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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Road of Sorrow – Trafficking and Ethnicity on the Pamir Highway

by Stephen M. Bland
Thumbnail image for Road of Sorrow – Trafficking and Ethnicity on the Pamir Highway

Beginning in the Kyrgyz second city of Osh, the Pamir Highway – the second highest international road in the world – runs the length of Tajikistan and down through Uzbekistan before terminating in Afghanistan. Ninety tonnes of heroin is trafficked through Tajikistan each year, much of it passing through the poverty stricken, self-governing Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous […]

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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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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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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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Afghan tourists in Tajikistan

by Alec Metz

Years ago, a Western Farsi-speaker would tell me stories of Tajik groups from Northern Afghanistan he took to Tajikistan as part of an exchange program, and the hilarious culture clashes that would occur between the two groups, usually involving vodka and the role of women in society. Despite sharing a language, ethnicity, and (arguably) similar […]

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Tajik Glaciers

by Dafydd

Tajikistan may not have much. No Caspian hydrocarbons, for example, but it does have water. Well accroding to reports here and here, the water supply is not so reliable any more. Seems like glacial retreat and changing weather patterns are having a pretty negative effect on Tajik agriculture and river levels. Moreover, this dents any […]

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