Abstract. The article considers the challenges and threats to security in Central Asia, it states that one of the external threats is the situation in Afghanistan. Three levels of the real threats are considered – an internal political situation, activation of the fighters in border regions and drug trafficking.
The new geopolitical situation in Eurasia, at the beginning of the XXI century, has changed a common attitude to as creation of defensive mechanisms against external threat, and the main instrument guaranteeing the international security - the balance of power. A realistic perception of safety came to the forefront. It has, first of all, guarding character: safety is considered as not threatening state. There was a need to refuse traditional definition for idea of safety by its contrast – idea of threat. The understanding of safety on the basis of idea for international cooperation, based on universal values and interests, as well as the concepts of collective, cooperative security have been developed. Quite wide recognition among political scientists was gained by paradox: the bipolar world was characterized by high level of military threat and high level of stability at the same time, while the post-bipolar world differs in the low level of military threat, but also low level of stability. Among military threats, the local conflicts of interstate and inside state character came to the forefront instead of a threat of global war. There is a real threat of the conflict between members of world political process concerning the ways of settlement in the local conflict. Increasing prominence of non-military threats to security becomes new in the modern world: activation of the international terrorism, erasing purely national specifics and demanding the adequate international response, and a drug traffic problem.
New challenges and threats, projecting the negative influence from the Afghanistan territory, undermining existing safety limits, appear in the system of regional security. The crisis factor connected with the forced dynamics of development within confrontational lines between the USA and the Russian Federation is manifested in the region. It has got the prospect for interblock opposition reviving represented by promptly developing union of Russia, China and India against the United States of America and the Western countries under their control. Continuing development of the negative tendencies proceeding from the Afghanistan territory today represents a bright example of continuing development of a domino effect following the results of which there can be a large regional fragmentation, following the results of which, in it’s turn, the terrorism and religious extremism may turn into united, consolidated military the political dominant, threatening Central Asia’s security.
There are a lot of regional problems in Central Asia, as well as in any region. They are caused by the different reasons, as of internal nature, so because of the influence of those geopolitical processes which take place in the region and in the world in general.
1. Intraregional threats and challenges which partially have historical roots, and partially are generation of Post-Soviet era.
Firstly, there is a failure to address boundary and territorial problems between the states of the region (first of all, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan).
Secondly, there is a hydro-electric problem between the states of the region threatening with emergence of the serious conflict between them. In any case, the state have already divided into two conflicting camps on this matter – on the one hand, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, on the other – Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan with water scarcity.
Thirdly, there is the bared problem of delimitation in the societies of the states in the region on ethnicity and clannishness. Today, the latent ethnic conflicts develop into open hostility.
Fourthly, there is the continuing determination of the state leaders in the region to play on contradictions between geopolitical "players", this fact not only washes away a basis for regional integration, but also reduces the level of regional security, making behavior of the partners to be unpredictable and multiplying a level of mistrust to them.
Fifthly, there is an increasing influence of political Islam in Central Asia. Though increased level of religiousness of the population in the region is an objective trend, an increased number of followers of Islamic flows, not widely spread in the region earlier, attracts attention.
2. Threats of external character are connected to a ‘Big great Game’, which is conducted in Central Asia and "rules of the game" having been changed in the world politics and international relations, modification of power balance in the world in general and on the Euro-Asian space in particular. The monopolar world with absolute domination of the USA does not exist anymore, but multipolar world does not appear either. Besides, absolutely new actors of the international relations - Multinational Corporation – have appeared, the terrorist and criminal transnational networks, professing the radical ideologies, which do not recognize rules of law and moral and ethical restrictions. Therefore the main question for today is who and how will be able to provide global power balance in modern conditions of "the non-polar world". The new international security system’s formation process, in which the policy of "double standards" plays a dominating role, has become a problem, as well as the rule of force and possibility of its use bypassing UNSC .
The second problem is the fight for the world resources which becomes more rigid and in which even more often the armed forces act as the main argument. Moreover, even more often from a group of the developed countries there arise attempts of solving the internal economic problems by mainly military-political means.
In this context Central Asia isn't an exception. The main fight between "the centers of force" here is conducted for access to its resources (first of all, hydro carbonic) and the directions of their transportation to the world markets. In fact, that is exactly what defines geopolitics in Central Asia today. It will be defined with the same in the short term, too.
