For good or for ill, a host of external nation states believe they have their own national-security interests at stake in Afghanistan, and intervene there regularly whether invited or uninvited. But each of them now share, for the first time in history, joint interests in a stable Afghanistan. Unfortunately, this deep strategic interest is often overridden by what the international community perceives as the short-term interests of Russia and Iran. Their presence antagonizes the United States and vice-versa, as does Pakistan and India circumventing one another. But with some creative diplomacy a considerable amount can be achieved, as cooperating to engender the stabilization of Afghanistan will serve all of their deeper strategic interests—not to mention the interests of the Afghan people.
Dr. Jeffrey A. Stacey is a national security and global development consultant. Author of Integrating Europe by Oxford University Press, Stacey is a former State Department official who resides in Washington, D.C.