"It remains to be seen what will happen, of course, but most in Moscow tend to view it through the prism of how things went when the USSR pulled its forces out of Afghanistan in 1989. There followed a string of disasters which nobody would like to see repeated," says Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, a leading Moscow foreign-policy journal.
"Pakistan will be a key player, and it follows that Russia must have an open channel to Pakistan, at the very least to know how they will react and what they will do," he adds.
Not everyone agrees that the outlook for Afghanistan after 2014 is chaos. Gen. Makhmud Gareyev, president of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences and a former adviser to the pro-Soviet leader of Afghanistan, President Najibullah, following the withdrawal of Soviet forces, argues that things are quite different now.
"The fact is that the new post-Soviet Russian government established contacts with the rebels, and left Najibullah without ammunition," says Gareyev.
"I firmly believe that Afghanistan could have been normalized if not for that.... The Americans talk about leaving, but they aren't really going to go. They'll do what they did in Iraq, leave some forces and regroup them. They'll try to keep bases in Central Asia and reinforce their presence in Pakistan. The Americans will still be around," he says.
"Which doesn't mean things will be OK. The Taliban will continue killing, and drugs will still pour out of Afghanistan. There will be lots of problems," he adds.