99 Problems and Extremism in Tajikistan

Another great week at The Diplomat. The best part was meeting my colleagues, and an honored alum, for drinks at the end of the week. We don’t have an office so actually meeting my co-workers is a rare pleasure.

About to get in deep on Magazine Issue 8 next week. I’m very excited about this one–the cover is going to be by August Cole & Peter Singer, it’s going to be fantastic.

Without further chatter, last week’s Central Asia news today:

And I wrote a little in other sections this week as well!

  • Russia is in on the disputed island game in Asia too. Defense minister announced plans to accelerate development on the Kurils, which are disputed by Japan. Japan’s PM was in Ukraine last week and then in Germany for the G7, getting chummy with Europe & the US.
  • Will Almaty be “Keeping it Real” for the 2022 Winter Olympics or will Beijing prove to be a “Joyful Rendezvous upon Pure Ice and Snow”?

99probsI also wrote an opinion piece picking apart Ahmed Rashid’s recent NYT op-ed about jihad’s next frontier, which is apparently Tajikistan. Rashid’s alarmism is astounding and his factual errors embarrassing.

I wasn’t alone in saying that Tajikistan has 99 problems but extremism isn’t anywhere near the worst. Edward Lemon, who specifically researches Tajik foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, is as skeptical as I am. Reid Standish pointed out in Foreign Policy that Russia hypes the threat too.

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