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Keyword: centralasia

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  • The Sand Dune Forgotten By Time (Caucasian Mummies In China - More )

    03/19/2005 3:48:39 PM PST · by blam · 67 replies · 5,922+ views
    China.Org ^ | 3-19-2005
    The Sand Dune Forgotten by Time Archaeologists working in the extreme desert terrain of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have moved a step closer to unraveling the mystery of a 40-century-old civilization. They unearthed 163 tombs containing mummies during their ongoing and long excavation at the mysterious Xiaohe tomb complex. And it's all thanks to the translation of a diary kept by a Swedish explorer more than 70 years ago. "We have found more than 30 coffins containing mummies," said Idelisi Abuduresule, head of the Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute and the excavation team. The complex is believed to...
  • Ancient nomads spread earliest domestic grains along Silk Road, study finds

    04/05/2014 8:57:03 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | April 1, 2014 | Gerry Everding
    Charred grains of barley, millet and wheat deposited nearly 5,000 years ago at campsites in the high plains of Kazakhstan show that nomadic sheepherders played a surprisingly important role in the early spread of domesticated crops throughout a mountainous east-west corridor along the historic Silk Road... "Ancient wheat and broomcorn millet, recovered in nomadic campsites in Kazakhstan, show that prehistoric herders in Central Eurasia had incorporated both regional crops into their economy and rituals nearly 5,000 years ago, pushing back the chronology of interaction along the territory of the 'Silk Road' more than 2,000 years," Frachetti said... ...several strains of...
  • China Splits With Russia Over Ukraine

    03/19/2014 1:00:55 PM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 26 replies
    voanews.com ^ | March 18, 2014 | Scott Stearns
    STATE DEPARTMENT — With Russia's most vocal critics imposing economic sanctions over Crimea, some of Moscow's allies are also questioning its actions in Ukraine. In Syria's civil war, China and Russia have together blocked tougher action against President Bashar al-Assad, denouncing foreign support for the rebels as a breach of Syrian sovereignty. Now, China has quietly split from Russia over Crimea -- on the same issue of sovereignty. "China always respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states. The Crimean crisis should be resolved politically under the frameworks of law and order. We call on all sides to remain...
  • Terracotta Warriors Inspired by Ancient Greek Art

    12/14/2013 5:36:32 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    LiveScience ^ | 10 December 2013 | Owen Jarus
    Nickel's evidence includes newly translated ancient records that tell a fantastic tale of giant statues that "appeared" in the far west, inspiring the first emperor of China to duplicate them in front of his palace. This story offers evidence of early contact between China and the West, contacts that Nickel says inspired the First Emperor (which is what Qin Shi Huangdi called himself) to not only duplicate the 12 giant statues but to build the massive Terracotta Army along with other life-size sculptures. Before the First Emperor's time, life-size sculptures were not built in China, and Nickel argues the idea...
  • China's Back-Door Natural Gas Supply

    10/26/2013 8:35:46 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies
    oilprice.com ^ | Thu, 24 October 2013 14:07 | By Dave Forest
    One of the most critical changes in global energy flows happened this week. China inaugurated a 2,500 kilometre pipe to carry natural gas and oil from the Indian Ocean across Myanmar in southeast Asia and into southwest Yunnan province. The gas portion of the line became fully operational this week. The line is expected to carry over 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day into China. The twin oil line is expected to follow. This massive development has several key implications for the global energy balance. Myanmar's significant offshore natural gas reserves (and growing production) now have a "go-to"...
  • China’s growing influence in Central Asia

    10/20/2013 6:07:37 PM PDT · by TexGrill · 3 replies
    Daily Times ^ | 10/21/2013 | Atif Shammim Syed
    The US needs Chinese support in order to keep the post-withdrawal situation in Afghanistan stable. This situation has opened up several prospects for China to increase its influence in Central Asia Last month, the President of China, Xi Jinping, visited four Central Asian countries before attending the 13th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Bishkek. During these visits, Mr Xi discussed plans of mutual cooperation that would bring billions of dollars of investment to the region. The trip is regarded as a Chinese ploy to open up a modern silk road that will serve as the beginning of...
  • Archaeological finds reveal prehistoric civilization along Silk Road

