top of page
Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute
Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute

Law and Humanities
Quarterly Reviews

ISSN 2827-9735

Judge Gavel
 Scales of Justice
City Crowds
People in Library
open access

Published: 09 January 2024

Afghanistan's Geopolitical Developments and Foreign Policy

Mohammad Ekram Yawar

Akdeniz University

asia institute of research, journal of education, education journal, education quarterly reviews, education publication, education call for papers
pdf download

Download Full-Text Pdf



Pages: 14-26

Keywords: Soviet Union, Afghanistan, South Asia, Middle East, Neutrality Policy, Companionship Policy, Heartland


Nearly a century after Afghanistan gained independence in 1919, the question of autonomy and originality in the nation's 20th-century foreign policy remains a topic of contention within the country. Following its independence, Afghanistan found itself in a unique situation shaped by the influence of major global powers' competition. Over the past century, geopolitical shifts have significantly influenced both the internal and external circumstances of Afghanistan. This article seeks to address the query: How did regional geopolitical developments impact Afghanistan's foreign policy from the time of its independence to the events of September 11, 2001? This article is descriptive-analytical in which the relationship between the geopolitics of the region and Afghanistan's foreign policy is examined. The geopolitical situation of Afghanistan in the geopolitical theory of the world order of Saul Cohen has shaped the theoretical discussion of the author, Afghanistan as a quasi-independent state in the geopolitics of the region, not just in the post-Cold War period. The special feature of Afghanistan in the region has been prominent since the independence of this country until now. The findings of this paper show that the foreign policy of Afghanistan after independence in the phases of geopolitical stability and transformations in the security structure of the region is more towards a neutral and balanced strategy. The country has had relations with the great powers of every period and has always distanced itself from such a strategy. It is and the independent or what was once a semi-independent position in the regional geopolitics has evolved into a pivotal and crucial region with the accompanying strategy with great power, coup, revolution and even military occupation has also occurred in this country.


Andisha, Nasir Ahmad (2015), “Neutrality in Afghanistan Foreign Policy”, United State Institute of Peace, Special Report 360, Available at: Foreign-Policy.pdf, (Accessed on: 10/5/2019).
Basrur, Rajesh M. (2008), South Asia’s Cold War: Nuclear Weapons and Conflict in Comparative Perspective, New York: Routledge.
Braithwaite, Rodric (2011), Afgantsy: the Russians in Afghanistan, 1979 – 89, New York: Oxford University Press.
Cohen, Saul B. (1992), “Middle Eas t Geopolitical Transformation: the Disappearance of a Shatter Belt”, Journal of Geography, Vol. 1, No. 91, pp. 2- 10.
Cohen, Saul B. (2003), “Geopolitical Realities and United States Foreign Policy”, Political Geography, No. 22, pp. 1 – 33.
Cohen, Saul B. (2015) , Geopolitics: the Geography of International Relations , Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield .
Ma rtin, Miguel Angel Ballesteros (2011), “Geopolitical Analysis of Afghanistan”, Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies (IEEE) , Available at: politica_AFganistan_GBBallesteros_ENGLISH.pdf, (Accessed on: 13/4/2018).
McLachlan, Keith (1997), “Afghanistan: the G eopolitics of a Buffer State”, Geopolitics, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 82-96.
Mojtahed-Zadeh, Pirouz (2004), Small Players of the Great Game: the Settlements of Iran’s Eastern Borderlands and the Creation of Afghanistan, London: Routledge Curzon.
Rasanayagain, Angelo (2005), Afghanistan: a Modern History, London: I. B. Tauris .
Rashid, Ahmed (2002), Taliban, Islam, Oil, and, the New Great Game in Central Asia, New York: I. B. Tauris.
Rubin, Barnett R. (2013), Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror, New York: Oxford University Press .
Saikal, Amin (2004), Modern Afghanistan: a History of Struggle and Survival, London: I. B. Tauris and Co Ltd
Sempa, Francis P. (2002), Geopolitics: from the Cold War to the 21st Century , New Jersey: Transaction Publishers .
Taylor, Peter (1993), Political Geography of the Twentieth Century: a Global Analysis , London: Belhaven Press.
Toriya , Masato (2014), “Afghanistan as a Buffer State between Regional Powers in the Late Nineteenth Century: an Analysis of Internal Politics Focusing on the Local Actors and the British Policy”, in: So Yamane and Norihiro Naganawa (eds.), Regional Routes, Regional Roots? Cross-Border Patterns of Human Mobility in Eurasia , Sapporo: Slavic Research Center of Hokkaido University, pp. 49-61.
Adamec, Ludwig W. (2013), Afghanistan’s Foreign Relations , Vol. 2, Translated by Fazel Sahebzadeh, Kabul: Saeed.
Arefi, Mohammad Akram (2017), “Afghanistan’s Foreign Policy during the Reign of Amanollah”, Kateb , Vol. 4, No. 6, pp. 159-176.
Askarkhani, Abu- Mohammad (1998), “A Review of the Theory of Deterrence;Disamament and Nuclear Arms Control”, Siyasat- e Defa’ee , Vol. 8, No. 25, pp. 19-48.
Ezzati, Ezzatollah (1992), Geopolitik , Tehran: Samt.
Farhang, Mir Mohammad Sadigh (1988), Afghanistan in the Past Five Centuries , Virginia: American Speedy.
Gerigorian, Vartan (2009), Emergence of New Afghanistan , Translated by Ali Alemi Kermani, Tehran: Mohammad Ibrahim Shariati Afghanistani.
Ghobar, Gholam Mohammad (1989), Afghanistan in the Course of History , Vol. 1, Kabul: Markaz-e Nashr-e Enghelab ba Hamkari-ye Jomhouri.
Hafeznia, Mohammad- Reza (2010), “How a Geopolitical Region Evolves”, Geopolitik , Vol. 6, No. 17, pp. 1-4.
Hekmatnia, Hasan (2004), “Afghanistan; Heartland of Asia”, Payk-e Nour , Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 97-110.
Pishgahi-Fard, Zahra and Amir Ghodsi (2009), “A Review of Pakistan’s Geopolitics and its Role in Relations with the Countries of the Region ”, Pagouheshha-ye Joghrafiya-yi , Vol. 40, No. 63, pp. 81-99.
Rahimi, Sardar Mohammad (2011), Geopolitics of Afghanistan in the 20 th Century , Kabul: Markaz- e Motale’at -e Esterategik-e Kabul.
Tanin, Zaher (2005), Afghanistan in the 20 th Century; (1900-1996) , Tehran: Mohammad Ibrahim Shariati Afghanistani.

bottom of page