the Afghan war is mutating. No surprises here, since this has been at its core all along a Clausewitzian war – a continuation of politics by other means. The US intends to keep select military bases in Afghanistan, which it rebuilt and equipped at very considerable cost, anticipating a long-term military and intelligence deployment.
What we may expect is that Afghanistan and Pakistan will be pivotal turf in America’s Indo-Pacific strategy. The frontal assault recently on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by Alice Wells, acting assistant secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and the unveiling of a new US strategy toward Central Asia by the White House are significant pointers in this direction as the US rolls out new Central Asia strategy.