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Journal of Eurasian Affairs ISSN 2307-8286

Volume 4, Number 1, 2016 Founded in 2013 by International Social Movement "Eurasian Movement" Issued biannually

Editor Leonid Savin Co-editor Joaquin Flores Lay-out Vyacheslav Altukhov Cover art Sergey Zhigalkin Tel. + 7 495 514 65 16 Fax +7 495 926 68 11 125375, Russian Federation, Tverskaya str.1 7, Moskva, office 605 Distributed worldwide by Center for Syncretic Studies

Advisory board

Dr. Alexandr Dugin, Philosopher, Russia. Dr. Mikhail Fiodorov, Rector of the Ural State Economic University, Russia. Dr. Viktor Stepanyuk, Dean of the Dept. of international Relations and Political Sciences, Institute of International Relations, Moldova. Dr. Ilie Badescu, Director of the Institute of Sociology of the Romanian Academy of Sciences, Romania. Dr. Jamal Wakim, Professor of History and International Relations at Lebanese International University, Lebanon. Dr. Christof Lehmann, Editor in Chief of the nsnbc international, Denmark. Dr. Guzel Maitdinova, Director of the Centre of Geopolitical Research of the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University, Tajikistan. Dr. Mateusz Piskorski, Director of the European Centre of Geopolitical Analysis, Poland. Dr. Alberto Buela, Professor of the Technical University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mahmoudreza Golshanpazhooh, PhD, Executive Editor of the Iran Review, Deputy of Research at Tehran International Studies & Research Institute, and Director of Human Rights at the Center for Strategic Studies, Iran.


JOURNAL OF EURASIAN AFFAIRS Volume 4, Number 1, 2016


COACHING WAR AND REALPOLITIK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Leonid Savin




HOW THE ARABS SAW THE WORLD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Jamal Wakim


LIBERAL SALAFISM: WHEN FUNDAMENTALISM MEETS WESTERN IMPERIALISM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Marwa Osman

YEMEN’S POLITICAL FUTURE —  HOW SAUDI ARABIA AMBITIONS TO CRIMINALIZE RESISTANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Catherin Shakdam



THE POLAR TRADITION: ANCIENT MYTH, BOREAL GEOGRAPHY AND MODERN METAPOLITICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Richard Rudgley

NAGORNO-KARABAKH: THE THAWING OF THE FORGOTTEN CAUCASIAN CONFLICT . . . . . . . . . . . 123 Drew Cottle, Paul Antonopoulos, Maram Susli

EDITORIAL The Journal of Eurasian Affairs is a new international journal founded by the Russian NGO International Social Movement "Eurasian Movement". It is dedicated to different issues such as Eurasianism in its different aspects (from philosophy to integration process on post-Soviet space), geopolitics, international relations, war and peace studies, globalization, multipolarity and new emerging theories in fields of politics and humanitarian sciences. Because of its title covered themes are about processes in Eurasia, but not limited by continental boundaries. Eurasia as an idea and Eurasianism as an outlook are international by it’s essence. In some sense the Journal of Eurasian Affairs is a interdisciplinary one where ideas cross from different schools, trends and sets that makes it a broad platform for discussion and forum for meetings of academic researchers, political activists, philosophers, independent scholars, experts and decision makers. The red line of the Journal of Eurasian Affairs is a critical approach to (neo)liberalism and its derivatives manifested in realpolitik as well as in large scale of activities dealing with the human being itself. The need to develop an alternative is the second task, put before the founders of the Journal and core thinkers of the "Eurasian Movement". We believe that writers from all over the globe will join us for the development (and revival) of these kind of ideas that will promote and establish a new model of global affairs and of political systems paying respect to all nations, peoples, groups, beliefs, cultures and traditions. The Journal of Eurasian Affairs invites contributors to send articles, essays and reviews. Leonid Savin, Editor.


Alexander Dugin

Doctor of political sciences, founder of the contemporary Russian school of Geopolitics, leader of the International Social Movement "Eurasian Movement", Moscow, Russian Federation.

The classical IR theories, especially the realism, divides the countries on those that are satisfied with the present situation and balance of power in the world order and those that opposite to it and want to change it in their favor. The first one are called the "status-quoniks", the second — "revisionaries". Those world forces, regardless of their scale and impact, which are inscribed within the hegemony and are satisfied with it, represent one half (intellectual) humanity; "revisionaries" — the second one. Naturally, the counterhegemonic elite considers all "revisionaries" as a resource. They need the Theory of Multipolar World (TMW) whether they realize it or not. The TMW need can be completely unconscious, but even if we take the "Caesarism" model and belive that many political units are exclusively involved in the processes of "transformismo", the TMW provides an additional argument to oppose the hegemony pressure. In other words, the counterhegemonic elite (described as the structural form on the other side of the right and left) in the face of "revisionaries" has a powerful natural resource. To make this this resource to exist, it is not necessary that the governing political elite of the"revisionaries"nations were in solidarity with the counterhegemony or accept the TMW as the guideline to build their foreign policy. It’s time to remember the meaning of intellectual discourse in its autonomousstate(that the neo-Gramscism insists on). It is enough that the intellectuals of the Global Revolutionary Alliance will comprehand the value and function of the"Caesarist" regimes in global hegemony; the "revisionaries themselves act intuitively, as the representatives of the counterhegemonic pact perform consciously. All of them have practically similar interests converge in the medium term. It makes counterhegemonic pact fundamental power: hardware is represented by "revisionaries", software — by global revolutionary elite. The "revisionaries" in the modern world arethe group of powerful and developed countries, which are placed in such a situation by the global hegemony due to different historical circumstance, feeling aggrieved. Their further development according to the logic imposed by the global discourse will inevitably lead them to either undesirable consequencesfor the political elites, or to their further situation deterioration. The "revisionaries" are very different: some can compromise with the hegemony, the others, on the contrary, try in every way to provide its effects. However, there is a field for the global revolutionary elite activities in all these countries. The most significant alliance of the "revisionaries" countries is the BRICS. Each of these countries is a huge resource itself, and the leaderships

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Counterhegemony and multipolarity

of this Second World club are objectively interested in the multipolarity, hence, there is nothing to stop them in promoting the TMW, as a strategic program of foreign policy. The country of the Second World are gravitated by the constellation of major regional powers (Argentina, Mexico in Latin America; Turkey, Pakistan in Central and Southwest Asia; Saudi Arabia, Egypt in the Arab world, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea on Far East, etc). Each of these countries can join the "revisionaries" for their own reasons and have an impressive list of regional ambitions, which are difficult and practically impossible to implemented. These countries have even more fear and security challenges, that are reflected by the hegemony. In addition, there are a number of countries that are in direct opposition to the hegemony (Iran, North Korea, Serbia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, etc) that provides the preferred strategic platform tothe Global Revolutionary Alliance. On the following sub-national level, the detailed analysis is required to reveal the "revisionaries" at the political level,i. e. the political parties and movements, which for some ideological reasons reject the hegemonic discourse in some of its essential element. Such political forces can be right or left, religious or secular, nationalist or cosmopolitan, parliamentary and radical opposed, mass or "keyboard". All of them can be integrated into the strategy of counterhegemonic elite. In addition, these parties and movements can be located both in the"revisionaries" political area and in countries, where the hegemony is firm and thorough. Under certain circumstances, especially in times of crisis or reform, even these power can open a certain window of opportunity for non-conformity forces and their (even relative) success and promotion. In the civil society field, the possibility of counterhegemony is even wider, as the hegemonic discoursecarriers act directly without masks and mediation. In science, culture, art, philosophy, media the counterhegemony


carriers, knowing syntax, can effectively resist the ideological opponents, i. e. quantity and amount in this environment have secondary importance. One talented and prepared intellectual of the counterhegemony can be more useful than thousands of his opponents. In the non-political sphere like science, culture, art, philosophy, counterhegemony can use a giant arsenal of means and methods from religious and traditionalist to avant-garde and post-modern. Focusing on well-conceived counterhegemonic syntax, it is not difficult to "deploy" a wide variety of intelligent policies that challenge Western modern "axioms". This model is also easy to apply not only in non-Western societies, but also in the developed capitalist countries, repeating the successful experience of the new "left Gramscism" in 1960-70s in Europe in a new historical situation. All sub-national political structures and boundless area of "​​ civil society" (in the Gramsci comprehension) bring to the meso-level, while the states themselves ("revisionaries") as such can be used as a macro-level of counter-hegemonic practices deployment. Finally, the micro-level is theindividuals who may be, under certain circumstances, thecounterhegemony carriers, as the field of the fight for the TWM, he/she is human in all sense from the personal to the social and political. The Globality should be understood anthropologically. Thus we have a huge reservoir of resources, which is at the disposal of potential global revolutionary elite. In this case, when the rules are set by the hegemony, but non-hegemony passively resists it, this resource is neutralized or is involved in an infinitesimal degree, and in a strictly local situations, i. e. it is not consolidated, dispersed and subjected to gradual entropy. For the hegemony itself, in this case, it is no more than a passive barrier, the inertia and the object to be conquering, "domestication" or destruction (as for the construction of the road a forest should be cut down or swamp should bedried). But it becomes a resource for counterhegemony when it turns into the real

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Alexander Dugin

force, into historical subject, into the phenomenon. It turns into a resource when there is a global revolutionary elite, facing the TMW as its theoretical basis. Until that, all of the mentioned factors are not the resource.

Counterhegemony and Russia Now we should only project the counterhegemonic principles in the TMW context onto the situation in Russia. In the context of the neo-Gramscist analysis, modern Russia is a classic "Caesarism" with all its typical attributes. The hegemony, in its turn, confidently puts Russia in a the Rest range and builds its image in accordance to its classical syntax: "authoritarianism" = corruption = needs to be modernized = violates human rights and freedom of the press = State intervenes in business, etc.

as they based geopolitically and strategically, ideologically, politically and "psychological" on its expense. Although, there are no clear preconditions for active revenge, the climate in society in general and the main objective tendencies aid to establishthe TMW and to contribute to the strengthening and crystallization of the Russian segment of the global counterhegemonic revolutionary elite. Moreover, many Putin’s steps in foreign policy aimed at strengthening Russian sovereignty, his intention to build the Eurasian Union, his criticism of the unipolar world and US domination, as well as the occasional mention of multipolarity as the most desirable world order —  all these facts increase the number of opportunities for building a complete and consistent counterhegemony theory in the TMW context.

Subjectively, the Russian government is working on the transformismo processes, constantly balancing between concessions toward hegemony (participation in international economic organizations such as the WTO, privatization, market, political systemdemocratization, adjustment to the Western educational standards, etc) and the desire to protect sovereignty, as well as the power of the ruling elite, relying on "patriotic" masses. In the international relations, Putin himself unequivocally adheres to realism, while the Government and the expert community is clearly gravitating toward the liberalism that creates a typical "transformism" double think. For TMW and counterhegemonic elite, this situation creates a favorable circumstances to star autonomous activity and is natural enclave, contributing to its development, strengthening and consolidation. Russia is clearly "revisionaries" in the international system, lost its position as one of the two superpowers in the 1990s and dramatically reduced its sphere of influence even in close regions. Theunipolar world order and hegemony strengthening in the past decade (= globalization) brought to Russia only negative results,

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COACHING WAR AND REALPOLITIK In the joint article " Network-Centric Warfare: Its Origin and Future"1, published in January 1998 by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski and scientific-technical advisor for the C4 (command, control, communications, and computer networks) systems of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Gartska, it was indicated that network-centric warfare and connections with the revolution in military affairs occur an derive their energy from the cardinal changes in American society. In front of these changes is the co-evolution of the economy, information technology, and business processes and organizations, and they are connected to one another by three themes: •

The shifting emphasis from platforms to networks.

The transition from considering actors as independent subjects towards considering them as part of constantly adapting ecosystems.

The importance of strategic decision-making to adapt or even survive in such changing ecosystems.2

Leonid Savin

Head of the Administration of the International Social Movement "Eurasian Movement", Editor-inchief of the "Katehon" think thanks and web-portal, author of several books on geopolitics, conflicts and international relations, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Together with other military practitioners and specialists from various branches of the armed forces, these two authors became the founders of the concept of network-centric warfare, which was introduced as a doctrine in the Pentagon’s field manual. Cebrowski and Garstka build their publication on examples from the field of economy, including the financial sector, and some of the positive results of past reforms, for example, the structural changes in the working methods of the New York police. It has been observed that network-centric warfare allows one to transition from war to wear through a much faster and effective fighting style characterized by a new understanding of the speed of command and self-synchronization. Bright examples related to the activity of various weapons systems and the organization of the armed forces, including the distribution of command functions and information sharing used by Cebrowski and Garstka, made the new theory of war quite attractive at that moment, although it was not without criticism3. It can be assumed that since the time of this writing, not only have the theory and practice of war changed, but also the methods of the organization of economic processes in the broadest sense, which justified the publication. Cebrowski Arthur K., Garstka John J. Network-centric Warfare: Its Origin and Future.// Proceedings, January 1998. 2  James F. Moore, The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems, Harper Business, 1996. 3  See for example: Thomas B. Barnett, "The Seven Deadly Sins of Network Centric Warfare", Proceedings, January 1999, p. 37. 1 


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Undoubtedly, the rate of information exchange, access to databases, and the latest technology, including military robots, played an important role in the modernization of military structures around the world. It is also necessary to take into account that the predominant pattern of human behavior in the information age is network behavior. "Networkcentric warfare is associated with the behavior of people in a network environment during the time of war, and human behavior will directly influence the result."Cebrowski A. Transforming Transformation — Will it Change the Character of War? It can be assumed that since the time of this writing, not only have the theory and practice of war changed, but also the methods of the organization of economic processes in the broadest sense, which justified the publication. Undoubtedly, the rate of information exchange, access to databases, and the latest technology, including military robots, played an important role in the modernization of military structures around the world. It is also necessary to take into account that the predominant pattern of human behavior in the information age is network behavior. "Network-centric warfare is associated with the behavior of people in a network environment during the time of war, and human behavior will directly influence the result."1

Business and War Nevertheless, the possible trajectories that can develop future conflicts and transform the methods of warfare can also affect current business models and analyze their development and possible capacity to adapt to military goals. War, according to one of the common theses in Western society, is a form of competition. And even concerning the preparation for conflict, the economic-orientated state (and all of its liberal democracies) is based on an expediency associated with the interests of the population. As mentioned in Cebrowski A. Transforming Transformation — Will it Change the Character of War? Discussion Paper, 2004. 1 

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relation to the methods of propaganda campaigns in the US, "Americans always buy war if the marketing campaign is conducted properly"2. In other words, it is possible that the US, like other industrially developed capitalist states, will use a model that focuses on business and the economy for the adaptation of its own military forces and special forces to new conditions. Conclusively, in order to understand the future emergent form of conflict that can be waged either directly or through proxy actors, as in the case of Syria, such an analysis is required. Let’s turn to notable publications in the areas of economics, business, and management over the past 10 years to identify the corresponding relationship. Vanessa Druskut, a professor at the School of Business and Economics at the university of New Hampshire, and her colleague Jane Wheeler from the College of Business Administration at Bowling Green State University, wrote an article in 2005, "How to lead a self-managing team", which entered into the list of the most population publications of the MIT publisher Sloan. They noted that according to the results of the study, the main competence inherent in a number of the most successful companies is the ability to control the border between the team and the entire organization as a whole. Four group functions are necessary in order to observe this: attitude, intelligence, persuasion, and empowerment. These groups, in their own turn, have several components: •

Attitude: the social competence of the leader, the team’s confidence, taking care of the team;

Intelligence: the search for information, the diagnostics of team behavior, the systemic study of problems;

Eugene Secunda, Terence P. Morgan. Selling War to America.From the Spanish American War to the Global War on Terror.Praeger Security International, Westport, 2007. Р. 3. 2 


Coaching War and realpolitik

Persuasion: external support, influence on the team;

Empowering: the delegation of authority, the practice of a flexible decision-making team, coaching1.

Nobody will dispute that the fourth group of functions, precisely power, is the most important and critical to war. The decision on entering into conflict is a function of power, irrespective of who does it, whether it is a society, a terrorist organization, a radical group, or a major power that makes the decision based on national (opportunistic) interests or obligations. Such a war is itself conducted for power over geographic territory (be it strategic communications or resource zone) and control over the population. In this fourth group, there is such an element as coaching. This relatively new understanding is used mainly in business technology. It contains within itself a number of activities, including working with each employee personally, granting team feedback, etc. In business and psychology, coaching is defined as a method of consulting and training which differs from classical training and counseling in that the coach does not give advice and recommendations, but searches for resolutions together with the client. Coaching differs from psychological counseling by the focus on motivation. If counseling and psychotherapy aimed at getting rid of some kind of symptoms, then working with a coach suggests achieving a positively defined goal of new formulated results in life and work. Coaching operates with the understanding of co-creation, which in our case may be defined as performing various missions for larger geopolitical projects, be they a war of attrition or a multiyear confrontation associated with economic sanctions, informational propaganda, and the instruments of public diplomacy. Vanessa Urch Druskut, Jane V .Wheeler. How to Lead Self-Managing Team.MIT Sloan Management Review.Summer, 2004.Р.65-71. 1 


There are four phases in coaching that are described as a plan of hostilities and which agree with Sun Tzu and Clausewitz. These are: •

The statement of goals;

A reality check;

Aligning the ways of achievement;

The process of achievement or the phases of will.

Referring to another work from the area of economics, two contemporary scholars, Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello, while analyzing the current state of society from the view of economic cooperation in their voluminous work "The new spirit of capitalism", indicate that "the development of coopreation and exchanges on the basis of a network involves the establishment of such a relationship between partners who are not fixed by any plans or regulations and nevertheless have a relatively continuous character"2. Isn’t this statement evidence of the relations that the US State Department, through various structures (special services, diplomatic missions, and agents in the field), established with dubious personalities and organizations which are involved and participate in various bloody conflicts, for example, in Libya and Syria? Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood had a long history of interaction with the White House, which nevertheless was not formed in the style of accepted international norms. Or take the example of the right-wing regimes of Latin America. With the era of the Cold War, they used the support of the US in order to not allow the spread of leftist ideas in Western Hemisphere. Preventative methods were very different, ranging from the creation of death squads to the rendering of financial assistance. One may refer to the recent history of political conflicts, the Color Revolutions. A considerable number of studies have shown that people who are biased in these processes had a Luc Boltanski, Eve Chiapello. The New Spirit of Capitalism. Verso, 2007 2 

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long relationship with the United States and the countries of the West, including family ties (the wife of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is a US citizen, and the wife of the former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is a citizen of the Netherlands; in both countries the henchmen of the West came to power on a wave of protests supported by foreign funds).

ment. Moreover, experience from different areas of human activity confirms these theses.

The Fundamentals of Coaching War

1. Scale. Given that we have now reached a world population of six billion people in a world that is ever more interconnected, it becomes more and more clear that no mechanical, top-down organizational structure based on control can be effective. On this scale, the only effective organizations imaginable are those that are biological, guided by organizing principles, and that count on the full potential of people to think, to create, and to self-organize.

Like in the case with the pattern of network-centric war, which is based on a new paradigm of economics, as well as the changes in the structure of social relationships, war coaching is also connected with the behavioral patterns of a person in the epoch of postmodernity and new information technologies. It follows from this that in the case of networking conflicts, war coaching has an inherent effect of rapid adaptability on the part of the target group, to simply say, the enemy. In Iraq, insurgents have learned to break the codes of the US’ UAVs. Similar incidents have occurred in Iran, when one intelligence apparatus broke down and the other landed without damage. The events in Libya, Syria, and other countries where armed conflict is occurring demonstrate the flexibility that insurgents and terrorists show in their actions. Not only do they take over the technical skills, tactics, and methods of warfare, but they also develop new techniques that are effective exclusively in one place at one time. The constantly face of war creates an environment where survival and victory over the enemy need constant training and the receiving of new information, including different scientific paradigms. One can also consdier a military or paramilitary organization from the point of view of management theories. In the article "Chaordic Organizations", Oscar Motomura who is CEO in the Amana-Key Group indicates the main reasons made it necessary to reconsider the logic of business corporations. We present a fragment of this work because it is important for understanding civil and military manage-

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"Why are chaordic organizations important today? In our opinion as specialists in management innovation, organizations must give priority to the concept of the chaordic organization for the following reasons:

2. Complete democracy. As with nations, so too in companies, the concept of democracy develops step by step with the evolution of technology. Organizations that are responsible for themselves, societies that are responsible for themselves, equality, an emphasis on cooperation, everyone serving and everyone served— the concept of chaordic organizations has everything to do with these ideas. It is a means to make the ideals of democracy and humanity tangible, for the first time in history… 3. Human expression. Mechanical, standardized, and limiting organizational structures will never succeed in dealing adequately with questions of human motivation. In principle, there are always fundamental limitations. The most legitimate source of motivation —  space for creativity — is always controlled, limited, and subject to imposed, unnatural standards. Chaordic organizations have great potential for enabling human creativity to go beyond its current limits. In fact, if we don’t contaminate chaordic principles with the fears inherent in management


Coaching War and realpolitik

processes based on control, there will be no limit to what human beings can create. 4. Essential values, today. Autonomy, freedom, respect —  values that people more and more genuinely value  —  real freedom, real human respect are much more in line with chaordic principles than with the more traditional forms of organizational structure. In traditional organizations, these values are always "under pressure," given little quarter, limited. This occurs naturally, on the one hand, given that control is, by definition, the limitation of the space for free action. On the other hand, such values are also limited through abuse of power, creating "underworlds" in the organization, organizational politics, unethical agreements, the absence of transparency, etc. 5. The Age of Knowledge. In an age in which all human knowledge will be available to whomever needs it, it is fundamental that space for people be available, that it exist. Not to provide such a space would be an enormous waste of human potential. The principles of chaordic organizations ensure the existence of such spaces. Traditional organizational structures that fragment work in principle limit space, and thereby reduce the area available for action (on the presumption that its employees don’t have the necessary knowledge, or sufficient potential to create what is needed). The assumption is that their employees are not capable of thinking, and that they are there to carry out what has been thought of by others, their "superiors." Chaordic organizations honor people who think. In fact, they honor and respect everyone."1 Of course, it is necessary to take into account that this article is written from the point of view of the society of liberal-democratic valOscar Motomura. Chaordic Organizations. papers/Chaordic_organizations.pdf 1 


ues, therefore, it places stress on corresponding quality without traditional religious complexes. But this gives the notion of how organizations can develop in the abovementioned societies, including military structures. But the technology of coaching is not exclusive to the past decade. Similar methods were used in the organization of the armed forces of various states. Stephen Bungay, employed at the Boston Consulting Group, devoted one of his books to coaching in the organization of the Prussian Army2. Bange shows that the effectiveness of the Prussians’ military machine was in its ability to perform strategic objectives, and it expressed this in the style of command, which was the most flexible and original in the framework of a clearly defined goal. Another example is from the era of the Cold War. US Air Force Brigadier General Raymond A. Shulstad, who served in the US Strategic Air Force (bomber that carried nuclear weapons) and was engaged in its reorganization, shows in his publication "Leading and Managing through Influence: Challenges and Responses" what problems he faced when he was appointed to the post and how he interacted with his colleagues, including those from other departmental structures. The General concludes: "They must apply the basic management functions of organizing, planning, directing, and controlling, but skills in persuasion and negotiation become more important in the absence of hierarchical authority."3 It is necessary to keep in mind that even if one relies on already existing models, for example, the theory of network-centric war, the Pentagon documents clearly indicate that this "network, in combination with the changes in technology, organization, processes, and Stephen Bungay. The Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps Between Plans, Actions and Results. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2010 3  Raymond A. Shulstad "Leading and Managing through Influence: Challenges and Responses," Air and Space Power Journal, Vol 24, No. 2 (Summer 2010): pp. 6-17 2 

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human potential, might allow the creation of new forms of organizational behavior."1 Consequently, a new round of development, which has not been thought of even by the advocates of the new concepts of war, is entirely possible.

Scientific Paradigms Models describing the world, which differ from one another, are a topic of debate among military experts from various countries. Often, all of them are reduced to the dichotomy of a Newtonian linear logic and a nonlinear thinking style of chaos theory and self-organized criticality. Antoine Bosquet uses a scientific metaphor to explain the evolution of the nature of war, comparing it to the understanding of a watch, an engine, a computer, and a network with a certain historical period corresponding to four types of war — mechanical, thermodynamic, cybernetic, and chaotic2. This point of view is connected with currently fashionable scientific theories of chaos and self-organized criticality, and although such a point of view is also quite good, current conflicts not presented in a pure form, but in a mixed or hybrid one3. If one takes Syria, there are mechanical bullets, thermodynamic explosions, and cybernetic mediums of networks and computer technology, as well as the fourth level which is expressed in an networked organization of terrorist cells. Chaos can also be interpreted as the lack of order and a single command center for insurgents and terrorists in a conflict, along with the flexibility of its main actors. An interesting version of the understanding of the nature of war in this regard was suggested by Major Ben Zweibelson in the pages of The Small Wars Journal4. He proposed rethinkThe Implementation of Network-Centric Warfare. Department of Defense. Washington, D.C., 2005, p. 4. 2  Bosquet, Antoine. The Scientific Way of Warfare; Order and Chaos on the Battlefield of Modernity. N.Y.: Colymbia University Press, 2009. 3  Hoffman, Frank G. Hybrid vs. compound war.//Armed Forces Journal, Oct. 2009 4  Zweibelson, Ben. Design Theory and the Military’s Understanding of Our Complex World. Small Wars Foundation: Small Wars Journal. August 7, 2011. 1 

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ing the nature of armed conflict, taking into account the fact that the world has become more complex, proposing to move from linear logic in the style of Clausewitz, which in his opinion follows the military school of the US as a subcomponent of the great Western society (developed further in the works Jomini, Mahan, and other Western strategists) for the constructive (projective) logic. He notes that the US military has used a number of organizational principles defined as a "detailed plan" system of logic. He tries to understand the world through a series of patterns using theoretical concepts, metaphors, and empirical material that create a narrative which explains the world within the limits of unique mental technology. If organization adheres to the logic of Clausewitz, then the narrative more than likely will talk about the "centers of gravity", and the plot will be associated with a constant tension between the government, the masses, and the military instruments of power. The society which envelops the ideological construct of Clausewitz may have various narratives that speak about the constant fight against invaders or that the workers of the world must unite against the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie". Thus, every logical system represents a combined plurality of unique factors. Evidently, the logic of Clausewitz influenced the strategic theory of the Five Rings by John Warden. However, if one comes from a different mental matrix than strategic planning, then the evaluation of the enemy and the method of warfare is different. When one or more components of the logical system collide with reality, then the organization is faced with the anomaly which the logical system does not have the power to solve. This was manifested from Newtonian physics until Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was introduced. In modern war, Zweibelson highlights such understandings as ‘irregular", "asymmetrical", "poorly structured", and "messy", which became the institutional problems of warfare in the XXI century.


Coaching War and realpolitik

Constructive logic, in Zweibelson’s view, in contrast to linear logic, is critical and creative, and it is a nonlinear process of creation, destruction, and innovation that is open to adoption, adaptation, and integration into a new understanding of the structure of the world.

execution4. Friedrich von Bernhardi noted that "the military art relies on the free use of its bases inconstantly changing conditions."5

He observed that in regard to the military planning in the US, the teleological approach is applied, which is when the entire process is linked to an ultimate goal, originally defined as "results", after which they the actions and mediums are achieved. The metaphor of a root applies to this process.

"Cognitive moderation", "cognitive burden", "compulsory appreciation", "Copernican principle", "cumulative mistake", "cycles", "deep time", "the theory of efficiency", "double blindness" — this is a list of some of the thoroughly studied ideas in the past years6 that often contradict one another, but they also are able to fully adapt to international relations and military conflicts. It is a complex task to figure out all the variants.

But practical logic collides with the military one, and according to Ben Zweibelson, military logic should replace the descriptive reductionism of holistic synergy1. Constructiveness and creativity, however, have always been respected, as have military strategists who understand the need for a creative approach. Milan Vego says that "war is largely an art, not a science. Consequently, it is necessary that military commands and their staffs must be very creative in the planning, preparation, and also the use of this strength in fighting. Technological innovation should never be neglected, and attention should be focused on the aspects of creativity that have the most direct relation to leadership."2 In the Field Manuel of the US Army it is stated that "the creativity of commanders relates to their ability to find affordable, innovative solutions to problems and to be innovative and adapt to rapidly changing and potentially confusing situations. All exceptional military leaders had a large stock of creative skills."3 Even if we come from a single logical model of military activity, it is creativity that was needed at any time. Liddell Hart noticed the importance of an innovative plan of decision and its skillful Zweibelson, Ben. Design Theory and the Military’s Understanding of Our Complex World. Small Wars Foundation: Small Wars Journal. August 7, 2011. p.13. 2  Milan Vego. On Military Creativity.// JFQ-70 http:// 3  FM 22-103, Leadership and Command at Senior Levels. Washington, DC: Headquarters Department of the Army, July 31, 1990, Р. 30. 1 


In fact, everything is much more complex because there are about a dozen main scientific paradigmatic pictures of the world.

Nevertheless, if one returns to the topic of Coach Culture, elements of which are scattered in the above theoretical considerations, it is revealed that one of the founders of the doctrine of network-centric warfare, Arthur Cebrowski, said that victories and defeats are born in the consciousness. Likewise, Timothy Galway, considered the author of the idea of Coaching, said that the internal "enemy in the head" of athletes is a much more dangerous opponent7. One may recall the definition of George Stein, who noted that "the human intellect is the objective of network war."8 Another US military expert noted that it is necessary to destroy a sufficient amount of the brain or the correct brain and then the "will" definitely dies together with the organB.H. Liddell Hart, Strategy. New York: F.A. Praeger, 1954 5  Friedrich von Bernhardi, On War of To-Day, vol. 2, Combat and Conduct of War, trans. Karl von Donat. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1914, Р. 413. 6  Aimee Groth. 35 Scientific Concepts That Will Help You Understand The World.// Business insider, May 27, 2013. http://www.businessinsider. com/scientific-concepts-that-will-make-yousmarter-2013-5?op=1#ixzz2Ub2C9V1T 7  Gallwey, W. Timothy, The Inner Game of Tennis (1st ed.). New York: Random House, 1974. 8  George J. Stein. Information War — Cyberwar — Netwar mil/airchronicles/battle/chp6.html 4 

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ism1. If one can subordinate the will of the enemy using the methods of Clausewitz (i.e. by applying physical force), then there are at least three disadvantages. Richard Szafranski argues: "First, killing appliances and destruction machines are usually and necessarily expensive. The more ambitious the objectives of this apparatus, the greater the expense. Every penny spent to acquire the ability to destroy is a penny that cannot be spent to build. Second, in the absence of any clear and present threat to national survival that possession of such tools can reasonably be expected to counter, our citizens and their elected representatives have advocated other plans for our pennies. Last, the intellectual energy consumed by devising newer and better ways to kill and destroy distracts us from the real object of war: subduing hostile will."2 Therefore, Richard Szafranski, the author of the theory of neocortial warfare3, believes that his version of waging conflict is aimed at the subordination of opponents without violence, and that not only is it the future of warfare, but that it is also the most demanding kind of war that calls for the most creative and effective schemes of work. However, he does not that this theory has not yet been systematically conceptualized. In other words, the cognitive domain remains the fundamental element in the complex structure of military forces, concepts, and technologies. The flexibility and relevancy of how this or that scientific paradigm will be for the thinking of decision makers in the area of defense policy, peacekeeping operations, and Realpolitik in general will depend on the success of the confrontation with the potential enemy in the future. Richard Szafranski, Neocortical Warfare? The Acme of Skill.// Military Review, November 1994, pp. 41–55. U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. 2  Richard Szafranski, Neocortical Warfare? The Acme of Skill.// Military Review, November 1994, pp. 41–55. U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. 3  Ibidem 1 

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War by other means and Realpolitik In recent years, the special multidimensional technique known as Strategic Communications has come into fashion in Western countries for waging war by other means. Strategic Communications deals with mostly non-military means, but can be implemented into the military-political pool of Western states. This, however, differs from country to country. For example, in Poland, Strategic Communications initiatives are part of the education system in which NATO propaganda is presented at schools. In non-NATO countries, media is used to disseminate pro-NATO propaganda. We should also take note of the strong and well-funded anti-Russian campaign launched in the US and EU countries immediately after the coup in Ukraine, when Crimea expressed its desire to reunify with Russia. Because the battle for hearts and minds is rooted in the image of "bad guys" (evil, aggression, etc.), the West used a special definition for Russia as a warmongering actor to meet this very need of creating an enemy for the public. NATO and the US have begun to interpret and employ the concept of hybrid warfare as a special Russian method of warfare. The significant politicization and media spin of this term has somewhat devaluated the theory developed by Frank Hoffmann and other military professionals years before the conflicts in Syria and later in Ukraine. The project "Russia and Hybrid Warfare: Definitions, Capabilities, Scope and Possible Responses" report 1/2016 was co-authored by Bettina Renz and Hanna Smith, with insights from Tor Bukkvoll, Antulio J. Echevarria, Keir Giles, Sibylle Scheipers, Sir Hew Strachan and Rod Thornton. It is important to note that Antulio J. Echevarria is a military analyst developing new approaches for unconventional warfare. His newest theory is dedicated to "grey zones of conflict"


Coaching War and realpolitik

where he proposes to rethink methods of paramilitary activity.1 It is no surprise that the authors claim that Russia is acting in violation of international legislation, human rights, European norms, etc. It is also stated: "Russian actions in the former Soviet space can be explained by its intention to reinstate and maintain its position as the dominant regional actor, by military force if necessary, which is not the same as seeking to recreate the Soviet Union by means of territorial expansion." 2 It is also important to mention that this document was released in Finland, which is not a member of NATO. But what exactly is Strategic Communications? In a special report on the experience of NATO, the spectrum of when and how Strategic Communications is used is described as "an ever more participative global information environment, which progressively questions the justification for capability firewalls between information activities, the me is also right to investigate the structure, outputs, and organisational culture within the traditional StratCom disciplines of Public Diplomacy (PD,) Public Affairs (PA), Military Public A airs (MPA), Information Opera ons (Info Ops) and Psychological Opera ons (PSYOPS). Mutual understanding of national perspectives (and varying interpretations) in these areas is as critical as determining which — and in what combination —  have relevance and resonance for the future."3   This approach to Strategic Communications was re-organized in NATO in 2014 with a special budget and task forces. In 2015, the Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (based in Riga, Latvia) launched the "Defense Strategic Communications" magazine. Volume 1, Number 1 issued in Winter 2015 was dedicated to Russia, ISIS, soAntulio J. Echevarria, ‘How we should think about "gray zone" wars’, Infinity Journal, 5(1), 2015 2  Bettina Renz and Hanna Smith. Russia and Hybrid Warfare: definitions, capabilities, scope and possible responses, report 1/2016. Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland. P. 21 3  Mapping of Stratcom Practices in NATO Countries, 2015. P.4 1 


cial media and the NATO/UK/US experience of psychological operations and political communications. In fact, the publication was a good start for introducing and engaging beginners. We can clearly see the narrative of the "evil twins" — Russia and ISIS — placed in the two first publications with more scholarly oriented articles on military-political planning and analysis implanted in the culture of the Euro-Atlantic community. NATO also focused on Euro-Atlantic values in "Euro-Atlantic Values and Russia’s Strategic Communication in the Euro-Atlantic Space," which provided huge research on Russian TV activity in the context of worsened relations between the West and Russia as well as the difference between the moral structures of Western and Russian societies. More toolkits and propaganda booklets (mostly anti-Russian) were issued later and are available on site of the centre.4 But this is not only NATO’s approach. Report No. 30 from July 2016 of the European Union Institute for Security Studies (located in Paris, France) entitled "Strategic communications Countering Russia and ISIL/Daesh". Interestingly enough, the combination of Russia and ISIS is repeated in this paper. "What follows is a tentative catalogue of action points that may be considered by EU policymakers in order to enhance the effectiveness of the EU’s own strategic communications. Some apply to both Russia and ISIL, while others are more customised and case-specific."5 It is very possible that this idea of the "evil twins" was born in a US intelligence lab or office and then reproduced and disseminated through their European partners. On the one hand, Strategic Communication initiatives are directed at justifying NATO’s enlargement (including still neutral Sweden and Finland) and increasing its military budget in See: 5  Strategic communications Countering Russia and ISIL/Daesh. Report Nº 30, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Paris, 2016. P. 46. 4 

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the face of such an artificial enemy as Russia. On the other hand, we can see in this attempts to put more anchors on European (and not only) society and its social, economical and political layers. Some globalist liberal foundations have also used the term "Strategic communication" in their works. For example, following leaks of files tied to the Open Society Foundation, a number of documents dedicated to Russia were discovered. In one of them titled "Russia Project Strategy, 2014-2017", it was stated: "We will then fund collaborations between Russian specialists in strategic communications and social marketing to ensure broad dissemination and public discussion of this analysis. These efforts, aimed both inside and outside of Russia, will help to counter inaccurate reporting on the law and the dismal portrayal of NGOs in the media."1 We see that, from a defensive point of view, Russia is under attack by different institutions that seem different, but are in fact interconnected by the shared goal of eliminating Russia. Thus, Strategic Communications might be described as a rebranding of old structures and mechanisms already used in the Cold War. Adopting new technologies such as social networks, religious infiltration, and transnational flows (including media activity), it is now being implemented in the broad spectrum of Coaching War.

See: OSF Proposed Strategies 2014-2017 "Other Significant Collaborations" 1 

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FROM PAX AMERICANA TO PAN AMERICANA Downsized American land-power power across Spheres of Influence and a Monroe Doctrine 2.0



Abstract The United States has the opportunity to respond to its waning global hegemonic status by transforming into a regional hegemon as a land-power across both American continents, and in so doing will recognize spheres of influence of other regional hegemons. There are numerous prospects that will lead to greater harmony in the relations between spheres, as well as continue along a course of cultural transformation across the Americas. The debate around the future of the US as a global hegemon is one of utmost importance for every nation-state. The related debate surrounding viable alternatives to the present form of the US global power, which is the focus of this article, must naturally include those alternatives which are not only realistic but, in the interests of all other actors, also most conducive to peace and de-escalation of the present global crisis in which Total War is a serious possibility.

Joaquin Flores American expat living in Belgrade.

He is a full-time analyst at the Center for Syncretic Studies, a public geostrategic think-tank. His expertise encompasses Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and has a strong proficiency in Middle East affairs. He presently serves as the Europe-wide liaison for New Resistance. In the US he worked for a number of years as a labor union organizer, chief negotiator, and strategist for a major trade union federation.

Introduction At issue is the theory and practice of the ‘Monroe Doctrine’, the 19th century policy of the US, connected in part or as an extension of Manifest Destiny, in which the US made its relationship to Europe regarding Latin America very clear: Latin America was the US’s sole domain — Economic activity between Europe and Latin America would go through the US as the broker or middle-man. Significant here is the quasi-religious nature of the Monroe Doctrine1, which is similar to Manifest Destiny — rooted in a secularized nationalist religion with reference to providence. Moreover, there is an important part of the Monroe Doctrine which cannot be overlooked. While a ‘return’ to a Monroe doctrine will be different in numerous ways from its original incarnation, there is a corollary part of it which is tremendously suited to the present day. This relates to the US’s commitment of non-interference in Europe. In Monroe’s own words2, "2. The negative principles: (a) "With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere." (b) "In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so." Morison, S.E. "The Origin of the Monroe Doctrine, 17751823" Economica No. 10 (Feb., 1924), pp. 27-51 2  Ibidem 1 


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This article presents a type of return to the Monroe Doctrine as a viable alternative for the US Empire in its waning phase. Here we distinguish between the theory and the practice. In theory, the US has always maintained the preference of a type of Monroe Doctrine. But the culmination of anti-imperialist, Marxist/"national communist", and national liberation insurgencies and movements at the start of this century dealt a significant setback to its practice. The US has been losing ground in the Rimland of the Middle-East, a project with an immediate policy aim in its own right but also aimed at containing the Russian land-power. Simultaneously it has reinvigorated its efforts in Latin America, primarily to roll back the progress of national liberation movements and states in the region. Nevertheless, these movements and states have been able to maintain a modicum of sovereignty even in light of the US’s recent refocus on the region. As a consequence, numerous governments in Latin America were able to have China1, Europe2, and the US ‘compete’ for capital investment and infrastructure projects, much to the chagrin of Washington and Wall Street. What is being examined, therefore, is something of a re-orientation of US resources towards ‘recapturing’ Latin America. This would allow it to make use of its residual economic with Reuters, 6-12-2015, " China overshadows EU, Latin America trade and investment pledges" "Unable to match China’s offer of $250 billion (€222 billion) in investment in Latin America, the EU sought ways on Thursday (11 June) to avoid being marginalized in the region, offering new trade deals, visa-free travel and deeper ties." https://www.euractiv. com/section/trade-society/news/china-overshadowseu-latin-america-trade-and-investment-pledges/ 2  European Commission — INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT — Latin America — LAIF — Promoting investment through the Latin America Investment Facility " For the period 2010-2015, 28 projects were approved for grant financing of €232 million, representing total lending of approximately €5.4 billion and total investment cost of approximately €6.9 billion. The leverage effect of LAIF grant was thus in the range of 1:29." 1 

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and military power, and also provide a reason and mechanism for it to return to a manufacturing based economy. But as a long term project, it will not be able to maintain an imperial or paternalistic relationship with Latin America. Nevertheless its involvement will enable better coordinating of the industrial loci in Latin America, as would be done in a single internal, i.e. ‘national’ economy. This article will take as its starting point a number of operating concepts and practices. The first is the relevance of the theory and practice of ‘spheres of influence’. The second, related to this, is the theory and practice of ‘multi-polarity’. The aim of this piece is to present a basic overview, from an interdisciplinary perspective rooted in IR realism/neo-realism theory and also taking from Cultural Studies, in particular both Gramscian and Globalization model theories. This model is presented as a gradualist or evolutionary approach to the winding down of the US Empire, though its arrival may also be the product of an additional crisis which would then lend an element of punctuated equilibrium to its gradual change in orientation. The primary objective here is to sketch out a course of an acceptable (to the US establishment) glided landing to a still prominent plateau, as opposed to a ‘nose dive’ crash. It would give not only sufficient time for the US to reorganize its internal economy, but also allow for a reorganization and reorientation of the vested interests, with their complicated relationships and commitments which have a life of their own, and which moreover have the tendency to otherwise pre-determine a route which is contrary to reason or foresight. A return or sorts to a Monroe Doctrine, or Monroe Doctrine 2.0 would prevent a total crisis on the part of the US establishment, which would lead them otherwise to ‘Total War’ or a ‘Sampson Option’ as its only viable alternative. Along this trajectory, a Monroe Doctrine 2.0 would feature a physical economy/produc-


From Pax Americana to Pan Americana

tion and investment banking type economy with exports limited to the American continents and Africa. This would be based in part on the natural resources of the NAFTA bloc, and integrating these into the economies and resources of South America. As a single economic bloc, the "Americas’’ with its currency not based in foreign oil reserves and its global production, but rather the total sum of the actual real industrial product combined with the value of speculation regarding its future growth. But we are also compelled to issue a major proviso. In describing the proposed solution, we are aware that in describing these things, we are polarizing them. In reality, the changes will appear much less drastic and much less apparent. Reality moves along a much more gradual course, though naturally we still must allow for sudden changes and a punctuated equilibrium across the evolutionary course. We also conclude that the US will attempt, or at least appear to be attempting in either case, to be pursuing multiple vectors. This will conceal, at least for a considerable time, its orientation towards Latin America. Likewise, its withdrawal from Eurasia will appear gradual, even though looking backwards we will be able to pinpoint specific moments in history that were determinant, whether it was the battle of Debaltsevo in the Donbass, or thwarting color revolution attempts in Armenia or Serbia.

The Present Crisis The US at the present time is at a cross-roads in terms of policy and prospects1. These various vectors can be described. The first vector is to pursue its present course, and attempt to regain the status as the sole global hegemon enforcing a unipolar order. The second course it can take is to downsize its role in the world. It can ‘partner up’ with other forces, but some of these forces are its would be adversaries, and the immediate or rather obvious question would be, partner up for what purpose? Given Kirshner, Jonathan. "American Power after the Financial Crisis" Cornell Studies in Money, 2014 Edition: 1, Cornell University Press 1 


the decrease of the role of the dollar as the world reserve currency, and that this trend is projected to continue, we can see that one of its most viable options is to return to a serious focus on Latin America, even to integrate into Latin America and create a pan-American land power. Failure to succeed in either vector will lead to the disintegration of the US into various regional-ethnic Balkanized regions. This may even be considered a ‘third option’. In such a scenario, and if Latin America continues to develop at its present rate, then the US will be integrated into Latin America in this scenario as well, but not long terms favorable to US elites. The vectors available to the US relate both to its economic model and also to its model of interacting with the world militarily. On the economic front, the US suffers longterm from the general internal contradiction of capitalism which is the general tendency of the rate of profit to decline, the law of diminishing returns on the macroeconomic level. It has invested, perhaps overinvested in fossil fuels as the basis of the US dollar alongside military power, while any number of renewable or otherwise less scarce, or at least less expensive in the long term, energy sources are on the cusp of being released and integrated. The US has placed its eggs in the basket, conversely, of suppressing these new technologies. Militarily, while actively engaging in a pro-Israel policy in the Middle-East, that could also be justified geostrategically as offering a model of dominating the Rimland to contain the Heartland, it failed to adequately develop its Anglosphere assets of Australia and New Zealand into military powerhouses in their own right that could pose a serious challenge from Oceania in the contest over the Pacific. Likewise, its counter-insurgency model for Latin America which did not provide a viable alternative economic path for emerging centers of capital and industry even among ostensibly pro-US elites in that region, created fertile ground for what has since been termed the ‘Pink Tide’ in Latin America.

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The model as a whole can be understood. A part of this model is determined by its real economic functions, which carries with it its own inertia. It is presented that the US’s ‘capitalist’ model is central to its empire. Its liberal ideology is simultaneously a cause and an effect of its economic model. The liberal ideology promotes the universalism which may at times seem to conceal (making even it appear pluriversal1), and at others times justify, the US’s unipolar hegemonic model. While the general model can be termed ‘capitalist’, more specifically the US economy reflects the speculative part of the economy, rooted in the banking industry, which is in turn is rooted in several material components of the global economy. These real economic functions relate to the incarnation of the dollar as a fiat currency which serves as a global reserve currency, and rooted in two main forms of economy: the value of petroleum and speculation on the capacity of the US to carry out its policies by way of force through its military industrial complex. So we can summarize here that the US’s foreign policy is determined by its capitalist model, but specifically in its relationship to housing the core of international finance capital in the speculative economy. Of course we recognize that their exist several definitions of capitalism, but here it is presented merely that it is an economic form based both in speculative banking institutions but also the techno-industrial model of mass production of late or post-modernity. Debates regarding social relations and relations of production with all of its complexity in terms of order, control, hierarchy, domination, and organization, and the related consumer culture of conspicuous consumption, are not germane to this article. Likewise, definitions which feature normative descriptions over positive descriptions (i.e. the Austrian school) are not useful for our purposes. We present a simple working definition, just for the purposes of discussion and internal taxonomic coherSavin, Leonid. "Myth, Utopia, and Pluriversal Realism" Geopolitica, September 30th, 2013 1 

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ency for this article, that capitalism is distinct from other models in that the accumulation of surplus capital in liquid form, is the end in itself. The present US model of unipolar hegemony is no longer sustainable. This is true both economically, and militarily. But because it is based largely in speculative economics, its momentum combined with perception management and control over global media reporting about economics, categorically, is allowing it to continue to exist at the present time, ‘running on fumes’. Until consensus beliefs to the contrary become the dominant ones, the existing belief among certain centers of power that the US project is viable, is the cornerstone of its continued viability to date. Economically, the world’s developing economies have nearly caught up, and in some cases even surpassed, the US’s economic capacity in several important areas, having weathered surprisingly well the global economic crisis of ten years ago2. Globalization has had a contradictory effect on the development of historical processes. On the one hand, universalism, global hegemony, and liberalism at the starting stage. On the other hand, and moving towards later stages, the economic foundations of multipolarity, resistance, the global de-secularization process, and anti or post liberal/ capitalist ideological and economic modes. Thus within globalization as an expression of Anglo global hegemonic centers of power (Washington, London, Brussels) and its support network of kin (Canada, Australia, New Zealand), we find in its nucleus the seeds of its undoing. This is a natural process also connected to the life-cycle of empires. Along military lines, the neoconservative think tank, Project for a New American Century coherently assessed the US’s position in the late 1990’s in the September 2000 piece Carol Wise, Leslie Elliott, Armijo Saori, N. Katada "Unexpected Outcomes: How Emerging Economies Survived the Global Financial Crisis" 2015, Brookings Institution Press 2 


From Pax Americana to Pan Americana

titled ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’.1 The US was unable to fully destroy the Eurasian land-power, whatever remained after the political destruction of the USSR. The US, according to the PNAC, also suffered from a ‘Hannibal Problem’ — it made a victory but was unable to ‘know what to do’ with it. Perhaps it did not move quickly enough in Yugoslavia, perhaps Serbian/Yugoslav resistance proved better than expected. Perhaps the delays were rooted in the Clinton administration’s understanding of the situation. By 2000, Russia was already showing a clear sign of reversing the disintegrative process with the rise of Putin and the establishment of a new internal security apparatus which represented the unmolested core of the former KGB, hermetically sealed, and surviving — though not without tremendous damage  —  the destruction of the USSR. The moves in the middle east in the following period leading up to the housing market and liquidity market crisis of 2007, were a boon to the military industrial complex as an important part of the physical and speculative US economy, but as military targets in and of themselves, intentionally helped the position of Israel, but as a consequence of the post-Iraqi state vacuum and the reliance on Chalabi and then on Muqtada al Sadr to manage things, also therefore Iran. As military targets these were vested practically in the buttressing of Israeli access to water and oil, and against one of its regional opponents. In the broad scheme of geopolitics, it was operating on the views of Kissinger and Brzezinski who never broke out of the basic Mackinderist perception that US power was incomplete so long as the Eurasian land-power was intact. Thus the aims in the middle east strove in part to seal off the Rimland (peripheral regions to Eurasia) to contain the Heartland (Eurasia), and moreover to separate the western Eurasian peninsula of Europe from the broad landmass Donnelly, Thomas. "Rebuilding America’s Defenses — Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century", Project for a New American Century, September 2000 images/3/37/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf 1 


to the east. But the nature and scope of these moves, including the failure to subordinate Iran, also had the consequence of pushing China and Russia closer together, thus working against the containment of Russia (the Eurasian land-power), despite the important role that China plays in the global economy and within the US economy as well. We can see this spelled clearly in a recent piece by Zbigniew Brzezinski. In last April’s edition of The American Interest 2, he argues that the US must realign either partnering with China or with Russia in order to offset the potential of a US military rival. He admits that the US is no longer a global imperial power, but maintains that it is essentially a type of plurality power — simply the single-most powerful. He writes there: "The first of these verities is that the United States is still the world’s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity but, given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power. But neither is any other major power." This implies, by virtue of deduction, that the present alignments characterize a US power that is weaker than several combined powers (i.e. Russia + China). The Moscow, Tehran, Beijing axis is the single-most powerful combination acting in a concerted theatre (the Middle East and Central Asia) today in the world. While the US has effectively been nearly pushed from Iraq, failed to maintain a coherent occupation of Afghanistan, and has been directly confronted in Syria by the MoscowBeijing-Tehran Axis, it let precious years at the start of this century go by, as a new Pink Tide of what is termed ‘new socialism’ spread across Latin America. Ideological considerations aside, and debates about the socialist nature of these states notwithstanding, this shift effectively represented a new ability of many leading Latin American states to engage Brzezinski, Zbigniew. "Towards a Global Realignment", The American Interest, April 11th 2016, vol. 11 no. 6. http://www.the-american-interest. com/2016/04/17/toward-a-global-realignment/ 2 

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in multipolar foreign policy for the first time in its history, engaging the US, China, Russia, and Europe simultaneously, without a middle man to work through, as previously mandated in various incarnations of the Monroe Doctrine even up through the 1990’s. Another part of this model is determined by the US’s policy culture, the inertia of policy institutions, their effective lobbying, and interpersonal ties and relationships at the micro level which propel the US along a specific course as if it were the only possible course, when in fact —  to the contrary  —  several courses are possible. Case studies of crisis and crisis aversion have previously established that institutional and strategic culture play a considerable role. While the global capitalist model presents a number of systemic problems in terms of long term viability, it is in this latter part of culture where at least as much — if not more — difficulties are presented. The inertia of policy institutions, etc., work against rational choice model type decision making, and work against the ability to change policies quickly enough to avert disaster.

