West Left Alone With Afghan Problem Due to Wrong Policy Towards Russia: Expert

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If the West had developed other policy than the NATO expansion on Russia's borders and its ensuing alienation, it would not have been left alone to deal with the problem in Afghanistan, Gordon Hahn, Advisory Board Member at the Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation told RIA Novosti.

MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) -WASHINGTON, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - If the West had developed other policy than the NATO expansion on Russia's borders and its ensuing alienation, it would not have been left alone to deal with the problem in Afghanistan, Gordon Hahn, Advisory Board Member at the Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation told RIA Novosti.

"If another policy other than NATO expansion without Russia to Russia's borders and the ensuing alienation of Russia had not begun in the 1990s, NATO might have developed a better relationship with the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Chinese- and Russian-led Shanghai Cooperation Agreement (SCO) that could have produced a truly broad coalition force," believes Hahn.

"Alas, the Western-Russian conflict over Ukraine shows how far away we are from such a state of affairs, and thus the US and NATO are left to deal with the Afghan problem virtually alone, while also dealing with IS, Yemen, and AQIM in North Africa," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the United States and Afghanistan have signed a deal to formally justify the presence of a limited US military contingent in the Central Asian state after the formal withdrawal of international forces. The number of US soldiers that will remain in Afghanistan after 2014 is yet to be determined.

"The force of 12,000 in 2015 and certainly the smaller number to be negotiated under the agreement thereafter will not be sufficient to do the job," Hahn stated.

He stressed that a larger, international force would be better.

About 41,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban insurgency alongside Afghan soldiers and police. NATO's combat mission will end in December, with a follow-on force of about 12,000 troops likely to stay into 2015 on training and support duties.

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