By Ariel Cohen (4/24/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: In his state-of-the-Federation address on April 18, Vladimir Putin made one thing perfectly clear: the Commonwealth of Independent States will remain the top priority of the Russian foreign policy. Putin’s speech contained altogether nine paragraphs dealing with foreign affairs, and seven of them were dedicated to the so-called “near abroad.” Putin put Russian interests in the context of Russian security, claiming that the problem of whether or not to support the anti-terrorist coalition “did not even exist” for Russia.
By Alima Bissenova (4/24/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Political tensions in Kazakhstan have been escalating since last November when reform-minded officials and prominent businessmen founded a new political movement, the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan. Several senior Kazakhstani government officials were subsequently fired including deputy Prime Minister Uraz Zhandosov and Labour Minister Alikhan Baymenov, as a result of their participation in Democratic Choice. Their sacking precipitated the current government crisis.
By Pavel Baev (4/24/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The Pankisi Gorge is only a tiny blip on Pentagon’s global map of the counter-terrorist operation. The information about direct links between the Chechen resistance and the Taliban (and even bin Laden personally), eagerly supplied by Moscow, has never been particularly reliable. There is, however, sufficient evidence to assume that a few dozen Arab fighters have indeed taken part in the Chechen War, using Pankisi as one of the points of entry.
By Stephen Blank (8/14/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: In every respect, America's war against terrorism has diminished China's power and standing in Central Asia. The Shanghai Cooperative Organization (SCO), the linchpin of its strategy to fight terrorism and separatism, has been discredited and shown to command no effective military resources or political support by the members. Although this organization had actually agreed to collective security resolutions that would have committed China to project its military power abroad in the case of an attack against its members, when the time came they turned to Washington.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.