By Stephen Blank (the 30/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The U.S. has decided to give up the base at Manas, presumably because that base is not worth retaining once it leaves Afghanistan next year, and will relocate the base to Romania. Washington is instead moving most of its logistics through Pakistan, with a corresponding decline in the use of the Northern Distribution Network. Once U.S. forces leave Afghanistan there will be no military presence in Central Asia to speak of. Second, the TAPI gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan, nominally the centerpiece of America’s New Silk Road initiative, languishes for lack of any financing.
By Richard Weitz (the 30/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
NATO’s inability to commit to a definite role in Afghanistan beyond 2014, along with perceived strategic setbacks in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, are reinforcing the narrative promoted by the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Iran, and to a lesser extent Russia and China, that a war-weary West is abandoning Eurasia. Urgent measures are needed during the next months to reverse this perception before it gains irreversible momentum. The perception is already leading regional players to hedge against the expected consequences of a diminished NATO role. NATO needs to reaffirm and clarify its commitment to Afghanistan and Eurasia.
By Jamil Payaz (the 30/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On October 25, 2013, the Prosecutor General's Office pressed charges against the former Ministers of Ecology and Finance and a former Vice Prime Minister, who is now a parliamentarian, accusing them of corruption when signing the Kumtor agreement in 2003. As the parliament has rejected the tentative deal envisaging a 50-50 joint venture, uncompromisingly demanding at least a 67 percent stake in the Kumtor gold mine, the country's largest foreign currency earner, the Prosecutor General is working hard to substantiate the parliament's claims that major restructuring deals with TSX-listed Centerra was soaked with corruption.
By Arslan Sabyrbekov (the 16/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On October 7, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of a regional administrative building center of the Issyk-Kul province, demanding the nationalization of Kumtor Gold Company, the country’s most lucrative asset and the largest source of tax revenue. The demonstration, which started off peacefully, later turned into violent clashes with the government’s authorized representative in the region taken hostage and with over twenty rally participants detained.
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.