M K Bhadrakumar explains how the US is trying to get back some of the influence it has been loosing to Russia over the last three years or so. I have little to complain about his analysis, except that he seems to ignore the far greater threat to Russian interests from the slow but determined attempts at detente between the US and Iran. Few things scare the Russians more than a pro-Western, or at least no longer anti-Western Iran. Stay tuned.
A concerted US effort has begun to somehow detach Ashgabat from the Russian sphere of influence and thereby kill the prospects of Russia's plans for laying new gas pipelines for the European market. Alongside, there is also a determined bid to develop a northern supply route to Afghanistan via the Caucasus and the Caspian that would bypass Russia. While Russian cooperation is welcome, the US will not want its vulnerability in Afghanistan to be exploited for a reciprocal accommodation of Russian interests in Europe.