Caucasus - Central Asia

China's ambitions in Xinjiang and Central Asia


In mid-September Chinese President Xi Jinping rounded out a 10-day tour of Central Asia that included state visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek.

Azeri presidential race a non-starter

Weeks to go before energy-rich Azerbaijan’s presidential vote on October 9, and a race is nowhere to be seen. No political ads adorn the capital, Baku, and no candidate spots are running on private TV channels. The incumbent strongman, 51-year-old Ilham Aliyev, is not even bothering to run an active campaign. More than any previous election, Azerbaijanis see this vote as an exercise in futility: the foregone conclusion before anyone goes to the polls is that Aliyev, in office since 2003, is assured of a third, five-year term.

Counter-terrorism not working in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iraq is imploding

Hayat Alvi

20 September, 2013

Lt. Col. Geoffrey Barnes, Detachment 1 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Attack Squadron commander, performs a pre-flight inspection of an MQ-1B Predator unmanned drone aircraft in this file image from September 3, 2008. In the rugged mountains of western Pakistan, missiles launched by unmanned Predator or Reaper drones have become so commonplace that some US counterterrorism officials liken them to

The governments of Yemen, Afghanistan and the United States boast about major advances in the fight against terrorism, mainly Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan, as a result of predator drone attacks targeting senior leaders and counter-terrorism operations on the ground.


Baku urges Ankara not to repeat 2009 ‘mistake’

DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

A senior Azeri official has urged Turkey not to repeat the 2009 “mistake” of attempting to open borders with Armenia before the country withdraws from occupied Azeri lands, underlining that they are suspicious of similar efforts to revive the stalled process between Ankaraand Yerevan.

Armenia surrenders to Russia on the issue of the Customs Union

 Armenia surrenders to Russia on the issue of the Customs Union

Mehmet Fatih Oztarsu

10 September, 2013

Armenia, no longer able to withstand the pressures applied by Russia, has finally agreed to enter the Customs Union. Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan, during a Sept. 2 visit to discuss Russian-Armenian relations in Moscow, made a surprise announcement that Armenia would be entering into the Customs Union formed by a Russian initiative.

The Kremlin's Collapsing Eurasian Sandcastle

 The Kremlin's Collapsing Eurasian Sandcastle

Anton Barbashin, Hannah Thoburn

September 11, 2013

*Anton Barbashin is a Moscow-based International Relations researcher and analyst who has published in Russia's Moskovsky Komsomolets and Nezavisimaya Gazeta. Hannah Thoburn is a Eurasia analyst based in Washington and is one of the Foreign Policy Initiative’s 2012-2013 future leaders.

Vladimir Putin’s dream of creating a Eurasian Union is about to breathe its last breath. Over the past several weeks, Russia has made headlines with its bullying of Ukraine for the latter’s intention to sign an association agreement with the European Union in November.

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