The Taliban’s lightning-fast advance to control more territory in Afghanistan is raising alarms from Russia to China, as U.S. President Joe Biden’s move to withdraw troops disrupts a balance of power in South Asia that has held steady for about two decades.
At least 1,000 Afghan troops this week retreated into Tajikistan, prompting the country to mobilize an extra 20,000 soldiers to guard its frontier. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sought out assurances from the Taliban that it will respect the borders of Central Asian states that once were part of the Soviet Union, while neighboring Pakistan has said it won’t open its borders to refugees.
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