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Russia supports start of Iran’s SCO membership process | Source: TASS

Russia supports the start of Iran’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) membership process, which has been submitted for approval to the SCO Council of Heads of State. The country plays an important role in Eurasia and Iran’s SCO accession will undoubtedly contribute to enhancing the organization’s international authority, Putin emphasized.

Source: TASS


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Middle East

Russia announced that Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia to get SCO dialogue partner status | Source: TASS

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar will receive dialogue partner status following the SCO summit in Dushanbe on September 16-17, making the organization “developing and getting stronger”, and “covering more and more new geographical areas”. The SCO is a regional international association. Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are its full-fledged members.

Source: TASS


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Expert Analysis

What’s The SCO’s Game Plan For Afghanistan?

What’s The SCO’s Game Plan For Afghanistan?

9 JULY 2021

What

The SCO would do well to coordinate its members’ efforts to contain Afghan-emanating regional terrorist threats such as ISIS-K, encourage a political compromise between Kabul and the Taliban, and devise a plan for developing the war-torn country’s connectivity potential so as to ensure its long-term stability.

The future of Afghanistan is more uncertain than ever before against the backdrop of the Taliban’s rapid advance throughout the country in the wake of America’s impending military withdrawal by 31 August. Most observers predict an intensified period of civil war if the group, which is still regarded as terrorists by most countries such as Russia despite Moscow pragmatically hosting them on several occasions over the years for peace talks, isn’t able to take Afghanistan’s main cities that still remain under government control. The resultant chaos might create a dangerous opportunity for ISIS-K to expand its presence in the country and even become a major security threat to Central and South Asia. With the US practically abandoning its anti-terrorist commitments, perhaps for what some suspect might be Machiavellian reasons related to provoking this very scenario, it therefore falls on the SCO to ensure regional security instead.

This group comprises most of the Central Asian Republics (CARs, with the exception of Turkmenistan), China, India, Pakistan, and Russia. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia are observers while Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey are dialogue partners. One of the SCO’s mandates is to jointly confront the threats of terrorism, separatism, and extremism as well as enhance economic cooperation between its members. Considering the fast-moving events described in the first paragraph of this analysis, it therefore follows that they have a natural interest in working together when it comes to Afghanistan. This can take security, political, and economic forms. The first concerns supporting the two member states bordering Afghanistan, especially highly fragile and formerly civil war-torn Tajikistan, while the second involves facilitating dialogue between the warring parties. The third, meanwhile, concerns Afghanistan’s connectivity potential.

To elaborate a bit more, nearly 1,600 Afghan troops reportedly fled to Tajikistan in recent weeks in order to escape the Taliban’s rapid advance in Northern Afghanistan. Sputnik reported that the group has allowed a major border crossing to continue operating unimpeded, and it’s widely known that the Taliban doesn’t harbor any regional expansionist plans. It’s therefore highly unlikely that they’d pose a threat to Tajikistan or any other CAR. Even so, the prevailing uncertainty over Afghanistan’s future might result in large-scale refugee influxes, especially if ISIS-K exploits the situation. For this reason, President Putin recently promised his Tajikistani counterpart full support for ensuring its border security. There should be no doubt that the Russian military base in that country is more than capable of fulfilling this mission if requested to do so, but it nevertheless provides an excellent opportunity for the SCO’s members to cooperate more closely on the security front.

Thus far, its Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) hasn’t seen any real action. The SCO is comprised of very diverse members who lack meaningful security coordination apart from largely symbolic drills that are held every now and then. It would immensely boost the organization’s effectiveness if Tajikistan requested its assistance, even if only for the purpose of functioning as a so-called “live action exercise” in support of the Russian-led mission. That doesn’t imply the prolonged dispatch of their servicemen under the SCO banner either since this could also be accomplished by more intelligence sharing through this structure as well as the provisioning of relevant material support. Although India is in a rivalry with China and Pakistan, they all might put their differences aside in the interests of pragmatism so as to obtain the multilateral security experience that could be put to use during future regional crises, whether concerning Afghanistan or elsewhere.

