Afghanistan, we are sure has not yet forgotten Soviet Union's 10-year occupation. The struggles with the US and NATO forces over the last few years may have dimmed the memory. But it is being reinforced with great shock and clarity just as the US and NATO troops are leaving their land. Two decades after what came to be considered the Soviet version of the Vietnam War - Russia is eager to return to the land of the untamed Afghans!
Defense officials are contemplating military bases on Afghan soil after the US drawdown in 2014!
Russia has an economic stake in postwar Afghanistan. There is the Russian gear - from small arms to armored personnel carriers and helicopters that will benefit from it as well as the supply routes into Afghanistan through central Asian countries.
Russia wants to establish forward posts in Afghanistan because it is increasingly alarmed about a possible resurgence of the cross-border militant Islamist incursions.
Moscow is also worried that escalation of the situation in Afghanistan post 2014 could have a negative impact on the security of both Russia and other European nations.
One thing is for sure, Russia wants to mark a physical presence to fill the power vacuum imminent inl Afghanistan after 2014. However, the history between t he two countries isn’t really conducive or welcoming to such thoughts.
Keeping that in mind, regardless of the need for maintaining a presence in the country, Russia should not entertain resumption of its military presence in Afghanistan.