So, we learn that Russia has been offering bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan. So, what else is new? I could tell you about any number of Russia (Soviet) ops to use Arab, South Asia, East Asian, etc players to do something they (the Russians) thought would have an immediate impact on our foreign policy. Here the ploy is two fold- the Russians don’t really want us out of Afghanistan and so when the Taliban attack us during peace talks the hawks in our government call for immediate military action against the Taliban. This keeps the conflict going and reduces the chances we will withdraw. It also delays any treaty with the Taliban.
Why don’t they want us out? You ask. Because Afghanistan is a huge draw on our resources and a cause of consternation between our domestic political parties. This is the second reason: Keeping us there will exacerbate the already ongoing deterioration between the public and the politicians within the US concerning long drawn-out conflicts. The Soviets learned this during Vietnam when it appeared there could be no lasting peace achieved nor victory allowed. It’s an oldie but a goodie. It doesn’t cost much and the gains are significant. Getting caught isn’t supposed to be part of the plan but it, in no way, keeps it from continuing to play out.
The answer re how to deal with this is, in my opinion, found in the resolution of the movie “Kim” starring, Errol Flynn. Otherwise, it should be ignored because if it causes a huge political row then you’ve done exactly what was planned for by the Russians. Local resolutions are always those from which we learn the most.