21.09.2022 Author: Valery Kulikov

Who is to Blame for the Escalation of the Situation on the Border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan?

TAJIK

Another shooting occurred which preceded a breakout of the conflict on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border on September 14. According to information from the Kyrgyz Border Service, Tajik military forces used civilians as human shields during the armed incident on the border, as well as MLRS and aircraft. It was noted that on the Tajik side, individuals in unidentified uniforms and bearing no signs of designation belonging to any armed forces participated in the clashes.

Astonishingly, these scenes of conflict are reminiscent of the current events in Ukraine, where soldiers of the Kyiv regime are also actively using similar tactics to “cover up” their criminal actions under the protective shield as “peaceful citizens” which the AFU militants were taught by “curators” and instructors from the United States, including the “unknown uniforms” issued by the United States under the guise of “aid” not only to Ukraine.

And in this context, the last activity of the United States in Tajikistan and, in general, in the Central Asian region, declared by Washington as a zone of its special interest, involuntarily comes to mind.

Thus, the other day, the Deputy Assistant Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Anjali Kaur, explicitly stated that the US goal in Central Asia should be to “decouple” the region from the Russian economy. Incidentally, Washington has been actively pursuing the same “decoupling” in Ukraine for the past 8 years, strengthening the position of the Nazi regime in Kyiv and its Russophobic policies. Moreover, USAID is actively involved in this “process.” And recently, the same USAID has significantly expanded its mission in Tajikistan…

To intensify this “decoupling” from Russia not only economically, but also militarily and politically, on June 15-16, the commander of the US Central Command, General Michael Kurilla, visited Tajikistan, whose level of reception in this Central Asian country, frankly speaking, did not correspond to his rank at all. As reported by the Tajik media at the time, during this visit, issues of developing relations between Tajikistan and the United States were discussed, and the general promised to give Dushanbe the “escaped” helicopters of the Afghan Air Force and to start building a new border command in Chaldovar on the Tajik-Afghan border. According to the Tajik media, General Kurilla said in particular, “We are grateful to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan for providing security for the Afghan Air Force aircraft that entered the country last August. Although the Taliban have repeatedly threatened and made their demands in this regard, the aircraft will not be returned to the Taliban because they do not own them. The United States is working with the Government of Tajikistan to determine the best way to efficiently use and maintain the aircraft. We hope to turn some or all of the aircraft over to the Tajik government. I cannot say now exactly when that will happen, but we are making every effort to resolve that issue.”

It is worth noting that this is happening at a time when Russia and Uzbekistan are doing what they can to set Afghanistan on good terms, yet the US is actively seeking to use Tajikistan for reverse destructive activities against Kabul. At the same time, Washington is trying to actively use the fact that Tajikistan is the only country in Central Asia that objects to the coming to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan (the organization is prohibited in Russia), providing refuge to several former leaders of the Afghan government, including representatives of the former Northern Alliance. In addition, it is important for the United States that Tajikistan occupies a very favorable geographic location, as it borders Afghanistan, from which the US was kicked out in August last year.

Such a line of Washington in Tajikistan, of course, pursues the goal of preventing both Russia and China from constructive cooperation with Kabul, for which the United States will seek to constantly destabilize the situation in this country, as well as in the entire region. And under these conditions, Emomali Rahmon’s advisors, who work for the interests of the United States, run the risk of plunging Tajikistan into chaos and internal war, and the multivector policy they promote unfortunately too often ends in a coup d’état.

In the wake of General Kurilla’s visit, Tajikistan began to gradually become a training ground for the US military, a springboard for their attacks on Afghanistan. And to this end, apparently in an effort to restore lost positions in the region after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States, under its command and with the participation of US military officials, conducted the Regional Cooperation 2022 exercises in Tajikistan in August, with the participation of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan. The very fact that these exercises are being conducted on the territory of Tajikistan without Russian participation is surprising, especially considering that it is Russia that ensures the security of Tajikistan from external threats and Russia’s 201st military base guards the sovereignty and stability of this country.

That Washington actively includes Tajikistan in its provocative plans in the Central Asian region is undoubtedly favored by a number of factors. First, the difficult times in the economy that Tajikistan is currently experiencing. Official statistics indicate that Tajikistan’s budget is highly dependent on cash income from migrant workers from the north. For example, migrants from Tajikistan sent home $553 million from Russia last year. However, as a result of the anti-Russian sanctions and the decline in migrant remittances, prices for staples in Tajikistan, such as flour, sugar, and gas, have risen significantly, and the value of the national currency has plummeted against the dollar and ruble.

The conflict in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) in the Pamirs, where unrest and protests have been recurring since 2012, is also significantly destabilizing Tajikistan. Especially considering that the last serious outbreak of this conflict, with demands for secession, took place only recently – in May of this year.

Under these circumstances, the conflict with Kyrgyzstan over water in the Fergana Valley is a serious factor influencing the regular occurrence of skirmishes on the border with dozens of victims.

The United States is trying to use all this for its subversive activities in the region, and so there was another aggravation on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border, which was obviously not accidentally triggered on the eve of the beginning of the SCO meeting, to disrupt the unification process in the region.

Valeriy Kulikov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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