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For this reason, a ‘policy revolution’ resulting from the recognition that a disaster has begun or is underway, or even resulting from an actual political revolution on a systemic level due to the internal contradictions of US society as a reflection of the present and developing problem of the US’s waning power, may be a pre-requisite to effecting the kind of reorientation required.

A Viable Solution: From Thalassocratic to Tellurocratic Power In moving from a global multipolar world system, based on a defacto parity of relative power projection, either individually or through alliances, we begin with the present waning US global hegemony, and transition to the next form. The next form is typically characterized by an outward push of the Eurasian Heartland to secure its periphery or Rimland. This leads to the creation of the Pan-Eurasian zone. The US has little recourse but to focus on its own ‘backyard’. This creates a Pan-American zone. Pan-America emerges as a land-power, covering both American continents. It disengages from its global neocolonial project as a sea-power. It must rise simultaneously with a


From Pax Americana to Pan Americana

US redirection or reorientation towards Latin America. The below illustration terms this the Anglo-American Zone, but for reasons which we will explore later, this may not ultimately be the case. It may be an ethnic-cultural zone of a new type. Furthermore, what emerges may also alienate the UK and Oceania from the ‘Zone’. Rather, we simply term this the ‘Pan-American Zone’. Why Latin America? Creating a ‘Pan-American Zone’ is the US’s first, last, and best option. The continental US serves as its own pivot to Latin America, and so does not require any intermediary. Much of the transport and communication lines already exist, and so infrastructural development, at least in the first phases of development may indeed be quite minimal. The present issues then are political, and not developmental in nature. These present other obstacles, but the existing infrastructure makes it a much easier sell. It is proposed that the economy of the Americas should in the future function as a single large ‘internal’ economy, based on the dollar acting as what the Fraser Institute termed an "Amero". 1 This is distinct from the dollar as it exists today, for several important reasons. First, the present dollar is the world reserve currency, and this status is changing presently, and the summary of the problem above and the proposed solution in this section, are both contingent upon this reality. In its place is a basket of currencies which will include a dollar in its new form, as well as a number of currencies which together represent more of the world’s physical economy than the dollar does alone. In terms of the dollar, whether it is still called the dollar, or more exotically takes on a new name is not immediately important. Of course such a change in name would accompany a shift in culture and global perception, and tend to undermine the US’s prestige. So we use the term Amero only to signify its actual Grubel, Herbert. "The Case for the Amero", Fraser Institute, 1999 Critical Issues Bulletin default/files/CasefortheAmero.pdf 1 


relationship both to the proposed integrated Latin American plus North American economy, and to the world’s ‘basket’ currency. But in terms of the US’s prestige and sense of self, it cannot fathom a world in which it is not militarily dominant, as we can understand from the sentiments expressed by Brzezinski in the aforementioned article. Therefore, it is more probable than not that the ‘greenback’ will remain. The integration of Latin American economic life and the currency will, at least at first, occur outside of the realm that is overtly recognizable. Part of the US conflict with Russia, in which the EU appears to generally side with the US, is also in fact a conflict with the EU. If one of the US aims is to push the EU into an open conflict with Russia, in a way which echoes both world wars of the 20th century, then it must first create policy ‘gravity wells’ under Europe that pull it into conflict with Russia. Presently, Europe enjoys investment and development opportunities in Latin America. These increased during the period of the ‘Pink Tide’ or ‘21st century Socialism’ which the neo-Bolivarian project which began in Venezuela, and later generalized throughout Latin America including Brazil under Lula and the Workers’ Party. This was a product of increased sovereignty on the part of Latin American states that went in this direction. Chinese investment also figures prominently, and just surpassed European investment in 2015. The US is presently forcing Europe out of Latin America, in a manner which conforms to several possible vectors of development that we will explore later. China will have to voluntarily extract itself from Latin America, as part of a negotiated deal with the economic networks behind the Eurasian Union and Chinese global policy. Writing for the Brookings Institute series, ‘Order from Chaos’, Jeremy Shapiro affirms the view that the US must, in order to avert catastrophe, recognize the traditional con-

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cept of ‘Spheres of Influence’. 1 He cites several compelling and logical reason from the perspective of IR realism, in particular he writes: "To the contrary, the U.S promulgated the Monroe Doctrine specifically to establish a sphere of influence. Similarly, Franklin Roosevelt’s "Four Policemen" concept for the post-World War II order, which evolved into the UN Security Council, saw the world run by great powers. In the words of historians Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley, "[t] his distinction between great and small nations quickly became a fundamental element of all U.S. postwar planning." Even during the Cold War, the U.S. rarely challenged the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, essentially standing aside as Soviet forces crushed uprisings in East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland [...] But after the Cold War ended and the Soviet sphere of influence collapsed, the United States began to champion a new idea in international relations [...] In general, as countries like Russia and China have grown in relative power in recent years, they have begun to push against the liberal world order imposed upon them. That they should do so is, from a historical perspective, normal and natural even if it is very unwelcome. One might expect that if Canada and Mexico choose to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization the United States would similarly object [...] spheres of influences are created to help great powers feel secure—in the current world mostly from the United States. Conflict is only inevitable if the United States behaves as great powers often have in the past and seeks to deny rising powers what they is feel their due, thus contributing to their sense of insecurity. Spheres of influence, in contrast, have the capacity to make great powers feel more secure and to increase their willingness to cooperate within the larger liberal world order." Shapiro, Jeremy. "Defending the defensible: The value of spheres of influence in U.S. foreign policy", Brookings Institute, March 11, 2015 Order from Chaos h ttps:// 1 

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Of course it does not escape us that Shapiro concludes that this will improve the general ‘liberal world order’. However, this can be interpreted several ways, either as a real view of the US, i.e. the faux ‘pluraversism’ meant to obscure or conceal the Anglo-Atlanticist global hegemonic campaign, or, on the other hand, as a legitimate way of recognizing what Brzezinski already has, that the US role is downsizing and therefore requires sane and sound policies which reflect that, instead of attempting to maintain its grip upon an old order which no longer prevails. It is these attempts, as Shapiro recognizes, that lead to unnecessary conflicts and wars. Nevertheless, his general point is important, and significant also is the well known institute that published it. While publications of various views do not necessarily represent a formal position of the Brookings Institute, as a think tank it is important to recognize here that such discourse is certainly not ‘beyond the pale’. That these ideas (and the above is a sample of several similar) are now openly being debated at this institutional level which has already been established as formative for US foreign policy, speaks volumes in itself to the possibilities that a more realist approach in US leadership, despite the liberal ideological framework, may find footing. It is important to note that the US is now trying to ‘take’ Latin America by using a series of older and newer tactics, semi-constitutional or parliamentary coups, as in Brazil, assassinations and regular coups as with Honduras, buying elections as with Argentina, the attempts to destabilize Venezuela. China should attempt to remain actively involved in investment and development in Latin America, as it is so far on track to do, in order to be later ready to negotiate these away in exchange for a US withdrawal from Central Asia and the Middle-east. That these processes happen in tandem is critical, for a unilateral handing over of Latin America to the US would only embolden it in its continued efforts to surround and destroy Eurasia. Taking for granted, then, a negotiated


From Pax Americana to Pan Americana

settlement which would allow for a return to the ‘Spheres of Influence’ model —  a necessary step in between the present model and a future multipolarity — we can then project what preliminary things the US would do in order to integrate into the Latin American economy. The Pan-American zone would integrate the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) along a model similar to which exists in the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR). It would integrate the Unified System for Regional Compensation (SUCRE) proposal into living project of a virtual currency, as a bi-continental wide project of virtual currencies. This is part of a de facto single ‘national’ or single currency regimen, a virtual Amero, even if each country nominally retains its own printed currencies. This would create the possibility of establishing a stable exchange rate of all currencies, and reduce currency speculation/manipulation between American states. Eventually, at a later stage, a printed Amero may indeed emerge. Often contrasted to the old Monroe Doctrine is the Good Neighbor Policy, under FD Roosevelt, in which the US essentially reversed its position on Latin America. In actuality, this was a reflection of the economic crisis, the Great Depression, which effected all western economies. Because of this, and due to the condition of interwar Europe during the depression, there was not a real concern that US absence would equate to any real openings for European, in particular German, capital. The political overtures were also meant to cozy up to Latin American countries to offset the chances of European investment, to the extent that such could exist. In that sense, the Good Neighbor policy is not very different from the Monroe Doctrine, except that the former represents a lack of investment capital as opposed to an oversupply. Due to the lack of foreign investment capital, several Latin American countries such as Argentina developed an Import Substitution Industrialization program, where investment was socialized into both public and private industrialization


projects in order to begin producing those goods which were absent now from the lack of imports1. Then again in the 50’s and 60’s it predominated. It was here that Latin American states had their first taste of sovereign economic policy, a point of reference which primarily Marxist and national liberation proponents in Latin America would regularly refer to as evidence of a working model of autarky. The Bolivarian model of ‘new socialism’ in Venezuela, though economically backed by the previously higher value of petrol, nevertheless allowed for the flourishing of UNASUR and MERCOSUR, from proposals into realities. These networks are well positioned to integrate with a downsized American power matrix. Despite the distortions of American revisionist economic historians of the libertarian persuasion, the US experienced is mass industrialization during the 19th century not as a product of free and unfettered trade, but as a result of the autarkic and mercantile American System. Dr. Holt writes: "The first was a belief that the American economy between 1815 and 1850 was essentially underdeveloped because supplies of investment capital were either inadequate or too fragmented among atomistic economic actors. Thus to secure economic development, government should supply the necessary capital directly in subsidies for internal improvements or indirectly by encouraging individuals to pool their resources by investing in corporations, whose stockholders had limited liability for their debts, or manufacturing firms that were protected from foreign competition by high tariffs." Thus, the US and Latin America both have common points of reference, towards periods in which each experienced tremendous economic growth with mercantile and autarkic policies. Baer, Werner. " Import Substitution and Industrialization in Latin America: Experiences and Interpretations", Latin American Research Review Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring, 1972), pp. 95-122 1 

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Viewing the two American continents as a single ‘national’ economy, then changes the historic relationships normally described in a ‘Monroe Doctrine’. In this sense, it is neither a Monroe Doctrine, nor a Good Neighbor Policy. Whereas investment capital stemming from historically Atlantic financial networks is generally predatory, and the aim of outsourcing is to reduce costs at the expense of local economies to whom peripheral social costs are externalized, the single ‘Amero’ plan would establish a de facto ‘federal’ system of subsidies and development across the Americas. This then carries the ‘good will’ of Roosevelt’s policy into a program which reflects a downsized and localized American power, and as well contains many features of the 19th century ‘American System’ of Clay and Lincoln. That historically Atlanticist financial interests, such as the Rothschilds and Chase-Manhattan Bank, would nevertheless still feature a prominent role, only carries forward yet another similarity to the ‘American System’, which featured suppressed interest rates and readily available credit for developmental projects. An Amero project would however remove Brazil from BRICS, something which may already be underway at any rate. The US would maintain Trans-Atlantic economic ties with Europe, in particular in terms of managing Europe’s relationship with Latin America, but more importantly would be Europe’s own sovereign investment and development project with North Africa. Europe and Russia would generally cooperate with the US, the latter being diplomatically and militarily disengaged from ‘New Europe’ of central-eastern Europe and the Middle-East. It is not proposed that the US of course does this out of some altruistic concern which has never before existed. What is changing, and what has changed, is the US’s ability to project power. It is the real defeats that the US has suffered in the battle-field, and the economic competition with emerging economies in the world that it can no longer keep up with under the present model, which compels the US to seek an alternative compromise that still guarantees it the sort of influence which it can still

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otherwise project, on a more local basis, i.e. in Latin America. Thus, all formal agreements relating to ‘Spheres of Influence’ are not the start of a process, but the recognition of an actual process that is already under way. None of this is to say that the road won’t be fraught with difficulties. To wit, we should expect significant resistance to the US’s reorientation to Latin America. To the extent that these moves are negotiable, it will be important to see that the economic conditions which these changes come with will be simultaneously workable for the US but also not a developmental step backwards for various Latin American states. Having these states tied together in a de facto federal system will be part of this. That we are already taking as a starting point a considerably weakened —  and self conscious of this fact — US is another factor which will be a material hindrance on the US being able to dictate terms to Latin America in a unilateral fashion. Other states like China will also have to include stipulations of this sort into any tacit agreement on Chinese disengagement from Latin America. Altruism is of course not the reason for this, but self interest: an increased rate of exploitation in Latin America by US interests will create an increased rate of profit which will grant to the US an advantage above and beyond what is desirable in global competitive terms, to other states outside of the Americas. While these may be difficult to guarantee, another factor is the tremendous culture of resistance to, even perceived, US imperialism within Latin America. The US will only succeed in integrating into the Latin American economy if they discard the model of ‘externalizing costs’ into the very region they are integrating into. In practice, they will have to bring along with them the ‘ethos’ of the Good Neighbor policy, while at the same time being proactively involved in infrastructure and developmental projects, including north-south transit projects. Because success will be more certain to come about from abandoning the policies of the ‘race to the bottom’, or seeing Latin America as an ‘external’ entity primarily for raw resource extraction or


From Pax Americana to Pan Americana

cheap labor, the human costs may be greatly mitigated, and in fact developmental projects may see a relative increase in living standards overall. All of this is commensurate with the transition of the US away from a sea-power which interacts with ‘colonies’ along mercantile lines, and instead towards a land-power which creates transportation nodes along the way, and where each part of the transportation and production process, geographically, plays an integrated and important role in the larger project. The development of a PanAmerican Culture will mitigate north vs. south chauvinism, which otherwise would fuel the development of (or the perception of ) other types of policies better described as positional instead of win-win.

The emerging Pan-American Culture and ideology

A significant component of the emerging pan-American project has started partly within the US already. The US has long used its multiculturalism and ‘melting pot’ concepts (these are different from each other) and practices to manufacture consent internally, and project a positive image of inclusiveness and diversity to the world. If the US can be a microcosm of the whole world, in which all groups are represented and have opportunities and access to power, then the US can provide this model to the world as a single global hegemon. European migration to the US is minimal compared to migration from the rest of the world. Furthermore, in having a porous border with Mexico, and by extension Latin America, and by having a third of its continental land mass on the former territory of Mexico, it has several strong cultural-ethnic developmental factors which trend against a sustained AngloAmerican culture. Pop music and Hollywood have promoted multiculturalism for the aforementioned reasons. Moreover, Hollywood has been an integral part of both the US’s intelligence net-


works and the Military Industrial Complex.1 But the primary emphasis within this multiculturalism has been on this has been on integrating its black and Latino populations. Some US revolutionary movements of the left have for a long time promoted a break-up of the US along ethnic lines, and far-right ethno-nationalist groups promoting European identity have promoted the same. The more mainstream constitutionalist view, which predominates across the libertarian and constitutionalist liberal-conservative spectrum of the center-right has also promoted the idea of a return to constitutional federalization, sometimes called confederalization, but effectively referring to the same thing. Because the US’s ethnic diversity presents both strengths and weaknesses, social constructs have been erected to reinforce its strengths and lessen the liability of its weakness. In the US there has been a ‘browning’ of its celebrities and the rise of the racially ambiguous lead actor over the last several decades. The US’s Latinos can entertain those in Latin America. The US’s black people are not hard to be identified with by Africans. The US becomes a symbol where these people of kin went, or were brought, even against their will, but found success. While all of this developed upon the premise of projecting a global hegemonic ‘diverse’ monoculture, it has a dual-use purpose should the US switch projects towards a Latinization and CaribboBrazilianization. We should expect a continued focus in particular on bi-racial or bi-ethnic Latino-Anglo and Latino-Black relationships, as the US sets up its popular culture to orient towards Latin America. But there is an analogous concept in Latin America, from Mexico in particular, which also is the product of ethnic mixing for hundreds of years. Among these is the concept of La Raza Cosmica La Raza Cosmica, or the Cosmic Race was first promoted in 1929 by the late Mexican philosLevesque, Julie. "Screen Propaganda, Hollywood and the CIA", Center for Globalization Studies, March 1st, 2013 Global Research ht tp:// 1 

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opher, secretary of education, and 1929 presidential candidate, José Vasconcelos1. The root of this idea is that all of the various people’s of the world who had come and settled in the New World had mixed and now constituted a ‘fifth race’, which he termed as a cosmic one. Older terms such as mestizo, criollo, pardo, zambo, mulato, castizo, and so forth. But all of these carried a negative connotation, or at least carried the connotation of a person on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder in their respective societies. So in the developing of a pan-American identity, we can trace one of the first instances of a positive description of the outcome of widespread miscegenation in the concept of La Raza Cosmica, by Vasconcelos. Vasconcelos put forward his conception of race and destiny, that the parts of the American continent colonized by Spain and Portugal have the territorial, racial, and spiritual requisites necessary to start a "universal era of humanity". The result would be the creation of a new civilization: Universopolis.

policy in itself. If, for instance, the inverse were true, and ethnically mixed couples were underrepresented in media, this would also be evidence of state policy on media.

In a previous section we alluded to a potential alienation of the rest of the Anglo-sphere. This would be culturally rooted in the US pursuing a new policy on culture, to integrate more seamlessly with Latin America and the Caribbean. At the same time the Oceanic Anglo states of Australia and New Zealand also have a variation of a ‘fifth race’ comprised of indigenous people, South-east Asians, and the descendants Anglo-Scotch settlers. In England, there are Africans from both the Caribbean and Africa, Indians and Pakistanis, and increasingly Middle-Easterners. To the extent that the mixing of these ethnic groups is promoted in mainstream entertainment culture, more so than persists in the population on the whole, it should be understood as a policy of the state, even while in the liberal model the state’s actions are dissembled through seemingly private vectors like the entertainment and media industry complex. Individuals working for media institutions are allowed to ‘freely’ cast roles to reflect their own artistic or creative proclivities. But that such individuals are hired in the first place is a

Projecting forward into the coming decades and century, we will witness the continual development of this ‘new people’ of the Americas. But as multipolar trends continue to strengthen and develop, the ‘universalism’ of any pan-American ‘Raza Cosmica’ project will be reduced to the internal self-conception of a culture which exists specifically in the New World. It would not be a universal, projected, world-encompassing global culture as it is today.

José Vasconcelos. "La Raza Cósmica", Mexico D.F., Espasa Calpe, S.A., 1948, 47-51 1 

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In traditional Gramscian discourse on cultural Hegemony, the concept of ethnic mixing would normally be counted as an example of counter-hegemonic (or proletarian) culture2 which cuts against the framework of the reactionary bourgeoisie, a bourgeoisie tied to its outdated traditions inherited from feudalism. But in late modernity, most of these ‘outdated traditions’ have been supplanted by thoroughly bourgeois ones, as capital and commodity culture have thoroughly subsumed all realms of culture. Thus, political or social movements aimed against allegedly vestigial elements of pre-modernity are not such; rather they are forward marching affirmations of bourgeois culture in the present time, which in fact forge and create bourgeois culture in late modernity or post-modernity.

Alongside academic/intellectual, economic, infrastructural, demographic, and industrial development of the world’s emerging and emerged economies, has been the development of sovereign media culture. Cultural nationalists and cultural purists in each part of the world no doubt bemoan those parts of locally produced pop culture which too much resemble western culture; ‘swag’, blue jeans, western media themes, music incorporating hip-hop and rock sounds. But when compared to actual western culture, the differences are Woolcock, Joseph A. "Politics, Ideology and Hegemony in Gramsci’s Theory", Social and Economic Studies Vol. 34, No. 3 (SEPTEMBER 1985), pp. 199-210 2 


From Pax Americana to Pan Americana

stark. In the past, even until quite recently, local media around the world had a considerably ‘low budget’ look and feel to it. This placed it in the eyes of local audiences a few tiers ‘below’ western media culture. This set up western media, and its culture, as being above and superior to local media and local popular culture, compounding inferiority complexes and a desire to be accepted by and to seek approval from representatives of western culture, not only cultural but political and economic. Because this has changed significantly, and continues to change in the direction of total parity in terms of production value and perceived value, ‘Hollywood’ is losing the very magic it was built upon. Alongside this is a decline of US global cultural hegemony. This is a very significant component of rising multipolarity in and of itself. The relationship between pop culture and soft power is critical.1

The US’s approach and signs to look for The US has several options, and will pursue several vectors. At the end of the day, it must regain control as a global hegemon, or it must downsize and push its remaining inertia and residual economic and military resources into Latin America. Whether US elites choose Clinton or Trump will probably stand as the best indicator of the US’s decisions either way over the next 4-8 year term. If they choose Clinton, it will mean a decision has been made to double down on the project to regain its global hegemonic status as Empire, including all vectors and Latin America. If they choose Trump, it would mean a devaluation of the dollar and an increased focus on Latin America but to the exclusion of other vectors such as Israel, the Middle-East and Eurasia. At the present rate, the dollar itself must be revalued and must be devalued in relationship Ellwood, David. "American soft power comes through its culture", The Europaeum , vol 8 issue 1. " American mass culture is a form of power, more specifically of puissance, potenza or forcefulness. Cultural power is the ‘virtual empire’ of signs or myths, it is modalities — the airline system, credit cards, car hire, retail chains, fast food, multiplexes, film genres, internet browsers, Google." http:// 1 


to other currencies. A euphemism for this inside of present US political discourse, because the idea of ‘devaluing’ a currency has negative connotations for obvious linguistic/psychological reasons (even though it would be part of reindustrialization and increased exports, and a growing local economy), is to say that China must ‘properly value its currency’. What is actually proposed is that China increase the value of its currency, so that Chinese goods are more expensive, making the US dollar a ‘weakened’ currency in relative terms. Some of the US’s options are not mutually exclusive, and it may pursue several vectors simultaneously. It must pursue several vectors simultaneously for a number of reasons. For one, it must ‘hedge its bets’. The US must hedge against each vector they pursue with another vector. Being over-extended or overplayed in one vector (such as the Middle East) will no doubt produce a sudden cataclysmic decline or implosion that will cause a political crisis within the US that will most probably lead to Total War. Secondly, it cannot allow its geostrategic opponents to know too clearly which, if there is one vector, they will pursue over others. Doing otherwise would make the US too easy to contain and frustrate. Generally, there is cause for optimism that no significant regional hegemon in the world actually wants the US to crash upon the rocks of failed policy, at least not without having some other path of lesser resistance to fall back on. However, diplomatic and geopolitical crises have arisen in the past when a powerful enough state was placed on the defensive and had no other recourse but to strike an extraordinarily destructive and aggressive position. Third, it must pursue as many vectors as possible because it is still unknown which vector (if there is only one) will be most promising in the coming term. If the US still believes it can jump-start its failing global hegemonic project, it would also want to disguise this fact until its firmly along its ‘plan B’ course. It must pursue Latin America vigorously regardless of

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its plans, because dominating Latin America is also part of global hegemonic domination. The problems which arise are in the method of interaction. ‘Domination’ methods characteristic of the Monroe Doctrine, in the past, created multi-generational resentment and a culture of popular resistance to overt US imperialism. The US will not work past this deserved stigma if it continues on its present course of coups, assassinations, death squads, and Color-Spring type revolution attempts. If we see the US continuing to do this, we can understand it as a continuation of its strategic culture into a new period in which such methods will not be congruous with a successful integration into the Latin American economy. While some of these moves are congruous, and quickly insert the US into the role of middle-man or broker between Latin America and Europe, the long term consequences will outweigh the short-lived changes to the relationship with Europe. Fourth, if the US’s policy makers continue to attempt to maintain global hegemony, then pursuing all vectors is simply an expression of this. Due to institutional inertia and related problems, this remains the single greatest likelihood, barring a policy revolution, in the coming period. This is unfortunate for peace and stability around the world, and the US is not likely to succeed in its efforts. This means that a crisis will likely ensue, and a coalition of responsible global actors will have to intervene to contain US aggression around the world. A consequence for the US will be the disintegration of the US along regional-ethnic and cultural lines. A portion of the security establishment and the elites, realizing that a new opening exists, will join with bottom-up type resistance movements of the left and right within the US, and will manage to broker financing from foreign powers that are left with no choice but to assist these revolutionary groups, in a manner similar to how the US does the same around the world.

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Conclusion Given the information at hand, the potential for the US to transform itself from a sea-power to a land-power will rely on a policy revolution. This will be a monumental historical task, that will forever change the essential feature of the US as it exists. It will mark a cultural shift and a sea change in the US’s orientation and meaning in the world. The US will be able to integrate into a unified Latin American economy, creating a Pan Americana zone, only under certain conditions which reflect a sober appraisal of the present crisis. On the one hand, there are already cultural signs that it could transition to such a new arrangement, and position itself in a leading role of Pan America. We cannot view the present signs as indicative of their present course, as it is too soon for them to make their intentions transparent. At the same time, factors of institutional, ideological, and bureaucratic inertia make such a change extremely difficult. If they fail to make this transition, it will mark the beginning of potentially world-ending crisis and perpetual war, as the US doubles down to maintain an impossible dream of Empire carried over from a world long left behind.


RUSSIAN SECURITY CONCERNS IN AFGHANISTAN AND CENTRAL ASIA WITHIN A GEOPOLITICAL FRAMEWORK "Central Asia is… crucial in defining what Russia might or might not become." Zbigniew Brzezinski Introduction What does NATO build-up in the Baltic, war in Donbass, and the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh have in common with the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan? Each of these areas is a pressure —  or a flash — point along Russia’s periphery. These areas are collectively referred to as an arc of instability meant to drain Russia’s resources by creating or fanning the flames of existent conflicts by the Kremlin’s geopolitical opponents. Of course, each of these cases is complex, involves a number of regional or global players with their own overlapping —  or even contradictory —  agendas, and must be analyzed with these nuances in mind. Nonetheless, analysts have warned that the Tajik-Afghani direction will be next to heat up in the near future. Two key reasons for this are continued instability created by Washington’s occupation of Afghanistan and the expansion of the so-called Islamic State terrorist organization into Central Asia both for strategic purposes and as a result of Russia’s successes in the Syrian counter-terrorism campaign.

Nina Kouprianova

Independent analyst of geopolitics and foreign policy as well as culture. She contributes to a variety of alternative-media platforms and is involved in independent book publishing. Nina earned her PhD (History) from the University of Toronto, focusing on modern and contemporary Russia, history of culture, and U.S. foreign policy.

For this reason, it is important to review the situation in Afghanistan and Central Asia from the Russian perspective. Regional stability is a matter of security for the Russian Federation considering that it affects its southern periphery. However, unchallenged U.S. hegemony has led to the rise of chaos around the world as a result of Washington’s interventions, overthrowing regimes, and destroying statehood in the Middle East, North Africa, Ukraine, Central Asia, and beyond. The ongoing 15-year occupation of Afghanistan by Washington and its NATO allies, in particular, has failed to stabilize that country. On the contrary, security risks for Russia, primarily narcotics trafficking and terrorism — in part, linked to migration — have dramatically increased in this time period. Let us first examine Russia’s practical security concerns in the given region and then determine how its instability would benefit Russia’s geopolitical opponents.

Background In the late imperial period, Afghanistan functioned as a buffer state between Russia and its rival Britain in Central and South Asia. As Russia


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expanded eastward across the Eurasian landmass, Afghanistan gained strategic importance to Britain, considering its proximity to colonial India. In a certain sense it even began to overshadow the importance of Turkey, which allied with Britain in an attempt to push Russia out of the Black Sea region in the mid-19th century. As a result, Britain engaged in three wars with Afghanistan. These and other maneuvers along Russia’s border have come to be known as the Great Game, and its echo reverberates across current geopolitical events. After the 1917 Revolution, the Soviet Union was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Afghanistan. In the 1950s-1970s, Afghanistan received over $1 billion in aid from the USSR, including a substantial military component. Much like the case of its maritime predecessor Britain, Afghanistan was of strategic importance to Washington’s global agenda countering the Soviet Union in every part of the world. Thus Washington covertly trained the Mujahideen even prior to the Soviet military entry into Afghanistan in 1979 upon the repeated requests by its government. USSR’s decade-long engagement —  that its Cold War opponents compared to America’s Vietnam — has left Russia cautious about this part of the world to this day. Indeed, it was the example of Afghanistan that Russia’s critics brought up upon its entry into Syria in autumn of 2015 as requested by that country’s president. Beyond Russian air support, the lack of boots on the ground — which somewhat delayed the ongoing counter-terrorist operation by relying on the Syrian Arab Army  —  was likely informed by the Soviet-era Afghan War experience as well. Another area of interest to regional stability is Tajikistan, particularly the Tajik-Afghan border, the sensitive nature of which allows for illegal trafficking into the Russian Federation. In the early Soviet era, this part of Central Asia in the Fergana Valley was split into Tajik,

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Uzbek, and Kyrgyz republics roughly along ethnic lines. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, independent Tajikistan was torn by civil war for economic and socio-cultural reasons, which led to mass exodus of ethnic Russians from the area. To this day, Tajikistan is one of the major sources of economic migration into Russia. Other Central Asian countries that were once Soviet republics, such as Kyrgyzstan, are also noteworthy particularly as members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). As the socalled Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization spreads across Central Asia, visa-free travel mandated by the EEU becomes a major security concern.

Russia’s Security Concerns in Afghanistan and Central Asia There are three areas, which represent Russian security concerns in Central Asia: narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and migration. At present, the Russian Federation engages with countries south of the border through military and political cooperation. Its 201st military base (Motorized Rifle Division) is stationed in Tajikistan. In addition to economic associations like the EEU, there are several other discussion and cooperation platforms, such as the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Antiterrorist Center, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) anti-terrorist organ RATS, or the militarypolitical Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Both CSTO and SCO include former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Direct cooperation also exists between Russia and the relevant agencies in the countries in question in terms of combatting narcotics trafficking and terrorism. When it comes to the question of drug trade, the Russian direction of transnational criminal gangs operating out of Afghanistan has been the subject of many drug labs, the estimates for which range from hundreds to 2,000 —  on the rise since the beginning of Washington’s intervention, especially the production of heroin as well as "designer" drugs. In the last few years, there are believed to be tens of thousands of criminalgroup members and 100,000 drug mules,


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with only 1-4% of drug traffic stopped at the border. Whereas by 2015 the total number of drug users in Russia declined, heroin — all of which comes from Afghanistan  —  remained steady. Last summer, Viktor Ivanov, the head of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) emphasized the fact that even though narcotics production in Afghanistan greatly increased during NATO’s occupation, NATO itself has done nothing to fight this, transferring all responsibility onto that country’s government. According to Ivanov, some opium fields are even located right outside the military bases. Indeed, FSKN and Afghan counterparts routinely carry out operations in shutting down trafficking channels. However, with many possible routes, porous borders, and, most important, continued regional instability facilitating narcotics trade, much remains to be done. Furthermore, some of the money earned from drug trafficking funds terrorism, the situation with which in Afghanistan is "close to critical," Vladimir Putin noted last October at a Meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State. This meeting was followed by another between the Tajik military delegation and Russian counterparts in December of 2015. The number of fighters who had joined the so-called Islamic State terrorist organization in Afghanistan rose to 3,000, per U.S. estimate at the end of 2015, whereas Russian sources mention 4,0005,000. And if IS continues to lose its positions in Syria and Iraq, due to recent Russian-Syrian successes, it may transfer much of its activities to Central Asia. Indeed, the opium market, the source of Afghan heroin, is valued at approximately $20 billion. This exceeds oil profits for IS. The latter has already been able to recruit some militants from the Taliban, in addition to absorbing smaller groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. One of the greatest worries for CIS members is that an estimated 5,000—7,000 of their own citizens, who had joined various terrorist organizations abroad, would come home and use their experience domestically. Russia itself is no stranger to terrorist attacks that it suffered after the dissolution of the USSR, including


highly publicized and tragic hostage-taking scenarios in Budennovsk, Beslan, and Moscow carried out at civilian objects like hospitals, schools, and theaters. The official Russian position on Afghanistan focuses on political regulation even with armed groups. As of recent, this approach includes working with the Taliban at the level of information-sharing to fight the so-called Islamic State. This tactic coincides with that of China and Iran. Working with the Taliban has been long-advocated by certain Russian experts in the field such as Semyon Bagdasarov, the director of the Center for the Study of Middle East and Central Asia, as a matter of pragmatism: deciding whether the Taliban —  indigenous Afghanis  —  is good or bad is not up to Russia; nor have their territorial aspirations gone beyond Afghanistan’s borders. Such an approach is, of course, a highly sensitive issue for the current government of Afghanistan, and the Russians frame it as a matter of achieving overarching peace, one key to which is pushing out the so-called Islamic State. Another security concern for Russia linked to both narcotics trafficking and terrorism is migration from the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. This subject has been the point of contention in post-Soviet Russian society for the past 20 years. On the one hand, these economic migrants once lived in the same country as those in Russia and take on lower-paying jobs, such as construction, contributing to the economy. On the other, certain critics argue that there is unsufficient screening by the Federal Migration Service (FMS), which allows for criminal elements to sneak through the border. Some even suggest that such migration — now in the millions — may lead to demographic replacement. Whatever the case may be, as the global situation with the rise of terrorism worsens, tougher measures must be implemented. Russia’s CIS agreement allows for the cancellation of visa-free travel if citizens of certain states pose as a national security threat. This would not be an unusual move: considering the spread of the so-called Islamic State in Central Asia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan toughened border measures, in-

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cluding engaging military machinery, in order to prevent terrorists that arrived in Kyrgyzstan from crossing into Uzbekistan. Kyrgyzstan has visa-free travel with Russia as a Eurasian Economic Union member, which may need to be reevaluated.

Arc of Instability How do Afghanistan and Central Asia fit into geostrategic plans of Russia’s main self-declared opponents? Major Washington think tanks like Stratfor advocate a containment policy against Russia, which, in general principle, is similar to the one practiced by the U.S. against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. One of the key components of the current version of this policy is the creation of multiple zones of instability along the Russian border in order to drain its resources that could find better use elsewhere in active rather than defense scenarios. For instance, Stratfor refers to a large segment along Russia’s border crucial to its containment as the "Estonia — Azerbaijan line." In addition, destabilizing Russia’s immediate security area is meant to delegitimize its leadership by making it look weak and potentially bring in a new, more pliable counterpart akin to Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. Some of these zones in Russia’s immediate vicinity include the so-called Intermarium in the Baltic and Eastern Europe with Washington’s military presence: The Baltic salient, 145 kilometers (90 miles) from St. Petersburg in Estonia, would be a target for Russian destabilization. Poland borders the Baltics and is the leading figure in the Visegrad battlegroup, an organization within the European Union. Poland is eager for a closer military relationship with the United States, as its national strategy has long been based on third-power guarantees against aggressors. The Poles cannot defend themselves and the Baltics, given the combat capabilities necessary for the task.

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Hostile Ukraine under overt Washington rule and wartorn Donbass: Putin is now in a position where, in order to retain with confidence his domestic authority, he must act decisively to reverse the outcome [in post-regime-change Ukraine]. The problem is there is no single decisive action that would reverse events. Eventually, the inherent divisions in Ukraine might reverse events. However, a direct invasion of eastern Ukraine would simply solidify opposition to Russia in Kiev and trigger responses internationally that he cannot predict. In the end, it would simply drive home that although the Russians once held a dominant position in all of Ukraine, they now hold it in less than half. In the long run, this option — like other shortterm options  —  would not solve the Russian conundrum. Moldova and breakaway Transnistria: In Western hands, Moldova threatens Odessa, Ukraine’s major port also used by Russia on the Black Sea. In Russian hands, Moldova threatens Bucharest. South Caucasus with Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the Tajik-Afghan border in Central Asia: [T]he very pro-Russian Armenia…could escalate tensions with Azerbaijan in NagornoKarabakh. Previously, this was not a pressing issue for the United States. Now it is. Like Stratfor founder George Friedman, President Carter’s National Security Advisor and geostrategist Zbigniew Brzezinski emphasizes the importance of these areas to Russia in order to use them against it: An independent Azerbaijan, linked to Western markets, by pipelines that do not pass through Russian-controlled territory, also becomes a major avenue of access from the advanced and energy-consuming economies to the energy rich Central Asian republics. Almost as much as in the case of Ukraine, the future of Azerbaijan and Central Asia is also crucial


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in defining what Russia might or might not become. Some of these regions are also noteworthy due to either being resource-rich, particularly in terms of energy, or functioning as energy-transit zones. Of course, each one involves a complex set of causes and regional, or global, players with their own interests. Thus, we must be careful not to reduce each region in question solely to proxy-war opposition between Washington on the offensive and Moscow on defense. At the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that the U.S. and other players, such as today’s hostile Turkey, could manipulate each conflict zone to pressure Russia. Nor can we ignore the fact that Russia’s strategic partners like China also have substantial interests in regions like Central Asia, which must be balanced with those of Russia. In the last number of years, West-backed regime change in Ukraine and the subsequent war in Donbass is an exemplar of such a conflict zone. It was in part created by Washington, which exploited its conflicting identities in the Europe-facing west and Russia-facing east, and which invested $5 billion into "civil society" projects in Ukraine on an official level alone. After all, Ukraine has far-reaching links with Russia, from cultural, historic, and ethnic roots to heavy industrial production interlinked since the Soviet era, not to mention energy transit. It is also geographically within its immediate security zone. Recall Brzezinski’s comments in the Grand Chessboard, Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire… [If ] Moscow regains control of Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia. What developments have we seen in the last two years since these recommendations had been made after the Westbacked regime


change in Ukraine? First came NATO buildup in the Baltic and Eastern Europe with 6,000 troops stationed in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, in addition to numerous displays of technical power such as the socalled Dragoon Ride through Europe. Both NATO, three quarters of which is funded by the U.S., and the U.S. itself explicitly list Russia as one of the top threats or aggressors, even above terrorism, in their strategic defense documents. In practice, U.S. quadrupled its military spending to increase its presence in Europe to specifically counter Russia. Next, we have witnessed the worst fighting in majority  —  Armenian autonomous NagornoKarabakh since the 1994 ceasefire, even though fighting frequently occurred throughout this entire time period. In this instance, Azerbaijan broke the agreement in December of 2015 — by shelling Karabakh — and again in April of 2016. This location is of outmost geostrategic importance: at the intersection of Europe and the Middle East, linking a number of possible energy-transit routes into Europe, and thus of significant interest to OPEC countries, Turkey,

Russia, and the U.S. The timing is also of interest: the incident in December was immediately preceded by a visit to Baku by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whereas more recent fighting in April escalated the day after Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington. In the very least, Aliyev had either been put under pressure or felt encouragement to attack Nagorno-Karabakh — at a time when low oil prices in an oil-producing country may have led him to consolidate his voters behind a nationalistic idea in an economic downturn. Certainly, Azerbaijan has attempted to practice a multi-vector politics and retain friendly relations with Russia, including weapons purchases. This may not have suited Turkey after the dissolution of an amicable relationship with Russia after the former downed SU-24 in Syria, as Turkish aid for terrorism in Syria had been revealed, not to mention the

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Kurdish question. Indeed, Turkey immediately expressed support for Azerbaijan after fighting escalated this month. At thesame time, a Turkish-Russian conflict benefits Saudi Arabia, whose energy-transit interest in Syria has been pushed out as a result of the thus-far successful Russian-Syrian anti-terrorist operation. As for Russia itself, a "hot" war in this region is logistically damaging for military-political reasons: Russia uses the Caspian Sea-AzerbaijanIran-northern Iran-Syria or Armenia-Iran corridors to fly its aviation into Syria. The so-called Islamic State terrorist organization has been expanding into other regions, in part for strategic reasons, and in part due to the losses to the Russian-Syrian campaign. Central Asia is one of the key areas in this expansion due to the overall chaotic environment that has been maintained as a result of Washington’s and its NATO allies’ presence in Afghanistan that facilitates illegal activities, such as the aforementioned narcotics trade. Following the official end of the U.S. mission in 2014, Afghanistan continues to be wrought by frequent acts of terrorism, while hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the area in 2015 alone. U.S. currently maintains a convenient position of keeping approximately 10,000 troops that are described as military advisers, while failing to improve the situation either with narcotics or terrorism. As the Syrian experience demonstrates, despite the establishment of a broad Western coalition, which claims to have been fighting the so-called Islamic State in Syria for over a year — not to mention funding questionable "moderate rebels" — no progress was made until the Russian entry into that war theater. This brings into question the very seriousness of Washington’s claims about fighting terrorism in the Middle East and beyond. Having Russia drawn into an increasingly chaotic situation on its southern border, with the possibility of simultaneous flare-ups in Donbass and south Caucasus, would certainly create the kind of defensive distraction that would benefit its opponents. According to Bagdasarov, the so-called Islamic State has already captured a number of areas close to the Tajik-Afghan border. The combination of all of these factors — narcotics trade

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and terrorist expansion, including CIS citizens joining terror cells abroad — presents a serious multi-level security threat to Russia.

Conclusion Greater diplomatic engagement —  by using various existent platforms  —  in Afghanistan and the former Soviet republics in Central Asia would increase Moscow’s influence and thus balance out not only Washington’s, but also Beijing’s presence in the region. At the same time, Moscow should explore partnering with Beijing and Tehran to facilitate inclusive political regulation in Afghanistan. Per Putin’s continued suggestions, a consolidated international approach is needed to combat terrorism. Technical training of anti-narcotics agencies in CISmember states and Afghanistan would standardize the methodology and improve results in a similarly broad antinarcotics coalition. Domestically, Muslim communities in Russia must present a unified front, particularly in religious institutions, in terms of providing education to prevent the kind of radicalization that sent hundreds of that country’s citizens to join terrorist cells abroad. Most important, Russia must become more proactive where possible, rather than defensively responding to its geopolitical opponents’ moves, in order to ensure domestic security as well as that of its near abroad.


INDIA’S CENTRAL ASIA POLICY: AN OVERVIEW OF THE CHALLENGES AND OPTIONS Abstract Despite having civilizational relations since antiquity with the Central Asian Republics (CARs), India has a well defined and well-articulated foreign policy towards the region. Consequently, the CARs did not figure prominently in the Indian Foreign Policy. The New Great Game had played a major role to metamorphose India’s engagement with Central Asia. Realizing its omissions, it launched various official frameworks such as "Extended Neighbourhood", "Immediate and Strategic Neighbourhood" and the "Look North Policy" and the latest ‘Connect Central Asia’ for making its space in the region. Against this background, the primary focus of this paper is to find out the geopolitical dynamics, challenges and opportunities faced by Indian foreign policy.

Bawa Singh

Assistant Professor in the Centre for South and Central Asian Studies, School of Global Relations, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda.

India and Central Asia have had long traditions of socio-cultural, religious, political and economic connections throughout the recorded history. Historical and civilizational ties between both the regions had enervated following the consolidation of the British Empire in the mid-nineteenth century and Czarist suzerainty over the Central Asia, which was continued till the 1990’s. The disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991, resulted in the emergence of the Central Asian Republics (CARs). Very shortly, the CARs became the pivot of "New Great Game" in which the United States, Russia, China, and the European Union have been playing a strategic role in the region. Both the regions had been connected by the geo-cultural and economic bounds. But these ties had not been maintained due to external and internal dynamics of both the regions. During the past two centuries, India and Central Asia had been separated by colonization and later on the great power politics. Trade and cultural ties have been cut off. On the one hand, India’s orientation shifted toward the Western countries during the colonial period. On the contrary, Central Asia had lost its independent identity under the Russian empire. Due to the contrasting interests of the colonial masters, both the regions drifted from each other. Even after the independence, under Nehru’s vision of the world, Central Asia had remained in oblivion. Kavalski (2009: 85) had also supported this viewpoint and in support of his argument, he quoted Jaswant Singh, the former External Affairs Minister of India, who said, "The Central Asian factor was completely absent."1 On the other side, Usha (2012) has argued that Central Asia’s leadership since their independence, used to see India Kavalski, E. (2009). India and Central Asia: The International Relations of a Rising Power. IB Tauris; Bal, Suryakant Nijanand. (2004).Central Asia: A Strategy For India’s Look-North Policy. Delhi: Lancer Publishers. 1 


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through the prism of Moscow.1 Consequently, both regions could not come closer to each other despite sharing close historical and cultural relations.

Sense of Commonality-Lost Ground In spite of geographical proximity, rich mineral sources, new great game and strategic interests, scholars like (Kucera 2011; Welle 2015; Kilner 2015; Mohan 2015; Dave 2016)2 have strongly argued that India has remained disengaged and passive towards Central Asia since the latter’s independent existence, notwithstanding diplomatic ties. It did not make sincere efforts to prioritize to include this region in its foreign policy and consequently lags behind regional external and regional actors in CARs. Apart from geopolitical dynamics, several other factors might have been responsible for this lackadaisical attitude on the part of India. Carass (2012), has argued that India has not an extended relationship with these countries on account of various factors, and one of them was deteriorating its economy. At that time, India was in not in a position to make the best out of trade and investment opportunities available in these countries on account of its weak economy. India’s "Look East" policy is another factor which has driven India away from these countries. It had concentrated its economic and diplomatic resources on its "Look East", a policy which focused on the deUsha, K. B. (2012). India’s Foreign Policy Priorities in Central Asia. FPRC Journal, 10, 104-122 2  Kucera, Joshua (2011). Central Asia: Explaining India’s Low Regional Profile. Available at, http://; Welle, Deutsche. India’s Modi Sets Sight on Central Asia. Available at,; Kilner, James (2015). Modi in Unprecedented Grand Tour of Central Asia, The Telegraph, 12 July, available at http://www. telegraph. Modi-tours-Central-Asia-in-Great-Game-move.html, accessed on 12 April, 2016; Mohan, C. Raja (2015). "A Passage to Inner Asia, Indian Express, 6 July. 1 

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velopment of extensive and comprehensive relations with Southeast and East Asia.3 With the onset of New Great Game in this region, India realized its mistakes in this respect and made efforts to relocate, as such, in the changing geopolitics of the region. As pointed out by the scholars, the consequences of its half-hearted policy vis-a-vis this region obligated India not to repeat the same mistakes in the context of its foreign policy. In such a scenario, giving priority to this region in its foreign policy, Bal (2004: 29), has argued that India had designed various official frameworks such as "Extended Neighbourhood", "Immediate and Strategic Neighbourhood" and "Look North Policy" and ‘Connect Central Asia’ policy.4

Changing Dynamics of Geopolitics in Central Asia Local nomads used to rule Central Asia. As per the study of the some scholars like Stanton, Ramsamy, Seybolt, & Elliott (2012: 96), have claimed that supremacy of the nomads came to an end in the sixteenth century as settled people with firearms gained control of this region.5 The Russian Empire, the Qing Dynasty of China and other powers have expanded into the area and seized the bulk of Central Asia by the end of the nineteenth century. As per the claim of Boyd & Comenetz (2007:67), the Soviet Union established its control over Central Asia after the Russian Revolution of 1917.6 Even Russia moved towards the east beyond Central Asia. Mongolia existed as a Soviet satellite state, and Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan Carass, Marry. (2012). India’s Gambit in the Central Asian Abyss, Foreign Policy in Focus. Accessed, the_central_asian_abyss/, 14 April, 2016. 4  Bal, Suryakant Nijanand, Central Asia: A Strategy For India’s Look-North Policy, Lancer Publishers, New Delhi, 2004, p. 29 5  Stanton, A. L., Ramsamy, E., Seybolt, P. J., & Elliott, C. M. (Eds.). (2012). Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia. Sage Publications. 6  Boyd, A., & Comenetz, J. (2007). An Atlas of World Affairs. Routledge. 3 


India’s Central Asia Policy: An Overview of the Challenges and Options

in the late twentieth century and under its control from 1979 to 1989.1

and attempted to re-align with other external powers.6

Burghart (2007:5-19), accepted that the Russian empire’s expansion into Central Asia had made the British Empire apprehensive particularly in the context of India — the jewel of the British Empire.2 To stop Russian eastward movement, strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian empire for supremacy in Central Asia had been started during the nineteenth century. This strategic competition was termed the Great Game.3 The period which ran from the RussoPersian Treaty of 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 is regarded as the Great Game. Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the less intensive phase of competition between both the powers followed which was known as the the Great Game. The term was coined by Arthur Conolly, an intelligence officer of the British East India Company.4

Weitz (2006), has argued that Central Asia has become the pivot of geopolitics and the playground of the major powers like USA, China, European Union (EU) and Russia along with regional powers like Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.7It is known as the New Great Game. The New Great Game was a fight for expansion of political and strategic dominance over the region by the two Imperial powers the Russian and British empires (Edwards, 2003).Thus, the external powers are vying with each other to gain supremacy in this region along with other regional powers which are also trying to enhance their influence in the region. The three major powers such as US, European Union (EU) and China have contrasting strategic interests and competing for local allies, energy resources, and military advantage. However, these players converged on combating the terrorism and drug trafficking.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formally dissolved on 26 December 1991. Wines (1992), in one of his reports, noted that the dissolution of the world’s largest communist state is also marked as an end to the Cold War.5 In the post-Soviet era, Moscow regarded Central Asia as a sort of backyard to improve its economy aligned with Western economic and military-political systems. Scholars like Halback and Heinrich (1994:156-162) and Rumor (199: 90), noted the lackadaisical attitude on part of Russia towards Central Asia, forced the latter one to look for other options

India had been sharing the historical and geo-cultural relations with the region. Notwithstanding, it could not make much space in the geopolitics of the region as far as expanding its geostrategic and geo-economic interests are concerned. Given the changing dynamics of geostrategic and geo-economic environment in the region, India has to give a pivotal place to this region in its foreign policy priorities.

