A member of the Taliban insurgent
© REUTERS / Stringer
A member of the Taliban insurgent
US President Donald Trump's new strategy on Afghanistan stipulates an increase in the US's military presence in the country so as to force the Taliban, a terrorist group controlling a large part of the country, to negotiate a political settlement.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blamed the unstable situation in the Middle East and North Africa as well as the increase in international terrorism on "the NATO member states' military gambles."

In response to Washington's earlier claims that Russia was collaborating with the Taliban*, Zakharova noted that it was the Pentagon's way of hidings its own "sponsorship of the Taliban" in Afghanistan, adding that there is evidence of the US supporting the terrorist group.

The spokeswoman explained that reports by US officials indicated that large portions of US military aid to Kabul had been stolen. Weapons written off as losses could be used to equip "the whole army," Zakharova pointed out.

"Once again, we [Russia] would like to emphasize that our contacts with the Taliban have only two goals: ensuring the security of Russian citizens in Afghanistan and contributing to the process of national reconciliation, which unfortunately has not yet made any progress," the spokeswoman stressed.

Afghanistan has for a long time been in a state of political turmoil, as the government cannot establish full control over the country's territory due to the actions of various terrorist factions, in particular the Taliban and Daesh*. In 2017, after extremely tenuous efforts by Afghanistan's national army to thwart terrorist attacks, Trump announced his resolution to send more troops to the war-torn Asian state, while also appealing to NATO members to assist by increasing the number of their servicemen present in the war zone.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as a reaction to 9/11 terror attacks, with the mission lasting until December 28, 2014. In 2015, NATO initiated a new mission, code-named "Resolute Support," which was aimed at providing training assistance to Afghanistan's security forces. Nevertheless, endless US operations have shown limited effectiveness in establishing enduring peace in the state.

Several terrorist organizations, with Daesh and the Taliban being the most prominent ones, have long posed a threat to Afghanistan's stability on political, social and security levels, and they continue to disseminate violence within the Islamic country.

* Daesh (also called ISIS/IS/ISIL/Islamic State) and the Taliban are terrorist groups banned in Russia.