Chechnya: How the U.S. Failed to Recognize It as a Threat


The tragic attacks at the Boston marathon provide further insight into a U.S. foreign policy that requires significant and immediate restructuring. The bombing that killed three civilians, including a young boy, and injured 185, was committed by two Chechen brothers. The Chechen conflict in Russia is yet another example of the U.S. misdistributing its resources in international politics.

Just like the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Albanians from the Kosovo region, the U.S. has failed to recognize the international threat Chechen separatists posed. All three have now attempted terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. While assistance was overwhelmingly direct in assisting the Taliban against the Soviets in the 1980s, and the Kosovo Albanians against the Serbs in 1999, the U.S.' connection to Chechens in Russia is indirect — but existent nonetheless.

When Chechens under the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade started the Second Chechen War in 1999, with physical backing from Al-Qaeda, the U.S. along other western states were quick to condemn "disproportional" warfare by the Russian government. President Bill Clinton also said that Russia would "pay a heavy price" for its approach in Chechnya during the war. The U.S. has also been the most vocal of all non-Muslim countries regarding lobbying for the Chechen cause. Formally, the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya/Caucasus was also established in 1999 and is headed by Chechens and Americans whose agenda is to berate Russian policy in the region.

It should surprise no one that even though the U.S. has been pro-Chechen, radical Chechens are still just as likely as any other radical Muslims to commit such atrocious attacks. History has shown time and time again, that the American hand that feeds is also very prone to getting bitten. Despite virtually owing its existence to U.S. funding and support, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have made the American people and its institutions their prime targets. The Albanians, who were saved during an American led "humanitarian intervention" in 1999, and have subsequently built statues of and named streets after Bill Clinton, have also taken to terrorist attacks against Americans. Bosnia, another country where the U.S. sided with the Muslims, has seen an exponential increase in Wahhabist Islam, which in 2011 saw a radical Islamist open fire on the American embassy. There seems to be no positive correlation with a pro-Muslim foreign intervention and a lower likelihood of terrorist acts against Americans.

This issue is one that has yet to be openly discussed and realized. What adds the most weight, and maybe brings understanding to terrorists and their feelings towards America, is that the Boston bombings seem less and less likely to have in any way been orchestrated by Al-Qaeda, but was merely a two-man job. That means that all that is necessary to orchestrate such horrible attacks is access to literature and indirect contact with full-fledged terrorists.

In becoming the recurring theme regarding U.S. foreign policy in a post-Cold War world, the U.S. is making poor choices regarding allies and enemies. Instead of allying themselves with states fighting terrorists, they are aiding the terrorists. These same terrorist groups have the U.S. on their hit list, and feel no guilt in perpetrating such attacks. This is costing the lives of innocent men, women and children. Could the government be exercising such poor judgment in its foreign policy, or is it all for some behind-the-scenes reasons that politicians deem necessary? I personally, do not know what scenario would be worse.