The U.S. military is pulling out of Afghanistan, a process that should be complete by August 31. Both China and the United States face looming strategic challenges as a result. America’s presence has preserved a fragile balance of power in Central South Asia, benefitting both the United States and China. It has prevented terror activities from spilling over Afghanistan’s borders, as well as allowing for trade and facilitating the expansion of China’s BRI initiative into neighboring Pakistan. The U.S. foothold in Afghanistan has cost thousands of American lives and over two trillion dollars, but has also mitigated the threat of widespread terror activity, the initial impulse for going in in 2001. What will withdrawal mean for the security, politics, and economics of South Central Asia and for the U.S.-China relationship more broadly?
In an interview conducted on August 19, 2021, Mr. Derek Grossman and Ms. Niva Yau discuss the implications of the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan for U.S.-China relations in conversation with Dr. Daniel Markey.