history

Russian Strategy – WTF?

by Nathan Barrick

Is Russian Strategy warlike – true or false? Russia’s strategic deployment and bombing campaign in Syria appears to have surprised and shocked many observers, including Russia watchers.  It shouldn’t have. The uproar is all about Russian aggression and expansionism.  Pundits decry Putin’s alleged attempt to re-create the Soviet Union.  The descriptors of Putin and Russia […]

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“Rumors of My Death”

by Nathan Barrick

Where is President Putin?  Will he show up on Monday the 16th to meet Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev in Saint Petersburg, or will that meeting be canceled too? Quite a bit of speculation abounds as to the whereabouts of Russia President Vladimir Putin.  The serious questions began to be posed after President Putin suddenly canceled […]

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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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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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Some History

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

In an effort to clear my brain while I construct some kind of cogent argument about the depth and nature of the relations  between Kazakhs and Cossacks in the middle of the 19th century, I will share some choice citations from the works I’ve been reading. I understand that I’m dropping these into a blog […]

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Desert Floods

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

The Syr Darya is a mighty river. It may seem small in comparison to the larger regional river, the Amu Darya, and naturally also to those familiar with larger rivers in areas with more rainfall – like here in the US with the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, etc. Let all of that be as it may […]

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Sources of Kazakh National Pride

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

A quick disclaimer: This is an article where I try to show history’s relevance in contemporary Central Asia.  It is really my first such attempt, and while its level of success may be debatable, I’m going to keep trying other articles in this vein as the connections occur to me. It seems too long since […]

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