Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of Russia's Security Council gave an interview to Izvestiya's Alexey Zabrodin in which he heaped scorn on the US intervention in Afghanistan and its disgraceful conclusion. Not only have the Americans left the Afghans in the lurch by cutting and running, but they have failed in all the major goals that they assigned themselves when they went in. Terror has grown not decreased; a stable government was not built, and Afghanistan's development was set back for decades. This was a result of American incompetence and overconfidence but also the corruption that enriched the American military. Patrushev advises other American allies –notably Ukraine – to take notice.
The Patrushev interview follows below:
Nikolai Patrushev (Source: Arctic.ru)
"According to the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russia Nikolai Patrushev, the situation in Afghanistan will be the main topic of discussion at one of the upcoming operational meetings of the Security Council; additional measures on maintaining the region's stability will be discussed. He emphasized that the priority task now is to control migrant flows from Afghanistan, protect the region from terrorists crossing the border in the guise of refugees as well as from contraband weapons and drug trafficking. The Security Council secretary stressed that after the withdrawal of the US contingent from the republic, only devastation was left for the common Afghans, the country was pushed back decades in its development. The fact that the dethroned pro-American regime in Kabul enjoyed the status of major non-NATO ally, didn’t help it [to keep the power]. According to Nikolai Patrushev’s prognosis, a similar fate awaits the supporters of the Americans in Ukraine."
'Ordinary Afghans Pay For Washington’s Mistakes'
— Nikolai Platonovich [Patrushev], the situation in Afghanistan develops rapidly. A couple of weeks ago, almost no one in the world could believe that Kabul would fall as early as August and that the government would hurriedly flee the country. It seems that it was a shock mostly for the Americans and their NATO allies. Why did it happen so unexpectedly?
— The confidence of the US military and political leadership and its allies that they were fully in control of events in Afghanistan is under their total control led to ignorance and underestimation of the actual situation.
This is partly due to incompetence of the US, British and other NATO countries' intelligence services, which, as it seems, were insufficiently focused in their approach to information gathering and analysis, or did poor-quality work with it.
Similar miscalculations were admitted in other parts of the world, including the Middle East (i.e. Syria, Iraq, and Libya.)
But the most fundamental cause for what transpired is the typical Anglo-Saxon trust and conviction in the correctness of their decisions. Whereas, the failures and their consequences are written off to other parties. That’s what America is precisely doing now. It blames the of Ashraf Ghani government that the US itself brought to power for everything that occurred. There is also talk of the insufficient training of the Afghan army.
Ordinary Afghans pay for Washington’s mistakes. Let’s note that the US and European countries are extricating their soldiers and citizens from country. The Afghans, who collaborated with them are left to fend for themselves.
One might ask European human rights advocates, “How does this situation correlate with proverbial Western values?”
— In your opinion, is America ignoring its failure because its image in the world has been badly damaged?
— There those among the Americans, who profited from the war. Thus these people are not particularly concerned about what the world thinks of the US. For such people, the 20-year-long war was a gold mine. According to Washington, the US has spent more than 1 trillion USD of taxpayers’ money on this war. And if one takes indirect costs into account, it is almost twice as much.
This includes the enrichment of the US military, through whose hands, billions of dollars of support for the Afghan army passed through. Let me remind you that about 90 billion USD was spent only on the training of the Afghan military. However, information about embezzlements is silenced.
The military-industrial complex and the so-called “private contractors” made super high profits. The US didn’t even bother to deal with a huge amount of arms and military equipment in the country; they simply abandoned it.
That aside, Washington was testing the loyalty of those in power in NATO countries and a series of other states involved in the Afghan adventure, including the post-Soviet space countries, especially Georgia.
Also, I would be remiss not to mention Ukraine, where Washington has brought to power people loyal to it (and continues to do so). The US is pumping weapons into this country that the Americans do not need, turning a blind eye and actually supporting the rise of neo-Nazism, extremism, crime, drug trafficking, ethnic and religious discord.
