STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Difficulties of Regional Cooperation for Afghanistan: An Alternative Interpretation

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  • March 2015
    Volume: 
    39
    Issue: 
    2
    Articles

    This article addresses the question of why regional cooperation among Afghanistan’s neighbours has been so difficult despite these countries’ common concerns. To answer this question, Afghanistan is conceptualised as placed at the core of overlapping regions: South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia and, through China’s influence, East Asia. Over the past decade, interactions among different regions ‘through’ Afghanistan have increased, and overlap has intensified. Each of these regions is characterised by more or less intense balance-of-power security dynamics, which have played out in Afghanistan. The fact that the regions that overlap in Afghanistan are predominantly characterised by patterns of conflict helps to explain the difficulties of regional cooperation.

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