By Robert M. Cutler (7/4/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The Shanghai Five grouping was originally set up in 1996 in order to delimit and demilitarize the border between China and CIS countries (Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan). Its main fundamental documents were the 1996 Agreement on Confidence-Building in the Military Sphere in the Border Areas, and the 1997 Agreement on Mutual Reduction of Military Forces in Border Areas. However, as the eruption of Islamic militancy in the region altered the participating countries' threat perceptions, the focus of cooperation has shifted to assuring political stability.
By BACKGROUND: The way Putin dealt with Gusinski and Berezovski sent a sound message that he was seriou (7/4/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
CONCLUSIONS: Putin would not be able to launch such a large scale campaign against Berezovski, Gusinski, Viakherev and Chernomyrdin without the support of other oligarchs whose support he obtained early in his career, and who accepted his rule and evidently agreed to subdue and serve his interests (like Abramovich and Chubais). At the same time, Putin does not intend to remain dependent on the support of loyal oligarchs forever. He is bringing more and more of his own people into power.
By Awamdost Pakhtunkhel (5/8/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Resentment among the Pashtun tribes are composed of political, economic, and religious factors. The most obvious factor is the political: the Pashtuns are by far the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, yet have been sidelined in the interim government. Though no reliable demographic figures are available, the Pashtuns compose between 40 and 62 percent of Afghanistan\'s population (the latter figure is from a detailed study done by the WAK foundation), whereas the second largest group, the Tajiks, form from 15 to 25 percent.
By By Emin Alisayidov (8/1/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The intensification of mediating efforts to negotiate an agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan by the OSCE Minsk Group (of which France, Russia and the US are co-chairmen) earlier this year, produced an upsurge of now-subsiding optimism. The head-on charge by US co-chair Ambassador Cavanaugh so early in the new Administrations tenure, as well as President Bushs and Secretary Powells direct participation, indicated the importance of the region for Washington. Importantly, the mediators seem to have abandoned their often-criticized competition and have found a way to work together.
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.