Steele, Jonathan. (2011).10 Myths about Afghanistan, the Guardian, September 27. 2  Burghart, D. (2007, May). The new nomads? The American military presence in Central Asia. China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, 5 (2), 5-19. 3  Edwards, M. (2003). The New Great Game and the new great gamers: disciples of Kipling and Mackinder. Central Asian Survey, 22(1), 83-102. 4  Kurečić, P. (2010). The New Great Game: Rivalry of Geostrategies and Geoeconomies in Central Asia. Hrvatski Geografski Glasnik, 72(1), 21-46. 5  Wines, Michael. (1992). Bush And Yeltsin Declare Formal End To Cold War; Agree To Exchange Visits, The New York Times, February 2. 1 


Interests of the Major Powers in Central Asia Sachdeva (2006), has argued that since the inception in the 1990s, the CARs has become the cynosure of the major and regional powers. Factors like its geostrategic location, rich in energy and natural resources, a bridge between the Europe and Asia and its crucial role in maintaining peace and stability in the Halbach, U., & Tiller, H. (1994). Russia and its southern flank. Aussen Politik, 45(2), 156-165; Rumer, B. Z. (1994). The gathering storm in Central Asia. Orbis, 37(1), 89-105. 7  Weitz, R. (2006). Averting a New Great Game in Central Asia. Washington Quarterly, 29(3), 155-167. 6 

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region attracted major powers in the region.1 Burghart (2007) has argued that in the Post 9/11, the CARs has become a valuable supply hub for the Afghanistan war efforts. The CARs can play a critical role for stabilizing and developing the turbulent country. China also need the help of the CARs for controlling the turbulent Xinjiang province. Swanström (2005), argued that for Russia and China, the CARs has been holding importance on account of its strategic and economic environment and also containing the USA influence in this region.2 Russia is a one of the major neighbouring countries and had remained the former colonial master of the Central Asia. After the breakup of Russia, Central Asia has assumed an independent identity comprised of five countries. However, as per the study of Denoon (2015), this region did not remain pivotal in Russian foreign policy, as it was preoccupied with its own political and economic problems. Moreover, Russia itself wanted to get aid and assistance from the West, Due to this, Central Asia region was not prioritized in its foreign policy.3 On the other hand, passive policy of Russia vis-à-vis Central Asia provided an opportunity to the other major powers such as US and China to expand their geopolitical space in the Central Asia. Consequently, the newly independent republics of Central Asia have started establishing diplomatic, political and economic ties with the outside world. Later on realizing this diplomatic omission on its part, Russia has been reorienting its foreign policy vis-à-vis, Central Asia. Marantidou and Ralph (2014), have held that currently Russia being a major player of the New Great Game, considers Central Asia as its backyard.4Malashenko (2013), an expert on Central Sachdeva, G. (2006). India’s Attitude Towards China’s Growing Influence in Central Asia. China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, 4 (3), 23-34. 2  Swanström, Nikals (2005). China And Central Asia: A New Great Game Or Traditional Vassal Relations?. Journal of Contemporary China, 14(45), 569-584. 3  Denoon, D. B. (Ed.). (2015). China, The United States, and the Future of Central Asia: US-China Relations (Vol. 1). NYU Press. 4  Marantidou, Virginia and Ralph A. Cossa. (2014). China and Russia’s Great Game in Central Asia. The National Interest, October 1. 1 

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Asia, has argued in one of his papers that Russia is having primary interests in the region included, to stabilize and prevent any outside power to expand influence in the Central Asia. Thus, it restricted the expanding geostrategic and geopolitical power of the other powers particularly the US. After the post-withdrawal of ISAF, Russia opposed the strategic presence of the US in Central Asia.5It has started expanding its military and security role out of the geostrategic concerns. Patnaik (2016) has noted that Russian leadership perceived that authoritarian system of the Central Asia is being considered more suitable for its interests and thus maintained and supported that political system.6 Some scholars like Chaudet & Tsygankov (2010), have argued that dominating the energy transit routes is also one of the major interests of the Russia in the Central Asia region. 7 The CARs have been playing an important role in the U.S. global strategy for the given of proximity to Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, and other key regional actors as well as sharing territorial borders with Afghanistan and the Caspian basin. Cohen (2006) claimed that security, energy and promoting democracy are the crucial interests of the USA in the Central Asia region.8 From the geostrategic point of view, The United States has been fighting ‘War on Terror’ in order to safeguard the West in general and America in particular from the terrorist threats emanating from Islamic fundamentalists. Nikbay & Hancerli (2007), have argued that the United States has also been active in Central Asia, particularly from a security standpoint.9 The 9/11 attack Martin, J. R. (2002). Defeating Terrorism: Strategic Issue Analyses. Army War Coll Strategic Studies Inst Carlisle Barracks Pa. 6  Patnaik, A. (2016). Central Asia: Geopolitics, security and stability. Routledge. 7  Chaudet, D., & Tsygankov, A. P. (2010). Russophobia. Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy. 8  Cohen, Ariel. (2006).Security, Energy and Democracy: US Interests in Central Asia. Available at, http:// eav120606a.shtml, accessed 14 April, 2016. 9  Nikbay, O., & Hancerli, S. (2007). Understanding and Responding to the Terrorism Phenomenon: A Multi-Dimensional Perspective (Vol. 21). IOS Press. 5 


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further enhanced an active involvement of the USA in this area in connection with war on terrorism in Afghanistan. During the Operation Endurance of Freedom (OEF) 2001 to 2014, the United States has been using Central Asian military bases such as the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan and the Karshi-Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan, etc. for logistical supplies. Momayezi & Rosenburg (2011) have argued that the US wanted to minimise its overreliance on unstable sources of energy in the Middle East.1 National security concern of the US is the diversification of energy sources and the Caspian region is a significant alternative source of energy. The People’s Daily (2006), reported in one of its report that in order to marginalize the influence of Russia and China, it further devised strategy of "Greater Central Asia."2 Since the independence of Central Asian States in 1990s, all major powers have been engaged in Central Asia. In order to keep per se in the same race, China has rejuvenated its enervated relations as well as evolved long term policies for this region. As per the study of some scholars (Ash 2002& Swanström 2005), the major interests of China in Central Asia have been the security and energy.3 Since the 1990s, the main strategic aim of China is to ensure that the Central Asian governments kept a tight vigil on the activities of Uyghur Islamic militants on their soils as well as keep under check the Uyghur minority living in Central Asia, who is helping the separatist Uyghur militants of Xingjiang.4 Chinese leadership wanted Central Asian nations not only to keep Momayezi, N., & Rosenburg, R. B. (2011). Oil, the Middle East and US National Security. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1(10), 1. 2  US Scheming for "Great Central Asia" Strategy. The People’s Daily (China), August 04, 2006. 3  Ash, R. F. (2002). China’s integration in Asia: economic security and strategic issues. Psychology Press; Swanström, Niklas (2005). China and Central Asia: a new Great Game or traditional vassal relations?. Journal of contemporary China, 14(45), 569-584. 4  Chinese Interest in Central Asia, May 10, 2010. Accessed, international-studies-articles/chinese-interest-incentral-asia-2337863.html, December 20, 2012. 1 


control over the activities of these separatists but also properly maintaining of the borders to ensure that arms and funds for Uyghur separatists are not allowed to reach Xinjiang.5 The Chinese industry depends upon domestic stability and constant economic growth and incessant energy supply that are coming from Central Asia.6 Geopolitically and geo-strategically, China wanted to contain the influence of external powers such as US and Russia and currently its geopolitical and geo-economic influence in the region is outmatched. India’s role in Central Asia is relatively feeble despite sharing geo-cultural relations. However, India has a very wide array of interests in Central Asia covering security, energy, economic opportunities etc. In order to achieve these interest and to improve its profile in the recent past, as argued by Singh (2016), India has launched many frameworks such as "Extended Neighbourhood", "Immediate and Strategic Neighbourhood" and "Look North Policy."7

Rationale for Central Asia Policy India has multifaceted interests in the Central Asian region from the geopolitical and geostrategic perspective. These changing geostrategic and geopolitical dynamics in the Central Asia forced the India to relook its foreign policy towards the region. Against this backdrop, the Indian policy makers realized that India could no longer remain as an indifferent onlooker to these dynamics. The power politics of the major powers, expanding geoSwanstrom, op. cit., pp. 574. Harun, Ruhanas. (2007).China’s Role in the Regional Stability in Central Asia: Some Preliminary Observations, Paper presented in International Conference Entitled- "Implications of a Transforming China: Domestic, Regional and Global Impacts", Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya. Available at, aug2007/ruhanash.pdf, accessed 14 April, 2016. 7  Singh, Bawa. (2016). India’s Central Asia Policy: Needs Substance Not Style. Modern Diplomacy, 30 March, available at, php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1323:indias-central-asia-policy-needs-substance-notstyle&Itemid=645, accessed on 16 April, 2016. 5  6 

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political interests of the regional powers like Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and bilateral disputes of India-Pakistan relations were some of the factors that shaping the Indian policy towards the region. The geostrategic concerns like extremism, Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism etc. have also obligated India to reorient policy towards the region. The turbulence in Afghanistan, China’s strategic assertiveness, some of the other reasons for India to look towards the CARs as argued by Usha (2012). Kavalski (2010), has noted these concerns obligated India to protect its interest not allowing the external powers to change the geopolitical balance in Central Asia and consequently, create grave consequences on the strategic balance in South and West Asia.

Indian Passive to Pro Policy Indian Central Asia policy has not been well defined and articulated as argued by some scholars despite being highly important from strategic point of view. PM Narasimha Rao, during his visit to Turkmenistan in September 1995 said, for India, Central Asia was an area, "of high priority, where we aim to stay engaged far into the future. We are an independent partner with no selfish motives. We only desire honest and open friendship and to promote stability and cooperation without causing harm to any third country."1 Highlighting Central Asia’s significance for India, Joshi (2005: 227), quoted the report of Ministry of Defence, Government of India, "due to its strategic proximity to the Middle East and South Asia, Central Asia has emerged as a distinct geo-political entity stimulating global attention and interest. The region has vast untapped potential of oil and gas and other strategic minerals. Engagement of the CARs is thus an essential component of our security."2 These statements demonstrate that Narasimha Rao quoted in Nirmala Joshi, ed., Central Asia: The Great Game Replayed: An Indian Pe rspective, New Delhi: New Century Publications, 2003, p. 110. 2  Joshi, Nirmala. (2005). India and Central Asia: Bilateral Dimensions", in V. Nagendra Rao and Mohammad MonirAlam, Central Asia: Present Challenges and Future Prospects. New Delhi: Knowledge World. 1 

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India has accorded high strategic importance to the CARs. Despite according high strategic importance to the region in letter, Central Asia has been ignored by India in spirit. Scholars like Dar & Firdous (2014) and Kavalski (2010) have argued that end of the bipolar world coinciding with the disintegration of the former Soviet Union had left indelible imprints on the Indian foreign policy.3Kavalski (2009) argued that dramatic shift in the foundations and framework, India’s Central Asian policy has been entrapped in the dilemmas of conceptual tensions, strategic uncertainty, and geopolitical constraints. Against this backdrop, the Indian foreign policy in the absence of a well-defined and well-articulation had displayed a sense of the ‘incoherence and indistinctiveness towards the region (Dar and Tabasum, 2014). Kavalski (2010) has argued that in spite of "historical belonging" to India’s "strategic neighborhood", it has "not been giving sufficient attention to Central Asia."4 Usha (2012), has noted that India has maintained low profile in Central Asia, in the first decade of independence of Central Asian states. However, in order to end the ambiguities of the foreign policy, India has launched policy frameworks like, an Extended Neighbourhood, Strategic Partnership etc. This policies were further strengthened, when priority to Central Asian region further shifted to "Immediate and Strategic Neighbourhood." 5The objective of the Look North policy is to balance the players like Russia, China, the US and the West in the region. Other interests include the end of its post-Cold War ambiguity; the assumption of assertive foreign policy stance, and break with the imperatives of post- Independence (Dar & Firdous 2014). In order to protect these interests and turn disengagements to re-engagements, India has launched, “Connect Central Asia” policy. It Dar, Firdous Ahmed and Firdous, Tabasum. (2014). India’s Response to New Great Game in Central Asia. Journal of South Asian Studies, 02 (01), 33-44. 4  Kavalski, E. (2010). The New Central Asia: The Regional Impact of International Actors. World Scientific. 5  Usha, 2012, op. cit., 04-122. 3 


India’s Central Asia Policy: An Overview of the Challenges and Options

is a multi-faceted approach covering political, security, economic and cultural connections. Under this, India has tried to heighten its areas of cooperation at the two levelmultilateral and bilateral. The multilateral engagement focussed to step up multilateral engagement through the existing forums like the SCO, Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) and the Custom Union. India has proposed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CEPA) to dovetail its markets with the unifying Eurasian space. At the bilateral level covers like security energy, natural resources, medical field, higher education IT, management, philosophy and languages, tele-education, tele-medicine connectivity, construction sector, land connectivity, banking infrastructure, trade and investment, regular exchanges of scholars, academics, civil society and youth delegations (Ahmad 2012).1

Challenges for Indian Foreign Policy Throughout the history, Central Asia had played an important role for India as a transit route.2 But in the present scenario, relationship between the two regions could not realize their full potential due to internal and external dynamics. On all frontline political, diplomatic including trade and economic relations between India and CARs mostly remained unsatisfactory.3 On the onset of the New Great Game, Indian Foreign Policy makers, scholars and analysts realized that this area has not been attracted the attention of Indian foreign policy makers as it supposed to be.4 After realizing this, India made many efforts to make up these mistakes and give priority to this region in its foreign policy. Ahmad, E. (2012). India’s ‘Connect Central Asia’ Policy. Available at,, accessed on 14 April, 2016. 2  Chopra, V. D, Indo-Russian Relations: Prospects, Problems, and Russia Today, Gyan Publishing House, New Delhi, 2001, p. 161. 3  Carras, Mary: India’s Gambit in the Central Asian Abyss, Foreign Policy in Focus, July 17, 2012. Accessed on, the_central_asian_abyss, December 14, 2012) 4  Blank, Stephen, "India’s Rising Profile in Central Asia", Comparative Strategy, Vol. 22 No. 2, 2003, p. 139.

However, some problems which are still posing major challenges for Indian foreign policy which are discussed below.

Weak Economic Cooperation Till date, the economic cooperation is at the lowest ebb between both the regions. Trade and investment are very insignificant.5 Politically, the Central Asian republics are highly fragile and also facing many traditional threats like terrorism, drug trafficking, Islamic fundamentalism etc. Because of these traditional threats, Indian manufacturing and investment companies are not interested to enter the markets of Central Asia.6 Some of the problems are coming from administrative machinery. Non-availability of hard currency, banking services, lack of conversion facility service and prevailing corruption are the major hindrances for Indian foreign policy to realize their full potential of the bilateral relations.7 Moreover, this region is a landlocked. Despite many efforts have been made to enhance territorial connectivity but it is very slow and problematic due to mountainous area and geopolitical hindrances. However, with the introduction of the Delhi-Sharjah-Dushanbe flight,air connectivity is being developed. In case of Foreign Direct Investment, According to Industrial Development Board Report, June 2014, FDI flows of India in whole Central Asia have been negligible and just Kazakhstan has accounted for US$ 29.11million. Economically,




China Russia

2010 2011 2012 2013

24.98 39.60 45.94 50.27

21.43 28.34 31.98 31.41

US 23.44 30.35 34.00 34.2


0.49 0.68 0.74 1.24

Table-I Trade Trends of Central Asia with US, China, Russia and India ($ billions) Source: UNCOMTRADE 2015 Ibid. Ibid. 7  OECD Publications. (2008). Fighting Corruption in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Istanbul Anticorruption Action Plan Progress and Challenges. Paris, Available at. acn/ library/41603461.pdf, accessed 14 April, 2016. 5  6 

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India and Central Asia relations are at very low ebb which is further substantiated by the below mentioned data Table-1. The level of economic relation is always taken as major criteria for determining the intensity of trade between the two countries or the region. The trade between India and CARs during the last four years has been remained at the lowest ebb. On the contrary, the trade of the CARs vis-a-vis China, Russia and US have exponentially grown, which is stood at $50.27 billion, $31.24 billion & $33.42 billion respectively in the year of 2013 (UNCOMTRADE, 2013). Whereas on the other hand, India’s total trade in the same period is stood at US$ 1.24 billion which is comparatively smaller in size. This clearly indicates that economically, India is missing in the region.

Another challenge for India foreign policy which needs the attention of the policy makers is geopolitics of the region. This is an area of immense importance to Europe, US, China, and Iran. These powers wanted to contain the influence of each other in this region. The US wanted to contain the influence of Russia and Iran. Similarly China is also expanding its foothold in the CARs. It is making huge investment in Central Asian oilfields to fulfil its future energy demands. European Union wants to extend its influence by means of military expansion eastwards and through the Partnership for Peace (PFP) programme. On account of this, region has become a chessboard for such major powers and this fighting among major powers in the region pose immense challenges for Indian foreign policy.

Security Concerns

Nuclear Threat

Both the regions are close to each other and sharing border with Pakistan and Afghanistan which are epicentre of terrorism and religious extremism.1The security concerns like terrorism, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, organized crime, separatism and ethnic conflicts etc have been the major problems.2 Cross-border and state sponsored terrorism, emanating out of some neighbouring states have become a major strategic concern for both the regions as terrorism is a potent source of destabilisation, both regionally and internationally. India has a vital interest in the security and political stability of this region.3India feels that if terrorists’ activities are not checked then eventually, they will pose a serious threats to regional security.4Cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan a potent destabilizing factor in India, Russia and CARs.5

The CARs is strategically located between two nuclear superpowers, Russia and China. Two nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India are also sharing borders with this region. Central Asia previously served as a raw materials base for the Soviet weapons program. Kazakhstan is holding large reserves of highly enriched uranium, while Kyrgyzstan has substantial amounts of nuclear waste.6 Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are holding sizeable uranium reserves and has huge potential for its enrichment. On the other hand, absence of special-detection equipment atborder and customs checkpoints, rampant corruption and reluctant political will, have the potential to render the region highly vulnerable for smuggling fissile material.7 In this scenario, there is potential danger of proliferation of lethal weapons technology and material into the hands hostile states to India. Non-state actors like the Taliban, al-Qaeda and groups like the IMU could also exploit this situation in their favour. This poses a security challenges for both the regions.

Mann, Poonam. (2001). Fighting terrorism: India and central Asia. Strategic Analysis, 24 (11), 2036. 2  Kaul, Vinay Kumar. (2001). Terrorism in Asia: New Threats and Challenges, in Narang, A. S. & Srivastav, Pramila (ed.), Terrorism: The Global Perspective. New Delhi: Kanishka Publishers. 3  Ibid. 4  Blank, Stephen. (2003). India’s Rising Profile in Central Asia. Comparative Strategy, 22 (2), 141. 5  Roy, op. cit., p. 2276. 1 

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Roy, Meena Singh. (2001). India’s Interests in Central Asia. Strategic Analysis, 24 (12), 2280. 7  Ibid. 6 


India’s Central Asia Policy: An Overview of the Challenges and Options

Drug Trafficking Drugs trafficking in Central Asia poses a major threat to the stability of both the regions. Drugs are penetrating into the region along two main channels, the golden triangle and the golden crescent.1The poor management of border and unbridled corruption, coupled with soaring opium production in neighboring Afghanistan pose major challenges for India foreign policy.2 Since much of the money generated through drug trafficking is used to support the activities of extremist Islamist terror networks that possess the ability to play havoc not only in India but could prove ruinous for US, Russia and China. Thus India should engage in multilateral cooperation.

China Challenge Involvement of China in Central Asia is both as a big challenge and opportunity for India. The potential rivalry between both India and China becomes more visible in Afghanistan than in Central Asia, because China is well ahead of India in the second, while India is more present in the first. Laruelle (2012) while giving an interview claimed that China could be an ally, a rival, and a model for India in its strategy of involvement in Central Asia. According to her, China can be considered as an ally, because India pragmatically recognizes that China can contribute to the stability of Central Asia and that its inclusion in Asia-Pacific economic dynamics guarantees prosperity. 3 On the other hand, it is an arch rival because India continues to see China as a country of major uncertainty regarding its political, domestic, and international trajectories.

TAPI and IPI- Not Moving Central Asia is a energy-rich region and India is energy deficient country. Thus, India’s quest for energy could be met easily from the region through the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan– Ibid. Pant, Harsh V. (2011). The Afghanistan Conflict: India’s Changing Role.Middle East Quarterly, pp. 31-39 3  Laruelle, Marlene (2012). An email interview of with the editor of Foreign Policy Research Centre, Journal, Vol. 2, pp. 19-20. 1  2 


Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI). With the assistance and coordination of the Asian development Bank (ADB), the three players of this pipeline Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan had signed an agreement to transport Turkmen gas to the Pakistan via Afghanistan. Realizing the significance of this project and its quest for energy, India also joined the TAPI in 2008. Turkmenistan is a major source of gas reserve and proven reserves are estimated about 8 trillion cubic meters. This pipeline will connect Daulatabad gas field in Turkmenistan and passing through the Herat, Helmand and Kandhar in Afghanistan and Quetta and Multan in Pakistan and come to India. About 33 billion cubic gas per year will be transported. Since its inception, TAPI project has not been materializing on account of geopolitical and geostrategic dynamics. Foster (2010) has argued one of his papers that, the strong support on part of United States is very important for materializing this project.4 Nevertheless, India’s quest for energy from Central Asia has been facing several geopolitical challenges. Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-PakistanIndia (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipelines have not been materialized. The geopolitical maneuvering of some of the external powers such as US and China, changing geostrategic environment and bilateral relation between India and Pakistan, in fact, are major roadblocks for the realizing this project. However, to pursue its interests and Connecting Eurasia, several initiatives have been adopted by Indian policy makers

Options of Indian Foreign Policy Seeing the trends and patterns of the economic cooperation, it can be safely conclude that both the regions have not made the optimum utilization of these available opportunities in diverse sectors. In order to explore more opportunities available in this region, India has Foster, John. (2010). Afghanistan, the TAPI Pipeline, and Energy Geopolitics. Journal of Energy. Available at, ntent&view=article&id=233:afghanistan-the-tapipipeline-and-energy-geopolitics&catid=103:energyse curityissuecontent&Itemid=, accessed 14 April, 2016. 4 

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Map-1 Proposed Routes of TAPI Gas Pipeline Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative. Accessed from-https://www.policyalternatives. ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National_Office_Pubs/2008/TAPI_line.jpg

redesigned its foreign policy. After the introduction of LPG, the Indian economy is on high trajectory.1 To maintain this pace, it needs incessant supply of energy whereas Central Asia is rich in energy and natural sources and need markets. Thus, the interests of both the regions are complementary to each other. Some of the scholars are convinced that energy is a vital component of national security of Indian foreign policy. Indian dependence on imported oil is considered to surge from the current levels of 72 per cent to 91.6 per cent by 2020.2 India’s most of the energy requirement is Kaviraj, Sidipta. (2011). On the Enchantment of the State: Indian Thought on the Role of the State in the Narrative of Modernity. In, Gupta, Akhil and Sivaramakrishnan, Kalyanakrishnan (eds): The State in India after Liberalization: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. New York:Routeledge. 2  Singh, Ajay Kumar: How Does India’s Energy Security Affect Her National Security?, Thesis for the Degree of Master Of Military Art And Science General Studies, Submitted ted to U. S. Army Command and General Staff College, p. 1. Available at, GetTRDoc?AD=ADA501870, accessed 14 April, 2016. 1 

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being met by the Middle East Asia.3 But this region has become explosive on account of intervention of external powers and internal sectarian clashes.4 Diversifying alternative sources of energy, lessening overreliance on the volatile Middle East region and assured and uninterrupted supply of energy have become a vital concern for India. Both the regions have economic complementarities in terms of resources, manpower, markets and huge economic, scientific and technological potential.5 These diverse resources can be pooled for a broader regional cooperation to realize the potential of both the regions. Both the regions can enhance economic cooperation.6 Trade and investment between the two regions are very minimal as Ibid. Khalilzad, Zalmay. (1995). The United States and the Persian Gulf: Preventing Regional Hegemony.Survival, 37 (2), 95–120. 5  Ibid., p. 2274. 6  Ibid., p. 2281. 3  4 


India’s Central Asia Policy: An Overview of the Challenges and Options

compared to other regions.1 Thus, huge potential is existing for trade and investment between these two regions. In order to maximize mutual benefits through bilateral trade cooperation, India has to work hard to materialize Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to increase its exports to Central Asia. The Government of India is making an effort to create the right kind of atmosphere for companies to enter into its market. Central Asia is with a large consumer market comprising of about 70 million, hungry for a range of goods and services which has huge potential for Indian companies to be tapped. Indian goods and service sectors can exploit this market of central Asian republic. Land connectivity is the major inhibition between both the regions. In order to overcome this problem, India has also been striving to improve the surface connectivity. Land route options through Iran and Turkmenistan are also being explored.2 There are already existing rail and road lines in Turkmenistan and Iran, except for a few short stretches. Three party agreements on international transit of goods between Turkmenistan, India and Iran signed in February 22, 1997 at Tehran. This would enable the movement of goods from Indian ports to Bandar Abbas in Iran and then on to the Central Asian region by road and rail. In order to improve trade both the countries -India and Russia are developing a new transit route through Iran.3 New Delhi, Moscow and Teheran signed an agreement in St. Petersburg on September 12, 2000 for sending Indian cargo to Russia through a "North South Corridor".4 According to this agreement, Indian goods can be sent from Mumbai or Okha to the Iranian hub of Bandar Abbas via the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. From here, consignment can be dispatched to the Iranian port of Anzali India’s "Look West" Policy: Why Central Asia Matters, South Asia Monitor, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC PaperNumber 110, September 05, 2007,p. 2. Accessed- files/media/csis/pubs/sam110.pdf, December 20, 2012. 2  Ibid. 3  New Delhi, Moscow Developing New Trade Route Via Tehran, The Hindu, New Delhi, November 03, 2000. 4  India Initiates Rail Route Plan Through Central Asia, The Indian Express, New Delhi, Mar 01 2012 1 


and onward to the Caspian Sea.5 The revival of such routes, combining land and sea, has the potential to reduce transport costs and travel time substantially; meaning India could rediscover its historic role of transit facilitation for central Asia. This will have very positive impact on Indo-Central Asia economic relations.6 Another transit route which has been widely discussed is an agreement with China for the use of its road to Kyrgyzstan though the Xinjiang province. India could use this road by constructing a link road in Ladakh joining the Tibet-Xinjiang road. Ladakh is already linked by road with Himachal Pradesh.7 While celebrating the twenty years of friendship and cooperation between India and Central Asian Republics in July 10, 2012, a Roundtable on "India’s Engagement with Central Asia: Exploring Future Directions" was organized by the Institute of Defence and Strategic analyses (IDSA) at New Delhi. During this Round Table, Dr. Arvind Gupta Director General of the IDSA has argued that opportunities and challenges are existing side by side. He pointed out that immense opportunities existed in avenues which include relaxation of visa regimes, cooperative security framework for regional stability and greater emphasis on people to people and cultural contacts.8 Both sides can enhance multilateral engagements through Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and improving the current low levels of economic ties.9 New Delhi, Moscow developing New Trade Route Via Tehran, Reported in The Hindu, New Delhi, November 3, 2000. 6  Alam, M Absar and Faisal Ahmed: Looking to Central Asia, The Financial Express, April 27, 2012. 7  Khawaja, AsmaShakir. (2012). The Geo-Strategic Dimension of India and Central Asia Bilateral Relations: An Analysis. FPRC Journal-10 ( 2), 223. 8  India’s Engagement with Central Asia: Exploring Future Directions, Roundtable organized by Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), July 10, 2012. Available at, IndiasEngagementwithCentralAsia100712, accessed 14 April, 2016. 9  Ibid. 5 

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Irina Orolbaeva, (Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan) to India, has highly appreciated India’s desire to strengthen ties with Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia through the new ‘Connect Central Asia Policy’. She stressed on the need to revive cultural, humanitarian, educational and scientific exchanges (especially amongst the youth of the two countries).1 Both the countries shared many commonalities especially in culture and Indian government can explore the possibility of setting up an India Cultural Center in Bishkek which will be beneficial for deepening the ties. Financial ties could be strengthened by promoting investment and cooperation in sectors such as education, mining, agriculture, pharma, leather, cotton, tourism, textiles & garments, metallurgy, automotive, chemicals, and food-processing sectors in Central Asia.2 Apart from trade, the Central Asian countries’ policy of value addition provides huge potential for India. India’s technical and managerial skills also have complementarities in the region in the fields of hydrocarbons, mining, mineral processing, construction and industrial production. Kyrgyzstan is keen on bringing Indian technology and expertise. India’s contribution towards the TurkmenistanAfghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) projects is highly appreciated in Central Asia which will have benefits for the entire region.3 India is also lacking in the generation of hydro-electric power but whereas some countries of the Central Asia like Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are holding immense potential for the generation of hydro-electric power.4 Particularly, Tajikistan has huge untapped hydro-electric potential, each sq. km. of the territory has up to 2 million kwh of hydel resources and thus holding very high potential for hydel Ibid. Ibid. 3  Ibid. 4  India-Central Asia Economic Relations: A Report, RIS/ CII Summit, RIS-DP# 94/2005, May 2005, New Delhi. p. 16. Accessed, files/documents/RIS_Ris_2005.pdf, August 06, 2013. 1  2 

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power generation.5 In the summer season, Central Asia used to have surplus production, whereas India reels under chronic shortage of power.6Thus, developing the region’s hydel power potential is an investment area which India could seriously consider. Techno-economic potential of both the regions could be accessed in cooperative, mutually beneficial partnerships. Central Asia’s desire for diversifying hydro-power and energy export routes would correspond with India’s quest for diversifying imports. India will be keen to invest in setting up downstream production facilities, instead of exporting raw materials out of the region through expensive pipelines. Infrastructure building and construction activities have long term possibilities in cooperation for India. After their independence, infrastructure building spree in these countries is taking place. It is a good opportunity for Indian companies specialized in infrastructure and construction. This sector is the key to the Central Asian market. India pharmaceutical industry is very stronger.7 It is another area which offers huge potential for cooperation. Health/medical sector has huge potential for India where it could extend cooperation by setting up civil hospitals/ clinics in Central Asia. India’s higher education system is comparatively good and cheaper ones. It delivers education at a fraction of the fees charged by Western universities. Central Asian student could make best use of this opportunity. In India, the private sector has contributed immensely to promotion in higher education, healthcare and schooling. Central Asian governments are also according high priority to education and health. This provides opportunities for Indian companies to take initiatives there in these areas. India has proposed to set up a Central Asian University in Bishkek that could come up as a centre of excellence to impart world class education 5 


Ibid. Pandit, Virendra, India Pharma Industry May Be Among Top-10 by 2020: CII-PwC, The Hindu, November 5, 2012. 6  7 


India’s Central Asia Policy: An Overview of the Challenges and Options

in areas like IT, management, philosophy and languages.1 As Central Asia is facing many challenges in food security and on the other hand, India has achieved self-sufficiency in food security through green revolution. In such scenario, immense opportunities lie in agricultural cooperation between India and the Central Asian region existed where economies are strongly dependent on agriculture and dairy farming.2 Commercial farming is another important area where India and CARs can cooperate. India’s experience in boosting food and milk production and modernizing agro-techniques under the green and white revolution can prove panacea for Central Asia, particularly in the context of the recent steep rise in food prices globally and may be of interest to the region. India’s success in production of food and milk could be replicated in Central Asia by learning from Indian experience in this respect.

India’s Strategy In order to fit Central Asia in its foreign policy, India should adopt a convincible strategy by which the Central Asian countries could become as an integral part of its foreign policy.3 Establishment of economic, scientific, technological and defence supplies cooperation with these countries must be enhanced and expedited. These multifaceted relations between India and Central Asia should be supported by substantive programmes and projects such as educational, cultural, scientific and techMalhotra, Jyoti, Second Chance in Asia’s Cockpit, The Hindu, July 20, 2012. 2  Extracted from, Inaugural Address by Hon’ble Minster for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee, Conference on, "Cooperative Development and Peace in Central Asia: An Indian Perspective" , at CRRID, Chandigarh, March 15, 2008. Accessed, Speeches-Statements.htm?. December 19, 2012. 3  Dixit, J. N. (2004). Emerging International Security Environment: Indian Perceptions with Focus on South Asian and Central Asian Predicaments. In, Santhanam, K and RamakantDwivedi (Eds), India and Central Asia: Advancing the Common Interest. New Delhi: Anamaya Publishers. 1 


nological cooperation.4 In order to protect its interests in Central Asia, India has to actively associate with new economic cooperation and regional security arrangements. In order to make best out of these available opportunities, India should launch a special official programme to tap all the sectors in addition to official frameworks such as Look North and Connect Central Asia policy. India’s ‘Look North’ policy is viewed as analogous to the western neo-liberal promotion of democracy, secularism, and the free market in Central Asia. On the other hand, India would like to align with the Western realists who focussed on security. They believed that that peace and stability are unlikely to happen in fragmented and weak authoritarian states. ‘Connect Central Asia’ Policy is a very comprehensive policy which will include political, security, economic and cultural cooperation. Strategic partnerships will remain main underpinning of the strategic and security cooperation, military training, joint research, counter-terrorism coordination and close consultations on Afghanistan will be focussed upon. India will make efforts to step up multilateral engagement with Central Asian partners using the synergy of joint efforts through existing forums like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) and the Custom Union. A long term partnership in energy and natural resources is to be expedited under this policy. India will extend its help to the central Asian countries for the setting up civil hospitals/ clinics and Central Asian University in Bishkek that could come up as a centre of excellence to impart world class education in areas like Information Technology, management, philosophy and languages. It will also help CARs in setting up a Central Asian e-network with its hub in India, to deliver, tele-education and tele-medicine connectivity, linking all the five Central Asian States. Land connectivity is one of the major problems which inhibit the economic activities between both the regions. In order to counter these problems, India has reactivated the International North-South 4 


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Bawa Singh

Transport Corridor (INSTC). In the preceding pages we will what are the changing dynamics geopolitics of the region and how it has created challenges for Indian foreign policy.

Conclusion Despite sharing historical and civilizational relations, Central Asian region has not been figured prominently in Indian foreign policy. After realizing its diplomatic impassiveness towards the region, India prioritized this region in its foreign policy under various policy frameworks. However, evolving geopolitics in the region will remain the major concern of India that will have direct or indirect impacts on Indian interests. Till now, economic relations between both the regions remained at a very low level. Mutual investment is very negligible. Tourism sector is unexploited. Political, diplomatic and defence relations were not matured enough to match the ancient ones. Security and stability of Afghanistan is one more area where both the region could synchronize their efforts in order to lessen the influence of the external powers as well as their stability and security. After realizing its impassiveness vis-a-vis this region, many official frameworks such as ‘Extended Neighbourhood’, ‘Look North Policy’ and ‘Central Asia Connect Policy’ have been launched. Notwithstanding these policies, problems of Indian foreign policy vis-à-vis this region are not seeing solution at the near end. Complementarities are available for deepening the bilateral relations despite some constraints affecting this one. In order to reinvigorate the relations and convert these challenges into opportunities for its foreign policy, India has to implement its designed framework wholeheartedly.

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HOW THE ARABS SAW THE WORLD Could the Trade of the Indian Ocean Improve the Prospects of the Arabs playing a Vital Role in Global Affairs? How losing the Indian Ocean trade led the Arabs and mainly Egypt to be marginalized in Global Affairs.


Jamal Wakim

In 2013, China became the second economic power in the world after the United States with expectations to become the first power in the world by the year 2025. This has coincided with expectations that the Indian Ocean basin would become the most crucible economic spot of the world, ending five centuries of domination by the Atlantic basin countries on the global economic. It is worth mentioning that the Indian Ocean was at the center of the global economy between the tenth century and the fifteenth century AD. Arabs had primarily used Egypt and the Indian Ocean trade to rule the world. This was reflected in the work of Arab geographers and historians in the twelfth and sixteenth centuries when they mapped the world, tending to place the Indian Ocean at the top of the world map, while placing Western Europe on the sidelines of this map. Today, at a time when the center of economic gravity is once again moving to the Indian Ocean, it is likely that the way we look at the global map will change again where Europe and North America will no longer be at the top of the global map. Hence, it is necessary to review how the Arabs saw the world between the fifteenth and seventeenth at a time when the notion of leading the world was alternated between the Arabian capitals Damascus, Cairo and Baghdad.

Professor of History and International Relations at Lebanese International University, Lebanon.

A non Eurocentric vision of the World When one reads the global map of the contemporary world, one finds that Europe occupies the heart of this world and beside it is the North American continent to the West and Russia to the East. One also finds that the size of the European continent on this map is equal to the size of the African continent, where the latter occupies less space than its actual size. This also applies to the South American continent and to India and China to the East of the African continent. This Euro-centric view of the world reflects the Western-European domination of international relations that have been achieved before two hundred years and that has continued into the early twenty first century. This dominant approach which originated from the western world is being used to propagate that this new situation in the international affairs has been going on for thousands of years, which contradicts the historical data reflected by the Arab and Muslim geographers to the world. It is worth mentioning that this vision was not constant throughout the ages but rather witnessed changes and shifts between the seventh


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Jamal Wakim

century, the history of the Arab Islamic conquests, and the sixteenth century, the history of the fall of the Mamluks in Egypt, the Levant and the Hejaz to the Ottoman domination. Despite the Arab and Muslim geographers’ interest in giving great importance to East Arabia, the Mediterranean, the Iranian plateau and Central Asia in the early centuries extending between the seventh century and the eleventh century AD, however, their view of the world has seen a shift of interest towards Africa, India and Southeast Asia were in the center of this region resides the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean formulated the region from where Islamic Arabs’ domination expanded between the twelfth century and the sixteenth century. It is also worth mentioning that the Umayyad dynasty and later the Abbasid state had taken control of the Mediterranean trade and land trade with China and India until mid of the eleventh century, while the Indian Ocean trade was under their domination since prior to the time of Islam. However, starting from the twelfth century, the Arabs lost their monopoly on trade in the Mediterranean, and then they lost their dominance over land trade with China in the thirteenth century as a result of the rise of the Mongol dominance in the Eurasian mainland which is what made them shift their interest in terms of trade toward the Indian Ocean.

Arabs and the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is considered as a highly important commercial artery due to its vast stretching and the presence of a variety of peoples and civilizations along its banks for thousands of years which gave this ocean a pivotal role in the movement of history1. Competition amongst the Africans, the Chinese, the Persians and the Arabs to trade in the Indian Ocean in a peaceful manner was observed throughout history without wars, ‫نامثع يوقلا دبع يقوش‬، ‫يف يدنهلا طيحملا ةراجت‬ ‫ ةيمالسالا ةدايسلا رصع‬: 661 — 1498، (‫تيوكلا‬: ‫ملاع‬ ‫ةفرعملا‬، 1990) 5 Shawki Abdel Kawi Othma , the Indian Ocean trade in the era of Islamic sovereignty : 661 — 1498 , (Kuwait : the world of knowledge , 1990). 1 

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until the Arabs had the upper hand after the arrival of Islam2. Egypt was the only country not bordering the Indian Ocean that participated in the trade within this ocean3. The spread of Islam had a vital role in strengthening the Arab sovereignty over the Indian Ocean where the Arabs became masters of this ocean, both in navigation and commerce and transformed it into an Arab lake4. This was reflected in the settlement of the Arabs along most of the coast of the ocean and the spreading of the Arabic language on its banks, and even the conversion of many Indians, Africans, Malaysians and many others to Islam as a religion5. The Chinese historian Fuen Jang also recognized that the Arabs mastered International carpentry until the sixteenth century6. Jamal Hamdan, the famous Egyptian geographer, considered that "Asia is to Islam is as Europe to Christianity where Asia has three-quarters of Muslims"7. Hamdan also stated that in the late eleventh century and early twelfth century, Islam lost the Mediterranean as an Islamic Lake after the penetration of the Normans and the Crusaders through the Crusades, but that Islam replaced that loss by winning "Africa as an Islamic continent"8. He also stated as an outcome to the Islamic expansion in Africa and the shores of the Indian Ocean, the Islamic world has become as follows: "A great arc-like pattern which mediates the continental triangle and sheers to it in a way similar to a hub structure or as a range convex with an uneven depth, but is great in size and approximately equals half of the Indian Ocean’s circumference and even equals it and almost exceeds it. This great arc that begins with a broad left wing in Africa in a lower Indian Ocean trade p. 6-7. Indian Ocean trade p. 35-36. 4  Indian Ocean trade p. 36. 5  Indian Ocean trade p. 39. 6  Indian Ocean trade p. 40. 7  ‫لامج نادمح‬، ‫رصاعملا يمالسإلا ملاعلا‬، (‫ةرهاقلا‬: ‫بتكلا ملاع‬، 1990). Ja mal Hamdan, p. 17. 8  Jamal Hamdan, p. 17. 2  3 


How the arabs saw the world

tropical latitude, and then bends north towards West and Central Asia in a much higher latitude, and then comes back down with its right wing towards the south again in South and South East Asia".1

ographers at that time and that of the most prominent Sharif Idrissi in his book "The Book of Pleasant Journeys into Faraway Lands".

Hamdan adds that "this in a very real sense is the crescent of Islam and its heart and one can almost say that in its star settles the Indian Ocean which is logically the vicinity of Islam. And if Islam had lost the Mediterranean as an Islamic Lake or semi-Islamic lake, then it has gained the Indian Ocean which has become the new Mediterranean sea in the Muslim world. The people of Hadramout and the Omanis are its Greeks and Venetians if not its Romans".2 He also acknowledges that religion is a dimension of politics3, and that Islam is not an exception "in terms of the exploitation of religion in politics".4 However, he sees Islam as follows:

Remarkably, in the book of Ibn Khordadbeh "The Book of Roads and Kingdoms", he describes the land at that time similar to the result reached by contemporary geographers who were provided with the best technology. He describes the Earth as follows:

"With the exception of proven religious unity, does the Muslim world represent a natural unity or a human one? Some have tried to link Islam with drought and deserts, but the truth is as far than that as possible...Similarly, we find Islam on the coastal areas, where a great mass of Muslims are mostly concentrated near coastal and marine sectors, despite the apparent continental formality in traditional maps for Islamic distribution. Islam also covers the low flat plains in North Africa, yet also it dominates the same power vent on the mountainous areas in Southeast Asia".5 If we wanted to study how the Arabs saw the world, we find that they shifted their view from the Eastern area and the Mediterranean Sea as the hub of the world as mentioned in the writings of Arab and Muslim geographers in the ninth century and the tenth century AD, notably Ibn Khordadbeh, towards the Indian Ocean as a pivotal point in the world map at the beginning of the twelfth century AD as mentioned in the writings of Arab ge1  2  3  4  5 

Jamal Hamdan, p. 18-19. Jamal Hamdan, p. 19. Jamal Hamdan, p. 85. Jamal Hamdan, p. 123 Jamal Hamdan, p. 125.


Ibn Khordadbeh

"The description of the Earth is rounded like a ball, placed in the middle of the space like the yolk in the middle of the egg, and the breeze around the Earth attracts it from all its ends towards the outer space. As for the structure of the creation on Earth, the breeze attracts the mass of those creations from lightness, and the Earth attracts their mass of gravity, because the land is like the stone that attracts iron. The Earth is divided into two halves separated by the equator which spreads from the East to the West which in turn represents the length of the Earth. The largest latitude in the round Earth just like the zodiac is the largest line in astronomy. The latitude of the earth spreads from the South Pole, which Canopus rotates around to the North Pole, which Ursa Major rotates around. The rotation of the Earth at the position of the equator is three hundred and sixty degrees and the degree is twenty five Leagues and each league is twelve thousand arms and each arm is twenty-four fingers and each finger equals six grains of barley lined up next to each other. All of that will be equivalent to nine thousand leagues. Between the equator and each one of the poles there are ninety degrees Astrolabes with the Earth’s width rotation being the same way. Meanwhile the architecture of the Earth after the equator is twenty-four degrees and then the rest is submerged under the great sea. We are on the northern quarter of the Earth and the southern quarter is in ruins and not inhabited due to the severity of the heat there, and in every quarter of the north and south there are seven provinces. Ptolemy wrote in his book that

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Jamal Wakim

during his reign there were four thousand and two hundred cities on Earth".1 Ibn Khordadbeh divides the Earth into four regions as follows: "Land of the globe (Earth) was divided to four parts, one is the Europe that includes Andalusia and the Slavs, Al-Rum, Frank land and Tangier up to the Egyptian border. Then there’s Libya, in it are Egypt, Al- Qulzum, Abyssinia and Al-Barbar and the adjoining areas and the Southern Sea. In these countries there are no boars, deer, wild asses, or goats. Then there is Ethiopia with Tihama, Yemen, Sindh, India and China, and finally there’s Scythia with Armenia, Khorasan, the Turks and Khazars.2

towards the Indian Ocean. What is striking about the map drawn by Sharif Idrissi before nine centuries is the way he did it in reverse of how the map looks in modern time. It puts the South at the top of the map and the North at its bottom, the West to the right of the map and the East to the left. We see that the Arabian Peninsula is occupying the heart of this map and to the right on the top of the map lies the continent of Africa, which occupies the largest area of the globe, followed by the Indian Ocean, which occupies a pivotal position on the map, while China occupies an important position on the left of the map. And the most important site on the map is that of the Islamic Arab areas, which occupy the center of the map while Europe is located on the margin in the far right corner of the map.

Ibn Khordadbeh also talks about China, describing it as a vast and rich country3. He also talks about India and its wealth, peoples and extraordinary boredom it inhabits4. It is worth mentioning that Europe, especially western and northern Europe were not significant and did not take a lot of space in the book of Ibn Khordadbeh which was described as follows: "Europe includes Al-Rum, Burjan and the countries of the Slavs and the Iberians north of Andalusia, and those who come from the West Sea were the Slavs maids, Al-Rum, the Franks and the Elaps, Al-Rum maids, and Andalusia maids with treasury skins, lint, perfume and mastic. And from the bottom of this sea near the Franks comes the coral. As for the sea, it is located behind the Slavs which the city of Tulia is located, no boat or ship sails in it and it does not bring about anything but tot which is also Arabian".5

Idrissi However, in the middle of the twelfth century, Arab geographers shifted their interest ‫هبذادرخ نبا‬، ‫كلامملاو كلاسملا باتك‬، http:// pdf Ibn Khordadbeh p. 1-2. 1 

2  3  4  5 

Ibn Khordadbeh p. 66. Ibn Khordadbeh p. 29. Ibn Khordadbeh p. 30. Ibn Khordadbeh p. 38.

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When the book of Sharif Idrissi "The Book of Pleasant Journeys into Faraway Lands" which is mentioned in the West in the book of Roger II, we find that it divides the world into seven regions, each divided into ten sections6. For the book printed in 1863, its divisions have been re-arranged so that the book focuses on the sections of Egypt and North Africa known ‫يسيردإلا فيرشلا‬، ‫رصمو نادوسلا ضرأو برغملا‬ ‫سلدنألاو‬: ‫قافآلا قارتخا يف قاتشملا ةهزن نم ذوخأم‬، (‫نديل‬: ‫ليرب ةعبطم‬، 1863) Sharif Idrissi , Morocco and the land of Sudan, Egypt, Al-Andalus : taken from The Book of Pleasant Journeys into Faraway Lands, ( Leiden : Brill Press , 1863). 6 


How the arabs saw the world

as Sudan, Morocco and Andalusia unlike the arrangement made by Sharif Idrissi in the original copy of the book before nine centuries. Remarkably, Al-Sharif Al-Idrisi on that matter speaks about very rich kingdoms in Africa where trade flourished1. This is reflected in his listing of a large number of booming cities in Africa, which he calls Sudan2. Also, Idrissi’s description of the Nile is also noticeable, when he speaks about how it divides in the land of the Abyssinia and also spoke about the source of the Nile which refutes the argument that the British were the ones who discovered the headwaters of the Nile in the nineteenth century3. It is also worth mentioning that he named the Mediterranean Sea as the Damascene Sea and the Atlantic Ocean as the dark sea4 while expanding his description of Andalusia which is his hometown5. He also expands in the description of the Indian Sea, which was found in parts six, seven, eight, nine and ten of the first section of his book6, with a limited mention of Western Europe, including England, France and Northern Europe to the first and second sections of the sixth region7, and sections I and II of the seventh region, which is the most narrow of all the regions. While the book expands in the description of the continents of Asia and Africa and mentions its agricultural productions and booming trade8. There is no doubt that the Mongol invasion of the Islamic Oriental and Iraq, and the invasion of the mainland in Damascus repeatedly had significantly contributed in shifting the interest of the Arabs towards the Indian Ocean. 1  2  3  4  5 

Sharif Idrissi p. 5-10. Sharif Idrissi p. 10. Sharif Idrissi p. 14. Sharif Idrissi p. 165. Sharif Idrissi p. 173-214.

‫يسيردإلا فيرشلا‬، ‫يف قاتشملا ةهزن‬ ‫قافآلا قارتخا‬، civilizations/230.pdf 6 

Sharif Idrissi , The Book of Pleasant Journeys into Faraway Lands, arabic/civilizations/230.pdf p. 11-21 7  Sharif Idrissi pp. 208-212. 8  ibid p. 214.


This is reflected in the comparison between the journey taken by Ibn Jubair in the twelfth century, which focused in the Mediterranean and the Levant, and the journey of Ibn Battuta in the fourteenth century, which was broader and included in addition to the Mediterranean, the Levant and the state of the Byzantine and central Asia, Iran and India, before moving across the Indian Ocean to China. As Ibn Jubair journeyed on board the ship Jnoah from Andalusia to Alexandria in Egypt, reflecting the even relatively open policy to the Mediterranean world at that point in time, Ibn Battuta chose to journey overland across North Africa to Egypt and from there to the rest of the wilderness we have described above. This reflects an alienation with the Mediterranean world at that time, and a cut off in the relations and interactions with the Italians and other trading nations. The journey of Ibn Jubair was confined to the Orient to walk overland between the Hejaz, Iraq and Syria before returning to his country, without even coming close to the shores of the Indian Ocean. Ibn Battuta gave a wide space in his book to describe the countries of the Indian Ocean and the ports along its banks, which reflects the importance of this area for him and for other geographers of that time to this ocean.

