Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic, will now send its military men to Afghanistan. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at USA's Manas airbase on the outskirts of Bishkek that Kazakhstan had agreed to add its military advisers and field engineers to the international forces in Afghanistan.
Kazakhstan originally intended to send only a group of military interpreters to Afghanistan. The nation did not even consider an opportunity of sending a military contingent to the country. Now it seems that the Americans have got what they wanted.
It seems interesting that the president of Kazakhstan has not said anything about the news. If Hillary Clinton had not made the announcement, the departure of Kazakh military men to Afghanistan would have been reflected in the media post factum. Kazakh media quote a source at the nation's defense ministry, which confirms Clinton's information.
Therefore, Kazakhstan's agreement marked a serious concession, which the Asian nation made to Washington. Most likely, it goes about the servicemen of the Kazakh Brigade, who already have the experience of the war in Iraq. In Iraq, the Kazakh soldiers cleared minefields and supplied water to local residents. The brigade lost one man during the entire stay in Iraq.
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It goes without saying that the Afghan experience will be much more difficult in every aspect. It is not just about the possible human losses. First and foremost, it goes about foreign political costs. Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists repeatedly threatened to punish any country which could assist the USA in the destruction of the Afghan nation.
NATO forces will pull out from Afghanistan sooner or later. The situation in the war-torn country has not improved at all even after Obama ordered to send additional contingent there. It is already clear now that the further presence of the alliance in the country is absolutely unjustifiable, taking into consideration the fact that the majority of the local population support Talibs. Needless to say that the arrival of the Kazakh Brigade will not change the situation for the better.
Quite on the contrary, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, endangers the security of his country as he agrees to expand the assistance to NATO in Afghanistan. Such a decision may undermine the internal stability in the country. Islamites may become much more active in Kazakhstan after the departure of Kazakh troops to Afghanistan. As a result, Nazarbayev may become a symbol of betrayal for many Kazakh Muslims.
The most interesting part of the story will begin after NATO's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Western countries are geographically far from this country. However, the Central Asian countries, with Kazakhstan being one of them, are much closer. American and European military men will fly back home, but it is Afghanistan's neighbors that will have to deal with the aftermath of NATO's presence in the country.
Kazakhstan is not sending its men to Afghanistan to kill anyone there. However, reality can easily change intentions, not to mention the fact that the Kazakhs are going to Afghanistan to execute Uncle Sam's orders.
Why do the Americans need that? It seems that the USA is trying to set Muslims against each other. The US administration has not succeeded yet at this point.
For the time being, there are four Muslim countries that take part in NATO's operations in Afghanistan: Jordan, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and Turkey. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania can be referred to as tentatively Muslim countries, since many of their citizens do not practice Islam. Turkey has the largest military contingent on the list - 1,750 people. The contingents of all other above-mentioned countries count only dozens of people.
The appearance of the Kazakh Brigade will enlarge the group of Muslims fighting against their coreligionists in Afghanistan. The participation of Turkish and other Muslims contingents in the Afghan war is strictly passive. It can be seen from the number of losses: NATO and its allies lost 2,340 people, whereas the Muslim contingents lost only three men.
Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, is known as one of the smartest and most artful politicians of modern times. Has he made a huge mistake? Kazakhstan has not been able to recover from the financial crisis, which makes one wonder how much the Americans had to pay Nazarbayev for sending his troops to Afghanistan.