CES is back after several weeks on the road!  We enjoyed a weekend exploring the Fan Mountains of Western Tajikistan, hiked the Ala Archa National Park south of Bishkek and explored the natural splendor surrounding the eastern Kyrgyz township of Karakol.  Bathing in the afterglow of these fine adventures, we thought it appropriate to reflect […]

For the past 12 years, the Manas Transit Center was the main route for US troops and supplies into Afghanistan. It was somewhat dramatically called the “Gateway to Afghanistan on the Freedom Frontier”. The base is located near the main civilian airport in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, approximately 30 minutes outside of its capital city, Bishkek. On […]

Turkic peoples, people from the Caucasus and the Central Asian states in general are portrayed terribly in the media, when they get any screen time at all. Watching Scandal on Netflix really set me off recently. There is a scene in which the fictional First Lady describes why she wants more for her daughters, and […]

Russia’s swift seizure of Crimea shocked the international community.  Undoubtedly, the events reverberated louder still in the Former Soviet nations of Central Asia.  Like Ukraine, many sit on Russian doorstep and rely heavily on their big brother to the north for trade, host sizeable ethnically Russian populations and share a history of Soviet leadership.  The […]

For those who only casually followed events in Ukraine, the trajectory of pro-European protests to full-scale revolution, to the ousting of the President, and now Russian incursions into Crimea are confusing, scary and giving people flashbacks  of a time not so long ago, as the US breaks military ties with Russia and contemplates sanctions. This […]

The Caucasus are restive. In the North Caucasus conflicts, according to International Crisis Group: “Overall in 2011, more than 750 security personnel, insurgents and civilians were killed and at least 628 were injured in the region. In the first nine months of 2012, 574 people were killed and 422 wounded.” There are active terrorist groups, […]

  The Sochi Games have already brought a lot of attention to shameless corruption and gross violations of human rights in Russia, all the while revealing the deterioration of state institutions. Thus, as a political prestige-boosting enterprise, the 2014 Winter Olympics are already a failure.                                     – Pavel K. Baev, for the Jamestown […]

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