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Lawrence P. Markowitz

Why do some weak states survive while others collapse? For Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, at least, the secret lies in the state's ability to manage corruption.

Samuel Charap and Alexandros Petersen

The United States may have reset its Russia policy, but the U.S. approach to the other states in the region is in dire need of a conceptual revolution.

Letter From,
David Trilling

Over the years, both Russia and the United States have tried to court Kyrgyzstan. Did their strategic competition help push President Kurmanbek Bakiyev from office?

Essay, Mar/Apr 2002
Pauline Jones Luong and Erika Weinthal

To wage its war in Afghanistan, the Bush administration needed Uzbekistan's help -- and promised a lot to get it. But Washington must not let this short-term marriage of convenience give Uzbekistan long-term regional hegemony. The Uzbek regime's authoritarianism fosters Islamic extremism, which in turn exacerbates tensions among Central Asia's unstable governments. Only a multilateral approach can handle the region's many problems.

Essay, Nov/Dec 1998
Jahangir Amuzegar

The next great oil boom is on: four former Soviet republics on the Caspian Sea are sitting atop an economic bonanza. But they should remember the fate of OPEC, whose members squandered their 1970s windfall. Where did all the money go? The state took on too dominant an economic role and wasted the wealth at home in a rash of boondoggle projects and military buildups. All OPEC members came down with "quick-money fever." They became addicted to supposedly limitless oil revenues even as boom turned to bust. The Caspian states, too, risk going from riches to rags if they do not resist the temptations of petromania.

Essay, Mar/Apr 1998
Valery V. Tsepkalo

Russia's post-Soviet orientation is in serious trouble. The West does not want to see any structure in Eurasia that permits Russian hegemony, but abetting continued chaos in the former Soviet space is hardly in the West's interest. Central Asia and the Caucasus are rife with flash points that could ignite and draw in outside powers, and the presence of nuclear weapons raises the stakes even higher. The United States should support integration, not division. For its part, Russia should work with nearby countries to help unite diverse peoples in a stabler system.

Essay, Jan/Feb 1996
S. Frederick Starr

Central Asia is central to Eurasian security despite its seeming remoteness. Blessed with natural riches, it nevertheless has two wars in progress, ethnic and religious tensions, a limited amount of democracy, and far to go in development. Whether Central Asia consolidates its independence or slides into chaos will help determine whether Russia develops as a normal nation free from regional insecurities and imperial longings. Uzbekistan may be an island of stability and a potential anchor.

Essay, Oct 1962
Maurice Schumann

On August 2, 1914, a young officer burst into the office of General Lyautey in Rabat to inform him that hostilities had just broken out between France and Germany. Lyautey, who had spent the greater part of his career in Asia and in Africa and had acquired the habit of looking at problems not on the scale of a general staff map but on the scale of a world map, stopped to think, then lifted his eyes and said slowly: "They are crazy; it is a civil war." The young officer closed the door behind him without understanding. For him, as for most men of his time, the history of the twentieth century, like that of the nineteenth, could only be written by the European peoples; their strife, however tragic the consequences, was thus in the nature of things.

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