عنوان مقاله [English]
A century after independence, Afghanistan’s independence in formulating and implementing its foreign policy is a topic of debate. Ever since its independence in 1919, the country has been directly influenced by great power rivalries and geopolitical and security dynamics in the region. This paper examines the effects of geopolitical developments in the region on Afghanistan’s foreign policy. Four periods can be distinguished in Afghanistan’s foreign policy in the 20th century, each period shaped by the necessities of changing region’s geopolitics, vis-à-vis great powers, as viewed by Afghan policymakers. The first was during the reign of the kings - from king Amanulah khan in 1919 to Mohammed Zahir Shah in 1973. The second period involved republican regimes, the presidency of Mohammed Daoud Khan 1973- 1978. The third period was the time when the communist regime was in power, from Nur Muhammad Taraki in 1978 to Mohammad Najibullah in 1992. Finally, it was the 1990s civil war and the rise of the Taliban. Afghanistan geopolitical region in the twentieth century changed in three phases. The first stage was between the two world wars when geopolitics was in transition; Russia, Great Britain and Germany were competing in the region. After the Second World War till 1991, the geopolitics of region was influenced by the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States. After the collapse of Soviet Union, once again, there was a transformation in the region’s geopolitics. Balancing and bandwagoning were two main strategies of Afghanistan foreign policy. Saul B. Cohen’s theory of the global system is used as the theoretical framework in this study. As a quasi-independent state, Afghanistan has been an interesting case for study in the geopolitics of the region, both during the stability and transitional periods. Throughout these times, Afghanistan foreign policy has tended to be neutral, adopting a balanced strategy in its relations with great powers which were present in the region. Whenever there was a deviation from this strategy, coup d’etats, upheavals, or foreign occupation have followed. In the aftermath of the September 11th attack, as George Bush’s so-called “New World Order” emerged, Kabul’s alignment with the United States increased, indicating the influence of the prominent position of the United States in the geopolitics of the region. In this article each period will be studied and observed separately in two cases; geopolitics of the region and Afghanistan foreign policy.
The research is organized in three sections. The first section is statement of the problem, reviewing the existing literature and related concepts. The theoretical framework is organized in two parts. In the second section, the focus of the research is on the development of Afghanistan foreign policy and geopolitics of the region. The last part includes examination of Afghanistan foreign policy in twentieth century in light of geopolitical developments of the region.