Saturday, March 29, 2008
A Marriage of Convenience
Russia is in the midst of talks with NATO officials about the the possibility of allowing goods destined for NATO's mission in Afghanistan to be transported through Russia. Currently the majority of supplies for NATO's operations in Afghanistan are shipped through Pakistan, posing problems for even the most deft of logistical planners and threating and threatening the ability of NATO forces to conduct operations.
This is a purely pragmatic move by the Russians rather than a thaw in relations toward the West. Russia's is not only concerned with the growth of Islamic fundamentalism along its borders but also within them, such as Chechnya and Dagestan.
NATO and Russian officials are currently working out the nuts and bolts of the agreement. It remains to be seen of negotiations will be derailed by Russian "bait and switch" or "fluster and fracas" negotiation tactics.