    07/27/2013 6:14:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 40 replies
    Global Times ^ | July 25, 2013 | Xinhua
    Archaeologists have unearthed relics that suggest prehistoric humans lived along the Silk Road long before it was created about 2,000 years ago as a pivotal Eurasian trade network. An excavation project that started in 2010 on ruins in northwest China's Gansu Province has yielded evidence that people who lived on the west bank of the Heihe River 4,100 to 3,600 years ago were able to grow crops and smelt copper, the researchers said. The site is believed to date back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC - AD 220). Over the past three years, archaeologists have discovered a variety of...
  • Challenges of the Eurasian Muslim Diaspora

    05/22/2013 1:00:09 AM PDT · by cunning_fish · 1 replies
    The National Interest ^ | May 21, 2013 | Ariel Cohen
    The Tsarnaev brothers’ brutal attack in Boston sparked renewed interest in terrorism in Eurasia. The subsequent disclosure that two students from Kazakhstan allegedly tried to hide incriminating evidence against Djokhar Tsarnaev has only heightened that interest. The not-guilty plea of Fazliddin Kurbanov, the alleged Uzbek terrorist in Idaho, underscores the new threat. And that’s a good thing. Understanding what was and is happening in Eurasia can help us better fight terrorism and prevent future attacks rooted in that region. Chechens and Uzbeks fought in Afghanistan with the Taliban, and fighters from the North Caucasus are involved in Syria on the...
  • Why we are still in Afghanistan. It's not about Al Qaeda anymore..

    04/20/2013 5:03:51 PM PDT · by inspector · 10 replies
    Eurasia Daily Monitor ^ | 2/19/2013 | Paul Goble
    United States plans to link the countries of Central Asia by new rail lines with Afghanistan. At the same time, Washington opposes neither the construction of a railway corridor from Central Asia through Iran, nor Chinese extensions of its national rail system into the area. Nevertheless, according to analysts at the Moscow Strategic Culture Foundation, these overlapping transportation development projects threaten to spark a new “railroad war” in the Central Asian region—one that in the absence of counter-efforts by the Russian Federation is likely to result in a sharp reduction of Moscow’s influence over the countries there.
  • April 16, 2009. The End of the Second Chechen War. 4 years ago yesterday.

    04/17/2013 9:53:16 AM PDT · by cunning_fish · 10 replies
  • John Kerry Invents a Country

    02/25/2013 1:43:34 PM PST · by Kaslin · 30 replies
    Rush Limbaugh.com ^ | February 25, 2013 | Rush Limbaugh
    BEGIN TRANSCRIPT RUSH: John Kerry, as you know, is the new secretary of state. His first gaffe has been recorded. Last Wednesday in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the University of Virginia, Kerry delivered his first major foreign policy address, and he invented a country that does not exist... KERRY: They fight corruption in Nigeria! They support the rule of law in Burma! They support democratic institutions in Kyrzakhstan (sic) and Georgia. RUSH: There is no Kyrzakhstan. There is no Kyrzakhstan. He was thinking of Kyrgyzstan. Can you imagine if George W. Bush had done this? Here it's Monday and we're just...
  • Secretary of State John Kerry invents new country: ‘Kyrzakhstan’

    02/25/2013 1:00:08 PM PST · by COBOL2Java · 23 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | 25 February 2013 | Cheryl K. Chumley
    Newly minted Secretary of State John Kerry is sweeping through Europe and the Middle East on a nine-nation tour, meeting with top global heads to forge diplomatic relations — and, apparently, even creating new countries. Mr. Kerry was trying to praise diplomats who were working on behalf of the United States in the Central Asian region, but in doing so, he created a new country. He thanked the diplomats for their work in “Kyrzakhstan,” according to various media reports, and credited their efforts in “support [of] democratic institutions in Kyrzakhstan and Georgia.” The National Review suggests Mr. Kerry could have...
  • John Kerry invents country of Kyrzakhstan

    02/25/2013 8:23:43 AM PST · by Sub-Driver · 41 replies
    John Kerry invents country of Kyrzakhstan John Kerry has suffered his first gaffe as the new US secretary of state, inventing the nation of 'Kyrzakhstan' By Jonathan Earle, Moscow 11:36AM GMT 25 Feb 2013 In an embarrassing slip of the tongue, Mr Kerry last week praised US diplomats working to secure "democratic institutions" in the Central Asian country, which does not exist. The newly minted diplomat was referring to Kyrgyzstan, a poor, landlocked nation of 5.5 million, which he appeared to confuse with its resource-rich neighbour to the north, Kazakhstan. The State Department kindly omitted the error in the official...
  • Ancient Tombs Discovered Along Silk Road