The third problem is the chaos in the Middle East, which has led to strengthening of radical Islamic flows, having no lack of the weapon, human resources and finances. And the most important, strengthening of pressure upon the secular modes of the region creates conditions not only for deepening of Islamization process in North Africa and the Middle East, but also for activation of extremist groups and their exit out of the region’s borders.
Central Asia is one of the objects for these extremist groups’ future activity, and the prompt growth of extremism (including religiously motivated), basically in all states of the region is an argument.
Fergana Valley, uniting zones of extremist activity practically in all Central Asian states, is an accumulating epicenter for external threats in the local ground of radicalism. Fergana Valley which is territorially divided between three states has a strategic importance for criminal groups, syndicates, the terrorist and extremist organizations. Thus, in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, active propaganda activities are carried out by such destructive associations as "Hizb ut-Tahrir", "The Islamic movement of Uzbekistan", "The union of Islamic Jihad", "Ta- blighi jamaat", etc., activity of which has direct impact on deterioration of the situation in Central Asia.
The fourth are the threats and challenges emanating from Afghanistan. There are three real threats being recognized.
Firstly, inability of the Afghan national forces to ensure safety in the country and prospect of a further aggravation of a military-political situation (most likely, it is possible to predict emergence of civil war on an ethnic basis).
Secondly, activation of not numerous, but real terrorist groups which are based now in the territory of Afghanistan and Pakistan – Uzbek, Uygur, Chechen, Kyrgyz, Tajik, etc., having the homeland of the origin in Russia and the states of Central Asia, and their inevitable replacement on the territory of Russia and the states of Central Asia with transfer of military operations activity to the North of Afghanistan.
Thirdly, an unsolved problem with drug trafficking from Afghanistan; existence of the criminal groups connected with this drug trafficking in the states of Central Asia and in Russia, which consist of representatives of power bodies and partially politicians, and, above all, growth of number of drug addicts practically in all countries of the region.
The problems of Afghanistan, in the context of the permanent risks and threats, emanating from its territory, for the world community, have been quite widely and closely observed by the international experts and researchers. The Kazakhstan historiography of a problem is presented generally by S. Akimbekov's works, with detailed complex analysis of each segment of the Afghan statehood: political environment of the country and its subsequent influence on the course of the conflict processes; maintenance of the ethnic political balance, necessary for leveling the opportunities of geopolitical fragmentation in the country, the issues of civil opposition within the country, its prerequisites and the reasons which turned the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan into one of the most conflict knots of modern times. There are articles of such Kazakhstan scientists as K. Syroyezhkin and M. Laumullin, devoted to a problem of strengthening of regional security in the context of influence by development of a situational environment in Afghanistan, and also to the questions of political settlement in Afghanistan.
The Russian historiography of the problem is presented by works of such famous orientalists as V. Korgun, N. Plastun, M. Arunov, A. Knyazev and some others. In his works and articles, V. Korgun gives the developed characteristic of existing complex of inside and foreign policy problems of the country, the attention is focused to development of bilateral prospects of the relations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Russian Federation, prospects of post-Taliban Afghanistan, possible development of a situational environment after withdrawal of forces of MSSB from the region.
N. Plastun is focused, generally, on a perspective of military political prospects of Afghanistan, considering the country as the reference regional point for the international relations in a foreshortening of cooperation of IRA with NATO, the USA, having impact on a situation in the Central Asian region. A. Knyazev's works consider questions of civil opposition in Afghanistan, restoring casual chain, which destabilized IRA in the middle of the 1990s, threats of the drug trafficking emanating from the territory of Afghanistan and experience of fight against it, as at the internal level in Afghanistan, so the efforts made by the international community led by the UN.
The cornerstone of this research is the theory of "securitization", developed by the specialists of the Copenhagen school, in particular, B. Buzan. In the context of the studied problem, the above mentioned theory allowed realization of the "safety" phenomenon complexity, as well as examination of interrelations between various levels and sectors of regional security, in order to understand its essence and, on this basis, identify the possible directions for formation and development of the corresponding cooperation between the states.
Regional stability and safety depend on the level of regional subjects’ interdependence, since the people connected by united cultural traditions and customs, and the structures, united by economic and productive space, are not interested in destabilization of a situation in the neighboring state, as in the modern globalized world it will lead to negative consequences in all region. Nevertheless, a single aspiration to mutual aid is not enough, as there is a need for development of effective and acceptable for all forms and methods regulation of the relations in the sphere of counteraction to some threat or another.
