At a joint press conference held by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and U.S. General John Nicholson on Monday in Kabul, Afghanistan, Gen. Nicholson would “not refute” claims that Russia has Afghanistan has been providing support to the Taliban, including supplying the Taliban with weapons. Earlier today, another representative for the United States military told reporters in Kabul that Russia was supplying the Taliban with weapons, as well as specifying the kinds of weapons used and naming southern provinces where the weapons are being used. General Mattis stated that the U.S. would “engage with Russia diplomatically. We’ll do so where we can, but we’re going to have to confront Russia where what they’re doing is contrary to international law or denying the sovereignty of other countries. For example, any weapons being funneled here from a foreign country would be a violation of international law.” Referencing last week’s devastating attack on unarmed soldiers at an Afghan military base, which the Taliban had claimed responsibility for, General Nicholson stated that “anyone who arms belligerents who perpetuate attacks like the one we saw” [isn’t someone focused on] “the best way forward to a peaceful reconciliation.”

Although the Trump administration has seemed to have mixed feelings about Russia and its international aggression thus far, perhaps the President will come to realize the threat Russia poses not only to the United States and our security, but to the safety of people across the globe.