    02/08/2013 4:22:16 AM PST · by Renfield · 7 replies
    Live Science ^ | 2-6-2012 | Marc Lallanilla
    Along the ancient trade route known as the Silk Road, archaeologists have unearthed 102 tombs dating back some 1,300 years — and almost half of the tombs were for infants. The surprising discovery was made in remote western China, where construction workers digging for a hydroelectric project found the cluster of tombs. Each tomb contains wooden caskets covered in felt, inside of which are desiccated human remains, as well as copper trinkets, pottery and other items buried as sacrificial items, according to UPI. "The cluster covers an area of 1,500 square meters (1,794 square yards) on a 20-meter high (66...
  • Iran Spy Network 30,000 Strong

    01/03/2013 3:07:06 AM PST · by Cindy · 18 replies
    THE WASHINGTON FREE BEACON ^ | January 3, 2013 4:59 am | Bill Gertz
    "IRAN SPY NETWORK 30,000 STRONG Pentagon report: Iranian intelligence linked to spying, terror attacks" SNIPPET: "Iran’s intelligence service includes 30,000 people who are engaged in covert and clandestine activities that range from spying to stealing technology to terrorist bombings and assassination, according to a Pentagon report." SNIPPET: "“MOIS provides financial, material, technological, or other support services to Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), all designated terrorist organizations under U.S. Executive Order 13224,” the report said. The spy service operates in all areas where Iran has interests, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Central Asia, Africa, Austria, Azerbaijan, Croatia, France,...
  • Red China’s Economic Strategies for Central Asia: Building Roads to Afghan Strategic Resources

    09/25/2012 10:46:49 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 7 replies
    Jamestown Foundation Eurasia Daily Monitor ^ | 9/21/2012 | Zabikhulla S. Saipov
    Recent Chinese diplomatic maneuvers in Central Asia, both bilateral and multilateral, show that Beijing’s strategy treats the region as a corridor for reaching resource bases in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa. Central Asia is thus part of China’s broader blueprint of securing strategic resources and supplies to feed its developing economy (Z. Saipov, China Oil & Gas Monitor, Week 21, Issue 396, News Base, May 31, p. 3–4). Hu Jintao (L) and Islam Karimov Illustratively, Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu’s two-week official tour of Congo, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on September 1–13 (English.sina.com, September 6) supports the premise that...
  • Rep. ROHRABACHER (1999) -- How the Clinton Administration brought the Taliban to power

    09/28/2001 7:01:18 PM PDT · by Nita Nupress · 40 replies · 2,520+ views
    Senate testimony | April 14, 1999 | Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
    April 14, 1999, Wednesday COMMITTEE HEARING SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS: SUBCOMMITTEE ON NEAR EASTERN AND SOUTH U.S. SENATOR SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS) HOLDS HEARING ON THE CRISIS IN AFGANISTAN  WASHINGTON, D.C. SPEAKERS: U.S. SENATOR SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS), CHAIRMAN U.S. SENATOR JOHN ASHCROFT (R-MO) U.S. SENATOR GORDON H. SMITH (R-OR) U.S. SENATOR ROD GRAMS (R-MN) U.S. SENATOR CRAIG THOMAS (R-WY) U.S. SENATOR PAUL DAVID WELLSTONE (D-MN), RANKING MEMBER U.S. SENATOR ROBERT G. TORRICELLI (D-NJ) U.S. SENATOR PAUL S. SARBANES (D-MD) U.S. SENATOR CHRISTOPHER J. DODD (D-CT) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE DANA ROHRABACHER (R-CA) THE HONORABLE KARL F. INDERFURTH ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR SOUTH ...
  • Massive Gold Trove Sparks Archeological Dispute

    06/21/2012 5:36:03 PM PDT · by Theoria · 24 replies
    Spiegel Online ^ | 21 June 2012 | Matthias Schulz
    A 3,300-year-old treasure trove of gold found in northern Germany has stumped German archeologists. One theory suggests that traders transported it thousands of miles from a mine in Central Asia, but other experts are skeptical. Archeologists in Germany have an unlikely new hero: former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. They have nothing but praise for the cigar-smoking veteran Social Democratic politician. Why? Because it was Schröder who, together with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, pushed through a plan to pump Russian natural gas to Western Europe. For that purpose, an embankment 440 kilometers (275 miles) long and up to 30 meters (100 feet)...
  • The Growing Turkish Threat

