On July 7, 2015 I was asked to participate in a lengthy discussion with Voice of America journalist Odil Ruzaliyev regarding the escalating violence in Northern Afghanistan, potential spillover into Central Asia, and the impact of the rise of ISIS on regional security. The interview was posted to Voice of America’s Uzbek Service (in Uzbek) and was made available in audio file format. I have embedded the audio file containing the interview here:
The issues addressed in the interview focused on the impact of growing instability in Afghanistan upon the Central Asian states of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. There was significant time paid to questions involving the impact of ISIS upon Taliban negotiations with Kabul, the affect of ISIS in Afghanistan upon the insurgency, and the importance of the Assad regime in both US strategic policy in battling ISIS and the effectiveness of the effort to defeat the group.
The interview was based on a recent research project and article series posted here at Foreign Intrigue: Afghanistan and Central Asia: A Collective Security Problem. In that article series, I identify several security issues originating in Afghanistan that pose a threat to the states of Central Asia. I also examine the threats to each individual state and conduct an analytical assessment of how each state, working in concert with the others in the region, can best address and combat the security threats emanating from Afghanistan.
The interview went further afield to go in depth on the impact of ISIS upon a wider Islamist threat to the Central Asian states, the role of the state regimes in the battle, and how the war in Syria is affecting the security landscape of Central Asia.
In more recent days, negotiations between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s national government appear to have gained the support necessary to continue pursuit of a resolution to 15 years of insurgency and conflict. With the intensifying insurgent violence in several provinces in Northern Afghanistan and the P5+1 agreement reached on the issue of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, the issue of stability in Eurasia and the Middle East has only grown in importance. As the war in Syria rages on and the international community’s battle against ISIS continues unabated, the issues addressed in the interview linked above have taken on additional importance.
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