chapter  14
Afghanistan and the regional insecurity contagion
ByNishank Motwani
Pages 22

This chapter provides an overview of the economic, political and security situations in Afghanistan. It examines the 'Heart of Asia' process and highlights its key tenets and obstacles preventing its momentum. The chapter discusses a single impediment from the structural, contextual and cognitive layers that are respectively preventing regional cooperation from gaining traction. In 2009, the incoming Obama administration articulated a regional approach, which added new dimensions to the official policy discourse. Afghanistan has often blamed Pakistan and in particular its quest for 'strategic depth' for undermining the country's security and stability. India's nuclear weapons programme evolved before Pakistan's and it reflected significant developments in the country's security environment. The cognitive effects of ideological fundamentalism involve the settling of a state's dilemma of interpretation on how to decode the polity and society of a competitor state. The USA and its coalition partners can sustain the gains they have made in Afghanistan through a three-pronged strategy.