    04/07/2012 10:09:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    The Strategy Page ^ | April 7, 2012 | unattributed
    Iran does not like Turkey supporting Syrian rebels, but does little beyond complain about Turkey and Iran disagreeing about what is happening in Syria. Iran is intent on maintaining good relations with the Turks, who have been a formidable (and usually victorious) foe for centuries. This strategy is based on fear, reflected in a recent Turkish opinion poll that showed 54 percent of Turks approved Turkey developing nuclear weapons if Iran does. To make matters worse Turkey has joined with the Sunni Arabs to rebuild the old (pre-1918 when the Ottoman Turk empire collapsed) coalition opposing Shia Iran. Back in...
  • Kyrgyzstan Wants Military Role to End at U.S. Base

    03/13/2012 5:59:10 PM PDT · by U-238 · 4 replies
    NY Times ^ | 3/13/2012 | Elisabeth Bumiller
    One of Kyrgyzstan’s top defense officials told Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on Tuesday that a crucial United States air base here should have “no military mission” when its lease expires a little more than two years from now. The request creates a potential hurdle to American plans to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. Notes from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other areas of conflict in the post-9/11 era. The base, officially called a transit center, is at the Manas airport close to the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, and has been a vital hub for troops and matériel moving in and out...
  • Putin’s Grand Plan for Asia

    03/13/2012 12:05:53 AM PDT · by U-238 · 7 replies
    The Diplomat ^ | 3/14/2012 | Richard Weitz
    Vladimir Putin, Russia’s current prime minister and future president, has shown a strong interest in Asian affairs. In his second term, Putin would undoubtedly like to maintain good ties with China, consolidate Moscow’s first-among-equals status in Central Asia, manage the regional repercussions of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, prevent a war or major crisis in the Koreas, and deepen Russia’s integration into East Asia’s more dynamic and prosperous economic networks. At the same time, Putin is eager to strengthen Russia’s position in Europe. It’s a big to-do list, but Russia has already succeeded in raising its profile in Asia...
  • 'Topless' Ukrainians may face jail for insulting Indian flag [in Ukraine]

    02/18/2012 9:53:10 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 29 replies
    PTI ^ | February 18, 2012 | PTI
    MOSCOW: The Ukrainian women activists who tore up the Indian flag in a topless act in Kiev last month to protest India's reported tightening of visa rules for young women from Ukraine may land in jail for up to four years. Carrying placards that read "Ukraine is not brothel" and "I am not prostitute", the women had climbed up to the balcony of the Indian ambassador's residence in the Ukrainian capital, after stripping up to the waist braving sub-zero temperatures to lodge a novel protest. They were enraged over the Indian Foreign Ministry's reported instructions to carry out detailed checks...
  • Tajikistan: religious fanatics slay Santa Claus

    01/03/2012 12:30:44 PM PST · by bkopto · 11 replies
    The Voice of Russia ^ | Jan 3, 2012 | Staff
    In Dushanbe, a young man, dressed as Santa Claus, was killed by a mob of young people, shouting accusations of "infidel," as a senior source in the Tajik Interior Ministry disclosed. "The young man had decided to congratulate his relatives dressed up in a Santa Claus outfit. When he approached the door of his house, he was attacked by a mob of about 30 young people, shouting, "Tu kofiri" ("Infidel"), who inflicted on Parviz numerous stab wounds from which he died in the hospital," - said the source. The authorities have admitted the fact that 24-year old Parviz Davlatbekov had...
  • Russia and China’s Energy Dispute and the Struggle for Eurasian Dominance

    08/30/2011 12:22:53 PM PDT · by bananaman22 · 2 replies
    OilPrice.com ^ | 29/08/2011 | Dr. John C.K. Daly
    China’s voracious appetite for energy from anywhere has led most oil-producing nations to attempt to feed the dragon, including Russia. But a curious situation has developed as regards Russian oil exports to the Celestial Kingdom, underlining that the two nations, which fought for global supremacy over the Communist movement for four decades, remain at best, “frenemies.” According to Chinese customs reports, last month oil imports from Russia fell by nearly half. Not so, Rosneft says, stating that deliveries are proceeding through the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline at their normal levels. Russia is now China’s ninth largest source of...
  • Russia’s Anxieties About The Arab Revolution

