Central Asia has long defied predictions that it might soon harbor violent extremism, but the defection of a senior security official to the self-proclaimed Islamic State points to a crisis in Tajikistan’s governing structures.
Syrian jihad will not be replicated by Central Asian combatants returning home, but fundamentalist ideals are long-established in this region and will not go away.
2014 was a year of crisis. Ebola, ISIS, and Donbas are now part of the global lexicon. Eurasia Outlook experts weigh in on how crises on Russia’s periphery affected the country, and what these developments mean for Moscow in 2015.
It is time for Moscow to rethink its approach to Central Asia.
The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 equates with an unquestionable strengthening of the Taliban movement or even with its actual coming to power. The external actors will have to adjust to the new situation and the future Afghan coalition leadership which will include the Taliban.
Beijing is emerging as the big winner in Central Asia, displacing Washington and Moscow while ensuring that engagement with countries in the region takes place on its terms.
Central Asia is in a period of transition. Many tenets of Soviet infrastructure and culture have expired and rather than renew these precedents, the countries are emphasizing individual development.
The Istanbul Process’ Heart of Asia Ministerial Conferences can play a role in efforts to promote regional stability and security in Central and South Asia.
The Tajik president should rethink his commitment to building the controversial Rogun Dam and explore other ways to revamp the country’s energy sector.
As the poorest country in Central Asia, Tajikistan continues to face many challenges, including corruption and a lack of basic freedoms for its citizens.