Geopolitics in Central Asia: A Research Series
Five Central Asian states emerged from the former Soviet Union. Three of these are energy rich and two are desperately poor. They are challenged by ongoing Islamist radicalism, terrorism, clan politics, corruption, and potential political fragmentation. And they are central to the interests of many of the world's great powers: the US fears the loss of supply lines into Afghanistan; Russia is concerned about the spread of Islamism and is determined to control the region's energy supplies; and China is worried about the long-term US presence in its backyard and investing heavily in the region.
This list of issues raises a fundamental question: will the region be home to a new geopolitical "Great Game" focused on 21st century issues, or are opportunities for cooperative available?
Led by SSP Affiliate, Carol Saivetz, this project addresses the on-going geopolitical rivalries in the region and how they intersect with indigenous forces. The project will include analyses of Afghanistan and the war's impact on Central Asia, the growing Iranian interests in Turkmenistan and involvement in Tajikistan, China's interests in energy and infrastructure, Russian threat perception, and US policies in the region. Several articles and op-eds will come out of the research. Please watch the SSP calendar for meetings. All meetings are open to the public. Click here for current schedule of talks.
This project is managed by Carol Saivetz, a research affiliate in the MIT Security Studies Program.