    07/09/2011 2:32:33 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 3 replies
    fpri.org ^ | July 2011 | Stephen Blank
    By June 2011, the Arab revolutions had evolved into a series of disconnected but increasingly violent civil wars—particularly in Libya and Syria. The international community has certainly not been spared the effects of these wars. As a long-time patron—if not an ally—of these states, Russia views these trends with mounting anxiety. These revolutions and civil wars pose three serious challenges or even threats to Russia. FEAR OF DOMESTIC UNREST Domestically, the revolutions could inspire citizens to take autonomous political action against the regime. Alternatively, they could further inflame the insurgency in the North Caucasus among a largely Muslim population to...
  • China Winning the Race for Central Asia’s Energy Riches

    06/27/2011 7:36:49 AM PDT · by bananaman22
    OilPrice.com ^ | 23/06/2011 | John Daly
    Many western analysts have described the post-Soviet tussle for Caspain and Central Asian energy reserves as the new “Great Game, except this time around, Russia is facing the U.s. rather than the British empire. To a dispassionate outside observer however, what is most striking about the prolonged wrangle between Moscow and Washington for hydrocarbons, military bases and influence is the emergence of an understated sly newcomer who has managed to bag many of the region’s assets – China. There are many reasons for this, despite the fact that both Russia and the U.S. both seemed to hold winning hands. For...
  • 'Democratic' poll cloaks Kazakh autocracy

    04/02/2011 2:10:02 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Al Jazeera ^ | Saturday, April 2, 2011 | Robin Forestier-Walker
    Kazakhstan's nine million registered voters are being asked to choose their president in elections tomorrow. Incumbent Nursultan Nazarbayev is not expected to lose. Observers have already given the country's election commission poor marks for allowing a questionable selection procedure through which three political lightweights are up against ''Papa'' -- as Nazarbayev is affectionately known. A fragmented opposition have not put forward any candidates. Unwilling or unable to mount a serious challenge through Egyptian style public protest they have tried to discredit the ageing strongman by encouraging voters to boycott the poll. But Nazarbayev does not seem concerned. On January 31st,...
  • Danger For Strategic Airlift in Central Asia

    02/08/2011 6:46:56 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 1+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 2/8/2010 | David A. Fulghum
    The chief of U.S. transportation command says he is worried daily that advanced, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles will show up on the battlefield in Afghanistan or along the routes to fly there that could threaten strategic airlift. In particular, classified State Dept. cables have voiced concerns about Chinese weapons and trainers having connections with the Taliban. “Today [that threat] could change,” says Air Force Gen. Duncan McNabb. “I want us to stay ahead of it, with all of our international partners, [by being aware] these things might happen. We don’t talk a lot about it, we readjust. Even though it’s not...
  • US embassy cables: Russians causing trouble in Tajikistan, diplomats tell Washington

    12/12/2010 6:02:51 PM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 4 replies
    guardian.co.uk ^ | December 12, 2010
    5. (S) Rahmonov added, "Actually, It's the Russian special services who cause trouble here....it's coming from the Kremlin, and some of it comes from the top. We can never forget that Putin himself is a 'chekist' (career intelligence officer) at heart." 6. (S) Rahmonov said, "I want to tell you a secret why I insisted that the Russian Border Guards had to leave Tajikistan. You know they're part of the KGB. I had credible information they and (jailed General Gaffor) Mirzoyev were plotting a coup against me. ....Only after I moved against Mirzoyev did Putin finally understand that their game...
  • DOJ: 10 alleged Russian intel officers arrested

    06/28/2010 1:14:47 PM PDT · by Justaham · 167 replies
    <p>WASHINGTON — Ten Russian intelligence officers have been arrested for allegedly serving as illegal agents of the Russian government in the United States, the Justice Department announced Monday.</p>
  • Russia pushing for control of fuel supplies to crucial US airbase

    06/24/2010 12:05:32 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 6/22/2010 | Richard Orange
    The Russian and American governments are discussing a bilateral government deal, under which Russian state-controlled oil companies Rosneft and Gazpromneft would supply kerosene directly to the Manas Transit Centre, a crucial logistics hub for the war in Afghanistan. "Ultimately it's in the security interests of Russia for the US to be using this base for its operations in Afghanistan, but under a very, very strict mandate," said Ana Jelenkovic, Central Asia analyst at Eurasia Group. "If Russia is able to monitor the destination of the fuel, it limits the ability of the US to stay there in the base long-term....
  • 'Kyrgyzstan Is On the Brink of Collapse'

