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International Security Index iSi increased to 2804 points. Tolipov, Dunay comment events of the week.

19.03.2013

MOSCOW, MARCH 19, 2013. PIR PRESS Among the major and most serious threats coming from Afghanistan are religious extremism, terrorism, and conflict escalation. But the greatest problem to Central Asia is drug trafficking. The issue of drug trafficking in Afghanistan is directly related to the internal situation in the country and the survival of Afghans after military devastation. More than 30% of the drugs in the world are produced in Afghanistan. Most of them are transported through the territory of Central Asia, then in Russia and Europe. Only 10% of the total drug traffic delivered from IRA can be seized on the borders. The bulk of the drugs reaches their consumers”, - director of the private research and educational center "Bilim Karvon" ("Caravan of knowledge"), Farhad Tolipov.

During the week of March 11-18, 2013, the International Security Index iSi increased to 2804 points. In Syria, the confrontation between the army and rebels continued on the outskirts of Damascus and Aleppo. The authorities formed a team for negotiation with the opposition. In Egypt, near the headquarters of Muslim Brotherhood violent clashes broke out between demonstrators and the police provoked by the frequent cases of Islamists attacking journalists. In Israel, after long negotiations period a coalition government without representatives of ultra-radical parties was formed. Terrorist attacks occurred in Iraq, Pakistan and Syria. North Korea tested two short-range missiles in the Sea of Japan. Meanwhile, the USA refused to develop the fourth phase of the European missile defense system in favor of strengthening missile defenses in the Pacific region due to the threats emanating from Pyongyang. China has officially completed the procedure of transferring power; Xi Jinping was elected chairman of China. In Brussels, the European Union summit on the problems of economic recovery of the euro area was held. In Germany and Spain protests against economic policies of the authorities took place.

Comments on the week's events by members of the International Expert Group of the PIR Center

p7286_1.jpgFarhad Tolipov (Uzbekistan) - Director of the private research and educational center "Bilim Karvon"("Caravan of knowledge") - by phone from Tashkent: Major threats and security risks in Central Asia are still connected to the situation in Afghanistan. On the background of the forthcoming withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2014 discussions about sharpening situation in Central Asian republics intensified. Some experts predict that in 2014 a new arc of instability will appear in the world political map. But such talks shouldn’t be exaggerated. Threats and challenges emanating from Afghanistan and posing a threat to neighboring regions have existed before and during the military operation of  ISAF and they will not disappear after the withdrawal of ISAF troops. The only question is, to what extent and at what level these threats will emerge.

Among the major threats coming from Afghanistan are religious extremism, terrorism, and conflict escalation. But the greatest problem to Central Asia is drug trafficking. The issue of drug trafficking in Afghanistan is directly related to the internal situation in the country and the survival of Afghans in military devastation. More than 30% of the drugs in the world are produced in Afghanistan. Most of them are transported through the territory of Central Asia, then in Russia and Europe. On the borders of these states can be seized only 10% of the total drug delivered from an IRA. The bulk of the drugs reaches consumers. A side effect of such transportation is that drug use grows in the Central Asian region. This is of particular concern for the republics. Hamid Karzai's government and all the neighboring states that are interested in Afghan stabilization efforts should make something urgently to solve the drug problem. Among the main steps should be mentioned the necessity to develop country’s economy, alternative sector of the country's industry and to employ people. Perhaps, then, the Afghan people will gradually realize that they can survive not only through drug trafficking.

No less discussed theme in the expert community is the ability to restore the Northern Alliance for countering the Taliban if they attempted to regain power in the country. It should be noted that the Northern Alliance is a phenomenon of the recent past of Afghanistan history as well as the emergence of Taliban movement. In other words it is not as permanent factors of history of Afghanistan. Various groups of Afghans gathered in the early 90's of the 20th century to resist the Taliban. Today, only in case of Taliban revival and its new attempts to seize power in the country, the revival of the Northern Alliance can happen. But I do not think such scenario is possible. After the withdrawal of ISAF troops from Afghanistan external forces will support the country for a long time and the attempts of any groups within the IRA to seize the power by force are doomed to failure.

Pal_Dunay.pngPál Dunay, (Hungary), Head of the International Security Program of the Geneva Center for Security Policy - by e-mail from Budapest: Global security changes have been underlined by the continuation of some conflicts and the contribution to effective conflict resolution in some others. It is the most important that the conflict in Syria is not getting closer to resolution and when it does the needs of recovery will be enormous in light of the continuation of the de facto civil war for a long-long time. Although the continuing instability and fierce fighting in Syria is the most visible it also became clear during the past months that two years after the Arab spring the new state authorities (in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia) and in some cases old ones (Bahrain) could not consolidate their rule and volatility continues. This has major effect on the international security situation that has been deteriorating.

The Mali conflict and its effective termination as far as secessionist attempts is another recent development that can be interpreted in multiple ways. It is important to see that the security situation has continued to deteriorate in the Middle East and North Africa. The recent ballistic missile test and the nuclear weapon test carried out by the DPRK have been understandably serious sources of concern. Iran's continuing advancement towards nuclear capabilities and Israel's view that regards it an existential threat contributes to the deterioration of the security situation. Two elections and the governments formed in light of the results have some impact on the international security situation. The reelection of the Netanyahu government in Israel means the continuation of earlier policies that makes reconciliation with the Palestinians largely impossible. The U.S. administration had to learn the limits of its influence on Israel's policies, including settlements. I count on continuing deterioration in the next few months due to the accumulation of various security problems without the rapid resolution of any of the pending conflicts and the removal of any sources of conflict.

For all the questions concerning the International Security Index please contact Galiya Ibragimova by e-mail ibragimova at pircenter.org

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