As the last U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan on August 31st, many questions remain about the future of Afghanistan and its relations with the international community. The takeover by the Taliban has implications for the country’s internal stability and security, as well as for neighboring countries and beyond. What went wrong? What should we expect in Afghanistan next? What will be the global consequences of Afghanistan’s transition? To discuss these issues and to look back on the current history of Afghanistan, the Young Professionals in International Relations talk series hosted Haluk Karadağ, assistant professor at Başkent University in Ankara, Turkey, on September 15, 2021.
In addition to his opening remarks, Karadağ touched upon the role of China, Russia and Turkey in Afghanistan. China, a very good service and financial provider, is taking advantage of the opportunities arising out of the current situation in Afghanistan. However, according to Karadağ, China and Russia most likely will not have more impact on Afghanistan or on Taliban’s rule, and will be involved financially rather than politically. Karadağ also discussed Turkey’s role and its unique advantage of being a Muslim-majority country with a long history with Afghanistan. He stated that Turkey could have furthered relations with Afghanistan in the past and that there were lost opportunities. However, Turkey may still continue to be involved by taking on a role similar to that of Qatar’s. In conclusion, Karadağ stated that the Taliban will need to make compromises. The international power system will find new ways to deal with Afghanistan’s issues as there are many stakeholders trying to benefit from Afghanistan in different ways.