Meanwhile, Kiev subserviently obliges the interests of its overseas patrons, striving to join NATO. But did the fact that the pro-American regime in Kabul enjoyed the status of a major non-NATO ally avail it? A similar fate awaits the supporters of the Americans in Ukraine, where the neo-Nazis are capable of taking power; the state is heading to collapse, while the White House at some point won’t even remember its supporters in Kiev.
— However, both the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Joe Biden proclaimed that the US didn’t lose, but achieved its main goal in Afghanistan, by having eliminated the organizers of the September 11 terrorist attacks ...
— The US is silent about the broader goals it had set: to combat international terrorism, suppress drug trafficking and train Afghan security forces.
Actually, the number of terrorist acts in Afghanistan skyrocketed during the presence of the US contingent. Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan and other terrorist groups feel comfortable operating on the country’s territory. They perceive Afghan lands as a base for transferring their activities to Central Asian states, Chinese Xinjiang, northern Iran and India, by creating "sleeper cells" in these countries.
Instead of combatting drug trafficking, over the two decades of military and political control of Afghanistan, the US created a global-scale drug lab there. Opiate production has increased by more than 40-fold.
The West failed to train the [Afghan] army, the police, and the special services in military matters. The morally and psychologically messed up [Afghan] armed forces surrendered without a fight.
Spending huge funds to maintain its troops, the US failed to create social infrastructure and civilian businesses. Only devastation was left for the common Afghans, the country's development was pushed back decades.
'Russia Is Interested In A Peaceful, United, Developing Afghanistan'
— In turn, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance doesn’t exclude the possibility of stand-off attacks on international terrorist groups in Afghanistan. How effective would this be?
— They will carry out strikes and make bravura reports to the world community, but it will be only the peaceful Afghan civilians who will suffer again.
A generation has grown up in the country that doesn’t know what it’s like to live in peace without constant fear. According to the most conservative and obviously underestimated data, more than 40,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 20 years (these estimates doesn’t account for the tens of thousands killed by government forces).
This is the result of the US interference in the internal affairs of other states.
— How actively does the US interfere in Russia’s internal affairs?
— These tasks remain on Washington’s agenda. An entire legion of American political strategists and nongovernmental organizations are trying to influence the elections campaign in Russia. In order to do so they strive to put agents of influence to power, and seek to foment social tensions. However, the US has many problems even without foreign interference. Domestic contradictions and racial prejudices have gotten stronger there. Washington’s closest ally, England, which withdrew from the European Union disregarding the consequences, is also experiencing internal political troubles.
— How does the Russian Security Council monitor the situation in Afghanistan?
— The Security Council monitors the situation in Afghanistan. This topic will be discussed at one of the forthcoming operational meetings of the permanent members of the Security Council. Additional measures aimed at maintaining stability in the region will be deliberated. Contacts at the levels of security councils, security agencies, special services and military institutions with the countries neighboring Afghanistan (mainly with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but also with China, Iran, India and Pakistan) have been intensified. We are actively working within the framework of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] and the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization]. We also support closer CSTO cooperation with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in order to facilitate security in Central Asia.
Our priority is to control immigration flows from Afghanistan, protect the region from terrorists crossing the border in the guise of refugees as well as contraband weapons and drug trafficking.
— Will the Russian military be deployed Afghanistan? There have been a lot of talks about it lately, there are similarities to the Syrian scenario...
— There are no conditions for such actions. Regarding Afghanistan, Russia will focus primarily on political and diplomatic effort and (along with our partners) will seek to establish an intra-Afghan dialogue, in order to reach a peaceful resolution of the country's existing problems. For instance, the Moscow format has been established and works rather successfully. What’s more we attach significance to the United Nations coordinating role in international efforts to settle the Afghan conflict.
Russia is interested in a peaceful, unified and developing Afghanistan, from whose territory no threat to the region will emerge. We are prepared to enter into a dialogue with those forces that will enjoy support of Afghan people, follow their aspirations and work to transform Afghanistan into a properly functioning, strong and prosperous state.
Alexey Zabrodin (Source: Iz.ru)
 Iz.ru, August 19, 2021.