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Abstract: Last month, Kazakhstan’s Parliament approved the sending of troops to Afghanistan. The Taliban immediately issued a threat, warning Kazakhstan that its willingness to participate in the war on terrorism would make the country a target for violence. Days later, Kazakh security services’ headquarters in the northwestern city of Aktobe and the capital city of Astana were attacked by suicide bombers.
These incidents are new to Kazakhstan, a country that prides itself on a peaceful society enriched by ethnic diversity. While terrorist threats are typically associated with other Central Asian countries, these recent events in Kazakhstan are cause for concern. Further attacks could jeopardize vital transit facilities and massive energy projects.
As the United States and NATO battle al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, radical Islamic organizations are expanding north through the porous borders of Central Asia. The U.S. and NATO must pay closer attention to the spread of international terrorism and the negative implications for U.S. and Central Asian security.
Abstract: The war in Afghanistan has added considerably to the strategic significance of Central Asia due to its proximity to the conflict. Moreover, the continuation of the war increasingly involves the vital interests of many other actors other than the U.S. and NATO forces currently there. This monograph, taken from SSI's conference with European and Russian scholars in 2010, provides a comprehensive analysis of the means and objectives of Russia's involvement in Central Asia. It also provides Russian perspectives concerning the other actors in Central Asia and how Moscow views the policy significance of those efforts.
Abstract: This publication, based on three previous Kazakhstan at a Crossroads reports, gives an overview of
Kazakhstan’s political situation, economic development and international relations. It highlights
restrictions on political activity that have helped lead to a one party parliament, restrictions on media
freedom that overtly and covertly shut out dissenting voices, the presence of significant corruption
amongst sections of the political elite which is being responded to in a way that suggests motives that
may be politicised.
Kazakhstan at a Crossroads makes the case that despite Kazakhstan’s economic progress and relative
stability there remain serious human rights and governance problems that should give the international
community pause before granting it any further opportunities for international leadership. Any future
deeper economic or political engagement with Kazakhstan needs to be conditional on clear
improvements in human rights and non-compliance should lead to real penalties, rather than have
transgressions brushed under the carpet as they were with the OSCE Chairmanship.
Abstract: This briefing paper tracks the evolution of, and trends in, U.S. military and police aid to
Central Asian countries pre- and post-9/11. In particular, it seeks to identify assistance
associated with agreements with countries in the region to provide base and transit access
to United States and allied militaries for the war in Afghanistan. While the United States
does not pay “rent” for military bases, this report includes a primer on the relevant U.S.
military aid programs (both traditional and new) that are used as compensation for basing
and other access rights, including for Central Asian participation in the recently launched
Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a land-based supply route for U.S. and allied forces
that runs through Central Asia to Afghanistan. The U.S. government has no comprehensive budget for the assistance it provides
to the police, militaries, and other Central Asian security forces; however,
in the fullest accounting available to date, this report documents that the United States provided at least $145 million in military aid through 19 different budgets
and programs in one year (fiscal year 2007). This amount is nearly half of the total
of $329 million that the U.S. government gave to Central Asian governments in
2007, and it is six times the amount the U.S. government spent to promote rule of
law, democratic governance, and respect for fundamental human rights in that same year.
Abstract: Afghanistan’s neighbors that garner the most attention in policy debates about resolving its conflicts are Iran and Pakistan. The five post-Soviet states to Afghanistan’s north—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—also will have a hand in determining Afghanistan’s future, though their relevance is often discounted and there is little understanding of exactly what their role might be. Joshua Foust’s paper explains how and why these bordering countries do not view the war in Afghanistan in the same terms as do the United States, Russia, Europe, or the Security Council collectively. In some cases, the interests of these Central Asian neighbors run counter to those of the more global players seeking to determine Afghanistan’s future. In this paper he explores:
* Transnational Threats. The Central Asian states face two major threats to the stability of their brittle regimes, which are exacerbated by uncertainty in Afghanistan: criminal networks (especially human and narcotics trafficking) and Islamic extremism.
