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Turkmenistan's Diversification Efforts
Aaron Beitman - 10/15/2010
For a century and a half as a backwater outpost of the Russian and Soviet empires, Turkmenistan's primary role was to supply the imperial center with raw materials and labor. Though Turkmenistan's increased global presence today is driven by raw materials exports, primarily natural gas, export schedules are no longer dictated exclusively by Moscow. To Russia's chagrin, this process appears to be accelerating as Turkmenistan deepens energy ties with China, Turkmen gas exports to Russia decrease, and progress is made on the ambitious Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline comp...
Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Regional Stability
Christian Wipperfuerth - 6/15/2010
The regime change in Kyrgyzstan, a tiny, distant country of barely five million inhabitants, is much more than a footnote in global politics. The important transport hub there, used primarily by the US, France and Spain to supply Western troops in Afghanistan, is safe for now. But the stability of Kyrgyzstan is uncertain, as is the capacity of its government to act, and both are of considerable importance beyond Central Asia.
Kazakhstan’s ‘Path to Europe’ Opens the West’s Bridge to Asia
Roger N. McDermott - 6/10/2010
Kazakhstan, often perceived in western capitals in terms of its energy wealth or its close relationship with Russia, is undoubtedly an important geostrategic player in Eurasia and in early 2010 became the first former Soviet country to chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has elicited speculation and controversy concerning its role and potential.
From Bishkek to Ganges
Uddipan Mukherjee, Ph.D. - 5/26/2010
When riots broke out in Petrograd, it was 08 March 1917. The subalterns clashed with Tsar’s infantrymen. In the process, forty people were killed. But any ‘revolution’ can claim a resounding success and more so be embedded in the annals of International History, if and only if the civilians and the army act in unison. And that’s what happened on that day in St Petersburg.
Natrual Resources of Central Asia and The New Great Game
Nasir Shah - 4/1/2010
The Central Asian region consist of five sovereign states i.e. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and also consider Azerbaijan is a part of Caucasus. Russia is located in the North of Central Asia, China in the East, Turkey in the West and Afghanistan and Iran are in the South. Soon after independence of the Central Asian countries started to establish good relations with neighboring countries. This region is abundant in natural resources. Unfortunately, the Central Asian countries are landlocked.
Islamic Fundamentalism in Central Asia: Possibility or Paranoia?
Uddipan Mukherjee, Ph.D. - 1/27/2010
In 2009, the world strategic community was mostly concerned with the ‘Af-Pak’ hot spot. In 2010, the trend is most unlikely to change, although new flashpoints like Yemen, Somalia and North Africa are likely to emerge in the geopolitical horizon. But one very challenging aspect to the theoretical circles shall be the contemplation on the repercussions of the Af-Pak conflict on the Central Asian Republics (CAR). A couple of plausible reasons, among other things, may be posited for this future scenario.
Moscow’s Miscalculated Show of Strength
Dr. Andreas Umland - 9/29/2008
In Western comments, the Russian army’s invasion of Georgia is portrayed as a manifestation of revisionist expansionism. Kremlin-controlled mass media, in contrast, presents Russia’s intervention in the Southern Caucasus as a humanitarian action saving a national minority from “genocide” as well as the “lives and dignity” of Russian citizens abroad. After what the Russian army had done to Chechnya in the 1990s, Moscow’s noise on Georgia is not only hyperbolic and -critical. The Russian leadership helped also to provoke the Georgian attack and had been seemingly waiting or even preparing for it...
Tahrir in Central Asia: How America Misreads Islamist Threats
Prof. Matthew Crosston - 9/21/2007
The following article examines and analyzes the philosophical underpinnings of the Hizb ut-Tahrir in Central Asia. It does so to highlight a larger, more important theoretical and policy point: The United States, in its global war against terror, has improperly defined what constitutes a legitimate Islamist threat. As a result, it mislabels many Islamist groups that do constitute a real security threat to the United States and to democratic regimes in general.
Oil: Recent Trends in Caspian Basin Energy Complex
Teymur Huseyinov - 3/7/2006
While Russia’s oil companies fuelled by the global surge in prices are pumping and exporting crude at full steam, its southern neighbors from Central Asia are concentrating their efforts in downstream sector, that is, development, production and marketing of petroleum products. The long-term strategic task is to gain a solid foothold in Russian and European energy markets.
