U.S. Strategy Towards Afghanistan and (The Rest of) Central Asia
By S. Frederick Starr, S. Enders Wimbush
Americanl Interest, January 24, 2019
From Europe to Asia, everything is in motion. Russia’s growing weakness as a state tempts it more than ever to employ its refurbished military in risky adventures. China faces an unfamiliar fragility at home and pushback to its policies abroad. India is rising but must still make up for decades of clumsy domestic policies. Pakistan has a growing middle class but is failing nonetheless. In Afghanistan, a talented new generation is rising but solutions to decades of turmoil require constant replenishing. The people of Iran are once again flirting with revolution. Turkey is lurching towards an Islamic and neo-Ottoman identity, and has in the process upended most conventional thinking about its strategic importance. The European Union’s process-driven raison d’être appeals to fewer and fewer citizens of the nations it hoped to homogenize. And the Middle East continues to breed the pathologies that have characterized it for a century.