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A soldiers from the 324th Psychological Operations Company, 14th Psychological Operations Battalion, Joint Psychological Task Force hands out flags and stickers to the people of Naray, Konar province.

Why regional cooperation in Afghanistan fails to deliver.

Shifting Positions

January 2017, Number 08.01

“Cooperation platforms such as the Istanbul Process, the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework and the International Contact Group on Afghanistan were viewed by the international community as mechanisms for complementing military- and security-related tasks and contributing to building stability and prosperity in an Afghanistan saddled by decades of violence.

Yet such platforms have failed to produce meaningful outcomes. The “Great Game,” a term coined by Rudyard Kipling in the 19th century to describe the scramble for control of Central Asia among the great powers, has retained its meaning into the modern age and is reflected in the work of regional cooperation frameworks. Since then, international systems have been substantially modified, major powers have shifted their positions, and the number of regional players able to influence events has increased, unsettling alliances and the overall situation in the region. Although common ground for cooperation exists among some powers, it is still outweighed by the deep divergence of major players’ individual interests...”

Excerpt from Farid Osmanov, “Shifting Positions,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 8, No. 1, 2017: 34-39.

Farid Osmanov is Chevening Scholar and a Master of Public Policy candidate at Oxford University, Blavatnik School of Government. He previously served with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Atlantic Council and Khazar University in Baku. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Baku State University and a master’s from ADA University in diplomacy and international affairs. He is an alumnus of the Marshall Center’s Program on Applied Security Studies.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.