Central Asia

The Taliban delegation leaves the hotel after meeting with representatives of Russia, China, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Qatar in Moscow on March 19.

China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance

Beijing has its eyes set on using Afghanistan as a strategic corridor once U.S. troops are out of the way.

Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon

Central Asia Braces for Fallout of U.S. Pullout From Afghanistan

Since the war began, America has had one lens for Central Asia. What happens now?

A train leaves Xian International Port in Shaanxi province, China, for Kazakhstan on April 13.

What Kazakhstan Can Teach About Medium-State Diplomacy

How the self-styled “Asian Geneva” successfully navigated among Russia, China, and the West—at least for now.

People walk in front of a statue.

Uzbekistan’s Online Religious Revival

After years of state oppression, many Uzbeks are finding stricter interpretations of Islam on the internet. Some experts say it could have radical consequences.

A man leaves flowers next to portraits of victims in front of the Reina nightclub where an Uzbek gunman acting on behalf of the Islamic State killed 39 people, in Istanbul on Dec. 31, 2017.

Jihadist Networks Dig In on Social Media Across Central Asia

Almost 500 extremist channels on Telegram, VKontakte, and other networks spread propaganda and vie for recruits. Most of them have ties to the Islamic State.

Supporters of newly appointed Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov wave Kyrgyz flags during a rally in support of Japarov in Bishkek on Oct. 14.

Kyrgyzstan’s Protests Won’t Keep Corrupt Criminals Out of Politics

Members of the criminal underworld have long turned to politics to avoid prosecution. Ousting one set of corrupt leaders in favor of another won’t end the country’s crisis.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence participate in the vice presidential debate moderated by Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today Susan Page at the University of Utah on Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Is a Vice President Who Doesn’t Know Much About Foreign Policy a National Security Risk?

Pence and Harris talked about international politics at the debate, but their performances will leave voters asking if they would be ready to act as commander in chief.

Members of the Islamic State stand alongside their weapons, following their surrender to Afghanistan's government in Jalalabad on Nov. 17, 2019.

Indians and Central Asians Are the New Face of the Islamic State

Terrorists from India, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan were never at the forefront of global jihad before—now they are.

People protesting the results of the parliamentary vote gather by a bonfire in front of the seized main government building, known as the White House, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Oct. 6.

Is This the Beginning of Kyrgyzstan’s Next Revolution?

The Central Asian state is the latest post-Soviet republic jolted by an electoral crisis. But the ongoing protests are driven by internal dynamics, not international ones.

Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Baku, Azerbaijan in December 2003.

Putin Is Ruling Russia Like a Central Asian Dictator

The Kremlin didn’t invent term limit resets and constitutional referendums. The autocratic leaders of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan blazed the trail.

A health care worker gives a COVID-19 test to a medical staff near Halyk Arena in Almaty on July 5, as Kazakhstan imposed a second round of nationwide restrictions to counter a huge surge in coronavirus cases.

COVID-19 Heats Up the New Great Game in Central Asia

Washington has a golden opportunity to counter China’s gains.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin prior to their meeting in New Delhi on Oct. 5, 2018. During the visit, India signed a $5 billion deal to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems despite a U.S. law ordering sanctions on any country trading with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors.

Why India and Russia Are Going to Stay Friends

Conventional wisdom holds that New Delhi will turn to Washington as it increases competition with Beijing. But Moscow’s importance cannot be ignored.

Georgian soldiers wearing protective masks stop a car at a checkpoint in Tbilisi on April 1, 2020 amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

Ex-Soviet Bioweapons Labs Are Fighting COVID-19. Moscow Doesn’t Like It.

One of the greatest achievements of U.S. foreign policy has been targeted by a vicious disinformation campaign.

A cotton grower looks on as she works in a cotton plantation.

It’s Not Time to End the Uzbek Cotton Boycott Yet

Companies should not buy Uzbekistan’s cotton until labor protections and responsible sourcing are guaranteed.

Taliban militants and villagers attend a gathering as they celebrate the U.S.-Afghan peace deal in Laghman province, Afghanistan, on March 2.

For the Taliban, the Pandemic Is a Ladder

The Islamist group is using the coronavirus crisis for propaganda—with potentially dire consequences for those living under its control.

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