Central Asia: The Perpetual Next War Zone


February 7, 2006: With help of Russia and China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have managed to lock down terrorist activity in the Ferghana Valley (which runs through the three countries.) Islamic terrorist groups Hizbi Tahrir and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have disappeared from view, but have not been destroyed. The unrest is still there, and growing because of the continued government corruption and incompetence. However, Central Asia is on its way to being the perpetual next battleground in the war on terror.

February 5, 2006: Despite the mixing of ethnic populations in Central Asia (the result of decades of Soviet policies), there has not been a lot of ethnic violence. Lots of ethnic ill will, but not a lot of gunfire and dead bodies. However, in northern Kyrgyzstan, teenagers arguing over who went next in an Internet cafe, caused several days of brawls and bad feelings between the Kyrgyz population minority Dungan (Chinese Moslems). This is not likely to go very far, but shows the potential for ethnic conflicts.

January 31, 2006: Switzerland has joined the European Union in imposing an arms embargo and travel sanctions on Uzbekistan.

January 18, 2006: Kyrgyzstan is trying to get the U.S. to increase payments for use of the 2,500 acre Manas air base, from $5 million, to $50 million a year. Local politicians have developed a feeding frenzy around the rich Americans.


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