During the Doha talks, a regional campaign was launched to support the Taliban.
During the presence of the US forces and its allies, the countries supporting the Taliban thought that they had brought the so-called rival to its knees and that the era of post-American Afghanistan had begun. With the final withdrawal of the American forces, the arms of Russia and Iran seemed to be more open to the Taliban delegations and they tried hard to whitewash the Taliban. A strange alignment was seen between America and regional countries in this regard. They also played a prominent role in mind management in Afghanistan to facilitate the return of the Taliban. The superpowers brought together Taliban opponents in Moscow and Tehran and lobbied in Afghanistan’s political circles in favor of the Taliban. In the days when the Taliban returned to power, humiliating scenes of the withdrawal of American forces and its Afghan and international allies were published, and the sound of cheers and joy was heard from regional countries. But this celebration was not sustainable. Now after a year and a few months, the outcry of the regional powers over the situation in Afghanistan has escalated and those who were celebrating are expressing concern about the presence of the US in the Afghan political arena.
Russia, which held the “Moscow Consultative Format” meeting last year with the presence of Taliban representatives, has announced this year that it will hold the meeting without them. Not only that, on the eve of the regional meeting where regional powers and Afghanistan’s neighbors are supposed to evaluate the country’s situation, clear anti-Taliban messages are being heard from Moscow. Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of National Security Council of Russian Federation, said that the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISKP were created by America to advance its political goals in the region. After the withdrawal of the American forces, Russia tried not to name the Taliban alongside Al-Qaeda and ISKP and encouraged the Taliban to prevent the presence of “extremists” in Afghanistan!
Moscow has come a long way to the point where it takes such a public stand against the Taliban. In the years when the Taliban war was at its peak, the financial and military support of the Russians to that group was brought up many times in the media. At the beginning of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, there was a lot of encouragement in Moscow to cooperate with the Taliban. But neither Moscow, nor China, nor Iran has the necessary tools to support and control the Taliban. The United States has been able to maintain its monopoly on Afghan politics by freezing Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves, continuing financial aid, including sending $40 million in cash, controlling Afghanistan’s airspace and patrolling with drones, and playing the Doha Agreement card. America’s control over international institutions and the influence it has on the Taliban’s opposition has also narrowed the circle on its opponents in Afghanistan’s politics. Weapons, ammunition and machinery left in Afghanistan, worth billions of dollars, have also become a critical issue for the Taliban. In such a way that if they throw it away, they will be disarmed, and if they keep it, they will need the advice, contact and funding of America and its allies.
Any anti-American move by the Taliban will have heavy consequences and will cost the lives, property and assets of its leaders. People like Sirajuddin Haqqani cannot live openly in Kabul without being assured of America’s pity.
The Taliban has benefited from the support and money of various countries, including Russia, and now it cannot survive without foreign support. Any country that pays more money, can apply more pressure, and has more tangible tools to turn the page of Afghanistan’s politics, will hold the Taliban in its grip and, when necessary, will incite the group against its opponents. Which country other than America is in such a position? Russia’s fear is justified.