The occupation of Afghanistan by the erstwhile USSR troops for nine long years and their withdrawal thereafter in the year 1989 had a devastating effect on the Soviet economy. The federation of states gradually became weak until early 1990s when it became impossible to hold on to one socialist state that was born post World War I in the year 1922. It eventually led to the disintegration of the socialist state into many smaller republics. The change was also accompanied by the falling of the Berlin wall and similar other developments. In this period foreign policies of many countries that previously were aligned with the Communist bloc started shifting in favor of the stronger economies like the US and several European nations. The policy shift was driven by the local demand for welfare and prosperity that these powerful economies promised. Even Russia, the largest state after the split, was forced to join the free market and become a part of the world trade thereof. This also marked an end to the Cold War era and bitter rivalry between the East and the West. After the split of USSR, the US emerged as the lone super power in the unipolar world.
With all these developments, though positive, new concerns were born, issues which posed a new threat to the emerging new world order. The vacuum created by the withdrawal of the USSR troops after infighting to claim the stake in Afghanistan, was filled by more radical groups, like Taliban and later Al-Qaeda. As new political groups started appearing in countries Afghanistan, there was also attrition between them and the US interests that had sponsored the war against the Soviets. These groups wanted minimal interference of the western powers in the politics, culture and other spheres, as they were foreign.
Unable to establish a stable government and single political power, the US forces saw facing a new enemy in Afghanistan, the local groups who wanted them completely out.
Invasion of Afghanistan, the September 11 attacks on the US, invasion of Iraq and Libya followed. As Middle East nations crumbled by more political vacuum being created by the US, more extremist groupings came into existence, like the ISIS.
The US got itself entangled into all these conflicts and wars for its own strategic interests. After thirty years of fighting small and full scale wars in the region there is still no sign of end change in the ground situation. The US economy, like erstwhile USSRs, is so badly hit due to these conflicts that it is trying hard to pull itself out. It is no longer in a position to bear its own the burden of spending of billions and trillions of dollars on misadventures on foreign soil.
In the meantime Russia has made a tremendous progress and headway in reviving its economy. It has grown up manifold because of the sudden surge in oil and natural gas prices of which it is at present one of the big producers. Apart from exporting these products to European neighbours, it fulfills nearly sixty percent of the energy demands of China which is the largest consumer of these products in the world right now. Moreover, Russia forcibly took over some parts of Ukraine in year 2014 in order to improve its oil and gas fortunes to the utter dislike of the US and other European countries. Since then the relations between the US and Russia as well as between some Western countries and Russia have become sour.
Russia does not seem to be contended with the mall victory but it has revived its plan to regain its lost glory under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. It has intervened in Syria and has openly come out in support of Bashar-al-Assad whom the US and the West wanted to throw out at any cost. Turkey and Iran have joined hands with Russia and are openly supporting its intervention in Syria. Obama and Donald Trump have virtually withdrawn from Syria and left its Kurd and Arab allies on their own. Apart from that the US has completely lost its faith in Pakistan and no longer treats it as an ally or part of a solution.
However, the US has been trying to build new alliances with India, Israel and Saudi Arabia as its major strategic partners in the region. While as Iran is making an all out effort to spread its area of influence across the Middle East. There is an imminent possibility of the US pulling out of its nuclear deal with Iran unless later agrees to much more stringent conditions, such as opening up of its military installations to the inspection by the international agencies so as to ensure that it is not building nukes and thereby threaten the security of its arc allies particularly Israel and try to dominate the entire Middle East militarily.
UK nerve agent attack on a former-Russian spy and his daughter has not only united US and its Western allies but they are also trying to build a tremendous pressure on the Russia to mend its ways. Most of these countries have virtually crippled Russian Embassies in their respective countries and are ready to do more if Russia does not desist from fiddling with their day to day affairs. The US president Donald Trump has signaled his seriousness to deal with the issue. US, Britain and France have together hit some specified targets in Syria and lot more action may still be on its way, it may lead to a full-fledged war. As the US desperately wants to play the lead role in Syria to protect and safeguard its own interests and that of its allies in the region, Russia is in no mood to back off. The Cold War doctrine has received a new life and this time the point of impact is the Middle East.