WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Afghan government has reached out to Russia for military aid because it has lost confidence that the US is truly committed to ensuring the regime survives and the country remains stable, experts told Sputnik.
Afghan officials asked Russia for military aid earlier this week, including weapons, equipment and air support, to help fight terrorists within their country.
"The fact the Afghans appear to be reaching out to the Russians… indicates a high-level of worry in Afghan government circles as to what the future may hold in terms of the capacity of the regime to survive," University of Arizona Professor of History David Gibbs told Sputnik on Thursday.
Some Afghan officials, Gibbs argued, have become unnerved by lackluster signals from Washington, triggering fears that the United States is not going to stand by Kabul and prevent its implosion.
"The fact that a high-level official in the Afghan government is reaching out to the Russians, the successors of the Soviets of all people, would suggest there is some feeling of panic going on here," Gibbs added.
Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, authors of highly-acclaimed books on US foreign policy, told Sputnik that Afghanistan is reaching out for help because the US mission there has failed.
"From the beginning, the American command had no idea of what it would take to get the Afghan army up and running," Gould and Fitzgerald explained.
The Afghans would be well advised to look to all regional neighbours including Russia to replace US involvement at all levels, Gould and Fitzgerald claimed.
The number of militants in Afghanistan is estimated to have reached 50,000, while membership in the Islamic State shows no signs of declining, Russian General Staff chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov said on Thursday.
Earlier on Thursday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told reporters that the United States will adjust its military presence in Afghanistan in 2016 and beyond with the support of NATO allies.