Trilateral Russian, Tajik and Uzbek military exercises to commence along Tajik-Afghan border

Russian, Tajik and Uzbek forces are scheduled to begin trilateral military exercises today along the Tajik-Afghan border until August 10.

Tajik Presidential Press Service

Photo: Tajik Presidential Press Service

Russian, Tajik and Uzbek forces are scheduled to begin trilateral military exercises today along the Tajik-Afghan border until August 10.

Amid US-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, the trilateral military exercises directly follow Russia and Uzbekistan’s recent joint military drills aimed at containing a US-generated power vacuum filled by the Taliban. Recent territorial gains by the Taliban have further solidified their political and tactical leverage in the country, though Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan remains contested to some extent.

With Tajikistan already hosting Russia’s largest foreign military base, and the Taliban’s recent capture of Uzbek- and Tajik-Afghan border crossings, in the short- to medium-term, expect the  trilateral air and ground military exercises to aid Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in containing the security situation on their borders. In particular, expect intelligence sharing and continued Russian coordination with Uzbek and Tajik forces to preempt a potential spillover of extremist elements into Central Asia—Russia’s peripheral security buffer.

In the long-term, expect Russia to continue engaging in political dialogue with the Taliban around topics of regional stability, signaling Moscow’s recognition that the Taliban may likely play a significant role in Afghanistan’s political future.

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