By Slavomír Horák (03/19/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
While Russia's intervention in Ukraine at first glance has few implications for developments in the Eastern part of former Soviet territory, Central Asian governments and elites are likely to analyze Russia's recent actions carefully. While the Crimea intervention could serve as a short term deterrent against foreign orientations away from Russia's regional integration project, the increasing Chinese influence in Central Asia will in the long term offer these states a powerful alternative to Russia and the crisis in Ukraine is increasing China's attractiveness as a partner.
By John C.K. (the 19/02/2014 of the CACI Analyst)
In 2012, Mongolia’s former Prime Minister and President Nambaryn Enkhbayar was convicted of graft, embezzlement, misappropriation of government properties and misuse of his position, and received a seven year prison sentence, with three years commuted. Denouncing the charges, Enkhbayar said that the legal actions were a pretext to stop him running for political office, commenting, "In all countries where the political opponents are removed from contesting elections, the leaders of that country use corruption as an excuse ... This just shows that corruption is a very charged political word to fight against political opponents."
By Jacob Zenn (the 05/02/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
One of the main objectives of terrorist and other non-state militant groups, especially those which are significantly weaker than the states they oppose, is to win the narrative. The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), an Uighur-led and Pakistan-based militant group, in its own words seeks to “liberate East Turkistan [Xinjiang] from its Communist oppressors.” Although the TIP has carried out few attacks in China, it is a frequent contributor of anti-Chinese and anti-American propaganda to al-Qaeda online forums. The TIP’s praise of several high-profile attacks by Uyghurs in China in 2013 has placed the TIP in greater spotlight than ever before in its role as a mouthpiece for the Uighur militant cause.
By Jamil Payaz (the 05/02/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Kyrgyzstan has slowed down its accession to the Russia-led Customs Union after the Eurasian Economic Commission disregarded its request to include special preferences in Kyrgyzstan's roadmap. With an economy immensely benefiting from the transit of Chinese goods to the wider region, Kyrgyzstan is asking that its wholesale bazaars, Dordoi, Karasuu, and Madina, be granted free-trade-zone status and other support for the first years of its membership. However, it remains to be seen whether the Union members will eventually concede to Kyrgyzstan’s conditions, as free-trade-zones would undermine the Union’s very idea of protecting its market.
By Richard Weitz (the 22/01/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
India has made major economic, political, and strategic investments in Afghanistan since the Taliban lost power in 2001. The two countries share an interest in Afghanistan’s postwar reconstruction, pursuing common diplomatic goals, and cooperating against mutual security threats. For years, India has been undertaking programs to bolster Afghanistan’s security capabilities and integrate the country into regional diplomatic and economic structures. Now with the withdrawal of Western combat forces, India is acceding to longstanding Afghan government requests and deepening bilateral security cooperation, despite the risks of provoking a strong and adverse reaction in Islamabad, as well as enlarging their economic collaboration.
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.