Afghan street vendors carry buckets of food to sell at Shuhada Lake in central Kabul on Friday. As winter sets in across Central Asia, many Afghans struggle to provide adequate food and shelter for their families. (AFP/Getty Images)
The coming year will be pivotal for Afghanistan and Central Asia. The draw-down of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, coupled with the advent of a new government in Kabul, will likely lead to greater instability in the country and the region generally.
Diminishing U.S. and NATO influence in Afghanistan will encourage other actors, such as Russia, China, Pakistan, and Iran, to more forcefully promote their interests in the region.
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