Staunton, May 13 – Tajikistan is descending into chaos because of continuing protests in Gorno-Badakhshan and the threat that one Afghan group will cross the border and spark a civil war in that Central Asian country. (On these possibilities, see this author’s article at jamestown.org/program/chaos-on-tajik-afghan-border-could-make-russian-intervention-more-likely/).
In this situation, Russia and the United States despite being opponents in Ukraine and elsewhere find themselves on the same side. Russia is promising to send 100 million US dollars and the US 60 million to Dushanbe to beef up its defenses, Viktoriya Panfilova of Nezavisimaya gazeta reports (ng.ru/cis/2022-05-12/5_8434_tajikistan.html).
These actions are taking place in parallel rather than in a cooperative way as Moscow has made it clear that it does not want to see any US military infrastructure in that Central Asian country or indeed anywhere else on the territory of the former Soviet space, a position that means what looks like a cooperative effort could end by sparking new conflicts between them.
And further complicating this situation is the fact that China already has a serious military presence in Tajikistan – see this author’s article on that at jamestown.org/program/russia-china-dividing-responsibilities-in-tajikistan-is-conflict-possible/ -- something that risks sparking multiple conflicts on this site of the 19th century’s Great Game.
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