This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Leaving Afghanistan leaves Tajikistan wary

What impact will the withdrawal of the Western-dominated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan this year have on neighbouring Tajikistan?

Goodbye Lenin: Tajikistan's new historical narrative

THE CEELBAS DEBATE // Since the collapse of the USSR the Tajik government has striven to establish a new historical narrative. Statues of Lenin may have disappeared, but for many the difficulties of post-Soviet life are a poor substitute for their previous life, says Eleanor Dalgleish

Bordering on Peace?

%22Bordering"As we move towards the draw-down of foreign forces in Afghanistan, openSecurity asks Afghan, Pakistani and international experts what needs to happen in the region to establish peace.

Persian games: Iran’s strategic foothold in Tajikistan

While international attention on Iran focuses on the country's nuclear programme and anti-western rhetoric, few have noticed the country's constructive attempts to develop a sphere of influence in its fellow Persian-speaking Tajikistan. But as western states ramp up sanctions against Iran, will the overlooked Tajikistan be the one to lose out? asks Brenton Clark

Central Asia: succession planning in dictatorships

Kyrgyzstan aside, recent elections in Central Asia would appear to indicate that the regions’ leaders are aiming to stay in power for life. But what will happen to their regimes when infirmity strikes, wonders Luca Anceschi?

 

Grey zones and first families: the reality of everyday violence in Central Asia

Central Asia has gained a reputation for sporadic outbreaks of ethnic unrest and Islamist insurgency. But the popular depiction of the stans underestimates the most significant sort of violence – the struggle of much of its population to make ends meet under regimes that pride themselves on control, self-glorification and the latent threat of chaos.

A recipe for radicalisation: the campaign against Islam in Tajikistan

A government campaign against Islamic education and political movements in Tajikistan, prompted by an armed conflict with ’mujaheds’ in the Rasht valley, risks creating the very militancy it aims to prevent, write Sophie Roche and John Heathershaw.

Tajikistan’s marginalised youth

Armed conflict has been raging for almost a month in the mountains of the Kamarob gorge between the forces of the Government of Tajikistan and local ‘mujohids’. This is the most serious political violence in Tajikistan for ten years. Here, in the second of a two-part article, Sophie Roche and John Heathershaw draw on ethnographic research and contacts with residents of the region to explain the nature of contemporary ‘Islamic radicalism’ in the area and the possible causes and dynamics of the current violence.

Conflict in Tajikistan – not really about radical Islam

For almost a month, an armed conflict has been raging in the mountains of the Kamarob gorge between the forces of the Government of Tajikistan and local ‘mujohids’. This is the most serious political violence in Tajikistan for ten years. Here, in the first of a two-part article, Sophie Roche and John Heathershaw draw on ethnographic research and contacts with residents of the region to explain the legacy of the civil war and the social and political contexts of this largely unreported conflict.

Al-Shabab renew offensive in Mogadishu

More attacks in Mogadishu, as Al-Shabab steps up its campaign against African Union troops. Convicted Islamists escape prison as fears of militant action in Central Asia increase. Russian security forces kill top Causcaus Emirate leader. Report calls for further US-Russian nuclear disarmament. All this and more in today’s security briefing.
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