The Asia Times is reporting of the possible addition of 40,000 Russian troops to Iraq.
I’d take this with a major grain of salt, and there’s no way in hell Russian troops would ever end up in Afghanistan again, but if this comes to pass it would be a major boost for the Bush Administration as it would free up US troops and help support the new Iraqi government’s efforts.
Russia is obviously looking out for its own best interests, to be sure. Saddam’s Iraq was one of the Soviet Union’s biggest arms buyers. Putin would like the new Iraq to do the same for Russia. If that means sending Russian troops to Iraq to help stabilize places like Fallujah, Putin might be willing to make that deal. Considering that Putin is also fighting a war on Qaeda-linked terrorists in his own country, he certainly understands the stakes in this war.
We’ll see if this rumor pans out or not…