Bakhtiyar Babadjanov, of the Institute of Oriental Studies in Tashkent, discussed the ideas and structure of the radical Islamic political group Akramia.
The states of Central Asia are of increasing strategic importance for the U.S., yet unfortunately the opportunities that U.S. policy-makers have for influencing developments in this region are relatively circumscribed.
A successful Russian modernization is the most reliable basis for the foreign attractiveness of the country. Volumes of energy resources as such will not make Russia a great power, energy is not the same as leadership, nor is harshness the same as effectiveness. This is precisely how a post-imperial project differs from a neo-imperial one.
The Carnegie Endowment event with Carnegie Senior Associate Martha Brill Olcott, Robert Kaiser of The Washington Post and Ambassador Stephen Sestanovich of the Council on Foreign Relations to launch Dr. Olcott’s new book Central Asia's Second Chance, published by the Carnegie Endowment in July 2005.
In my travels to roughly fifty countries, I have been thrown out of only one—Uzbekistan—just a few months after its emergence as an independent state under its first and only president, Islam Karimov. My crime: meeting with human rights activists.
The best hope for long-term peace and prosperity in the region is for the international community to press the Karimov regime to change.
The situation in this strategically located Central Asian state can no longer be answered with platitudes about Islamic threats or empty exhortations to democratic reform. If the Uzbek regime can't or won't fix its problems, then the world community will soon face the choice between intervention and chaos.
While many aspects of recent events in Uzbekistan remain unclear, one thing is perfectly obvious. Unless the government of President Islam Karimov quickly moves to introduce economic and political reforms, it will not regain public confidence.
What exactly occurred in Andijan remains unknown. No clear sequence of events can be confirmed since independent media was barred from the city. The non-governmental reports come from questionable sources and their content is sometimes contradictory. It is clear, however, that the event was a tragedy--745 deaths, including women and children, have been reported by credible eye-witnesses.
What we have seen play out over the last few weeks in Kyrgyzstan is but the first scene of a lengthy drama that will dominate the Central Asian stage over the next few years. And we can only hope that in later acts, the action won't turn bloodier.