The second dimension of the SCO’s game plan for Afghanistan should involve all members doing their utmost to encourage a political compromise between Kabul and the Taliban. Reuters reported earlier this week that the latter intends to present a peace plan during talks sometime next month, which might in effect function as an ultimatum for preventing their speculatively planned move on the capital. The Taliban denies that it’s seriously considering any such attack, but observers fear that it might become an inevitability if Kabul refuses to submit to their demands. In order to avoid the pronounced instability that would likely follow that battle, it’s in the SCO’s interests to see to it that the Taliban and Kabul reach a deal during the next round of talks. The Afghan government is already largely demoralized by the US’ withdrawal and its official American ally will soon be less capable of defending it than ever before following its September withdrawal, so this scenario is indeed possible.

Therein lies the third part of what the SCO should do to help Afghanistan and that’s present the basics of a comprehensive regional economic integration proposal for showing all domestic stakeholders that peace would veritably be in everyone’s best interests. February’s agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan to construct a trilateral railway (casually referred to as PAKAFUZ after the first letters of each participating country’s name) could unlock the war-torn country’s supercontinental integration potential by finally bringing together Central and South Asia. That could in turn lead to the establishment of a new economic axis stretching from Russia in Eastern Europe all the way down to India in South Asia that could tentatively be referred to as the SCO Corridor. This ambitious proposal should ideally be presented to Kabul and the Taliban by the SCO as a whole with the assistance of all its members during the next round of peace talks in August.

There isn’t enough time to flesh out the exact details, but each country could still generally commit something or another to this plan, even if only broad promises of financial assistance (whether grants and/or loans) as well as technical expertise. What’s most important is that both warring parties (but especially obstinate Kabul) realize that coming to a pragmatic compromise would suit all of Eurasia’s interests, not just their own, and that the supercontinent’s most promising multipolar body has a direct stake in that outcome. The SCO must walk the walk instead of just talk the talk, so to speak, hence the need to put aside some of its rival members’ differences in order to jointly present a credible plan to this end (whatever its lack of detail for the moment considering the short time frame). The much-needed goodwill and trust that could facilitate this could be greatly advanced through the earlier proposal of providing multilateral security assistance to Tajikistan.

To bring everything together, the SCO has the responsibility to take the lead in ensuring that the situation in Afghanistan doesn’t soon spiral out of control and create fertile ground for ISIS-K’s regional expansion. The bloc can only accomplish this by jointly containing such terrorist threats to the neighboring CARs like Tajikistan, encouraging Kabul and the Taliban to pragmatically reach a political compromise during the next round of peace talks in August so as to prevent the feared intensification of the Afghan Civil War, and greatly assisting the aforementioned by devising a credible plan for transforming Afghanistan into the centerpiece of the proposed SCO Corridor from Eastern Europe to South Asia. This is admittedly a lot to ask for an organization that hasn’t yet ever been confronted with a real crisis, let alone one that’s as urgent as the Afghan Civil War, but it’s still possible to accomplish even some of what’s been suggested so long as the political will is present.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Afghanistan, SCO, Tajikistan, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, ISIS-K, Taliban, US, SCO Corridor.


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India Has Very Limited Security Options For Ensuring Its Interests In Afghanistan

India Has Very Limited Security Options For Ensuring Its Interests In Afghanistan

8 JULY 2021

India Has Very Limited Security Options For Ensuring Its Interests In Afghanistan

The Taliban’s lightning-fast takeover of Afghanistan in the wake of the US’ full military withdrawal by September 11th presents certain security concerns for India, but the South Asian state only has very limited options for ensuring its relevant interests, none of which credibly involve any conventional military involvement contrary to widespread speculation about this scenario.

