Central Asia: Where the Dictators Roam


December 13, 2005: In Central Asia, the three way struggle between democrats, dictators and Islamic radicals has, in 14 years, had a very low body count, and left the dictators winning. The democrats have made some progress, and the Islamic radicals have produced more smoke than fire. Several generations of Soviet rule left most of the population more dependent on the government, and less able to carry out independent action. The former communist bureaucrats who took over when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, proved capable, if crude, in how they held on to power. If most Islamic radicals were not so focused on Iraq and Afghanistan, there might be more outside support for Islamic radicals in Central Asia. But for now, Central Asian Islamic radicals are on their own, and much overmatched as a result.

December 11, 2005: Germany will continue operating its base southern Uzbekistan, where 300 German troops provide support for another 2,200 German troops in Afghanistan. These Western bases are popular in the areas where they are, as they bring in jobs, business activity and exotic foreigners.

December 6, 2005: Uzbekistan is forcing foreign and local political NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) to dissolve. These NGOs have sponsored the establishment of democracy and clean government, which the current government sees as a threat.


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