By Farkhod Tolipov (the 13/11/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
New Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited Uzbekistan during his tour to Central Asia in September this year. The visit took place ahead of the September summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Bishkek, and was initially perceived as an ordinary diplomatic good-will gesture towards the Central Asian states in connection with Jinping’s first SCO summit. However, in the aftermath of that tour, China surprised many observers with its strategic bounty: China signed large contracts and agreements with the states of the region. Was this primarily a strategic breakthrough of China or the Central Asians’?
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 Arslan Sabyrbekov (the 04/09/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On August 26, 2013, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry sent a note of protest to official Tashkent regarding a traffic accident involving Uzbek high ranking diplomats that, according to the reports, led to a scuffle.
by Farkhod Tolipov (the 08/07/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev made an official visit to Tashkent on June 13, 2013, which was expected to be a breakthrough in Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan relations. During the visit, the two states signed a Treaty on Strategic Partnership. This event can indeed be considered a breakthrough in bilateral relations between the two states, which have until recently been perceived as competitors for regional leadership in Central Asia. While Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan signed an unprecedented Treaty “On Eternal Friendship” in the late 1990s, the Uzbek-Kazakh friendship has always been fragile and hardly eternal. Will the new Treaty change the status-quo in Central Asia?
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.