India is struggling to ensure its security interests in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s lightning-fast takeover of broad swaths of the country in the wake of the US’ full military withdrawal by September 11th. The South Asian state is concerned that the war-torn nation might become a training ground for Kashmiri militants, or even worse, that some Taliban fighters might consider crossing over the Line of Control (LOC) into the Indian side of Kashmir. It should be kept in mind that the Taliban promised the US as part of last year’s peace deal that it won’t support any foreign militants, nor does it have a track record of expansionist plans outside of its native territory, but India still fears the aforementioned worst-case scenarios.

There’s been widespread speculation over the years and especially in recent weeks that India might provide conventional military assistance to Kabul in order to stem the Taliban’s rapid advance. According to those who ascribe to that scenario, this could possibly involve arms transfers, intelligence support, actual troops, and/or private military contractors (PMCs). The first two options are the most credible since they entail comparatively low costs and almost no risks to India itself. The last two ones, however, are much costlier in all respects. India’s leadership must also certainly understand that if it’s still struggling to contain what it regards as security threats in the part of Kashmir under its control, then it’ll be much more difficult to contain the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Some further elaboration on this insight is required in order to better understand India’s strategic calculations. Those who predict that India might commence some sort of conventional military intervention in Kabul’s support are likely influenced by one or two ideas: that India is pursuing a policy of regional expansionism and/or to trap the country in a deadly quagmire. They’re not mutually exclusive either since accepting the first observation as valid can in turn be instrumentalized through a clever information campaign to influence India into taking the second seemingly natural step of getting itself caught in the Afghan quagmire due to its earlier described fear of the Taliban taking over that country.

No matter how afraid India is of the Taliban conquering Afghanistan, there’s almost nothing that it could do to stop this. Even in the best-case scenario of it dispatching military equipment to the internationally recognized authorities there on an emergency basis and ramping up its intelligence support for their forces, that likely won’t be sufficient to stop the Taliban. At most, all that it could do is temporarily delay what appears to be the inevitable outcome of the war. As for the third and fourth policy options, they’d fully depend on Iran passively facilitating India’s military intervention since there’s no way that Pakistan would support this. The incoming “principalist”/”conservative” administration, however, might not be in favor of doing so.

President-Elect Raisi is predicted to take a stronger stand against the US and its proxies upon assuming office. Although Iranian-Taliban ties are complicated, the Islamic Republic might balk at being portrayed as having anything to do with another foreign military intervention in one of his country’s neighbors, especially one which would indirectly aid American strategic goals. It’s one thing for Iran to assist India’s regional economic integration plans through the Central Asian branch of the stalled North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) and another entirely for it to approve the overflight of Indian forces and/or PMCs to Afghanistan in order to fight the Taliban. Some secret agents might still transit through Iran to enter the country, but not on a large scale.

Under these conditions, the best that India can unilaterally do is the first two options that were earlier discussed. It would be much better for its long-term interests, however, if it explored the possibility of entering into secret talks with the Taliban. Some outlets reported that this happened last month even though New Delhi recently denied it. Nevertheless, that’s the most pragmatic policy that India could follow at the present moment. It shouldn’t wage a proxy war against the Taliban via Kabul and/or its own forces/PMCs, but should prepare for the seemingly inevitable reality of that group returning to power to some extent in the coming future. They might still hold a grudge against India, but some level of dialogue is always better than conflict.

India’s Russian ally is the most reliable partner to facilitate such contact if New Delhi had the political will to see this proposed policy through. Although Moscow still officially regards the Taliban as a terrorist group, it nevertheless pragmatically hosted its representatives several times in the Russian capital over the years as part of its efforts to advance the difficult peace process. If Russia could talk to the Taliban despite that group having emerged from the US-backed Mujaheddin of the 1980s that was responsible for killing approximately 15,000 Soviet soldiers and wounding around 35,000 more, then there’s no reason why India can’t do so as well since it never suffered the same level of losses at their forerunner’s hands.

