Afghanistan, the Taleban and the "great game"

Journal title FUTURIBILI
Author/s Matteo Piacentini
Publishing Year 2011 Issue 2011/1-2 Language Italian
Pages 17 P. 19-35 File size 292 KB
DOI 10.3280/FU2011-001003
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Afghanistan has often been a setting in which micro-players have played a "Great Game". In the 19th century the Great Game was played by Russia and Britain, with central Asian countries and Afghanistan as the pawns. In the 1980s Soviet Russia tried to end the game on its own by assimilating Afghanistan to central Asia. But two of the other big players came into the game: Pakistan and the United States drove the Russians from Afghanistan by using local forces. These groups, the Mujahideen and then the Taleban, were strongly supported by Pakistan and driven by fervent (Sunni) religious convictions. This Great Game, however, is really about oil, and since the fall of the Soviet Union an important role in it has been taken on by the central Asian countries, especially Turkmenistan. In this perspective Afghanistan has become a connecting stretch of the pipeline between the former Soviet countries in central Asia and Pakistan, which enjoys the support of the United States and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan’s position in the Game is weakened by the religious fundamentalism of the Taleban and their links to Al Qaeda terrorism in western Pakistan and some central Asian countries. Besides the United States, the Game now includes Russia, China and India. What is primarily at stake in this Great Game is access to the oil in the central Asian countries and, secondarily, the common fight against Al Qaeda-linked terrorism.

Keywords: Talebani, il "Grande gioco" e i suoi mutamenti, petrolio, emarginazione del Pakistan, allargamento a Russia, Cina, Stati Uniti

Matteo Piacentini, Afghanistan, i talebani ed il "Grande gioco" in "FUTURIBILI" 1-2/2011, pp 19-35, DOI: 10.3280/FU2011-001003