By Stephen Blank (12/5/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Of the making of international quagmires there seems to be no end. Afghanistan is only the latest example where governments have failed or disintegrated due to their own belligerence, leaving the international community no choice but to reconstitute public order lest humanitarian disaster and war endlessly ravage it. As in many other previous cases, Afghanistan’s prognosis, despite the undoubted progress of the Bonn conference on establishing a future government, is guarded.
By Aftab Kazi (7/4/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The June 17 announcement by the Finance Minister of Pakistan Mr. Aziz to build a rail link from Dalbandin via Panjgur to the Gwadar deep-sea port with Chinese cooperation has renewed the prospects for an alternate land-sea trade outlet for Central Asia through Pakistan via the Indus Basin corridor. The project would initially cost approximately $142 million, relying partly on traffic through Pakistan's existing road rail facilities.
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.
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.