Russia-led Bloc to NATO: Stop Pushing Afghan Militants North

Central Asian Members of Bloc Fear Growing Instability

Russian Envoy Vitaly Churkin today issued a complaint on behalf of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-led military alliance, calling on NATO to stop driving militants out of southern Afghanistan into the north.

According to Churkin, a number of members of the CSTO in the region, many of whom are based along the northern Afghan frontier, are concerned that the instability NATO is causing is spreading into their nations.

Indeed when NATO began its occupation in 2001, northern Afghanistan was almost exclusively on their side, as NATO entered into an already existing civil war on the side of the Northern Alliance faction. After over nine years of NATO failing to destroy the insurgency, however, the Taliban has added to its sphere of influence and now has a growing presence across the northern border.

Churkin also addressed Afghan government complaints about Russia’s role in anti-drug operations in the country, which NATO apparently included Russia in without asking the Karzai government beforehand. Churkin insisted Russia’s involvement was long overdue and would continue.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.