By Ahmed Rashid (11/22/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The Hizb-e Tehrir claims that the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), previously believed to be aiming to overthrow Uzbek President Islam Karimov, also has similar pan-Central Asian ambitions. Islamic militancy remains the most potent threat to the five Central Asian Republics, even considering the threats posed to the region by the recent Taliban advances in northern Afghanistan, Russian attempts to reestablish a powerful military and political presence in the region, and their struggle to deal with the regions dire economic recession, inflation and unemployment which is helping provide recruits for these Islamic movements. Having disallowed democracy and all opposition for the past decade, the autocratic Central Asian leaders now face a militant underground Islamic opposition that draws support from the Taliban as well as extremist Islamic groups in Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states.
By BACKGROUND: A few years ago, when transit of natural gas from Iran to India was first being discusse (5/9/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
By contrast, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sought to promote an ephemeral ‘anti-hegemonic’ (read: anti-U.S.) India-Russia-China bloc, by telling Vajpayee that such quadrilateral cooperation among ‘Eastern countries’ was ‘logical and necessary’.
By Archil Kekelia (5/9/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Tourism in Georgia, as pretty much all sectors, is experiencing severe hardships. Probably, tourism is the only sector which was affected by collapse of other sectors altogether – agriculture, transportation, energy sector, as well as factors like finances, customs, international relations, environment, etc. As a result, the tourism industry, which once was the country’s most developed sector, is hardly breathing.
By Prof. Stephen Blank (5/9/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Recent reports from German intelligence, foreign journalists, and the publicly announced preparations and exercises of Russia and the Central Asian states all display the expectation of renewed conflict triggered by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in Central Asia. If the IMU or other forces trigger a third straight year of war, they might create an enduring basis for long-term small-scale war or worse. There is already enormous destabilizing potential in Central Asia, and prolonged warfare would only add to it.
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.