December 5, 2012

Crisis Looms in the Old Soviet Union

Ahmed Rashid, Financial Times

AP Photo

For all the anxiety in Moscow and Washington about the shifting balance of power in Afghanistan, it does not represent the greatest threat to central Asia. What could really undermine the ex-Soviet states is the increasing pauperisation of their people, the collapse of services such as health and education, and the excesses of dictators and failure of governments – except for Kyrgyzstan’s – to carry out any political, social or economic reforms. Unfortunately as the new Great Game continues, both Russia and the US are ignoring the social and economic crisis that is about to erupt in central Asia. That crisis will not be because of Afghanistan.

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TAGGED: United States, China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia


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