the Disillusioned kid: The Next Move In the New Great Game
| Email | Home | Linkage | Profile |

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Next Move In the New Great Game

In my analysis of Uzbekistan's decision to evict the US from the Karshi-Khanabad (K2) airbase (see e.g. here) I have argued that this should be seen in the context of a concious decision on Karimov's part to reorientate himself towards Russia and China. I still think this is the case and believe that the "New Great Game" is a useful way of viewing politics in the region, however, this article (via) suggests that the US and Uzbekistan have not entirely gone their separate ways:
US officials remain interested in maintaining both a civilian and military presence in Uzbekistan. According to a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity, Washington would like to secure a continuation of over-flight rights. American authorities also deem an on-the-ground presence to be vital for ongoing efforts to contain the growth of Islamic radicalism in the Ferghana Valley, and to stem the trafficking of narcotics grown in Afghanistan.

While still interested in engaging the Karimov administration on a variety of issues, some Washington analysts expect the State Department to reach out to a wide variety of political actors in Uzbekistan -- including those perceived to be pragmatists within the Karimov Administration, as well as to moderate Muslim elements. The United States, analysts say, would consider working with Uzbeks who would potentially pursue a reform course and would be willing to cooperate with the United States on matters of common interest, including the fights against terrorism and Islamic radicalism.
In itself this decision to reach out to "reformists" (the reason for the quotation marks will hopefully become clear) should not be all that surprising. The US's alliance with Karimov was never driven by any kind of ideological affinity, beyond a wish to crush Islamic extremist groups. Rather both sides were driven by considerations of what was in their interests. This hasn't changed. All that's different now is that Karimov's decided he's better off playing with the Russians and, as a result, Bush has had to step-up the search for a new friend in the country, a concern given the strategic import of the region. Expect any new ally to be trumpeted as a great democrat, even if - as the article seems to imply is likely - their actually involved in the Karimov regime and implemented in its crimes (cf Iyad Allawi). Ordinary Uzbeks, of course, remain unpeople in all of this.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Side Projects

Carnival of Anarchy
The Peace Pipe
UK Watch Blog


Against the Current
Culture hits and gendered bits
Daniel Randall
In The Water
Mike Wood
On The Barricades
Pizarro's Sword
Space Cat Rocket Ship
Surveillant Assemblage
TashCamUK FotoPage
The Naked Lunch
The Peace Pipe
The World of the Dynamite Lady


Anarchoblogs Blog
Arte & Lingua
Barker in Valencia
Blood & Treasure
Bombs and Shields
Born at the Crest of the Empire
Chase me ladies...
Chicken Yoghurt
Craig Murray
Dead Men Left
Disreputable Lazy Aliens
Empire Notes
Friends of Al Jazeera
Global Guerillas
Guerillas in the Midst
I Blame the Patriachy
Informed Comment
Janine Booth
Lenin's Tomb
Life of Riley Blog
Media Watch Watch
Neil Shakespeare
NO2ID NewsBlog
One Hump or Two?
Otto's Random Thoughts
Pitch In For Uzbekistan
Run over by the truth
Solidarity With Iraqi Workers
Shut Up You Fat Whiner!
Sudan: Passion of the Present
Talk Politics
The Anthropik Network
The Daily (Maybe)
The Devil's Kitchen
The Disillusioned
The f-word
The Head Heeb
The Killing Train
The Revenge of Winston Smith
The Socialist Unity Blog
The Wicked Truth
Theory of Power
Things I Don't Have Time For
This (Fresh) Gringo
This Is My Truth
Thumping the Tub
Time The Dreaded Enemy
UK Watch Blog
UK Poli Blogs
Under The Same Sun
What Fresh Hell Is This?
Where is Raed? (RIP)
Who Are You to Accuse Me?
Words and Rocks
Z-Net Blog


Asbo Community Space
Eastside Climate Action
Faslane 365
No Borders
Nottingham Student Peace Movement
Refugee Forum
Stop the War
Sumac Centre
The Demo Project

Ivory Towers

Anarchist Studies Network
Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice
Postanarchism Clearinghouse


Anarchist FAQ
Chagos Discussion List
Chagos Support Forums
Electronic Intifada
Future of Iraq Portal
Index of Political Blogs
Indymedia UK
Iraq Occupation Focus
Refuser Solidarity Network
Socialist Unity Network
The New Standard
UK Chagos Support Association
UK Watch
Weekly Worker

The Progressive Blog Alliance

Register here to join the PBA.