One country that may test the Iran-Russia-Turkey relationship is Afghanistan, where the United States is seeking an exit. Afghanistan shares a border with Iran, is not far from Russia, and has a long relationship with Turkey, including the training of military and police personnel. Whatever agreement is forged between Washington and the Taliban for Afghanistan’s future, Ankara, Moscow and Tehran have a stake in the outcome; none of them want another round of political chaos in the neighborhood, especially as it would risk drawing in other countries, such as Pakistan, China and India.
Although the three nation summit did not get much press in the West, its emergence is a signal, albeit a quiet one, that Eurasia’s geopolitical landscape is undergoing major changes as traditional rivals are more inclined to work together to achieve common goals in an anti-Western, pro-autocratic and quite possibly a cautious-toward-China policy mix. This is significant as Eurasia appears to be where the major geopolitical drama of the twenty-first century is playing out, a massive chessboard with plenty of moving pieces. No doubt the Sultans, Shahs and Tsars of the pre-1914 world would have recognized the dangers of a fluid geopolitical landscape.
Scott B. MacDonald is chief economist for Smith’s Research and Gradings.