Methods of content analysis helped to define the general structure and problems of the research, to allocate a complex of the practical problems influencing an internal and regional situation, to learn the points of view from religious and oppositional leaders about the future of IRA as the competent subject of the international relations and geopolitical reality. The research implemented the methods of event analysis, which allowed structuration of situational environment.
The results of the research:
Internal political situation in Afghanistan
The history of Afghanistan made the next turn with Presidential elections of 2014. But, obviously, the changes in domestic policy of the country, as well as in that large-scale geopolitical opposition, which happens round Afghanistan today, are far beyond the last. During elections, the main issue was not resolved - the Western coalition did not manage to create effectively working democratic system . Each elections lead to political tension and create impasses which then the international community needs to solve with enormous efforts. Though the government is formed, an absence of consent between the President and the Executive Chairman on the main issues of foreign and domestic policy, preservation of contradictions between them, carries out to tightening of terms in solving many problems, vital for the country and society. Naturally, it causes discontent among the population and part of political elite in Afghanistan. For example, Omar Daudzai, the former Minister of Interior Affairs, declared that the present government quite often was called "two-headed", that testified to still not overcome political crisis. "The big mistake of National unity government consisted in politicization of law enforcement agencies, division of the ministries between two blocks and division of the authorities into two parties - heads and deputies", - O. Daudzai declared. He also expressed his concern about the fact that according to earlier adopted agreements, within a year the government will manage to call national meeting (Loya Jirga) for modification of the constitution and transformation of the head of executive powers post to the prime minister's position .
Turned out to be a consequence of rough military political events of the 1970s – the beginnings of the 2000s, fragmentation of government institutions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has aggravated specific feature of Afghan social and political structure: constant strive of regions and ethnic communities to the maximum independence from the central power located in Kabul. The settled environment of breeding communications by the beginning of the twenty first century was completely destroyed.
Within the long civil conflict in IRA, a set the Pushtun leaders and local field commanders preferred full independence within own tribe or the district to the fight for the united Afghan state. In this sense, many Pushtun tribes actually solidarized with ethnic minorities in the fight for local interests, in contrast to state interests. Even during the constitutional Loya Jirga, in December, 2003 – January, 2004, it was obvious that leaders of all main ethnic political forces and groups in the majority are supporters of the opinion that regional interests have to prevail over attempts for creation of a certain panAfghan identity. The country remains arranged by the principle of tanzim, the simple set of military political groups under nominal control of the central government. This basis of traditional statehood, as S. Olimova, the famous Tajik researcher, noted on one of the conferences, it is possible to explain both durability, and stability of the Afghan regionalism, which basis at the level of mentality is the regional self-identification, as one of the parts of personal identity, subject to possibility of practical changes only in case of large historical shocks. Administrative division into districts in Afghanistan never coincided with ethnic moving, as its basis consisted of natural and geographical factors, land use types, the markets and communications, but not ethnic territories. Today, the central government in Kabul controls only Kabul and a number of areas in Kabul province. The provincial administrations, appointed by Kabul government, have not got sufficient will for implementation of their decisions. The situational environment is aggravated with the fact that real regional leaders are discharged from power levers.
Firstly, for the years of civil opposition many local ethnic leaders, including influential Mujahideen field commanders, have got powerful authority on the breeding environment on places, having created on this basis pseudo state associations with high degree of autonomy, and secondly, Kabul's appointees have no real levers on a situation at the local level, in addition, being perceived not always positively by local population. The leaders, who were brought up from structure of the formalized government institutions, become potential opponents of the government, continuing to take their place in social hierarchy and, thus, having all necessary possibilities of influence on the situation. Therefore, any elections are connected not with the competition of ideologies, and with opposition of communities. Communities are the main subject of political process in Afghanistan. It has been a consequence of the internal political conflicts and foreign intervention for four decades .
Afghanistan is a multiethnik state. Domination of Pushtun ethnos was always one of its features in internal political development. However, during the civil war, ethno-national identity of non-Pushtun ethnic groups gained prompt development; military-political associations were created, in which this or that ethnic group dominated. The most important - these groups are armed and full of determination to protect their interests. In other words, in new historical realities, no one of the ethnic groups can dominate, as earlier, in a political field of Afghanistan, and monopolize the political power. Proceeding from the complicated interethnic relations, the accounting of interests of ethnic groups in the government, gets the great value, its structure is the following: the President who is at the same time the Prime Minister and two of his deputies; the Executive Chairman with two deputies; 25 ministers; two heads (equated to a rank of ministers), two independent departments - Senior department of national security and National bank of Afghanistan. Totally there are 33 persons.
