I was curious over the weekend and looked up the visits of all time in my WP stats….well it seems that I have 4 countries that have not visited IST…….Central African Republic, Chad, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
A few years ago I did a report for a local businessman on Central Asia for he was thinking of doing business in the region. Since that report I keep an eye on Central Asia in case my businessman needs an update to the report I prepared for him.
In a recent report in the International Crisis Group Tajikistan was the subject of said report……
The Tajik government’s control of its eastern territory, Gorno-Badakhshan, is tenuous at best. Irregulars loyal to local powerbrokers known as the Authorities have clashed with government forces in the past and may do so again if challenged. China has a growing security presence in the region.
Gorno-Badakhshan sits at the nexus of security problems including Uighur unrest in China’s Xinjiang region; Afghanistan’s war and opium trafficking; and jihadists’ potential return from Iraq and Syria to China, Central Asia or Russia. A rocky transition when President Emomali Rahmon steps down could provoke further instability in the region.
On another report by ICG the idea of weaponization of water was covered…….this could boil over into a war and keep in mind that Afghanistan is close by and will be effected by any water programs and if Afghanistan is effected then the US troops will be pulled into the conflict.
On 15-16 March there is a landmark opportunity to promote peace and prosperity in Central Asia when the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan meet in the Kazakh capital of Astana. It will be the four leaders’ first summit in nearly a decade. A top agenda item will likely be the precious water resources the countries must share in this vast region.
Water has been at the heart of recurrent disputes among the four states since the demise of the Soviet Union. At root, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are short on water, and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan short on electricity. The tension has been sharpest in the densely populated Ferghana Valley, where Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan converge. The latter two states accused their larger Uzbek neighbour of guzzling river water to irrigate vast cotton fields; Uzbekistan, for its part, bitterly fought Kyrgyz and Tajik plans to build dams upstream. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan also argued over the hydropower projects, which Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan needed to keep the lights on. At various times, shared resources have been used as a political tool – Uzbekistan by switching off power grids, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan by threatening to block the downstream flow of water.
I m always on the lookout for a situation that could become more than an irritant…..GOD knows the US does NOT need another armed conflict to fight or pay for……