* Regional Economic Development. The potential for economic gain, whether through cooperative resource extraction, international trade, or energy production, could be a vehicle for realizing broader engagement with Afghanistan by Central Asia’s countries.
* Contributions to a Regional Solution in Afghanistan. While they are currently preoccupied with internal issues, Foust sees considerable opportunity for increasing cooperation among countries in the region in an effort to aid the international community’s efforts in Afghanistan.
Abstract: With the US-led West getting about to withdraw from Afghanistan - the real upsurge for the crucial region historically known as the Between and Betwixt of Empires is about to begin in earnest. This will be a confluence - a perfect storm - of the revival and resurrection of historic mega-trends under contemporary conditions. Most important are the revival of the original Russian-Chinese “Great Game”. For almost three centuries, Central Asia was the preeminent zone of confrontation between China’s Manchu Dynasty (1644-1912) and Russia’s Romanov Dynasty (1613-1917). Now, the Heart of Asia has once again become the zone Between and Betwixt Empires in more than mere geopolitical terms. However, what makes the current situation uniquely explosive and dangerous is the surge of the Jihadist movement - emboldened by its enduring of the US/ISAF war in Afghanistan and Pakistan - as a most vibrant and violent force that is setting the Heart of Asia aflame. The Jihadist movement is facilitating the Chinese ascent as a global hegemon in return for a Chinese umbrella against US and Western retaliation. This confluence of historic and grand strategic mega-trends constitutes not only a threat to the quintessential vital interests of Russia - but to the well-being of the entire industrialized North.
Abstract: Kyrgyzstan’s violence underscores the instability of those former Soviet governments which are burdened by authoritarian and corrupt rule. To varying degrees, every Central Asian country faces serious threats at home and from the war in neighboring Afghanistan. They need help. The West and Russia should act, including by engaging the underutilized Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Central Asia -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan -- is insecure. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have ethnic kin fighting in Afghanistan who might target repressive rulers at home. The extremist Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is becoming more threatening. The recent cessation of U.S. support for eradicating poppy fields in Afghanistan will spur narcotics trafficking via Central Asia. Economic challenges and rampant corruption undermine security. The area is rich in oil and gas mainly in the Caspian region and America and its companies have an important stake in the development of its huge oil reserves and diversification of world oil supplies. That said, high unemployment and dashed expectations in impoverished Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan could provoke social explosions. Most people in Turkmenistan remain poor despite its huge natural gas reserves. In Kazakhstan oil development raises many but not all living standards. A major Central Asia security initiative – made more urgent by developments in Kyrgyzstan – could offer content worthy of a summit.
Abstract: In December 2008, after examining Kazakhstan’s implementation of the State’s obligations
under the Convention against Torture, the Committee against Torture called on the authorities
“to apply a zero-tolerance approach to the persistent problem of torture” and to “publicly and
unambiguously condemn practices of torture in all its forms, directing this especially to
police and prison staff, accompanied by a clear warning that any person committing such
acts or otherwise complicit or participating in torture or other ill-treatment be held
responsible before the law for such acts”. The government said they were addressing these issues and other recommendations by the
Committee against Torture, including through further proposals for legislative amendments to
the criminal and criminal procedural codes and by clamping down on abusive practices. Some actions have been taken by the government. In May 2009 the UN Special Rapporteur
on torture visited Kazakhstan at the invitation of the government. In line with its obligations
under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT), and in cooperation
with civil society, the authorities have also been developing a National Preventive Mechanism
which would allow unannounced and independent monitoring of all detention facilities. Nevertheless, despite the good intentions shown by the measures noted above and the
extensive education, reform and training programmes for law enforcement forces and the
judiciary often run in conjunction and in cooperation with non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) and international governmental organizations (IGOs), it has become evident that
torture or other ill-treatment of individuals deprived of their liberty, whether formally detained
or in de facto unacknowledged detention, continue to be routinely used.
