A news organization based in the United States, a cold war era superpower, released an article on Friday alleging that Russia, another cold war superpower, had been offering bounties for indigenous militias in Afghanistan to kill US soldiers.
The article was published in the New York Times, a left-leaning newspaper based in the former US capital of New York City, and cited anonymous US intelligence sources.
According to the sources, a Russian intelligence unit has been offering indigenous Afghani militants cash prizes to kill the members of the US occupying forces in Afghanistan in a bid to “destabilize the west” and lower public sentiment in the USA.
A Russian history
Russia has its own troubled history with Afghanistan, a Soviet-era invasion of the country by Moscow resulted in a ten-year long insurgency that collapsed the Soviet economy and lost it international good will.
Thousands of Afghani civilians were killed during the war between 1979-1989. The decade-long conflict resulted in the withdrawal of Russian forces and the ascension of the Afghani militias to power.
During the insurgency, the United States through its intelligence agencies, offered the Afghani militias arms, ammunition, and money in its fight against the Russians.
The US-backed militias eventually fought each other for control of the country in a civil war in which the Taliban emerged, and became the government in Afghanistan. The would rule the country until it was toppled by a US-led invasion in 2001.
According to the New York Times article, US President Donald Trump has been briefed by the US intelligence community about the bounties and the administration has yet to decide on a full course of action.
The Trump administration has refuted these allegations.
The article also mentions that the Russian intelligence unit in question has been linked to assassinations in England, a attempted coup in Montenegro, an assassination in Bulgaria and interference into America’s election in 2016.
While the article did not name which intelligence service commented and revealed the information, the US intelligence services have been carrying out assassinations, election interference and facilitating coups for years.
The US’ Central Intelligence Agency has been known to assist in disappearing pro-democracy dissidents in much of Latin America including Chile, Colombia, and Argentina.
The CIA has also helped to carry out coups across the world including ones in Iran, Guatemala, Congo, the Dominican Republic, South Vietnam, Chile, Thailand, and Brazil.
It is unknown how many leftist political dissidents have been assassinated with the help of the CIA.
Afghanistan is a historic landlocked country in Central Asia with a GDP of 19.36 billion US Dollars, roughly 90 times less than the 1.75 trillion GDP of the New York economy.
The country has seen many historic powers travel through its lowlands on course to conquest and warfare. Among the leaders that have used Afghanistan as a base for conquest are Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, the Mughals of India and Tammerlane.
The predominantly Muslim country had been historically tolerant of many religions within its borders for centuries until Islamic extremists were drawn to its borders in the fight against Soviet expansion.