by Richard Weitz (07/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The prospects for a peace agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban have risen in recent months. Nonetheless, the rapid closing of the Taliban office in Doha following its opening again indicated the low probability of a compromise settlement before NATO withdraws its main combat forces by the end of next year. Taliban leaders still refuse to deal directly with the Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai, adopt a formal cease-fire, sever ties with international terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, and acknowledge the legitimacy of the post-2001 Afghan Constitution. In essence, the parties are treating the negotiations as an extension of their military conflict through verbal means.
by Gulshan Sachdeva (07/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Despite many positive developments in the last few years, the future of the ambitious TAPI gas pipeline project is still in doubt. All four partner countries are making serious preparations for the project. However, the uncertainty surrounding post-2014 Afghanistan has dampened the motivation among major energy companies to act as lead consortium partners of the project. In these circumstances, multilateral agencies like the Asian Development Bank may have to play a crucial role in salvaging the project. Likewise, if the U.S. administration is serious about its support for TAPI, it should put its full diplomatic and financial weight behind it.
by Eka Janashia (06/12/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The death of seven Georgian solders in Helmand province of Afghanistan on June 6 gave rise to diverse concerns among the Georgian public. Some Georgians think the price the country has to pay for NATO integration is extremely high while others point to the growing risks beyond the incident in Afghanistan, linked to recently released videos declaring a jihad on Georgia.
by Sergei Medrea (06/12/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The inauguration ceremony of the ambitious Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway project took place on June 5, 2013 in Lebap province of Turkmenistan. It marked the official launch of the construction of the 400 kilometer railway that will connect gas-rich Turkmenistan with neighboring Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Tajik president Emomali Rahmon attended the ceremony on the invitation of Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov.
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.