Ibn Jubayr Ibn Jubayr launched his journey on board the ship Jnoah of Granada toward Sardinia, then Sicily, and Crete to Alexandria. His trip to Egypt took thirty days9. Ibn Jubayr describes Alexandria as a thriving city with many buildings, hospitals, mosques, schools, with a flourishing trade that is evidenced by the large number of its stores. He adds that "it is surprising to describe that the underground infrastructure is similar to its architecture to the one above the ground and even stronger, because the water of the Nile runs through all their homes and alleys while underground ‫ريبج نبإ‬، ‫ريبج نبا ةلحر‬، (‫توريب‬: ‫ةيملاعلا ةكرشلا‬ ‫)باتكلل‬ Ibn Jubair , Ibn Jubair trip , (Beirut : World Book Publishing ) p. 44. 9 

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Jamal Wakim

wells are connected to each other and further extend each other".1 He also describes the lighthouse of Alexandria, which was still used during his time, saying that "one of the greatest wonders of it (Alexandria) was its lighthouse." He also paid tribute to the Salahuldin Al Ayubi (Saladin), who had ordered the granting of pilgrims a free loaf of bread per day while securing their way and providing free healthcare for them as well2. Ibn Jubayr also expanded in his description for Cairo and its archeological and religious landmarks, and riches3. From Cairo, Ibn Jubayr headed to Southern Egypt and then north and then east toward the Red sea where he crossed over to the other side heading to Mecca and Medina to perform Hajj. He also expanded in the description of the two cities and the rituals of Hajj and clans that came from different parts of the Earth for the Hajj ceremony. Notably he described the existence of many differences, religious sects and heresies in the Oriental Arab world, ruling out that the Islam of the people of Morocco is the true Islam. After performing Hajj, he went to Kufa, Halla and then the city of Baghdad. There he noticed that the city of Baghdad had recoiled from the boom it had in previous eras.4 Then, Ibn Jubayr left Baghdad and went to the city of Tikrit, then to Al Mosul, then Aleppo which he describes as "a town with a dangerous destiny, and it will be mentioned in every era ... it has a famous and resolute citadel, that has no similarities with other citadels, it is immune to all enemies... The city of Aleppo has outlasted most of its rulers, it has copied itself through different times and locations, its name is feminine and thus has put on the adornments of beautiful women, and it has always condemned all those of treachery and betrayal".5 1  2  3  4  5 

Ibn Jubair p. 45. Ibn Jubair p. 45. Ibn Jubair p. 48. Ibn Jubair p. 177. Ibn Jubair p. 183.

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Ibn Jubayr moved to Aleppo, then Hama, then Homs and then Damascus which he considered as the heaven of the East and the bride of all cities. He describes its alleys and shops and large orchards and its big mosque as follows: "It (the mosque) is the most famous Islamic mosques in its looks, its mastered architecture, its surprising uniqueness, its workmanship, and the way it is celebrated and decorated".6 And from Damascus, Ibn Jubayr moved to Tiberias then to Akka which was still under the rule of the Crusaders and then he moved to Tyre (Sour) and from it he sailed back to his hometown. He also noted that despite the warfare between the Crusaders and the Muslims, yet there was a thriving trade between them7.

Ibn battouta Unlike the journey of Ibn Jubayr, which was across the Mediterranean, the journey of Ibn Battuta was overland through the countries of North Africa to Alexandria, which stunned him due to its flourish and its large seaport, he also indicated that the Alexandria lighthouse was still standing8. Then he went to Cairo or Egypt, "mother of the nation and pillar of the Pharaoh, the land of wide- regions and the country of lands, it is famous with its architecture, freshness and decency, and the complex of the imports and exports.9" He also described the Nile and the towns and villages on its banks and the fact that "there is no river on this Earth other than the Nile which can be referred to as the sea.10" The Mamluk Sultan at that time was, "King Nasser Abu Al Fateh Mohammed bin Mansour Sayf al-Din Qalawun Salhi. Qalawun was Ibn Jubair p. 201. ‫ميهاربا نب دمحم نب هللا دبع نب دمحم ةطوطب نبا‬ ‫يجنطلا يتاوللا‬، ‫راظنلا ةفحت ةامسملا ةطوطب نبا ةلحر‬ ‫رافسالا بئاجعو راصمالا بئارغ يف‬، (‫توريب‬: ‫ةكرشلا‬ ‫باتكلل ةيملاعلا‬، 1991) Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Alawati Tunji , a journey of Ibn Battuta called rihla "A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling", (Beirut : World Book Publishing , 1991), p. 21 201. 8  Ibn Battuta p. 28. 9  Ibn Battuta p. 30. 10  Ibn Battuta p. 31. 6  7 


How the arabs saw the world

known as the "Alfi" (the thousand) because the Al Saleh king had bought him for a thousand gold dinars, and he was originally from Kafjak1". He then headed South and then returned back North towards Palestine. In ElArish he noted that no one from the Levant may enter Egypt without a rescript from the Levant, and no one from Egypt may enter the Levant without a rescript from Egypt, but acquitted of Egypt "to secure the people’s money and to guard against the spies of Iraqi"2. Iraq was then under the rule of the Persian Ilkhani who were at feud with the Mamluks of Egypt. Then he arrived in Jerusalem and described the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock and Church of the Resurrection3. He then moved to Akka and then Tyre and then Sidon. Then he moved to several cities up to Tripoli Sham and described it as: "It has modern buildings, the old Tripoli was on the bank of the sea and owned by Al-Rum while it was retrieved by King Zahir it was ruined and the new modern city was taken." He then moved to the Fort of the Kurds heading to Homs, "outside this city was the tomb of Khalid bin Al Walid the sword of Allah and His Messenger and in it was a corner and a mosque and on the tomb was a black livery", and from there to Hama4. Then he moved to Aleppo and cited his describing to that of Ibn Jubayr to reflect its decline relative to its past booming condition5. This may be due to the state of hostility between the Mamluks in Syria and Egypt on the one hand and the Mongols in Iraq and Persia on the other hand, which had a negative impact on trade between northern Iraq and Syria, which Aleppo was its main station. Ibn Battuta then moved to Guensrin and then Antakya where he spoke about "a sedition raised by the Armenians against the governor of the city" who was loyal to the Mamluks and how the Sultan discovered this sedition and 1  2  3  4  5 

Ibn Battuta p. 36. Ibn Battuta p. 38-39. Ibn Battuta p. 41. Ibn Battuta p. 42. Ibn Battuta p. 45-46.


sustained the governor in his reign6. This may be caused by the loyalty of the Armenians to the Mongols rather than the Mamluks7. He then moved to Masyaf and toured in the coastal regions and noted that most of the people living in the mountains were Alawites. And then he had a major stop in Damascus, where he described the Umayyad Mosque, "it is the world’s greatest mosques to celebrate in, with mastered architecture and created with decency, joy and perfection"8. It is also worth mentioning that he spoke about Imam Ibn Taymiyyah charging him with madness9. From there, Ibn Battuta moved back to Iraq then Asfahan where he noted that the urban city was partially ruined as a result of the discord "between the Shiites and the Sunnis." He also narrated how the Mughal king of Iraq Muhammad Khaddabandh converted to Islam according to the "doctrine of the Rafida" meaning the Shiite Jaafari doctrine and how by his conversion all the Mongols converted with him except the people of some cities, the first of whom is Baghdad which refused to change their doctrine of the Sunnis to the Shiites until a judge named Majduldin got involved and influenced the Sultan to convert to Sunni doctrine10. He also described Baghdad’s miserable situation that came to as a result of the devastation it experienced at the hands of the Mongols11. After that he went to Amman then to Hermez, then returned north to Anatolia where it is stated that he had met Sultan Bursa Orhan Bin Osman the second Sultans of the Ottomans12. Then he moved to Constantinople, which impressed him a lot as well as its church Hagia Sophia13. And from there he moved to Khiva which was "the biggest city of the Turks, the greatest, largest and most beautiful, it has good markets and spacious streets and lots 6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13 

Ibn Battuta p. 49. Ibn Battuta p. 52. Ibn Battuta p. 97. Ibn Battuta p. 104. Ibn Battuta p. 143. Ibn Battuta p. 161. Ibn Battuta p. 165. Ibn Battuta p. 168.

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Jamal Wakim

of architecture and beauties".1 Then he moved to the city of Bukhara, which was" located behind the Gihon River which was dreaded by Tenkiz the Tatar" meaning Genghis Khan2. Then he moved to Kabul and from there to Delhi in northern India where he remained for two years before he was sent by the Sultan of India to China as part of a delegation. So he headed to Kandahar, and from there he went to the port to sale the sea to the city of Calicut which is "one of the most important great cities in the land of Milibar which was frequently visited by the people of China and Gaoh and Ceylon, and the people of Yemen and Persia. And in it prospect traders would meet. Its port is one of the greatest on Earth".3 On his way to China he passed by the islands of the Maldives, where he described how Islam was brought to this islands by a Moroccan dealer4. This is the story I heard personally from a university professor from the Maldives during my visit to China. From there he moved to China, which he described as follows: "The province of China is vast with plenty of good things, fruits and crops, gold, and silver unmatched in any other regions of the Earth, in it flows a river known as the door of life which also means the water of life. And its source comes from a mountain called "Koh Boznat", which means the mountain of monkeys...and it passes in the middle of China, flowing six months to the end of the wall of China. It is beset with villages and farms, orchards and markets just like the Nile of Egypt. Yet this one has more architecture and has many waterwheels. In the land of China sugar is found a lot, as good as the Egyptian kind and even better, with grapes and pears also. And I thought that the Ottoman pears in 1  2  3  4 

Ibn Battuta p. 182. Ibn Battuta p. 259. Ibn Battuta p. 279. Ibn Battuta p. 280.

JOURNAL OF EURASIAN AFFAIRS Volume 4, Number 1, 2016

Damascus were unparalleled until I saw the pears of China5. He also describes some of the characteristics that have been observed in China by saying: "The people of China are infidels, they worship statues, and burn their dead as do the Indians. The king of China is a Tatar one of Genghis Khan’s descendants. In every city of China’s cities there is one city for Muslims where they live in it alone. In those Muslim cities they have mosques to set up Friday prayers and other occasions. Most of them are respectable. The infidels of China eat pigs and dogs for meat which they sell in their markets. The people there live in luxury, but they do not celebrate with food and clothing and you can see great merchants with great fortunes wearing rough cotton. And all the people of China like to celebrate with their gold and silver utensils. And each one of them has a reliable crutch to help them walk. And they have too much silk because the presence of large number of worms that attach themselves to the fruits and eat and produce lots of silk. Silk is also the dress of the poor and needy, and if it weren’t for the traders then silk would not have been valuable. One single garment of cotton can be bought in the price of many silk robes. It is their habit that the dealer makes gold and silver into small pieces, each piece of them is a pound6. He also paid tribute to China’s security which makes it easy for the dealers to move freely without fear for their lives or money7.

Ibn Iyas If the Arabs had substituted the Mediterranean trade by dominating the Indian Ocean trade things would have been different. There is no doubt that the entry of the Portuguese into trade in the year 1498 AD and their shift to the trade routes away from the Arabian Peninsula Ibn Battuta p. 281. ‫ سايا نبا‬، ‫روهدلا عئاقو يف روهزلا عئادب‬، ‫ءزجلا‬ ‫عبارلا‬، ‫ىفطصم دمحم قيقحت‬، (‫ةرهاقلا‬: 1960). Ib n Iyas , "Badai Alzuhur Fi Wakayi Alduhur", Part IV , achieving Mohammed Mustafa , ( Cairo : 1960) 91 . 7  Ibn Iyas p. 95. 5  6 


How the arabs saw the world

and the Red Sea dealt a decisive blow to them which was reflected in the history of Ibn Iyas, who deals with this stage.

The Portuguese danger in the Indian Ocean Ibn Iyas begins in this part which deals with the phase starting the year 1501 the date when Sultan Qansouh Ghouri took reign over the sultanate until 1515. He begins by mentioning the Franks, meaning the Portuguese, in the year 911AH where he says that Tghri Bardi, an interpreter at the Egyptian palace, had traveled in November of that year to "the country of the Crusaders and took with him a book of Alaptrk", possibly in an attempt to mediate with the Crusaders "after meddling of the Franks increased along the coasts by taking the traders’ money".1 Then he mentioned the campaign by the Portuguese against the port of Yanbu on the shores of Hejaz, overlooking the Red Sea, stating that the Portuguese overcame the Prince of the Yanbu Yehya Ibn Sabaa who escaped as they destroyed the city2. He adds that the soldiers sent by Sultan Hussein Bash to fight the Portuguese had arrived in Jeddah and began to consolidate the coast to build towers3. By then Hussein bash had prepared the military fleet and headed to the port of Aden in Yemen, "but the damage caused by the Franks later grew as the ships of the Franks increased in the Hejaz Sea to about twenty ships, and they started tampering with the boats of the Indian dealers, cutting them off in frightening places and taking away their goods, until rice was no longer found in Egypt and other countries"4. Ibn Iyas explains the Portuguese ship incidents in the Indian Ocean as follows: "the cause of this incident is because the Franks dodged the dam which was built by Alexander Ben Phelps AlRumi. This dam was in a mountain between the China sea and the Roman Sea, the franks kept maneuvering there, tampering with the 1  2  3  4 

Ibn Iyas p. 96. Ibn Iyas p. 109. Ibn Iyas p. 109. Ibn Iyas p. 142.


dam and drilling for years until it opened up and became a passage way for boats to the Hejaz Sea, and this was one of the biggest causes of corruption".5 Then the military of Hussein Bash achieved a great victory over the Crusaders, but he asked for more soldiers to embolden him against those who were left of the Franks6. In October and November of the year 914 AH, news that Prince Tamr Bay the Indian triumphed in one of the battles against the Crusaders" and defeated them and captured some twenty-seven of them, and took over their ships"7. Then he mentions the major defeat at the Battle of Diouf off the Indian coast, by saying that in the first month of Spring in the year 915 AH news came that the soldiers who went to India accompanied by Hussein the supervisor had been defeated harshly by the Franks who killed all the soldiers and looted whatever was in their boats. This news enraged the Sultan".8 Then he recalled that in Safar 916 AH "he went to King Mahmoud Shah, the ruler of Knbalah, and other kings of India with promises to the Sultan that include rapidly preparing to send military to India because of the mess the Franks had done there, where they have gone rogue and even more greedy when they defeated Hussein who was sent by the Sultan9". In the first Jumada, Al-Sharif Barakat the Emir of Mecca caught three of the Crusaders disguised in Ottoman wardrobe, who turned out to be spies for Frankish kings. He seized them and sent them to the Mamluk Sultan10.

The Spanish Threat in the Mediterranean Ibn Iyas then mentions the appointment of Sultan Tajrida to the country of the Franks led by Mohammed Beck because "they have increased their aggression against the people in the salty sea" and appointed his cousin Mohammed Beck leader of this cam5  6  7  8  9  10 

Ibn Iyas p. 146. Ibn Iyas p. 156. Ibn Iyas p. 148. Ibn Iyas p. 191. Ibn Iyas p. 129. Ibn Iyas p. 163.

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Jamal Wakim

paign1. The aim of the Sultan as in the words of Ibn Iyas was to face the Spaniards in the Mediterranean Sea, adding to the burden on the Egyptian state which was facing the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean, the Safavids in Iraq and eastern Anatolia and the Spaniards in the Mediterranean. In Rajab 915 AH Ibn Iyas said that "while Prince Mohammed Beck was on his way to the John, he encountered Frank ships meddling in the sea with traders, so he fought them and defeated them and killed a large group of them2". In Jumada the first of year 916 AH, news came that the city of Tripoli fell into the hands of the Franks who killed forty thousand of its population3. In the first Jumada on Sunday the tenth "news came from the representative of Tripoli that the Crusaders attacked the Prince Mohammed Beck the cousin of the Sultan, who had gone to John in order to fetch timber. The franks attacked him near Iyas Castle Coast, and Prince Mohammed fought them back alone as the soldiers accompanying him had fled, he was killed along with those who remained with him fighting. The Franks then stole what was with him on the ships which were loaded with weapons and war machines and they were about eighteen ships. When the news reached the Sultan he was infuriated and refrained from eating for two days. The evil of the Franks increased against the people in the Al Rum Sea and the Indian Sea which hit the Sultan hard and very much disturbed him.4" In the same month, "the Sultan ordered the arrest of the monks in the church of resurrection in Jerusalem, as well as the rest of the Crusaders who were in Alexandria, Damietta and other coasts. This was because of the Franks who killed Prince Mohammed and took the ships of the Sultan5". Which indicates the Sultan’s weakness in facing the danger of the Spanish in the Mediterranean. 1  2  3  4  5 

Ibn Iyas p. 190. Ibn Iyas p. 191-192. Ibn Iyas p. 192. Ibn Iyas p. 119. Ibn Iyas p. 121.

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The danger posed by the Safavids The danger of the Portuguese that had a negative impact on the Egyptian trade along the Indian Sea was met with the rise of the Safavid threat. Ibn Iyas recalled that in the first Jumada year 913 AH, the Shah Ismail Al Soufi launched a campaign against Iraq which led to "disorder in Cairo", that also coincided with the arrival of delegates from the "son of Osman" to Cairo, to discuss the developments in the region6. Sultan created a campaign to confront the Safavid but reported news that the garrison stationed on the Euphrates gained victory over the Safavids7. This was followed by the arrival of delegates from Shah Ismail in Cairo confirming to the Sultan Ghouri Qansouh telling him that the events on the outskirts of the Mamluks in Syria was not according to the Shah’s will8. In the first of Jumada, news came from the Prince of Bira that "he caught a group coming from Ishmael Al Soufi and bearing books from the Soufi to some of the kings of the Franks asking them to assist him against the Sultan of Egypt in order to attack Egypt from the sea where he would attack it from the mainland, but the group was caught by the representative of Bira and were sent to the Sultan9". In Hijjah of the year 916 AH, "news from Aleppo came that Al Soufi has triumphed over Azibak Khan king of the Tatars and killed him and cut off his head, which enraged the Sultan who kept the princes beside him till noon to give him consultations, since it was Azibak Khan who kept Al Soufi busy from fighting the Ibn Osman and the Sultan of Egypt. So when rumors of the killing of Azibak Khan were out, the Sultan feared the Soufi might be creeping on to his country10". On Monday, on the 22nd day of the first spring 917 AH, the Sultan received "Qassed Safavid who gave him gifts and a box which turned out to be the head of Azibak Khan, so the 6  7  8  9  10 

Ibn Iyas p. 123. Ibn Iyas p. 191. Ibn Iyas p. 207. Ibn Iyas p. 219. Ibn Iyas p. 220-221.


How the arabs saw the world

Sultan ordered to bury the head1". The Sultan and all his people were preventing anyone from seeing him and they also prevented any of the Qassed’s people to come out to the market and meet any of the people2". Ibn Iyas adds that "it was rumored in the Soufi’s land that the Sultan had been busy planting trees and seedling many kinds of flowers and herbs, in a way to make fun of the Sultan3". This made evident of the Sultan’s weakening reputation and declining prestige in the face of his opponents.


impact of the end of


eignty over the Indian Ocean trade


From the above mentioned events, it is clear that the Indian Ocean trade was in the hands of warlords and merchants who were counting on Egypt to protect their trade, as evidenced by the attempt of the princes and merchants towards Egypt to help them cope with the Portuguese. As well as it clearly appears that the entry of the Portuguese to the Indian Ocean and them blocking trade in it then shifting the trade away from Egypt and the failure of the Mamluks in taking out the Portuguese from the Indian Ocean had weakened Egypt very much especially as it was also facing the Spaniards in the Mediterranean while the Safavids in Iran had begun to pose a threat from the east as well. All these factors led to the contraction of Egypt’s power, prompting them to resort to the help of their only ally at the time, the Ottomans, at least until the year 1514 AD. Part IV of the book of Ibn Iyas is full of descriptions about the frequent visits between the Ottomans envoys to Egypt and Egyptian envoys to the Ottoman Empire, in addition to the aid received by Egypt from the Ottoman Empire, including the following incident as told by Ibn Iyas: In October the year 916 AH, "several ships sent by Ibn Osman king of Al Rum carrying Zrdechanah to the Sultan, had its loading 1  2  3 

Ibn Iyas p. 222. Ibn Iyas p. 201. Ibn Iyas p. 210.


taken away as they while reaching the port of Bulaq to the Sultan’s castle. The ship were loaded with thirty thousand shares of crossbows, and forty quintals of gun powder, and two thousand wooden projectiles, and other brass and iron and calf and ropes and iron marinas and other things that ships need. So the Sultan thanked the king after he had sent money with Younis al-Adli to the country of Ibn Osman to buy him timber and copper and iron but when Al-Adli reached Ibn Osman, the latter returned the money and gave him with all the above mentioned equipment as a gift to the Sultan4". The Sultan’s weakness manifested itself in the inability of the Sultan to distribute the gifts to the Mamluks and his supporters, as well as in his increasing doubts against the leaders of his state and even his private translator5. Thus, if the Crusades had succeeded in breaking the monopoly of the Arabs —  Muslims’ trade in the Mediterranean in the twelfth century AD, and the Mongol’s invasion had led to taking away the wild trade from the hands of the Arab Muslims in mainland Asia to China via Central Asia, then the entry of the Portuguese to the Indian Ocean and their victory against the Arabian-Islamic domination in the sixteenth century, had led the Arabs to their last gate to the world trade and contributed to their marginalization, headed by Egypt, the leader of the the Arab-Muslim world between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. The fall of the Mamluks in Egypt and the Levant and the Hejaz under the Ottoman domination, was only a complement to the loss of the Indian Ocean trade.

Kamal Salibi, A History of Arabia, PP 131-133. Lewis Thomas, Eruopean Impersialism in the Middle East, in Ernest Jackh, Background of the Middle East, PP. 118-119. 4  5 

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WESTERN INDIVIDUALISM VERSUS THE EASTERN SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY Abstract The guiding purpose of the present article is to discuss the concepts of Doctor in Social Sciences, Polish individualism and collectivism in comparative perspective referring to Academy of Sciences (Warsaw). the cultural examples. At the beginning these antagonistic concepts are to be examined separately, later in contraposition to each other. The both concepts bear the descriptive function, they explain the core of the socio-cultural development of the particular nation or even on large scale –particular civilization. So being a sort of the keywords to understand the differences between the East and West, the individualism and collectivism are not standardised cliché but the quintessence of the including the peculiarities of social way of life, practicing religions, political regimes, and cultural traditions. Saidbek Goziev

In general perspective, individualism is a world view starting from the position of the interests and needs of the particular person, individual worthy to be distinguished from the multitude, and in some cases whose interests are to be dominated above the socially imposed ones. The personally-oriented demands and preferences regarding all spheres of social life are put on the top of the hierarchy of the values. In detailed perspective, for instance Steven Lukes distinguishes five pillars of individualism, simultaneously the five hallmarks of European civilization. In its turn the concept collectivism implies the priority of community’s interests above private ones. If briefly speaking, the pronoun I captures the essence of individualism, so the pronoun We speak for the essence of the collectivism. In line with comparative approach, I have added my observations of the Polish and Tajik culture. In order to widen the discussion on the concept of collectivism the referring to the term of conciliarity adopted from the Orthodox Christianity theology and in one of the aspects spirit of community — its comparison with case of spiritual unity shared by Muslims in different — scattered in present day world map — countries. There are two main concepts of particular interest in this article: collectivism and individualism. In general terms primarily they relate to the two contrasting each other different ways of life, which underpin social life, and the corresponding institutions, cultural norms, types of mentality and value systems. They mark the various categories of thinking and world outlooks, they are geographically located apart: East and West, and reflect the inner essence in the traditions and customs. In more particular sense, in terms of social philosophy, individualism is characterized as a concept that must maintain such defaults as Individualism as autonomy of the individual, emotional independence, personal initiative, privacy, and the clear awareness of his "I", and is coined with the notions

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Western individualism versus the Eastern spirit of community

of personal freedom, egoism, and that exalts the moral worth of individual1. Every individual has precisely interests and just right for their implementation, life of individual is expressed by the assertion that each sitting is the best of his interests. In contrast to individualism the understanding of Asian collectivism is based on the replacing of the identity of the individual with the group identity. In Asian societies, there is no such value as human autonomy, which is reflected among others in this situation individual must submit to the opinion of the authority. It is expected to be in public with her ideas ​​ were represented the group in some affair while he is denied the right to present own opinion. According to many authors in the West unit of the collectivist society, emotional dependence, group solidarity, and the tendency to comply with the decision of the group2. While in individualistic societies there are rivalries between people (even among members of the nearest relatives) and capitalism rules of economic behavior became a competition strive collectivist societies in relations with others to follow with the same sentiments which through relatives and all behavior in society subordinate to the principle of social harmony.3 George C. Lodge and Ezra F. Vogel (who in my opinion thinking wrong that collectivism as an ideology, which was the basis for the existence of the communist state in the Soviet Union and as a specific trait collectivism culture) in their comparisons of model for societies of these two ideologies that characterize these differences here. Two basic models of ideological social organization are compared See Steven M. Lukes’ article on individualism in Britannica http://www. 2  On this theme see also: Birnbaum P.& Leca J.(1990) Individualism. Theories and methods. Clarendon Press-Oxford. 3  Reykowski, R. (1999) (Kolektywizm i indywidualizm jako kategorie opisu zmian społecznych i mentalności) Collectivism and individualism as a description of the categories of social change and the mentality. In Indywidualizm a Kolektywizm. IFiS PAN, Warszawa. 1 


in culture: the individualistic and the collectivist. In the first atom of an existing unit is independent of others in the whole society which is considered as the sum of its parts, and the interactions between individuals determines the existence of an institution of social life and binding its values. In collectivistic ideology, society understood as a being exists not only as the sum of its parts, having its own needs and priorities. Here, society is understood as being an self existing in relation to individuals living in it and this just is the only source of value. These two ideal types should be, in their opinion, regarded as some extremes, between which you can locate all kinds of ideologies, sometimes competing in the same country. In an individualistic ideology, as they indicate, the emphasis is on individual rights, particularly in the sphere of ownership, and ideal is the state limited authority acting as — liberals preached at that time — the night watchman. The present authors also underline, however, with individualistic systems you can find different forms of collectivistic activity. Another issue is that very often they have actions and aspirations of anti systemic character: youth gangs and criminals, religious sects, supporters of local nationalisms, clubs, etc. Also, in systems based on the ideology of communism, there are rebellious individuals. So as we see in every society regardless of culture there are people who strive to extend own independence and liberation from the pressing society and its culture.4 According to Lodge and Vogel culture and ideology are not only different and not so much the weight attached to the individual or a community, but rather a way of defining, experiencing and creating individual and team personality. On the one hand they identifies with the public relations unit, method and scale of its isolation, on the other hand — ironed forms of social life and related carry with them the ideology of individual George C. Lodge and Ezra F. Vogel (1987) Ideology and National Competitiveness: An Analysis of Nine Countries 4 

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forms of subjectivity. As Steven Sangren noted that " many truths about the nature and the human race, what "we" Europeans or Westerners regard as eternal and universal, they are essentially just cultural constructs, categories, language and thought, having its own history of development and are the product of social processes1". Various self-evident truths about the individual, his rights and dignity, basic needs and aspirations, as well as about the nature of human communities, taken from Western civilization, are usually only creations of our team culture, formed on the basis of the Christian heritage and Greco-Roman. While other civilizations may adopt different assumptions of the human condition and to form other types of subjectivity, both individual and collective.2 Important feature of the collectivist conception of the world is the assumption that the group is being original, for which the individual is secondary, this group is self-existent, while an individual cannot exist outside the group, and it is integrally dependent on it. Group is responsible for the unit; it is the source of the criteria of good and evil. Individual is obliged to act on behalf of the group and for it dedication. Relationships with others are fundamentally different depending on whether they are members of your group, or are not part of the group. In the first case based on the principles of emotional bond, the second-on the basis of competition. The social harmony, solidarity, obligation and responsibility, a sense of shame, in which they apply to intra-group relations are the main concepts. The man recognizes himself as a confident member of the whole society -family, clan, nation, religious community, etc.- beings, which destiny is integrally linked with the fate of the whole and is subordinated to this totally. Important feature of an individualistic conception of the world is being taken of social life, as a result of interaction between people Ibid. Sangren, P.S.(1997) Myth, Gender and Subjectivity, National Tsing Hua University, Hsin-chu (Taiwan) 1  2 

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forming their own beings. The individual itself is responsible for him, alone determines what it is good or bad, or, in another interpretation, recognizes the good and evil. Relationships with others based on the principles of exchange, cooperation or competition. The main values are autonomy, reliance, privacy, personal control, etc. The man recognizes himself as separate, autonomous being who speaks his own fate and determines his relationships with others. This characteristic indicates that the collectivistic and individualistic principle of social life is completely opposite. This thesis has important implications when it comes to interpretations of processes of social change. Hofstede (1980) defined individualism as a focus on rights above duties, a concern for oneself and immediate family, an emphasis on personal autonomy and self-fulfillment, and the basing of one’s identity on one’s personal accomplishments.3 For instance, Polish Author Reykowski in his work Indywidualizm jako kategorie opisu zmian społecznych i mentalności (Collectivism and individualism as the categories of social change and the mentality) defines collectivism as the category which applies to societies where people from birth to death are integrated into strong, cohesive groups throughout his life caring for them in exchange for unconditional loyalty. He came to the conclusion that individualism is dominated in Europe (western part), North America, Australia, and collectivism in Asia, Africa and South America. According to him for most people of the world collectivism is the natural form of life and interpersonal relationships.4 Individualism occurs as a password in the social sciences, concepts, and encyclopedias. Oyserman, D., Heather M. Coon & Kemmelmeier, M (2002) Rethinking Individualism and Collectivism: Evaluation of Theoretical Assumptions and Meta-Analyses. University of Michigan 4  Reykowski, R. (1999) (Kolektywizm i indywidualizm jako kategorie opisu zmian społecznych i mentalności) Collectivism and individualism as a description of the categories of social change and the mentalit. In Indywidualizm a Kolektywizm. IFiS PAN, Warszawa. 3 


Western individualism versus the Eastern spirit of community

However, there is the extensive scientific literature research analyzing the concept and corresponding attitudes. It is admitted that only great work written on concept of individualism by the sociologist is Steven Lukes’ Individualism1,( the book first published in 1973). It is worth to note that according to Lukes the notion of individualism arose in France and a conservative thinker Joseph de Maistre has been the first to introduce it. In one of his works published 1820 French word ‘Individualism’ was an important element of his critique of French Revolution. In de Maistre’s believing individualism meant anarchy in politics, Protestantism in religion, morality selfishness. Unlike France, the word took on positive meaning in other European cultures. Over time, attitudes have become individualistic in Western culture so universally, as it was confirmed by many researchers that individualism is the differentia specifica of this culture in relations to other cultures in the world2. Lukes inquires the variety of connotations the term individualism brings in relation to different spheres. In the context of present paper in my view it is relevant to get acquainted with the social aspect of the individualism. It was firstly used in its French form ‘individualisme’ by the conservative thinkers in order to underline the destructive power of the risen of individualistic moods in society. The French Revolution proved how uncivil and undermining the ideas of individualists were. 3 For Lukes the concept of individualism is complicated and multisided. The understanding of which requires the reference to the domain of religion, history, morality, philosophy and sociology. Lukes distinguishes five basic ideas as part of the component of individualism: the dignity of man, autonomy, privacy, self-development and abstract individual. The first element of individualism is an idea of human dignity as a supreme moral principle. Lukes, S. (1990). Individualism. Basil Blackwell Ltd: Oxford 2  Ibid. 3  Ibid. 1 


This idea is present in Western culture thanks to Christian religion. Christianity with tradition of Hellenic culture, took the view that the human species surpass other species of nature. The dignity as characteristic of man is proclaimed by God. The Old and New Testaments argue that God created man as the highest and the most perfect being. Its place in the hierarchy of beings owes that man has no material soul given to him by God, which puts him above the animals. For this reason man is supreme value in Judaism and Christianity. In Middle Ages the idea of Christianity ​​ is not a distinct presence. Vision of the special dignity of man is accompanied by another vision: the species defiled by original sin and the consequences of sin cause the social inequality. It was a merit of Renaissance that the idea of dignity of man was reaffirmed with new force and significance. This idea was leitmotif of the humanist: for instance, Petrarch pictured man’s soul as something incomparable with anything else in the world and Gianozzo Manetti and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola valued man as a greatest with various possibilities and potentialities for on perfection. In modernity this idea of individualism has met objections and even total rejections. Utiritarians and holistic thinkers suggest individual has a little or nor value comparing with the whole society. It was one vision and quite opposite to it there is passion by Jan Jacque Rousseau for whom man is the real dignity that cannot be served as an instruments for others in society4. The idea of the dignity of man was primarily enshrined in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. As it was declared in the article 1 of the UNDHR: ‘’All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with 4 


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reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood1’’

assertion that every seat is the best in their business.

Comparing with each other, the American Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights do not specify whether these two texts, concepts of human dignity are understood as species or individual. In his view, the contemporary idea of the dignity of the man comes from the Immanuel Kant who has been the first in European philosophy declares that man must be understood as a human individual should always be treated as an end never as a means only. This view of Kant has entered into a second formulation of the categorical imperative. Also the great number of modern thinkers have developed and have defended this Kantian views in different ways. For instance, the philosopher Mc. Taggart declared in his essay entitled Individualism of value that thesis that nothing has value because value is always an end but not a means that individual is always an end but society is always a means. Lukes concludes that ‘’the idea of dignity of the individual has the logical status of a moral (or religious) axiom, which is basic, ultimate, and overriding, offering a general justifying principle in moral argument2’’.

The author of this idea of autonomy ​​ as Lukes believes is Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Medieval philosopher. In this view Thomas Aquinas found the belief that every person has individual conscience and should begin with the voice of conscience considering his deeds. These ideas disseminating the West caused Protestantism to appear. Luther believes that man does not need in religion Church’s as a mediator. Everyone can establish direct contact with God, meditating on the content of the Holy Bible. He was also against the confession because in his opinion, everyone is able to assess properly his own actions in the light of knowledge he has from God and if he truly regrets sins committed by him he must count on God’s forgiveness without the need for absolution from the confessor. In this way Protestantism strengthened the belief that every individual is unique, and is responsible for his actions. The idea of autonomy ​​ is the basis for modern ideas of rights and freedoms of the individual in society and politics. According to Lukes for the development of these ideas contributed most: Spinoza and Kant. Spinoza in ethics in understands freedom of one hand as a function of knowledge, freedom is defined as the understanding of the necessity there. On the other hand, Spinoza in Ethics also understands freedom in literal sense: when man is not restraint to move anywhere and he plans his direction in his own way. In this regard the external circumstances: lack of opportunity to move, punishment in the form of prison and as the highest form — servitude are the causes of the absence of the freedom. In epistemological sense, the freedom implies the absence of the dependence of our mind by the affects. Likewise, the physical circumstances mentioned above the affects prevent man from the thinking in the free way and being aware of the causes of the things. "This is that human freedom, which all boast that they possess, and which consists solely in the fact, that men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined". However, purely the release of affects allows man to get on the

In my view, the idea of dignity of man (understood as the idea of the ​​ dignity of the person) is the basis for the idea of ​​democracy and democratic state institutions, for the idea of law and guarantees the right of access to reliable information. Since the presence of this idea in the ​​community is also dependent on the individual right to autonomy, precisely in social life. The second basic — idea is autonomy according to which man can independently establish goals for his life and also independently select, leading to their completion, measures. Acceptance of this idea expresses that the Western society generally accepts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of December 10, 1948" Retrieved from documents/udhr/index.shtml#a1 , 25 December, 2010. 2  Lukes, S. (1990). Individualism. Basil Blackwell Ltd: Oxford, p.51. 1 

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road to truth. Man is free in Spinoza’s belief not merely that he is not stopped in planning but his direction — and is more — that man is free when he is possessor of the truth, it reaches from the highest knowledge-the knowledge of God. In my interpretation the best expression on idea of autonomy belongs to Sir Isaiah Berlin. In his work Two Concepts of Liberty, Berlin manifests the high rhetoric of the autonomous individual: "I wish my life and decisions to depend on myself, not on external forces of whatever kind. I wish to be the instrument of my own, not other men’s, acts of will. I wish to be a subject not an object; to be moved by reasons, by conscious purposes, which are my own, not by causes which affect me, as it were, from outside" .1 The idea of autonomy becomes a central value for the liberalism. The nineteen-century philosopher John Stuart Mill was aware of the threats the industrial society cause to the autonomous individual. Later authors have expressed a growing feeling of concern because of alienation and manipulation from the side of the bureaucratic state institutions and corporations which deprive individual autonomy, depriving less meaningful transforming cog in the mechanism of society. This view was enriched and sustained by the twentieth century thinkers Erich Fromm and David Riesman. When for the former man in industrial and market society was "dehumanized", adjusting their personality to the possibilities worrying about the possibility to be employed successfully in the market, for the later  —  who strengthens the Fromm’s concern  —  man’s freedom of choice was reduced to the dilemma whether to conform or not. Lukes several times in his book tries to learn the idea of au​​ tonomy is central for the morality "of modern Western civilization, and — as highlights —  it is absent or under stressed in others (such Berlin Isaiah (1969) on "Two Concept of Liberty", in Four Essays on Liberty .New York: Oxford University Press, p.131 1 


as many tribal moralities or that of orthodox communism in Eastern Europe today2 )" 3. It is a cornerstone element for the concept of individualism that holds the religious and socio-political aspects. However, in the contrast with the first unit-idea- the dignity of man — it is less general and overriding. The third basic-idea is an idea of privacy. This idea implies the existence of the areas of personal life, which man has the duty and right to treat as exclusively their own and to which other people may have access only with man’s consent. Lukes after Hannah Arendt reminds that the idea of the value of the private life was completely alien for the ancient Greece. The individual in ancient Greece was only a fully man if he participated in the life of the Polis. As Lukes underlines a private man in Greece was called an idiot. Another issue with the possibility of participation in the life of Polis was only available to free people, while the life of the slaves, the foreigners, the women was predominantly centered within the affairs of the private life, i.e. the household. Moreover, the realm of political and public life was a realization of man’s freedom and the symbol of the class position and the privileges appropriate to it. In later antiquity the problem of individual private life concerned the soul was described as the search for God. This aspect of idea of privacy constituted the subject of The Confessions by Saint Augustine. Augustine knew certainly works by Epicurus on happiness as the best aim of man’s life, i.e. private life, certainly also benefited from the design considerations of Mark Aurelius’ works, from the dilemmas haunted by Cesar-philosopher, who with difficulty reconciles his personal stoic-oriented views with the duties one must perform in public life. In turn, Augustine in frank and open manner describes the survival of the soul searching for God. In this respect, Augustine’ work is the first in Christianity tradition the description of life The word "today" must be addressed to the date of first publishing the book. 3  Lukes, S. (1990). Individualism. Basil Blackwell Ltd: Oxford, p.58 2 

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in the inner manner when man who is looking for true faith. According to Lukes, the idea of privacy present in Western culture is relatively not so old. As it was pointed out by the same author spreading widely this idea- belief that there is the specific sphere free from public interference- was tightly connected with the failures of liberalism. In liberalism " the boundaries of this private sphere lie, according to what principles they are to be drawn, whence interference derives and how it is to be checked"1 . This is liberalism that mostly contributed to the spread of the beliefs that private life is something quite natural and right for it to be respected in society2. The forth basic idea termed by Lukes is the idea of self-development. This idea was created in Romanticism. The idea of ​​self-realization implies that every human has the only unit of its proper strength, ability and obligation to develop them. Precisely this view is contained in the concept of Bildung, used by the early German Romantics. The first thought that every individual is unique uttered Rousseau in Les Confessions, where he wrote "I am made unlike anyone I have ever met; I will even venture to say that I am like no one in the whole world. I may be no better but at least I am different".3 The idea of B ​​ ildung is popularized in the works of Friedrich Schleiermacher. He declared that each entity represents all humanity in each other, if one develops his abilities and others do the same, so one contributes to the development of human species. When Wilhelm von Humboldt preached the similar ideas. In his opinion, the duty of every man is to allay their strength and ability in the most harmonious way. This is what he considered to be the highest ideal of a man. Karl Marx put the idea of self-development in political context. He claimed that in communism man will be free from the alienation and man will be endowed with the opportunity to develop his individual nature. Communism is a special kind of sociLukes, S. (1990). Individualism. Basil Blackwell Ltd: Oxford p.62 2  Ibid. 3  Rousseau, J.-J. (1947). Les Confessions, Paris,p.33. 1 

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ety where "Free individuality, based on the universal development of individuals and on their joint mastery over their communal, social productive powers and wealth"4. So also in the views of Karl Marx the idea of self-development emphasizes the uniqueness of every individual. As John Stuart Mill highlights selfdevelopment is a strategy for perfection of individual’s nature, it is the duty of every man as an end- in-itself. The fifth element of individualism Lukes labels an Abstract individual. This idea is characteristic feature of the Western thinking about man and society. Lukes traces out the tradition since Hobbes and later Kant, considering man abstractly as if being born with given interest, needs, aims, etc. With such an approach is to treat society as a construct created by interaction of individuals. Antithesis to this tradition formed the views of Marx, who undermined faith in the natural origin of individual, by presenting it as a product of social and underlining the role of state in the process of its formation.5 For Marx as Lukes writes the eighteen-century perception of man’s nature as independent from the society, obtaining natural rights is no longer valid and is false. Marx follows the development of human nature in history. In his opinion, it is formed in the process of social development and varies in different stages of the process: the first union of men is family, later clan, or enlarged family, appears, and as the highest form — a community, or an amalgamation of the clans. In all of these stages, man is co-operating with others this is because he depends on the goods produced by others. Moreover, for Marx man is not merely a social animal (in Aristotle’s terms a zoon politikon), man becomes an individual exclusively in and due to society. As Lukes stresses such grand nineteen-century thinkers as Hegel, Marx, Saint-Simon, Auguste Comte and the positivists tended to overcome the abstract vision of individual, and as result  —  what is explicitly Marx, K. (1953). Capital .p.76 Lukes, S. (1990). Individualism. Basil Blackwell Ltd: Oxford, p.62 4  5 


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visible in sociological thoughts — the concept of individual was linked with the social background. "The individual apart from the community is an abstraction"1. According to Stanislaw Zapasnik modern idea of "I" as a unique and autonomous consciousness center, subject of his own thoughts, feelings, and acts of will, is genetically derived from Christian ideas about the soul as the individual being. However, he argues that individualism is constituted by more ideas than those mentioned by Lukes. The quoted author differs from Lukes in the origin formed the idea of human dignity. It is true that Christianity shifted to European culture belief of the ancient Greeks in the special dignity of man in nature. The value of dignity entitled to man as a specie in its entirety and not the human body. This had no other value than social status and the corporation to which belonged this value and corresponding the rights2. Only at the end of the eighteenth century in the development of ideas that make up notion of individualism in Western cultures, there was a change of the concept of human dignity. It began to be interpreted as an inalienable value assigned to each human individual on the grounds that it is representative of the human species. Well, there is no doubt that without the idea of dignity as source of the inalienable rights of the human being, would not exist democracy, there would be no human rights, social and political institutions created in order to ensure the presence of this value in the life of society.3 In the United States, at the end 70s XX century, the ideas constituted for individualism associated with the autonomy of individuals contributed to the transformation not only in the sphere of freedom in politics and economic, but also in the sphere of ethos. They led to the crisis Protestant ethic work, Bradley, F. H. (1927) My Station and its Duties. In Ethical Studies. Oxford,p.171. 2  Zapaśnik , S. (2006) Walczący islam w Azji Centralnej: Problem Spoecznej Genezy Zjawisk. Wroclaw. 3  Tangad , O (2009) Przemiany ustrojowe w Mongolii a kategorie tradycyjnego myślenia w kulturze. (Political changes in Mongolia and the categories of traditional thinking in the culture). 1 


changing family models , the crisis of authority, etc.4 In Europe, individualism is different depending on historical terms. It is possible to meet even now in Europe people for whom the idea of ​​individualism is still an alien idea. The ideas constitutive for individualism developed differently in different countries depending on historical conditions. But everywhere the idea of human dignity, individual autonomy are reflected in legislation, judicial procedures, and social institutions, which increasingly emphasize the primacy of individual interests over the interest group, the right to choose the entirely own way of life, lifestyle, etc. It is worth however to mention that the voices of Western intellectuals warn against the dangers of deep changes in society caused by the development of individualism. Understanding the anxiety of the powers enjoyed by the people of the West allows them putting own interests above the public interest.5 Understanding the anxiety of the powers enjoyed by the people of the West allows them putting own interests above the public interest ideas of autonomy, dignity, privacy, individual self-fulfillment, all this is alien for Tajiks and other Asians. The representatives of Eastern culture otherwise rather would incline to such concept as dignity. The expectations of the respect from another is one of the most important aspects of Eastern man, but he demands respect in a society other than the European system of values. Dignity is understood as due to the respect, the age, and position held in society or in contact with the representatives of other ethnic groups with the conviction of the superiority precisely the group for whom who demonstrated affiliation to wear a head cover (tubeteika). However, human rights in Asia are interpreted as the right of groups rather than individuals. Yankelovich D.(1981) New rules. Searching for selffulfillment in a world turned upside down, New York 5  Tangad , O. (2009) Przemiany ustrojowe w Mongolii a kategorie tradycyjnego myślenia w kulturze (Political changes in Mongolia and the categories of traditional thinking in the culture 4 

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Meanwhile, observing the upbringing of children in Western societies, in my view, it can easily be seen that the accent is placed on the rights of children in the family rather on their responsibilities towards the family. This also applies to the behavior of adults who are demanding rights from the state but rarely remember that they have obligations towards the state. At this point I should begin to pay attention that Tajiks as well as other Asians treat children with great care and understanding. They do not scream and do not beat children. Children adapt to the behaviors of people received the attitude of other members of their family. They live in the neighborhood community where there is a control of their behavior. When children behave in not appropriate way other members of the community immediately notify the parents. This is because in Tajik culture is believed that parents are responsible for the behavior of the children. Tajik’s behavior in which they always try to preserve respect for another person begins in the family. Everybody has their place in the family. Parents have the highest status on this condition children must respect them. Respect for older people is one of the basic characteristic of Tajik culture. There is no rivalry between children and parents as well as between all members of the family. Particularly, the responsibility of all family members especially their mother, sisters is emphasized in the education of children. At the age of primary school children help the family, taking part in the performance of household duties, including in cases of physical hard work. Interestingly, but the idea of vision of individual as a more or less product of society, in other terms socialization, i.e. connections and communications with others is prone to the basic elements of collectivism.