Speaking of Russian-Indian cooperation on Afghanistan, they could also jointly assist Tajikistan with bolstering its border security in the face of ISIS-K’s presence along this frontier. Dushanbe might feel somewhat uncomfortable accepting Indian military aid considering its recent partnerships with New Delhi’s Chinese and Pakistani rivals so it would be more acceptable for everyone if this assistance is coordinated through the SCO in which they all participate. Afghanistan is an observer in this organization so each member’s intelligence support could potentially be funneled through it in order to avoid any perception among some that one or another country’s relevant assistance to Kabul is somehow aimed against their interests (whether directly or indirectly).

With this in mind, an entirely new plan might begin to take shape. Instead of seeking to defeat the Taliban through proxy warfare, something that’s practically impossible to pull off since not even the world’s most powerful military in history could accomplish this task directly despite its two-decade-long occupation of Afghanistan, India should moderate its security goals to containing the threat of ISIS-K’s expansion into Central Asia. This would enable New Delhi to present itself as a responsible regional security stakeholder, especially if it coordinated such efforts through the SCO, perhaps by following Russia’s lead in this respect if Moscow is the first to propose a multilateral campaign to this effect.

There is nothing that India can realistically do to stop the Taliban from training Kashmiri militants apart from retaining a very limited intelligence presence in post-withdrawal Afghanistan to possibly sabotage such efforts on an extremely limited scale. Truth be told, however, that wouldn’t even be necessary to begin with since the Taliban seems to be working very hard to improve its international reputation and therefore is disinclined to train any foreign militants no matter how sympathetic it may speculatively be to their cause. Going back on its word concerning such a globally significant security matter would immediately raise suspicions about its grand strategic intentions and thus reduce the likelihood of it ever being accepted into the international community.

Considering this, India should reconceptualize its security concerns in Afghanistan. The Taliban will most likely take over the country at some time in the future, after which it’ll be cautiously welcomed into the international community for pragmatic reasons. Refusing to enter into dialogue with the group would therefore be a mistake for India’s regional economic interests. Its threat assessment should shift from the Taliban to ISIS-K, and India should accordingly coordinate its relevant security assistance to the Central Asian Republics and especially Tajikistan through the SCO, ideally under Moscow’s aegis. This proposal would enable India to present itself as a responsible regional security stakeholder while pragmatically defending its regional economic interests.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: India, Afghanistan, Russia, Pakistan, Kashmir, Taliban, Tajikistan, SCO, Iran, US.


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Kazakhstan and China discuss joint fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism | Source: Kazakh Telegraph Agency

Kazakhstan and China are discussing a combat against terrorism, separatism and extremism, said the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.”The parties agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including within the framework of international and regional structures of the UN, CICA and SCO,” reads the statement.

Source: Kazakh Telegraph Agency


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Russia Should Discuss Global Issues Without The West

24 FEBRUARY 2021

Russia Should Discuss Global Issues Without The West

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed puzzlement over the West recently discussing global issues without her country during last week’s Munich Security Conference, though Russia should do the same without the West through the SCO in order to pioneer alternative means for addressing these collective concerns even though it would obviously be better if the whole world worked together.

Russia’s Response To Munich

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made some excellent points when criticizing last week’s Munich Security Conference. As reported by TASS, her relevant statement on the topic is as follows:

Considering that the announced agenda had such global items as ‘Priorities for Global Action,’ ‘Fighting the Pandemic’ and ‘Tackling the Climate Crisis,’ the list of participants is at the very least puzzling. Essentially, the problems faced by the whole humanity are planned to be discussed in a very narrowed format. The organizers invited the US and EU leadership as well as the UN secretary general and the WHO director general to join the discussion. There was no mention of inviting other countries, including Russia and China. On the contrary, they were viewed by the discussions as threats and opponents who need to be countered. We once again are forced to note the trend of the past few years when our Western partners seek to resolve issues in a narrow circle and advance decisions that they are comfortable with, which will later be imposed on other members of the international community through the prism of the ‘rule-based world order’”.

