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Security South and Central Asia

Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan: The World’s Next Narco-State?

Shortly after capturing Kabul, the Taliban announced that it would crack down on opium production in Afghanistan, threatening a blow to one of the country’s most profitable industries. While the group was somewhat successful at drug interdiction during its previous stint in power two decades ago, a number of factors, including the need for popular support, international pariah-hood, and ongoing economic collapse, render it unlikely that the Taliban will truly follow through on its promise.

India Politics South and Central Asia

Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Victory: What Does it Mean for Nepal’s Neighbourhood?

The electoral turmoil in Nepal witnessed a new development, when on the 20th of December, 2020 the nation’s president, Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved its parliament. Months of uncertainty in Government, coupled with the disastrous impact of the pandemic drove the nation to a political stalemate, until Sher Bahadur Deuba secured the position of Prime Minister with the backing of the parliament. What is the future course that the new Nepalese government will take and how will it shape their future in the region?   K.P Sharma Oli’s exit has stalled China’s rapprochement of Nepal, leaving a vacuum that can be filled by neighbouring aspirations from India. Nepal’s future in the South Asian neighbourhood will be marked by its management of the two regional powers, and a potential balancing act that can protect its self interests.

Security South and Central Asia

Kyrgyz-Tajik Relations in the Fergana Valley: Trapped in a Soviet-era Labyrinth

Recent border clashes between Kyrgyz and Tajik troops, which have thus far claimed the lives of over 50 civilians and military personnel, are the latest skirmishes in what seems to be an eternal pattern of sovereignty-related disputes between the two Central Asian nations. There is a case to be made that the problems in the region, driven predominantly by each states’ respective claims to land and water resources, can be attributed to the legacy of both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan’s historical position within the Soviet Union.

Politics South and Central Asia

Russia-Armenia Ties Complicate Turkish Regional Plans

In ending Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian-brokered accord between Armenia and Azerbaijan in November 2020 removes the Azerbaijani condition for the creation of a regional stability pact in the South Caucasus first proposed in 1999. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, hopes that Armenia will now take the steps needed to establish such a security system. However, the political crisis in Armenia since the November ceasefire calls into question whether Yerevan will have the willingness to commit to this regional initiative.

International South and Central Asia

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: How Delhi is losing the Indian-Chinese soft power game in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has increasingly become a focus of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the last decade. The Hambantota port development project is a notable example, an ambitious but costly endeavour by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, which was in the end handed over by the government to a Chinese enterprise on a 99-year lease in 2017 to reduce its spiralling debt burden.

South and Central Asia The Security Briefing

NATO’s Afghanistan Withdrawal: Regional interests and civil war fears

A deal has been recently struck in US-Taliban peace talks and progress towards long term peace seems increasingly possible. However, with a likely NATO withdrawal and recent election results, there continues to be a substantial risk to the country’s security and the likelihood of descent into civil strife. 

South and Central Asia Technology and infrastructure

Central Asia: The Land of CyberCrime?

The development of telecommunications in Central Asia has increased regional online presence. However, it has also made it vulnerable to cybercrime attacks.

Politics South and Central Asia

Kazakhstan: A new dawn?

Kazakhstan’s leader Nazarbayev resigned from the Presidency after 3 decades to become Chairman of the Security Council and leader of the ruling party.

Insights South and Central Asia

Between a Bear and a Dragon: New challenges for Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev is stepping down. This exposes the new leader to challenges of balancing Kazakh interests between China & Russia

Politics South and Central Asia

Sino-Russian alignment in reality: The case of Central Asia

This article presents an assessment of what the Sino-Russian relationship mean for Central Asia and the United States, in the short and long term.