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Collectivism Therefore it is pertinent to begin the discussion of the concept of collectivism. It seems to be an alternative —  or to say more a counter-concept  —  to individualism in origin. The described above  attitudes of Tajiks  towards family members are the consequence of  the presence  in the culture of  the Tajik such  categories  of thought  that prevent and makes difficult the penetration of the idea of individualism in society. In the case study of Tajik culture collectivism symbolizes the approach to view individual as unseparated part of society, its existence as being in the ontological sense cannot be separated from society. It is also well as being a moral individual is subordinate to the public. His moral duties, therefore, depend entirely on location in which he lives: town, village, community or a particular quarter, or street. These obligations are regarded as the duties inherited from generations, the duty of disobedience is severely condemned, putting man out of the community, and such situations in the past with regard to conditions of life in society were equal to the death. Man has no right to manifest autonomy as I mentioned above there is no idea of ​​autonomy in culture. The Tajik thinks as being totally immersed in the place where he is living, and consequently conducts in the same way. As a Greek in Ancient Greece mentally and locally was enrooted in polis, in this respect, the bearer of collectivistic type of mentality does not separate his own interests of others where he is living among, in a way he has sacrificed his interests and ambitions. Such kind is not alone in his life. In daily life exactly the others, his fellows typically help him to realize his wishes and interests. In Tajik society there is no place for private existence that Lukes defines as "an area within which the individual is or should left alone by others and able to do and think whatever he chooses — to pursue his own good in his own way, as Mill put it "1 , while regardless the ideal Lukes, S. (1990). Individualism. Basil Blackwell Ltd: Oxford, p.59. 1 


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of culture, individual interacts with others in the spirit of mutual help, spirit of solidarity and brotherhood. These ideals are also promoted by the religion of Islam. The first Muslim community- ummah1 —  was based on spirit of unity and mutual help. In the early centuries of Islam in society, the principle of unifying people was a belonging to one religion not to one kin or clan. Neighbor who shared the similar belief was treated as brother. Today these religious ideals are still alive, idea of bond with other people, built on the feelings that will include members of the immediate family. Together with calling a friend or a neighbor a brother the family relations are transmitted to the relations with friends or neighbors. I would like to enlarge the discussion on collectivism by turning to the discussion of the concept of conciliarity2. Henceforth, I incline to use this concept, instead of the synonymic row as togetherness, camaraderie, communal spirit in order to emphasize the religious idea uniting people as whole in one spiritual impulse corresponding to the common prayer in the church. A.S. Khomiakov, 19th century Russian Orthodox theologian, is considered by Horuhzy3 as the first to accentuate the significance of the concept in the context of Orthodox theology, to underline its multi-sidedness and contextual capacity to embrace the cornerstone of Russian nation, yet manifested by the Slavyanofils (taking its beginning from Pushkin’s letter to Chaadaev)4. More concretely, Khomiakov used the adjective Ummah is from Arabic ‫ ةمأ‬means community or nation but in the context of Islam the word ummah is used to mean commonwealth of the believers (ummat al-mu’minin), and thus the whole Muslim world. 2  The very term has interesting grammatical connotations: as religious term directly explaining the structure of the church it is collegiality, as a Christian term is conciliarism, as a philosophical term referring to the one of the hallmarks of Russian philosophy it is sobornost (verbatim from Russian language). 3  See Horuzhy S.S. article ИДЕЯ СОБОРНОСТИ: ЕЕ ПРАВОСЛАВНО-СЛАВЯНОФИЛЬСКИЕ ИСТОКИ И ЕЕ ПЕРСПЕКТИВЫ В СОВРЕМЕННОМ ПОСТСЕКУЛЯРНОМ МИРЕ uploads/2012/10/horuzhy_sobornost_2012.pdf 4  Horuzhy,S.S. (1994). Posle Pereryva. The Routes of Russian Philosophy. Alteya: Saint-Petesburg. 1 


of the concept conciliarity, and bestowed it with the explanatory purpose that this word is enough to embrace the essence of faith. As one of the definitions of conciliarity explicitly figures out such essential component as freedom: conciliarity is an identity of unity and freedom, manifested in the law of spiritual love. It turns that conciliarity is a theological principle organizing and inspiring, saturating and invigorating with spiritual love5. So, recalling in mind above mentioned definition of collectivism where for the individual the group identity, spirit of community, feeling of the helping hand of countryman, hence, adding the religious aspect is closer to the concept of conciliarity. The moment of unity in a symbolic sense or in act of common action is an essential concept for monotheistic religion, for religion units people under its auspices and guides towards good-willed actions. For instance, the spirit of unity is a cornerstone of Islam, the Muslims are encouraged to pray congregational prayer every Friday in mosque, helping brother in faith in the situation of need. In general terms, the image of Eastern culture is coined with the concept of collectivism. The individual has no identity other than group identities, basically identifying himself as a member of the family or community. Because of these conditions individual is dependent on families, neighborhoods and associations. Every individual trusts in his group decisions and the level of trust is very high within communities. It is usually assumed that "Asians tend to be more aware of the connections they have as members of their social groups, and therefore, they tend to be more conscious of the consequences of their actions on their members of their groups" 6. See Horuzhy S.S. article ИДЕЯ СОБОРНОСТИ: ЕЕ ПРАВОСЛАВНО-СЛАВЯНОФИЛЬСКИЕ ИСТОКИ И ЕЕ ПЕРСПЕКТИВЫ В СОВРЕМЕННОМ ПОСТСЕКУЛЯРНОМ МИРЕ 6  Liu Qingxue (2003). Understanding different cultural patterns or orientations between East and West. Shijiazhuang Mechanical Engineering College Hebei, China.p25. 5 

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Lack of such ideas as autonomy of the individual makes society very stable. Communities preserve tradition of the society, ethical and religious values. The most precious values are such values​​as honesty, justice and trust. They are permanent components of the ethos of the society because the consistency of the group depends on them. People in collectivist communities, in contrary to individualism, work and think not about themselves but about other members of community. According to Triandis, we can differentiate all cultures by the power of social strength, which gather individuals into social entities. Individualism puts the individual above the group, while collectivism emphasizes the value of "we" identity over "I" identity. Collectivistic individual thinks of themselves as a piece of community (family, community of neighbors, friends, traditional social institutions and etc.). Also his activities renounce the self-interest in favor of totally ordering behavior of his own people, duties and obligations of the community. Therefore, due to the fact that they have identity "we "the members may cooperate in achieving the common good of the community and complete the community duty1’’. For instance, Trice and Beyer describe collectivism as a feature of culture "belonging to a culture involves believing what others believe and doing as they do — at least part of time".2 The people in collectives or in communities learn everything from their family, neighbors, friends and their society where they are living in. They are trying to be like them because they are one of them. They have followed their traditions, ethics, customs and religions. The mentioned above authors give as example from Asian immigrants in the United States. They have accepted American style of organizational culture, however, in their relations in Vahid, A. Z; Jayum A& Lee Y (2010) The Epistemology of the Concept of Civil Society in the West and Iranian Interpretations. Canadian Social Science Vol.6 No.4 2  Trice, H. M., Beyer, J. M.(1993) The Cultures of Work Organizations. Prentice Hall, p.5 1 

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their environment they preferred to retain the values of their own national culture.3 Triandis accentuates that the ties connecting people in collectivist cultures are more sustainable rather than in individualistic cultures. The mainly vital connections in collectivist cultures are vertical (relation between parents —  children), while in individualistic the most important are horizontal (spousespouse, friend-friend). In collectivist cultures there are more control of parents in relation to children and interdependence between them regulated by norms of community. Parents have to bring up and educate their children according to the society’s rule and they have to learn them traditions and moral obligations of the community. Otherwise they will not be respected among community members4. As I wrote above, in individualistic cultures in the process of education the pressure puts on responsibilities of parents and not the reverse. Parents try to introduce to the child the concept of freedom of individual in a way not underlining the limits of the concept of freedom that later to make him infantile in adulthood. This is one of the reasons why in many cases, people from mixed marriages of these two cultures face a number of difficulties. Especially, if man from collectivist culture marries woman from an individualistic. For a man with collectivist relationship of parents with son will be stronger than spouse-spouse bond however in case of individualistic it will be on the contrary. Definitedly, first of all it depends on personality of the spouses but in most cases such mixed couples have sufficient problems. We can observe the increasing number of divorces among them.5 In collectivist cultures, we cannot meet as much as in individualistic cultures the develAlkhazraji, K. M., Gardner III, W. L.(1997) The acculturation of immigrants to U.S. organizations. Management Communication Quarterly, p. 217-265. 4  Triands, Bontempo, Villareal,Asal &Luca ( 1988) Individualism and collectivism :Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Self Ingroup Relationships .Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.Vol.54, No 2, 323-338 5  Ibid 3 


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opment of the idea of privacy. Typically, the importance is assigned on people more than on mission and the overturn happens in individualistic cultures. In collectivist cultures it is a custom that once having met someone in a secluded place to stop and talk with him. In Muslim tradition, for example asking a stranger about unknown place to go, it is accepted to greet him and ask about his health and family. In individualistic cultures by the way of such contacts is more distance and independence. In individualistic cultures people frequently have greater skills than persons in collectivistic cultures, joining and exiting from new social groups. They can make friends easy, but relationships of friends are rarely intimate in true sense. They are friends until they are doing together their business and often easily they can forget each other after that. In collectivistic cultures people have fewer skills in finding new friends, but as an unwritten law it is that friend for them is real friend for life long relationship. For instance, in Muslim countries it is expected to call friends as brothers. In collectivistic cultures people perceive friends as a part of their family. Eastern cultures usually stress the group harmony. The standard of collective life does not allow to the emergence of conflicts between members of the group. One person of community tries avoiding conflict with other members at all. Some forms of competition between people are extremely undesirable in collective societies. However, if the conflicts occur, they are solved by the head of the family or the head of the community who not independently but with old people of their community solves and decides everything about issues of community members. In collectivistic Central Asian type of community the sufficient opinion comes from Aksakal, this is because if person is old, he has more respect and authority in the society. Above it the appearance of conflicts undermines such important for the community values ​​as trust, family honor, protection of which is a highest importance.


It is necessary to note that in traditional communities such values as respect and trust for parents, family and for the community prevent procreation in individual belief that he has any interests distinct from the interest of group. Person is not thinking about himself and his profit. The motive for personal actions hence rotates around a good for family and a good for community. For example, the earnings of Tajik migrant workers in Russia are not shared equally among individuals, but dependent on the number of children in the family. Individual tries to do everything for his family and for his community. Every profit is common in such society. In individualistic cultures the situation is different. Person is independent and he represents always and everywhere exclusively himself. Respect for the autonomy does not allow condemning him if he works with selfish motivation — until harms in this way to others  —  he is still always guided by self-interest. Individual thinks about his career and future perspectives independently from group. As Nemeth notes in individualistic cultures, people try to be sovereign from the community and even the conditions in which there is reduced pressure from the ambient individuals they keep and maintain their vision in the face of opposition.1 To sum up, as I tried to prove individualism and collectivism are mutually exclusive terms. Individualism is Western idea and, in my opinion, is a cultural phenomenon not existing outside Western world. Collectivism, in my interpretation, embraces so to say Eastern style of life. Through all his history Eastern people lived in communities. Community life is an essential part of their tradition and religion. It is important to note that in Tajikistan individualism is a new phenomenon and it is not accepted by Tajik society. From the beginning of history the Tajiks lived together in communities. Traditional institutions played and are still playing an important role in Tajik society. The Tajiks cannot imagine life without living together. It is their way of life. Nemeth, C. (1985). Dissent, group processes and creativity. In E. Lawler (Ed.), Advances in group processes theory and research (pp. 57– 75). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. 1 

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According to Tajik tradition to be a human or to have status "humanity" (Odamiyat) person has to serve for his society. He has to prove that he is one of members of his community. He must follow religious rituals, common tradition and morality. The Tajiks have such saying from Tajik Persian classical literature: Odami Odam nabinad, az kujo odam shawad ? Sham’ agar otash nabinad, az kujo rawshan shawad?

5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11.


(If man does not see a man, how he become a real man?) (If candle does not see fire, how does it gives light?) These lines show clearly and simple the significance of collectivistic life for individual. To be a man in Tajik society person must learn everything from another person of his community. He learns the moral duties and the important things for humanity in relation with them. The person has to respect all community laws. From childhood they teach them to intercourse with other members of the community and this and how much they depend on their life from the help of others. Thus, they were accustomed in such community and they prefer such way of life. The Tajiks have big families and members of these families all living together. However, because of the relation linking them with neighbors, relatives and all other members of the community they are all like one family in community. Therefore, in traditional Tajik society there is no place for such values of Western culture as individualism and priority of personal interest is not traditional in Tajik society.

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Alkhazraji, K. M., Gardner III, W. L.(1997) The acculturation of immigrants to U.S. organizations. Management Communication Quarterly, p. 217-265. Berlin I. (1969). Two Concept of Liberty. In Four Essays on Liberty. New York: Oxford University Press


Birnbaum P.& Leca J.(1990) Individualism. Theories and methods. Clarendon Press-Oxford. Bradley, F. H. (1927) My Station and its Duties. In Ethical Studies. Oxford


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Edward Said (1978) Orientalism. New York Gawlikowski, K. (1999) Indywidualizm a kolektywizm. ( Individualism and colectivism ) Warszawa, IFIS PAN George C. Lodge and Ezra F. Vogel (1987) Ideology and National Competitiveness: An Analysis of Nine Countries Hall, E. T., & Hall, M. R., 1990. Understanding Cultural Differences: German, French and Americans, Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press. Kipling, R.(1940) The Ballad of East and West. In Rudyard Kipling’s Verse. Definitive edition: London Kymlicka, (1993) Two Models of Pluralism and Tolerance "in: David Heyd (editor), „Toleration. An Elusive Virtue", Princeton: Princeton University Press. Liu Qingxue (2003). Understanding different cultural patterns or orientations between East and West. Shijiazhuang Mechanical Engineering College Hebei, China Lukes, S. (1990). Individualism. Basil Blackwell Ltd: Oxford Marx, K. (1953) Capital Nemeth, C. (1985). Dissent, group processes and creativity. In E. Lawler (Ed.), Advances in group processes theory and research (pp. 57– 75). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. Oyserman, D., Heather M. Coon & Kemmelmeier, M (2002) Rethinking Individualism and Collectivism: Rousseau (1947) Les Confessions, Paris,p.33 Reykowski, R. (1999) (Kolektywizm i indywidualizm jako kategorie opisu zmian społecznych i mentalności) Collectivism and individualism as a description of the categories of social change and the mentality. In Indywidualizm a Kolektywizm. IFiS PAN, Warszawa. Evaluation of Theoretical Assumptions and MetaAnalyses. University of Michigan Sangren, P.S. (1997) Myth, Gender and Subjectivity, National Tsing Hua University, Hsin-chu (Taiwan) Tangad , O. (2009) Przemiany ustrojowe w Mongolii a kategorie tradycyjnego myślenia w kulturze (Political changes in Mongolia and the categories of traditional thinking in the culture Triands, Bontempo, Villareal,Asal &Luca (1988) Individualism and collectivism :Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Self Ingroup Relationships .Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.Vol.54, No 2, 323338 Trice, H. M., Beyer, J. M.(1993) The Cultures of Work Organizations. Prentice Hall, p.5 Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of December 10, 1948" Retrieved from , 25 December, 2010. Vahid, A. Z; Jayum A& Lee Y (2010) The Epistemology of the Concept of Civil Society in the West and Iranian Interpretations. Canadian Social Science Vol.6 No.4 Yankelovich D.(1981) New rules. Searching for self-fulfillment in a world turned upside down, New York. Zapaśnik , S. (2006) Walczący islam w Azji Centralnej: Problem Społecznej Genezy Zjawisk. Wrocław (Fighting Islam in Central Asia: The problem of Genesis and Social Phenomena)


LIBERAL SALAFISM: WHEN FUNDAMENTALISM MEETS WESTERN IMPERIALISM The entire MENA region have been witnessing massive political conversions. One of the most visible conversions of all has been the rise of the jihadi movements during the transitional periods in states hit by the socalled Arab Spring and then diffusing slowly across the globe. As a result, Marwa Osman MA —  PhD Candidate located in Islamic fundamentalism mutated and expanded massively. Islamic fundamentalism which is referred to by many Middle Eastern Marxists as "political Islam",1 is in essence a political movement composed of groups and organizations which, while Islamic theology is their cover, aspire to state power. Dogmatically, political Islam is said to have embraced both historically progressive and reactionary positions leading to two kinds of fundamentalism: the liberal fundamentalism and Takfiri (pertaining to excommunication) fundamentalism. Liberal fundamentalism being the position which asserts that Islamic tenets are compatible with modern values such as freedom and democracy, while Takfiri Fundamentalism which advocates a "revolt against history" in which the early phase of Islamic society is glorified and adherents aim to turn back the wheel of history to re-establish this supposedly golden age even if it means shedding blood to get there.

Beirut, Lebanon. University Lecturer. Member of the Blue Peace Media Network and political commentator on issues of the Middle East on several international and regional media outlets including RT and PressTV.

This has led to many liberal left analyses of political Islam falling into one of two camps. The first is to see political Islam as thoroughly reactionary, leading to the conclusion that the Islamists, like fascists, must be stopped at any cost. The second position is to see Islamism as an inherently progressive movement of those who are oppressed by colonialism and imperialism. However, to study how this fundamentalism came to grow as such, one needs to study the history which have led to such a situation.

Origin of Islamic Fundamentalism In the late fifteenth century, after the European Renaissance, a period of stagnation began for most of the Muslim world as the ruling elites tried to conserve their power and privileges. The autocratic regimes in For example, Mansoor Hekmat of the Worker Communist Party of Iran argues that "Islamic fundamentalism" is a calculated right-wing term. The imperialist powers and their media, he states, use the notion of fundamentalism "in order to separate the terrorist and anti-Western veins of this Islamic movement from its pro-Western and conciliatory branches. They call the anti-Western sections fundamentalist and they attack fundamentalism so they can maintain political Islam as a whole, which for the moment is an irreplaceable foundation of anti-socialist and right-wing rule in the region. The anti-Western currents, however, are not necessarily the fanatic and rigid factions ... The most fundamentalist sections of this movement, such as the Taliban and Saudi Arabia, are the closest friends of the West." Links, No. 20, January-April 2002. 1 


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the Islamic countries had become fetters on social development, and the advances in science and culture came to a halt. Meanwhile, in Europe, capitalist manufacture was laying the basis for modern industry and the eventual colonization of most of the Muslim world by the British and French ruling classes. As a result, the Islamic revivalists argued that colonization had been possible only because the original Islamic values had been corrupted by the worldly pursuits of the great medieval empires. Regeneration was therefore possible only by reviving the founding spirit of Islam1. The degree to which this revival should attempt to recreate a mythical past or incorporate modern industry and science was, and remains, a subject of debate among Islamic leaders. Lisa Macdonald in her article about "The Nature of Islamic Fundamentalism" argues that "there were many anti-colonial movements based on Islamic revivalism in the first half of the twentieth century", stating that "the combined and uneven development of capitalism in the context of imperialism has set the basic framework for political Islam’s development over the last 100 years. It has developed in Third World societies traumatized by the impact of capitalist development—first by their conquest by imperialism and then by the transformation of internal social relations accompanying the rise of an indigenous capitalist class and the formation of an independent capitalist state".2 Though direct colonial rule had largely banished, the imperialist powers still used their superior military and economic power to influence the economic and social policies of the formally independent Third World states so as to ensure that these countries can continue to be exploited by the transnational corporations based in the imperialist countries. R.P. Mitchell, The Society of the Muslim Brothers (London, 1969), p.vii. 2  Lisa Macdonald: The nature of Islamic fundamentalism (nr.21, maj-aug. 2002, s.67-86). 1 

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Internally, while some industrialization proceeded in these poor countries after World War II, largely in relation to the extraction and processing of the Middle East’s largest single resource, oil, large sectors of traditional industry (small workshops, family businesses) remain, and there was no corresponding development of social infrastructure (drinking water, sewerage, electricity, housing, education, health facilities). Land reform turned some peasants into modern capitalist farmers, but many more were displaced, leaving them homeless and having to eke out a living in the large informal economy of the cities. Political Islam, as seen explained by Macdonald, while apparently offering a solution to these contradictions for predominantly Muslim Third World societies, does not find its support equally in all sections of those societies. It has tended to get its mass support mainly from the petty bourgeoisie: landowners, small manufacturers and shopkeepers who are under constantly increasing pressure from emerging local capitalists and finance capital, peasants who are being forced into urban areas and unemployment by capitalist farming—all those who fear, or are, losing out as the capitalist modernization of their society proceeds. The imperial powers of the West forged new forms of semi-colonial and semi-feudal state structures in these countries that diminished the position of many clerics and other traditional feudal power relations. These forces took a major leap in the last couple decades, as many were consciously built up and promoted by the U.S. in opposition to the Soviet Union’s influence in the region3. In her article "U.S. Imperialism, Islamic Fundamentalism… and the Need for Another Way", Sunsara Taylor states that this leap was also greatly accelerated by the effects of a post-Mao coup in China which ended China as an inspiring force for revolutionary change in the world, along with the end of the national liberation struggle in Vietnam. Islamic fundamentalism, in effect, Sunsara Taylor. "U.S. Imperialism, Islamic Fundamentalism…and the Need for Another Way". June 10,2007. 3 


Liberal Salafism: When Fundamentalism meets Western Imperialism

stepped into a kind of secular nationalist, revolutionary, and communist "leadership vacuum" on a world level. These Western imperial powers, and namely U.S., Taylor argues has had a contradictory relationship with the Islamic Fundamentalist movements. Backing them when it has served their interests and attempting to crush them when these same forces have turned on U.S. interests or come into conflict with it. The decline of British colonialism and the rise of neo-colonialism in this strategic region has often come wrapped in the garb of "modernity" imposed from above, with the free market driving millions of peasants off the land, hurling them into the urban shantytowns and refugee camps. The penetration of U.S. investment and neo-colonial control also disrupted and undermined the traditional semi-feudal power centers and the position of the clerics in these societies. The ripping up of the old social fabric and the chaos, impoverishment, and wrenching apart and refashioning of dependent economies pliable to more thorough and vicious exploitation and plunder of these countries also led to the development of ideological (and not just economic) responses to the imposition of imperialism from the "West"1. All this, according to Taylor, has fed the rise of Islamic parties and movements that have challenged the forms of rule and alliances that U.S. imperialism has struck in particular countries and most often these political religious movements have reflected the interests of this outmoded divisions of clerics and feudal forces whose position has been disrupted. Their reactionary ideology and political agendas do not represent the interests of the desperate and displaced peasantry and the impoverished and rebellious urban masses they have recruited as foot-soldiers. While Lisa Macdonald also found that many of the Islamist groups, despite their anti-imperialist rhetoric, fell into the lap of imperialism for their survival. This brought them into 1 



alliance with most of the regimes in the region, which were heavily dependent on help from the US to crush the mass revolts they faced. The Islamic fundamentalists’ vigilante groups became a major tool of reaction and counter-revolution for the right-wing states in participation with imperialism as seen in the below timeline. In Indonesia, Sarekat-e-Islam provided many of the foot soldiers in the coup against the left nationalist President Sukarno, wiping out the Communist Party and murdering as many as two million leftists. In Egypt and Syria, Islamist organizations like Akhwan-ul-Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood) were used to destabilize left-wing regimes. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat protected the radical Islamists in the 1970s to neutralize the left-leaning Nasserites and the Communists, and later to recruit to the anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan. Jordan’s King Hussein, backed by the US, often relied on Islamists’ support in combating left opponents, and Yemen’s President Abdallah Saleh was supported by Islamists in clashes with Marxists in South Yemen. In Bangladesh (then East Bengal), during the 1971 independence war, the Jama’at-e-Islam, Al-Shams and Al-Badar groups played a similar role in league with the Pakistani army, murdering hundreds of thousands of leftists leading the mass upsurge there. In Pakistan, during the dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq, Jama’at-e-Islami was the main tool of imperialism and the Pakistani state to curb anti-dictatorship leftists. The process reached its peak during the 1980s, when thousands of Islamists were trained and sent to Afghanistan to try to overthrow the Soviet-backed People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) government, which took power after the 1978 revolution there. Afghanistan is estimated to be the largest covert CIA operation involving Islamic fundamentalists (in 1987, US military assistance to the mujahidin reached $700 million—more

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than Pakistan received—much of it sent via Saudi Arabia to keep the extent of US support hidden)1. In the mid-1990s, the US cozied up to the anti-left Sudanese regime of General Omar Bashir, the product of a coup in 1989 by Bashir and Sheikh Hassan Turabi against the democratically elected government. Shortly afterwards, Bashir allowed the CIA to open offices in Sudan. In 1978, the US National Security Council set up, in collaboration with the CIA and the Saudi and Turkish intelligence services, Islamist propaganda networks intended to infiltrate the nationalist Muslim organizations in the Soviet republics of central Asia. Large quantities of weapons and Qurans printed in the Gulf States were introduced into Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan2. Likewise, the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, under successive Israeli governments, discreetly supported the Muslim Brotherhood in the Occupied Territories in the 1960s and 1970s, while the Brotherhood was exclusively attacking Yassar Arafat’s left nationalist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)3. However, this support ended during the first intifada, begun in 1987, when the Brotherhood gave birth to Hamas, which merged the jihad with the struggle for the liberation of Palestine from Israel.

Effect of Fundamentalism on Intellectuals and Public Opinion Within the past decade or so, there has been a strong resurgence and revival of Islam. Muslim societies are being built centered on Islamic values. Today’s Islam seems to be battling modernism. While Muslims have constantly struggled to join the breach between Yacov Ben Efrat,"Afghan boomerang", Challenge, No. 70, November 9, 2001. 2  Lisa Macdonald: The nature of Islamic fundamentalism (nr.21, maj-aug. 2002, s.67-86). 3  Eric Rouleau, "Politics in the name of the prophet", Le Monde Diplomatique, November 2001. 1 

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faith and practice, some are now integrating Western ideas with the foundation of Islam. The modernist attempt to reform Islamic values has led to a split of those preferring the adoption of Western values and "those gravitating toward pre-modernist revivalism"4. As the threat of Western infiltration into Muslim societies continued, some reacted with a purification program, using the slogan "back to Islam." Thus, creating the "Muslim Brotherhood." There have been numerous acts of terrorism performed in the name of Islamic Fundamentalism. These individuals have claimed "Holy Wars" on western civilization, in an attempt to abolish its growing influence and return Islam to its natural state. Hugh Scott argues in his piece" War & Peace: The Middle East in Transition" that it is through similar actions of the "Holy Wars" that cast a negative shadow on all that is good with Islamic fundamentalism. While many Muslims feel ashamed and disgraced by the violent behavior of Islamic fundamentalists, they believe that Westerners intentionally deem all Muslims evil5. Central to the stereotype accompanying Islamic fundamentalism, is the press which creates a biased viewpoint and influences the public. Like most aspects of media portraying current events, there is a particular focus on unfavorable aspects of society. Rarely is there an article in a newspaper describing the good of various communities, nations, ethnicities, or creeds. Rather, the attention surrounds violent happenings such as arson, murder, and war. Scott continues that "the public is so interested in confrontation that it fails to recognize the beauty of the world and those who inhabit it". There are countless magazines dedicated to portraying the latest scandals and conflicts around the world. The press’ obsession with controversy constantly demonizes Muslims Rajashekar, Paul. "Islamic: Fundamentalism": Reviewing a Stereotype. Ecumenical Review v41, n1. January 1989: 64. 5  Hugh Scott. "War & Peace: The Middle East in Transition". Stanford University. 4 


Liberal Salafism: When Fundamentalism meets Western Imperialism

as a whole through depicting terrorism and failing to illustrate their many admirable characteristics. The western intellectuals and public then reads of the violence from a select group "representing" Islam and forms their own opinions based on the given information. Moreover, society expresses its disapproval of Islam which not only affects the actions of representatives in the government, but proves detrimental to the relations between various ethnicities in the community.

Fundamentalism and Democracy Islamic fundamentalism grew as an anti-democratic regional force three decades ago with the primary aim of being a revivalist or fundamentalist tradition that aimed to restore Islam to its original state unpolluted by western cultural influences. However, according to some scholars, there are three factors that contributed to the rise of the compatibility between Islamic fundamentalism and democracy. Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr in his book "The Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power"1 described three factors that lead Islamic fundamentalism to become more open to democracy. First, the military dynamics in which countries that have been led by authoritarian rulers or military regimes suppressed expression of both Islamic fundamentalism and Muslims. The ability of Islamic fundamentalism to survive depended on its ability to adapt under authoritarian regimes. Conversely, under a democratic regime, Islamic fundamentalism needs to promote rather than impose its views. Under a democratic regime, Islamic fundamentalism movement is challenged to offer good ideas to win the hearts and minds of the society rather than to force their views. Second is the economic dynamic. Evidence shows there is a positive correlation between democracy and economic prosperity. Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr. Islamic Leviathan. Islam and the Making of State Power. August 2001. 1 


Nasr argues that higher economic development is associated with a higher democracy index. In democratic countries like Turkey or Indonesia, Islamic fundamentalism as an ideology needs to provide similar economic benefit to the society. In democracy, partial integration of Islamic values has occurred, marked by, among other things, sharia banking. Third, the Islamic fundamentalism is open to democracy as part of efforts to lure voters. Islamic fundamentalism proponents such as the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Aceh Party in Aceh coexist in the political system as a form of political legitimacy. In Palestine, Hamas as an Islamic fundamentalist advocate entered the political race and embraced the political movement provided by democracy. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood embodied their ideological values by entering the political contest as the Justice and Freedom Party (Hizb Alurriya wa Al-’Adala). All of the above Islamic fundamentalism parties have partially won electoral contests. As a political force, the next challenge for the parties is to prove to their constituents whether they can provide better policies. Nasr continues that "they have to show that the purity of Islam as an ideology can bring improvement in the society. The emergence of Islamic fundamentalism is an accumulation of bad policies and bad governance. Modernization and globalization through military dynamic, economic dynamic as well as competition for voters, have contributed enormously to the Islamic fundamentalism’s alignment with democracy". Nevertheless, religious tolerance, women’s rights and respect for the minorities remain the biggest challenges for the Islamic fundamentalism movement to succeed in a democratic system. At the end of the day, Muslims have to adapt themselves to the democratization process. For Muslims, Islam is an absolute truth, yet democracy as a relative truth can be compatible with Islam.

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Some Western researchers also support the Islamist claim that parliamentary democracy and representative elections are not only compatible with Islamic law, but that Islam actually encourages democracy. They do this in one of two ways: either they twist definitions to make them fit the apparatuses of Islamic government—terms such as democracy become relative—or they bend the reality of life in Muslim countries to fit their theories. Among the best known advocates of the idea that Islam both is compatible and encourages democracy is John L. Esposito, founding director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and the author or editor of more than thirty books about Islam and Islamist movements. Esposito and his various co-authors build their arguments upon tendentious assumptions and platitudes such as "democracy has many and varied meanings;"1 "every culture will mold an independent model of democratic government;"2 and "there can develop a religious democracy."3 He argues that "Islamic movements have internalized the democratic discourse through the concepts of shura [consultation], ijma’ [consensus], and ijtihad [independent interpretive judgment]"4 and concludes that democracy already exists in the Muslim world, John L. Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 211-2; John O. Voll and John L. Esposito, Islam and Democracy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 18-21. 2  Esposito, The Islamic Threat, pp. 211-2; Voll and Esposito, Islam and Democracy, pp. 18-21. 3  Ibid. 4  John L. Esposito and James Piscatory, "Democratization and Islam," Middle East Journal, Summer 1991, p. 434; John O. Voll and John L. Esposito "Islam’s Democratic Essence," Middle East Quarterly, Sept. 1994, pp. 7-8; Voll and Esposito, Islam and Democracy, pp. 27-30, 186; Esposito and Voll, "Islam and Democracy"; Esposito, The Islamic Threat, pp. 49-50; John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 45, 83, 142-8. 1 

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"whether the word democracy is used or not."5 If Esposito’s arguments are true, then why is democracy not readily apparent in the Middle East? Freedom House regularly ranks Arab countries as among the least democratic anywhere. 6 Esposito adopts Said’s belief that Western scholarship and standards are inherently biased and lambastes both scholars who pass such judgments without experience with Islamic movements7 and those who have a "secular bias" toward Islam. 8

Liberal Salafism Focusing on Islamic Fundamentalism, one major dogma which originates from such a radicalism is the Salafi Movement. The doctrine can be summed up as taking "a fundamentalist approach to Islam, emulating the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers—al-salaf al-salih, the ‘pious forefathers’... They reject religious innovation, or bida, and support the implementation of sharia (Islamic law)."9 As opposed to the traditionalist Salafism, academics and historians have used the term "Salafism" to also denote modernists, "a school of thought which surfaced in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to the spread of European ideas" and "sought to expose the roots of modernity within Muslim civilization.10" They are also known John L. Esposito, What Everybody Needs to Know about Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 159-61; John L. Esposito, "Contemporary Islam," in John L. Esposito, ed., The Oxford History of Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 675-80; Esposito and Piscatory, "Democratization and Islam," p. 440. 6  "Table of Independent Countries 2006," Freedom in the World, 2006 (Washington, D.C.: Freedom House, 2006). 7  Esposito, The Islamic Threat, pp. 203-4. 8  John L. Esposito, "The Secular Bias of Scholars," The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 26, 1993. 9  "Salafism: Politics and the puritanical". The Economist. 27 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 10  Kepel, Gilles (2006). Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 5 


Liberal Salafism: When Fundamentalism meets Western Imperialism

as Modernist Salafism1 which Liberal Salafis is one of its schools. However contemporary Salafis follow "literal, traditional […] injunctions of the sacred texts", looking to Ibn Taymiyyah rather than the "somewhat freewheeling interpretation" of 19th century figures Muhammad Abduh, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, and Rashid Rida2. The origins of contemporary Salafism in the modernist "Salafi Movement" of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh is noted by some, while others say Islamic Modernism only influenced contemporary Salafism3. However, the former notion has been rejected by majority4. According to Quintan Wiktorowicz: "There has been some confusion in recent years because both the Islamic modernists (Liberals) and the contemporary Salafis referred to themselves as al-salafiyya, leading some observers to erroneously conclude a common ideological lineage. The earlier salafiyya (modernists), however, were predominantly rationalist Asharis5." Inspired by Islamic liberals, groups like Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat-e-Islami etc. are called Salafis in this context. Muslim Brotherhood include the term salafi in the "About Us" section of its website6. Liberal Salafism has however been recently criticized by Khaled Abou El Fadl of the UCLA School of Law. El Fadl argues that the Salafi methodology "drifted into stifling apologetics" by the mid-20th century, a reaction against "anxiety" to "render Islam compatible with modernity," by its leaders earlier in the century7. He attacks those who state "any meritorious or worthwhile modern institutions were first invented and realized by Muslims". He argues Salafism Modernist Salafism from the 20th Century to the Present. 2  Jihad By Gilles Kepel, Anthony F. Roberts. 2006-02-24. ISBN 9781-84511-257-8. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 3  Understanding the Origins of Wahhabism and Salafism By: Trevor Stanley, Terrorism Monitor, Volume 3 Issue: 14|July 15, 2005. 4  Anatomy of the Salafi Movement By QUINTAN WIKTOROWICZ, Washington, D.C., USA Page-212. 5  Ibid. 6 Archived 30 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine. 7  Abou El Fadl, Khaled, The Great Theft, Harper San Francisco, 2005, p. 77. 1 


the result was that "an artificial sense of confidence and an intellectual lethargy" developed, according to Abou El Fadl, "that took neither the Islamic tradition nor" the challenges of the modern world "very seriously8." Based on Abu’l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi’s criticism of Athari-Hanbalis, Egyptian Muslim scholar Muhammad Abu Zahra, a Professor of Islamic law at Cairo University deduced that the basis of Salafi aqidah is located somewhere between ta’tili and tashbih9. According to the As-Sunnah Foundation of America, the Salafi and Wahhabi movements are strongly opposed by a long list of Sunni scholars10. The Saudi government has been criticized for damaging Islamic heritage of thousands of years in Saudi Arabia. For example, there has been some controversy that the expansion projects of the mosque and Mecca itself are causing harm to early Islamic heritage. Many ancient buildings, some more than a thousand years old, have been demolished to make room not only for the expansion of the Masjid al-Haram, but for new malls and hotels11. Though Salafis, when told about this, were as opposed to it as other Muslims12. However, he Salafi movement has been linked by Marc Sageman to some terrorist groups around the world, like Al-Qaeda13. Some liberal Salafis see themselves as returning to the principles of the early Ummah and to the ethical and pluralistic intent of their scripture, the Quran. They distance themselves from some traditional and less liberal interpretations of Islamic law which they regard as culturally based and without universal applicability. The reform movement uses monotheism (tawhid) "as an organizing principle for human society Abou El Fadl, pp. 52–56, 78–9. Scholar of renown: Muhammad Abu Zahrah. Ed. Adil Salahi for Arab News. Published Wednesday, 14 November 2001; accessed Sunday 9 June 2013. 10  As-Sunnah Foundation of America, Wahhabism: Understanding the Roots and Role Models of Islamic Extremism by Zubair Qamar. 11  Taylor, Jerome (24 September 2011). "Mecca for the rich: Islam’s holiest site turning into Vegas". The Independent (London). 12  The Independent, Why don’t more Muslims speak out against the wanton destruction of Mecca’s holy sites?, by Jerome Taylor, 28 October 2012. 13  Third public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Statement of Marc Sageman to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 9 July 2003. 8  9 

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and the basis of religious knowledge, history, metaphysics, aesthetics, and ethics, as well as social, economic and world order".1

Imperial basis of Liberal Salafism In the last few years, Salafis have been receiving an unusual amount of press due to their growing involvement in politics. Usually opponents of the regimes they live under but for different reasons than those of the protesters who call for social justice, they were for a short period of time beginning to use the Arab Spring to their advantage, yet ultimately failed to continue doing so. Salafi groups for once became increasingly active in the run-up to elections in Egypt, following the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak. On a darker note, a Salafi group called Tawheed and Jihad claimed responsibility for the brutal kidnapping and murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza on April 15, 2011, claiming he had spread "corruption". Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has also blamed the recent escalating unrest in his country on Salafi groups, claiming that their "objective is to spread terror across Syria". To understanding how extreme Salafism works, we should research the takfiri ideology of this doctrine which is also known as "Shirk". Shirk requires a little theological background. There are two types of shirk: Shirk-e-Akbar, and Shirke-Asghar. Shirk-e-Akbar is major and refers to open polytheism. It usually comprises associating anyone with Allah (awj) and/or divine attributes. This is in violation of tawheed, the Islamic principle that Allah (awj) has oneness and unity. Shirk-e-Asghar, in contrast, is comparatively minor and is concerned with hidden polytheism. This form of shirk occurs when the violator acknowledges tawheed, but engages in thoughts and behaviors that do not reflect this belief. Both are at play among many Salafi movements. Bilal Ahmad wrote in "Salafism and Politics" that "it is important to remember that Salafism is not a uniform Islamic phenomenon. While some Salafists are intent on opposing capitalist globalization, others fully embrace its most recent 1 

"Tawhid". Retrieved 22 March 2015.

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incarnation in economic neoliberalism."2Which opened the door widely for Wahhabism to pick what fits it from Salafism and transform it into a Takfiri ideology against all who oppose its views. Dating back to the works of Adam Smith, much of laissez-faire capitalism has been predicated on a belief that an unrestrained market will either solve, or greatly alleviate, social ills. This rhetoric is often taken to be an absolute, with market liberalism focusing on a philosophy that unconscious economic forces will organically direct human societies towards prosperity3. Smith’s idea of the invisible hand turns the marketplace into a poorly-understood supernatural force that must be given primacy for the betterment of civilization. Smith continues to be read widely because, despite new, and conflicting historical circumstances, neoliberal discussions of market primacy still rely heavily on an idea of liberating Smith’s market forces Shirk comes into play because there is a thin line between Smith’s hand, and the hand of Allah. Neoliberalism amounts to a quasi-religious elevation of market primacy. Trusting the market to organically address social problems is not very different from believing that the will of Allah can be relied upon to confront these same grievances. The market is assigned supernatural aspects that give it an almost divine superiority over material reality, which are then bowed towards in a system of global capitalism. The same capitalism that harbored, supported and armed the Wahhabi movements founded in the Arabian Peninsula while also allowing it to spread its radicalized Salafi movement. Often considered "quasi namesakes" and although both within the Hanbali school4, it is believed that the common sense analysis of Bilal Ahmad. "Salafism and Politics". Souciant Magazine online. Published Jun 24, 2013. 3  Melba Padilla Maggay. "Rise and Walk: Faith and Culture in Empowering the Poor". Religion and Development online. 4  The Hanbali School developed from the eleventh century in the Abbasid Caliphate (Baghdad Caliphate). This Sunni current is characterized by the rigor, traditionalism and literalism of its religious doctrine. The Hanbali School declined during the sixteenth century under the Ottoman influence in Iraq and Syria, but has found a favorable ground in Arabia (today Saudi Arabia) to develop in the form of Wahhabism. 2 


Liberal Salafism: When Fundamentalism meets Western Imperialism

Wahhabism and Salafism, which reduces the phenomenon to a fundamentalist and literalist Sunni Islam, is too simplistic. The policy department at the European Parliament found that this interpretation "cannot account for the specificity of Wahhabism which merges, within the meaning of the first term, with the private interests and policies of the dynasty and the apparatus of the Saudi state not able to restore the complexity of the various currents which make up the Salafist galaxy".1 This includes quietist movements and detached from classical political issues and others which were organized in political parties and took advantage of opportunities offered, for example, by the recent upheavals in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. Not to mention terrorist organizations that are actively involved in the bloodiest episodes of armed conflict that reverberates the Muslim world. Only after gutting the meaning of democracy as the concept developed and derived from Plato and Aristotle in ancient Greece through Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in eighteenth century America, can Esposito and his fellow travelers advance theories of the compatibility of Islamism and democracy.

Subsiding the Salafi Violence It is of use to consider the networks of influence of the Salafists and Wahhabis by highlighting their fundamentalism and their inability and/or refusal to adapt to modernity. If this perception is undoubtedly accurate when one attempts to study their religious and philosophical messages, it is much less or absolutely wrong for it when one uses an approach focused on the effectiveness of their strategies and tactics of penetrations into the political sphere. It is necessary to distinguish between the means implemented by the Salafis, Wahhabis and their western imperialist supporters of the objective pursued by the puritanical tendencies deliberately distorting Sunni Islam. As the policy department at the European Parliament puts it "the charitable and educational initiatives, be they private or public, are ultimately only tools for the penetration of populations likely to embrace their religious European Parliament. "Salafist/wahhabite financial support to educational, social and religious institutions". Directorate general for external policies. Policy Department. 1 


doctrine in the short or medium term and more or less heavily. The remarkable flexibility of the Salafis and Wahhabis, their ability to adapt is demonstrated once one observes their successful attempts to penetrate societies that ultimately shared only the majority presence of populations adhering to Sunni Islam. The weakness of the state apparatus or the precariousness of the economies are of course elements that can play favorably but are certainly not sufficient to account for the Salafi and Wahhabi influence." According to Helena Norberg-Hodge in her "Globalization and Terror piece"2: "the best long-term strategy to stop the spread of ethnic and religious violence is to reverse the policies that now promote growth-at-any-cost development. Today, free trade treaties—one of the prime engines of globalization—are pressuring governments to invest in ever larger-scale infrastructures and to subsidize giant, mobile corporations to the detriment of millions of smaller local and national enterprises". Helena goes on about how the creation of a global monoculture in the image of the West has proven disastrous on many counts, "none more important than the violence it does to cultures that must be pulled apart to accommodate the process"3. When that violence spins out of control, it should remind us of the heavy cost of leveling the world’s diverse multitude of social and economic systems, many of which are better at sustainably meeting people’s needs than is the system that aims to replace them. The broad "caliphate" ISIS advertises may appeal to a historic sense of pan-Arab solidarity and to Islam’s Golden Age. But at bottom its aim is to carve out a capitalist state for itself, enriched by local oil revenues, to rule over the populace with a fanatical anti-worker, anti-woman sectarian ideology. Thus there is certainly nothing progressive in the ISIS Salafi dogma and politics. Helena Norberg-Hodge. "Globalization and Terror: The Violent Effects of Capitalist Culture". 3  Ibid. 2 

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YEMEN’S POLITICAL FUTURE — HOW SAUDI ARABIA AMBITIONS TO CRIMINALIZE RESISTANCE For all the ink which has dropped from journalists’ pens, and for all the many words which have been spoken from analysts’ lips we have yet to really learn of Yemen’s war  —  this war which since March 2015 has Catherin Shakdam Director of Programs at the Shafaqna claimed over 10,000 lives, displaced several millions, maimed tens of Institute for Middle Eastern Studies. thousands, and put over 1 million children to endure starvation.1 Political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. A uthor of Arabia’s Rising  —  Under The Banner Of The First Imam.

Yemen’s war has not just been mislabelled, it has been mis-told, mis-analysed, and above all mis-calculated —  among other things. To put in simple terms, the public has been grossly misinformed, misdirected and overall lied to, so that Saudi Arabia could exert control over the media and political narrative. I would like to make clear that everything you have read so far, and everything which will follow is based on facts — not fiction, not opinions, but cold hard facts. I ambition here to hold a mirror to Yemen’s war and anticipate what fallouts, repercussions and dynamics this conflict will ultimately carry for Yemen, and the broader region. Before I do this however I will need to reset your political clock to zero, and reframe Yemen political reality away from the fiction Saudi Arabia has weaved so that it could project, justify, and rationalize its own geopolitical agenda.2 Do remember this word: agenda. Yemen was dragged into war because a nation refused to play into the agenda Saudi Arabia outlined, and defined. Yemen has suffered a brutal war of aggression for its people dared imagine themselves free and independent. Yemen’s war, the way it has been told, the way it has been reported on and the way it has been analysed so far has always been from an outsider’s perspective. In many ways Yemen has been talked over, rather than talked about — never mind talked to. Allow me to reclaim Yemen’s narrative and tell Yemen’s war from a Yemeni perspective. As I walk you through the events which led to this war of economic and political attrition, I will attempt to determine trends and pinpoint what developments we could, and should expect will take place across the Arabian Peninsula, and to a greater extent the region altogether. 1  2 

Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies research

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Yemen’s political future — How Saudi Arabia ambitions to criminalize Resistance

Genesis Saudi Arabia has been at war with Yemen long before its grand coalition of allies decided to unilaterally wage a vengeful military campaign against this poorest nation of Southern Arabia. Yemen has battled against Saudi Arabia’s own brand of imperialism long before March 25, 2015 came knocking against it borders — quite literally one might add. An analysis of Yemen’s political history tells us that Yemen’s misfortune against Wahhabi Saudi Arabia began the very moment its people rose against the tyrant of the time — Imam Muhammad al-Badr, to proclaim themselves a free folk in 1962.1 Interestingly enough Saudi Arabia was then on the Imam’s side, even though his rule was an affirmation of a tradition different from that of Saudi Arabia’s. Back then, Zaidism was not yet the enemy  —  or rather, Wahhabism had found in the nationalism expressed by pan-Arabism a greater, and more immediate contender to its authority, hence its determination to eradicate it. It is important to look at Yemen from a regional standpoint. Events in Yemen cannot be analyzed as standalones  —  whatever trends have moved within Yemen, whatever ideas or political persuasions the nation has carried, entertained and followed need to be considered within a regional framework. Whether or not we care to recognize it, Yemen is a child of Arabia; it sits a living political entity — a product of its people’s will. Pan-Arabism2 as it were, has a lot to do with what is happening to Yemen today. And while the ideology did in fact recede since the 1960s, the political independence, and sovereignty it promised did not. In fact, I would argue that Yemen’s Resistance movement — which you may know under its colloquial name: the Houthis, revived this sleeping dragon; only this time nationalism came to be expressed through Shia Islam’s most sacred principle: Resistance against oppression. military/world/war/yemen.htm 2  Pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism: the continuing debate, Tawfic Farah 1 


Speaking on the death of pan-Arabism Professor Emeritus James Jankowski from the University of Colorado made incredibly insightful comments. He noted: "As a political movement, pan-Arabism has receded since the 1960s. Just as the context of the post– World War II decades provided the necessary medium for its earlier flourishing, so changed conditions since the 1960s have contributed to pan-Arabism’s fading. The gradual consolidation of the power and legitimacy of what were initially artificial Arab states; the end of overt imperialist domination, thereby undercutting much of the reason for inter-Arab solidarity; the growing acceptance of the reality of Israel; the increased clout of the Arab oil monarchies, regimes apprehensive about what Arab unity might mean for them; not least the growth of the rival transnational ideology of Islamism, many of whose spokesmen view Arab nationalism as an alien, Westerninspired concept designed to subvert Muslim unity: all these developments of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s have worked against significant movement toward Arab political unity." Back in 1962, when Yemen was still an abusive monarchy, Riyadh was only too happy to "protect" it from the evil grip of pan-Arabism, and the political emancipation it promised. Today, because Yemen finally embraced its right to political self-determination the kingdom has chosen to rain death on the sovereign nation, arguing political restoration to rationalize its desperate pursuit for control. Another fact to consider is that back in 1962 Iran 1979 Islamic Revolution had not yet happened. Political bias aside, one cannot deny that Iran’s ouster of the Shah completely, and forever changed all geopolitical parameters. As pan-Arabism died suffocated by covert imperialism, drowned in Arab monarchies’ petrodollars, Iran anchored itself in Resistance, reclaiming Shia Islam as THE legitimate source of power. Saudi Arabia declared war on Yemen in March 2015 to prevent another Arab nation to embrace Resistance as the affirmation of Yemen’s national sovereignty and popular legitimacy.

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Wahhabism declared war on Zaidism1 because it recognized the inherent freedom Shia Islam not only offers but guarantees, as opposed to the feudalism and political enslavement Wahhabism preaches. With this brand new perspective in mind I will ask you to reconsider the events which led to March 25, 2015. Little could Yemenis have suspected then —  1962, that their claim for self-governance against the Imamate2 would prompt the kingdom to actively seek their enslavement. As pan-Arabism rose a giant against monarchies in the Greater Middle East — a new political dawn on the back of the broken bones of imperialism, Saudi Arabia recognized in Yemen both the key and the cornerstone to its ambitious hegemonic future. Symmetrically Yemen carried within the seeds of the kingdom’s destruction  —  a ticking geo-political bomb of sort. It is important to remember that if Yemen stands today a broken shell of a country, a petri dish for all things radicals, and a poster child for "failed state", it is because Riyadh made it so. Yemen’s misfortune, its crippling poverty and diseased institutions are the products of decades of latent colonialism. Hussain Mousavi, a political analyst noted in an interview with the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies: "The institutional history of post-Imamate Yemen has been misconstrued. Although Yemen defines itself still as a republic, political power remains rooted in tribalism, and nepotism — both the attributes of Arab monarchies. To see Yemen through a "republican" lense, is missing Yemen’s realpolitik. I would argue that Yemen has very much functioned as tribal monarchy, where real power has been held by the tribes, and not the people — a set-up which is eerily reminiscent of that of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and even Jordan. Yemen always was a thousand_years_in_Yemen_A_Brief_sketch_ of_The_Zaidi_Imamate_from_897_to_1970 1  2 

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pretense republic, to prevent any REAL populist political ambitions." If the kingdom was ever to reign all mighty over Arabia, unruly Yemen —  this one geostrategic jewel — would have to be tamed to the crown of al-Saud. "The geopolitical importance of Yemen cannot be ignored. The country controls entry into the Red Sea (towards the Suez Canal) and the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which although less important than the Strait of Hormuz, is the point of passage for oil and gas on its way to Europe," wrote3 Alain Gresh in April 2015 in a report published for The New Arab. He added, "Stability in Yemen is also a vital strategic goal for Saudi Arabia. The late King Abdulaziz famously told his sons: "What is good for you and what is bad for you comes from Yemen."" In this bitter battle for hegemonic control Yemen has been a lamb brought to the slaughter, a playground for a newly evolved form of asymmetrical imperialism  —  one which has relied on proxies to carry its will, while muddying the political waters4 to hide its hand: control, through the establishment of an energy monopoly. Saudi Arabia’s agenda in Yemen is simple in that it is absolutely egocentric! Saudi Arabia needs Yemen if it is to ever achieve control: socio-political control, control over natural resources, geo-military control, economic control, and of course religious superiority. Riyadh’ success remains dependent on its ability to bring Yemen to heel and kneel. Understand this and everything else will more or less fall into place. The only agenda the kingdom EVER had in Yemen was a colonial one, an imperial one. Yemen was never meant as a buoyant democracy … And while Yemen did in fact manage to reinvent itself a republic among a sea of comment/2015/4/5/a-tangle-of-conflictsand-geopolitical-ambitions-in-yemen 4 3 


Yemen’s political future — How Saudi Arabia ambitions to criminalize Resistance

absolutist monarchies, its institutions were so severely infiltrated, and set up for both political and economic feudality, that its republican claims were but an institutional mirage hiding behind the reality of tribalism. Yemen’s present lies in the understanding of its past, and those dynamics which were set in motion long ago. With a symmetry which does not lack a certain poetry, it appears that Yemen’s true liberation from the shackles of feudalism —  as expressed by Saudi Arabia imperialism, would come by way of the Houthis  —  a tribe of northern Yemen which history is link to the Imamate. Hailing from northern Sa’ada in Yemen Highlands, the Houthis are first and foremost a tribal faction which loyalty remains forever attached to al-Houthi clan, the custodian of a religious heritage few have been able to comprehend, let alone encompass. Sheikh Abdel-Malek al-Houthi stands not a mere tribal leader over his tribesmen, he is northern Yemen’s religious leader, and he is together Yemen’s past and its future — a bridge in between traditions and a desire to rise state institutions rooted in popular legitimacy. And though many have seen in Sheikh alHouthi an ambitious leader in search of a fief, it needs to understood that his ambitions lie far beyond the political. His house stands above the political fray, the Custodian of an Islamic religious tradition which stretches back to the birth of Islam. While it cannot be denied that many within the Resistance movement continue to serve very selfish ambitions: whether political or pecuniary, Seyyed al-Houthi is rooting for Yemen to affirm itself by embracing and reaffirming the very tradition Wahhabism has worked to annihilate. Unlike Saudi Arabia which speaks a radicalism which should freeze the spine of even the most cold-blooded, and cynical of analyst, Zaidism proclaims pluralism, freedom of choice  —  the very principles democracy leans on.


Looking at those dynamics it is difficult to understand why the world has been so intent on denying Yemen the courtesy of its own liberation against the tyranny of radicalism. It is revival Seyyed Abdel Malek al-Houthi is after, not political diktat. While I will circle back to this through my writing I would like to make clear that the weight of the religious in Yemen’s history is of utmost importance. And I am not just referring to Wahhabism — or as mainstream media like to call it: Islamic radicalism. If there is a war being waged against Yemen and its people, there is another conflict, more insidiouswhich has been waged against its religious identity: Zaidism. Because Zaidism, like all other expressions of Shia Islam essentially, and absolutely stand in rejection of any, and all forms of absolutism, Wahhabist Saudi Arabia has worked, ambitioned and plotted to lay it waste. Behind the glitz and political glam the kingdom has so diligently projected onto the world hides a need to enslave all. Should Yemen fall, Riyadh would rise a titan over the world oil route, wielding energy security in the face of the stealthiest of military power. Bearing in mind that it was Saudi Arabia which inspired the rise of Terror, through the promotion of Takfirism1  —  the foundation upon which Wahhabism has rested upon and thrived on, I would argue that world powers need stand with Yemen’s Resistance, and not the kingdom. If not out of respect for its popular will, at least out of self- preservation.

