A Russian View Of The Islamist Threat To Central Asia

On January 19, 2016, the website of the pro-Kremlin think tank Valdai Club published a report by Andrei Kazantsev, director of the Analytical Center of the Institute for International Studies in Russia, titled “Central-Asia: Secular Statehood Challenged by Radical Islam.”[1] Kazantsev wrote that post-Soviet Central Asian countries face a threat from radical Islam that impacts prospects for secular statehood and represents a serious obstacle to modernization of the region.

The following are excerpts from Kazantsev’s article:[2]

Afghanistan

“Post-Soviet Central Asian countries are facing problems caused by old security challenges and the emergence of completely new threats. These threats may influence the prospects for secular statehood in the region and represent a serious obstacle to modernization. One of the old security challenges is the situation in neighboring Afghanistan, where crisis phenomena are continuously aggravated. The most dangerous threat is posed by the concentration of militants in northern Afghanistan (on the border with Tajikistan,[3] Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan)…[4] Continue reading