Uzbekistan and America's Future Conflicts
Angelique van Engelen - 7/31/2005
As of next year, Central Asia will have come fully online to Western energy markets, as twin oil and gas pipelines linking the Caspian sea to Turkey will begin to deliver. By this time, the world will likely finally understand that US foreign policy, known to be energy focused, is intent on more than just bringing Iraq to its knees. This weekend's decision by the leadership of Uzbekizstan, just hours ahead of a key meeting with US officials, to ask US forces to leave its Karsy Khanabad airbase -dubbed K2- might be a turning point however.
The Economics Of Facilitating Regime Change in Uzbekistan
Angelique van Engelen - 5/25/2005
There is a growing feeling in the international community that it has been the West's support for Uzbekistan's dictator Islam Karimov that's helped boost this man's legitimacy beyond respect for human life. That the US and the UK are to blame in particular for the violent crackdown on protests in the Uzbekistan town of Andijan in which depending on who you believe between 169 to 1,000 people were killed by government troops. This makes it the bloodiest crackdown in the world since the 1989 Tiananman Square horror if you skip the Sudan´s Darfur massacres which run up body counts of 500 on a goo...
International Condemnation of Uzbek Killings
Angelique van Engelen - 5/19/2005
The situation in Uzbekistan is said to be critical in the wake of the crushed riots in Andijan in the Islamic stronghold of the Ferghana valley. Government troops have closed off the town to prevent protestors to travel to the capital Tashkent. Borders with two neighboring countries are also closed. Islam Karimov, the country's leader, is known to be the strictest of the Central Asian republics' leaders and it is unlikely that he will pay heed to comments by the international community to relax his rule.
Revolutions in Former Soviet Republics Do More Harm than Good
Angelique van Engelen - 4/16/2005
The recent visit of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Kyrgyzstan highlighted the US' commitment to maintaining its presence in the former Soviet Republics. Aside from Kyrgyzstan, the US is involved in Ukraine and Georgia, both of which saw revolutions prior to the March 24 coup which ousted President Askar Akayev from Kyrgyzstan. There's increasing support for the view that it is the US that is orchestrating these regime changes from behind the scenes in former Soviet Republics. They warn that this might in places incite precisely the Islamic nationalist strife that gave US forces the excuse to park themselves out there.
Kyrgyzstan: Why Tulips Are Not Roses (Or Oranges)
Sean-Paul Kelley - 4/7/2005
To the casual observer recent events in Kyrgyzstan resemble those of Georgia and the Ukraine. But as the euphoric opening moves of revolution pass, a political and geographical split widens between rival Kyrgyz clans. If the factionalization of Kyrgystan's divided polity continues it will destabilize the area and further complicate the tense relations of the region's contending powers.
Kyrgyzstan's Revolution Highlights Profound Change
Angelique van Engelen - 3/26/2005
Kyrgyzstan's swift and sudden revolution happened almost before one could have managed to pronounce this obscure country's name. The chaos in the country where activists chased away their ruling leaders show a country coming to terms with a colonial past and on a quest to find a new identity. Despite the looting and the - tempered- violence, the initial reading of this revolution is that the catharsis might preclude a positive outcome. Not so much only for this tiny country, but more importantly perhaps in the wider context of the rise of democracy in the ex Soviet countries. Even the Russian...
Falling Dominoes: Kyrgyz People Overthrow Their Dictator
Ross G. Kaminsky - 3/26/2005
I'm pretty good at geography and even I couldn't show you Kyrgyzstan on a map. Still, the news of a popular uprising against yet another autocratic, oppressive regime is good news for us all. For the record, Kyrgyzstan is west of China and south of Kazakhstan. According to the CIA Factbook, it's about the size of South Dakota. It has a population of about 5 million peope, of which about 75% are Muslim and most of the rest are Eastern Orthodox Christian. It has a literacy rate on par with the West, 97%, and an equally incredible HIV rate of less than 0.1% (in 2001). The country is mostly agricu...