Yemen, a history lesson It is now 1918 and the formerly grand and powerful Ottoman Empire is breathing its last. As inner tensions and wars have eroded the empire, the Ottomans withdrew from Yemen —  a territory which had proven un al-qaeda/basics/takfirism 1 

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bending and unyielding to the will of the Sultan. Although an Ottoman colony on paper, Yemen was never exactly a loyal vassal … a reality the Ottomans had learnt to contend with for the sake of geopolitical supremacy. Since Yemen could not be conquered the Ottomans entered into an alliance with the Imams of Yemen, thus ensuring that Arabia would be contained away from the influence of another super-power: Persia (modern day Iran).

rialism was still openly flaunted as a political norm.

As WW1 ended, Yemen witnessed the departure of the Ottomans. Free from foreign diktat, Imam Yahya took control of the country (northern Yemen). He would remain as Imam of Yemen (king) until his death in 1948. During his rule, Yemen joined the Arab League (1945) and the United Nations (1947). Imam Yahya’s rule was fraught with political opposition — his reign would end in blood as he was assassinated in a failed coup attempt against his Imamate. It is his son Ahmad, who took over until his death in 1962.

On 19 September 1962, Imam Ahmed bin Yahya died and was succeeded by his son, Imam Mohammed al-Badr. A week later, a rebellion of revolutionary forces led by the army overthrew the new Imam and proclaimed the Yemen Arab Republic. Following his overthrow, Imam al-Badr managed to escape from Sana’a, the capital, and, with other members of the royal family, rallied the tribes in the northern part of the country. With financial and material support from external sources, the royalists fought a fierce guerrilla campaign against the republican forces. The revolutionary Government accused Saudi Arabia of harbouring and encouraging Yemeni royalists, and threatened to carry the war into Saudi Arabian territory.

Imam Ahmad’s rule would be one of repression, and violent oppression — the desperate attempt of a reigning house to grab hold of power despite thinning popular support, and legitimacy. As we delve into Yemen’s political history it is important to remember that no governing system can ever truly hold if not rooted in popular support. Whether a republic, or a monarchy, no political system can be sustained without a degree of compliance. Ahmad’s rule became known for its totalitarianism, tension with the British over their presence in south Yemen, and pressure to support the Arab nationalist regime of Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser. The United Arab Republic (Egypt) had had a special relationship with Yemen in the past. In March 1958, Yemen joined it to form the United Arab States, but this association was dissolved in December 1961, shortly after Syria seceded from the United Arab Republic. Interestingly much of today’s issues: territorial, and geo-political can be traced back to pre-Republic Yemen, at a time when impe-

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Even then the seaport of Aden was a point of contentious, with the Imam of Yemen arguing the city was legally part of its territory, and should therefore be returned to his dominion. A claim the British were only too keen to deny due to the geo-strategic advantage and commercial vantage point the seaport offered the Empire.

Riyadh’s meddling in Yemen’s affairs had begun … The horrors and bloodshed Yemen has been put through serves a testament to a long overdrawn race for control — a pursuit which has grown exponentially across the decades, acting a mirror to Yemen’s intrinsic geostrategic worth. If Yemen is poor, unruly, and grossly under-developed that it is not to say that its lands do not hide immense potential. Many experts, among whom Marwa Osman, Lecturer at LIU University in Lebanon, would argue that Yemen’s failure to launch was engineered to keep it under tight Saudi patronage. "Yemen stands a victim in a race for power the public still remains unaware of. If a monarchichal Yemen fitted within al-Saud plans for grandeur, in that it would have not offered any form of political challenge to the House


Yemen’s political future — How Saudi Arabia ambitions to criminalize Resistance

of Saud, a free and independent Yemen was never going to be tolerated … especially one which could have followed in the footsteps of the Islamic Revolution," Osman said in an interview. The role of Iran’s Islamic revolution here is not to be understood from a religious standpoint, but from one of popular emancipation, and resistance against imperialism. While Iran reinvented its institutions on the basis of Shia Islam, its core values are universally shared: social-justice, equality before the rule of law, popular sovereignty, civil liberties and human rights. Labelled an institutional chimera on account its rise caused imperialists many upsets, Iran’s Islamic Republic was never offered the courtesy of the truth … but that would be the subject of another discussion. Should Yemen had been allowed to reach full economic and political maturity, Saudi Arabia would have likely been eclipsed as THE regional superpower. There is more to Yemen than meets the eye. Maybe one day soon we will learn to push passed our collective arrogance and see this one nation’s potential. Faced with the loss of his kingdom, Imam alBadr slammed Egypt for its "betrayal", accusing President Nasser of fomenting a grand plot of destabilization. Egypt denied the charge. Still, at the beginning of October, large numbers of United Arab Republic forces were dispatched to Yemen at the request of the revolutionary Government to assist the republican forces in their fight against the royalists. Whether or not Egypt did in fact planned al-Badr’s deposition to open a new Pan-Arab front at the heart of Arabia, Cairo nevertheless ended up supporting Yemen’s revolutionaries against what it saw as an impediment to Arabs’ emancipation from imperialism, and covert colonialism. The new Government was recognized by the United Arab Republic on 29 September and


by the Soviet Union the next day, but other major Powers with interests in the area, including the United Kingdom and the United States, withheld action on the question of recognition. The revolution was supported by Egypt who supplied troops and supplies, while al-Badr was supported by Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The newly emergent forces representing republicanism and social progress were concentrated in the major cities, while the monarchist, reactionary, and theocratic royalists launched a successful counterrevolution from the countryside with the support of the rural population. The proximate cause of the conflict was the arrival of U.A.R. Egyptian troops in Yemen to support a palace coup by republican revolutionists on the night of 26 September 1962. Saudi Arabia, fearing the revolutionary upsurge on its borders, reacted by sending supplies and money to the pro-royalist forces behind the deposed Imam Muhammad al-Badr, who led the royalist counter-revolutionists. From the republican standpoint, Saudi assistance (never in the form of troops) constituted interference in the affairs of the Yemen. From the Saudi standpoint, the U.A.R. military presence on the Arabian Peninsula constituted a threat to its monarchy and its oil fields. The belief was that the U.A.R. sought to extend the Yemeni revolution to all of southern Arabia and bring about the collapse of the Federation of South Arabia, as it was then called. In the early months of 1963, the conflict was intensified on all fronts. The total Egyptian forces rose from 12,000 to an estimated 28,000, with a sharp increase of Russian and Soviet bloc personnel. While the U.A.R. started to withdraw its forces in the early days of May 1963, the ships and planes that ferried troops to Egypt invariably returned with replacements in systematic rotation. Consequently, there was no net reduction of Egyptian forces in the Yemen, nor did Saudi Arabia fully terminate its aid to the royalists. The British government endeavoured, not wholly successfully, to discourage Aden-based operations in support of the Yemeni royalists.

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The British mercenaries fighting with the royalists were "a private enterprise." The presence of an Imam in Yemen was essential to both the Zaidis and Shafeis. In the absence of an Imam as temporal-spiritual head of Yemen, by early 1964 the people were staying away from Friday prayers. While the Imam did not have to be drawn from the Hamid aL-Din family, no other family qualified for the position had sufficient stature or the appropriate personality. The British Government was "not necessarily anxious" to restore the Imamate, believing that the Yemeni consensus might favour such a development. Interesting how time can change alliances but never ambitions. It is the Houthis, the heirs many have argued of the Imamate, who today have been labelled the designated enemies, while President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and his loyalists have been portrayed as the carrier of institutional legitimacy. While roles might appear reversed, a closer look actually reveal how very symmetrical today’s war is from 1962. In an 01 April 1964 letter to the President of the UN Security Council Yemen charged that the United Kingdom had committed more than 40 acts of aggression against it since September 1962, culminating in the air attack against Harib on March 28. A British letter of March 28 stated that the attack had been launched to protect the South Arabian Federation after a series of Yemeni air and ground attacks during the month of March. The Security Council convened on April 2 to consider the charges and counter-charges. The United Nations Yemen Observation Mission UNYOM (July 1963-September 1964) was established in July 1963 to observe and certify the implementation of the disengagement agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republic. The tasks of UNYOM were limited strictly to observing, certifying and reporting in connection with the intention of Saudi Arabia to end activities in support of the royalists in Yemen and the intention of Egypt to withdraw its troops

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from that country. In his report dated 3 May 1964, the Secretary-General stated that there was no progress in troop reduction towards the implementation of the disengagement agreement and that no actual end of the fighting appeared to be in sight. The mandate of UNYOM ended on 4 September 1964 and its personnel and equipment were withdrawn. There had been a substantial reduction in the strength of the Egyptian forces in Yemen but it seemed that the withdrawal was a reflection of the improvement in the situation of the Yemeni republican forces rather than the beginning of a phased withdrawal in the sense of the agreement. There were also indications that the Yemeni royalists had continued to receive military supplies from external sources. Egyptian efforts to defeat the royalist forces and destroy their civilian support bases proved particularly difficult in the mountainous terrain of northern Yemen. Frustrated by the successful royalist guerrilla tactics, Egypt employed chemical weapons they had developed in the 1950s and obtained from the Soviet Union; defensive equipment was also obtained from the Soviets. Egypt was the first Arab state to use chemical weapons. Despite having signed the 1925 Geneva Convention, which outlawed the use of chemical weapons, Egypt employed chloroacetophenone tear gas, mustard blistering gas, phosgene, and nerve agents repeatedly from 1963 to 1967. Egypt denied ever using chemical warfare during its support of the new republican forces, but early accounts and evidence of chemical warfare came from journalists in the area. On June 8, 1963, Soviet-made Egyptian air force airplanes dropped chloroacetophenone tear gas bombs on numerous royalist villages south of Sa’ada, near Saudi Arabia. Egypt allegedly used the bombs to terrorize or kill not only the village inhabitants but also the royalists hiding in caves and tunnels.


Yemen’s political future — How Saudi Arabia ambitions to criminalize Resistance

A cease-fire took effect 16 September 1964. The Soviets impressed upon Nasser the need to come to terms with King Faisal, given the Soviet desire to avoid strengthening the U.S. position in Saudi Arabia. In the face of an increased danger of armed uprising in Egypt, immediate relief from the Yemen problem appeared necessary. To the Russians, preservation of the existing U.A.R. regime was a pressing matter in light of their decline in Iraq and Syria. If for their own sake alone they had to save Nasser and the Yemen, peace was the first step. Under the terms of the cease fire, withdrawal of U.A.R military forces were to begin as of 23 November 1965 and be completed by 23 September 1966. The result was a shattering military and diplomatic setback to the U.A.R. Throughout this continued military and political stalemate, the split between the pro-Egyptian and moderate republicans had widened and intensified. The revolutionary republican forces split into opposing factions over the issue of Egyptian support. This dispute led to the ouster of the ruling junta in 1966 and its replacement by a pro-Egypt regime. The change of government was followed by a sweeping and bloody purge of the Yemeni armed forces and the administration. In January 1967 a poison gas attack occurred on the Yemeni village of Kitaf. This was the first use of nerve agents in combat. During this air raid, bombs were dropped upwind of the town and produced a grey-green cloud that drifted over the village. According to newspaper accounts, 95% of the population up to 2 km downwind of the impact site died within 10 to 50 minutes of the attack. All the animals in the area also died. The estimated total human casualties numbered more than 200. Another reported attack took place on the town of Gahar in May 1967, killing 75 inhabitants. Additional attacks occurred that same month on the villages of Gabas, Hofal, Gadr, and Gadafa, killing over 243 occupants. In addition, two villages in Saudi Arabia near the Yemen border were bombed with chemical weapons.


The Yemen conflict reached its decisive turning point with the outbreak of war between Israel and the U.A.R. on 5 June 1967. Egypt was reported to have withdrawn 15,000 men, 150 tanks, and all its heavy artillery from the Yemen during the week of 5-12 June. Estimates of the number of Egyptian troops in Yemen before this withdrawal varied between 40,000 and 70,000. The conflict lasted until 1967 when Egyptian forces withdrew, Saudi aid to the royalists was halted, and the opposing leaders reached an agreement. The withdrawal was supervised by Morocco, Iraq, and the Sudan and was completed on 15 December 1967. The arrangement was vigorously denounced by President Salal, who shortly thereafter was ousted in a republican coup. The new state was called the Yemen Arab Republic, and Saudi Arabia recognized the new republic. Subsequently the Soviet Union carried out a massive emergency military airlift to the Yemen, including for the first time the use of Soviet Air Force pilots for combat missions. The effect of this has been to deny a royalist victory and motivate Saudi Arabia’s resumption of military aid to the royalist tribesmen. The Yemen appeared attractive to Soviet plans because of its location on the Red Sea opposite east Africa, about a thousand miles south of Cairo. The Soviet construction of a modern jet airport for the Yemen was viewed by the U.S. with natural concern, for the USSR could use it to develop access to east Africa, improve air connections with India, and open shorter routes across Africa to Latin America. The U.S. and Great Britain were in fundamental disagreement as to the scope and nature of the problem. Yemen civil war officially ended with the Compromise of 1970, a political agreement between the republican and royalist factions. A republican government was formed in Yemen, incorporating members from the royalist faction but not the royal family. Then began a covert colonial campaign against the budding Republic. Since Yemen

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could not be broken through war, Saudi Arabia reverted to a more insidious form of control — utilizing engineered chaos to better rise a master over Arabia. Wahhabism in this equation would come to claim its pound of flesh.

Yemen political past, and the future it wants to carve

If you have bear with me so far you must have now realised that Yemen is pretty much dealing today with dynamics which were put in motions decades ago — even more so since it is a people’s freedom Saudi Arabia has tried to derail so that it could better imprint its violent theocratic model on the last free bastion of Southern Arabia. Yemen’s political history is a complicated one — one filled with tales of wannabe conquests, tribalism, and an insistent yearning for independence. If Yemen has yet to be set free from the yoke of imperial powers, that is not to say that its people lack the ambition. This war actually stands a brilliant testimony of Yemenis’ desire to self-govern, and reclaim control over not just their land but themselves. For great many decades now Yemen has never ever been truly allowed to set its own political course. Instead, it has been coerced, co-opted and betrayed so that foreign powers could manifest their bidding  —  to hell with Yemenis and their sovereignty! In this game of thrones Saudi Arabia of course has played centre-stage  —  a corrosive political entity against the aspiring republic. But if Riyadh has stood a parasite to Yemen’s freedom and national sovereignty — together a malignant suffocating hand, and a deathly plague, the kingdom found much support in its Western allies. You only have to take one good look at Saudi Arabia’s war room to understand which powers have engineered Yemen’s demise from the very beginning.

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By King Salman’s own admission, both the United States and the United Kingdom have assisted the kingdom in its military aggression against Yemen —  offering weapons, intelligence, and expertise to their ally. The real question here would be to serve whose agenda? And though many experts have attempted to weigh in in terms of an answer, I’m afraid is not that simple. Former Conservative cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell told the Telegraph: "Britain’s humanitarian and foreign policy are pursuing different ends. "The Yemenis are being pulverized by the Saudis while we try to get aid in through ports, which are being blockaded and while British ordnance is being dropped there." I remember how in an interview I conducted with George Galloway for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s website earlier this year (2016), the veteran politician insisted that Western powers are playing Riyadh as a proxy — an imperial outpost of sort in their pursuit of global control. While his comments make perfect sense in that they fit within a narrative of global imperialism … or as I like to call it hyper capitalism, I believe Saudi Arabia is actively working to outmatch its makers, to become THE one political master-puppet. Money after all speaks louder than military might those days. But I’ll get back to that later. …Allow me to stray away from Yemen for a second to delve into a concept which I believe is key to understanding most of the conflicts, and tensions playing out today: globalism. Well it’s actually more than that — globalism after all is merely the expression of capitalism gone wild, a degenerate form of imperialism … and vice versa. It was actually Lenin who back in 1916 defined imperialism as the highest expression of capitalism. I would venture and say that Mr Lenin was right on the money. Yemen is of course a perfect example of capitalism gone wrong.


Yemen’s political future — How Saudi Arabia ambitions to criminalize Resistance

As Phil Gasper explained in his writings: "LENIN DID not claim that there was no imperialism before the late 19th century. As he explicitly noted, "Colonial policy and imperialism existed before the latest stage of capitalism, and even before capitalism. Rome, founded on slavery, pursued a colonial policy and practiced imperialism." But, Lenin added: "general" arguments about imperialism, which ignore, or put into the background the fundamental difference of social-economic systems, inevitably degenerate into absolutely empty banalities, or into grandiloquent comparisons like "Greater Rome and Greater Britain. "Even the colonial policy of capitalism in its previous stages is essentially different from the colonial policy of finance capital. What Lenin was attempting to explain was the extremely virulent form of imperialism that began to emerge in the late 19th century, resulting in the scramble for Africa from the 1880s, and the increasing tensions between the major powers that eventually led to world war.In calling it a stage of capitalism, Lenin was saying that the new imperialism was fundamentally an economic phenomenon."

One of the reasons Saudi Arabia hates Yemen so much is that its Islam, is not that preached by Riyadh.

At its very core Yemen’s war is an imperial war, a neo-colonial conflict which seeks the enslavement of a nation for the sake of control. Of course there is a sinister, darker eugenics agenda to this war which experts have for far too long refused to admit to. I am not referring here to the infamous Sunni-Shia divide … this divide only exists in Riyadh’s mind, a fabrication it concocted to shield itself from the political, social and religious emancipation Shia Islam inherently offers, while rationalizing its own extremism: Wahhabism.

"These arms sales should never have been approved in the first place. The Saudi regime has an appalling human rights record and always has done."

Let us remember that if the world has come to abhor and fear Islam it is because its expression has been tainted by the abomination which is Wahhabism — this ideology of Takfir which requires all infidels to die by the sword of its righteous crusaders. An apocalyptic dogma based on bloodshed, Wahhabism calls for the murder of all those who do not bow to its will, most of all Muslims.


And while Riyadh’s ambitions in Yemen are anchored in capitalism, certain actors in the kingdom have pursued a very Wahhabist agenda, adding a sinister sectarian undertone to al-Saud military pursuits. A report in January 2016 by the Campaign against Arms Trade (CAAT) found the UK has received £5.6 billion ($8.19 billion) for arms deals with Saudi Arabia, since Cameron became prime minister. Andrew Smith of Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) warned that British weapons are central to the military campaign that has "killed thousands of people, destroyed vital infrastructure and inflamed tensions in the region." "The UK has been complicit in the destruction by continuing to support airstrikes and provide arms, despite strong and increasing evidence that war crimes are being committed," he said.

In an interview with the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, David Mepham, Director of Human Rights Watch UK, noted: "Human Rights Watch has put out numerous reports about what the Saudis are up to in Yemen — that the British are working hand in glove with the Saudis, helping them, enhancing their capacity to prosecute this war that has led to the death of so many civilians. I think it’s deeply regrettable and unacceptable." Regrettable is one way to put it! All horrors aside why would so many nations spent so much fire power and political efforts on one distant impoverished nation, if not to fulfil a predetermined agenda? Think about it for a second. Why would Saudi Arabia deploy such energy against Yemen if not in the pursuit of

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something bigger than political restoration? It would be foolish to believe that former President Hadi is worth billions of dollars in military expenditure.

Yemen was never meant to be free … Yemen was always meant to yield to those powers which ambition to exploit its riches, and turn its land into a source of profit.

No? Not convinced! Consider this then — back in 2012 Yemen called upon the international community to cauterize its financial haemorrhage with an injection of $9 — 10 billion. "Yemen needs a lot of money to rebuild, to achieve prosperity, to eliminate poverty, unemployment and thereby also terrorism. It needs billions of dollars, tens of billions of dollars," former Prime Minister Mohammed Basindwa1 told the press back in January 2012 ahead of a Friends of Yemen meeting.

If 1962 marked a profound political and institutional shift in Yemen’s history, 1994 would come to seal its future with Saudi Arabia, in that former President Ali Abdullah Saleh allowed for religious colonialism to take place in exchange for a military victory against South Yemen, thus asserting his presidency on political feudalism.

Was Yemen helped out of poverty and instability? Was Yemen ever offered a real way out of the mess its rich oil neighbours plunged it into,

What you see today unfold in Yemen is a grand push-back against Saudi Arabia’s imperialism.

while they basked in a false sense of security? The answer to that question is: of course not! With Yemen rendered impotent, all Persian Gulf monarchies could sleep soundly on their crowns. The second however Yemen demonstrated any real desire to reclaim its land, reclaim its resources, and reclaim its free will, an entire coalition came charging against its borders. I don’t recall the same passion "to save Yemen" back in 2012, back when Yemen was allegedly transitioning to democracy. Yemen was never transitioning to anything. Yemen was merely witnessing a change of the guards. Power was still safely holed up in Riyadh, subservient to the financial largesse the kingdom has always been so willing to extend in exchange for political servitude. Just as the House of Saud played its part in bringing the Ottoman Empire down, thus allowing for Britain to manifest its dreams of control in the Middle East, so it worked to bring Arabia to heed the command of its powerful masters. "Foreign ministers S-Z". Rulers. Retrieved 18 September 2012 1 

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Capitalism, or out of control political capitalization

What you see today — this coming together of tribal factions, religious communities, and political persuasions, is really a declaration of independence, and an affirmation that Yemen ambitions to be set free. What the international community has failed to understand in its eagerness to support Saudi Arabia, is that it stands to de facto criminalize Resistance. More cynical analysts would argue that criminalizing resistance is exactly what neo-imperialists have been after. Assuming that it is a fair assessment, the UN Security Council report2 this August 2016 offers an interesting window into the new political reality we are heading towards in Yemen — or at least the reality the Saudi-coalition would like to manifest on the ground. Truth be told the United Nations has systematically lacked objectivity when it comes to Yemen, due to Riyadh’s involvement. If the United Nations still claims itself an impartial party, its institutions have long fallen prey to political capitalism  —  putting therefore some very serious question marks over 2 


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the fairness and independence of its officials, never mind the resolutions it has issued. This decay, or institutional capitalization as I like to call it was made most evident in 2015 when Saudi Arabia bullied several UN aid agencies to not only comply with its profiling of humanitarian aid in Yemen, but actually stand by a series of aggravated human rights violations. Under humanitarian law and international law aid cannot be profiled. This legal reality has not stopped the kingdom doing just that. Worse still, few media have ever dared raised the issue. In early July 2015, the United Nations declared the situation in Yemen to be the highest level of humanitarian emergency. According to a UN report published July 7, 2015 over 1,500 civilians had bene killed, 3,600 had been injured, and over a million had been displaced in the ongoing conflict. By UN estimates, about 80 percent  of all Yemenis — more than 20 million people — are in need of humanitarian aid. As of July 2016 this figure has jumped to 90% concluded the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies. In late March 2015, Amnesty International confirmed the deaths of at least six children under the age of 10 during a Saudi-led air raid that killed 25 people. The report read: "The organization spoke to medical personnel at four different hospitals where the dead were taken after being pulled from the rubble of 14 houses that were hit in a residential neighbourhood near the city’s international airport." Already the poorest and most vulnerable population in the Peninsula and arguably the Greater Middle East, Yemenis have seen their livelihoods and freedom of movement disintegrate under Saudi Arabia’s war momentum. In late April,  Saudi Arabia bombed Sanaa International Airport, effectively trapping civilians within Yemen’s borders. Despite mounting evidence of abuses and war crimes, it would take the international rights


community several months to stand up to the oil giant. On July 27, Human Rights Watch unequivocally slammed Saudi Arabia for a litany of human rights violations. The report reads: "Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children, and wounded dozens in the Yemeni port city of Mokha on July 24, 2015, are an apparent war crime. Starting between 9:30 and 10 p.m., coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant, which housed plant workers and their family members." The kingdom is holding hostage not just Yemen but to some extent the international community, using the United Nations’ humanitarian institutions to wage war. It’s using institutions meant to offer relief as a means of weaponizing aid. Hassan Jayache, a senior leader of the Houthi movement, confirmed in 2015 that local NGOs have found themselves caught in a political web, forced to surrender their neutrality to secure not just funding but access to areas where aid is needed. "The Saudis have exerted political pressures onto local NGOs and international aid organizations, demanding that aid be restricted to pre-approved segments of the population, based on political affiliations and according to religious criteria," Jayache said. "In other words, Al Saud has decided to starve the Shias of Yemen, hoping to break the Houthis’ momentum." Mohammed Al-Emad, a Yemen-based journalist and political commentator, says Saudi Arabia called on several media organizations in the Middle East, the United States and Europe, demanding that "coverage on Yemen be sanitized and in keeping with Riyadh’s chosen political narrative." While Al-Emad’s claims could be considered bias, WikiLeaks published a series of confidential cables pointing to systematic media/PR manipulation on the part of the Saudis.

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But if the international community had been standing silent before Saudi Arabia’s war crimes, exploiting what Al-Emad describes as a convenient media blackout to avoid addressing some sticky legal points, Riyadh’s move against the U.N. might prove one indiscretion too many for anyone to ignore. The work of King Salman and his allies to sabotage U.N.-organized aid to Yemen started on April 17 in the wake of a UN emergency flash appeal for $274 million to respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs over the following three months. Speaking on Yemenis’ hardship, Humanitarian Coordinator Johannes Van DerKlaauw stressed: "The devastating conflict in Yemen takes place against the backdrop of an existing humanitarian crisis that was already one of the largest and most complex in the world … Thousands of families have now fled their homes as a result of the fighting and airstrikes. Ordinary families are struggling to access health care, water, food and fuel — basic requirements for their survival." Saudi Arabia immediately volunteered the exact amount requested. But the aid would come with strings attached. Vice News reported  in June 2015 that Saudi officials leaned on U.N. officials to sabotage aid deliveries, threatening to close the kingdom’s checkbook should U.N. agencies deny Riyadh’s requests.

Hasan Sufyani, a leading political analyst at the Sana’a Institute for Arabic Studies. And: "If humanitarian organizations are to be subjected to the rules of realpolitik then truly the world has reached a dark chapter in its history and reverted back to organized barbarism. Still, no well-thinking Western powers has thought to challenge Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen. In a world system where capitalism reigns king, the rich and haughty stand above the pettiness of the rule of law." As a rule of thumb, and to avoid political entanglements, humanitarian organizations tend to shy away from donations which come with strings attached, especially when they fall under the umbrella of the OCHA.Meant as a supranational institution, OCHA was never intended to be manipulated as an instrument of pressure, legal absolution or, in the case of Yemen, a weapon of war. Playing aid as both a military tactic and a PR exercise to redeem its atrocious human rights record and whitewash its war crimes in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has held the UN hostage to its policies. By late June 2015, amid reports of a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, the Saudi government finally announced that out of its initial pledge of $274 million, $244 million would be divided among nine UN agencies.

Based on a UN memo obtained by Vice, the media outlet reported that the Saudi government imposed unprecedented conditions on aid agencies, demanding that assistance be limited to Saudi-approved areas and confined to strictly Sunni civilian populations.

On the heels of this announcement Stephen O’Brien, the UN undersecretary for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, sent a letter to the Interagency Standing Committee, a global humanitarian coordinating body, which includes both UN humanitarian agencies and outside NGOs.

"If such despicable logic can somehow be expected from a power which has wielded sectarianism to sow discord and from chaos rise a tyrant, what of the UN, an institution which claims itself impartial and fair?" said

Vice News confirmed the letter was attached to a Saudi press release announcing the nineway cut, explaining how the funds would go through the recently created King Salman Center for Relief Humanitarian Works (KSC).

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Yemen’s political future — How Saudi Arabia ambitions to criminalize Resistance

"Having agreed to the overall envelopes, however, the KSC would like to negotiate individual Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with each recipient agency," O’Brien told Vice, openly admitting to Riyadh’s lobby. Vice News quoted a UN aid official in Yemen as saying: "The UN has punted and handed off the problems to these agencies. I’ve never seen that before …The charitable way of saying it is this is a compromise — the less charitable way of saying it is that they folded. It’s really unusual for a single donor to have any substantive role once they contribute funds, let alone negotiate individual MoU’s with agencies." When asked about this very public UN capitulation before Al Saud’s millions, O’Brien attempted to rationalize the situation by arguing a massive deficit funding gap.O’Brien wrote: "With regard to NGOs, I am aware that there are sensitivities in receiving funding directly from the KSC and we therefore must work actively to mobilize additional funds to be allocated directly, or via the Pooled Fund, to our front-line partners." Additionally, Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the OHCHR, confirmed mounting abuses against civilians when she explained: "Since 17 June, 2015 there has been further destruction of civilian infrastructure, with at least 36 buildings, including hospitals, schools, court houses, power generation facilities and communications institutions partially or totally damaged in the governorates of Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Al-Jawf, Al-Mahwit, and Hajjah." Additional human rights reports since have further documented Saudi Arabia’s atrocious war crimes, and other violations —  still, it is the Resistance movement, aka the Houthis which have still suffer the brunt of all criticism; surely an attempt to both demonize and criminalize a nation’ sovereign right to resist. Yemen’s war I will argue is really about Resistance  —  everything else has been secondary. As weeks have turned into months, as months are threatening to turn into years, Riyadh’s hand is being revealed  —  its intent is finally becoming visible as its patience is


fizzling out, made to shake before Yemen’s stealthy resolve. Why you may ask? I will say for the same reason Saudi Arabia and Western powers worked to suffocate pan-Arabism —  political independence is an unpredictable bed-fellow. Put more harshly, free nations do not serve capitalists’ bottom line.

Resistance and political emancipation Let me circle back now to the UNSC August 2016 report on Yemen, and its affirmation that the Houthis have acted grand criminals of war, implying through its condemnation that Yemen’s Resistance movement carries no real legitimacy. Behind the criticism and allegations that the Houthis broke the law, it is really their right to be, and their right to politically exist which is being challenged. Here too the UNSC has become —  willingly or nor, a hired Saudi pawn. The manipulation I will admit is not as crude as it has been with humanitarian aid of course, but the intent remains the same: erode at Yemen in such a manner that both its territorial and political sovereignty will become irrelevant before the might, and right of its patrons. Reuters wrote: "Yemen’s Houthi rebels used civilians as human shields, Islamic State militants in the country received an influx of cash and al Qaeda has improved its roadside bombs, according to a confidential report by United Nations experts monitoring sanctions on Yemen." Although it would be foolish to exonerate the Resistance of all crimes — wars are messy by nature and abuses are sadly inherent to all arms conflicts, grand standing on the moral conduct of a popular movement on account it has exercised its right to self-defence is not an argument, it is a political weapon of war. The UN report said the Houthis had concealed fighters and equipment in or close to civilians in Al Mukha in the Taiz Governorate "with the deliberate aim of avoiding attack" and in violation of international humanitarian law.

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The report also said the Houthis had diverted about $100 million a month from Yemen’s central bank to support the group’s war effort and that the foreign reserves of the central bank had dropped to $1.3 billion in June 2016 from $4.6 billion in November 2014. Political and central bank sources have said the Houthis were likely to have received more central bank cash for their troops than the government because when they seized Sanaa thousands of their militiamen were added to army rosters and became entitled to state pay. To some degree everything the United Nations has reported on is true — it is the manner in which facts have been reported on and translated which left something to be desired. Let me explain! The way we interpret facts is dependent on our own bias. However loudly we like to claim objectivity, we are all products of our prejudices, and ultimately those prejudices will shape how we perceive reality. "Yemen’s Houthi rebels used civilians as human shields", UN experts have claimed. Rather than reflect a factual truth, this statement offers a political interpretation of a reality the UNSC cannot fathom as legitimate since it involves a faction it self-admittedly branded as illegitimate. Yemen resistance fighters are not using civilians as human shields; they are Yemen civilians turned armed militants out of necessity. To look onto Yemen’s battlefield and assume that the Houthis are using their people as meat for the canons make no logical sense. Here’s why  —  the Resistance movement has leaned on the people for its legitimacy since no elections could take place. Should the Houthis, aka the Resistance turn on the very people it is meant to represent, and defend, the people would withdraw their vote of confidence and essentially lay waste whatever power was offered. We would do well to remember that Yemen is not being shaken by an internal conflict. Yemen is not at war with itself — it is fighting a foreign invasion disguised as a war of political

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restoration. I’m hoping that by now this has been made abundantly clear. As for the money the Houthis have been accused of looting I think we would do well to remember that whatever funds were in fact used towards the war efforts actually belong to Yemen, and therefore those individuals or factions the people have vested with their trust. The UNSC argument would be valid if the Houthis had in fact acted outside the people wishes, or against elected officials. If the Houthis have assumed authority over the state institutions, they did so out of necessity, and not design. It was Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who, back in January 2015 chose to resign (twice) to then run away to Riyadh. It was Hadi again who chose to create a power vacuum, not the Houthis, and certainly not the Resistance movement. The public has been deceived into believing that it was the Houthis’ actions and choices which sent Yemen into a downward spiral. Confusion was mainly born from a lack of clarity in the language used by both the media and state officials. If the rise of the Houthis might have begun as the rejection of one tribal faction against repression, the values and principles they fronted were embraced by an entire nation, transforming this one group into a popular movement. The Houthis no longer represent the aspirations of one particular tribal entity, they have become Yemen, they are the Resistance, they are the expression of a popular will which legitimacy transcends and sits over all others. The Resistance movement was formed in reaction to Saudi Arabia’s military aggression. The Houthis rose in reaction to Saudi Arabia’s nefarious influence against Yemen’s democratic aspirations. From the very moment Seyyed Abdel-Malek al-Houthi rose a leader over not his tribesmen but Yemen, it is Yemen’s will he came to carry, and represent. State funds cannot be considered stolen if they are spent towards the people. Assuming theft, is assuming illegitimacy. And assuming


Yemen’s political future — How Saudi Arabia ambitions to criminalize Resistance

illegitimacy equates to denying Yemen its right to political self-determination. Beyond a simple case of political or institutional legitimacy it is also Yemen’s right to resist which the UNSC is attempting to legislate over. And to deny the right to resist oppression is in itself an oppression. In political philosophy, the right of revolution is the right or duty of the people of a nation to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests. Throughout history nations have risen against their respective tyrants on the back of such principles. Comes to mind the famous phrase1: voxpopuli,voxdei — "the voice of the people is the voice of God." The concept of the right of revolution was developed at the beginning of the Enlightenment era in the work Two Treatises of Government. Written by the philosopher John Locke, the right to revolution formed an integral part of his social contract theory, in which he tried to define the origins and basis for social conditions and relationships. Locke declared that under natural law, all people have the right to life, liberty, and estate; under the social contract, the people could instigate a revolution against the government when it acted against the interests of citizens, to replace the government with one that served the interests of citizens. In some cases, Locke deemed revolution an obligation. The right of revolution thus essentially acted as a safeguard against tyranny. I would like to note here that it is those very principles which Iranians enacted in 1979 when they toppled the Shah. Locke affirmed an explicit right to revolution in Two Treatises of Government: "whenever the Legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, Philip Hamburger Law and Judicial Duty 2009 Page 74 "At the meeting of this high court early in 1327, Archbishop of Canterbury Walter Reynolds brought charges against the king, ... homage to the prince, and Archbishop Reynolds — the son of a baker — preached on the text Voxpopuli, vox Dei 1 


they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society; and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty." Revolutionary movements subsequent to this, all drew on Locke’s theory as a justification for the exercise of the right of revolution. Although some explanations of the right of revolution leave open the possibility of its exercise as an individual right, it was clearly understood to be a collective right under English constitutional and political theory.2 I will here refer to the words of Howard Evans Kiefer: "It seems to me that the duty to rebel is much more understandable than that right to rebel, because the right to rebellion ruins the order of power, whereas the duty to rebel goes beyond and breaks it."3 Morton White4 writes of the American revolutionaries, "The notion that they had a duty to rebel is extremely important to stress, for it shows that they thought they were complying See Christian G. Fritz, American Sovereigns: The People and America’s Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008), 14 (noting that under English constitutional law the right of revolution "belonged to the community as a whole, as one of the parties to the original constitutional contract"). See also John Phillip Reid, Constitutional History of the American Revolution (University of Wisconsin Press, 1986-1993), I:111 (identifying the collective right of the people "to preserve their rights by force and even rebellion against constituted authority"), III:427n31 (quoting Viscount Bolingbroke that the "collective Body of the People" had the right to "break the Bargain between the King and the Nation"). 3  "Ethics and Social Justice". Retrieved 30 June 2015. 4 2 

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with the commands of natural law and of nature’s God when they threw off absolute despotism." The U.S. Declaration of Independence states that "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government" (emphasis added). Martin Luther King likewise held that it is the duty of the people to resist unjust laws. Some theories of the right of revolution imposed significant preconditions on its exercise, limiting its invocation to the direst circumstances. In the American Revolutionary context, one finds expressions of the right of revolution both as subject to precondition and as unrestrained by conditions. On the eve of the American Revolution, for example, Americans considered their plight to justify exercise of the right of revolution. Alexander Hamilton justified American resistance as an expression of "the law of nature" redressing violations of "the first principles of civil society" and invasions of "the rights of a whole people."1 For Thomas Jefferson the Declaration was the last-ditch effort of an oppressed people—the position in which many Americans saw themselves in 1776. Jefferson’s litany of colonial grievances was an effort to establish that Americans met their burden to exercise the natural law right of revolution. Who are we then to deny or even challenge Yemen’s natural right to resist? Yemen’s war is not just Yemen’s war, it has become the affirmation of all of our rights, and as such denying Yemen equates to denying all the right to self-govern. Should Yemen’s Resistance lose to Saudi Arabia it is the whole of Arabia we are selling out to Wahhabism — the expression of a hate too grand for any of us not to feel dread.  Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, [Feb. 23], 1775, The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, I:136 1 

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EURASIAN INTEGRATION: PURSUING STABILITY AND INFLUENCE IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD Introduction In the decade following the collapse of the Soviet Union, all former member states experienced a cataclysmic decline in prosperity, demographics, social order and security as well as the interruption of investment, labour and trade flows. In the midst of this crisis, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed the reintegration of post-Soviet states to address these challenges. His concept, The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) came into being on January first, 2015. It is modelled on the European Union and member states currently include Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The project faces complex challenges, not least the authoritarian nature of the governments involved and the viability of creating consensus among those governments and the people they ostensibly represent.

Jonathan Trefz

MA Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. He has spent over ten years living in Russia, China and Saudi Arabia and holds a BA in Mandarin and Russian. His research focuses on the politics of national identity in post-Soviet Central Asia.

This study introduces the historical and theoretical background of Eurasian integration, an outline of its progression, and focuses on its impact on the migrant labour market as an indicator of success. We rely on journalistic sources to analyze what progress has been taken in the few months since the accession of the only major labour-exporting state, Kyrgyzstan. Do the economics of Eurasian integration engender a new ‘friendship of nations’ or resentment? Does integration have a sound economic basis or is it founded on a merely fanciful vision of a shared Soviet past and Russian neo-imperialism?

Post-Soviet Context of Eurasian Re-integration Perestroika led to a scheme to reconstitute the Soviet Union along non-Marxist lines. A referendum on the adoption of the New Union Treaty was held in May 1991 in all Soviet Socialist Republics except the Baltics, Georgia and Moldova. All participating republics voted in favour, with the lowest approval rate Ukraine’s 71%. In all five Central Asian states approval was over 90% (Direct Democracy). Their economies were tightly integrated with Russia’s, and they were unprepared for independence. Nevertheless, the Soviet Coup of August 1991, which gave Yeltsin a pretext to usurp power from Gorbachev via abolishing the Soviet Union. He accomplished this in concert with the leaders of Belarus and Ukraine by signing the Belavezha Accords in secret in December of that year. This radical step, compounded with the radical reform attempt of shock therapy, resulted in a decade of cataclysmic decline in prosperity, demographics, social order and state security as well as the interruption of investment, labour and trade flows.


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The Belavezha Accords replaced the Soviet Union with the loose Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The thousands of CIS documents and resolutions passed are non-binding on member states (Leskova 2015, 232) and only 10% have been ratified by them (Krickovic 2014, 506). Described from the outset as "no commonwealth" but a "club of the customers of Russian gas," (Ibid., 231, citing Khalip) the organization was impotent in facing the dire challenges member states faced in the 1990s. Therefore, speaking at Moscow State University in March, 1994, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed a stronger ‘Eurasian Union’ modelled on the EU.

Theoretical foundation: Classical Eurasianists and Gumilyov The Eurasian Integration project is rooted in the theoretical work of a movement formed by staunchly patriotic Russian emigres contemporary to Stalin’s nation-engineering in the 1920s. The Eurasianists constituted a shortlived intellectual movement which called for precisely the sort of ‘friendship of nations’ and two-layered system of national identity which Stalin created. Schnirlman summarizes the goals of the Eurasianists as being "to preserve the unity of the Russian Empire. Towards this end they tried to develop an ideology which could ensure the strong unity of all the peoples across the country." They "opposed separatism and narrow ethnic nationalism, including the Russian kind" (Schnirelman 2001, 155). Although anti-Communist, the Eurasianists attempted to cope with Soviet power and some argued for cooperation with it (Ibid.) They broadly approved of Stalin’s nationalities policy, agreeing that every nation ought to have equal status, it’s own government and territory. Count Trubetskoy in particular advocated ‘unity in diversity’ through the establishment of an over-arching ‘Eurasian’ ethos similar to Stalin’s ‘Soviet Nation’ (Ibid, 157). They wished to avoid Great-Russian (Muscovite) Chauvinism while accepting that the Eurasian meta-culture would be largely based on pan-Russian core- denoting a com-

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bination of Muscovite Great-Russia, Belorus, and Little Russia- now more commonly called Ukraine (Ibid., 158). They emphasized that this pan-Russian culture was not essentially Slavic but a product of the close historical and cultural relationship between East Slavs, FinnoUgric peoples and Turko-Mongols (Ibid., 155) and that the construction of Eurasian culture would be a joint effort of all nations involved (Ibid., 159), a process that had already started in the Russian Empire (Ibid., 161). These ideas were corroborated and later expanded by the work of ethnologist Lev Gumilyov in the mid to late Soviet Period. He argued that the "black legend" of a tragic Mongol Yoke was imported to Russia from the west during the westernization campaign of Peter the Great. This view had come from crusader perceptions of the Middle East and Inner Asia, and was a symptom of Eurocentrism (Naarden 1996, 63). In fact, he argued, there had been no Mongol Yoke. Medieval Nomadic Turko-Mongol and agricultural East-Slavic societies had existed in hybrid and were supplementary, as the Eurasianists had argued (Beloglazov 2015, 177). Conflict was at least as common within each group as between them. Alliances and intermarriage were common (Naarden, 1996, 63). He asserted that primary sources displayed no resentment of Mongol power, rather they indicate that unlike the Catholic west, the Mongols only exacted tribute from their East Slavic vassals rather than appropriating land and instigating mass destruction. They were also highly tolerant of indigenous belief systems (Ibid., 64). As the Turko-Mongol Golden Horde gradually became more Islamic, many of them preferred to integrate into Orthodox Christian culture (Ibid., 66). At the battle of Kulikovo Pole, the decisive conflict leading to the fall of the Golden Horde, a large contingent of Turko-Mongol cavalry fought on the Russian side, while the Khan had to rely on a largely Caucasian force (Ibid.). This narrative reflected the views of the earlier Eurasianists and reinforced their idea of Russians and Central Asians as co-agent in building a Eurasian civilization (Beloglazov


Eurasian Integration: Pursuing Stability and Influence in an Uncertain World

2015, 177). Eurasianism was and is highly flexible, blending Soviet ideas with traditional Imperial patriotism into a coherent narrative of Russian or Eurasian history (Schnirelman 2001, 155). It was therefore no accident that Eurasianism regained a certain amount of popularity in the ideological vacuum of perestroika and the 1990s, particularly among Central Asians (Beloglazov 2015, 178). Sevim and Lapenko identify two main strands of Eurasianism, neo-Eurasianism (Sevim, 2013, 46) or right Eurasianism (Lapenko 2014, 122), a robust variety advanced by professor Alexander Dugin, and pragmatic or left Eurasianism —  a less ardently anti-western strand promoted by members of the post-Soviet political elite. The gap between the two is illustrated by Dugin’s dismissal from his directorship at Moscow State University during the 2014 crisis, as reported by

Nazarbayev’s Eurasianist Revival and its Reception in Central Asia Kazakh President Nazarbayev described the impetus for his 1994 speech proposing PostSoviet Eurasian integration in these terms, It is no mere chance that I announced this idea in a lecture hall of the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University. I appealed directly to the intellectual elite of the entire Commonwealth with the firm resolve to rouse the process of multi-faceted integration out of the torpor in which it found itself two years after the creation of the CIS. I said candidly that the CIS is not meeting the objective requirements of the day and is not providing for the integration of the new member states so sorely needed by our people. For that reason the need to establish a new interstate association that would operate on more clearly defined principles has come to a head. (Lapenko 2014, 123) This desire for reintegration from a Post-Soviet Central Asian leader underlines the degree to which the project of Soviet civic nationhood was successful, while undermining the liberal


western assumption of enthusiasm for national liberation from Russo-Soviet domination. It is easy to assume that post-Soviet reintegration is simply the Kremlin asserting influence over its near abroad. However, the integration process following Nazarbayev’s proposal has very much been implemented in tandem by the two strongest Post-Soviet economies, Russia and Kazakhstan, and serves the interests of its Central Asian participants as much or more than it serves Moscow’s. As Lapenko notes, "Some experts in Belarus and Kazakhstan believe the countries are joining in this association for the very purpose of more efficiently defending their sovereignty" (2014, 127). Krickovic agrees, arguing that the "region’s smaller and weaker states are not simply an object of Russia’s power" (2014, 505), supported by Matveeva, who claims, "Politically, Russia’s interest in Central Asian economies matches the domestic needs of the governments" (2007, 48). Reintegration is more popular in Central Asia than it is in Russia ( 2015, citing Eurasian Development Bank research). Beloglazov notes that Russia and Kazakhstan in particular share similar history, political approaches, and supplementary economies (2015, 176). They both see integration as improving their competitiveness and influence in the global arena (Ibid.; Lapenko 2014, 124). Russia is Kazakhstan’s route to the ocean, while Kazakhstan is Russia’s route to the rest of Central Asia, India and China (Ibid, 178). The three nomadic hordes (named Lesser, Middle and Greater) that eventually became Kazakhstan joined the Russian Empire voluntarily through treaty agreement in the mid eighteenth century (Beloglazov 2015, 179; Esenova 2002, 15), weakening narratives of Russian colonialism and Kazakh victimhood. As Matveeva finds, "Largely, Central Asians do not tend to regard their history in the Russian/ Soviet state as an experience of colonialism" (2007, 54). Some, according to Matveeva are thankful that the Soviet Union saved them from a fate similar to that of Afghanistan and prefer the current strongmen to the Islamism

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promoted by Gulf Arab states across the Muslim world (Ibid., 54, 55). Nazarbayev saw the imperative that Eurasian integration must be based on economic pragmatism (Mansurov 2014, 133; Lapenko 2014, 123) and this has indeed been a foundational characteristic of the integration process (Krickovic 2014, 503). According to his vision, the future Eurasian Union’s bodies would function on the basis of consensus and possess real authority without member states surrendering their sovereignty (Lapenko 2014, 123; Sevim 2013, 53; Mansurov 2014, 113). Membership would be based on referenda or parliamentary decision. There would be no associate membership and a four fifths majority would be required in decision making (Sevim 2013, 54). Nazarbayev envisioned three stages of Eurasian integration, economic, humanitarian and security. He promotes the idea of Eurasia as a land bridge between Europe and Asia (Ibid., 52), an idea which is being realized in China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ or New Silk Road project. Sevim quotes Nazarbayev as outlining that "The Eurasian Union should be formed as a self-reliant regional financial grouping which would be a part of the global monetary and financial system," while cautioning on expectations, "let us not forget that it took forty years to set up a single European market"(56).

Nazarbayev’s Vision Catches On Unfortunately, the very crises of the post-Soviet world in social stability, order, state-security, governance and the economy which partly provided the imperative for Nazarbayev’s proposal prevented its implementation in the short-term, as did the self-serving short-sightedness of regional elites who hoped to enrich themselves through retention of full power (Stepanenko 2014, 46). Meanwhile, justly or not, "Many Russian leaders believed that the Russian nation (and not the "subject" nations of the Soviet Union) had been most exploited by the Soviet system," and they were concerned that new "imperial" burdens would detract from the goal of domestic liberal reform (Krickovic 2014, 506; Matveeva 2007, 45).

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However, Nazarbayev continued developing his ideas. He established the Gumilyov Eurasian University (Beloglazov 2015, 177) and continued promoting the Eurasian project through various articles, books and addresses (Lapenko 2014, 123). The premiership of Evgeny Primakov saw an end of neglect for Central Asia in Russian policy (Sevim 2013, 43) but Russia’s dismal economy and state weakness in the nineties prevented him from effecting much practical change (Ziegler 2014, 594). Support for Eurasian integration only took off with Putin’s rise to the presidency in 2000 (Beloglazov 2015, 178; Matveeva 2007, 44). He and Belarussian president Lukashenko both contributed a number of articles and addresses in support of Eurasian integration (Lapenko 2014, 124). Matveeva outlines the reasons for this shift and its timing. Russian commercial, investment, military-security, natural resource and transit interests in Central Asia had all declined in the nineties. Suddenly experiencing economic strength thanks to energy revenues, Russia began searching for allies due to setbacks in its attempt to integrate into the Euro-Atlantic alliance. Besides, the consolidation of decision-making power in the presidential administration helped overcome policy incoherence caused by competing factions and resulted in a richer, more diverse policy agenda. Russia’s priorities in integration are the extraction and transit of hydrocarbons, prevention of terrorism and drug trafficking, and control of migrant labour flows (Matveeva 2007, 44).