Abstract: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are active fronts in the wider conflict against violent extremism centered on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although these states are less prominent in discussions about U.S. security interests in the region than nuclear-armed Pakistan, their stability is an important and unacknowledged component of the AfPak equation. And, as conditions in Afghanistan continue to deteriorate, the menace of jihadism could eventually worsen into a strategic threat for Central Asian states, particularly when paired with a succession crisis, natural disaster, or other sudden shock. Beyond threatening indigenous regimes, some Central Asia militants have also demonstrated a clear intent to mount operations against foreign targets, both within the broader region and, in the case of the Sauerland Plot, in the European Union.
Alarmist predictions have dogged Central Asia since the breakup of the Soviet Union, yet the region has proved remarkably resilient. Despite Tajikistan’s civil war and episodic outbreaks of violence in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, stability has been the rule and disorder the exception. Amid much ambiguity, the region has “muddled through.” It may continue to do so, but declining labor remittances, looming succession struggles, latent ethnic tensions, counterproductive government policies, and returning militants are conspiring against the forces of stasis.
Abstract: At least 71 journalists were killed across the globe in 2009, the Committee to Protect Journalists announced Tuesday, the largest annual toll in the 30 years the group has been keeping track.
Twenty-nine of those deaths came in a single, politically motivated massacre of reporters and others in the Philippines last November, the worst known episode for journalists, the committee said.
But there were other worrisome trends. The two nations with the highest number of journalists incarcerated — China had 24 journalists imprisoned at the end of 2009 and Iran had 23 — were particularly harsh in taking aim at bloggers and others using the Internet. The number jailed in Iran has since jumped to 47, the committee said. Of the 71 confirmed deaths, 51 were murders, the committee said. The report noted that 24 additional deaths of journalists remained under investigation to determine if they were related to the journalists’ work. Previously, the highest number of journalists killed in a single year was 67, in 2007, when violence in Iraq was raging.
Abstract: The threat posed by radical Islam has invariably been perceived as the
most serious challenge to stability in Central Asia since 1991. Fears were
raised by the Islamic revolution which had developed internally in Cent ral
Asia, the external invasion of radicals (from Afghanistan) and Islamic terrorism.
Combating the Islamic threat became one of the key elements of
individual Central Asian countries’ security policies and those adopted
by regional and global powers towards this region. The Islamic threat
hanging over Central Asia also became a regular issue raised in media
discourse and in debates within analysts’ circles.
Numerous conflicts and tensions in both Central Asia and its immediate
neighbourhood seemed to provide grounds for such fears, which politicians
and analysts alike have shared since the collapse of the USSR. Ini tially,
the destructive influence from war-torn Afghanistan and from Iran, which
was engaged in a policy of exporting its Islamic revolution, raised especially
great concerns. The facts which seemed to prove that the risk was
real included the civil war in Tajikistan (1992–1997), during which the
Islamic Rebirth Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) played a key role on the side of
the opposition; Muslim militias’ attempts to take power in the Uzbek part
of the Fergana Valley (1991–1995); the activity of the Islamic Movement
of Uzbekistan (attempts at armed raids against Uzbekistan with the aim
of setting up a caliphate in 1999 and 2000); terrorist attacks (including
the series of attacks in Uzbekistan in 2004); the rebellion in Andijan
Abstract: The development of new northern supply routes into Afghanistan, termed the Northern
Distribution Network (NDN) by the U.S. government, and the expanded U.S. presence in
Afghanistan has had considerable impact on regional geopolitics in Eurasia. For those states now
involved in the NDN (Latvia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and
Uzbekistan), this cooperation has added a new dimension to their relations that increases their
stakes in bilateral ties with the United States and vice versa. Washington is engaging these
partners on an issue of utmost priority to U.S. security interests. Together and individually these
states can play a constructive role in Afghan stabilization efforts. But persistent tensions, mistrust,
paranoia, authoritarianism, and a near-exclusive focus on “regime preservation” make some of
them unwieldy and volatile partners. Suspicion of U.S. intentions and commitment further
complicate this calculation. Understanding the dimensions of and knowing how to manage the
geopolitical challenges and opportunities associated with NDN transit states and other key players
is critical for the United States.
