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Lasting only an hour, a cross-border exchange of fire (dubbed by some as the first war of 2014) occurred on the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on January 11. The incident near the Vorukh settlement included the use of mortars and grenade launchers, with 8 border guards wounded. Poor relations between the two neighboring states, exacerbated by an ongoing dispute over a partly-demarcated border, triggered the escalation. Both land and water are vital to the economies of the two poorest Central Asian states, and both sides fiercely defend their access to cropland and pastures. (more…)
Thanks to AlertNet for publishing Center for Climate and Security Fellow Svetlana Valieva’s piece on Central Asia, which was posted here on March 28. The article highlights the water-energy-climate change nexus in Central Asia, which has important implications for both regional and global stability.
The Central Asian region is of critical strategic importance to the United States and its NATO allies. That is why, on top of environmental and humanitarian concerns associated with the phenomenon, rapid glacial melt in the region should be a top concern for national security planners and practitioners. (more…)