By Rafis Abazov
April 5, 2019, the CACI Analyst
Recent initiatives on stabilizing Afghanistan and security in the region during the high-level International Conference on Afghanistan in Geneva, and discussions of reconciliation with the Taliban in Doha and Moscow, have offered a number of conventional measures helping to resolve some of the area’s problems, but often only in the short run. However, below the radar of the heavyweight political players, groups of dedicated youth quietly work on the long-term solution through replicating the international efforts inside and outside of Afghanistan in their Model UN. Every year tens of thousands of students from across Greater Central Asia not only discuss the most pressing regional issues, but also educate and train the next generation of young people on diplomatic, negotiation and conflict prevention issues. The question is, will it work?
By Huseyn Aliyev
April 3, 2019, the CACI Analyst
On December 20, 2018, Grozny city court ruled that the regional branch of Gazprom, Mezhregiongaz, should write off most of the republic’s gas debt. The court’s unprecedented ruling has caused four other indebted federal Russian regions to file similar appeals to their regional courts. The Chechen Prosecutor’s Office explained that it filed the appeal to the court due to concern over the threat of popular protests. Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov insisted that Chechnya’s gas debts are due to Gazprom’s long-term mismanagement and miscalculations. While the Federal Attorney Office is currently investigating the issue, neither Kadyrov nor Gazprom have made any concessions. Since the start of scandal, the Kremlin has kept its distance from both sides.
By Ilgar Gurbanov
March 27, 2019, the CACI Analyst
In parallel with their peace talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan and Armenia seek to diversify and deepen their partnerships with major arms suppliers. By diversifying its arms purchases from several different partners, Azerbaijan seeks to multiply its arsenal and retain a military advantage against Armenia, whose corresponding efforts aim to cement the status quo through military occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories. Both countries aim to maximize the tactical efficiency of their arsenals on the potential battlefield.
By Nurlan Aliyev
February 21, 2019, the CACI Analyst
On December 5, 2018, Colonel-General Alexander Dvornikov, commander of the Southern Military District (SMD), stated that the basis of an inter-forces troop contingent including sea, air and coastal components has been established in Dagestan. According to Dvornikov, fighters of the 4th Army Air Force and the SMD’s Air Defense have been put on alert at one of Dagestan’s airfields. Strengthening its high precision strike capabilities in the Caspian, Russia also intends to improve its ability to block the Basin to outside actors in support of its strategies regarding the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East. The Caspian holds immense strategic value to Russia, given its geographical proximity to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
By Stephen Blank
February 13, 2019, the CACI Analyst
When he announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, President Trump also announced the departure of one half (7,000) of America’s troops in Afghanistan. This abrupt decision both damaged the U.S. position in the Middle East and undermined ongoing negotiations with the Taliban over Afghanistan. It upset all the calculations of the Afghan government, leaving it scrambling for a new negotiating and strategic posture, and undid two years of successful albeit modest U.S. policy of renewed economic and political support for Central Asia. This will allow both Beijing and Moscow to respond by extending their influence in Central Asia at America’s expense and to employ their strongest capabilities for doing so.
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.