A. Gani, the President of Afghanistan, is Pushtun, his first deputy – Uzbek, the second – Hazara. A. Abdullah, the Executive Chairman, is on mother Tajik, and on father Pushtun, his first deputy – Pushtun, the second – Hazara. Thus, in a higher level, the Tajiks, making the second by population ethnos of Afghanistan, aren't presented at all.
Ethnic composition of the ministers: Pushtuns – 11, Tajiks – 6, Hazaras – 5 (3 Hazaras and 2 Sodots, who are also ranked as Hazaras), Uzbeks – 3, Turkmens – 1. The Panjshire wing of Islamic society in Afghanistan was most dissatisfied with the structure of the government. Indeed, for 14 years, which have passed after overthrow of "Taliban", Panjshire people were not only for the first time completely detached from the management in the ministries of the power block, but their share in the government structure became minimal. According to some information, on this basis the disagreements among Panjshire elite had been raised, which culminated in a protest against A. Abdullah and M. Nur, who were allegedly involved in it .
Figures testify that if consider a percentage ratio to population, so it turns out that Tajiks are less presented, too. Though, it should be noted that the ethnic structure of the population of Afghanistan is precisely unknown. The first and last time population census was carried out in 1979, however, figures on ethnic structure of the population were not published. As per some information, the number of Pushtuns, according to census, made 35%, and Tajiks - 33%. These figures were not equitable to the interests of Afghanistan management of that time, therefore, they were not published. Many ethnic groups, such as Pashai, Beluji, Nuristans and others, are not presented in the government.
For the first time in the last four decades, all power ministries are under control of one ethnic group – Pushtuns. Though, it should be noted that the candidacy of the Minister of Interior Affairs (Pushtun) was proposed by A. Abdullah, since N. Ulumi, in the political plan, is in his team.
In general, ethnic Tajiks are most dissatisfied with the structure of the government. Perhaps, not so much because of smaller quantity of ministerial portfolios, as because they, for the first time in years after overthrow of "Taliban", are not presented in a higher echelons of power (though, politically, A. Abdullah represents Tajiks, however, some part of the Tajik elite, nevertheless, ranks him as Pushtun). At the beginning of February, 2015, formation of pan-Afghan union of Tajiks’ solidarity, headed by Latif Pedram, the deputy of the Parliament and leader of the National Congress of Afghanistan became a reaction to such situation. He and his supporters are convinced that the rights of Tajiks in the government of "national unity" has been infringed.
Now the situation in Afghanistan is characterized as the extremely intense, unstable, and the prospects of its cardinal improvement are not visible. According to the local deputies, representing various regions of the country, in a number of provinces, authorities really control no more than 20 percent of the territory. Fighters of the armed opposition by large forces even more often enter direct clashes with government troops, seizing the whole districts; intensify acts of terrorism in large administrative centers, including Kabul, using improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers. According to official Afghan sources, today, in 20 out of 34 provinces of the country the situation is close to the critical .
Since the moment of Taliban overthrow in 2001, politicians and experts have been constantly specified that the main problem of Afghanistan is low level of living and welfares among the Afghan citizens, this is an exact reason of internal instability. Afghanistan continues to remain economically and socially undeveloped country with a huge number of people affected by a poverty problem. According to the World Bank, 36% of Afghans live in poverty, but in reality the figure can be even higher, since there are no reliable data on households. By calculations of the government of Afghanistan itself, 42% of the population live below the poverty line and 20% balance on the edge of poverty. As noted by USAID, the highest level of poverty (55–75% of the population) is in Badakhshan, Kunar, Balkh and Paktika provinces. The situation is not better in Helmand province, where Taliban actsespecially actively. The difficult situation develops, first of all, in the rural zone, where 79% of the country population of the countr lives. About 45% of villagers and nomads live below a poverty line, in the cities this indicator is 27%.
