Arzu Yılmaz, a political scientist at Hamburg University, made an assessment of the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan and the changing international dynamics in the Middle East. Speaking to Jin News, she indicated that the United States was no longer the leading power in the region and a new menacing phase has begun in Afghanistan.
Noting that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan wasn’t a sudden one and it had been considered over the past 10 years, she said “a new order” was emerging not only in the Middle East but all over the world.
“In the context of global competition, there is also a search for a new balance of power in the Middle East,” she said. “However, it is clear that the US will no longer be the dominant actor in the Middle East, in the way it was after the 1950s with the the Pax Americana system.”
Yılmaz indicated that the Kurdish movement faced both challenges and opportunites as Iran and Turkey acted with expansionist ambitions whilst also attempting to block cross-border Kurdish movement.
“There are three actors in the Middle East that are currently pursuing expansionist policies: Iran, Turkey and Israel,” she said.
“We might say that the sphere of the Kurdish political movement is getting shaped in a political equation in which countries like Iran and Turkey, wishing both to block the progress of a transnational Kurdish movement and to expand, can be restricted. (…) And looking at the perspectives of Iran and Turkey, countries with the majority of the Kurdish population in the region, there is actually a process of re-splitting Kurdistan which had already been split into four parts 100 years ago.”