Trump administration discusses how to respond to an outstanding intelligence estimate
US intelligence officers stated that Russian intelligence unit (GRU) submitted secret bids to Taliban militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan and sabotaging peace negotiations.
According to the U.S intelligence reports for the issue, GRU, notorious for assassination attempts to create an unstable atmosphere in the West and revenge, and other covert operations, financed some attacks in 2019 behind the scenes and rewarded the ones that yielded success. The authorities give credence to the claim that militants with highly religious motives or others affiliated with them were paid by Russia in return for carrying out some attacks.
In 2019, 20 American citizens were murdered as a result of the conflicts in Afghanistan. Yet, it is not clear which deaths are suspicious. The authorities submitted intelligence findings in the form of briefing to President Trump and White House in an interinstitutional meeting held in March and initiated some potential options against this situation such as filing diplomatic complaints to Moscow, a growing series of sanctions and other potential responses yet White House has not granted any authorization.
In the statement, Russian embassy in Washington announced disinformation regarding Russia and Afghanistan published by the U.S.A media outlet would pose direct threat to Russian diplomats.
National Security Council, Pentagon, Department of State and C.I.A. refuse to make statements on the issue. Officials also said that this sensitive intelligence was regarded as a secret in the recent past, but the administration has expanded its briefings this week, sharing with the British government whose troops were also targeted in Afghanistan.
In the statements made, the intelligence assessment is said to have resulted from the interrogations of Afghan militants and criminals captured. Officials did not shed a light on the details such as how targets were marked in the Russian operation or how money changed owners. There is no scrap of information to clarify whether Russian operators are deployed in Afghanistan or else they manage the process with the Taliban
Russia government: “Groundless claims”
Both American and Afghan officials previously accused Russia of providing small size of weapons and other sort of support to Taliban, which would lead to destabilizing activities, but Russian government officials concealsed the issue by saying “fallacious gossip” and “groundless claims.” . “We share some interests with Russia in Afghanistan and frankly, the Russians are taking some steps to weaken our interests,” John W. Nicholson Jr., then Gen. Commander of the American forces in Afghanistan said in an interview in 2018.
Yetkililerin, Rus operatörlerin Amerikalıları öldürmek için Afgan militanlarına ödül teklif ettikleri ve ödedikleri ile ilgili olarak istihbarat konusunda emin oldukları söylenirken, Rus hükümetinde gizli operasyonun ne kadarına hakim olduğuna ve amacının ne olabileceğine dair daha fazla belirsizlik var. Bazı yetkililer, Rusların, Amerikan ordusunun 2018 yılında çok sayıda Rus paralı asker de dahil olmak üzere yüzlerce Suriye yanlısı gücü öldürdüğü için intikam almak isteyebileceğini ifade ediyor. Yetkililer ayrıca, Rusların, ABD’nin Afganistan’da sıkışmasını sağlamak için barış görüşmelerini rayından çıkarmaya çalışıyor olabileceğini de öne sürdüler.
While officials are claimed to be confident about intelligence that Russian operators offer and pay rewards to Afghan militants to kill Americans, there are some reservations about the extent to which Russian government has comprehensive knowledge pf the covert operation and what its purpose could be. Some officials say that the Russians may want to take revenge for what happened in 2018, as the American army killed hundreds of pro-Syrian forces, including a large number of Russian mercenaries. Officials also argued that the Russians may be trying to derail peace talks to keep the US stuck in Afghanistan.
GRU focuses on U.S.A and U.K
Officials also added that the government considered the operation as organized by Unit 29155, a branch of Russia’s military intelligence agency. The unit is also held accountable for poisoning a former personnel of G.R.U, Sergei Skripal with nerve gas in England. In addition to this poisoning, the unit is also alleged to have taken a role in a coup attempt in Montenegro in 2016 and some activities for poisoning an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria one year before the poisoning of Sergei Skripal. Besides, two units of G.R.U., known as 26165 and 74455, hacked the Democratic Party servers to interrupt the U.SA. elections in 2016 and managed the process in a way that it would result in favor of Trump.