Rumours that bin Laden has left Afghanistan or will do it in the nearest future make the US hasten to catch him. According to USA Today, the US is intending to send 1,600 Marines to Afghanistan to catch terrorist number one.
The US military should not creep through caves looking for shelters of the Saudi terrorist. This is the task of the Northern Alliance forces who are actively searching for bin Laden. Therefore, a question appears: For what are the Marines necessary and in such a large number?
Against a background of the developing conflict inside the Northern Alliance, which could turn into a civil war, the transfer of such a big military contingent would play a role of the detonator. Western allies are aware of the negative position of the Northern Alliance on possibly locating international forces on the country’s territory, though it cannot stop them.
Contradictions among the Western allies are becoming sharper as well, in particular, contradictions between Great Britain and the US. Earlier, the US also said that Great Britain meant nothing but a representative screen in the coalition and that the United States will solve all questions individually. This could not leave prudish children of the Foggy Albion indifferent.
The British Times writes that Great Britain delayed sending several thousands of British soldiers to Afghanistan because of growing contradictions between Washington and London about the part Englishmen should play in the war. Sources in British Defence Office notice that Washington is more concerned with the issue of catching bin Laden than with forming an international peace-keeping contingent that must secure stability and peace in post-Taliban Afghanistan. All the more, they suppose that settling this issue lies rather in Washington than in Kabul.
This Saturday, in Berlin, a conference will take place in which representatives of all the nations populating Afghanistan will take part. Initially, the Northern Alliance insisted that this conference be carried out in Kabul; however, it later changed its position on this question. This was probably a result of Russian and British diplomatic activity.
Russia uses its influence on the Northern Alliance and is trying to become a key figure in taking decisions about Afghanistan’s future and it probably manages to do so. Contradictions between the US and Great Britain will automatically push Great Britain to Russia or vice-versa. This is favourable for Russia. Russia’s advances towards Iran and India are advantageous for Russia as well. And if the superfluous arrogance of the Northern Alliance is a little restrained, Russia could obtain what it did not during its 10-year war in Afghanistan.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/11/20/34010.html