GUEST at 11:04 - I concur with your points entirely. For both the British and the Americans in WWII Russia was merely an ally of convenience until the Nazis were defeated. From the Russians' point of view, the same was true regarding the West. It was a very cynical and pragmatic business all around. It was fascinating to observe Churchill, who had always detested the Communists, suddenly switch to praising the heroism of their forces and their people....following the German attack on June 22/41. Of course, Churchill was doing simply what had to be done under the circumstances...the Nazis were a dire threat to all concerned and had to be defeated. Still, it was an extraordinary transition in rehtoric.
As soon as Germany was occupied by the Allies the old enmities quickly emerged, and communism/socialism was once again the sworn enemy of the capitalist west.
As for Afghanistan, I suspect there will be intertribal warfare there for some time hence, as various groups run around trying to grab the goodies and settle old scores...much like in the Balkans. This may lead to an extended western military presence there, in a "peacekeeping" role...which will not be easy at all.
And in the meantime...what about Iraq?