Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has awakened Russia’s neighboring Central Asian states to possible dangers lurking to the north. They’re yet unsure how to react.
The five countries in the region are uncertain in part because they have tight economic ties and also because Russia provides an armored security blanket against Islamic fundamentalist groups to the south and even unrest at home.
“Russia was seen as a source of stability. It now seems that its presence in a very sensitive security dimension has become a weakness for regional stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Temur Umarov, a researcher at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “This is one of the most crucial crises we are going to face.”
I am a former correspondent who, for more than 30 years, did time in China, Southeast Asia, Central America, Mexico, the Middle East, Europe and Africa and covered wars that went from episodic to non-stop. My book, "Forsaken," about Christian persecution in the Middle East came out January, 2016.
NextWarNotes is a news and analysis blog designed to fill gaps, provide background and think about what’s next.
The name of the site comes from a 1935 article by Ernest Hemingway in Esquire Magazine called “Notes on the Next War,” in which he predicted the coming conflagration in Europe, told why it would happen and warned Americans to stay out.
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