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Showing posts from October 1, 2013

The Logistics of the War in Afghanistan

The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan reversed the Taliban's takeover in many parts of the country. The resulting geographic shift in support for militant groups led to a degradation of Central Asian militants' capabilities. The Taliban's series of successes ended when the United States invaded Afghanistan following the Sept. 11 attacks by al Qaeda. The U.S. invasion, facilitated by the support of the Northern Alliance and aided by Russia, was able to displace the Taliban and drive the movement from all major cities and towns within a few short months.

The invasion included U.S. security support to the Central Asian states that, with help from Moscow, made their territory available for logistical and support bases for U.S. and subsequently NATO operations into Afghanistan. This allowed the Central Asian governments and security forces in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to destroy many militant cells from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and other groups, such as Hizb al-…

Geopolitical Calendar: Week of Sept. 30, 2013


The document listing significant meetings and events planned for the next week. Stratfor analysts use this to stay informed of the activities and travel of world leaders and to guide their areas of focus for the week.
Oct. 1: Cyprus celebrates its independence day.

Oct. 1: In Hungary, the Financial Supervisory Authority will be merged into the Hungarian Central Bank.

Oct. 1-7: An International Monetary Fund delegation will visit Serbia to assess the government's policies for 2014.

Oct. 2: The Governing Council of the European Central Bank will meet in Paris.

Oct. 3: Officials from Moldova, Transdniestria, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union, Russia, the United States and Ukraine are expected to meet in Brussels for a further round of negotiations over the conflict regarding Transdniestria's status.
Oct. 1: The next meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Committee is expected to be held in Baku to discuss …

China's Ambitions in Xinjiang and Central Asia: Part 1


Editor's Note: This is a three-part series on China's evolving strategic interests in Central Asia and in its own far northwest, the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Part 1 looks at Xinjiang's history as a "buffer region" protecting China's core and linking it to Eurasia. This installment also examines recent efforts by Beijing to adapt the region's legacies to new uses.

In mid-September Chinese President Xi Jinping rounded out a 10-day tour of Central Asia that included state visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek. At each stop, the new president made hearty pledges of financial support and calls for further diplomatic, security and energy cooperation. In Turkmenistan, Xi inaugurated a natural gas field. In Kazakhstan, he agreed to invest $30 billion in energy and transportation projects. In Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, h…

Kazakhstan: Waiting for Change

Bishkek/Brussels, 30 September 2013: Resource-led economic growth cannot mask the need for reforms in Kazakhstan as labour unrest, social divisions and a growing Islamist movement threaten the country’s stability.

In its latest report, Kazakhstan: Waiting for Change, the International Crisis Group examines the prospects for stability as the era of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, 73, who has ruled for more than twenty years, comes to a close. His government has spurred the country’s role in the global energy sector but left it with weak political institutions, corruption, censored media and frequent infringement of human rights. Popular resentment is slowly growing. Consolidating the state’s stability, in particular through a smooth succession, is urgent in a situation of internal but also external challenges. The 2014 pullout of international forces from Afghanistan could well further weaken stability in Central Asia as a whole. Young Kazakhs, like their peers in neighbouring states, h…