The Afghan economy strongly depends on external donors. For example, in 2009–2010 (the beginning of the Afghan financial year starts in March), external sources’ share was up to 70.73% (2.35 billion dollars) for an account part of the budget; only 29.27% (0.973 billion dollars) were shared for the internal income. In the budget of 2014–2015, i.e. 4 years later, the ratio between the external help and the internal income had changed very little. If the general size of the approved budget is 7.794 billion dollars (100%), external help is 5.311 billion dollars (nearly 71%), and only 2.483 billion dollars (29%) constitute the internal income. But at the same time analysts note that internal budget revenues increased in currency measurement by 2.5 times in 5 years.
Except preserving high dependence on external donors, a weak link of the Afghan economy is an urgent need to increase expenses on safety in view of activation of the Taliban movement and transfer of the tasks on ensuring internal stability from the Western contingents to the Afghan security forces. Thus, in the budget of 2013, for financing of power structures and civil tasks there were allocated 1,91 and 1,48 billion dollars respectively, in 2014 – 2,99 and 1,86 billion dollars. In the budget of 2015, a gap between expenses on safety continued to expand – 3,257 billion dollars, and the civil purposes – 1,65 billion dollars (calculation was made at the rate of Afghani to dollars – 57,79:1). Reduction of expenses on non-military spheres and programs financing constituted 12%. Reduction of external dotation due to diminished interest of the West to this country, reformatting of the strategic line by the latter, can become one more probable risk for the Afghan economy .
Formation of the modern armed forces of Afghanistan began in 2002 after the collapse of the Taliban regime. This process went extremely slowly because of lost army traditions during the Civil War of 1992–2001, when the political vacuum was filled by own armed groups of various political forces participating in the conflict. Initially these forming were given the status of the army corpuses, having the registered territorial status. In total, there were 8 corpuses, 6 of which were formed on the basis of "Northern alliance".
In 2002–2003, with the participation of foreign militaries in Afghanistan, the process of disarmament began for the non-governmental armed groups and forming of regular armed forces. Originally, this process went extremely not easy, in 2003 total payroll number of the Afghan army made less than 6000 people, and police forming were practically absent.
By the beginning of 2015, payroll number of the Afghan National Army (ANA) reached 178 thousand people, the number of police forming – more than 150 thousand people. Groups of local police (about 28 thousand people) or the groups of the local armed self-defense, which received the official status, are also among power structures. There is one more interesting detail – a national structure of ANA. According to information from the experts, most of the military personnel of ANA are representatives of the northern people of Afghanistan, over 35% – Tajiks, less than 10% – Uzbeks, slightly higher than 10% – Hazaras, about 5% – Turkmens, Aimaks and other nationalities. Pushtuns’ share is no more than 40%, though traditionally the army of Afghanistan generally consisted of Pushtuns. According to unofficial data, there are mainly ethnic Pushtuns among commanders of crews and higher.
By this moment, ANA has refused a divisional link of subordination and has the following structure: toli (company) – kandak (battalion) – brigade – corpus. In total there are 7 corpuses in the Afghan army:
201 corpus "Spill" (Kabul), responsible for safety of the Afghan capital and southeast provinces (is considered as the most prepared and efficient division);
203 corpus "Thunder" (Gardez), acting in the territory of regional command (the military district) "Gardez", including the provinces of Host, Paktik, Ghazni;
205 corpus "Hero" (Kandahar), zone of responsibility, includes provinces Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan;
207 corpus "Victory" (Herat), Provinces of Herat and Farah;
209 corpus "Falcon" (Mazar-i-Sharif);
215 corpus (Lashkar-gah).
Each corpus includes at least 3 general brigades, a battalion of a special purpose, a staff battalion, and also divisions of logistics and supports of the corpus.
The number of armed forces of Afghanistan is big enough in comparison with the states, close on population; it is explained by necessity of conducting the fights against terrorist groups within the country.
In the current conditions the state has no sufficient own means for financing the army divisions, therefore, the significant role in the Afghan military construction is played by foreign financial aid. Besides, IRA army is dependent on import deliveries of different types of arms, equipment, and also fuels and gasoline, which are not produced within the country in necessary amounts. These circumstances make armed forces vulnerable in case of changes in foreign policy environment, therefore, Afghanistan is facing a task of increasing the independence of own armed forces from external support.
The modern Afghan army refused the violent mobilization, which existed earlier, the military personnel serves on a contractual basis. The first some weeks of service the staff is trained in army training centers, mainly in the Kabul region, then training process continues in military units, including with the assistance of foreign instructors.
