on Kyrgyzstan

by Laurence on 3/25/2005 · 1 comment

A friend emailed me an analysis of the Kyrgyz revolution by George Friedman (unfortunately, the website is subscription only). Here’s the money quote:

Russian leaders also see the United States as locking down its power in Central Asia. The United States, having exerted influence in the region initially for economic development, had Russia’s support when it introduced troops following the Sept. 11 attacks. Leaders in Moscow and elsewhere think the Americans now are using these troops to create a strategic reality: denying Russia its sphere of influence in the region. They think Kyrgyzstan is part of this strategy.

On the other side of Asia is China. Its westernmost province, Xinjiang, is predominantly Muslim and in rebellion against Beijing. Chinese leaders have never been comfortable with the American position on Xinjiang — which seemed to argue that the U.S. war against al Qaeda was one thing, but that China’s battle against Muslim separatists in Xinjiang was quite another. Government officials occasionally have indicated a belief that the Americans actually liked the Xinjiang insurrection because it weakened China.

The Chinese are concerned that instability in Central Asia will increase the flow of supplies to Xinjiang militants. Therefore, they view events in Kyrgyzstan as part of Washington’s strategy to threaten China, at a time when Washington has pressured Europe to back away from arms sales to Beijing. The Chinese don’t believe the United States is obsessed with al Qaeda any longer. They believe the Americans are obsessed with China, and they see events in Kyrgyzstan as a security threat.

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{ 1 comment }

Tom March 27, 2005 at 10:14 pm

You can get a free stratfor analysis by email once a week. Go to . Cheers.

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