Abstract: Signaling a sense of strategic urgency to counter recent Taliban gains, the Northern Distribution Network is being adapted to handle the transit of weaponry and hardware destined for US and NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan. The Northern Distribution Network (NDN) started out as a conduit for non-military supplies, including humanitarian assistance and reconstruction materials. But with the strategic situation for US and NATO troops in Afghanistan becoming more challenging, the scope of NDN’s operations is expanding. The United States has secured "lethal transit" deals with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Tom Tanner, the US embassy spokesman in Astana told EurasiaNet on October 13. Both the Kyrgyz Ministry of Defense and the US Embassy in Bishkek confirmed earlier that the Manas Transit Center is facilitating the shipment of military freight going to Afghanistan. Permission to use Manas in this way was granted under the terms of the new agreement struck between Washington and Bishkek on June 23, and did not need to be negotiated separately, the US embassy revealed.
Abstract: In the past month, two seemingly unrelated events have turned Central Asia into a potential flashpoint: an aggressively expanding North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and a nascent strategic alliance between Russia and China.
At stake is nothing less than who holds the future high ground in the competition for the world's energy resources. Early this summer, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted a sharp drop in world oil reserves. According to energy expert Michael Klare, the "era of cheap and plentiful oil is drawing to a close," and is likely to result in "a new era of cutthroat energy competition."
In early July, after a full-court press by Washington and an agreement to increase its yearly rent, Kyrgyzstan reversed a decision to close the U.S. base at Manas, thus giving the United States a powerful toehold in the countries bordering the oil- and gas-rich Caspian Basin.
While Manas is portrayed as a critical base in the ongoing campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the war in Central Asia is less over "terrorism" than it is over energy. "Never reading the words 'Afghanistan" and 'oil' in the same sentence is still a source of endless amusement," says the Asia Times' Pepe Escobar.
Escobar, who has coined the term "Pipelineistan" to describe the vast network of oil and gas pipelines that "crisscross the potential imperial battlefields of the planet," sees Afghanistan "at the core of Pipelineistan," strategically placed between the Middle East, Central and South Asia."
As Escobar points out, "It's no coincidence that the map of terror in the Middle East and Central Asia is practically interchangeable with the map of oil."
Abstract: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) represents a major development in the strategic landscape of the Central Asian region. The inclusion of India, Iran and Pakistan as observer states in the SCO mechanism suggests that it is gradually expanding into the wider South Asian region. In the next SCO summit meeting in Russia it is expected that Sri Lanka and Belarus will become dialogue partners of the SCO.
The changed attitude of the Central Asian regimes created a situation, which provided an opportunity to the SCO for a new geopolitical role. In July 2005 (during Astana Summit) the SCO member states called the US to set a deadline for withdrawing its military presence in the region. As a result, the US had to close down its air base in Uzbekistan in November 2005. In June 2006, the SCO summit took place against the backdrop of the crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme and both Iran and Pakistan sought full membership in the organisation. The Bishkek Summit in 2007 was important, where leaders from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan pledged to work more closely to develop energy resources and boost security efforts within the SCO framework. The Dushanbe summit in 2008 was held against the backdrop of Georgian crisis and speculations about the start of a ‘new cold war’ between Russia and the US.
Abstract: The U.S. war on terrorism, with its deployment of
military assets within Central Asia in support of ongoing
antiterrorist operations in Afghanistan, ensures the long-term
strategic importance of Central Asia in U.S. policy planning.
Kazakhstan, with its vast hydrocarbon reserves combined
with its high profile support for the war on terrorism, will play
a key part in these calculations. As Kazakhstan has developed
the capabilities of its armed forces, with American and allied
assistance, questions arise over how in the future it may play
a more active part either in antiterrorist or in peace support
operations. Kazakhstan is also exploring such issues in the
context of its forthcoming chairmanship of the Organization
for Security Cooperation in Europe in 2010, which may indicate
that Astana would like to raise its international security profile
In this monograph, Roger N. McDermott argues that
Kazakhstan’s armed forces, though subject to many structural
changes, have not yet experienced systemic military reform.
