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Russian Foreign Ministry: Trump’s Afghan Policy Ignores ‘Combatting the Afghan Drug Threat’

Aug. 30, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement on Trump’s announced new Afghan strategy, which adds, to their earlier criticisms of the plan’s emphasis on a military solution and its continuity with Obama’s failed policy, that it completely ignores the issue of the huge Afghan opium and heroin trade—which EIR has described as the elephant in the room which dominates the Afghan situation.

The Russian comments were made in an official Foreign Ministry report on the meeting held this week between U.S. Ambassador John Tefft and Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, at the former’s request, to discuss Trump’s new policy towards Afghanistan. The Russian side asked for clarification about "the modalities of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan," the Foreign Ministry stated.

"It was noted that the new strategy is aimed at resolving the Afghan problem through the use of force, its consonance with the ‘recipes’ of the Obama administration, which, as it is known, have yielded no positive results."

The Foreign Ministry statement added that "Moscow does not share Washington’s policy aimed at exerting pressure on individual countries in the region"—a reference to Pakistan—and then stated:

"Among the obvious flaws of this strategy is the absence of the task of combatting the Afghan drug threat and a comprehensive approach towards countering the spread of the influence of ISIL in Afghanistan."

The two sides did, however, "discuss the opportunities for cooperation between Russia and the United States on Afghanistan in bilateral and multilateral formats."