Much of the discussion on the geopolitical implications of the former Afghan government's recent collapse has focused on what China may do next. However, Russia is the active regional influencer in the unfolding crisis, given its decades-old experience and networks in Afghanistan. In the weeks and months ahead, Russia can apply its diplomatic, intelligence, and military tools to prevent the spread of instability beyond Afghanistan. Some of Russia's choices may conflict with U.S. goals for Afghanistan, but there are areas of alignment.
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