Thu, 30 July 2020
After nearly twenty years of conflict, the United States is, once again, attempting to extricate itself from Afghanistan. This year, the US and the Taliban signed an agreement that was intended to be a first step towards an intra-Afghan peace deal and US forces began withdrawing troops. But for the time being, the peace process remains tenuous, and Afghanistan is still being used by Russia and the US as proxy war. Over the past few years, Russia has tried to present itself as an ascendant global power, expanding its influence in Syria, Ukraine, as well as Afghanistan. But Putin's government is also grappling with a raging pandemic and an economic crisis. Markos Kounalakis recently discussed Russia's delicate political moment with Steven Pifer. He was ambassador to Ukraine, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and was a senior director for Russia and Eurasia at the National Security Council.
Steven Pifer, William J Perry Fellow at Stanford, nonresident Brookings fellow and former US Ambassador to Ukraine
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