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Risks for a post-US world

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The takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban will have severe implications for international politics that have long been affected by the US decision to no longer act as a global policing force. Most countries will be facing some real if yet unquantified risks in a post-US world.

History has a habit of repeating itself. The almost apocalyptic images coming from Afghanistan and beamed on TV will remind many of similar US military and geopolitical defeats like the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, the fall of Saigon in 1975 and the Cuban revolution of 1959.

The main consequence of this latest US defeat in international politics is that the Western democracies are perceived by terrorists as being fragile. Indeed, NATO without the US leadership is no longer a formidable military force.

The most immediate concern is a humanitarian crisis erupting in Afghanistan and possibly neighbouring countries, including China, Iran, Pakistan and India. The brutality…

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