Russia-China Engagement in post-9/11 Afghanistan and its Impact on the South Asian Regional Security Complex

Garhwal, Sudhir Kumar

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The 9/11 catastrophe had a profound impact on the security dynamics of South Asia. After this event, new actors and parties started to actively involve themselves in the region. Subsequently, the Global War on Terror (GWOT), as pursued by the United States (US), resulted in the loss of Afghanistan’s traditional buffer status, making it a chief concern of South Asian regional security. Moreover, Kabul’s admission in April 2007 to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) contributed to this change of status. Given the complex nature of the security undercurrents, developments in Afghanistan increasingly affected the internal power dynamics of Pakistan. Some pressing issues, as well as newly emerging geopolitical and geostrategic interests, motivated both Russia and China to engage in this volatile region. In the case of China, its involvement in Afghanistan led to regional commercial development in South Asia and increased its geopolitical influence in the region. Russia, on the other hand, has taken a different approach. It focused more on terrorism and drug trafficking than on commercial development. Russia is interested in maximising its geopolitical influence in the Central Asian Region mostly to stem terrorism and crime emanating from Afghanistan. This paper analyses the comparative strategies behind Chinese and Russian engagement with the help of Barry Buzan’s theoretical model for security analysis, as modified in Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) and using the notion of securitization. The study underscores that this engagement in the post 9/11 period has had a number of implications, both for Afghanistan’s security and for South Asian security mechanisms at three different levels, i.e., domestic, regional, and global.

Document type: Article
Publisher: South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF)
Place of Publication: Brussels
Date: 2017
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2021 11:51
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Political science
Geography and travel
Controlled Keywords: Südasien, Terrorismus, Sicherheitspolitik
Uncontrolled Keywords: Südasien, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russland, China, Vereinigte Staaten, Sicherheitsdynamik, Machtdynamik, Geopolitik, geostrategisch, Terrorismus / South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, China, United States, security dynamics, power dynamics, geopolitics, geostrategic, terrorism
Subject (classification): Politics
Countries/Regions: China
South Asia
other countries
Series: Themen > SADF Focus
Volume: 31