By Oleg Salimov (the 27/11/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The challenges of economic development and regional integration in Central Asia have given rise to a number of projects in various spheres. Among these, the “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan” railroad is directly aimed at stimulating the participating countries' economies through the creation of a better transportation system for easy access to new markets. The project's goal is to expand regional infrastructure, connect the landlocked countries with seaways, and eventually link Eurasian and Southeast Asian markets. The ability of the participants to successfully finalize construction of the railroad, provide security, and incite an interest from other countries will determine whether this project can mark the beginning of a new Silk Road.
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 Mina Muradova (05/15/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Two citizens of Azerbaijan have been detained in Iran on charges of “illegal actions” with no further information available. The arrest follows the visit of a high-ranking Azerbaijani official on national security issues to Tehran and is considered to be a sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries.
by Naveed Ahmad (03/20/2013 issue of the CACi Analyst)
Facing depleting petro-chemical reserves and soaring demands for energy, Pakistan has tough choices to make. It can either risk punitive action by opting for a steady supply of Iranian gas or rely on the more vulnerable but U.S.-backed 1,700 kilometer Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline. Political instability and a lack of a long-term vision over the past two decades have impeded the evolution of both pipeline options, as well as inland and offshore exploration. With a modest forecast of an economic growth rate of 5.5 percent, Pakistan’s energy demand in 2030 may soar to 361.31 Million Tons of Oil Equivalent (MTOE), causing a deficit of 141 MTOE. Hence, Pakistan is increasingly facing an energy emergency.
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.