In the conditions of non-conventional military operations against mobile groups of the opponent, the special role in ANA is played by divisions of a special purpose ("commandos"). The group of Special Operations, created in 2011, includes 3-4 brigades. Its center, the Murikhed base, is in the Vardak province. The number of divisions, by 2012, consisted of about 1000-1500 people .
The main threat for the countries of the Central Asian region is the continuing tendency of infiltration by insurgents from separate terrorist forming to the north of Afghanistan, which is safer for them. Their greatest activity is noted in the near Tajik border territory of the Kunduz province, where, according to operational data, from 300 to 1000 fighters of the Taliban are concentrated, whose task is to establish a control over the strategic areas and highways, connecting the north to the central region of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Additional intensity is created by the statements of Taliban leaders about their readiness "to declare" the armed jihad to the foreign, including Central Asian, governments, cooperating with "occupational" forces of NATO.
In this regard the Taliban management undertakes measures for consolidation and coordination of various combat groups, operating in the north of Afghanistan for activation of terrorism in close to Tajik border districts. The fact that their structure consists of Uzbeks, Tajiks, Uygurs, Turkmens, Chechens and other nationalities, including citizens of RK, the majority of which had diversionary training in Pakistan, is a cause for concern.
Three sites on the Afghan-Tajik border (the province Badakhshan, Takhar and Kunduz) were used for transportation of the fighters. Actually, for today, there are two centers of the increased concentration of extremists. One of such bases is in provinces Badakhshan and Kunduz, another – in provinces Badgis and Faryab. Thus, in comparison with the last years, there is a degradation of situation in northern provinces of IRA, where now there are more than 600 groups of fighters with a total number about 8 thousand people. They consolidate in the territories and in the settlements bordering Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Seven organizations from natives of Central Asia and Kyrgyzstan work in Afghanistan. According to N. Mend- kovich, the expert of the Modern Afghanistan Research Center and the Russian Council on the international affairs, such organizations as IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan), which was renamed into Islamic movement of Turkestan, the Union Islamic Jihad, Jund al-Khilafah, The Caucasus Emirate, Jamaat Bulgar, Jundullah and Ansar al-Aseer, act in the northern provinces. "They are engaged in promotion, urging local youth to be at war on the party of Taliban", – he told.
The expert noted that government forces ensure the safety in large cities and on the highways, and provinces are completely controlled by the fighters. "The pro-government armed groups created by field commanders also work in the country. They support the current authority and assist in establishing security", – Nikita Mendkovich added.
At the end of the 2000s – the beginning of the 2010s, a rise of extremism was noted in Central Asia: acts of terrorism and their preparation were commonly everywhere, including one of the most stable and solvent states of the region – Kazakhstan. The group of young fighters from this republic, among whom there were Rinat Habidolla, Urynbasar Munatov and Damir Znaliyev, declared creation of the Jund al-Khilafah organization ("Soldiers of the Caliphate", also known as "The Kazakh Islamic Jihad"). Units of several dozen people appeared in their hometown Atyrau. In 2010, people from Tajikistan founded The Jamaat Ansarul- lah organization which was headed by the famous radical Abdullo Rakhimov. A number of actions against the authorities of the Republic were carried out by its forces; in particular, the fighters bear responsibility for explosion in Khujand. The fighters – coming from Russia, were traditionally united by The Jamaat Bulgar group, also known as "Uygur-Bulgar Jamaat", responsible for a number of terrorist acts in Tatarstan. Today, the practice of "export of terrorism" was adopted even by conservative IMT. In 2013, the Russian law enforcement agencies brought down a unit of the organization, which conducted preparation of terrorist acts in Moscow. By different estimates, the number of the fighters-foreigners constitutes from 5 to 24 thousand people in all Af-Pak. They get into a conflict zone generally through Pakistan, where formally come to for religious training .
People from the countries of Central Asia and the North Caucasus have their base in Mi- rali (the center of the Northern Vaziristan) - the territory, uncontrollable by the government of Pakistan. The Northern Vaziristan is known by the fact, that there are more than 20 thousand madrasahs in one small province. This place is a concentration of a certain Islamic resistance spirit. Nationals from the CIS countries, by the most often given estimates, about four thousand, all are well trained, armed and ideologically grounded. Last year, a part of them moved to the north, to the province Taloqan, which is closer to Tajikistan. There are similar groups in Kunduz and in the Afghan Badakhshan. The considerable ethnic group is concentrated in provinces Faryab, Badgis and Jowzjan – on the border with Turkmenistan.
