Registan’s Tajikistan News & Analysis Archive

Following independence, Tajikistan fell into a civil war that lasted until 1997, when an agreement was signed in which President Emomali Rahmon promised a share of government positions to the United Tajik Opposition. The war devastated Tajikistan, killing between 50,000 and 100,000 Tajiks and displacing over one million people. The war has had a deep and lasting legacy on Tajikistan. On the one hand, it is the only country with a legally operating Islamic political party. On the other, President Rahmon has steadily consolidated power, pushing his civil war opponents to the political sidelines and putting Islam under much tighter government control.

Several of our contributors have research experience in Tajikistan and others have worked on a variety of research and analysis projects on Tajikistan. Registan puts that experience to work to offer research, analysis, and training services tailored to your individual needs. For more information on how we can help you and your organization better understand Tajikistan and Central Asia, visit our services page.

Understanding the Implications of the Ukraine Crisis

by Nathan Barrick

I’m disturbed by the short-sightedness of media analysis of the events in Ukraine, even as they begin to explore deeper – they are trapped by their own previous reporting and I hope they feel guilty enough about it to start getting it right…not likely. I am also annoyed at the U.S. government’s public analysis and [...]

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Checking in on Eurasian Union Struggles

by Casey_Michel

In late October, while meeting with other heads involved in the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev turned to the topic of the forthcoming Eurasian Union. There had been hints and drops of Kazakhstani discontent with the EAU’s formulation – talk of business concerns, rumblings of ethno-based discontent. Nazarbayev decided to focus [...]

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Influence: The Bogeyman of Simplified Strategic Understanding

by Nathan Barrick

Many times I have been asked to assess whether one nation or another is “increasing influence,” usually to categorize as “good” or “bad” developing events for someone with little time or understanding of the situation. Frequently, the right answer – “It depends…” – has to be discarded due to an enforced sense of urgency that [...]

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Touring Central Asia with Xi Jinping

by Kendrick Kuo
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A new episode of the China Pivots West podcast features Alexander Cooley, Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. Cooley is a well-known Central Asia and Russia expert whose most recent book, Great Games, Local Rules, quickly became a must read for Central Asia watcher. He came on to the show to briefly discuss the [...]

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Uzbek Extremism in Context, Part 1: The Uzbek Jihad and the Problem of Religious Freedom

by Noah Tucker
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The IMU and IJU make a great deal of information about themselves easily available to the public. As organizations, they don’t hide their beliefs, their willingness to use violence to advance religio-political goals (or in some cases their clear preference for violence because they believe this will result in martyrdom) and their support for al [...]

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Central Asia and the Syria Crisis: Assessing the Value of Strategic Partnership with the U.S

by Nathan Barrick

With world attention justifiably focused on the potential for U.S.-led punitive strikes against Syria for President Asad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians, it is worth a momentary glance to survey Central Asia’s equities in the issue.  For many world governments, including in Central Asia, the issue is less about Syrian civilians dying by [...]

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Why Central Asia Matters

by Nathan Barrick

The “Great Game” is the term commonly used to describe the competition by the great 19th Century Empires for influence and control of Central Asia, especially Afghanistan.  There are many observers who would prefer to leave the “Great Game” in the annals of 19th Century history and interpret current events in Central Asia and Afghanistan [...]

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The Three Evils of Narco-Policy in Central Asia

by Reid Standish
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On July 3, the head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (RSKN), Viktor Ivanov announced plans to create an anti-drug operations center through the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The proposed plan to fight drug trafficking in Afghanistan and Central Asia called for the establishment of national headquarters in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan [...]

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Media Freedom in Central Asia: A Retrospective Overview of Major Developments and Prospects for the Future.

by Eric Freedman

By ERIC FREEDMAN By nature I’m an optimist, but also a realist. And as all journalists should be, I’m a skeptic. Looking back at media freedom developments in Central Asia, I see glimmers of reason for optimism, at least in Kyrgyzstan. But realism rooted in history shows a dim future. And skepticism teaches me to [...]

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Freedom and Fear in Central Asia: How the Security Assistance Debate is Asking the Wrong Questions

by Noah Tucker
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The terrorist threat against Central Asia is real and not in dispute. Groups like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and its offshoot the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) have demonstrated the capability to conduct small-scale operations inside Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and as the US

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