On Monday November 23rd, CIC and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) hosted a panel to discuss a new CIC report on China’s One-Belt-One-Road initiative (OBOR), its impact on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and how it relates to United States efforts in the broader region.
Successive Afghan leaders have dreamed of turning their country into a "land bridge" or a "roundabout" of regional trade and cooperation.
Instead, their country -- metaphorically called "the heart of Asia" for its location at the center of Asia's landmass -- has attracted terrorists and covert wars clouding the country's future and raising questions over its very survival as a nation state.
A series of Chinese-financed infrastructure, energy, and transport projects has now raised hopes that the investments will help in establishing lasting peace in Afghanistan.
President Xi Jinping first presented China’s vision for a “Silk Road Economic Belt” during a 2013 speech in Kazakhstan. The idea was to “forge closer economic ties, deepen cooperation, and expand development in the Euro-Asia region”. In early 2015, the contours of Beijing’s strategy began to emerge as China’s leadership laid out plans for this “Silk Road Economic Belt” through Central Asia, and a “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” through Southeast and South Asia. China referred to both collectively as “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR).
Inside Afghanistan the main income seems to come from protection rackets and tolls, bribes or taxes. Members of the Taliban also own businesses in the United Arab Emirates, in Qatar and Saudi Arabia that produce funds. Of course everyone in Afghanistan who controls land that grows poppy, or roads over which opiates are transported makes money from protection and extortion of the drug industry, including the Taliban, but that is only part of their portfolio.
Every week, The WorldPost asks an expert to shed light on a topic driving headlines around the world. Today, we speak with the Center on International Cooperation's Barnett Rubin about the future of the Taliban.
Barnett Rubin speaks with Amanpour, CNN’s International's flagship program for global affairs hosted by Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour.
CNN TRANSCRIPT Aired July 29, 2015 - 14:00:00 ET
AMANPOUR: And just ahead, for years we've wondered whether Mullah Omar was dead or alive. He hasn't been seen since around 9/11. I asked
world renowned expert Barnett Rubin what difference his death would make now. That's next.