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Alexander Cooley in Foreign Affairs on “Post-American Central Asia”
August 23, 2021

Alexander Cooley (Director, Harriman Institute) writes how Central Asia is adapting to the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan and that “Central Asia is no longer the anarchic place it was 20 years ago when the Taliban ruled in international isolation. Today, there is a regional order that can accommodate Washington’s absence. The United States’ invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11 spurred profound shifts in Central Asia’s political dynamics. Afghanistan’s neighbors learned to navigate the often contradictory demands of the United States and its liberal international order while also abetting the Chinese and Russian backlash against the enduring U.S. military presence. As a result, Central Asia today is a multipolar space where different countries exert influence through new organizations, norms, and networks that overlap with and compete against those of the United States and its allies.”

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