The TAPI pipeline (named for the countries it would traverse) was envisioned long before 9/11 and is still awaiting completion. Key to its success is securing its passage through lands occupied by warlords. The fiercest warlords of all—once deemed most capable of protecting the pipeline—are the Taliban.
The West is accusing Russia of preparing to invade Ukraine. Both Moscow and Kiev are flexing muscles and deploying troops waiting for a “major war.” But is the Kremlin really interested in another land grab, or is Russia’s harsh rhetoric just a message to the Western leaders, primarily to the US President Joe Biden?
On November 16, 2020, Vladimir Putin authorized his Ministry of Defense to sign an agreement with Sudan to create a permanent Russian military base in Sudan on the Red Sea, guaranteeing Russia’s first substantial military foothold in Africa since the fall of the Soviet Union. In a continent which is fast becoming the new focus of East-West rivalry for control of its abundant natural resources--chief among them oil—observers are assessing Russia’s motives. What lies behind Moscow's decision to open a naval base in Sudan? And how has Russia’s chief adversaries in the great game for oil – the United States and its allies – responded?