Is the Afghanistan war model repeated in the eighties? This is what Washington would do if Russia invaded Ukraine
Vornnikov: Washington is seeking to re-apply the approach of bringing down the Soviet Union with Russia, by dragging it into a war that Moscow may not want, and then draining it, by supporting Ukraine militarily, and by turning the interior and neighboring countries against it, as we saw in Kazakhstan as an indicator, and targeting the energy sector, the backbone of Russian politics and economy.
Kiev- After the American withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, many politicians and analysts were quick to predict a repeat of this scenario, with the United States abandoning its “ally” Ukraine one day, as it did with its allies in Kabul.
These expectations are based on the fact that the US attention has shifted from Afghanistan to the current crisis in Ukraine, and is seeking to support and arm it in the face of Russia, in light of the fact that Washington is considered the most strict with Moscow in the midst of the current crisis.
This position is prompted by Washington’s generous support in the field of defense and security, by allocating 750 million dollars to Ukraine in 2022, and recently giving it 200 million dollars in emergency aid, in addition to threatening “devastating” economic sanctions against Moscow.
But, before looking into the future, does the present witness an American effort to confront Russia? Is Ukraine really turning into a battlefield to weaken it, just as the United States exhausted the Soviet Union with the Afghanistan war before?
The most important and most dangerous for Russia
Supporters of this idea are based on “common denominators” that unite the war in Afghanistan in the eighties of the last century, and the current crisis in Ukraine, and include the area and the strategic geographical location, in addition to wealth and economic, human and other capabilities.
But the most dangerous for Russia, from the point of view of analysts, are the factors of history, culture and the common neighborhood with Ukraine, which make the latter’s move to the Western camp “Russian red lines” that have been talked about a lot recently.
There is talk here about Kiev’s efforts to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “NATO” and the possibility that the alliance, or the United States alone, deploy forces or weapons capable of targeting the Russian depth.
Facing closer with less expenses
Therefore, far from the policy of “supporting unity, sovereignty and aspirations,” many see that Ukraine is indeed the best arena for a new US confrontation with Russia, weakening it and limiting the growth of its influence, leading to a repetition of the scenario of destroying the Soviet Union.
In this regard, it is possible to explain a Ukrainian demand, which was recently revealed by “Foreign Policy” magazine, to transfer the aid allocated to Afghanistan to Ukraine, in terms of money and weapons, including Mi-17 helicopters, in addition to air, sea and electronic defense means, with Ukrainian media reported that US lawmakers are studying the idea.
Political analyst Dmytro Vornnikov says, “I think that Washington is already seeking to re-apply the approach of bringing down the Soviet Union with Russia, by dragging it into a war that Moscow may not want, even if it is brandishing it as a show of force. Then, draining Russia, with Ukraine’s military support, and turning the inside And its neighboring countries, as we saw in Kazakhstan as an indicator, and targeting the energy sector is the backbone of the Russian economy and politics.”
And then, according to Fornikov, “the United States may be able to reach the same result, but in a place closer and more dangerous to Russia, and at a much lower cost, without the need to send forces, build bases, and form and support loyal governments.”
Who supports Washington against Moscow?
But others believe that all of the above scenarios are unlikely, and that the current situation of the United States is too weak to repeat the “previous victory”, especially in light of the division of European and Atlantic allies over the Ukraine crisis.
Ihor Hogva, editor-in-chief of the opposition website Strana (Al-Balad), says, “It is clear that Washington is rushing to enter the scene with force, but let’s not forget that Moscow has prepared the stage in advance according to what suits it.”
He added to Al Jazeera Net that the West was late, as was the United States, until Russia became in an advanced political, military and economic position, in a way that enables it to impose its policies and achieve what it wants.
As an explanatory example, Hogva said, “Russia threatens Europe with gas, and its crowds around and inside Ukraine (in Crimea and the Donbass region) and do not aim for a massive invasion, in my opinion, because these crowds are not enough, but they are enough to strike any American or NATO presence, whether with troops or qualitative weapons.”
He also considers that Britain and limited neighboring countries will risk the support of the United States, even if it is forced, because of its regional fears of Putin’s ambitions and the growing Russian influence.
Nevertheless, according to the analyst, the United States may stand almost alone in a long-term confrontation with Russia, and this is not welcome internationally and internally in America, in light of the unwillingness of Germany, France, Turkey, and other major NATO countries to engage in any major war or escalation with Moscow.