Russia Doesn’t ‘Solve’ Terrorism—It Helps It

HERAT, AFGHANISTAN - NOVEMBER 4: Surrendering Taliban militants stand with their weapons as they are presented to the media on November 4, 2010 in Herat, Afghanistan. Twenty Taliban fighters from Afghanistan's Herat province have surrendered to government troops in Herat, west of the capital city of Kabul. After an amnesty launched by President Hamid Karzai in November 2004, hundreds of anti-government Taliban militants have since surrendered to the government. (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

In a recent Twitter crusade to coax the “haters and fools” into sharing his affinity for a renewed relationship with the Kremlin, President Donald Trump argued why he thinks it’s a “good thing” to get cozy with Moscow: “I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!”

Depends how you define “help.” Russia’s trade with North Korea doubled at the beginning of the year and the administration has recently acknowledged that Russia helps Pyongyang circumvent sanctions.

Russia also aids the homicidal regime of staunch ally Bashar al-Assad, who drops barrel bombs and sarin on civilians. Moscow was focusing airstrikes on enemies of the regime while the non-Assadist Syrian Democratic Forces—who were targeted by Russia in September airstrikes, the Pentagon said—have been the ones fighting and defeating ISIS.

Russia invaded and still occupies part of sovereign state Ukraine, so asking for their “help” there is like asking a burglar to manage the home security system.

And asking Russia to help “solve” terrorism is like asking an arsonist to help with wildfire management.

Gen. John Nicholson, commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, told reporters last week that Russia is pushing the “false narrative” of ISIS overrunning the country—there are fewer than 1,000 ISIS fighters remaining there, a number that keeps falling, says the U.S. military—in order to justify their support for the Taliban. Linked to that false narrative is Moscow’s yarn that the Taliban are somehow useful minions more into quashing terrorist rivals between their on-again, off-again truces than their unambiguous main goal of crushing democratic Afghanistan and fueling global jihad.

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