Central Asia: March 19, 2001


The Central Asians are reorganizing their armed forces and recruiting paramilitaries to deal with drug gangs, bandits and Islamic fundamentalists. Herders living on the border areas are being hired as part time guides for the army. Garrisons in border areas are being increased. Troops are getting pay raises and new equipment is being purchases. One downside of this is skirmishes between troops from neighboring troops along poorly defined borders. During the Soviet era, the exact placement of these borders was not an issue. Now it is, especially when villages think they are in one country, but are actually (or maybe) in another.


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