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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Recent Crackdown and Mass Protests do not Spell Political Reform in Azerbaijan

by Suzanne Rothman

Azerbaijan is a land of extraordinary riches. So vast are its oil reserves that natural fires burst from ground, leading ancients to believe the land was sacred. In modern times, the Azerbaijani government uses this natural wealth as a source of revenue. Today, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and other pipelines transport Azerbaijan’s oil to importers around the […]

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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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Nazarbaev and Kazakh Yeli

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

-Біздің еліміздің атауында Орталық Азияның басқа да елдеріндегі сияқты “стан” деген жалғау бар. Сонымен бір мезгілде, шетелдіктер халқының саны небәрі екі миллионды құрайтын Моңғолияға қызығушылық танытады, бірақ оның атауында “стан” жалғауы жоқ. Сірә, еліміздің атауын уақыт өте келе “Қазақ елі” деп өзгерту мәселесін қарастыру керек шығар, бірақ алдымен міндетті түрде халықтың талқысына салған жөн, – […]

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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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Pakistan votes Romney, sort of

by Alec Metz

A recently commissioned BBC poll took the American election abroad, and although no states in Central Asia were surveyed, India, Pakistan, and China were featured. According to the BBC, they found that in 20 out of 21 countries, Obama was preferred over Romney, and that only Pakistan preferred Romney. Although the polling took place before […]

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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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Oil is the Wealth of the Nation

by Michael Hancock-Parmer
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The events in Kazakhstan on its Day of Independence have made headlines around the world, but the motivations and consequences of the events continue to evade observers inside and outside the country. Several videos capturing both the violence and the shocked onlookers’ comments have surfaced on Radio Free Europe /Radio Liberty and their affiliate Radio Azattyq. […]

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Kyrgyzstan at 20: What Now?

by Noah Tucker
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Almost a month ago, Kyrgyzstan turned 20. And the whole world was not watching, contrary to a hyperbolic article in a Kyrgyz newspaper about how the Spirit of Manas broke the rope on the tarp covering his new statue as the assembled members of the new government tried to unveil it (in order to express […]

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