Eurasianism Moves from Theory to Practice The first concrete steps took place in 2000 with the signing of the treaty creating the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) involving Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (Beloglazov 2015, 181). The goal was the creation of a customs union and a common economic space "ensuring free movement of goods, services, capital and labour" (Mansurov 2014, 115). This process has followed Nazarbayev’s idea of modelling Eurasian integration on the


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example of the European Union (Sevim 2013, 52; Mansurov 2014; 118). This involved the establishment of a commission based on that of the EU which can decide macro-economic policy and the establishment of a court of arbitration (Krickovic 2014, 508). The EurAsEC became an observer organization of the UN in 2003 (Stepanenko 2014, 48). In 2006 the Eurasian Development Bank was founded and in 2007 a treaty was signed on a Customs Union between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan (Beloglazov 2015, 181). Customs controls on the respective borders of these three countries were removed in 2010 (Mansurov 2014, 121) creating a customs area with a market of 167 million people, a GDP of two trillion dollars and annual trade turnover of nine hundred billion (Krickovic 2014, 507). The agreement on a Single Economic Space was made in 2009, creating a single market not only in goods but also services such as power grids, transport and communications (Mansuro 2014, 122). On January first, 2015 the functions and bodies of the EurAsEC, Customs Union and Common Economic Space were merged into the new Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The new union originally consisting of only Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, but expanded to include Armenia and Kyrgyzstan within the first half of 2015. Kazakhstan insisted on inserting the word ‘Economic’ in the name to emphasize member states’ retention of political sovereignty while implying a heightened level of economic integration. Though deeper political integration is planned, Kazakhstan has decided to postpone this until more members join and can jointly counterbalance Russia’s influence (Khabrieva 2015, 98; Lapenko 2014, 127; Krickovic 2014, 521). As Stepanenko notes, this is an example of how the speed of integration is a compromise between the three main member states (2014, 54). The EAEU builds on the success of the EurAsEC, Customs Union and Common Economic Space particularly in increasing commodity turnover. The provisions of the EAEU are being gradually implemented between 2015 and


2018 (Leskova 2015, 232) in accordance with the UN Charter and the WTO (Mansurov 2014, 214; Stepanenko 2014, 51), with the goal of reaching a level of integration similar to that of the European Union (Khabrieva 2015, 95). However, Krickovic believes that the EAEU’s pragmatic, flexible approach where states can select their level of integration helps reduce sovereignty concerns and is more effective than EU’s ‘pooled sovereignty’ model, which many Russian experts believe has over-extended itself by giving too much power to Brussels (2014, 522). The EAEU is also intended to strengthen members against external threats and challenges such as the 2008 financial crisis or world price fluctuations, prevent a repeat of the conflicts the post-Soviet space experienced after breakup and help them integrate into the global economy from a position of strength (Leskova 2015, 231, 232; Krickovic 2014, 515). Mansurov believes these goals can be met in the medium term (2014, 125) and hopes "Eurasian and European integration can effectively complement each other" (2014, 123). The main bodies of the EAEU are a Supreme Council made up of the presidents of member states, an intergovernmental council formed by the prime ministers, a permanent body in the form of the Eurasian Commission, and a Eurasian Court (Ibid., 233). Stepanenko notes that "The removal of migration, border and other barriers and of "labor quotas" will mean that citizens of all member countries of the new integration project will be able to choose without any restrictions where to live, study and work" (2014, 53). All border controls were removed between member states, with some hiccoughs, over the course of 2015.

Challenges to Eurasian Integration Eurasian integration faces some very serious challenges. Some of these are external and geopolitical. Sevim notes that former United States secretary of state Brzezinksi argued in the nineties that control of Eurasia should be the main geopolitical focus of US strategy as a continuation of the strategy of contain-

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ment toward the Soviet Union (2013, 45). Krickovic points out secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s vow to thwart any reintegration in the Eurasian space, It’s going to be called a customs union; it will be called the Eurasian Union and all of that. But let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to find effective ways to slow it down or prevent it. (Financial Times, as quoted by Krickovic 2014, 504) Nevertheless the main challenges are of course internal. As Leskova points out, while the EAEU is based on the EU, "The European Union unites the free nations of the civilized market economy and democratic political systems. Unfortunately, these characteristics do not fit into any of the Post-Soviet countries involved in the integration processes in the Post-Soviet space" (2015, 237). She also notes the problems of high-level corruption and that half of companies don’t report revenue statistics to the authorities. Companies have often quickly found ways to exploit the new framework, moving assets and capital to take advantage of the system (Ibid.). Leskovaalso decsribes certain tensions between member states. Belarus has complained that Russia was slow to abolish Customs Union tariffs, and that it has invited weak and unrecognised states to join the union (Ibid., 235). Key sectors of both the Kazakh and Belarussian economies have suffered from Russian subsidies to its competing domestic sectors (Ibid., 236). As Krickovic points out, the "project’s ability to reconcile growing economic integration with smaller states’ concerns about loss of sovereignty and Russian dominance will be of critical importance to its success or failure" (2014, 505). Krickovic believes that there is low public support for Eurasian integration in Russia, and that most people would prefer it if the government focused on social welfare programs (2014, 510). However, Lapenko finds that the crisis in Ukraine has increased the popularity of the EAEU in Russia (2014, 134).

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Expansion One major challenge and indicator of success will be the EAEU’s ability to integrate small, weak Kyrgyzstan which acceded to the union on August twelfth, 2015 (Relocate 2015). The process of Kyrgyz integration supports the argument that the EAEU is not merely an instrument of Russian hegemony, but also meets the needs of its weaker members. Volovoj argues that the main benefit the EAEU brings Kyrgyzstan is stability (2015, 193). Kyrgyzstan was unprepared for independence from the Soviet Union and besides a dire socio-economic situation, has experienced extremely poor governance and waves of unrest (Ibid.). Kyrgyzstan struggles to balance a North-South clan division. The first president Akaev engaged in enrichment of himself and his immediate family, neglecting even his broader northern clan, and leading to apathy and lack of support from within the clan when he was deposed by the largely mafia-driven Tulip Revolution (Ibid.). Akaev was replaced by southerner Bakiev, who was overthrown for precisely the same reasons and in an extremely similar scenario in 2010. The Kyrgyz-Uzbek inter-ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan that year brought Kyrgyzstan to the brink of becoming a failed state. Kyrgyzstan experimented with becoming Central Asia’s "Island of Democracy"; a new, parliamentary constitution was drawn up, but powerful groups were not capable of compromises required by such a system. More chaos resulted and Kyrgyzstan remained on the brink of becoming a failed state. Therefore, under the leadership of Atambaev, Kyrgyzstan moved to a more presidential system characterized as ‘managed democracy’ or ‘soft authoritarianism’ (Ruget 2008, 131) like that of Kazakhstan and Russia, in which streamlined policy execution has allowed the establishment of a more or less stable social contract (Volovoj 2015, 193). Volovoj believes that this gives the Kyrgyz development path a choice between two models: the Kazakh model, in which Russian support for a strong president has resulted in relative prosperity, or the Tajik model, where Russian support for a strong president results in his


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consolidation of power and self-enrichment (Ibid., 194). Atambaev brought Kyrgyzstan into the EAEU with a strong electoral mandate to do so, and accession took place mid-2015. Both the president and population of Kyrgyzstan see the promise of stability as the main imperative for joining the EAEU. The Union strengthens their hand in tense relations with Tajikstan and Uzbekistan while avoiding excess influence of China, widely viewed with suspicion in Central Asia (Ibid., 196). The EAEU assumes responsibility for security on Kyrgyzstan’s borders with these three neighbours. In exchange, Russia is happy that the lease of the Manas air base to the United States has not been renewed.

A Eurasian Schengen? Kyrgyzstan is the first member state to rely heavily on remittances from Russia and Kazakhstan, labour migration is a central issue to Kyrgyz Eurasian Integration. Besides, migration reform is key to the success of the EAEU and its success or failure will be a good indicator of the viability of building a Eurasian civic identity, a "Eurasian idea," in a multi-ethnic context. In 2011, ten percent of Kyrgyzstan’s population and a third of its workforce had migrated to Russia or Kazakhstan (Ruget 2011, 49) and remittances accounted for around twenty-nine percent of GDP, and provided funds for sixteen percent of Kyrgyz households, the highest post-Soviet figure (Ibid., 51). Leskova believes that increased labour mobility alleviates social tensions in Central Asian states (Leskova 2015, 235), a view shared by labour migrants themselves (Ruget 2008, 133). Ruget notes that migrant worker remittances support families and relieve strained social programs in Kyrgyzstan (2011, 48). Gostovtseva points out that in time of high unemployment, labour emigration is sort of a release valve alleviating social pressures (2012, 384). The average annual salary for migrants in Kazakhstan rose from US$5503 in 2009 to US$8570 in 2013 (Alpysbaeva 2015, 513). Migrants transfer about forty-four percent of their earnings home (Ibid.), and oc-


casionally aid their communities by pooling money for weddings, deaths, or recovery from crises like the 2010 ethnic riots. They rarely engage in long-term investment (Ruget 2011, 55), and unlike Mexico or Haiti Kyrgyzstan has failed to set up institutions to take advantage of remittances (Ibid., 52). This is exacerbated by the high proportion of remittances from undocumented migrant labourers- the proportion is two to three times higher than official transfers (Gostovtseva 2012, 384; Alpysbaeva 2105, 513), and is a crucial source of funds for the economies of Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian states (Ibid., 383). Official remittances amount to forty-eight percent of GDP in Tajikstan, thirty-one percent of GDP in Kyrgyzstan, lower than capital flows from foreign direct investment but higher than foreign aid (Alpyzbaeva 2015, 510). Gostovsteva finds that despite popular perception migrants don’t adversely effect the labour market in the receiving countries- migrant workers perform jobs that the local residents would rather turn to the social security system than do (Ibid.). The President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, in expressing optimism on Eurasian integration, particularly praised the provision of host-state social insurance for migrant workers (Leskova 2015, 236). Migration in the lead up to the establishment of the EAEU was already influencing the self-identification of migrants. The Customs Union, despite not allowing for the free flow of labour, still led to an increase in labour migration (Alpysbaeva 2015, 510). Many labour migrants follow kinship networks and settle with relatives and others from the same village, region or clan (Ruget 2011, 50). While Ruget observes that the experience of labour migration increases Kyrgyz migrants’ sense of national identity, as is common world wide, she also notes that given the chance, few if any get socially or politically involved in Kyrgyz affairs (Ruget 2008, 136), partially because they lack time and resources (Ruget 2011, 50). Prior to EAEU accession, given the chance, migrants were eager to obtain citizenship in their host country although it meant loss of Kyrgyz cit-

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izenship. Kazakhstan has naturalized thousands of Kyrgyz migrants (Ruget 2008, 132) leading to fears that the Kyrgyz nation would disappear (Ruget 2008, 138). Up to fifteen percent of Kyrgyz labour migrants in Russia had obtained citizenship there by 2011 (Ruget 2011, 50). Few return home and take pride in their ability to integrate (Ruget 2008, 137).

Challenges facing Kyrgyz Labour Migrants Migrants face serious difficulties in integrating into their host countries. As open borders are a fundamental principle of Eurasian integration these difficulties challenge the viability of Eurasian unity and a shared Eurasian identity. The context in which migrants choose to leave their homes is one of dire hardship. Post-Soviet reforms left Kyrgyzstan mired in clan politics, corruption, political instability, criminality, and a forty percent poverty rate (Ruget 2008, 130). However, migrants to the relative stability and prosperity of Kazakhstan and Russia have faced unscrupulous police, extortionate customs officers, (Ibid.) have often been alienated and brutalized by the local population (Matveeva 2007, 54) and have felt that they have no rights in their host country (Ruget 2008, 133). Ruget notes that migrants avoid attention and rarely protest, but on February first 2010, about a hundred gathered in Bishkek to protest abuse by Kazakh police and exploitation by Kazakh employers (2011, 56). They have faced a nightmare of corruption and bureaucracy in which it was impossible to get a residence permit without citizenship and impossible to get citizenship without a residence permit, hindering their access to health care and education (Ibid., 133). They have often restricted their own freedom of movement in order to avoid police harassment (Ibid.). Zanca notes, hardly a week or so passes that we don’t read about the abuse of some migrant at the hands of authorities — bribery, at the hands of landowners or building site managers  —  (withholding of wages, confiscation of official documents, virtual enslavement), and the in-

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ter-ethnic gang fights, horrible housing conditions and the tragedies associated therewith, and racist murders. (2013, 289) In Kazakhstan and Russia, where the majority of migrants are from Central Asia (Alpysbaeva 2015, 512; Ruget 2011, 56), migrants are looked down on as inferior and blamed for local social problems (Gorenburg 2014, 4). Zanca finds poor language skills a source of friction particularly in Russia (2013, 290), where 25% of Central Asian migrants don’t know the language well (Ruget 2011, 56). Zanca underlines that "resources and time must be devoted to basic, effective, and practical courses in Russian with particular emphasis on job-specific language training" as developed in other countries (2013, 290). This has been attempted on a limited scale. The city of Saint Petersburg started running integration programs in 2006 focused on fighting negative ethnic stereotypes, but were unsuccessful. A second attempt started in 2011 promotes multiculturalism and light assimilation through education, but success is still uncertain (Gorenburg 2014, 6). Eflova looks at the unique case of attitudes to migrants in Tatarstan, a subject republic of the Russian Federation whose titular people, making up just over half of the population, share close religious, linguistic, cultural and historic ties to the peoples of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. She finds that crimes committed by migrants receive disproportionate attention, leading the local community to scapegoat migrants for local social problems. When an eight year old girl was raped by a an Uzbek migrant in 2013, there were popular calls for a public execution (Eflova 2014, 468). Eflova finds such phenomena have led to half the population of Tatarstan being "wary" of migrants and a fifth favouring a prohibition of immigration (Ibid., 467). At home, migration has caused a brain-drain effect, a lack of state income to support social programs, and left migrants concerned about Uzbek and Chinese encroachment into their home villages (Ruget, 2008, 135).


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Initiatives to Address the Challenges of Labour Migration The ability to address the serious challenges facing migrants within the EAEU will have a strong effect on the viability of the union, and of the viability of developing a Eurasian civil identity. Resolution of these problems is also in the pragmatic economic interests of the member states. In Kazakhstan, the level of illegal migration is "an order of magnitude" higher than official statistic data show (Alpysbaeva 2015, 513), seriously distorting perceptions of the domestic labour market and the ability to enact effective planning and policy. Therefore the EAEU framework is necessary for Kazakhstan to strengthen legislation, simplify permit procedure and reduce administrative barriers to migrant registration (Ibid.). While little to no academic work has been done on the effect on migrants of Kyrgyz accession to the EAEU, some preliminary results can be taken from journalistic sources. Re:locate reported positively in September on the removal of the requirement for work patents for Kyrgyz migrants in Russia, one of the arduous bureaucratic requirements which left them vulnerable to corruption and abuse. The article notes that while migration procedures are being simplified within the EAEU, procedures for citizens of non-member states to work in Russia are becoming more difficult. This is likely intended to pressure other Central Asian states to join. reported in late November that, Employment procedures have been simplified and social conditions for migrant workers and their families have improved. All restrictions on the admission to the general labour market have been lifted and mandatory quotas abolished. Kyrgyz labor migrants no longer have to obtain work permits or patents and take exams on Russian history and law. Also, "Kyrgyz university degrees are now recognized in Russia," formally at least (Ibid.). Furthermore, reported in mid-November that a law was submitted to the Russian parliament on November twenty-forth on the


abolition of compulsory registration of citizens for a stay of thirty days or less. In terms of Russian Ministry of Immigration regulation, this is quite a privilege, as even Russian citizens must register their residence with the authorities. VestnikKavkaza reported on November twenty-first that as part of this migration liberalization, twelve thousand migrants banned from Russia for a period of three years had their bans lifted in August, with another forty thousand bans to be lifted by the end of November. For its part, Kazakhstan, as reported by on November thirteenth, is abolishing the requirement to submit migration cards at the border for EAEU citizens. Of course not all reports are positive. reports that availability of information on the reforms and occasional continued application of old regulations by local authorities as hangups in an otherwise effectively implemented integration process (2015). In another report, found that less than two months after Kyrgyz accession, Kyrgyz migrants’ complaints of non-compliance with the new regulations led a Kyrgyz state delegation to visit a number of cities in Siberia to press for adherence to EAEU norms. This resulted in the ban on residence on 2-3 thousand migrants being lifted (2015). One of the most serious challenges facing EAEU integration is the substantial level of often belligerent Russian xenophobia. reports (seemingly anecdotal evidence) that at least seventy percent of the population of Moscow have a negative attitude toward Kyrgyz migrants. The article, from November nineteenth, also notes migrants’ continued lack of access to health care (2015). Other articles suggest that Russia is beginning to address the problem of xenophobia and racist violence. RT reported in March, 2014 that the leader of extremist racist group ‘Slavic Union’ Dmitry Demushkin was convicted of organizing a criminal organization and on October twenty-eighth, 2015 that extremist nationalist group ‘Ethno-Political Union of Russians’ had been banned. Finally, on the same day RT reported that the leader of Russia’s farright Liberal Democratic Party announced the

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abandonment of ethno-nationalist rhetoric. These reports coincide with Arnold’s description of a state crackdown on racist violence in recent years (Arnold 2015, 243).

Popular Support Big News Network report on October fifth that in all parties elected to the Kyrgyz parliament in October, 2015 have a pro-Russian, pro-EAEU orientation. Furthermore, cites research from the Eurasian Development bank finding that EAEU integration is supported by 86% of Kyrgyz, 80% of Kazakhs, 78% of Russians, 60% of Belarussians and 58% of Armenians. Support for joining was in the majority in non-member states Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Moldova (2015). Support also comes from abroad, as TASS reported on December fourth. "China supports a model proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Eurasian Integration involving Beijing’s initiative, the Silk Road Economic Belt, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunyin said."

Conclusion Available academic work on Eurasian integration is overwhelmingly positive and supportive. To some degree this indicates a high level of state dedication and commitment to the project. Lack of English-language media coverage and incongruence with liberal development narratives has likely led potentially critical voices to ignore the issue. The EAEU is an authoritarian club, but the argument that the project is thereby inherently unviable is a non sequitur. As noted above the project retains high levels of popular support. Lacking the social-stabilizing mechanisms of electoral democracy, the success of the project will rely on its ability to offer economic growth and political stability. Boris Kagarlitsky, speaking in Toronto on October first, 2015, noted that Russia has enjoyed much greater political stability than Ukraine only because hydrocarbons offer the former a much larger pool of revenue than enjoyed by the latter to divide amongst and placate elites. To succeed the Eurasian project must offer elites and the gen-

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eral population sufficient economic benefits. Kagarlitsky’s observation raises the question of whether prosperity is the result of sound institutions or sound institutions the result of prosperity. After all, the American and Australian continents were not conquered and the maritime European empires not built on the universal application of natural law. Nevertheless, the Eurasian project aims to built prosperity and sound institutions simultaneously by applying the European model to an alien authoritarian context in an environment of foreign animosity and global economic uncertainty. Though the future remains dark and uncertain, progress so far is promising. Eurasian integration is a process of compromise and consensus among the ruling elites of its member states. If Russia is to meet its goals of geopolitical security, Russia will have to rely on the cooperation of its Eurasian partners and share some power with them. Meanwhile, for weaker members, Russia is the devil they know and which they can to some degree exploit in order to maintain stability and integrate into the global economy gradually from a position of relative strength and through a business and administrative culture that isn’t too foreign and jarring. Hang-ups in implementing migration reform in the first few months of Kyrgyz accession have not exceeded reasonable expectation and early indications are that these hang-ups are being effectively addressed. Although popular in Central Asia, the original Eurasianist goal of creating a supra-national Eurasian identity faces complex challenges, particularly widespread xenophobia in Russia and economic shocks like the current collapse in oil prices and thereby the currency values of oil and gas producers Russia and Kazakhstan. Success in all these projects will be vital to preventing the flare up of the various frozen conflicts in the post-Soviet space and repeats of the ongoing Ukraine crisis. Kyrgyzstan particularly sees EAEU integration as vital in this regard. The creation of shared supra-national identity in a network of nation-states has not been definitely successful in either the EU or USSR precedents. It will, however, be vital if the post-Soviet space is to avoid the fate of the


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post-Ottoman: think Syria, Iraq, the Balkans, Yemen, and Libya. If it achieves lasting stability, even at the cost of democracy, Eurasian integration will benefit not only its participants but the wider global community. Bibliography 1. 2015. "Russian State Duma to consider agreement between Kyrgyzstan and Russia on abolition of compulsory registration of citizens." accessed November 24.

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veränerStaaten." Accessed December 26. http:// 13. Eflova, Maria and Lilia Ilikova. 2014. "Public Attitude to the migrants in Russia (Basing the Example of Tatarstan Republic)." Procedia —  Social and Behavioral Sciences 140: 467-469. 14. Esenova, Saulesh. 2002. "Soviet Nationality, Identity, and Ethnicity in Central Asia: Historic Narratives and Kazakh Ethnic Identity." Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 22 (1): 11-38. 15. Gorenburg, Dmitry. 2014. "The Adaption of Migrants in Russia." Russian Politics and Law 52 (6): 3-7. 16. Gotovtseva, L. G., A. P. Ryazantsev, and E. Y. Khrustalev. 2012. "Financial and Economic Characteristics and Trends of Interstate Labor Migration." Studies on Russian Economic Development 23 (4): 383-387. 17. Khabrieva, Taliya. 2015. "The Legal System of the Russian Federation Amid International Integration." Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences 85 (2): 93-99. 18. Krickovic, Andrej. 2014. "Imperial Nostalgia Or Prudent Geopolitics? Russia’s Efforts to Reintegrate the Post-Soviet Space in Geopolitical Perspective." Post-Soviet Affairs 30 (6): 503-528. 19. Lapenko, Marina. 2014. "The Ukrainian Crisis and its Effect on the Project to Establish a Eurasian Economic Union." Connections : The Quarterly Journal 14 (1): 121-136. 20. Leskova, Irina Valerievna, Dmitry NikolaevichErmakov, Galina Ivanovna Andruschenko, Sergey ValerievichRaspopov, and Svetlana AnatolievnaKhmelevskaya. 2015. "Relevant Aspects of the Integration of Post-Soviet Countries in the Project of the Eurasian Economic Space." Review of European Studies 7 (6): 231-238. 21. Mansurov, Tair. 2014. "EurAsEC:: From Integration Cooperation to a Eurasian Economic Union." International Affairs 60 (6): 111-128. 22. Matveeva, Anna. 2007. "Return to Heartland: Russia’s Policy in Central Asia." The International Spectator 42 (1): 43-62. 23. Naarden, Bruno. 1996. ""I Am a Genius, but No More Than That." Lev Gumilëv (1912-1992), Ethnogenesis, the Russian Past and World History". JahrbücherFür Geschichte Osteuropas 44 (1): 54–82. 24. 2015. "Dugin was fired from MSU" Accessed December 4. news/40111/f/dugin-was-fired-from-msu 25. Re:locate. 2015. "Russia — Kyrgyz nationals no longer require work patents." Accessed November 32. 26. RT. 2015. "’Russians’ Nationalist Movement banned, recognised as extremist  —  Moscow

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court." Accessed December 4. https://www. 27. RT. 2015. "Flamboyant nationalist Zhirinovsky announces major changes in ‘hermaphrodite’ party.’ Accessed December 4. politics/319937-flamboyant-nationalist-zhirinovsky-announces-major/. 28. RT. 2015. "Moscow magistrate convict Russian nationalist of extremism." Accessed December 4. 29. Ruget, Vanessa and BurulUsmanalieva. 2008. "Citizenship, Migration and Loyalty Towards the State: A Case Study of the Kyrgyzstani Migrants Working in Russia and Kazakhstan." Central Asian Survey 27 (2): 129-141. 30. Ruget, Vanessa and BurulUsmanalieva. 2011. "Social and Political Transnationalism Among Central Asian Migrants and Return Migrants." Problems of PostCommunism58 (6): 48 — 60. 31. Sergunin, Alexander and Leonid Karabeshkin. 2015. "Understanding Russia’s Soft Power Strategy." Politics 35 (3-4): 347-363. 32. Sevim, TuğçeVarol. 2013. "Eurasian Union: A Utopia, a Dream or a Coming Reality?" Eurasian Journal of Business and Economics 6 (12): 43-62. 33. Shnirelman, Viktor. 2001. "The Fate of Empires and Eurasian Federalism: A Discussion between the Eurasianists and their Opponents in the 1920s." Inner Asia 3: 153-173. 34. Stepenko, Alexander. 2014. "The Eurasian Integration Process of the CIS Countries." International Affairs 60 (6): 45-55. 35. Sulaimanova, Burulcha and Aziz Bostan. 2014. " International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of the Determinants of Emigration from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan." Eurasian Journal of Business and Economics 7 (13): 1-9ation 31 (1): 193-196. 36. Suny, Robert. 2011. The Soviet Experiment: Russia, the USSR, and the Successor States. Oxford: OUP. 37. Tass. 2015. "China backs Putin’s model of Eurasian integration — foreign ministry." Accessed December 4. 38. VestnikKavkaza. 2015. "Kyrgyz migrants coming out of shadow." Accessed November 23. 39. Volovoj, Vadim. 2015. "Kyrgyzstan: Internal and External Course of Development." Political Institutions and Public Administr 40. Zanca, Russell. 2013. "Asianizing Russia After ‘the Friendship among Peoples’." ZeitschriftFuerEthnologie 138 (2): 285-293. 41. Ziegler, Charles E. 2014. "Russia in Central Asia: The Dynamics of Great-Power Politics in a Volatile Region." Asian Perspective 38 (4): 589-617.

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GEOPOLITICAL THOUGHTS ON SCANDINAVIA: A ‘COASTAL ZONE’ DROWNING IN THE SEA From a geopolitical point of view Scandinavia is a part of the European "Rimland", "coastal zone", caught between the between the Atlanticist and Eurasian poles. This is supported by the fact that the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) seem to have have been more closely linked to thalassocracy than tellurocratic tendencies throughout their history since the Viking Age. They were thalassocratic in the sense that dominion of the sea was used as a basis for political and economic power. During the Middle Ages, Denmark-Norway had mercantile networks and relations stretching from Normandy, the British Isles and Greenland. Sweden-Finland, while also possessing a strong fleet used to dominate the Baltic Sea, were looking more to the East, towards the Eurasian Heartland. Later, during the era of European imperialism and colonialism throughout the world, Denmark-Norway established colonies in the Caribbean, Africa and India — and would come into conflict with other rivaling Sea-based civilizations such as the British Empire. Sweden also had minor overseas colonial possessions but they never materialized to much, instead they focused on dominating the Baltic Sea and Northeastern Europe — which brought them into conflict with Russia.

Mads Jacobsen

Master of Social Science in Development and International Relationst (Aalborg University, Denmark).

Historically there has been a divergence within Scandinavia concerning the poles to which the Nordic countries have turned. Sweden has been at war with Russia on several occasions spanning from the period of the Muscovite state to, almost, the end of the Russian Empire. Often the wars between Sweden and Russia were caused due to geopolitical disagreements over the control of the territories of Finland and Estonia, which both saw a strategic advantage in holding, as well as having access and control of the trading routes in the Baltic Sea. The clash between Sweden, which relied on a powerful navy (thalassocratic character), and Russia, as the pole of tellurocracy, would be have been inevitable following the basic idea of traditional geopolitics e.g. the Sea against the Land. Denmark and Norway, which have constituted a single state for a long period, have had historically good relations with Russia; starting from the alliance in 1493 between the Muscovite state, under Ivan III of Russia, and the Kalmar Union, under King John of Denmark. The good relations would continue until the end of the Russian Empire, and it is worth pointing out that the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna of Russia, the mother of Saint Tsar Nicolas II, was a Danish princess. The Danish-Russian relationship can also be attributed to the fact that Denmark and Sweden, after the latter left the Kalmar Union in the sixtieth-century, were local-regional competitors. So, geopolitically, Denmark-Norway, despite being a mostly thalassocratic power, aligned with tellurocratic Russia in order to create a mutually beneficial balance of power in the Baltic Sea region against the Swedish Empire.


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With the French Revolution, and the spread of liberal ideas and chauvinistic-bourgeois nationalism springing there from, things started to change in Scandinavia. Denmark’s clashes with the British Empire, the Atlanticist superpower at the time, in the early 1800’s led to bankruptcy and the loss of Norway to Sweden in 1814, and later Prussia would annex Southern Jutland in 1864. Thus, Denmark was in conflict with the most powerful regional thalassocratic and tellurocratic poles in Europe; with Britain controlling the sea and the trade routes around Denmark, and Prussia seeking to control the periphery surrounding her. Sweden lost Finland to Russia in 1809 but, as stated above, gained Norway a few years later. Not until the end of the Second World War would Scandinavia significantly fall under the influence of one the dominant geopolitical poles, namely the USA, the new Atlanticist hegemon, which became the heir of the British Empire after the latter had exhausted herself during the war. Scandinavia, with the exception of Finland, accepted the Marshall Plan, US foreign aid and loans given to Western Europe after the war on the condition of accepting the liberal democratic system, the free market economy and the values propagated by America. This way, the Atlanticists in the USA opened the door to spread their influence and secure an ideological and economic foothold in the region. These initiatives laid the foundation to what would later become the European Union (EU). The Atlanticist grip tightened on Western Europe and Scandinavia with the creation of the transatlantic military alliance NATO in 1949. Denmark, Norway and Iceland were founding members and have since been active participants, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union, in international missions against the perceived enemies of West, and the enforcement of ‘universal’ human rights in and around Europe.

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Western Europe and Scandinavia —  the ‘Rimland’ — thus became completely flooded by the Sea-based Atlanticist hegemon. The European Union (EU), of which Denmark, Sweden and Finland are members, could have functioned as an independent civilizational pole in a multipolar international system had it not been completely subordinated to Atlanticist interest. And so, it is clear that Europe’s acceptance of Atlanticist instutions, organizations and hegemony — especially in Western Europe — has led to the total desovereignization of all the participating European states, despite them being thalassocratic or tellurocratic in nature, to the advantage of the unipolar, Atlanticist aspirations of the bringing forth the "end of history" through a "New World Order". Today, Scandinavia primarily functions as a containment bloc against Russia in the Baltic Sea and towards the Arctic Circle. Moreover, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have been directly complicit, despite Sweden not being a NATO member, in furthering the unipolar agenda of the USA starting from the 1990’s wars in the Western Balkans, to the "New American Century" goals for the Middle East and North Africa. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the bombing of Libya, and support for the USA’s goals in Syria were, and are, done with the help of the ruling governmental elites in the Scandinavian countries. The continued Scandinavian, and for that matter European, situation regarding the regional subordination to Atlanticist, American interests is absolutely unacceptable. The EU is failing because it does not stand as an independent civilizational bloc build on the common roots, the ‘ethnos’, of its diverse, but still united, people. The EU is a body without a soul, and NATO is America’s armed wing in Europe, like a puppeteer and his puppet, used to further Atlanticist interests in the ‘coastal zones’ around its perceived enemies in Russia, the Eurasianist pole, and the Middle Eastern ‘Rimland’ which it is trying to flood.


Geopolitical thoughts on Scandinavia: A ‘coastal zone’ drowning in the Sea.

Therefore, a new approach must be sought. For multipolarity to work, Europe must be free from American dominance, starting with the rejection and dissolution of NATO. And a ‘dialog between civilizations’ must be sought instead of the reigning ‘clash of civilizations’ mentality. The Visegrád Group countries in Central-Eastern Europe seems to be going in a more independent direction vis-a-vis the current Atlanticist oriented EU. Maybe Scandinavia, under the right circumstances, will be able to turn from the control of the USA and their mission of global liberal unipolarity, and instead embrace, and actively promote, the idea of multipolarity —  which is the core of Eurasianism. The Scandinavian ‘coastal zone’ needs to see the danger of the Sea in which it is currently drowning and instead swim towards the shore. This is the only solution for future stability and the survival of the worlds unique civilizations in the international system.


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THE POLAR TRADITION: ANCIENT MYTH, BOREAL GEOGRAPHY AND MODERN METAPOLITICS "It seems to me that there has been another spiritual stream in the West, parallel to Christianity, that I call the ‘Polar Tradition’." Joscelyn Godwin Arktos:The Polar Myth1

Richard Rudgley

Studied history of religions, ethnology and prehistory at the University of London (SOAS) and the University of Oxford, with a thesis on Central Asia. He is the author of seven books on cultural history and has been translated into thirteen languages. Arktos has recently republished his books Essential Substances, which is about the history of intoxicants in Western civilisation; Wildest Dreams: An Anthology of Drug-Related Literature, which collects writings both ancient and modern describing the drug experience; and Barbarians, which is about the European ‘Dark Ages’. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

When considering the sacred aspect of multipolarism the notion of verticality and the mythic dimensions of the enterprise in questionare inevitably introduced. These elements are to be found at the heart of the neo-Eurasian movement itself  —  in Alexander Dugin’s works2and most obviously in his founding in the 1990s of the Arctogaia Association think tank, and the publishing house and website of the same name.3 The word Arctogaia derives from the Greek for ‘northern earth’ and was used early in the twentieth century by the Ariosophist JorgLanzLiebenfels(1874—1954) in the form Arktogäa to designate a lost polar continent. Under his influence his sometime associate the Austrian mystic Guido von List (1848—1919) also wrote of this lost land. The Arctogaia website describes it as: "a mythical continent, that in former days was situated on the North Pole, but long ago disappeared from physical reality."4 Arctogaia, in vanishing from the world of profane geography, shared a fate with its more well-known counterpart, namely the lost northern continent of Hyperborea. The name Hyperborea (the land of the Hyperboreans) means ‘beyond the north wind’. Even as far back in history as ancient Greece its ethereal status was attested to by Pindar who wrote in his Pythian Odes: "neither by ship nor on foot could you find the marvellous road to the meeting-place of the Hyperboreans." Greek literature abounds with references to the Hyperboreans. Sometimes these passages are couched purely in mythical terms whilst others attempt to locate them in a more mundane geography. Hecataeus wrote that ‘the Land of the Hyperboreans lies on the Atlantic sea, opposite the land of the Celts.’ Most sources are vaguer but all agree that Hyperborea is in the far northern zone of the world, whether this was understood to be still part of continental Europe or beyond it, further toward the pole. Joscelyn Godwin,Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival, Adventure Unlimited Press, 1996, p.8. 2  For example his 1996 From SacredGeography to Geopolitics see http://4pt. su/en/content/sacred-geography-geopolitics accessed April 2016. 3  Another evocation of the lost northern world is to be found in the name of the publisher Arktos which publishes the works not only of Duginand of the New Right but also a number of other writers of Traditionalist persuasion. 4 accessed April 2016. 1 

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The polar tradition: ancient myth, boreal geography and modern metapolitics

Others tried to locate the Hyperboreans by reference to other semi-mythical races. Some sources talk of a people called the Arimphians who were said to dwell to the south of the Riphean Mountains. These mountains were envisaged as a vast stone girdle encircling the earth. To the north of this mountainous barrier was the homeland of the Hyperboreans. This placing of Hyperborea within a circular stone barrier is echoed by the citadel of the mythical Iranian homeland detailed further below. The Greek historian Herodotus (fifth century BC) noted that his own writing on the Hyperboreans was not based on eye-witness accounts of this northern civilisation since neither he nor anyone he knew or had even heard of had actually been to Hyperborea (Histories 4.16). It is said to be a fertile country with a temperate climate and its inhabitants live in a state of perpetual bliss in their utopian country. They worship Apollo and built circular temples dedicated to him. Although it is possible to draw parallels between the Hyperboreans and the Bronze Age peoples of northern Europe it is clear that most Greek accounts contain more mythic imagery than attempts to plot them on any purely mundane map. The sun-worshipping Hyperboreans also present us with a close parallel to the spiritually enlightened beings of the ancient Iranian tradition. The oldest sacred texts of the Iranians are known collectively as the Avestaand preserve many parallels with the ancient Vedas of the Indian tradition. This clearly shows that much of the mythology contained in these two sets of scriptures belongs to a common tradition that existed before the Indians and the Iranians split into two separate cultural streams in the second millennium BC. In the Iranian Avestawe are told of a place known as the Airyanem Vaejah– the original homeland of the Aryan-Iranians. Much ink has been spilt trying to find a geographic location for this mythologised place with little agreement among the scholars. Henry Corbin, an orientalist and specialist in the spiritual traditions of Iran, has put forward his explanation for this confusion:


"Those who have attempted to determine its position on geographic maps have run into great difficulties; no convincing solution has been obtained in this way, for the first and good reason that the problem of locating it lies in the realm of visionary geography."1 Corbin goes further, describing it as a primordial and archetypal image. In other words, this lost northern homeland is part of the psychic map of the Indo-European peoples, existing within rather than without — it is to be found not on the map of the earth but the map of the soul. The ancient Iranian myths tell of Yima, the greatest of mortals, who was commanded by the gods to create a walled city, an enclosure within which the most spiritual beings would take refuge from a lethal winter which was to be released by demonic forces. When this catastrophe had finally passed those humans within the enclosure could re-enter the world outside and populate it anew. This northern paradise of the Iranians is described as a fortified citadel within which both houses and storerooms allow its occupants to survive through these terrible times. Corbin tells us that it has: "Luminiscent windows which themselves secrete an inner light within, for it is illuminated by both uncreated and created lights. Its inhabitants see the stars, moon, and sun rise and set only once a year, and that is why a year seems to them only a day."2 As has already been mentioned many have searched on maps for this northern paradise, a place that Corbin sees as a spiritual rather than an earthly location. But this passage does seem to preserve some folk memory or knowledge of the earthly realm of the far north. For at the poles there is only one day and one night per year — six months of darkness and six months of light. This apparent evidence for such a folk memory is fascinating but this not The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism, translated by Nancy Pearson, Shambhala, Boulder/London, 1978, p.39. 2  Ibid., p.40. 1 

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to the place to pursue this line of the enquiry. My present interest is to outline the mythical dimensions of this polar paradise. Some features of this Iranian myth echo those of northern European mythology. Asgard, the home of Odin and the other members of the Aesir family of gods, is a walled and fortified enclosure. The unusual mythical account of a severe and protracted winter that was preserved in Iranian tradition can also be found in the Norse myths. The Fimbulwinter (from the Old Norse fimbulvetr meaning ‘great or terrible winter’) is said to last for three years with no summers to break the harsh monotony. Throughout this time there are constant snowstorms from all directions and a permanent frost. It is said to herald the coming Ragnarok and in some versions of the myth even to be identical to it. Corbin sees the lost northern homeland of the Iranians as an archetypal symbol that refers to: "The threshold of a supernatural beyond: there are uncreated lights; a world that secretes its own light...a shadowless country peopled with beings of light who have reached spiritual heights inaccessible to earthly beings. They are truly beings of the beyond; where the shadow which holds the light captive ends, there the beyond begins, and the very same mystery is enciphered in the symbol of the North. In the same way the Hyperboreans symbolize men whose soul has reached such completeness and harmony that it is devoid of negativity and shadow."1 There are parallels to such myths in the Indian tradition. Hindu myth speaks of the people of the northern sun (the Uttara-kurus) who inhabit a polar paradise and whose perfection is symbolised by their being formed as conjoined twins. One of the most prominent figures in the quest for Indian independence from the British Empire was the nationalist leader BâlGangâdharTilak (1856-1920). In 1897 he was imprisoned as a result of his anti-British stance. Whilst incarcerated he was allowed to spend his time writing on a less se1 

Ibid., p.40.

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ditious subject — thanks to the intervention of the orientalist Max Muller who spoke out on his behalf. The result of this literary labour was a book entitled The Arctic Home in the Vedas (completed in 1897 and published in 1903)in which he proposed that the original homeland of the Aryans was not somewhere in Central Asia (as the then received wisdom would have it) but in the Far North. He claimed that many otherwise inexplicable passages in the ancient Hindu scriptures became clear once this polar homeland was accepted. For example, the mythical imagery of the Vedas speaks of ‘Thirty Dawn-Sisters circling like a wheel’ and the ‘Dawn of Many Days’ that precedes the rising of the sun both of which reflect conditions at the pole.2 The archetypal symbol of the Far North has multiple layers of meaning. Fundamental to this symbolism is the underlying idea of a vertical ascent. The Hyperboreans, the perfect beings who dwell at the pole, represent the perfected beings that have attained enlightenment. The spiritual journey that is expressed in these mythical traditions is one of travelling on the way up to the north, the way to enlightenment. In many archaic cosmologies the heavens are symbolised as being held up by a pole or a pillar and we find such beliefs in the Norse tradition. The Old Norse term áss, meaning ‘god’ (hence the Aesirfamily of gods) also means ‘pole’. Among the pagan Saxons a huge pole or pillar known as the Irminsul was central to their religion. It symbolised the mystical centre of the world and thus its felling by the Christian Charlemagne was seen by them as an act of great sacrilege. As a symbol the Irminsul seems to be closely connected to Yggdrassil, the World Tree of Norse myth and probably to the veneration of poles and tall wooden idols that can be traced back to the Bronze Age. All these symbols show the importance of the vertical axis in the pre-Christian northern worldview. It was by facing to the north that the Norse gods were invoked. The Hyperborean Joscelyn Godwin,Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival, Adventure Unlimited Press, 1996, p.33. 2 


The polar tradition: ancient myth, boreal geography and modern metapolitics

myth was still current at the time of the Vikings. Even as late as the eleventh century the medieval historian Adam of Bremen, when writing about the pagan rites he witnessed in Sweden, repeated the myth that the most northerly people in the world were the Hyperboreans. Thus it can be seen that in these various ancient Indo-European mythologies a northern homeland and paradise was a common feature. It is clear that this polar myth can be traced back to a number of peoples of prehistoric Eurasia. In northern Europe it was integral to the Germanic myths and, as such, a part of the inner geography of the northern psyche. Hyperborea is the lost continent of the European imagination. In the nineteenth century the archetype of the northern homeland returned with a vengeance. With the rise of modern science the search for the origin cradle of humanity (and more particularly the Indo-European peoples) became a burning issue. No longer relying on the Bible for the answer scientists began to consider a host of alternatives. The almost universal view among today’s archaeologists and anthropologists is that Africa is the birth place of humanity but in the nineteenth century the question was far more open. Central Asia, Scandinavia, India, Tibet, and the North Pole were all championed by different scholars as the homeland of the Indo-Europeans and, in some cases, humanity itself. Those who thought the Indo-European homeland was to be found in the Far North were tapping into the archetypal image of Hyperborea in a way comparable to those that seek the origins of civilisation in Mesopotamia draw on another archetypal land, that of the Biblical Eden. Unfolding concurrently with this geographical and archaeological scrutiny of archaic myths of a lost homeland were metapolitical and occult currents that evoked the mysterious northern island of Thule. Thule is a word that means little to anyone except those interested in ancient geography or those who are familiar with that branch of modern history that concerns itself with the darker side of occultism and political extremism. Textbooks on the history of polar research invariably start with an intrepid Greek voyager named Pytheas of Massalia. Around 2,300 years


ago he set out from the Greek trading port of Massalia (modern day Marseilles) and made a journey further north than any of his compatriots had ever made, travelling beyond Britain to a location that he named Thule. He recorded these travels in his On the Ocean the original of which has unfortunately been lost to posterity. Various fragments of this lost work still exist as Pytheas was quoted by various other ancient writers such as the well-known geographer Strabo. Strabo and others quoted him largely to mock his, what seemed to them, wild assertions about this undiscovered northern land. Modern commentators have been more willing to give more credence to his account. Debate still continues as to the actual geographical location of Pytheas’ Thule. Trondheim in Norway, the Shetland Islands and the Faroe Islands have all been put forward as possible candidates but most scholars agree that he was probably referring to Iceland. 1The fact that Pytheas’ account of his voyage was not widely believed in the ancient world meant that whilst Thule did find its way onto maps of the earth it had another enduring influence, namely in the realm of the imagination. ‘Ultima Thule’ became an evocative symbol for a fabulous land in the far north in the works of Roman poets. The word Thule itself has many variants both in how it is written (Thula, Thyle, Tyle, Tula,Tila among them) and in its suggested meaning.2Thule is variously interpreted as meaning ‘resting place (of the sun)’, ‘most remote land’, ‘the furthest place’ and in some instances became identified with Hyperborea. The old myth of Thule was revived in the early twentieth century in Germany in a new incarOn the voyage of Pytheas and subsequent historical discussions on the location of Thule see Christina Horst Roseman’s translation of the surviving fragments and ancient commentaries — Pytheas of Massalia’sOn the Ocean, Ares Publishers, Chicago, 1994 and also BarryCunliffe’s excellent and highly readable overview The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek, Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, London, 2001. 2  For a highly detailed account of the ancient and medieval sources concerning Thule and the convoluted history of the meaning of this word see R.F. Burton Ultima Thule; or, A Summer in Iceland, 2 volumes, William P. Nimmo, London, 1875, still a useful sourcebook despite its age. 1 

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Richard Rudgley

nation as a metapoliticaland occult device. In 1918the Thule Society emerged out of the Germanenorden, a secretive nationalist and anti-Semitic quasi-masonic lodge. Entry was subject to strict racial guidelines and questions about skin, eye and hair colour appeared on the forms to be filled in by prospective members, whilst those who were physically handicapped were barred.The clandestine meetings of the Thule Society in Munich were rudely interrupted when in November 1918 Bavaria was suddenly (if peacefully) overtaken by socialist revolutionaries led by a Jewish journalist named Kurt Eisner. This event involved the deposing of the Wittelsbach royal family and it seemed that the Thule Society’s worst nightmare was coming true. The Society’s leader, the occultist and political activist Rudolf von Sebottendorff addressed his assembled brethren the day after this revolution reportedly saying: "Yesterday we experienced the collapse of everything which was familiar, dear and valuable to us. In the place of our princes of Germanic blood rules our deadly enemy: Judah. What will come of this chaos, we do not know yet. But we can guess. A time will come of struggle…I am determined to pledge the Thule to this struggle. Our Order is a Germanic Order… our god is Walvater, his rune is the Ar-rune. And the trinity: Wotan, Wili, We is the unity of the trinity. The Ar-rune signifies Aryan, primal fire, the sun and the eagle."1 As Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke pointed out these words reveal the influence of Guido von List. The ‘trinity’ of Germanic pagan gods in this particular form was one of List’s innovations and the multiple meanings given to the Ar-rune by Sebottendorff in his speech are drawn directly from List’s work. Goodrick-Clarke also suspects that the name of the Thule Society owes much to List’s indirect inspiration. According to List Iceland was the refuge of Armanist sages (preservers of ancient Germanic wisdom) fleeing the persecution of the Catholic Church. Sebottendorff identified Iceland with Thule. The Thule Society soon became a powerhouse of the political right. Weapons training, countNicholas Goodrick-Clarke The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology, I.B. Tauris, London, 1985, p.145. 1 

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er-revolutionary activity and the infiltration of Communist groups were key aspects of their political agenda. They also played host to a number of individuals who were to become leading Nazis including Alfred Rosenberg and Rudolf Hess. It is also possible to trace another more symbolic link to the Nazi Party. It was a member of the Thule Society named Friedrich Krohn who in 1919 advocated the use of the swastika as the symbol of the National Socialist Party — the forerunner of the Nazi Party. Hitler approved a modified version of Krohn’s design for use as the core emblem of Nazism.2 Another important and far-reaching survey of a lost arctic homeland is to be found in the work of Herman Wirth (1885—1981).Whilst investigating the folk architecture of the Netherlands he came to believe that ancient traditions dating back to a lost northern homeland had been preserved by Frisian craftsmen. This provided the initial inspiration for his magnum opus, a huge volume entitled The Rise of Mankind which was published in 1928. Joscelyn Godwin brought this all but forgotten work a new lease of life by summarising it to the Englishspeaking world: "Wirth inhabited that borderland that lies between scholarship and the world of the imagination. Such people, and they are rare, serve an invaluable purpose on both sides of the frontier. They bring to the dry bonesof academic research an infusion from the mythic imagination, while at the same time they exercise objectivity, reason and control in dealing with subjects that often induce delusions, paranoia and inflation…it was important to him that his version of the ‘Rise of Mankind’… should become a trueimage in the collective mind, that is, a myth. His whole motivation for this…was a concern for the spiritual state of Thule continued to be a theme in the postWar period, for example in the occult novels Wilhelm Landig, a former SS officer. Also the Thule Seminar is the name of a German metapolitical think tank founded in 1980 and led by Pierre Krebs see 2 


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Western man. A similar concern prompts me to study and write about him"1 Wirth sought spiritual understanding by delving into the ancient and prehistoric northern world. He believed that prehistoric inscriptions on rocks and on bone and wooden artefacts across the northern hemisphere were examples of a system of symbolic language which he was able to decipher. He claimed that before the last Ice Age Europeans were anything but primitive. He also believed that the earliest human script came from a Stone Age civilisation in the Atlantic-European region and this itself stemmed from an even earlier culture with its long lost homeland located within the Arctic Circle. This Arctic homeland had to be abandoned with the coming of the Ice Age. Its inhabitants (whom he calls the Arctic-Nordic race) migrated southwards to North America, to the northern Atlantis that then still existed and to northernmost Asia. It was to the remnants of this archaic race that the subsequent civilisations of ancient Egypt, Sumeria and other ancient cultures were ultimately indebted. In propounding this theory Wirth was turning what had become received wisdom on its head. It was not the east but the north that was the origin of true religion and civilisation, the boreal peoples were not barbarians civilised by the more advanced Mediterranean cultures but the heralds of high culture themselves. 2 This axial shift from East to North that Wirth advocates is echoed in our own time in both secular geopolitics and in the latest resurgence of mythic geography. Under its various names (Artogaia, Hyperborea, Thule, etc.) the lost continent of the North remains a core motif in contemporary metapolitical discourse. The Belgian Jean Thiriart,who wrote of a grand telluric alliance from ‘Dublin to Vladivostok’, has inspired a host of thinkers to advocate a new world power often dubbed Eurosiberia. Among them is Guillaume Faye, Joscelyn Godwin, ‘Out of Arctica? Herman Wirth’s Theory of Human Origins’ in Runa, 5, Rune Gild, n.d., p.2. 2  In 1935, he became a co-founder of the Ahnenerbe, the research bureau set up by Himmler to investigate the ancestral heritage of the Germans but was dismissed in 1938. 1 


one of the most prominent thinkers to have emerged from the French New Right. Whilst his approach is largely focused on the secular (rather than the sacred) in his Metapolitical Dictionary he nevertheless writes: "the concept of Eurosiberia is a ‘paradigm’, that is, an ideal, a model, an objective, one of whose dimensions is a concrete, agitating, and mobilising myth".3A key theme in Faye’s identitarian vision is of an ongoing and massive socio-political conflict between North and South — between native Europeans and immigrants from the south (Africa, the Middle East). In his work the old East-West axiom gives way to a new orientation — namely that of North-South. This new focus on the North-South axis brings with it a number of key paradigmatic shifts the geopolitical ramifications of which are of seismic proportions. Firstly, if Europe’s core identity is seen to be Northern it can no longer be Western as well   —  so in this vision Europe’s identification with what the Western world has become ceases to be (at least from an ideological point of view) and Europe removes itself from the thalassocratic spherein both politically and psychologically terms. Secondly, this shift is from the horizontal dimension (East-West) to the vertical dimension (North-South) implying a sea change from rhizomatic post-modern liberalism to ideas inspired by ancient hierarchies, Indo-European Traditionalism and organic democracies. Thirdly, it is noteworthy than in our own time it is possible to see how the myth of the ancient lost homeland of the north not only continues to be an essential element in contemporary metapolitical circles of Third Way adherents but also can be seen to play an equally axial role amongst seekers of a Fourth Way. The evocation of the polar continent amongst the latter takes place both within the neo-Eurasian Movement proper and in other schools of thought seeking metapolitical and geopolitical solutions from a position that is ‘beyond left and right’. It may also be remarked that this journey beyond left and right represents a further rejection of the horizontal plane in favour of vertical alternatives. See his Why We Fight: Manifesto of the European Resistance, Arktos, London, 2011, pp.143-144. 3 

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Teaches History and Politics at Western Sydney University. He has a deep interest in the areas of International Politics and International Political Economy.

