Russian Bounties on U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan Fit Right Into Putin’s Playbook

American soldiers wait on the tarmac in Logar province, Afghanistan, Nov. 30, 2017 (AP photo by Rahmat Gul).
American soldiers wait on the tarmac in Logar province, Afghanistan, Nov. 30, 2017 (AP photo by Rahmat Gul).
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From the moment The New York Times broke the news that U.S. forces had found massive amounts of cash during raids in Afghanistan, and ultimately concluded that Russia has been offering bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American and coalition troops, the focus has centered on President Donald Trump and his failure to take action in response. Observers have paid much less attention to whether this is the kind of operation Russia would run—and why Moscow might undertake activities so brazen that if discovered, they might qualify as a casus belli, risking armed confrontation or at least a sharp deterioration […]

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