Moscow is trying to draw India and China closer to put out the flames now flaring across the continent, from the Caucasus and Central Asia, to Iran and Pakistan, notes Eric Walberg
United States President Barack Obama has shown a flicker of independence in shaping US Eurasian politics. To secure transit routes through Russia to Afghanistan, he loudly proclaimed the end to US missile base plans for Poland and the Czech Republic, and downplayed any further NATO expansion in Russia’s backyard. He resisted jumping on the Gates-Clinton-McChrystal escalation bandwagon, insisting that it would be counterproductive to blindly back the thoroughly discredited Karzai, and hinting that negotiations with the Taliban and Iran could mean an about-face on the Bush strategy of total war in the region.
Obama’s strategy is now described as focussed on securing the main cities in Afghanistan,