By Yuri V. Bossin (12/19/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The persistent western backing of ex-king Zahir Shah may soon tarnish his image among the Afghans, who have always been suspicious of rulers who came from abroad with the help of "fereng" (foreigners). Since the short reign of Shuja al-Mulk (1839-1842), the puppet king who was brought to Kabul by the British, his name has become a scornful epithet for every Afghan politician promoted by outside forces. Despite his popularity among certain Pashtun tribes, King Zahir Shah is at risk of falling into this category.
By Hooman Peimani (12/19/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The establishment of a broad-based and widely-acceptable Afghan government, requires a consensus among all the major ethnic and political groups to end the civil war and to ensure stability in Afghanistan. It also requires the cooperation of external states that have backed rival Afghan groups over the last two decades. Their pursuit of conflicting interests contributed to the prolongation of civil war.
By Anara Tabyshalieva (12/19/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Vladimir Lenin in his letter to the Communists of Turkestan in 1920 asked them to investigate how many states should be there and what they should be named. 80 years ago, the idea of sovereign and independent ethnic-based states was alien and exotic for the locals. The concepts on the division of Turkestan were vague.
By Pavel Baev (12/19/2001 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: While planning the next move in Afghanistan, strategists in Putin’s team are looking not in the manuals on conflict resolution but rather in the records of Russia’s operations in the region, which go far deeper than the Soviet invasion of 1979. In fact, Russia has been constantly engaged in the Caspian area for nearly three centuries, since the troops of Peter the Great invaded Baku in 1722. All other players, including Great Britain, had to quit the game at some stage, but Russia’s uninterrupted history of engagement has continued through two major upheavals in 1917 and 1991.
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.