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Majlis Podcast: Central Asia's Prospects As U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan

There are now only a few thousand U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, down from a 2011 high point of 98,000 troops. (file photo)

Troops from the United States and its allies are scheduled to complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11.

The United States has been promising the Kabul government continued support in endeavoring to bring stability to Afghanistan, including the Afghan military's efforts to keep Taliban fighters, and others, at bay.

There are reports in Western media that Washington is seeking to use bases or facilities in countries that border Afghanistan. The Central Asian states of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and even Kazakhstan -- which does not directly border Afghanistan -- have been mentioned as possible locations.

All the Central Asian states played a role in U.S. operations in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, but the situation is different now compared to how it was 20 years ago. And while there are reasons that some Central Asian states might wish to renew temporary military cooperation with Washington, there are also reasons why they might want to steer clear of further U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion that looks at how the departure of U.S. and allied forces from Afghanistan will affect the Central Asian states and their southern neighbor.

This week's guests are: from New York, Alexander Cooley, director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University and author of the book Base Politics: Democratic Change And The U. S. Military Overseas; from London, Rafaello Pantucci, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) where he focuses on terrorism and counterterrorism as well as China's relations with its Western neighbors; from Prague, Salimjon Aioub, the director of RFE/RL's Tajik Service, known locally as Ozodi; and Bruce Pannier, the author of RFE/RL's Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Central Asia's Prospects As U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan
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About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.​

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.


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