Afghanistan vs its Neighbours: A 6 Month Forecast

Historically isolated and fiercely independent, Afghanistan returned to the forefront of the news cycle last week after border clashes with Iran. Heavy violence in Afghanistan left scores dead and wounded on both sides. Water appears to be the central issue, as it typically boils down to in Central Asia. This would not be the first time Iran and the Taliban engaged in hostilities. The Taliban murdered Iranian diplomats in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998, nearly prompting a full-fledged war between Tehran and Kabul. Yet despite historical animosity, the unifying dislike of US-led NATO occupation and nation-building briefly appeared to cool down these old tensions. Moreover, the Taliban branch in Pakistan is proving to be more than an occasional annoyance for Pakistan and the ISI. Pakistan has publicly implored the Taliban to reign in their Pakistani cousins, to little effect.

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