Geopolitical Shifts and Continuities (August)

The hasty and chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan is a significant geopolitical development which will alter the balance of power in Central, West and South Asia. While the US will no doubt continue to be a leading and consequential great power, many of its partner democracies may need to re-evaluate their foreign policy options and priorities in an era of diminished expectations from the US. For India, the balance of power in the region has tilted to its considerable disadvantage. However, in the larger Indo-Pacific region, countries that have territorial disputes with China or serious apprehensions about its coercive economic policies may not opt to bandwagon with Beijing. These tectonic developments also point to the importance of coordination among Asian powers and serve as a reminder that unlike the US, they do not have the option to withdraw even as they face serious geopolitical threats. Furthermore, developments in Afghanistan – a landlocked continental Asian country – have wider implications across the Indo-Pacific region, indicating that the balance of power in the continental and maritime domains are interlinked

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