Professor James Petras made the comments in an interview with Press TV on Saturday while commenting on a report which says the United States is pressuring the Afghan government to ditch the thousands of free Kalashnikov assault rifles that it has received from Russia and buy American equivalents instead.
“The Americans insist that 50,000 Kalashnikov rifles with munitions that were handed over to the Afghan security forces free of charge be removed from operational use and Afghanistan buy US-made rifles and submachine guns instead,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told his country’s lawmakers Friday.
Russia has donated the weapons over the past few years, with at least 10,000 of them having been delivered in 2016.
“I think the Russians have a point here that needs to be taken seriously,” Professor Petras told Press TV. “The Russians have been involved in arms sales for quite a while and have been successful in finding new markets.”
“The Americans have been engaged in Afghanistan for many years, but they have been mainly involved in military activities, and maintaining and sustaining a government that has very little populous support,” he added.
“And the fact of competing with Russia in arms sales is beside the point. The point is for both the United States and Russia to cease intervening in Afghanistan and recognize the fact that the Taliban is the one that probably benefits the most from arms sales with so many of the Afghan army defects – up to 15 percent a year,” the analyst said.
“So when the Russians or the Americans sell arms to the Afghan government, most of it goes to the rebels particularly the Taliban, and perpetuate a destructive war,” he added.
“I think the US and Russia should recognize that Afghanistan is an independent country which should not be loaded with more arms, that they should withdraw and follow the policy of Iran of peaceful coexistence and independence for the Afghan people,” Professor Petras concluded.
The United States -- under Republican George W. Bush’s presidency -- and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban regime from power, but after more than sixteen years, the foreign troops are still deployed to the country.
After taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, vowed to end the Afghan war -- one of the longest conflicts in US history – but he failed to keep his promise.
President Donald Trump, who has spoken against the Afghan war, has dubbed the 2001 invasion and following occupation of Afghanistan as "Obama's war."
But now Trump has announced to deploy thousands of more troops to the war-torn country, signaling a policy shift.