Policy Memos

After Afghanistan Implications of the "War on Terrorism" for Central Asia

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U.S. policymakers have already begun to ask and develop answers to the increasingly common and undeniably important questions of what a post-Taliban Afghanistan might look like and what the role of the United States should be in reconstructing this war-torn country. Little effort has been made, however, to address an equally important question: What is the likely impact of the current “war on terrorism” for Afghanistan’s neighbors? In particular, although the tenuous nature of the newly formed U.S. partnership with Afghanistan’s eastern neighbor, Pakistan, has received considerable attention, and the tensions between the United States and Afghanistan’s western neighbor, Iran, are well-known, the significance of the recent alliance between the United States and several former Soviet Central Asian republics to the north of Afghanistan— and, more importantly, the regional implications of this alliance—have not yet been fully articulated and are poorly understood. [...]

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About the author

Professor of Political Science, Director, Islamic Studies Program
University of Michigan