Caucasus - Central Asia

Caspain gas project set to start in 2013: Ankara

Caspain gas project set to start in 2013: Ankara

BRATISLAVA – Anatolia News Agency

Construction on the Azeri-Turkish Trans Anatolia Pipeline (TANAP) project will begin this year, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a press conference in Slovakia Forum on Feb. 6.

“We took a new step with Azerbaijan. The agreement for TANAP has been approved in the parliaments of both sides,” he said. He added that construction on the pipeline would start this year.

Another Regional War in the Wings

Another Regional War in the Wings

 

The National Interest, 31 January 2013

In the conflict zone stretching from Syria to Afghanistan lies another war waiting to re-emerge: Nagorno-Karabakh. This dispute is likely to occupy President Obama’s new foreign-policy team whether they want it or not.

Afghanistan in Retrograde: America Prepares to Withdraw

Afghanistan in Retrograde: America Prepares to Withdraw

 

 

Time, 23 January 2013

For the past few years, American troops in Afghanistan have used the winter months to make progress in counterinsurgency before the next fighting season. But with the end in sight for the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, American forces have a different kind of mission this winter. This is the first in a series of stories by Nate Rawlings, assigned to document the dismantling of the U.S. installations in Afghanistan in the walk-up to the withdrawal of troops by the end of 2014.

Notes from Kabul: Thoughts on Building Peace and Nations in an Insurgency

Notes from Kabul: Thoughts on Building Peace and Nations in an Insurgency

Small wars Journal, 17 January 2013

Eleven years into the post-9/11 operation to remove the terrorist threat posed by the Taliban and their one-time Al-Qaeda allies from Afghanistan, the international effort is winding down. International troop numbers have already shrunk from a peak of over 135,000 in 2011, to a forecast 100,000 by the end of 2012. If plans work out, this will be half this number again by the end of 2013 and reduce further to around 25,000 12 months beyond that date. At the same time, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is being built up as a 350,000-strong local lead.

Georgian Dream Shows Its Dark Side

Georgian Dream Shows Its Dark Side

 

Foreign Policy, 29 November 2012

When Georgian President Mikheil Saakasvhili conceded defeat in parliamentary elections last month, he set an admirable and important precedent. Never before in the Caucasus, and only rarely in the post-Soviet space as a whole, had a leader transferred power peacefully following a democratic election. Long derided as an authoritarian by his domestic opponents, the Kremlin, and cynical naysayers in the West, Saakashvili put his country before his political career when he made way for the Georgian Dream coalition of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili to assume control of parliament.

Administration debate on pace of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan hinges on risk assessments

Administration debate on pace of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan hinges on risk assessments

The Province, 3 December 2012

WASHINGTON - The debate over how many U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014 comes down to risky business.

There is a risk that leaving too few troops after 2014 would stop or stall the already slow development of the Afghan army and police, whose competence — and that of the Afghan government as a whole — is crucial to ending the war successfully.

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