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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 24, 2005 / 13 Adar II, 5765

Kyrgyzstan's internal politics have global implications

By George Friedman


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Kyrgyzstan, not a name that comes trippingly off the lips of most Americans, looms suddenly as a country we need to be concerned about. This Central Asian nation, once part of the old Soviet Union, happens to lie within a region where two great powers — Russia and China — have interests, and both believe that any events that cause them concern are the result of scheming by the United States.

Kyrgyzstan, like many other countries, is experiencing political upheaval. The facts on the ground are these: A series of conflicting political movements have emerged to challenge the central government in Bishkek, which draws its support from northern clans. Ethnic divisions are at play in this dynamic, as well as a variety of Islamic perspectives. A great deal of what is happening is driven by internal political forces.

But since the Ukrainian elections late last year, Moscow has come to view upheavals less as the natural order of things than as part of a general American plan to destroy Russia. Anything that occurs on China's borders is naturally a concern for Beijing, and Chinese leaders tend also to regard disturbing events in the region as part of a conspiracy orchestrated by Washington.

The United States cannot be indifferent to anything happening in the Islamic world, and Kyrgyzstan is very much part of that world. U.S. forces are still conducting operations in Afghanistan and probing into Pakistan's Northern provinces. Though Kyrgyzstan doesn't border these countries, it is home to a logistics base from which the United States supports those operations. That base, at Kant, is one of two interests Washington has in Kyrgyzstan; the other is making certain that al-Qaida or other radical Islamist groups don't increase their power in the region. Normally, it would stand to reason that instability would be the last thing Washington wants in Kyrgyzstan.

But the Russians aren't so sure. With al-Qaida no longer dominating Washington's world view, they see the United States as turning attention to other issues. Moscow doesn't buy the Bush administration's line that U.S. involvement in Ukraine, where Washington exerted pressure to secure a win by a pro-Western presidential candidate, was simply about the American love for free elections. They believe it was about installing a pro-U.S. government in Kiev, bringing Ukraine into NATO and undermining Russian national security.

Russian leaders also see the United States as locking down its power in Central Asia. The United States, having exerted influence in the region initially for economic development, had Russia's support when it introduced troops following the Sept. 11 attacks. Leaders in Moscow and elsewhere think the Americans now are using these troops to create a strategic reality: denying Russia its sphere of influence in the region. They think Kyrgyzstan is part of this strategy.

Meanwhile, China, which shares a border with Kyrgyzstan, fears that instability there will compound the difficulties it is having in its westernmost province, Xinjiang. This predominantly Muslim province is in rebellion against Beijing. Chinese leaders have never been comfortable with the American position on Xinjiang, which seemed to argue that the U.S. war against al-Qaida was one thing, but China's battle against Muslim separatists was quite another. Government officials occasionally have indicated a belief that the Americans actually liked the Xinjiang insurrection because it weakened China.

The Chinese are concerned that instability in Central Asia will increase the flow of supplies to Xinjiang militants. Therefore, they view events in Kyrgyzstan as part of Washington's strategy to threaten China, at a time when Washington has gotten the Europeans to back off on arms sales. The Chinese don't believe the United States is obsessed any longer with al-Qaida, but with China itself.

The fact of the matter is, Washington did not engineer the Kyrgyzstan uprising, but it can use the uprising to increase its influence in Central Asia. The world has changed sufficiently that al-Qaida is no longer the top story; relationships between great powers are. Kyrgyzstan is important because it affects these relations.

On a different level, the situation also illustrates how far the world has come since Sept. 11, 2001. An uprising in a Muslim country no longer triggers fears of al-Qaida. It triggers fears of American power and great power strategies.

That is worth thinking about.

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George Friedman is chairman of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., dubbed by Barron's as "The Shadow CIA," it's one of the world's leading global intelligence firms, providing clients with geopolitical analysis and industry and country forecasts to mitigate risk and identify opportunities. Stratfor's clients include Fortune 500 companies and major governments.


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