Policy Research Papers
2015 was an eventful year for Afghanistan, especially for its new government. The National Unity Government (NUG) of President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah had a difficult year domestically but did relatively well at the regional and international level. Increase in insurgent activity and human capital outflow were by far the biggest challenges the new government faced. However, the government managed to secure further international military and financial commitments in the face of new challenges. President Ghani’s most ferocious move on the foreign policy front was his rapprochement with Pakistan in an effort to force the Taliban to open negotiations with NUG. This put a temporary strain on Kabul’s relationship with Delhi.
Of the five regional powers (China, Russia, India, Iran and Saudi Arabia) covered in this report, there was a clear shift in China’s policy Afghanistan policy from a bystander to the main interlocutor between Pakistan and Afghanistan.