As per reports of CNN, they have got to know from the European Intelligence Agency that Russian intelligence officers are offering monetary rewards to Taliban militants if they can kill UK and US troops. Such an action is a part of the GRU military intelligence of Russia. The European source seems to be unclear about the motive of the Russian intelligence officers. However, it is evident that the move has resulted in several coalition casualties. The source did not even report clearly about the number, date, or origin of the casualties. According to the European officer and source, it was nothing but a callous move by the GRU. He termed it as reprehensible and startling. Moreover, he feels that they have a startling motive behind the entire situation.
The New York Times was the first to report the incident. However, a conclusion on behalf of the US intelligence was already made. According to the news reports of June 26, the US officers were already aware of Russian intelligence activities. It includes offering rewards as a part of a treaty and peace talks. A Brief was recently received from the side of citing officials. According to the same, The New York Times came out with a detailed report.
The news report and the contradictions
The New York Times said that President Donald Trump was aware of the findings of the intelligence department. Besides the Security Council of White House also held a meeting about the same back in March this year. The press secretary of White House Kayleigh McEnany gave an opposite statement. She said that neither the President nor the Vice President was aware of the Russian activity. She added that it was a shame that the Russian Intelligence was indulging in such ill activities. However, she does not want to praise The New York Times as well. It is because she feels that they had no right to publish any wrong information.
Press Secretary McEnany was not in denial about the authenticity of the US Intelligence discovery. She seems to be aware of the fact that there are Intelligence units in Russia who are offering bounties to militants linked with the Taliban forces. Russia has demanded the killing of US and UK coalition forces in Afghanistan against the monetary rewards. Later on June 27, John Ratcliffe, the National Intelligence Director issued an official statement too.
In this, he said that The New York Times report was incorrect, and there was never any discussion with either Trump or Pence regarding the Russia-Taliban pact. He added that the White House denying such reports was correct. Apart from Ratcliffe and the National Intelligence, news channels are also trying to reach out to other departments for clarification on this matter. For example, reports are still pending from the Department of Defense, CIA, and the State Department.
The authenticity of the Russia-Taliban relationship
According to The New York Times, the Trump cabinet held long meetings about the assessment of the Intelligence Department. Besides, the newspaper reported that the Trump cabinet shared all the information with the British Government as well. The major reason for the assumption is that the Russian Intelligence is allegedly after the British forces in Afghanistan too. according to the report of The New York Times, the governments of both countries were on the verge of finding out a solution to the problem. We got to know that they might talk with the diplomatic cabinet of Moscow. There, both US and UK will come out with their sanctions and complaints. However, there is no authorization or validation of the report by the White House.
Cut to the Taliban, sources reveal that they are in outright denial about any such bounty pact with Russia. The representative of the Taliban says that they are in strong rejection of such allegations. Besides, the Islamic Emirate Jihaad is not inferior or dependent on bounties from any foreign country. According to Zabihulla Mujahid, the Taliban spokesperson, the Emirates does not take orders from any other country, and so the allegations are baseless. On the other hand, CNN reports that according to the European government, the Russian intelligence work for a GRU unit that is named as 29155. The European officials have also blamed the same unit for previously killing Sergei Skripal and his daughter back in 2018. He was a KGB agent who was working for the British government for a long time.
Presumptions of the US Authorities
The US presumed that the GRU was behind the impedance in the 2016 US political race and cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and top Democratic authorities. The Russian military office was likewise under allegations by the West for death endeavors and toxic substance assaults in Europe inside late years. The Times revealed that the inspirations driving the activity are hazy and there’s the vulnerability of how far up in the Kremlin the activity was approved.
What do the experts have to say?
Previous Vice President Joe Biden considered Trump’s administration an advantage to Putin. Biden told the New York Times report at a town corridor concentrated on Asian American Pacific Islander issues. New Jersey Sen. Bounce Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, on June 27 called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put enactment endorsing Russia for a decision on the chamber floor. Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the positioning Republican on House Foreign Affairs, said in an announcement on June 27 that he promptly connected with the Administration. It includes that if the allegations in the New York Times report are valid, the organization must make quick and genuine moves to consider the Putin system responsible.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, an Air Force veteran who was serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, tweets that Russia isn’t an accomplice. So there must be no haggling with and that Trump needs to promptly uncover and deal with this. Besides, stopping Russia’s shadow war is important too. Trump has tried to improve relations among Washington and Moscow. He offers an abnormally warm relationship with his Russian partner, Vladimir Putin. Yet, Trump and his organization point to US sanctions on Russia, contending that he’s been harder on the nation than past presidents.