If in Kunduz, Taloqan and Badakhshan there are only a strategic overhang and threats to the borders, in Faryab, within the current year, there were frequent clashes on border with Turkmenistan. All this reminds probing of border and search for the most convenient directions for more serious blows - the region gives the groups of Islamists the chance to attack the territory of Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan for the first time in the 1990s and 2000s appears under blow.
Drug situation in Central Asian region
One more problem for Afghanistan is drug trafficking. Distribution of terrorism and drug trafficking in the Central Asian region is in close interrelation, as drug trafficking is one of the main sources for financing the terrorist organizations. For example, by estimates of the world experts in the field of drug trafficking control, production of a raw opium in Afghanistan, since 2001 to the present days, grew up by 44 times. Organized crime groups consider a drug trafficking as a high-profit business with small risk. The drug trade volume in Central Asia is estimated at 350-400 mln dollars a year, thus opium is also accepted as an exchange currency for the weapon.
In this connection, due to geographical arrangement, "weak" border control and inefficient law enforcement agencies, the countries of CAR become the main transport way for the Afghan drugs export. It should be noted that the border of Afghanistan with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan is about 2600 km on the remote district. Along with the official points of the border crossing established in Afghanistan, there are about 500 illegal cross border land access routes along Afghan-Tajik border, which is 1344 km long. Currently, the volume of drug trafficking through Tajikistan is more than 100 tons per year. High level of corruption in power and law enforcement agencies of Tajikistan, which actual merging with drug structures led to transformation of the Republic into the largest transshipment facility for large drug consignments to the CIS countries and further to Europe.
Despite the absence of borders with Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan also becomes the transit country for the Afghan drugs. Opium is directly delivered to the South Kyrgyzstan or is transported by trucks from Tajikistan. Three transit networks pass through Kyrgyzstan and they become the most profitable ones for the Afghan drug dealers. All three ways pass through Tajikistan and adjoin the city of Osh. From there the traffic keeps going in the direction of Russia and Europe, and also the USA.
A certain part of the Afghan drugs passes through the territory of Turkmenistan. In many respects this route from Afghanistan is one of the most effective. Turkmenistan borders on the western part of Afghanistan, where provinces with large-scale opium production are located. Thus, it is the shortest way to the north, the Afghan northern route from the Herat province passes through it. Besides, the land relief between the western part of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in the most part consists of the hilly desert, which is very difficult to control and rather easy to pass unnoticed.
Drug dealers in the south of Turkmenistan gain significant income, acting under protection of a Mary clan, one of five largest clans dominating in the political sphere of the country. The state frontier between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan passes through the sparsely populated desert, where dealers can move to any place. Drug traffickers constantly change their routes, using corridors in the desert, in the southwest of Turkmenistan between the border with Iran and the Murghab River. Further, drugs pass through the territory of Kazakhstan to the north, to the Russian consumer markets.
Despite the strengthening measures over the Afghanistan border undertaken by official Tashkent, there are still channels for illegal people and smuggling transportation to the Uzbek territory.
So, according to operational data, the organized groups of ethnic Uzbeks, performing a transportation of people, weapon and drugs, operate on Uzbek-Afghan border. The specified criminal groups have accomplices among customs employees and border services of the Republic of Uzbekistan, who provide them certain assistance for financial compensation.
Transportation of drugs on the territory of Uzbekistan is performed in three main directions: 1) in the south through the SurkhanDarya area from Tajikistan and Afghanistan; 2) in the southeast through the Samarkand and Syr-Darya areas; 3) in the northeast through Fergana Valley and the Tashkent area. Thus the next destination for a drug trafficking is the Makhtaaralsky region of the Southern Kazakhstan, the area through which their transportation to Kazakhstan and Russia is performed.
The conflict in Afghanistan, in the beginnings of the XXI century, provides the multilayered phenomenon reflecting, imposing on historically existing traditional intra Afghan ethnic political collisions, the neighbors’ struggle for regional hegemony and control over important geopolitical space, as well as the arising global cultural and civilization rivalry. The central axis of the conflict is seen in an attempt of part of the international community, the developed European states, united in the military-political block of NATO, and the countries which adjoined them, to give the adequate response in Afghanistan to a transnational network of the Islamic radicalism, which threw down a terrorist challenge to the USA on September 11, 2001.
