Russia and China are attempting to shift alliances in the Middle East jeopardizing U.S. troops in the process.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, saw Army General and commander of the U.S. Central Command Joseph L. Votel briefing Congress on the regional threats in the Middle East in our fight to defeat the Islamic State.
In the briefing Gen. Votel informed the House Armed Services Committee that Iran is the greatest threat to peace in the area. Though much progress has been made thanks to a concerted effort to rid the region of ISIS, Votel told legislators, “much, much work remains.”
One of the more interesting and pertinent pieces of information revealed by Gen. Votel had to do with the role Russia is playing in the region. “It’s fair to assume they may be providing some kind of support to [the Taliban],” Gen. Votel stated before the committee, “They’ve created a narrative where they have to partner with the Taliban to address the threat of ISIS,” he continued. He went on to detail the type of support Russia is suspected to be providing with the majority of that support coming in the form weapons.
An article from the Department of Defense gave further details regarding Russia’s role in the region:
External influences affect the area as well, he said, noting Russia and China specifically as attempting to shift alliances in the region. “The point that I would emphasize to you is that while there may be other more strategic or consequential threats or regions in our world, today, the central region has come to represent the nexus for many of the security challenges our nation faces,” Votel said.
Gen. Votel stressed the importance of our positioning ourselves for greater influence in the region down the line stating: “Finally, we must make sure that we are postured for purpose in this region.”
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