Policy Research Papers
2014 has been a crucial year not only for Afghanistan but also for the region. It seems Afghanistan’s transition is, in a way, a transition for thewhole region, with the regional powers eagerly following the developmentsin Afghanistan and reacting accordingly. This year, the region as awhole geared its efforts more and more towards ensuring stability in thiswar-ravaged country. This is especially true when it comes to Russia and China – in addition to India, obviously.
Right from the outset, there was clearly a sense of urgency in the region as the end of 2014 neared. While regional powers have had differenceswith the US over a number of international issues, response to the conflictin Afghanistan has thus far – with the exception of Iran – united theregional powers and the US and its allies. Regional powers are well awareof the fact that an unstable Afghanistan will pose a threat to the entireregion – more than to the US and the West. Therefore, continued supportto the Afghan state will be needed to fend off terrorist networks. Whileit is in their interest to have an Afghan state capable of neutralizing terroristthreats, the regional powers lack the financial resources to fund theAfghan security forces. In that, they are looking to the western countriesto remain engaged in Afghanistan in the short to medium term, as is evidentfrom some of President Vladimir Putin’s statements.