In the center of antagonism there were, on the one hand, armed forces of the international coalition (ISAF) operating under the mandate of UNSC, and on the other hand, the radical Afghan Islamists united in the Taliban movement, supported by a transnational terrorist network of the Al-Qaeda organization. The antagonism of these forces is conducted in various areas inside and outside of Afghanistan: in military-political, diplomatic, social and economic, ethnocultural, etc. The conflict in Afghanistan leads to the high number of casualties among civilians and military personnel of the coalition, to enormous financial expenses; negatively influences all international situations. Metastasizes of the Afghan conflict extend on neighboring states, other conflict zones in the Middle East, in Central Asia, in the Caucasus, in North Africa, in the countries of "the Islamic world" infected with radical Islamism. The conflict prevention in the Central Asian states is extremely important and complicated. In each countries of the region, along with internal security strengthening, a range of measures of social and economic and humanitarian character is being set, urged to choke off the internal support for the extremists, transferred from the outside. Thus, in the process of solving this problem, in either case the key issue is the task of preventing the extremists from diverging from Afghanistan to the neighboring countries. Emergence of the fighters and extremists who passed Afghanistan, Iraq and, Syria in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or other states, certainly, may be negatively reflected in internal political stability of the countries in of the region.
People from the CSTO countries are getting ready to return to their home countries after training by "The Islamic state" fighters in Afghanistan, they can begin activities for destabilization of a situation in the states, Nikolay Bordyuzha, the Secretary General of the CSTO, said in interview to IIA Russia Today at the end of October, 2015. "We have information that there are already some armed groups from our states in the territory of Afghanistan, who simply wait for command to start active work on destabilization of a situation in our countries", – Bordyuzha declared. "The Islamic state" is already a serious problem for Central Asia. Consolidation of forces among people from Central Asia - fighters in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq contributes to it. Many analysts in CA tend to consider that the threat for regional security will increase. Thus, certainly, the main conflict factors in CA have internal nature, and external impact can serve only as the catalyst.
Now there is a situation of theoretical possibility for reproduction of so-called "ISIS model" by extremist groups in Central Asia – namely, a resolute throw from the territory of Afghanistan to the neighboring republics for creation of the caliphate in the region and capture of oil and gas resources.
Some western authors believe that mass media inflate a terrorism problem for the political reasons. Local experts, on the contrary, estimate activities of such organizations as considerable threat. Terrorist groups participate in drug trafficking, try to create a network in the countries of Central Asia, in recent years, there is even information on a throw of the whole terrorist groups planning acts of terrorism from the Afghan territory. So far it is early to say that the terrorist organizations of Afghanistan and Pakistan pose direct and obvious threat for the regimes of Central Asia. Practically, all states have sufficient number of security forces to fight back the direct armed aggression of the terrorist groups from the contiguous territory. However, against the background of internal problems the terrorism may turn into the additional destabilizing factor.
- Syroyeshkin K.L. Puti i mekhanizmy resheniya problem regiona TsA. Vyzovy bezopasnosti v Tsentralnoi Azii. – M., IMEMO-RAN 2013. – 150 p.
- Akimbekov S. Istoriya Afganistana. – Almaty-Astana, 2015. 828 p.
- Omar Daudzai: Pravitelstvo natsionalnogo edinstva ne smoglo preodolet krizis vlasti 08.10.2015 // http://afghanistan.ru/doc/90440.html
- Iskandarov K.I. Probemy formirovaniya pravitelstva v Afganistane. Bolshaya Igra: politika, biznes, bezopasnost v Tsentralnoi Azii, 01(40), 2015
- Zamir Kabulov, the Ambassador: "Ya by ne isklyuchal proryva na af- ganskoi granitse"//Asia-Plus
- Makhmudov R.B. Stanet li borba s bednostyu osnovoi ekonomicheskoi politiki Afganistana? Bolshaya Igra: politika, biznes, bezopasnost v Tsentralnoi Azii № 03 (42), 2015
- Sovremennaya armiya Afganistana// afganistan.ru
- Mendkovich N. Zybkaya nastorozhennost. Postsovetskiye terroris- ticheskie organizatsii i "afganskii factor"// globalaffairs.ru