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Sun May 2, 2021, 07:36 AM

Afghan breakthrough signals great power settlement

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Significantly, “neutral and self-sufficient” is an altogether new formulation, which implies, conceivably, that there shall be no foreign security presence remaining on Afghan soil; Afghanistan shall not join any military alliance or bloc; future Afghan governments will be committed to the pursuit of independent, non-aligned foreign policies.

This goes a long way to accommodating the apprehensions in Moscow and Beijing that in a post-settlement scenario, the US might use Afghan soil to deploy extremist groups (Chechens, Uighurs, etc) as geopolitical tools to undertake covert operations in the Central Asian region – specifically, to destabilize Xinjiang, the North Caucasus, etc.

Equally, this provision of a “neutral” Afghanistan also addresses a major Iranian concern.

In effect, this amounts to a moratorium on the pursuit of the “great game,” which has been a continuing negative historically contributing to instability in Afghanistan dating back to the era of King Zahir Shah.

From a larger perspective, this mutual accommodation means a carefully balanced “win-win” for all three big powers, notwithstanding the present international climate characterized by a new cold war.

https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/afghan-breakthrough-signals-great-power-settlement/

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