Dr. Barnett Rubin recently gave a keynote speech entitled "Afghanistan's Road to Self Reliance" to the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in Stockholm, Sweden on 9 December 2016. A video and summary of the speech is available below.
Fifteen years have passed since the international community’s intervention in Afghanistan in 2001. Since the drawdown of international forces, Afghanistan has not been able to secure peace and stability. What are the principal domestic and regional factors that deter and enable achieving these objectives? How can the country move forward?
Before examining the issue of nuclear armed cruise missiles (NACMs) a quick global geopolitical overview is warranted. The short post-Cold War period of cooperation between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the P5 in common parlance) has given way to greater direct interstate contestation between them today. Consider the US-Russia confrontation over Ukraine and Syria, the US-China tensions in the South China Seas, not to mention the latent conflict between China and US allies like Japan.
On September 29th, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of the Hezb-e-Islami (Islamic Party) of Afghanistan, signed a peace agreement with the Afghan government, by prerecorded video, from an undisclosed location. In the nineteen-eighties, Hezb-e-Islami was the most extreme of the seven mujahideen parties recognized by Pakistan, and Hekmatyar’s unblinking black eyes were framed by a black turban and full black beard. Three decades later, Hekmatyar, now sixty-nine, has a different look.
This article examines the main cooperation fields between China and the US in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the post-NATO period. In doing so, this study looks at the initiation of various bilateral joint projects as a distinctive turning point in China-US relations. It argues that existence of such bilateral projects and cooperation in this region does not only produce added value for the countries in question but also have the potential to enhance the mutual relations between China and US.
The India-U.S. relationship is presently stronger than at anytime in their history. The twin summits – less than six months apart – in September 2014 and January 2015 between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have repaired, revived and revitalized the strategic partnership. Yet there remain several hurdles to deepening the relationship, notably, geopolitical differences over Iran, Russia, Syria and India’s membership of various nuclear and missile export control regimes.
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).