Everything that she said deserves to be seriously reflected upon, but it’s about time that Russia finally fights fire with fire if it’s serious about containing the US like Deputy Foreign Ministry Ryabkov recently suggested.

The Global Relevance Of RIC

Russia should discuss global issues without the West if the latter doesn’t want to cooperate with it to address these collective concerns. Moscow mustn’t be left out of constructive global processes just because it wasn’t invited by its rivals to offer its insight on solving them. The SCO is the perfect platform for Russia to work together with its closest partners to this end, particularly China and India through the RIC format. No matter what rhetoric Western representatives might spout, their strategists would be forced to take notice if these three Great Powers reached agreements on globally relevant topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Even if they tried to ignore this potentially game-changing outcome for as long as possible, the rest of the international community that’s mostly comprised of Global South nations would likely ignore them instead should the RIC countries present viable solutions for addressing these issues.

Perfect Timing

This month’s surprise synchronized disengagement agreement between China and India along the vast Line of Actual Control (LAC) between them will greatly reduce bilateral tensions, thus enabling them to work towards restoring their previously strategic relations, perhaps also with tacit Russian backing. Moreover, Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla’s successful visit to Moscow last week patched up their unexpected disagreements over the past few months after many Indians overreacted to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s criticisms of the US’ growing anti-Chinese influence over their country in December. The stage is now set for a revival of RIC, and while some sensitive issues between them might remain unaddressed such as India’s refusal to participate in China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), these three Great Powers could restore the trilateral goodwill between them by pioneering creative solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change as a first step.

Reversing The Strategic Dynamics

At present, the strategic dynamics are such that Russia feels compelled to respond to the West whenever it’s left out of what should ideally be all-inclusive processes such as the Munich Security Conference’s discussions about global issues. Russia must reverse these dynamics at all costs. Instead of Russia responding to the West, the West must be compelled to respond to Russia, but his can only happen if Moscow is successful at reviving RIC in a manner which imbues it with global significance such as if this format proposes creative solutions to the same global issues that the West wants to resolve without any of those three Great Powers. At the end of the day, East and West will have to work together in order to guarantee that these pressing concerns are adequately dealt with, but the only way for that to happen is if the West stops trying to isolate the East. That won’t change until the RIC-led East collectively takes the lead and compels the West follow them instead.

Concluding Thoughts

Mrs. Zakharova’s criticisms about last week’s Munich Security Conference were spot-on, but it’s about time that Russia moves beyond rhetoric and towards tangible responses in reaction to the West’s countless snubs. The Eurasian Great Power has the diplomatic capabilities to revive the RIC format considering the positive developments that have recently taken place within this triangle, and it must see to it that these three countries take the lead in guiding the rest of the Global South. At the moment, the West believes that it can compel the East to react to its proposals, but this strategic dynamic must be reversed otherwise there can never truly be equal cooperation between all. Without that outcome, these pressing global issues will never be adequately addressed, which in turn works out to everyone’s collective detriment. Since the West won’t change its ways on its own, it’s incumbent on the RIC-led East to encourage them to do so by taking the lead instead.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, India, China, RIC, SCO, US, EU, Global South.


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EURASIA

  • RUSSIA AND PARTNERS: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said -during an online summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization– “attempts to exert foreign pressure” in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova are “unacceptable.” Regarding Belarus, he assured they are experiencing unprecedented pressure, stand against sanctions and provocations unleashed on them through an information and propaganda war.

SOURCE: RFERL ORG

 

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The Kyrgyz Compromise: Submitting To The Color Revolution Or Pragmatic Move For Peace?

The Kyrgyz Compromise: Submitting To The Color Revolution Or Pragmatic Move For Peace?

 
7 OCTOBER 2020

The Kyrgyz Compromise: Submitting To The Color Revolution Or Pragmatic Move For Peace?

The Kyrgyz government’s decision to annul the results of the latest elections which were exploited as the “trigger event” for the preplanned Color Revolution against it might be interpreted by some as submitting to that regime change operation even though the argument can also be made that it ‘s a pragmatic move for peace undertaken as a last-ditch effort to stave off a seemingly impending civil war.

