Category: Central Asia

War in Syria Has Reverberations in the North Caucasus

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On September 20, the first deputy director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Sergei Smirnov estimated that 300-400 Russian citizens are participating in the conflict in Syria. “They will come back and that, naturally, is posing a serious danger,” the…

U.S. Concerned About Pakistani Nuke Security, Secret Budget Reveals

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U.S. intelligence officials are far more worried about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and materials than the government has publicly admitted, according to a report on the secret budget for U.S. intelligence operations that was leaked to the Washington Post by…

Decision Time for Central Asia: Russia or China?

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Vladimir Putin’s vision of an expanded Eurasian Customs Union poses a dilemma for Central Asia’s former Soviet republics – do they privilege their relations with Russia or deepen their ties with China? Li Lifan and Raffaello Pantucci consider the problems…

Syrian warplanes pound targets near Turkey

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(CNN) — As Syrian government warplanes operated uncomfortably close to Turkey’s border again Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backed up American support for the opposition by adding to Washington’s humanitarian aid. Government jets pounded Ras al-Ain on Wednesday, a…

Azerbaijan Breaks Iranian-Linked Spy Network

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Jamestown.org: The South Caucasus has emerged as a battleground between Iran and its adversaries. Recent weeks have seen Iranian assassination attempts against Israeli diplomats in Baku and Tbilisi, a massive Israeli-Azerbaijani arms deal (EDM, March 7) and, most recently, the…

Putin Uses Symbols of Soviet Power to Announce Idea of Eurasian Union

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Jamestown.org: On October 3, 2011, Vladimir Putin made headlines by putting forward the idea of a Eurasian Union including several post-Soviet states. This was his first foreign policy initiative since the announcement of his candidacy for a third mandate, made…

Chinese Firms Aiding Pakistani Ballistic Missile Work: Cables

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Newly leaked U.S. State Department cables indicate that a number of Chinese firms have sold or attempted to sell equipment to Pakistan that could be used to improve its ballistic missiles, the Indian Express reported on Sunday (see GSN, July 14).

Sino-Indian Relations: A Thaw in the Offing?

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A series of moves by China indicate that it is exploring new options in its relationship with India, including a policy of engagement. By Rupakjyoti Borah for ISN Insights