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The Afghan crisis after 2014: threats to regional and global security
Material posted: Publication date: 26-08-2014

Presidential elections in Afghanistan has caused tensions. A. Ghani, with the highest number of votes, and A. Abdullah accuse each other of electoral fraud. In the situation intervened, NATO and the United States. But it's not stopping discord. On the other hand, deteriorated and fighting between rebels and government forces. Casualties among the Afghan army are growing. Experts are warning that the country's serious political crisis. Is projected and the possibility of a jump in the nearby regions. Thus, the expected emergence of geopolitical tensions in Central Asia. In this regard, there is a need to reflect on the impact of this situation on regional and global security.

"Summer crisis in Afghanistan": the deepening political strife

The main part is placed in Afghanistan, NATO military forces are preparing this year to leave the country. According to experts, there remain a limited number of American soldiers. But while this accurate information is not available. In any event, neighboring States and major powers are extremely sensitive about the NATO withdrawal from that country. And after the last presidential elections in Afghanistan this issue has become topical. Experts attribute it to several internal and external factors.

Especially interesting is the fact that the presidential elections started in April this year and was completed by the end of June, because for such events there are contradictions characteristic of the political environment of this country. The situation specialists are figuratively described as the "summer crisis in Afghanistan" (see: Ekaterina Stepanova. The political crisis in Afghanistan and its implications for Russia / "Russian international Affairs Council", July 25, 2014).

The presidential election coincided with the time of aggravation of internal strife. The confrontation gradually becomes more and more widespread clash between insurgents and Afghan forces. Losses among security structures of the country are growing. In 2013 the number of armed conflicts has increased by 15-20 percent. Currently, the level of terrorist activity Afghanistan together with Iraq and Pakistan are among the first three. According to information from the global database on terrorism (Global Terrorism Database), more than half of the committed terrorist acts in the world and 58 per cent of victims accounted for by these States.

One of the worst features of such exacerbation of the situation is that the probability that after 2014 any of the conflicting parties will have a major military advantage or will be a truce, is too small. All hope was on more effective control of the Afghan government with insurgents and strengthening state structures.

But the situation prevailing in the country in June-July in connection with the results of the presidential election, has forced experts to give a few cautious predictions, because, firstly, the preservation of uncertainty in this form indicates the risks in the future political environment of Afghanistan. Secondly, we cannot exclude that this factor can benefit from and political forces.

Additional problems caused the tabulation. In the first round held on 5 April, was leading former foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, with 41.8 percent of the vote. We will remind that A. Abdullah nationality is Tajik. In second place settled by the former Finance Minister Pashtun Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with 31 percent. The people had certain faith in the stabilization of the situation in the country and achieving political forces compromise. But on 14 June the second round completely destroyed all hopes.

Publication July 7, the preliminary results of the second round cast of experts and observers actually in shock. Now A. Ghani with 56.4 percent of the vote, came in first place. A. Abdullah with 43.6 percent were in second place. The loser immediately aggravated the political situation in the country. A. Abdullo declared falsifications during the elections. His supporters took to the streets. They talked about the fact that the extra ballot boxes secretly thrown 2 million ballots. A. Abdullah withdrew their representatives from the ranks of observers and expressed their readiness to form government.

In fact, election fraud is a phenomenon that is very typical for Afghanistan. A similar event occurred in 2009. Then a victim of fraud has also become A. Abdullah. In the present case for some reason the number of ballots exceeded 1 million. In the villages the number of voters for Ghani A. increased 10 times.

The middle East scenario or the Afghan model of ethnic-religious conflict?

Definition of processes mainly in the provinces is an indicator of the content of political struggle and the level of election culture in Afghanistan. This suggests that the country's ethnic and religious factors still have a major impact on political organization. This is the most dangerous aspect of the issue. According to experts, this specificity could plunge Afghanistan into fierce religious and ethnic conflict, as is the case in the Middle East. The first signs are already visible in the opposition to Abdullah-Ghani. It is no coincidence that as the way out of the situation A. Ghani declared its readiness to go into coalition with Uzbek leader Rashid Dostum.

This in Afghanistan in political terms, against the Tajiks may occur Uzbek-Pashtun grouping. Can such a situation to resolve the political crisis in Afghanistan? Experience shows that usually the strife and political disputes escalate. Egypt, Syria, and Iraq are telling examples. In this case we can predict that the presidential elections may provoke in Afghanistan internal conflict.

Experts regard it as the beginning of a serious rift among Afghanistan's political elite. And a way out of this dangerous development yet to be found. Experts consider that failed first in Afghanistan, the legal transfer of power. Instead, they predict that the threat posed by regional and global geopolitical processes, can provoke in Afghanistan and the surrounding region even more uncertainty. In this context, I would like to mention several points.

Former Director for strategic Affairs at the British Embassy in Afghanistan Stephen the Movie predicts that "after 2014, the international security system will served powerful political storm". He does not consider the main factor of terrorist threat – a view traditionally dominant among the experts. In his opinion, international security serious impact will have a global economic crisis, the uncertainty of energy security and climate change (see: Stephen the Movie. Clap storm? / "The Russian Council on international Affairs", September 10, 2013).

When considering the Afghan problem from this perspective we can assume that gain greater urgency over terrorism and drug trafficking, and economic and energy problems. But some experts disagree with such a view. Thus, according to the Russian analyst Ekaterina Stepanova, the greatest threat to the region may not be terrorism, and drug trafficking (see: Ekaterina Stepanova. The political crisis in Afghanistan and its implications for Russia / "Russian international Affairs Council", July 25, 2014).

Approximately the same opinion is shared by experts of the countries of Central Asia. The Director of the Uzbek nongovernmental institutions "Caravan of knowledge" Farhad Tolipov believes that along with the terrorist groups with radical religious ideology is a serious threat for the region is drug trafficking. But none of the governments in the region do not know how to cope with this problem. In particular, the regional impact of Uzbekistan, who changed the format of multilateral international cooperation on the format of bilateral relations has weakened.

Kazakhstan proposed the idea of a Union of Central Asian States would be effective, but it was abandoned owing to subjective reasons. Thus, the Central Asian States do not have specific programme to prevent a possible threat from Afghanistan. How then can operate effectively in this direction organization (for example, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, CIS, CSTO, etc.) that integrate on a wider scale? This question expert confirms that there is a certain paradox.

That being said, every major power acts in accordance with their interests in the region. USA, Russia and China overtly or covertly trying to sell their program. In the end, we see that big powers there is no common position on security in Central Asia. This situation shows that the current uncertainty in Afghanistan would not be confined to its borders. In this region the possible unforeseen events. And, maybe, for Central Asia is developing a "middle East scenario"?


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