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III. Connecting central Eurasia to the Middle East in american foreign policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan: 1979–present

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Chapter Summary

During the Cold War, United States (US) policies towards the Middle East and towards Afghanistan and Pakistan were largely unrelated. India’s non-alignment and relations with the Soviet Union were reasons for close US-Pakistani relations, but the Chinese success in the war with India in 1962 also highlighted the importance to the West of India’s position. The year 1979 marked a major turning point in US foreign policy towards the Middle East and Central Eurasia (CEA) because of the two events that were to shape so much of politics and geopolitics in those regions as well as in the wider international system: the Iranian revolution in February and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December. The “war on terrorism” (“long war”), declared by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the attacks on America of 9/11, is shorthand for a complex set of problems that defy easy summary.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Central Eurasia (CEA); Cold War; Iranian revolution; long war; Middle East; Pakistan; Soviet invasion; US foreign policy



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