An Indian, a Pakistani and a World Bank guy talk Afghanistan

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above.

In this episode Amey, myself and Karol  Karpinski (Karol is a self-described financial plumber at the World Bank, with experience in Afghanistan and other “gap” countries) talk about Afghanistan and the American pullout. Check it out, leave comments. We hope to talk again soon on this topic and focus on aspects we left out.
If you want to just hear my summary of what happened in Afghanistan, it starts at the 7 minute mark. I think i talked too much, and should have asked Karol more questions, but that will have to be the next podcast 🙂

7 thoughts on “An Indian, a Pakistani and a World Bank guy talk Afghanistan

  1. Interesting talk covering lot of points. I fail to see why Pakistani realists would be very optimistic regarding a booming Afghanistan. All these decades have shown that making of a solid developing economy is read hard, rare and also fortuitous. Nobody knows this more than Pakistanis for whom the last three decades of economy has been abysmal. I think the scariest statistics out of Afghanistan is that the population jumped from 20 million in 2000 to 38 million in 2020. Just think how poor and barely function Afghanistan was with 20 million people. And now with nearly 40 million? Only massive American dollar infusions have made sustaining this population possible. I do not think that Afghan underground resources are going to make that much difference. An Yemen like scenario is really like and who wants a country like Yemen to be a neighbor?

    1. Agree. A country is not run by ideology alone. India had perhaps the best decade and half post 2000 economically, after China. And still just a year of Covid has bought the whole thing tumbling down.
      No one will infuse the amount of resources usa did in Afghanistan. Regardless of how inflated the numbers might be. Don’t see China having the appetite for all this.

    2. The biggest beneficiary is the CCP. Everyone knows it is their century. And this only adds to the list of reasons why. They have the appetite for long term capital investment in mineral extraction, even if it means short and intermediate term economic losses. Most importantly, they are not so ideologically motivated to not work with the Taliban to get it done. They will respect the sovereignty of the Afghan people in picking a theocratic totalitarian state, via a “might is right” approach, one that oppresses large segments of the population, as long as there no interference with the Uighur issue and long term economic gains are probable.

  2. My theory has always been that in an area with 4 nuclear powers and one more potential nuclear power emerging, 1 big asian economy and another rising. Having the arsonist on your side is a useful resource.

  3. China’s appetite for risk is exaggerated. Yeah they will be a better partner for Taliban, but the cost to maintain Afghanistan is too much for even Chinese. In Pakistan, for example one can check the ROI Chinese companies have made in power sector. And still, pinpricks in Pakistan have them worried.

    Now if the western countries also start footing the bills even after withdrawal then its a separate issue. That would lend the Chinese a helping hand.

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