By Richard Dion (3/29/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Each of the Central Asian states perceives national security threats from other states in the region. Kazakhstan fears the threat of militant Islam and terrorism from Tajikistan. Kazakhstan is also currently engaged in a rather bitter border dispute with Uzbekistan.
By Noor Umarov (3/29/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The United Tajik Opposition (UTO) began in the Spring of 1992 when different opposition groups and parties coalesced around the leadership of four political groups and a prominent individual, the countrys most influential religious figure, Akbar Turajonzoda. At that time, Turajonzoda was not a member of any political party, but he supported political and economic reforms and recognized the rights of Muslims to practice their faith openly, without hindrance. The UTOs first success was achieved in May 1992 when UTO members were included into a coalition government with President Emoli Rakhmanov.
By Ahmed Rashid (3/29/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Western and Pakistani diplomats say that during the winter months, Iran has been pouring millions of dollars of arms and ammunition to the Northern Alliance forces led by Ahmad Shah Masud. Iran's efforts are in preparation for what is expected to be a summer of heavy fighting as the Taliban launch a major offensive to conquer the remaining 20% of north eastern Afghanistan controlled by the Northern Alliance. Arms supplies reach the Northern Alliance by train, crossing Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to southern Tajikistan from where they are trucked across the Amu Darya River to northeastern Afghanistan.
By Birgit Brauer (3/29/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a windfall for the five Central Asian republics, that had previously shown little desire to strive for full independence. Unaccustomed to being on their own or making their own decisions, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan went through a period of euphoria, where anything seemed possible. But the subsequent economic collapse of the countries and open discrimination against ethnic Russians by the titular nationalities in the early 1990s quickly led to disillusionment and triggered a wave of migration.
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.