Hard Power of Afghan Radical Islamists in Asia

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-6-106-115
D. Malysheva, dsheva@mail.ru
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 06.02.2023. Revised 14.03.2023. Accepted 17.03.2023.

Abstract. The capture of power by the Taliban in Afghanistan has changed the regional landscape and created new concerns. Some of them are related to a possibility of strengthening of transnational terrorist organizations in the country. Others are generated by the fear of radical Islamism spreading in the guise of the Taliban or others of its ilk. Meanwhile, various radical Islamist organizations in Afghanistan that resort to “hard power” (armed violence, terrorist methods, etc.) in their practices are destabilizing the situation both in the country and in Asia in general. The conflict potential in Afghani-Pakistani relations is largely stimulated by the activities of the extremist organization Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan. Other threats to the regional peaceful development come from the terrorist group of Islamic State of Khorasan, which was rooted in ISIS in the Middle East. As for the post-Soviet states of Central Asia, they attract great interest of various radical Islamist factions shaped by Tajiks, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Uighurs and affiliated with different transnational terrorist entities operating in Afghanistan, such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc. Their destructive activities necessitate the need for the counter-terrorist action in the region with the aim of preventing Afghanistan and Asia in general from turning into a new hotbed of instability. It would be reasonable to assume that Afghanistan, painfully traumatized by decades of internal feuds and the US military occupation, has fallen under control of the Taliban for a long time. A favorable scenario would imply achieving a sustainable consensus within the country, which will create conditions for successful economic and political cooperation between Afghanistan, Russia, China and other major actors in the future. If radical Islamists or other forces succeed in disrupting the process of Afghanistan post-conflict reconstruction, this will highly aggravate regional disbalances in Asia.

Keywords: radical Islamists, “hard power”, terrorism, Taliban, “Islamic state”, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, conflicts, threats


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For citation:
Malysheva D. Hard Power of Afghan Radical Islamists in Asia. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 6, pp. 106-115. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-6-106-115 EDN: YKBIQK

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