By Richard Weitz

July 14, 2021, the CACI Analyst

A century ago, the Italian author Luigi Pirandello wrote a three-act play entitled “Six Characters in Search of an Author,” which explored the difficulty of differentiating between illusion and reality. The analyst of the recent border clash between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan faces the same challenge. The event, which saw the most serious fighting between independent Central Asian republics, offers several plausible explanations with divergent policy implications. 

 Bishkek WH 800

By Vali Kaleji

July 8, 2021, the CACI Analyst

After the Second Karabakh War, the tripartite ceasefire agreement on November 10, 2020, opens a possibility for Iran to become connected to the southern railway network in the South Caucasus. As a result of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, an important part of the South Caucasus Railway, which passed through the Nakhichevan region, Syunik Province in southern Armenia, and Jabrail, Fizuli and Zangilan regions in southern Azerbaijan, was destroyed or removed from communication routes. As a result, unlike Turkey and Russia, Iran has no rail connection to the Caucasus.

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By Emil A.Souleimanov and Huseyn Aliyev

June 10, 2021, the CACI Analyst

Starting in mid-May, a wave of confrontations between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have taken place in disputed border areas after large-scale fighting between the two states ended in November last year. While both sides trade accusations of violating each others’ international borders, there may be logical reasons for the recent spike in Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontations and their timing. Armenia’s upcoming parliamentary elections, unresolved issues of prisoners of war, the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the question of the “Zangezur/Syunik corridor” have all possibly contributed to the recent events.

Azerbaijan Soldiers 800 

By Natalia Konarzewska

June 7, 2021, the CACI Analyst

Baku is preparing to open a transit corridor that will link Azerbaijani territory with its Nakhichevan exclave through southern Armenia. President Ilham Aliyev recently announced the construction of a railway that will link Azerbaijan proper with Nakhichevan and ramped up the rhetoric against Armenia, which remains reluctant towards the project. Most of the Armenian public and experts consider the transit corridor to be a geopolitical threat rather than a new opportunity for enhanced connectivity. This standoff recently turned into full-fledged security crisis as Azerbaijan’s army advanced into the territory of southern Armenia in mid-May.

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Staff Publications

Op-ed S. Frederick Starr & Michael Doran, To Avert Disaster in Afghanistan, Look to Central Asia, Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2021.

Op-ed S. Frederick Starr & Eldor Aripov, Can Afghanistan Be Part of An Integrated Central Asia? The National Interest, July 9, 2021.

Op-ed Mamuka Tsereteli and James Jay Carafano, Tsereteli & Carafano: Putin threatens Ukraine – here's the danger and what US, allies should do about it, Fox News, April 13, 2021.

Op-ed S. Enders Wimbish, US withdrawal from Afghanistan spells dangerous geopolitical realignments, The Hill, April 2, 2021.  

Silk Road Paper Svante E. Cornell and S. Frederick Starr, Kazakhstan's Role in International Mediation under First President Nursultan Nazarbayev, November 2020.

Analysis Svante E. Cornell, How Did Armenia So Badly Miscalculate Its War with Azerbaijan? The National Interest, November 14, 2020.

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell, Halting the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan: Russian Peacekeeping is not the Solution Washington Times, October 20, 2020.

Analysis Svante E. Cornell, Can America Stop a Wider War between Armenia and Azerbaijan? The National Interest, October 5, 2020.

Article S. Frederick Starr, America Inches Toward a Serious Central Asia Strategy AFPC Defense Dossier, June 3, 2020.

Silk Road Paper Farrukh Irnazarov and Roman Vakulchuk, Discovering Opportunities in the Pandemic? Four Economic Response Scenarios for Central Asia, July 2020.  

 Book S. Frederick Starr, Eldar Ismailov, Nazim Muzaffarli, Basic Principles for the Rehabilitation of Azerbaijan’s Post-Conflict Territories, 2010.

Can Afghanistan Be Part of An Integrated Central Asia?

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.

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