He assesses the achievements and setbacks of U.S. and
NATO defense assistance to the country, while also showing
that Kazakhstan remains deeply linked in close defense
and security partnership with Russia. McDermott suggests
greater sophistication and follow-up is needed from Western
assistance programs to ensure that Kazakhstan successfully
gains genuine military capabilities and the type of armed
forces it needs within the region.
Abstract: After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States recognized the
independence of all the former Central Asian republics, supported their admission
into Western organizations, and elicited regional support to counter Iranian influence
in the region. Congress was at the forefront in urging the formation of coherent U.S.
policies for aiding these and other Eurasian states of the former Soviet Union.
Soon after the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001, all the
Central Asian states offered overflight and other support for coalition anti-terrorism
efforts in Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan hosted coalition
troops and provided access to airbases. In 2003, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan also
endorsed coalition military action in Iraq, and Kazakhstan provided about two dozen
troops for rebuilding. U.S. policy has emphasized bolstering the security of the
Central Asian “front-line” states to help them combat terrorism, proliferation, and
arms and drug trafficking. Other U.S. objectives have included promoting free
markets, democratization, human rights, energy development, and the forging of eastwest
and Central Asia-South Asia trade links. Such policies aim to help the states
become what the Administration considers to be responsible members of the
international community rather than to degenerate into xenophobic, extremist, and
anti-Western regimes that threaten international peace and stability.
The Administration’s diverse goals in Central Asia have reflected the differing
characteristics of these states. U.S. interests in Kazakhstan have included securing
and eliminating Soviet-era nuclear and biological weapons materials and facilities.
U.S. energy firms have invested in oil and natural gas development in Kazakhstan
and Turkmenistan, and the Administration backs diverse export routes to the West
for these resources. Economic and democratic reforms have been among U.S.
concerns in Kyrgyzstan. In Tajikistan, U.S. aid has focused on economic
reconstruction following that country’s 1992-1997 civil war. U.S. relations with
Uzbekistan suffered following the Uzbek government’s violent crackdown on armed
and unarmed protesters in the city of Andijon in May 2005.
The 111th Congress is likely to continue to be at the forefront in advocating
increased U.S. ties with Central Asia, and in providing backing for use of the region
as a staging area for supporting U.S.-led stabilization efforts in Afghanistan.
Congress is likely to pursue these goals through hearings and legislation on
humanitarian, economic, and democratization assistance, security issues, and human
rights. The 2006 bilateral accord on the continued U.S. use of airbase facilities in
Kyrgyzstan included U.S. pledges of boosted foreign aid and other compensation,
which are subject to regular congressional appropriations and oversight. Assistance
for border and customs controls and other safeguards to prevent the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to combat trafficking in persons and drugs
will likely be ongoing congressional concerns. Congress will continue to consider
whether and how to balance its concerns about human rights abuses and lagging
democratization against other U.S. interests in continued engagement with the region
to advance energy security and prosecute the Global War on Terrorism.
Abstract: The Russia-Georgia conflict has had repercussions throughout the post-Soviet space. While Western states have decided to increase their material support to Georgia, Central Asian governments find themselves in a more complex and difficult situation due to their dependence on Russia. For example, Astana announced it would abandon a project to build a grain terminal in the Georgian port of Poti and oil refineries in Batumi, doubly bad news for the already weakened Georgian economy. Relations between the South Caucasus and Central Asia are relatively tense. The two regions have had difficulties coordinating their political and economic policies, both during the Soviet period and following its collapse. However, since the beginning of this decade, Kazakhstan has emerged as the principle power center in Central Asia-South Caucasus relations, particularly as they pertain to Georgia. In 2007, despite already strained relations between Georgia and Russia, Astana and Tbilisi continued to develop their economic relations. Kazakhstan became the first post-Soviet investor and the third largest foreign direct investor after Great Britain and the United States in Georgia. By 2006, Kazakhstan had invested more than US$150 million in the construction, tourism, telecommunications, and most of all energy sectors of Georgia.
