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ScholarOne - Gaming the Afghan War: A Strategic Analysis
  • Sajid Iqbal
Sajid Iqbal
National University of Modern Languages

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This study utilizes game theory for a descriptive-explanatory analysis of the U.S.-Taliban conflict, emphasizing its pivotal role in shaping strategic interactions. Diverging from prevalent realism, liberalism, and constructivism perspectives, it highlights game theory's overlooked significance. The analysis reveals hesitancy among stakeholders to cooperate due to perceived short-term costs, hindering peaceful resolution. Emphasizing long-term dividends post-U.S. withdrawal, the study underscores missed opportunities for cost savings and troop safety. U.S. policy displays strategic confusion, blending non-zero-sum pursuits with military force, a bluffing strategy for maximum gains. Despite recognizing the conflict's complexity, the study advocates game theory, especially the prisoner's dilemma, for understanding strategic choices. The article explores game theory's relevance in conflict resolution, focusing on the 2001-2020 Afghanistan conflict, offering guidance from this theoretical framework.
02 Feb 2024Submitted to Advance
09 Apr 2024Published in Advance