    06/17/2010 11:28:57 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 20 replies · 782+ views
    Spiegel ^ | 06/17/2010
    With hundreds dead and tens of thousands of refugees, ethnic violence has brought chaos to Kyrgyzstan. Central Asia policy expert Andrea Schmitz told SPIEGEL ONLINE about the history behind the attacks on the Uzbek minority and the wobbly transitional government. SPIEGEL ONLINE: The news from Kyrgyzstan is deeply disturbing. Officially, 170 people have been killed during the angry unrest over the last week and other sources put the death toll above 700. What is the current situation? Schmitz: Official figures probably understate the number of dead, which is likely to be considerably higher. I do not have the exact numbers....
  • Turkmen capital is 8 thousand years old, archeologists say

    06/11/2010 5:25:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies · 371+ views
    Turkmenistan.ru ^ | June 7, 2010 | unattributed
    The fifth season of excavations at Akdepe settlement in Chandybil district of the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, has come to an end. Deputy Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan Professor Ovez Gundogdiev led the first national expedition. According to the Neitralny Turkmenistan newspaper, during the excavations the age of the settlement was defined. Until recently, Akdepe was dated to V-IV century BC, i.e. the Eneolithic age. However, the archeologists of the national expedition found pottery belonging to the Neolithic period (VI millennium BC), which corresponds to the Jeitun culture. "Our white-marble capital...
  • China And America Jostle In Middle East

    05/11/2010 7:15:08 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 291+ views
    Eurasian Review ^ | 5/12/2010 | Richard Javad Heydarian
    This century has witnessed China's emergence as the main challenger to the superpower status of the United States. In a dramatic fashion, China is beginning to establish its foothold in the highly strategic, energy-rich region of the Middle East by forging strong ties with regional powers and gradually challenging the U.S.-Israeli regional dominance. Thanks to decades of double-digit economic growth and accelerating military modernization, China now has both the need for and the capability of engaging the Middle East. Confined to the sidelines during the Cold War, the Chinese leadership finally found a window of opportunity to enter the regional...
  • The Political Cost of Military Bases in Post-Soviet Space

    05/09/2010 8:42:13 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 262+ views
    Oilprice.com ^ | 5/10/2010 | John Daly
    Governments with foreign military bases tend to shy away from publicity about their colonial outposts, and recent events in the post-Soviet space shine an unwelcome spotlight on US and Russian military establishments The US Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan and Russia’s lease extension on Ukraine’s historic port of Sevastopol are presently earning much unwanted attention, which is serving to agitate the local populations in both countries. Furthermore, Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenko, who provided sanctuary to ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has used the opportunity to berate Russia for failing to pay for its early warning missile base near Baranavichy and...
  • USA doesn’t plan lasting military presence in Kyrgyzstan – envoy

    05/04/2010 7:18:12 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 190+ views
    ITAR-TASS ^ | 5/04/2010 | ITAR-TASS
    The United States does not plan a lasting military presence in Kyrgyzstan, U.S. Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Michael McFaul told a Tuesday press conference in Bishkek. The transit center located on the premises of the Bishkek Manas Airport supports the coalition operations in Afghanistan and helps fight terrorism, which endangers not only the United States but also Russia and Kyrgyzstan, McFaul said, adding that the center was beneficial for all. One should not view the Kyrgyz interim government as pro-Russian or pro-American, McFaul said. As for the scandal around the Kyrgyz delivery of fuel and...
  • Revolution in Central Asia: Who’s Next?

    04/21/2010 9:32:38 AM PDT · by bananaman22 · 2 replies · 149+ views
    Oilprice.com ^ | 21/04/2010 | Philip de Leon
    On April 7, 2010 the President of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the capital city of Bishkek that was under a state of emergency after antigovernment protesters started clashing with security forces following incidents that started in the Northern city of Talas, close to the Kazakhstan border. By the end of April 7, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty was reporting 40 dead and 400 wounded, numbers that have over doubled since. In this context, one can only wonder which country in Central Asia could be next, if any, and which Central Asian leader could find himself out of a job and...
  • Russia told its military to protect ethnic Russians in Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday

