Tajikistan: A Sino-Russian flashpoint?
The drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan and Chinese persecution of the Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang could turn Central Asia into a hotbed of jihadist terrorism. One country that is particularly vulnerable to such a resurgence is Tajikistan. It is also the area where Russian and Chinese security interests could most easily come into conflict.
Russia losing the new Great Game
Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow last month brought a raft of investment deals, suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin is successfully executing his version of a pivot toward Asia. But appearances deceive. The Sino-Russian "strategic partnership" is not an agreement between equals, and Russia has lost the upper hand in Central Asia.
Trump’s options in the Afghan-Pakistan divide
The complicated task of stabilizing Afghanistan is made even more complex by the support Pakistan and other countries give the Taliban. The United States will have to navigate this web of interests and alliances carefully. An increase in American troop levels could deter some of the players in the region from destabilizing the country. For now, that scenario seems likely.
Global Outlook 2017: U.S. faces vexing challenges in South Asia
The Trump administration will face major challenges in South Asia in 2017. The Taliban is likely to begin conducting major attacks, potentially making significant territorial gains. Also, India-Pakistan tensions continue to simmer; another terrorist attack could lead to a full-blown conflict. Up to now, President Trump has not made South Asia a foreign policy focus – but that may change quickly.
The West must consider humane solutions to refugee crisis
Horrific photographs of starving children from the besieged Syrian town of Madaya are the latest defining images from the tormented country. Conflict there has claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people – 55,000 in 2015 alone. However, peace in Syria is unlikely in the near future. The deluge of humans flowing out of that country – and many other troubled region...
Global trends: India’s all-out push for economic growth
The government of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going into 2016 with two principal policy objectives. One will be implementing the economic reforms that he has promised to foreign investors. Such reforms are considered crucial to industrialization and further accelerating India’s growth, which currently clocks in at a respectable 7 percent rate. The other...
China-India-Pakistan triangle and the future of regional security
A shifting power-play of partnerships and tensions between China, India and Pakistan is likely to see Beijing play an increasingly influential role in South Asia. But despite efforts by China to blunt India as a regional power, both have concerns about the threat of militant Islamism within Pakistan and its effect on the region. That makes China a potential ally to...
Afghanistan’s economic future hinges on continued international engagement
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani has secured from US President Barack Obama a commitment to a long-term partnership and an extension of America’s troop presence. Since taking the lead in security operations, Afghan forces have fended off the Taliban but at a cost of record casualties. However, Afghanistan’s future economic success will depend on its ability to ...
Flow of foreign fighters pose threat to states on edge of instability
The wars in Syria and Iraq have been a magnet to thousands of foreign fighters causing global concern over a new wave of transnational terrorism. Recruiting, training and the financial support for these pipelines of warrior extremists is big business and pose a threat not only to the countries at war. These ‘pipelines' have the potential to flow into new or existin...