PRIO Paper on South Asia and Afghanistan


15 April 2011

In the first of three case studies from the Afghanistan in a Neighbourhood project, Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh analyzes the South Asian Security Complex, notably India and Pakistan as the two main players, and their relations to Afghanistan.

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About the research project

In realization of the critical role of Afghanistan’s neighbourhood to a sustainable peace in the country, the 'Afghanistan in a Neighbourhood perspective' project describes and analyses the regional security dynamic. A basic premise of the project is that each of Afghanistan’s surrounding regions – South Asia, Central Asia and the Persian Gulf – have an inherent dominant security dynamic of their own. Hence, the engagement of neighbouring states in Afghanistan is primarily a reflection of existential security concerns within their own region.

The project will describe and analyze the security dynamic within each of the three surrounding regions, with a particular view to how it impacts on the Afghanistan policy of the various countries concerned, and with a view to key states in the larger neighbourhood and the role of global powers. We focus on the near political history, with a particular emphasis on post-2001 development. A number of questions fundamental to formulating a policy for constructive third party engagement will be addressed.

Previously published papers

Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2010) Afghanistan in a Neighbourhood Perspective: General Overview and Conceptualisation, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.