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Tuesday, 27 March 2012
How Russia Plays the Great Game
In keeping with their post-Soviet realpolitik, Russian officials consistently voice support for NATO’s Afghanistan mission. After all, they don’twant NATO forces to withdraw from Afghanistan too soon for fear that the Afghan War burden will be dumped on them. But should the alliance’s stabilization effort succeed, Russians will be the first to demand the departure of Western troops. And in the meantime, Russian officials are determined to constrain NATO’s military presence in Eurasia by making it dependent on Moscow’s goodwill.
Until recently, most NATO non-lethal supplies bound for Afghanistan were routed through Karachi. But with the closure of the Pakistani route since late November 2011, almost all NATO supplies now enter Afghanistan via the so-called Northern Distribution Network (NDN).