Shuffling The Cards”

The author claimed on Tuesday that “The Kyrgyz Color Revolution Crisis Intensifies The US’ Hybrid War Containment Of Russia” after regarding it as the third unconventional front of aggression against the Eurasian Great Power after the ongoing regime change operation in Belarus and Armenia’s efforts to drag Moscow into the South Caucasus cauldron. That analysis still stands even though an attempt at compromise appears to be in the works in the Central Asian country after the government’s decision to annul the results of the latest elections which served as the “trigger event” for the preplanned unrest. The Prime Minister also resigned and was replaced after a parliamentary vote by a former Prime Minister who was jailed for corruption but released by rioters the day before. The previous speaker of parliament also resigned and was replaced by an opposition lawmaker too.

Russian Pragmatism

In response to this “shuffling of the cards”, Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov said that he’s ready to talk to the opposition, suggesting that the “possible way out of the crisis might be organization of new elections or division of power between political forces” but also warning that “There are risks that the country will fall victim of not only internal but also foreign forces.” It’s because of the latter concerns as expressed in the author’s earlier cited analysis that the Russian airbase in the country was put on high alert and the Russian Foreign Ministry “call[ed] on all political forces at this critical moment for the republic to show wisdom and responsibility in order to preserve internal stability and security.” The rapidly unfolding events in this historically unstable country are now moving in the direction of a “political solution”, one which appears to be a Russian-”supervised” “phased leadership transition” in the best-case scenario.

As the author wrote in his earlier piece, “Moscow might succeed in mitigating the blow to its geopolitical interests in the scenario of a regime change in Bishkek since it had previously worked real closely with Atambayev (who’s the most likely candidate to seize power, either directly or by proxy), though only if it can prevent a civil war from breaking out first.” He also advised that “The Kremlin will therefore have to carefully weigh its options in Kyrgyzstan” in order to avoid “the risks that any well-intended Russian military stabilization intervention via the CSTO could entail, perhaps explaining why one never happened in 2010 during more dangerous times.” Unlike in the Belarusian scenario where such an option is largely unrealistic due to the nature of its “national democracy”, Russia seems both able and willing to engage with the Kyrgyz opposition largely considered to be under the control of former President Atambayev.

The North-South Fault Line

There are reasons to suspect that the opposition either coordinated with and/or received unclear degrees of support from Western patrons (through both NGOs and foreign embassies) in executing its regime change operation earlier this week but that doesn’t in and of itself exclude Russia from having pragmatic relations with it in the interests of peace, primarily in order to avoid a disastrous civil war between Kyrgyzstan’s northern and southern halves. This fault line had previously been exploited during its 2005 and 2010 Color Revolutions since it’s a simplified model for explaining its clan competitions. It also adds a geopolitical dimension to the country’s many crises, one which suggests the possible solution of federalizing the state along this axis and incorporating Bosnian- and Lebanese-like “power-sharing” guarantees into the constitution for managing this centrifugal factor. This solution is admittedly imperfect, even fatally flawed one might say, but it’s a solution nonetheless.

Stopping A Civil War Before It Starts

It must be remembered that a civil war should be avoided at all costs because of the very high chances that it could destabilize Central Asia and its neighboring Great Powers of Russia and China. With this in mind, even the most imperfect and perhaps fatally flawed solutions should be seriously countenanced in order to at least buy enough time to bring the country back from the brink of collapse. While some might describe President Joonbekov’s interest in negotiating with the Color Revolution forces as a submission to this preplanned regime change operation, others could just as rightly describe it as a pragmatic move for peace. Russian support for this development would suggest that the country is quickly learning from the five constructive criticisms of its grand strategy that the author outlined over the summer and also imply a willingness to experiment with the equal number of practical recommendations that were proposed, including engaging with its allies’ opposition.

