(FiveNation.com)- While President Biden spent most of the week hiding in Wilmington only to travel to Camp David on Friday to enjoy a “long weekend,” Russia and China spent last week running a joint military drill to prepare themselves for the mess Biden left behind in Afghanistan.
This joint military drill between China’s People’s Liberation Army and the Russian armed forces was conducted at a PLA combined-arms tactical training base in Qingtongxia City in China’s Ningxia region.
The “Zapad/Interaction 2021” drill was announced in late July by China’s national defense ministry. More than ten thousand troops were expected to participate, along with various types of aircraft, artillery and armored equipment.
According to PLA Senior Colonel Wu Qian, the purpose of this joint military drill was to combat terrorist forces, and maintain peace and security in the region of Central Asia.
When the Zapad/Interaction 2021 was announced, the state-run Global Times reported that the aim of this joint-military drill is for China and Russia to safeguard the security and stability of Central Asia as the US “irresponsibly withdraws troops from Afghanistan.”
There is no question that the Taliban is threatening the security and stability of Central Asia. With the US and NATO forces nearly out of Afghanistan, the Taliban has quickly overtaken Afghan forces and now controls nearly the entire country. This week the two major cities of Herat and Kandahar fell to Taliban forces. And now the Taliban is just outside of the capital of Kabul and the US is scrambling to evacuate Americans still within the city. It is anticipated that Kabul will fall to the Taliban in a matter of days.
At the start of the Zapad/Interaction 2021 drill, Chinese officials expressed their gratitude for having the opportunity to learn from their Russian counterparts.
Director Han Lin of Strategic and Campaign Training Bureau for the PLA explained that holding this week-long drill reflected new concepts and operation methods – including saturation attack, deep-sky air landing, and drone-swarming sabotage. Now that the Taliban has gotten its hands on US drones in Afghanistan, that last one might come in handy.
Russian officials were clear that the drills would focus on anti-terrorism operations, and would not involve any form of strategic weapons.