Dmitry Shlapentokh, Indiana University | September 15, 2008
Russia is convinced that it can deal with the West, but worries about the dangerous Afghanistan. ++ The well-being of the Russian economy and a good relationship with its domestic Muslim population depend on a stable Afghanistan. ++ Therefore, the announcement to conduct military maneuvers with Kazakhstan could be a sign that Russia is deciding to take responsibility there. ++ The US was not able to fight the Taliban successfully, but maybe Russia can be a viable protector against the possible "Talibanization" of the region.