The core of Kazakh-Georgian cooperation has focused on ways to separate from Russia. In addition to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC), there are the Baku-Poti and Baku-Akhalkalaki-Kars railway projects, which would connect Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey by 2010, and enable Tbilisi to partially circumvent the Russian embargo. The war in August between Russia and Georgia seems to have stopped, perhaps temporarily, these joint projects. On September 22, Kazakh Minister of Agriculture Akylbek Kurishbayev stated that Astana had abandoned plans to build the grain terminal due to “the current situation in Georgia.” That same week, KazMunaiGas announced the suspension of the oil refinery project, but refused to cite the conflict as a cause. It claimed the decision was based purely on economic reasons, saying that “our experts have carefully studied it and decided that it is not feasible.” At the height of the conflict, Kazakhstan suspended oil shipments through Batumi, but flows were restored in early September. The Georgian authorities have not hidden their disappointment, noting that other foreign partners had not stopped their investment projects.
Abstract: A new report from Freedom House finds that Kazakhstan has not made progress toward meeting international standards for democracy and rule of law, despite the reform commitments it made last year to win the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2010.
Progress Review: Kazakhstan's OSCE Commitments indicates that Kazakhstan will not complete a host of reforms that it promised by the end of 2008, including amending laws that severely restrict press freedom and opposition political parties. The report is the second in a series that evaluates Kazakhstan's progress in these areas, as well as reforming its election law and local governance system and ensuring freedom of assembly and religious liberty. Freedom House produced the report in cooperation with leading Kazakhstani nongovernmental organizations.
"The OSCE is a critical player in efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union," said Jeffrey Goldstein, Freedom House senior program manager for Central Asia. "Kazakhstan's poor performance threatens to undermine the OSCE's reputation and effectiveness, even as the region faces new threats from a resurgent Russia."
The report comes as Kazakhstan's foreign minister visits the United States to hold talks with top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Those talks are expected to be wide-ranging, including discussions on Kazakhstan's energy resources, terrorism and Russia's role in Central Asia.
"Freedom House urges U.S. officials to stress that Kazakhstan must take its OSCE commitments seriously if it wants to maintain its current relationship with Washington," said Goldstein. "Kazakhstani citizens deserve to be accorded the democratic freedoms their leaders have promised to provide, yet their government continues to impede basic rights, from freedom of speech to freedom of religion."
Abstract: Though almost every Central Asian state is engaged to some degree in a
discourse on security sector reform, democratic oversight of the security
sector, and civil-military relations, it would be incorrect to assume that
the joint efforts of European, Transatlantic, regional and national actors
(including the media, civil society and academia) have led to
homogenous or at least sustainable progress. The added challenge of
joining the global coalition in the ‘fight against terrorism’ has
accelerated development in some departments of the security sector. It
has, however, at the same time led to a standstill if not a backlash in the
evolution of a culture of human and civil rights, not to mention
international humanitarian law. As security sector reform unfolds in
Central Asia, human rights and will need to triumph over all supposed
justifications to curb them. Security Sector Reform is not about making
Abstract: This bulletin contains information about Amnesty International’s main concerns in Europe and
Central Asia between July and December 2007. Not every country in the region is reported on; only
those where there were significant developments in the period covered by the bulletin, or where
Amnesty International (AI) took specific action.
A number of individual country reports have been issued on the concerns featured in this bulletin.
References to these are made under the relevant country entry. In addition, more detailed
information about particular incidents or concerns may be found in Urgent Actions and News
Service Items issued by AI.
This bulletin is published by AI every six months.
Abstract: U.S. policymakers have made securing and maintaining foreign contributions
to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq a major priority since the preparation
period for the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. This report
highlights and discusses important changes in financial and personnel contributions
from foreign governments to Iraq since 2003.
