Growing Concern on the Northern Afghan Border

Jun 14, 2016 | 09:00 GMT
Growing Concern on the Northern Afghan Border
A growing focus on security in the border region between Afghanistan and Central Asia includes military exercises, such as those held in 2014 between Kyrgyz and Armenian forces, as well as an increase in the numbers of troops and their alert status.

Security along the border between Afghanistan and its Central Asian neighbors appears to be a source of growing concern both for those countries -- Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan -- and for outside powers such as the United States, Russia and China. Head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph L. Votel's June 14-15 visit to Tajikistan, which comes on the heels of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's June 9 meeting with security officials in Turkmenistan, reflects the focus on Central Asia. Although the extent of the threat of militant spillover from Afghanistan into Central Asia is unclear, security risks in the border area are likely to prompt a military buildup and lead foreign powers to increase their involvement -- and competition -- in the region....

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