    04/20/2010 1:00:20 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 14 replies · 377+ views
    reuters.com ^ | April 20, 2010
    Russia told its military to protect ethnic Russians in Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday as the country's new interim leaders struggled to restore order after a violent uprising that ousted the president. President Dmitry Medvedev issued the order after looters attacked Russian and Meskhetian Turkish villagers on the outskirts of the capital Bishkek in violence that killed five people as night fell on Monday. Interim rulers who took control after the April 7 overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev are facing lawlessness around Bishkek and resistance from Bakiyev loyalists in the south. Russia and the United States both operate military bases in the...
  • Syria in China’s New Silk Road Strategy

    04/17/2010 2:31:35 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 278+ views
    The Jamestown Foundation ^ | 4/16/2010 | Christina Lin
    While the international community is fixated on Iran’s nuclear program, China has been steadily expanding its political, economic and strategic ties with Syria. Since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited China in 2004 on the heels of the 2003 U.S. intervention in Iraq, there have been increased economic cooperation and more recently, a flurry of high-level exchanges on political and strategic issues. On April 5, while at the 7th Syrian International Oil and Gas Exhibition “SYROIL 2010” to attract local, Arab and foreign investors, Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sufian al-Allaw told the state-run Xinhua News Agency that he...
  • Kyrgyzstan extends U.S. lease of air base

    04/16/2010 4:51:04 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies · 263+ views
    UPI ^ | 4/16/2010 | UPI
    Kyrgyzstan's interim government said it will extend the U.S. lease of a key air base by another year. "Kyrgyzstan is extending by one year the validity of the agreement with the United States over the Manas transit center," Omurbek Tekebayev, the deputy leader of the opposition, was quoted as saying by BBC News. Washington is using the air base in Manas to fly troops and equipment in and out of Afghanistan. After the bloody unrest that ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev last week, the U.S. government had been worried that the opposition would throw the Americans out. The move to keep...
  • China, US, Russia eye Bishkek

    04/14/2010 10:40:14 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 435+ views
    The Diplomat ^ | 4/12/2010 | richard Weitz
    Kyrgyzstan may be a landlocked country with a population of less than 5.5 million, but it still looms large in the regional calculations of China, Russia and the United States. The Kyrgyz Republic is the only country to host both a Russian and a US military base. The Russian base at Kant symbolises Moscow’s preeminent security role in the region, while the US base at Manas plays a vital role in sustaining NATO military operations in Afghanistan. And Kyrgyzstan also borders Xinjiang, prompting concerns among Chinese policymakers over infiltration by terrorists and narcotics smuggling into this sensitive province as well...
  • Kazakhstan To Open Its Airspace For US Military Planes

    04/12/2010 4:48:52 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 15 replies · 522+ views
    RTT News ^ | 4/12/2010 | RTT News
    Kazakhstan has decided to open its airspace to U.S. military aircraft ferrying supplies to American troops serving in Afghanistan, it was decided on Sunday at a meeting between President Barack Obama and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Washington. The permission granted by Kazakstan means that U.S. planes en route to Afghanistan can now use the polar route instead of flying along the indirect route through Europe, which would save precious time and fuel for moving supplies to forward locations in the war-ravaged country. The meeting, the first between the two leaders, took place on the eve of the Nuclear...
  • US troop flights at Kyrgyz base suspended: military

    04/09/2010 10:53:06 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 11 replies · 934+ views
    AFP via Google News ^ | 4/10/2010 | AFP via Google News
    The US military has suspended troop flights out of its base in Kyrgyzstan and will instead transport forces to and from Afghanistan via Kuwait, military officials said Friday. Amid political upheaval in the strategic Central Asian nation, US commanders at the Manas air base decided late Friday "to temporarily divert military passenger transport flights," Major John Redfield, a spokesman for US Central Command, said in an email. Decisions on continuing other military flights "will be made on a case-by-case basis," he said. The suspension came after the Americans spotted armored vehicles on the civilian side of the airport, a defense...
  • U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan resumes normal operations

    04/09/2010 4:01:10 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 6 replies · 367+ views
    Washington Post ^ | 4/09/2010 | Reuters
    The U.S. air base in Kyrgyzstan has resumed normal operations after cutting back flights because of violent unrest nearby in the capital Bishkek, a spokesman said on Friday. Flights from the Manas base, which support military operations in Afghanistan, were suspended during clashes that killed at least 75 people and prompted the president to flee Bishkek, the NATO-led force in Afghanistan said on Thursday. Manas spokesman Major Rickardo Bodden told Reuters on Friday that the base was again working normally. "It resumed normal operations today. We curtailed operations for a short period of time," he said. Since Wednesday, the worst...
  • Kyrgyzstan: Tulip Revolution Reloaded