To date, foreign donors have pledged an estimated $16.4 billion in grants and
loans for Iraq reconstruction, with most major pledges originating at a major donors'
conference in Madrid, Spain, in October 2003. However, only a small part of the
pledges have been committed or disbursed to the World Bank and United Nations
Development Group Trust Funds for Iraq. The largest non-U.S. pledges of grants
have come from Japan, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Canada,
South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have pledged the most loans and export
Currently, 33 countries including the United States have some level of troops
on the ground in Iraq or supporting Iraq operations from nearby locations. Those
forces are working under the rubric of one of several organizations — the
Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I); or
the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Currently, the largest
troop contributors, in addition to the United States, are the United Kingdom, Georgia,
Australia, South Korea, and Poland. Some of these key contributors have announced
their intention to reduce or withdraw their forces from Iraq during 2008. The total
number of non-U.S. coalition troop contributions has declined since the early
stabilization efforts, as other countries have withdrawn their contingents or
substantially reduced their size.
Abstract: This paper quantifies the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth in Asia for 1970–2004. Our panel estimations show that transnational terrorist attacks had a significant growth-limiting effect. Transnational terrorism reduces growth by crowding in government expenditures. An internal conflict has the greatest growth concern, about twice that of transnational terrorism. For developing Asian countries, intrastate and interstate wars have a much greater impact than terrorism does on the crowding-in of government spending.
Policy recommendations indicate the need for rich Asian countries to assist their poorer neighbors in coping with the negative growth consequences of political violence. Failure to assist may result in region-wide repercussions. Conflict and terrorism in one country can create production bottlenecks with region-wide economic consequences. International and nongovernmental organizations as well as developed Western countries and regions could assist at-risk Asian countries with attack prevention and post-attack recovery.
This study has six purposes. First, and foremost, we present panel estimates for a sample of 42 Asian countries to quantify the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth for 1970–2004. Panel estimation methods control for country-specific and timespecific unobserved heterogeneity. Second, we distinguish the influence of terrorism on economic growth from that of internal and external conflicts. Third, these influences are investigated for cohorts of developed and developing countries to ascertain whether development can better allow a country to absorb the impact of political violence. Fourth, econometric estimations relate violence-induced growth reductions to two pathways— reduced investment and increased government expenditures. Fifth, a host of diagnostic and sensitivity tests to support our empirical specifications. Last, we draw some policy conclusions.
Abstract: Au-delà des tensions au sujet de l’eau et du gaz, la lutte en Asie centrale contre les terroristes islamistes et les narcotrafiquants devient une nécessité pressante pour la sécurité en Occident. Cette menace est accentuée par le fait qu’il existe des milliers d’armes de destruction massive mal contrôlées dans la région, qui pourraient être volées par des terroristes. La pauvreté et le manque d’espace démocratique sont des terreaux fertiles pour des idéologies extrémistes. Ces groupes de terroristes ont su opérer des mutations rapides, joindre leurs forces et accroître leur trafic de drogues. L’Asie centrale est devenue une route majeure du trafic de drogues, notamment en provenance de l’Afghanistan. Les coopérations sécuritaires clefs en Asie centrale sont constituées par l’Organisation de coopération de Shanghai et l’Organisation du traité de sécurité collective, orchestrées par la Russie. Les Etats-Unis tentent d’ancrer davantage leur présence, mais leur intervention risque de perturber l’équilibre régional et de radicaliser davantage les mouvements islamistes. Pour qu’une stratégie de lutte contre la criminalité transnationale en Asie centrale soit efficace, l’approche doit être multidimensionnelle et régionale.
Abstract: Près de 90% des nouveaux diagnostics d’infection à VIH enregistrés en 2006 dans la région l’ont été dans deux pays, la Fédération de Russie (66%) et l’Ukraine (21%). La prévalence nationale du VIH chez l’adulte en Ukraine, estimée à 1,4% [0,8%–4,3%] en 2005, est plus élevée que dans n’importe quel pays d’Europe ou d’Asie centrale et le nombre annuel de diagnostics d’infection à VIH a plus que doublé depuis 2001. L’épidémie de VIH continue de croître en Fédération de Russie mais à un rythme plus lent qu’au cours de la fin des années 1990. Le nombre de diagnostics nouveaux d’infection à VIH signalés augmente aussi en Azerbaïdjan, en Géorgie, au Kazakhstan, au Kirghizistan, en Ouzbékistan (où
l’on rencontre actuellement l’épidémie la plus importante d’Asie centrale), en République de Moldova et au Tadjikistan.