Giving Credit To The Critics

For as optimistic as well-intended observers might want to be, the hard reality of the situation must be accepted by all. Kyrgyzstan is once again on the brink of civil war, and the Western-backed opposition might interpret President Joonbekov’s interest in talks as a sign of weakness presaging the fall of his “regime” (as they and their foreign supporters might describe it) as long as they just “push a little harder” like the EuroMaidan forces did in February 2014 when they toppled President Yanukovich. Critics of the Kyrgyz President’s peacemaking approach might argue that he should show a strong hand, not extend an olive branch (let alone consider the author’s federalization proposal), but this “solution” runs the risk of making civil war inevitable. With the opposition having already recruited so many willing “human shields” (politically sympathetic peaceful civilians) to protect its most radical elements from the security forces’ kinetic responses to their provocations, the collateral damage that this scenario could entail might create a self-sustaining cycle of Hybrid War unrest.

SCO-Supported Federalization Might Be The Best Solution

It’s therefore difficult to judge the Kyrgyz government for its peacemaking outreaches to the opposition, both in terms of its President’s willingness to talk to them and the replacement of its Prime Minister and speaker of parliament with their representatives, since the alternative might arguably be an inevitable civil war. If the latter assessment is accurate, then it suggests that the authorities lost the Color Revolution even before it began since they failed to anticipate events, take appropriate preemptive action, and properly respond to its kinetic manifestation on the night when rioters torched the seat of government and broke two opposition leaders out of prison (the former President and Prime Minister). These dynamics make it natural that the government might now seek to “accommodate” some of the opposition’s demands, but it should be done with the intent of not leading to an all-out lustration of sitting officials, nor any irresponsible developments that could inadvertently provoke the civil war scenario (albeit driven by the incumbent government’s supporters).

The Kyrgyz political system is broken because of the authorities’ inability to keep clan-related politics in check, the proliferation of Western NGOs, and the history of unrest this century which made some members of society hated enemies of one another. Its perpetuation without any meaningful reform will only delay the inevitable repeat of unrest. Although the proposed solution of federalization is basically the “peaceful Balkanization” of the country in practice, it might still be able to avoid a future civil war scenario and help make Kyrgyz politics more manageable for its citizens as well as the regional stakeholders in that country’s stability. The author is therefore suggesting that the government table this proposal, hold new elections within the constitutional timeframe for doing so under these circumstances, and have all candidates commit to constitutional reform in this direction after the end of the vote. The SCO might even be requested to mediate and/or host these discussions in order to maintain civility between all sides as they partake in this sensitive process.

Concluding Thoughts

In one way or another, the Color Revolution already won in Kyrgyzstan, and it can be argued that it was predetermined to win given what’s known in hindsight about the state’s failure to anticipate this scenario, take appropriate preemptive action, and properly respond to its kinetic manifestation following the “trigger event” of a contentious election. That said, it’s not so much “submitting” to it which motivates the Kyrgyz President’s peacemaking outreaches to the opposition, but his well-intended and pragmatic desire to promote peace instead of what seems to be an impending civil war if the situation continues to spiral out of control. Even if there’s a Russian-”supervised” “phased leadership transition”, it’ll only postpone this crisis to a later date since the Kyrgyz political system is broken beyond repair and needs radical reform in order to avoid regularly repeating this scenario. That’s why the best-case scenario would be for government to declare constitutional reform as its priority, get all political forces to agree to it, and then request SCO support in this respect.

EgjymzKXcAEZe3b 

American political analyst

 

 

Tags: Kyrgyzstan, Color Revolution, Regime Change, Central Asia, Russia, SCO.


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EURASIA

  • India announced that it will not participate in the Kavkaz-2020 military exercise to be held under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) — a Eurasian multilateral grouping led by China and Russia, which also has Pakistan as a member – in southern Russia.  India’s decision once again brings to question why India decided to join the SCO as it deepens its strategic relationship with the United States and allied powers in the Indo-Pacific.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

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