By Stephen Blank (7/3/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Since independence in 1991, Niyazov has ruled Turkmenistan with an iron hand and through a suffocating and omnipresent cult of personality. This dictatorship, evidently far worse than the preceding generation of Soviet rule, has brought Turkmenistan to the brink of disaster and also apparently triggered substantial, if not yet overt, mass and elite disaffection. There is a virtual absence of civil society, and if reports by dissidents are true, there also is a high degree of likelihood of a failing state in the event of a transfer of power.
By Regine A. Spector (7/3/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Existing organizations that promote regional infrastructure and transit routes in Central Asia such as the EU’s TRACECA project and the GUUAM organization have excluded Iran or Russia. In response, these two countries have since the late 1990s sought to create alternative transport routes by restoring Soviet era ties and developing port and rail infrastructure. Two years ago, Russia, Iran and India signed an agreement in St.
By Ariel Cohen (11/21/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: On November 19, Northern Alliance commander Abdurrashid Dostum (an ethnic Uzbek) announced that Juma Namangani, the legendary head of the IMU, was killed in heavy fighting around the Northern Afghani city of Kunduz. Until the fall of 2001, the IMU represented the most dangerous military challenge to the secular regime of the Uzbek president Islam Karimov, and to other Central Asian states like Kyrgyzstan. In 1999, under Namangani's leadership, the IMU allegedly conducted terrorist acts in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, and in 1999 and 2000 repeatedly infiltrated the mountainous areas of southern Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
By Robert M. Cutler (11/21/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Uzbekistan is a weathervane of Central Asian geopolitics. In 1995, as part of its recurrent diplomatic competition with Kazakhstan, the country won designation as a strategic partner of the United States. After Kazakhstan was granted the same honor a few years later, Uzbekistan replied by joining the GUAM (Georgia-Ukraine-Azerbaijan-Moldova) entente, turning it into GUUAM.
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.