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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchUS Middle East Influence in Afghanistan’s Shadow

US Middle East Influence in Afghanistan’s Shadow

Author: Daniel Brumberg

Affiliation: Georgetown University

Organization/Publisher: Arab Center, Washington DC

Date/Place: July 15, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Policy Analysis

Word Count: 2473

Link: http://arabcenterdc.org/policy_analyses/us-middle-east-influence-in-afghanistans-shadow/

Keywords: Deterrence, Diplomacy, Withdrawal, Power Projection.

Brief: 

The US “exit” from the Middle East is influenced by its security interests, balancing the distribution of forces as part of the new strategy of “do more with less”. But the Gulf countries will not see any similar troop reduction for the sake of maintaining good relations, as the Saudi-led GCC would see the pulling out of forces as a “spiritual decoupling” of the US and the GCC; accordingly, regional downsizing of forces will always be partial. The exiting process carries the strategic paradox of maintaining power projection while accepting the role of regional powers like Russia and Iran. This balancing poses a challenge to the goal of ending the “forever wars”. The goal is to deter competitors without agitating them into open conflicts; regional powers share the same desire to avoid escalation. The American departure from Afghanistan reveals an interest in diplomacy among regional powers with the anticipation of the Taliban’s return, and the rebalancing of the geopolitical arena will push each actor to deal with its own strategic paradoxes. Be that as it may, the US will not diminish its forces in key locations in the Middle East, where the strategy of deterrence remains the main method of projecting power. But ceding more influence gradually in certain countries like Iran and Russia will continue as well.

 

By: Omar Fili, CIGA Research Assistant

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