By now, anything coming from the top echelons of power in US and NATO, especially with such clarifications as "perhaps", "possibly" or "likely", regarding Russia should be treated only as a case of total paranoia which makes McCarthyism tamed in comparison. But I have to return to the same question: supplying with what? What is "encouraging", what does it describe, how is Russia "encouraging" Taliban? To do what?
The thinly-veiled accusations in the US that Russia supplied arms to Taliban militants were not based on any physical evidence of weapons or money transfers, a senior US military official told lawmakers. “We have seen indication that they offered some level of support but I have not seen real physical evidence of weapons or money being transferred,” Marine Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, who serves as director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), said at a Senate hearing.
The main question, however, remains--what is this "support", what goes into it, how does this "support" manifest itself? What does "some level" stand for, what is definition of this level? Russians lecturing Taliban on Theory Of Operational Research and getting those Afghan dudes into the neck of the woods of Osipov-Lanchester Differential Equations or Salvo Model? Or maybe consulting them on Net Centric Warfare? Providing "intelligence", maybe? Considering what passes for "intelligence" today in US, one may assume that giving local civilians a weather forecast for a week may be considered an "intelligence". Who knows what is the semantics of this newspeak and, boy, are we entering this territory fast, the next stop--a thought-crime. But at least it is good that someone of some standing admitted that they've not "seen any physical evidence", for Orwellian reality it will suffice.