We are always talking about national security interests like we have interests in Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America and Australia and everywhere I guess, but ever wonder if other nations not as powerful as ours have interests too. I guess that we are so much immersed in the big power games that we tend to forget that smaller nations have interest too which may or may not collide with big powers interests. The small countries may not see it that way but their interests becomes part of a larger game and may inadvertently draw big powers with unintended consequences most of the time for the worse. No country can work in isolation and even the poorest one will want to influence the weaker and poorer neighbor and try to develop interests even if one has not existed before.
I can give you many examples where some nation even when they don’t have the money to feed their population have interests in some other weaker nation and that draws in other powers whether they like it or not. Let us start with the case with Pakistan, a country which is swinging from one disaster to another but keeps on bouncing back to have interest in Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world. You see Pakistan like the United States (in South America) see Afghanistan as their backyard and don’t want the Indians (specially), Iranians, Americans, Russians or any other country to influence events there. Even if the majority of the Pakistanis don’t have clean water, health facilities or educational opportunities, they have got to have interests over in Afghanistan. But you see we cannot see Pakistan's interests in isolation but have to see a bigger picture to see why they have developed this fixation/obsession of having a say in the affairs of Afghanistan.