Central Asia

Policy Memos | Аналитика
(PONARS Policy Memo) The European Union’s 2007 Strategy for Central Asia identified education as a key area of cooperation. To this end, the EU launched programs to initiate and encourage fundamental reforms, and to liberalize and modernize education systems in the region. Yet, twenty years later, a review by the EU Directorate General for External Policies made clear its disappointment over the EU’s engagement in Central Asia as being “of limited to...
Mariya Omelicheva 20 Feb 2018
(Studies in Conflict & Terrorism) (Co-authored by L. Markowitz) Abstract: The relationship between drug trafficking and terrorism remains a contentious issue. While some assert that drug trafficking is a strong predictor of terrorism, others contest this observation. This study focuses on the impact of the Afghan opioid trade on terrorist violence in Central Asia, a region of drug transit states. We employ Geographic Information Systems–...
Policy Memos | Аналитика
George Gavrilis 06 Nov 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Central Asia’s states have been managing (or mismanaging, as some observers argue) their borders for a quarter century. During this time, they have received substantial sums from international donors to improve their border and customs authorities to foster boundaries that are both open and secure—open to lucrative trade and ties that spur regional development but closed to transnational threats.  This memo...
Policy Memos | Аналитика
Mariya Omelicheva 13 Oct 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) The U.S. government spent $1.9 billion on security assistance to Central Asia between 2001 and 2016. The aid was designed to increase the professionalism of Central Asian ground troops and train and equip security personnel in counterterrorism and counter-narcotics operations. All Central Asian states saw some improvements to their internal security forces as a result. However, two major incremental trends were not addressed...
(Asia Policy) The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), announced by Xi Jinping in 2013 and comprising both the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road, has provoked admiration for China’s growing economic power but also reluctance to endorse it. In Russia, the Kremlin at first saw the initiative as confirmation of an emerging rivalry with China in the post-Soviet space, especially an attempt to pull the five Central Asian republics away...
Policy Memos | Аналитика
Natalie Koch 28 Sep 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Relations between Central Asian states and the Gulf Arab monarchies have expanded rapidly over the past decade. With one of the most outward-looking foreign policy agendas of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, Qatar’s leadership has increasingly entertained bilateral cooperation with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. The country opened its embassy in Astana in 2008, shortly after Kazakhstan opened its own...
Policy Memos | Аналитика
(PONARS Policy Memo) Over the past fifteen years, the EU has sought to gain visibility and influence in Central Asia. It has pressed soft power strategies and a values agenda, but mostly has structured its approach along pragmatic lines focusing on economic and security issues. Its policies toward the region take into consideration Russia’s “near abroad” interests, Afghanistan security, drug trafficking, migrants, refugees, and...
PONARS Eurasia 09 May 2017
(South China Morning Post) Washington’s plan was underfunded and under-resourced compared with Beijing’s ‘Belt and Road’ scheme. The contrast between Beijing’s and Washington’s support for a revitalised Silk Road could not be clearer. This month’s Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a gathering of existing and potential stakeholders in China’s trade development initiative, will welcome...

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