Alternative Options of the U.S. Policy in Afghanistan

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-2-5-12

I. Safranchuk (,
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow 119454, Russian Federation 


Abstract. The article presents major findings of the author’s research on alternative options for the U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Groups of interests, consisting of politicians and experts who disagree with the official course of the B. Obama administration in Afghanistan, developed alternative options for the United States policy in Afghanistan itself, and more widely, in Central and South Asia. Two of such alternatives are considered in the article: Afghanistan-centric approach with focus on centralized Afghanistan as important U.S. ally in the region; a scenario with focus on partition, up to disintegration of Afghanistan. The article reviews both of these options, their evolution, authors and primary contributors. Special attention is paid to how these approaches have been interacting with the official political course of the United States in the last eight years. Although advocates of these scenarios were generally critical of the Obama foreign policy, each time the Obama administration tried to substantially review its strategy in Afghanistan they attempted to present their proposals and integrate them into the official policy. While the Obama administration finally did not rely on any of these two alternative options, it picked up some elements of both, in particular of the Afghanistan-centric approach. This was resulting in a mixture of practical recommendations based on different, even conflicting conceptual attitudes. It is concluded that both of the alternatives for the U.S. policy in Afghanistan are well developed and have interest groups standing behind them. These groups will be active in pushing their suggestions to become official policy when the United States political course in Afghanistan is reviewed after the change of administration in Washington. 

Keywords: Afghanistan, US policy in Afghanistan, Central Asia 


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For citation:
Safranchuk I. Alternative Options of the U.S. Policy in Afghanistan. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 5-12.

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