Ashgabat, 6 January 2014 (nCa) — Anyone who feels confident that they can predict what would happen in and to Central Asia after 2014 should better try their luck in Las Vegas, Monte Carlo or Macau.
The general statement everybody can make with some confidence is that, if left on its own, Central Asia would remain pretty much the same as it is today.
However, hardly anyone seems willing to leave Central Asia on its own.
Plentiful processes are in motion, all of them spinning on their own axis at varying speeds, and also shifting perpetually in a chaotic manner. It is nearly impossible to freeze a frame for sufficiently long time to draw any realistic conclusions.
The shape of things to come would be determined by two huge sets of factors: 1. Internal; and 2. External. — They are both in flux, would remain so, and permutations and combinations would be nearly endless.
It is not possible to foresee all that might happen. In this slow moving, irregular series I will try to cover just some of the areas where I feel I have gained some insight over the years.
The scenarios I will try to construct would more often than not be in contradiction to each other, simply because I would be looking at the things alternately from the Central Asian point of views and from the point of view of the external players.
The obvious point to start such a series would be Afghanistan, and how the situation there after the withdrawal of the occupying forces may affect the region.
The use of the term ‘occupying forces’ is deliberate here; it is meant to convey the broader sentiment of the people in the region, including Afghanistan.
However, instead of starting with the obvious, I will first prefer to look at the internal vulnerabilities of the Central Asian states and how they can dictate what happens to the region after 2014.
To be continued . . . /// nCa