By Dr. Theodore Karasik (6/21/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: In late May 2000, Russian officials announced the possibility that the bombing of training camps in Afghanistan would commence over the summer. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov asserted "Acts of terror and other actions which could damage the interests of Russia and its partners in Central Asia are being prepared on the territory of Afghanistan." Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembskii pointed to an agreement reached in Mazar-i-Sharif between representatives of the Taliban and of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, Saudi-born terrorist Usama bin Laden, and Uzbek Islamist leader Djuma Namangani.
By Ahmed Rashid (6/21/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Pakistan's generous backing for the Pashtun Mujaheddin during the anti-Soviet war, especially Gulbuddin Hikmetyar's Hizb-e Islami party in the 1980s and the Taliban movement in the 1990s, has been based on the close ethnic links between Afghan Pashtuns and Pakistani Pashtuns, who are Pakistan's second largest ethnic group. Pakistan's policy has been determined by fears of a rejuvenation of the Pashtun nationalist movement in both countries, which in the past has aimed to carve out a separate Pashtun state or attach Pakistan's Pashtun belt to Afghanistan. Pakistan has sought the creation of a pro-Pakistan government in Kabul in order to acquire ''strategic depth'' in Afghanistan for strength in its conflict with India.
By Dr. Svante E. Cornell (6/21/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The Russo-Chechen conflict can now be defined as a nine-year old struggle that has gone through two non-violent stages, between Chechnyas declaration of independence in 1991 and December 1994, and between August 1996 and September 1999. The conflict has also gone through two violent phases, including the war of December 1994-August 1996 that ended in a Chechen victory, and the current war that has raged since September 1999. During these nine years, the main contentious issue has been the status of Chechnya and its relationship to the Russian Federation.
By Dr. Robert M. Cutler (6/21/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Before 1992, the Caspian Sea was regulated by treaties that were signed by Persia and the RSFSR in 1921, and between Iran and the USSR in 1935 and 1940, that latter defined the Caspian as a "Soviet and Iranian sea." None of these treaties established any maritime boundary or referred to any division of rights to exploit resources in the continental shelf. In the early 1990s, Russia proposed that the Caspian be considered an "inland lake" under the Law of the Sea Treaty.
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.