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– China, Growing Superpower


‘Russia, China, Pakistan can peel off US superpower status’
The International News

LAHORE: If Russia, Pakistan and China join forces to eradicate terrorists from Afghanistan, it would not only allow the Troika (Russia-Pakistan-China) to prevent Afghan terrorism from spilling into their borders, but also peel off the United States’ superpower status in the process, says an article published by ValueWalk.com.

The writer says, “After Isis claimed responsibility for killing at least 30 people and injuring 50 more in a brutal March 8 terrorist attack on Sardar Daud military hospital in Kabul, there’s now no denying that Afghanistan is spiralling out of control.”

The article says with the US failing to eradicate terrorist groups operating on Afghan soil, there are reports of Chinese presence in eastern Afghanistan, while Pakistan and Russia seem equally hell-bent on eliminating terrorism from Afghanistan.

The article adds that earlier this month, an unnamed Pakistani army source warned that if the US didn’t sort out the “total mess” in Afghanistan, Russia would. “The Pakistani source explained that Russia may stage a Syria-like intervention in Afghanistan if the US and its allies fail to stop the advance of Isis and the Taliban.”

“And while the U.S. doesn’t really consider the Afghan issue to be the most pressing issue to its interests – especially now that Washington has a lot on its hands with the presidency of Donald Trump – Russia, China and Pakistan risk getting burned by terrorism from Afghanistan if it spills into their borders,” it adds.

The writer further says, “If the latest string of violent terrorist attacks in Pakistan is any indication, ISIS and terrorist groups in the region are continuing to advance further, far beyond Syria and Afghanistan.”

“That’s why Moscow, Beijing and Islamabad see the need to eradicate terrorism in Afghanistan. While the Chinese continue to dismiss reports that their military is operating in eastern Afghanistan, Russia is getting closer to both China and Pakistan despite its decades-long friendship with India, a major rival of both of them.”

The writer makes it clear that the spread of terrorism into Central Asia threatens Russian interests directly, as it would mean terrorist groups would stand at Russia’s border, “fully prepared to bring terror and chaos to Russia just like they did in Pakistan recently”.

“Although the Chinese media has suspicions that Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t know what he’s doing in dealing with the Taliban in the region, one can argue that since it’s Putin we’re talking about, he may be playing a large-scale, long-term strategic game in the region.”

But the writer says it’s not only that as “Russia aims to shrink U.S. global dominance,” while China and Pakistan also share the same opinion. “On top of intervening in Syria, Moscow has also sought improved relations with key players in the region: Iraq, Iran, Israel, Egypt and even the Gulf States. In South Asia, meanwhile, Russia has strengthened relations with Pakistan and hasn’t lost India’s friendship in the process.”

The article says “spreading its influence in the Middle East – starting from Syria and Afghanistan – would allow Russia to eventually replace the U.S. in its role as key foreign player in the region. One can argue that giving up Afghanistan so easily would result in the inevitable shrinking of its influence in the region and even losing its status as the sole global superpower.”

On the other hand, the article says, China too views the US as a rival, while Pakistan, having numerous grievances with Washington including the growing US-India friendship, is equally interested in joining Russia and China’s efforts and forming the Troika.

The writer, however, poses a question before ending the article. “If Moscow indeed announces a military operation against terrorist groups in Afghanistan – and possibly brings China and Pakistan on board as its allies – would the Trump administration stop it from launching its large-scale strategic game in the Middle East? Or would Trump follow Obama’s strategy in Syria and not intervene?”
 

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