Security Implications of ISAF Exit from Afghanistan on South Asia   [open pdf - 517KB]

From the Abstract: "This study analyzes the regional security implications of Afghanistan's internal and external environment. Long conflicts have weakened Afghanistan state. In the midst of a fragile Afghan political, economic and security situation, the US plans to draw down its military forces by the end 2014. Long term prosperity incorporating all factions of Afghan society is vital for the stable and peaceful environment. This goal appears very far away. However, Afghanistan is a resilient and warrior nation, and is evolving as a nation-state. It has passed through very arduous times and surfaced, essentially unchanged, again. The current situation reflects historical instability. The future can be better, but depends on a fine balance between the interests of Afghanistan and regional players. Without internal security, Afghanistan will turn into a hotbed of violence. Ethnic proxies of external actors will lead it into even more conflict. Afghanistan's politics are interwoven among tribal intricacies and the interests of several external players, including its neighbors. My analysis concludes Afghanistan is extremely important to the security environment of South Asia. Without a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, South Asian long term stability will not be possible. Narrow national interests will scramble to fill the vacuum after ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] exits. This study also includes the discussion on India-Pakistan-Iran relations in the backdrop of Afghanistan. In the post-ISAF environment, a positive sum game is highly unlikely. Without a successful, comprehensive dialogue with all groups, including Taliban, any effort to establish a broad based government will not last long. Only regional consensus and tribal solutions can pave the way for a better future."

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