Afghanistan in the context of the “Greater Middle East”



Everything that happens in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries should be viewed through the prism of the American geopolitical project "Greater Middle East". Afghanistan is, in essence, a whole set of projects that have their own history and its laws of implementation, set by the "Big Game", which has more than 100 years, and from the turn of 1990-2000-s acquired a new dynamic.


One of the most dangerous trends in the development of events in Afghanistan is the sharp aggravation of interethnic contradictions and the outlined threat of a split in the country.

The project of the Greater Middle East envisages the creation of the Greater Pushtunistan. This plan is supported by part of the Pashtun elite. The growing “pashtunization” of state structures, initiated by Hamid Karzai’s entourage, has already caused a negative reaction from the non-Pashtun population, which was clearly manifested in the parliamentary elections of the 2010 year, when the Pashtuns suffered a scandalous fiasco, losing to the majority in parliament to other ethnic groups. Further pushtunization of the Afghan government can only lead to a complication of the configuration of the conflict.

Noteworthy is the resuscitation of the issue of the "Durand Line". The willingness of the Hamid Karzai administration to confirm the recognition of the “Durand line” as the official Afghan-Pakistani border causes a negative reaction from the nationalist Pashtun circles and an approving response from the non-Pashtun elites. The bottom line is that the rejection of claims to the Tribal Zone and other disputed territories excludes from the potential Afghan Pashtun electorate the Pashtun irredentu located east of Durandline. The categorical rejection by the non-Pashtun elite of the negotiation process with the Taliban, in turn, is based on the unwillingness to include in the political process that part of the Pashtun leaders who today are on the side of the Taliban. All this once again testifies to the change from 1980's. the ethnopolitical structure of Afghan society and the dramatic increase in the role of non-Pashtuns in the Afghan political process. At the same time, all attempts by Hamid Karzai’s government to negotiate will be doomed to failure until the non-Pushtun leaders are involved in the process and the demands of the non-Pushtun part of the population are taken into account.

Along with the project of “Big Pushtunistan”, there is a project “Independent Baluchistan”, whose task is to unite into one quasi-state the Baluchis of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. Practically for the first time in the history of Afghanistan, and in any case in recent times, the Afghan Baluchs are beginning to declare themselves as an independent political force. First of all, the project "Independent Baluchistan" is aimed at creating chaos in Pakistan and Iran.


About one million Baluchis live compactly in the Iranian provinces Sistan and Baluchistan, the province as a whole is not very developed, a large part of its territory is occupied by deserts and semi-deserts, the majority of the population is engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture. The Baluchi issue as such does not exist in Iran, despite the active work of the anti-Iranian forces to destabilize the situation in the areas inhabited by the Baluchs. The main work in this direction is conducted by the Islamic organizations “Mojaheddin-e Hulk” and “Fedayan-e Hulk”, which once called themselves “left”, and “Fedayan-e Hulk” - even Marxist. Today, both organizations can be safely attributed to extremist and terrorist, both are in contact with the US CIA and the Iraqi special service Mukhkhabarat.

The ideas of nationalism and separatism are most common in the Eastern (Pakistani) Balochistan, where about 4 millions of Baloch live. Baluch social and political organizations abroad are founded mainly by people from Pakistan, and they are trying to provoke speeches in Iranian Balochistan. In Afghanistan, Balochi is much smaller, but this fact does not remove the relevance of the issue.

The federalization of Afghanistan was considered by the leadership of the USSR as a variant of resolving inter-ethnic problems and stabilizing the situation in the country after the withdrawal of Soviet troops. In particular, the possibility of creating the Tajik autonomy was studied. The rejection of this possibility was, ultimately, due to the dispersion of ethnic groups and the obvious impracticality of management according to ethnic criteria.

The plans for the partition of Afghanistan are the main links - Pashtunistan and in the north - Afghan Turkestan. At the same time, considerable masses of non-Pushtun population are concentrated in the south of the country, there are large Tajik and Shiite-Hazara enclaves. There is a problem with Dari-speaking Pashtuns. In the north of the country there are large enclaves of resettled Pashtuns. In general, in recent decades, the topic of autonomization of Afghanistan on an ethnic basis is actualized whenever the Pashtuns, as a state-forming ethnic group, begin to lose their monopoly on governing the country.

In 2011-2014, the withdrawal of foreign troops and the transfer of responsibility for maintaining the security of the Afghan national army and police are planned. However, the decrease in the intensity of hostilities, especially since their termination is not at all obvious.

The main trends in the situation in Afghanistan by the summer of 2011 are:

- activization of anti-government forces and the resistance movement to a foreign military presence;

- a tendency to reduce the military presence of the ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom;


- the insufficiency of the Afghan national security forces;

- the impossibility of establishing a regional-tribal balance in the Afghan political elite in the short and medium term; a sharp increase in interethnic contradictions and ethnoregional separatism;

- “reincarnation” of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and its activization in the northern provinces (Takhar, Kunduz, Badakhshan, partially - Baglan, Samangan, Batgiz, Fariab);

- complications in the Afghan-Pakistani relations, especially in border issues, which entails combining the Afghan conflict with the situation in the North-West Frontier Province, in the provinces of Waziristan and South Waziristan;

- activization of Baluch separatist organizations in the south of Afghanistan.

What could be further developments?

If we consider that the invasions of the USA and NATO into Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) were stages of the implementation of the Greater Middle East project, the events of the Arab Spring look like a restructuring of the western part of this vast region. After the partition of Libya, the main efforts of the project initiators will be transferred to the Syrian-Iranian direction, which will affect, in addition to Syria and Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, and possibly Oman and Turkey. Washington’s plan to create an independent Kurdistan will stir up the whole of East Asia. The transfer of the processes of the “Arab spring” to the Middle East and Central Asia will not be long in coming.

The creation of an independent Balochistan from parts of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan is a very important component of US strategic plans. Allocation of Pashtunistan - formal or factual - is largely due to the fact that the United States and NATO simply do not have enough strength to have a full-fledged direct presence in southern Afghanistan. Probably, the main bases will remain there - Shindand, Bagram (ensuring control over political power in Kabul), Kandahar, contractual relations between the Western command and part of the Pashtun elite are possible, and all this will generally maintain a conflict that can be controlled.

And most importantly - the main forces of the United States and NATO will be moved to the north of Afghanistan and to the countries of Central Asia. It is not excluded the unification of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in the zone of continuous conflict ... Weak protection of state borders between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is only on hand. These processes will necessarily have an impact on Uzbekistan and possibly, to a lesser extent, Kazakhstan, which, in turn, will lead to Russia's involvement in the conflict. The project of reshaping the state borders of a large number of states, known as the “Greater Middle East”, will become a reality.
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