The costs of abandoning the Afghan war

19th Jul, 2021

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Afghan security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 6, 2021. Photo: Reuters

The 20-year war in Afghanistan has been abandoned, with the United States announcing in mid-September that it will withdraw its troops from the country. What has the US left in its wake? Leaving power in the hands of a deliberately weak government is virtually a US handover of power to the Taliban. This significant setback has once again left a "black mark" on the claim of US supremacy. The US declaration of abandonment of the Afghan war will also profoundly affect Central Asian politics, as well as the politics of Pakistan, India, and many countries in South Asia and the region. Many say China will benefit significantly from other aspects, including mineral extraction and investments in Afghanistan. However, China's biggest concern is with Uyghur Muslim rebels living in their Xinxiang province, adjacent to Afghanistan, and they fear the Taliban's presence on the Afghan border along the Wakhan Corridor could increase. A Taliban spokesman has assured them that they would not cooperate with Uyghur Muslims, but how credible is this assurance really? Russia is also concerned about the Taliban's influence in Central Asia's Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

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