    04/08/2010 10:48:20 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 6 replies · 390+ views
    April 7 became yet another day of momentous change in Kyrgyzstan. More than 70 people died during clashes with police, and roughly 1,000 were injured in anti-government protests across the country (www.diesel.elcat.kg, April 8). The scope of causalities is unprecedented in Kyrgyzstan. Spontaneous protests erupted across the country demanding the resignation of President, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who has become infamous for his corruption and authoritarianism. Opposition leaders, in turn, declared that they have formed a provisional government after seizing the government headquarters. Bakiyev sought refuge in the southern town of Osh, after anti-government crowds flooded onto the streets in Bishkek. Through...
  • The Hydropower Solution in Central Asia: yes but…

    03/29/2010 3:30:16 PM PDT · by Faketan · 149+ views
    OilPrice.com ^ | 03/29/2010 | Philip H de Leon
    Surfing the wave of the hype for renewable energy such as hydropower and the invitation by the United States to many regional countries to get involved in the efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, Tajikistan is bringing back to the table the Rogun hydropower dam project. Rogun, conceived in Soviet days, was planned to generate 3,600 megawatts but the collapse of the Soviet Union halted the completion of this project. Now an independent country, Tajikistan, one of the poorest in the world, sees Rogun as a central element for its energy independence and a source of severely needed foreign currencies that could...
  • Supply lines to Afghanistan from Central Asia, Pakistan called critical

    01/08/2010 11:22:07 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 230+ views
    World Tribune ^ | 01/06/2010 | World Tribune
    A senior defense official last month disclosed key elements of the U.S. military and allied supply routes into Afghanistan. David Sedney, assistant defense secretary for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Afghanistan lacks rail lines and roads needed for supplying forces in Afghanistan through a new Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a system of roads used to truck in military supplies. The supply routes are the most significant strategic elements of the U.S. strategy of pacification of the Taliban and the bolstering of Afghan police and military forces.
  • Pamir Mountains, the Crossroads of History

    12/24/2009 9:59:14 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 3 replies · 441+ views
    New York Times ^ | December 20, 2009 | ANDY ISAACSON
    BY 9 in the morning, the bazaar on a rocky island in the Panj River was a frenetic scene of haggling and theatrics. Afghan traders in long tunics and vests hawked teas, toiletries and rubber slippers. Turbaned fortune tellers bent over ornate Persian texts, predicting futures for the price of a dollar. Tajik women bargained over resplendent bolts of fabric. All were mingling this bright Saturday at a weekly market held throughout the year and, in one form or another, for thousands of years here in the Wakhan Valley, which divides Tajikistan and Afghanistan. “Mousetraps, mousetraps, mousetraps, oooowww!” crooned a...
  • Examining The EU Strategy For Central Asia

    11/25/2009 12:12:01 PM PST · by Ghost of Jesus Gil · 4 replies · 367+ views
    RSD Reports ^ | November 25, 2009 | Jos Boonstra
    Central Asia faces a broad range of security challenges. Due to the region’s position at the crossroads between Russia, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and the Caspian Sea it is confronted with a range of trans-national issues such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, organised crime and terrorism. Central Asia also encounters specific regional threats including scarcity of water resources for generating power and irrigation purposes, which is currently causing tension. On a national level the five Central Asian republics face the threat of instability due to bad governance and the harsh impact of the economic crisis.
  • Water – Not Oil is Central Asia’s Most Precious Resource

    11/20/2009 5:03:03 PM PST · by staffjam · 1 replies · 379+ views
    OilPrice.com ^ | 20/11/2009 | OilPrice.com
    Most foreign investors have been focused on Central Asia’s vast hydrocarbon resources and the extractive industries of energy and Minerals. But water is an issue of rising concern throughout the region as after years of soviet mismanagement geopolitical tensions are running high. These regional problems present outside companies willing to think outside the box with an incredible opportunity and a guaranteed red carpet welcome. Simply put, the region’s scarce water resources were misused to satisfy the autarchic needs of the entire USSR, whose breakup in 1991 completely disrupted inter-republic trade patterns, leaving the Stans with the remnants of a centrally...