakistani governments–has led to doubts about Pakistani assistance in the fight against the Taliban on their side of the Hindu Kush.
No, Russian soldiers will not be coming back to Afghanistan. But this is an ironic twist to our rapidly-developing rapproachment with Russia.