The thawing of the frozen conflict in Artsakh (otherwise known as Nagorno-Karabkh) began on April 2, 2016 when Azerbaijan launched an offensive against the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Following the 1994 war, the republic remained internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan despite Baku holding no control over the disputed region which serves as a de facto province of Armenia. With the conflict in limbo since 1994 with only sporadic clashes occurring, why has the issue reanimated over two decades later, why is it occurring, and what role has Russia and NATO, particularly member states Turkey and the United States, played in this? This article will explore pan-Turkism as cause for the conflict, the unresolved refugee issue, the geopolitical dynamics and the failure of the Minsk Group. Artsakh is a small enclave within Azerbaijan, however since the end of the war in 1994; Armenian irregulars and the government of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabkh hold other lands in Azerbaijan proper creating an unhinged border between Armenia and the unrecognized republic.

Paul Antonopoulos

MA Candidate doing his dissertation on the "Saudi-Iranian Geopolitical Rivalry in the Syrian War." He is a regular contributor at Al-Masdar News.

Maram Susli

However, unlike the first war, Baku has had over two decades to invest its vast oil wealth into modernizing and professionalizing its military. In contrast, Armenia is a small, landlocked state without resources. By 2010 Azerbaijan’s military budget had exceeded Armenia’s entire GDP.1 Long term dictator Ilham Aliyev confident in the military might of Azerbaijan made continuous threats to retake the disputed region by force.2 Why this is disputed must be analysed and take into consideration the historical context. Although a historically and demographically Armenian region, future Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was the acting Commissar of Nationalities and in 1921 assigned Artsakh under Azerbaijani control as a means to appease Turkey and tempt Constantinople to join the Soviet Union.3 So although it is believed to have been transferred as a goodwill gesture to maintain "good relations with Ataturk’s Turkey" as Kenneth Weisbrode terms it, a consistent Soviet policy of "divide and rule" must be questioned.4

Geopolitical analyst and commen- 1  "Azeri Military Budget Exceeds Armenia’s GDP, Says tator covering Syria, the Middle East and wider regions. She is a regular Co-Chairman," Asbarez, June 16, 2011. 2  Zulfugar Agayev, "Azerbaijan Says It’s Prepared to Take Back contributor to Journal New East Outlook and Global Independent Karabakh by Force," Bloomberg, August 6, 2015. 3  Analytics. Robert Service, Stalin: A Biography (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005), 204. 4  Kenneth Weisbrode, Central Eurasia — Prize or Quicksand?: Contending Views of Instability in Karabakh, Ferghana and Afghanistan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 27.

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Nagorno-Karabakh: The Thawing of the Forgotten Caucasian Conflict

Stalin intentionally placed regions with an ethnic majority inside other Soviet republics. This was consistently done throughout the Union including Crimea from Russia to Ukraine, Ossetia divided into Russia and Georgia, and Artsakh to Azerbaijan. "By placing the region (Artsakh) within the borders of Azerbaijan, the Armenian inhabitants could be used as potential ‘hostages’ to ensure the Armenian SSR’s cooperation with the wishes of the Soviet leadership. By the same token, an ‘autonomous’ Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan could serve as a potential pro-Soviet fifth column in the event of a disloyalty by the Azerbaijanis."1 Effectively, the Soviet policy of "divide and rule" has led to the disintegration of stability in the region since the collapse of the Union in 1991 with conflicts in Crimea, Ossetia and Artsakh amongst others breaking out. However, why does Azerbaijan want to keep sovereignty of a land that is historically, culturally and demographically Armenian? When explored through the context of a pan-Turkic ideology, it becomes clearer.

Pan-Turkic Ideology Pan-Turkism as an ideology first emerged in the 1880’s amongst intellectuals of Azerbaijan, Karl R. DeRouen and Uk Heo, eds., Civil Wars of the World. Volume 1 (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2007), 146. 1 


which was then a part of the Russian Empire, and intellectuals of the Ottoman Empire.2 The movement aims to unite all Turkic peoples into a singular state.3 This radical line of thinking culminated into the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocide by the Kemal Ataturk-led Young Turks movement in the aim of clearing Anatolia of its non-Muslim minorities.4 With the clearance of Anatolia from non-Muslim minorities, the Young Turks engaged in an aggressive policy of Turkification on its Kurdish minority, which only had limited successes.5 The disintegration of the Soviet Union gave independence to the Turkic states of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.6 It can be questioned therefore that the only issue hindering a union of the five former Soviet republics and Turkey into John Coatsworth et al., Global Connections: Politics, Exchange, and Social Life in World History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 313. 3  John Coatsworth et al., Global Connections: Politics, Exchange, and Social Life in World History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 313. 4  Hannibal Travis, Hidden Genocides: Power, Knowledge, Memory, ed. Alexander Laban Hinton, Thomas LaPointe, and Douglas Irvin-Erickson (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2014), 180. 5  Oral Calisar, Understanding Turkey’s Kurdish Question, ed. Fevzi Bilgin and Ali Sarıhan (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2013), 32. 6  Dietrich Jung and Wolfango Piccoli, Turkey at the Crossroads: Ottoman Legacies and a Greater Middle East (London: Zed Books, 2001), 176. 2 

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a unified Turkic state is the separation that would be made because of Armenia’s location in between Turkey and Azerbaijan. When analysed through the scope of pan-Turkic nationalism, the problem of Armenia’s existence becomes clearer. Although the Armenians were slaughtered in their millions partially due to their religion by Young Turk forces, the current conflict in Artsakh is about nationalism rather than religious sectarianism.1 Turkish President Erdogan announced that Turkey would stand with Azerbaijan "to the end" when hostilities first broke out. Ankara’s open support for Azerbaijan comes despite Baku starting this latest bout of conflict.2 This is unsurprising when only in 2010 Erdogan in a joint speech with his Azeri counterpart stated that "Turkish-Azerbaijani cooperation is based not only on strong solidarity between our states, but also on common history and unity of our hearts. Turkish and Azerbaijani people speak the same language, have common history." Erdogan continued by stating "Our relations built on this sound foundation and strengthening on the basis of the "one nation, two states" principle." This brotherly sentiment was continued by Aliyev stating after Erdogan that "we are also paying tribute to the great son of the Turkic world, outstanding leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who will always live in the hearts of Azerbaijani people." 3 While Turkey and Azerbaijan acknowledge a common history and language, it also means Aliyev made praise to Ataturk who was responsible for the murder of over a million Armenians. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, pogroms against Azerbaijan’s "Passing Resolution 154 — Armenian Genocide Recognition," The Armenian Genocide Society, accessed April 12, 2016, www. 2  Dominique Soguel, "Turkish president: We stand with Azerbaijan ‘to the end’," The San Diego Union-Tribune, April 3, 2016. 3  "Joint Press Statements of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey," Official Web-site of President of Azerbaijan Republic, last modified September 15, 2010, 1 

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Armenian minority followed along with the destruction of Armenian historical sites.4 Does pan-Turkism play a role in the greater geopolitical rivalry between Ankara and Moscow? Two days after Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 jet on 24 November, 2015 in Syria, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that "Turkey will do everything possible to liberate the occupied territories of Azerbaijan."5 This suggests that Ankara would be actively engaged in defending pan-Turkic interests across the post-Soviet republics. This soft power strategy of economic and cultural cooperation is a means of undermining Moscow’s dominance in its traditional sphere of influence. Is it conceivable that Azerbaijan renewed this unresolved conflict in order to assist its Turkish kin in the New Cold War between NATO and Russia? It may appear highly unlikely as Azerbaijan bought 85% of its weapons in the previous 5 years from Russia, accounting for over $4 billion worth of arms trade. 6, 7 Bonn International Centre for Conversion, a German think tank, claims that Armenia and Azerbaijan are in the top 10 most militarized states in the world.8 Russia are taking economic advantage of the ever increasing militarization of Armenia and Azerbaijan by confirming that it will continue to sell weapons to both rival states as contracted.9 By Erdogan affirming Turkey’s utmost support for Azerbaijan reclaiming Artsakh when the Vahakn N. Dadrian, The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus (New York: Berghahn, 1995), 372. 5  John Dyer, "The Bad Blood Between Russia and Turkey Is Spreading to Armenia and Azerbaijan," Vice, December 3, 2015. 6  Joshua Kucera, "Report: Azerbaijan Gets 85 Percent Of Its Weapoans From Russia," Eurasianet, March 17, 2015. 7  David Boyajian, "Sleeping with Our Enemy: Russia Sells Weapons to Azerbaijan," The Armenian Weekly, March 5, 2015. 8  Jan Grebe, "Global Militarisation Index 2014," BICC, 2014, 5. 9  "Russia set to continue arms supplies to Azerbaijan and Armenia — official," TASS, April 8, 2016. 4 


Nagorno-Karabakh: The Thawing of the Forgotten Caucasian Conflict

conflict erupted, it demonstrates Ankara’s efforts to woo Baku away from Moscow. These trade deals occur as Armenia hosts a Russian military base.1 Moscow is confronted with a dilemma between the economic gains through arms deals with Azerbaijan and maintaining positive relations with its traditional ally in Armenia. However, the role the Pan-Turkic ultra-nationalist armed group, the Grey Wolves, has in this conflict cannot be overlooked. The Grey Wolves are the militant wing of the Nationalist Movement Party, the third largest in Turkey’s parliament.2 The group was created and funded by NATO during the Cold War as part of its ‘stay- behind networks’ known as Operation Gladio.3 While NATO claimed its Gladio groups were trained to resist a potential Soviet invasion, in practice they were used as death squads and terror groups targeting NATO’s enemies.4 The Grey Wolves funded by Turkish secret service in the 1980s assassinated members of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA).5 ASALA were created to target individuals who were responsible for the Armenian genocide.6 The Grey Wolves fought in the 1988 Nagorno-Karabakh War on Azerbaijan’s side against the Armenian forces.7 After the defeat in the Nagorno-Karbakh war in 1994, the Grey Wolves attempted a coup Adam Ereli, "Putin’s Newest Satellite State," Forbes, February 26, 2016. 2  Tony Cartalucci, "Turkish-Uyghur Terror Inc. — America’s Other Al Qaeda," Journal New Eastern Outlook, September 23, 2015. 3  Tony Tony Cartalucci, ""Global Gladio": NATO Terror Network Reaches into Asia," Global Research, September 4, 2015. 4  Mikhail Kryzhanovskiĭ, White House Special Handbook How to Rule the World in the 21st Century (New York: Algora, 2007), 244. 5  "Machete attacks raise fears over widespread violence," Today’s Zaman, July 14, 2013. 6  "Turkish Secret Service Paid Grey Wolves for Assassinations," Asbarez, August 19, 2008. 7  Zbigniew Brzezinski and Paige Bryan Sullivan, eds., Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Documents, Data, and Analysis (Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1997), 616. 1 


against the Aliyev dictatorship in 1995.8 The coup attempt failed and the Grey Wolves were subsequently declared an illegal group in Azerbaijan where they could no longer operate openly.9 A spokesperson for the President of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh accused Azerbaijan of recruiting the Grey Wolves in the recent outbreak of violence, as well as ISIS only two days into the recent conflict.10 While the Grey Wolves are an ultranationalist group rather than an Islamic one, this is not the first time the Grey Wolves have been accused of having connections with ISIS. A source within Russian intelligence have accused the Grey Wolves along with ISIS of being responsible for downing the Russian civilian airliner, Airbus A321, over the Sinai.11 A September 2015 report claimed that ISIS had set up a special camp on the Syrian-Iraqi border specifically to train the ‘Azerbaijani mujahedeen’, funded by the Azerbaijan government.12 In the latest hostilities, Russian military sources claimed that an Azerbaijani ISIS Brigade consisting of hundreds of terrorists had left Syria to go to war in Artsakh.13 In the 1988-1994 war thousands of ‘mujahedeen’ had flocked to Artsakh to wage jihad, as ISIS forces are presently deployed, but they left for ideological reasons. 14 Thomas De Waal, Black Garden Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War (New York: New York University Press, 2013), 252. 9  Susan Cunningham, "Thailand’s Shrine Bombing — The Case For Turkey’s Grey Wolves," Forbes, August 24, 2015. 10  "NKR has grounds to believe that Azerbaijan uses Islamic terrorists on the frontline," Armenpress, April 4, 2016. 11  Brendan Cole, "Russian plane crash: Isis-linked Turkish group Grey Wolves ‘may have downed’ Airbus A321," International Business Times, February 1, 2016. 12  "Azerbaijanis on Islamic State training grounds," Horizon Weekly, April 5, 2016. 13  Ollie Richardson, "Azerbaijan’s ISIS Brigade Travelled from Syria to NagornoKarabakh," Fort Russ, April 4, 2016. 14  Michael Taarnby, The Mujahedin in NagornoKarabakh. A Case Study in the Evolution of Global Jihad (Madrid: Real Instituto Cano, 2008), 6. 8 

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Their departure is explained through the pan-Turkic ideology that values nationalist expansionism over jihad. Shamil Basayev, a Chechen Islamist warlord said he pulled his forces out of the conflict because "the war seemed to be more for nationalism than for religion."1 The present Azeri ISIS fighters are similarly fighting for pan-Turkic expansionism rather than waging a jihad. However, this does not discount that the Grey Wolves have aligned interests with ISIS against Russia, Armenians, Kurdish Communists and the Syrian government. The Grey Wolves continue to serve NATO and Turkish expansionist aims against Russia’s influence in the Middle East and the Caucasus. The Turkmen rebel commander, Alparslan Celik, who claimed responsibility for shooting the parachuting Russian pilot after Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 over Syria, was a member of The Grey Wolves.2 The Grey Wolves were also involved in organizing Tartar attempts to blockade the Crimea.3 Their assistance to the Tartars, was based on the strong pan-Turkic sentiment of the Grey Wolves. They remain an auxiliary force to be utilized by Ankara in its Caucasian rivalry with Moscow. This regional rivalry between Ankara and Moscow has found a new flashpoint in Artsakh where the Grey Wolves fight Armenian forces and undermine Russia’s position in the region.

Geostrategic Consequences and Understanding The installation of Russian air defence systems in Armenia occurred as Turkish-Russo relations worsened after the downing of the Su-24. Russia’s militarization of the Caucasus blocks Turkey, a key NATO member, attempts Khatchig Mouradian, ""Terror in Karabakh: Chechen Warlord Shamil Basayev’s Tenure in Azerbaijan," The Armenian Weekly, August 15, 2011. 2  Johnlee Varghese, "Syria: Photos of Alparslan Celik, rebel leader from Turkey who shot Russian pilot, go viral," International Business Times, November 27, 2015. 3  Ollie Richardson, "Erdogan sends ‘Grey Wolves’ to Crimea — A History Lesson," Fort Russ, December 9, 2015. 1 

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to pursue an aggressive neo-Ottoman Empire policy. For Moscow, any NATO presence creeping towards its borders and spheres of influence represents a threat to its geo-strategic interests. As the 2008 Georgian-Ossetian War demonstrated, Moscow will respond to neo-imperialist hostilities at its borders. Russia views NATO’s eastward expansion as a direct challenge to its national and regional interests, including Georgia’s attempts to join NATO.4 Tbilisi in 2008 at the prelude to war was reinvigorated by US President George Bush as he welcomed Georgia and Ukraine to the Membership Action Plan, a roadmap that prepares nations for NATO membership. Part of the preparations was to begin an offensive over the frozen conflict in South Ossetia.5 Moscow responded to Georgia’s aggression by claiming that Tbilisi had attacked Russian peacekeepers in the breakaway republic. Russia directly intervened in what it perceived as NATO infringing on its sphere of influence in the Caucasus.6 As a NATO member, Turkey has threatened to respond aggressively to Armenia by assisting their Azeri brethren knowing that Russia and Armenia share a Joint Air Defence System.7 In October 2013, Andrey Ruzinsky, the chief commander of Russia’s 102nd military base, stated that "If Azerbaijan decides to restore jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force the [Russian] military base may join in the armed conflict in accordance with the Russian Federation’s obligations within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization."8 Although this did not eventuate when hostilities broke out, Moscow reinforced its military Joseph Laurence Black, Russia Faces NATO Expansion: Bearing Gifts Or Bearing Arms? (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), 237-238. 5  Steven Erlanger and Steven Lee Myers, "NATO Allies Oppose Bush on Georgia and Ukraine," The New York Times, April 3, 2008. 6  George Friedman, "The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power," Stratfor, August 12, 2008. 7  "Why Did Russia, Armenia Create Joint Defense System in Caucasus?," Sputnik, December 23, 2015. 8  "Russian Troops in Gyumri will Retaliate if Azerbaijan Attack," Asbarez, October 31, 2013. 4 


Nagorno-Karabakh: The Thawing of the Forgotten Caucasian Conflict

presence in Armenia with assault helicopters and anti-aircraft missiles deterring any Turkish decision to intervene in the Artsakh conflict.1 Although Baku’s strong economic relations with Moscow may distance it further from the West, Azerbaijan could have resumed its aggression with the blessings of its unipolar partners. Just as Moscow has had to balance relations between Baku and Yerevan, Baku has had to balance relations between Moscow and Ankara. However, Dmitry Frolovskiy argues that "Baku skilfully utilizes the Turkish backing in order to project its willingness to act in Nagorno-Karabakh and reclaim the occupied territories with force, all while in the eyes of the Moscow political elites."2 Azerbaijan did not embroil itself in the Ankara-Moscow hostilities after the downing of the Su-24 jet. However, Turkey attempted to win Baku’s approval, whilst weakening Russia’s influence, by reminding its ethnic kin two days after the incident that Turkey supported Azerbaijan’s supposed territorial integrity in Artsakh. Vice speaker of Russia’ State Duma, Sergei Zheleznyak, stated on his Facebook that there is a "third force" causing the instability and that "it is clear that the force that continues to fan the flames of war in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus dissatisfied with the peacekeeping and counter-terror success of Russia and our allies in Syria is interested in the speedy exacerbation of the protracted conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region."3 It can be speculated that Zheleznyak was referring to Turkey rather than the United States as Ankara have a more immediate interest in this conflict. The NATO policy of encircling Russia offers an alternative reason for the conflict in Artsakh. Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko in 2014 emphasized that NATO’s deployment of personnel into Eastern "The Motives Behind a Russian-Armenian Air Defense Deal," Stratfor, November 20, 2015. 2  Dmitry Frolovskiy, "The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and geopolitical chessboard of the South Caucasus," Foreign Policy Blogs, April 7, 2016. 3  "State Duma vice speaker says "third force" is behind Nagorno-Karabakh events," TASS, April 3, 2016. 1 


Europe "would raise tensions in the EuroAtlantic region and undermine the current security system in it. All this can throw Europe back to the times of the Cold War and trigger an arms race. NATO should realize that, if it embarks on that path, it can hardly expect Russia to reciprocate with ‘restraint’ in deployments of forces."4 Although the context of the statement was of Eastern Europe, what it suggests is that Russia recognizes an aggressive NATO campaign of encirclement and is prepared to take measures to counter this aggression as the 2008 Georgian-Ossetian War demonstrated. Ankara’s endorsement of Azerbaijani claims at the outbreak of hostilities can be seen as an attempt to inflame tensions leaving Moscow’s relations with Yerevan and Baku in an awkward, if not precarious position. While Russia recognizes Artsakh as a part of Azerbaijan, it has the flexibility to analyse irredentist or independence claims on a case-by-case basis. With the territorial changes in Georgia where South Ossetia and Abkhazia are recognized as independent republics by Moscow and the Russian annexation of Crimea, Russia has flexibility in changing its recognition status on Artsakh. Although Moscow wants to avoid or avert conflict between its strategic and economic partners, Russia is obliged as a signatory of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to defend Armenia if it were to be attacked.5 CSTO does not extend to Armenians attacked in Artsakh as it is still recognized by Moscow as a part of Azerbaijan.6 This conundrum poses a geostrategic problem for Moscow as it continues a policy of balancing relations with Yerevan and Baku. Two days before the succession of hostilities began, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in discussion with Aliyev in Washington over bi"Russia to take necessary measures if NATO military potential comes closer to its borders — envoy," Sputnik, June 2, 2014 5  Robert Nalbandov, Not by Bread Alone: Russian Foreign Policy Under Putin (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016), 270. 6  Joshua Kucera, "The Russian base in Armenia and Azerbaijan’s S-300s," Eurasianet, August 19, 2010. 4 

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lateral issues called for "an ultimate resolution of the frozen conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh.1 Is it conceivable that Aliyev had notified Kerry about Azerbaijani plans to renew its conflict with the Armenians? It can be open to suggestion that this occurred and received the endorsement from the principle NATO power, the United States. Azerbaijan is important to Washington as its geostrategic location borders Russia to the north and Iran in the south, as well as its bounty of energy resources. Through the expansion of NATO, Washington has a consistent policy of encircling Russia and the oil rich Caspian Sea; it becomes clear why Azerbaijan is vital to Washington.2 A fundamental problem for Washington has been how to direct Azerbaijani oil to US markets without using Russian pipelines. The BTC (Baku to Ceyhan, Turkey) pipeline, which bypasses Armenia, provided the solution.3 Aliyev stated that Yerevan would become isolated when the route for the pipeline was established. Although the pipeline bypasses Armenia and goes through a longer route via Georgia, the pipeline narrowly avoids Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh by a few kilometres and it runs through Turkey’s volatile Kurdish regions.4 5 Lesley Wroughton, "Kerry calls for ‘ultimate resolution’ of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Reuters, March 30, 2016. 2  Anders Aslund and Andrew Kuchins, The Russia Balance Sheet (Washington D.C.: Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2009), 145. 3  Andrew Barry, Globalization in Practice, Steve Woolgar et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 63. 4  Mark Tran, "Q&A: The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline," The Guardian, May 27, 2005. 5  Suleyman Elik, Iran-Turkey Relations, 19792011: Conceptualising the Dynamics of Politics, Religion, and Security in Middle-Power States (Milton Park: Routledge, 2011), 153. 1 

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The volatility of the region concerns Washington as it cannot guarantee the security of the pipeline. In September 2015, Nagorno-Karabakh’s Defence Minister, Levon Mnatsakanyan, stated that "this is a very serious financial resource for Azerbaijan and we need to deprive them of these means".6Although the Armenians have never attacked this pipeline, they recognize the total reliance of the Azerbaijani economy on this flow of oil from Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia.7 The security of the pipeline is of primary importance to Washington as the Azerbaijani oil provides an alternative to Europe’s over reliance on Russian energy.8 Although it cannot ever replace Russia as the top resource exporter to Europe, Azerbaijani oil does lessen the European reliance on Russian energy. In 2013, gas and oil accounted for almost 75% of Azerbaijan’s revenue.9 However, with crude oil prices dropping by nearly 66% since 2013, the rentier Azerbaijani economy has faced mounting problems. Standard & Poor’s, the US credit rating agency, predicted that the Azerbaijani GDP will shrink by 2% a year over the next three years because of the currency’s Sara Khojoyan and Anthony Halpin, "Frozen War Thaws in Russian Backyard as Karabakh Flares," Bloomberg, October 23, 2015. 7  Gulgiz Dadashova, "IMF reveals breakeven oil price for Azerbaijan," Azernews, October 26, 2015. 8  "Russia, the EU and the Caspian Pipeline Gambit," Natural Gas Europe, September 29, 2015. 9  "Azerbaijan," EIA Beta, August 1, 2014. 6 


Nagorno-Karabakh: The Thawing of the Forgotten Caucasian Conflict

collapse and falling oil prices.1 Although oil savings have kept the country afloat, it has had to tap into its sovereign wealth fund withdrawing $3.5 billion from its near $40 billion strong fund.2 In January 2016, Azerbaijanis in a rare occasion of displaying discontent against the Aliyev dictatorship violently protested against the incompetence of the government and the declining economic situation.3 Reyhan Ghafarova, a Baku resident, told Agence France-Presse that "people are paying the price of the government’s incompetence and corruption." 4 Azerbaijani economic analyst Natig Jafarli continued this sentiment by stating that "it’s impossible to save the country without serious economic reforms and a political change." 5 With Azerbaijan scoring 6.68 Democracy Score with 7 being the worse according to Freedom House, it is easy to appease a population with a strong economy, however it becomes difficult when it weakens.6 The declining economic situation in Azerbaijan and the people becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the political status quo suggests that the timing of Aliyev relaunching a conflict with the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh was a means of reuniting the country behind a nationalistic sentiment.7 The distraction of the hostilities shifts focus away from the domestic economic situation as anti-Armenian rhetoric is revived. Baku-based analyst Anar Matt Mossman, "Azerbaijan Lets Currency Slide in Response to Oil Decline," Institutional Investor, March 15, 2016. 2  Matt Mossman, "Azerbaijan Lets Currency Slide in Response to Oil Decline," Institutional Investor, March 15, 2016. 3  "Azeri protests flag political risks of falling oil price," Reuters, January 18, 2016. 4  Elman Mamedov, "Protests rattle Azerbaijan as oil price slump hits economy," Yahoo News, January 24, 2016. 5  Elman Mamedov, "Protests rattle Azerbaijan as oil price slump hits economy," Yahoo News, January 24, 2016. 6  "Azerbaijan," Freedom House, 2014. 7  "Azerbaijan’s Economic Decline," Stratfor, January 15, 2016. 1 


Valiyev claimed that the latest hostilities "created euphoria" and that "the people are hungry for victories." This would suggest that by renewing hostilities with Artsakh, Aliyev has achieved the desirable outcome of distracting Azerbaijanis from their dire economic situation whilst stirring up nationalistic feeling and anti-Armenian emotion.8 This however only provides a domestic reason for resuming the conflict. It must be questioned to what degree Russia’s involvement in Syria and the Donbass region has played in timing the renewal of this conflict. With Russia receiving international condemnation because of its annexation of Crimea and its support for separatist elements in Donbass, coupled with its intervention in Syria, it is in a precarious strategic situation where it does not want to overstretch its military and economic capabilities by becoming embroiled in another conflict.9 10 Moscow’s intervention in Syria led to harsh criticism from the West that accused Russia of only targeting moderate militant forces rather than ISIS.11 However Moscow has demonstrated its capabilities of effectively fighting ISIS with close coordination from the Syrian Arab Army which has seen the terrorist group on the retreat in Homs and Aleppo provinces.12 13 Nonetheless, the Russian military successes in Syria of fighting terrorists and its annexation of Crimea and involvement in Donbass are condemned in a continuous Western media and public relations campaign which may influence its hesitation in becoming embroiled "A frozen conflict explodes," The Economist, April 9, 2016. 9  "NATO-Russia relations: the facts," North Atlantic Treaty Organization, December 17, 2015. 10  Stephen Lendman, "The Anti-Russian Lying Machine in Action," Global Research, October 2, 2015. 11  Jack Stubbs, "Four-fifths of Russia’s Syria strikes don’t target Islamic State: Reuters analysis," Reuters, October 21, 2015. 12  Leith Fadel, "ISIS defenses fall apart in southeastern Homs as the Syrian Army captures Maheen," Al-Masdar, December 30, 2015. 13  Leith Fadel, "ISIS abandons hope in east Aleppo as the Syrian Army captures 3 more villages," Al-Masdar, March 10, 2016. 8 

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in another conflict. Ankara recognizes that Russia cannot afford nor wants to become involved in another conflict and has attempted to escalate the hostilities. Did Aliyev time the resumption of hostilities in Artsakh, knowing that Russia would not militarily become involved as international condemnation and public opinion would mount pressure on it? Moscow would have paid close attention to the American overstretch of its military across the world, particularly in the neighbouring Middle East, and would not want a repeat scenario of becoming entirely bogged down in what seems to be never ending covert conflicts waged by proxies.

Demographics and Population Displacement The demography of the contested region brings into question a new perspective on understanding the current conflict. The Russian diplomat and historian S. M. Bronevskiy claimed in the late 18th Century that Karabakh was "located in Greater Armenia" and had as

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many as 30–40,000 armed Armenian men in 1796.1 This historical perspective suggests that Artsakh was considered, at least in the Russian view, as part of an Armenian nation. By 1921, it was estimated that Artsakh was 94% Armenian.2 However in 1959 and 1970 after the incorporation of Artsakh in the Azerbaijani Socialist Soviet Republic, the Azerbaijani population increased by 51% whilst the Armenian grew by just 1.6%.3 According to the 1989 census, Artsakh’s population was approximately 75% ethnic Armenian (145,000) and 25% ethGeorge A. Bournoutian, Armenians and Russia, 1626-1796: A Documentary Record (Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 2001), 246. 2  Charlotte Mathilde Louise Hille, State Building and Conflict Resolution in the Caucasus (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 168. 3  Arsène Saparov, From Conflict to Autonomy in the Caucasus: The Soviet Union and the Making of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh (New York: Routledge, 2015). 1 


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nic Azeri (40,688).1 Although there was a significant increase of the Azerbaijani population in Artsakh in the 20th Century, Aliyev’s father reveals why this occurred in 2002. He states: "I tried to change demographics there. Nagorno-Karabakh petitioned for the opening of an institute of higher education there. [In Azerbaijan] everybody was against it. After deliberations I decided to open one, but on condition that there would be three sectors — Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian. After [the institute] opened we no longer sent Azerbaijanis from the neighboring regions to Baku [and] instead [sent them] there. With these and other measures I tried to increase the number of Azerbaijanis in NagornoKarabakh and the number of Armenians decreased."2 Despite these efforts of systematic demographic change, Artsakh today is 95% ethnic Armenian.3 The Nagorno-Karabakh war which ended in 1994 caused an extensive population displacement of Azerbaijanis living in Armenia proper, Artsakh, and Armenians living in Azerbaijan. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan conducted pogroms against their respective Armenian and Azerbaijani minorities in the 1980s conflict.4 The conflict became one of the former Soviet Union’s biggest Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) and refugee problems, with Azerbaijan claiming the number of Refugees and IDPs had reached over 1 million.5 During the 1988 war between 200,000 and 201,069 ethnic Azerbaijani’s in Armenia were forced to flee to Azerbaijan because of the at"Azerbaijan- Seven Years of Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh," Human Rights Watch: xx. 2  Arsène Saparov, From Conflict to Autonomy in the Caucasus: The Soviet Union and the Making of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh (New York: Routledge, 2015). 3  "Global Conflict Tracker — Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict," Council on Foreign Relations, August 12, 2016. 4  Rachel Denber and Robert K. Goldman, Bloodshed in the Caucasus: Escalation of the Armed Conflict in Nagorno Karabakh (New York: Helsinki Watch, 1992), 5. 5  Arif Yunusov, "Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and IDPs in Azerbaijan: Issues and Perspectives," Carim East, September 2013, 2. 1 


tacks by Armenian nationalists.6 7 Furthermore, when Artsakh and adjacent regions were liberated by native Armenian forces, between 623,000 and 795,000 Azerbaijani’s had been forced to flee their homes and are now internally displaced within Azerbaijan.8, 9 Of those individuals, 45,000 were from Artsakh proper.10 Azerbaijan’s pogroms against its Armenian minority caused the displacement of between 230,000 and 350,000 ethnic Armenians.11 12 Of these, 30,000 to 36,000 settled in Artsakh with many occupying the homes of the ethnically cleansed Azerbaijanis, with the remaining going to Armenia proper.13 14 The 1988 conflict also forced 71,000 ethnic Armenians to flee Artsakh.15 Michael Bothe, Natalino Ronzitti, and Allan Rosas, The OSCE in the Maintenance of Peace and Security: Conflict Prevention, Crisis Management, and Peaceful Settlement of Disputes (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1997), 473. 7  Arif Yunusov, "Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and IDPs in Azerbaijan: Issues and Perspectives," Carim East, September 2013. 8  "Azerbaijan," CIA The World Factbook, accessed April 12, 2016, the-world-factbook/geos/aj.html#Issues. 9  Michael Bothe, Natalino Ronzitti, and Allan Rosas, The OSCE in the Maintenance of Peace and Security: Conflict Prevention, Crisis Management, and Peaceful Settlement of Disputes (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1997), 473. 10  Michael Bothe, Natalino Ronzitti, and Allan Rosas, The OSCE in the Maintenance of Peace and Security: Conflict Prevention, Crisis Management, and Peaceful Settlement of Disputes (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1997), 473. 11  Michael Bothe, Natalino Ronzitti, and Allan Rosas, The OSCE in the Maintenance of Peace and Security: Conflict Prevention, Crisis Management, and Peaceful Settlement of Disputes (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1997), 473. 12  Central Intelligence Agency , The World Factbook (Washington D.C.: Potomac, 2010), 50. 13  "Azerbaijan: Situation Analysis and Trend Assessment," UNHCR, February 2008. 14  "Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Nagorno Karabakh," Office of the Nogorno-Karabakh Republic USA, 2016. 15  "Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Nagorno Karabakh," Office of the Nogorno-Karabakh Republic USA, 2016. 6 

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Baku demands the return of these refugees; in particular, the Azerbaijani IDPs forced to leave the areas controlled by the Armenian armed forces in and around Artsakh, is central to any political settlement of the crisis.1 In 2009, before the recent outbreak, Baku drafted a framework to return these IDPs to the occupied regions called "The Great Return Programme".2 At the time of the drafting, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Gasanov stated that the process would begin as soon as a peace agreement with Armenia was signed.3 However in 2012, Armenia begun the settlement of Syrian Armenian refugees from the Syrian War into the Lachin corridor of Artsakh.4 This re-settlement program antagonised Baku which still faces a significant refugee and IDP problem with hundreds of thousands of unintegrated individuals.5 Baku issued an official note of protest about the settlements in Lachin. It accused the Armenian government agencies of encouraging and facilitating the re-settlement of Syrian Armenians in these areas. It stated that Armenia was recruiting the settled refugees to the Armenian armed forces deployed in Artsakh.6 Whilst Armenia has an ethnic majority in Artsakh, Syrian refugees are not required to maintain that majority. Instead, it could be seen as an effort to increase population and manpower in the Michael Bothe, Natalino Ronzitti, and Allan Rosas, The OSCE in the Maintenance of Peace and Security: Conflict Prevention, Crisis Management, and Peaceful Settlement of Disputes (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1997), 473. 2  "Azerbaijan: Baku to Set Aide $60 Billion for "Great Return" to NagornoKarabakh," Eurasianet, August 2, 2009. 3  "Azerbaijan: Baku to Set Aide $60 Billion for "Great Return" to NagornoKarabakh," Eurasianet, August 2, 2009. 4  Laman Sadigova, "Frustrated Syrian refugees escape from Armenia," Azernews, January 14, 2016. 5  "Armenia: Syrian Refugees Resettling in Occupied Azerbaijani Territory," Eurasianet, January 28, 2013. 6  "Illegal Economic and Other Activities in the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, last modified 2016, on_the_occupied_territories_March_2016_1.pdf. 1 

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area. No doubt this policy and the influence of the surrounding conflicts in the region have contributed to causing the recent outbreak of conflict.

Failure of the Minsk Group and the Ceasefire The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group (Minsk Group) was established in 1992 as a means of peacefully negotiating a resolution for Artsakh. It is chaired by France with Russia and the United States. Belarus, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan are participating states.7 The main objectives of the Minsk Process are: To provide an appropriate framework for conflict resolution in the way of assuring the negotiation process supported by the Minsk Group; Conclude by the Parties of an agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict in order to permit the convening of the Minsk Conference; Promote the peace process by deploying OSCE multinational peacekeeping forces.8 In a 2002 meeting, Baku and Yerevan questioned the usefulness of the Minsk Group as after ten years it had not achieved a single result.9 However, in a meeting in Bern on 19 December 2015, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan repeated their commitment to reducing violence and a readiness to engage on a settlement.10 This re-commitment Tulin Daloglu, "Turkey-Azerbaijan relations still strong," Al-Monitor, November 4, 2013. 8  "Mandate," Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, last modified 2016, 7 

"International Protection Considerations Regarding Azerbaijani Asylum-Seekers and Refugees," UNHCR, accessed April 11, 2016, http:// 10  "Press Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group," Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, December 19, 2015. 9 


Nagorno-Karabakh: The Thawing of the Forgotten Caucasian Conflict

occurred despite Azerbaijani accusations that the Minsk group was not consistent and tended to favour the Armenian side. The Azerbaijani believe this because France, Russia and the United States have large Armenian diaspora communities and the co-chairmen favour Armenia.1 Ali Ahmadov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan blamed the inactivity of the Minsk Group as the catalyst for the latest conflict. He states that "Had the Minsk Group chosen a fair position and not tried to equalize the invader and the sufferer, the conflict would probably have ended long ago, and this confrontation that brought about escalation in the Southern Caucasus would not have taken place. The Azerbaijani government will draw necessary conclusions from it and will consider these in its policy."2 On 9 April, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated in an interview that Ankara supported a peaceful resolution to the conflict but added, "Practice shows that Armenia permanently violates the ceasefire."3 He insisted that the Minsk Group could resolve the Artsakh issue in only a week, if it actually wanted to.4 The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Minister Levon Mnatsakanyan, refuted the claim that they resumed hostilities but emphasized that they will take every measure to protect the independence, security and sovereignty of the unrecognized republic.5 They expressed hope that the Minsk Group would respond to the Azerbaijani aggression decisively, even though the Minsk Group insisted Fariz Ismailzade, "Eurasia Daily Monitor," Azerbaijan’s Relations with Minsk Group Hit New Low 5, no. 17 (March 2008). 2  Mubariz Aslanov, "Latest escalation caused by Minsk Group inactivity, says Azerbaijani deputy PM," APA, April 4, 2016. 3  Rufiz Hafizoglu, "Minsk group could resolve Karabakh issue within week — Turkish FM," Trend, April 9, 2016. 4  Rufiz Hafizoglu, "Minsk group could resolve Karabakh issue within week — Turkish FM," Trend, April 9, 2016. 5  "Co-Chairs: Not within Minsk Group Mandate to Investigate Who Instigates Hostilities," The Armenian Weekly, April 9, 2016. 1 


that it would not investigate who instigated the hostilities.6 Although it refused to investigate the hostilities, it has also failed in preventing conflict from re-occurring. The Russian co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Igor Popov stated that "there is no new document on the negotiating table to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; there are the proposals of the cochairs that have been discussed by the sides."7 Only a new approach in resolving the Artsakh issue may reach a successful conclusion as it is evident that previous attempts have failed. It would seem irresponsible that the Minsk Group are not formulating new proposals to resolve this issue. The latest flare up over this contentious region has only demonstrated that over two decades of negotiations have brought neither peace nor progress. The Minsk Group has effectively failed in resolving the issue, let alone maintaining the peace. Although the Minsk Group implemented a new ceasefire that was agreed by all warring parties on 5 April, this still does not discount their failure in avoiding the impending hostilities. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his counterpart the US Secretary of State John welcomed the ceasefire according to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement.8 However, how effective is the ceasefire? The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence claimed that the Armenian side had violated the ceasefire at least 125 times after its implementation.9 Although this cannot be independently verified, what it suggests is that there is only a lessening of fire in the conflict, rather than a ceasefire. The Defence Ministry of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh responded to the Azerbaijani accusations by stating it had only responded after civilian and military tar"Co-Chairs: Not within Minsk Group Mandate to Investigate Who Instigates Hostilities," The Armenian Weekly, April 9, 2016. 7  "OSCE Minsk Group: no new projects on NagornoKarabakh conflict," Vestnik Kavkaza, April 10, 2016. 8  "Lavrov, Kerry Welcome Ceasefire in NagornoKarabakh — Foreign Ministry," Sputnik, April 10, 2016. 9  "Armenia Violated Karabakh Ceasefire 125 Times in 24 Hours — Azerbaijani MoD," Sputnik, April 10, 2016. 6 

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gets were hit which had resulted in the death of two ethnic Armenian fighters.1 This demonstrates that hostilities have continued at a lower intensity and that the potential for a future flare up is real as cross border shelling continues while the ineffectiveness of the Minsk Group achieves nothing. Moscow recognizes this prospect as Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov called all sides to adhere to the ceasefire agreement. "We are concerned over the escalation of the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone… (and) call on the sides to comply with the agreements on an immediate cessation of armed clashes and to prevent the breach of the agreement." 2 It remains problematic if this ceasefire can’t remain permanent until the Minsk Group can conclude a peaceful resolution to the conflict. With Azerbaijan impatient by the Minsk Group’s failure, perhaps it initiated a minor hostility to bring the issue back to the forefront. This can only be speculated. Although the role of Moscow as a mediator is encouraged by both Yerevan and Baku, it is unlikely the United States will indirectly challenge Russia in Artsakh as it has in Syria and Donbass. The underlying problem to any immediate peace process would be Ankara’s unwillingness of Baku continuing to build relations with Moscow, despite CSTO spokesman Vladimir Zaynetdinov stating that "the current Azerbaijani actions led to the escalation of the situation and the conflict."3 Baku did not react negatively to Russia about the accusation made by the CSTO spokesman The Minsk Group must acknowledge that if this frozen conflict is to completely thaw, it has the potential to unravel other frozen conflicts in the Caucasus such the unresolved issues in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Chechnya, "2 dead in Karabakh clashes despite truce," World Bulletin, April 8, 2016. 2  "Russia urges Karabakh conflict sides to follow ceasefire agreements," Trend, April 11, 2016. 3  Pietro Shakarian, "Moscow needs to consider new alternatives in NagornoKarabakh," Russia Direct, April 2, 2016. 1 

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Dagestan and Ingushetia. 4 This is a prospect that would increase instability in the Caucasus for Russia. Its careful balancing act to maintain the present ceasefire in Artsakh is essential to its regional interests in the Caucasus.

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15. Boyajian, David. "Sleeping with Our Enemy: Russia Sells Weapons to Azerbaijan." The Armenian Weekly, March 5, 2015.

32. Dyer, John. "The Bad Blood Between Russia and Turkey Is Spreading to Armenia and Azerbaijan." Vice, December 3, 2015.

16. Brzezinski, Zbigniew, and Paige Bryan Sullivan, eds. Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Documents, Data, and Analysis. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1997.

33. The Economist. "A frozen conflict explodes." April 9, 2016.

17. Calisar, Oral. Understanding Turkey’s Kurdish Question. edited by Fevzi Bilgin and Ali Sarıhan. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2013. 18. Call, Charles. Why Peace Fails The Causes and Prevention of Civil War Recurrence. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2012. 19. Cartalucci, Tony. "Turkish-Uyghur Terror Inc. —  America’s Other Al Qaeda." Journal New Eastern Outlook, September 23, 2015. 20. Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. Washington D.C.: Potomac, 2010. 21. Coatsworth, John, Juan Cole, Michael  P. Hanagan, Peter C. Perdue, Charles Tilly, and Louise Tilly. Global Connections: Politics, Exchange, and Social Life in World History, 2nd  ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 22. Cole, Brendan. "Russian plane crash: Isis-linked Turkish group Grey Wolves ‘may have downed’ Airbus A321." International Business Times, February 1, 2016. 23. Council on Foreign Relations. "Global Conflict Tracker — Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict." August 12, 2016. 24. Cunningham, Susan. "Thailand’s Shrine Bombing  —  The Case For Turkey’s Grey Wolves." Forbes, August 24, 2015. 25. Dadashova, Gulgiz. "IMF reveals breakeven oil price for Azerbaijan." Azernews, October 26, 2015. 26. Dadrian, Vahakn  N. The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus. New York: Berghahn, 1995. 27. The Daily Mail. "Turkish president: We stand with Azerbaijan ‘to the end’." April 3, 2016. 28. Daloglu, Tulin. "Turkey-Azerbaijan relations still strong." Al-Monitor, November 4, 2013. 29. De Waal, Thomas. Black Garden Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War. New York: New York University Press, 2013. 30. Denber, Rachel, and Robert K. Goldman. Bloodshed in the Caucasus: Escalation of the Armed Conflict in Nagorno Karabakh. New York: Helsinki Watch, 1992. 31. DeRouen, Karl R., and Uk Heo, eds. Civil Wars of the World. Volume 1. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2007.


34. EIA Beta. "Azerbaijan." August 1, 2014. 35. Elik, Suleyman. Iran-Turkey Relations, 1979-2011: Conceptualising the Dynamics of Politics, Religion, and Security in Middle-Power States. Milton Park: Routledge, 2011. 36. Ereli, Adam. "Putin’s Newest Satellite State." Forbes, February 26, 2016. 37. Erlanger, Steven, and Steven Lee Myers. "NATO Allies Oppose Bush on Georgia and Ukraine." The New York Times, April 3, 2008. 38. Eurasianet. "Armenia: Syrian Refugees Resettling in Occupied Azerbaijani Territory." January 28, 2013. 39. Eurasianet. "Azerbaijan: Baku to Set Aide $60 Billion for "Great Return" to Nagorno-Karabakh." August 2, 2009. 40. Fadel, Leith. "ISIS abandons hope in east Aleppo as the Syrian Army captures 3 more villages." AlMasdar, March 10, 2016. 41. Fadel, Leith. "ISIS defenses fall apart in southeastern Homs as the Syrian Army captures Maheen." AlMasdar, December 30, 2015. 42. Freedom House. "Azerbaijan." 2014. 43. Friedman, George. "The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power." Stratfor, August 12, 2008. 44. Frolovskiy, Dmitry. "The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and geopolitical chessboard of the South Caucasus." Foreign Policy Blogs, April 7, 2016. 45. Grebe, Jan. "Global Militarisation Index 2014." BICC, 2014, 5. 46. Hafizoglu, Rufiz. "Minsk group could resolve Karabakh issue within week — Turkish FM." Trend, April 9, 2016. 47. Hille, Charlotte Mathilde Louise. State Building and Conflict Resolution in the Caucasus. Leiden: Brill, 2010. 48. Horizon Weekly. "Azerbaijanis on Islamic State training grounds." April 5, 2016. 49. "Illegal Economic and Other Activities in the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan." Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Last modified 2016. file/MFA_Report_on_the_occupied_territories_ March_2016_1.pdf. 50. "International Protection Considerations Regarding Azerbaijani Asylum-Seekers and Refugees." UNHCR. Accessed April  11,  2016. pdfid/3f5f49fa4.pdf.

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51. Ismailzade, Fariz. "Eurasia Daily Monitor." Azerbaijan’s Relations with Minsk Group Hit New Low 5, no. 17 (March 2008). 52. "Joint Press Statements of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey." Official Web-site of President of Azerbaijan Republic. Last modified September 15, 2010. 53. Jung, Dietrich, and Wolfango Piccoli. Turkey at the Crossroads: Ottoman Legacies and a Greater Middle East. London: Zed Books, 2001. 54. Khojoyan, Sara, and Anthony Halpin. "Frozen War Thaws in Russian Backyard as Karabakh Flares." Bloomberg, October 23, 2015. 55. Kryzhanovskiĭ, Mikhail. White House Special Handbook How to Rule the World in the 21st Century. New York: Algora, 2007. 56. Kucera, Joshua. "Report: Azerbaijan Gets 85 Percent Of Its Weapons From Russia." Eurasianet, March 17, 2015. 57. Kucera, Joshua. "The Russian base in Armenia and Azerbaijan’s S-300s." Eurasianet, August 19, 2010. 58. Lendman, Stephen. "The Anti-Russian Lying Machine in Action." Global Research, October 2, 2015. 59. Mamedov, Elman. "Protests rattle Azerbaijan as oil price slump hits economy." Yahoo News, January 24, 2016. 60. "Mandate." Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Last modified 2016. http:// 61. Mossman, Matt. "Azerbaijan Lets Currency Slide in Response to Oil Decline." Institutional Investor, March 15, 2016. 62. Mouradian, Khatchig. ""Terror in Karabakh: Chechen Warlord Shamil Basayev’s Tenure in Azerbaijan." The Armenian Weekly, August 15, 2011. 63. Nalbandov, Robert. Not by Bread Alone: Russian Foreign Policy Under Putin. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016.

Accessed April 12,  2016. 69. Reuters. "Azeri protests flag political risks of falling oil price." January 18, 2016. 70. Richardson, Ollie. "Azerbaijan’s ISIS Brigade Travelled from Syria to Nagorno-Karabakh." Fort Russ, April 4, 2016. 71. Richardson, Ollie. "Erdogan sends ‘Grey Wolves’ to Crimea  —  A History Lesson." Fort Russ, December 9, 2015. 72. Sadigova, Laman. "Frustrated Syrian refugees escape from Armenia." Azernews, January 14, 2016. 73. Saparov, Arsène. From Conflict to Autonomy in the Caucasus: The Soviet Union and the Making of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh. New York: Routledge, 2015. 74. Service, Robert. Stalin: A Biography. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005. 75. Shakarian, Pietro. "Moscow needs to consider new alternatives in Nagorno-Karabakh." Russia Direct, April 2, 2016. 76. Soguel, Dominique. "Turkish president: We stand with Azerbaijan ‘to the end’." The San Diego UnionTribune, April 3, 2016. 77. Sputnik. "Armenia Violated Karabakh Ceasefire 125 Times in 24 Hours  —  Azerbaijani MoD." April 10, 2016. 78. Sputnik. "Azerbaijan Hands Protest Note to Russia Over Arms Loan to Armenia." February 24, 2016. 79. Sputnik. "Lavrov, Kerry Welcome Ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh  —  Foreign Ministry." April 10, 2016. 80. Sputnik. "Russia to take necessary measures if NATO military potential comes closer to its borders — envoy." June 2, 2014. 81. Sputnik. "Why Did Russia, Armenia Create Joint Defense System in Caucasus?" December 23, 2015. 82. Stratfor. "Azerbaijan’s Economic Decline." January 15, 2016.

64. Natural Gas Europe. "Russia, the EU and the Caspian Pipeline Gambit." September 29, 2015.

83. Stratfor. "The Motives Behind a Russian-Armenian Air Defense Deal." November 20, 2015.

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84. Stubbs, Jack. "Four-fifths of Russia’s Syria strikes don’t target Islamic State: Reuters analysis." Reuters, October 21, 2015.

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85. Taarnby, Michael. The Mujahedin in NagornoKarabakh. A Case Study in the Evolution of Global Jihad. Madrid: Real Instituto Cano, 2008. 86. TASS. "Russia set to continue arms supplies to Azerbaijan and Armenia — official." April 8, 2016. 87. TASS. "State Duma vice speaker says "third force" is behind Nagorno-Karabakh events." April 3, 2016.


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88. Today’s Zaman. "Machete attacks raise fears over widespread violence." July 14, 2013. 89. Tony Cartalucci, Tony. ""Global Gladio": NATO Terror Network Reaches into Asia." Global Research, September 4, 2015. 90. Tran, Mark. "Q&A: The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline." The Guardian, May 27, 2005. 91. Travis, Hannibal. Hidden Genocides: Power, Knowledge, Memory. edited by Alexander Laban Hinton, Thomas LaPointe, and Douglas IrvinErickson. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2014. 92. Trend. "Russia urges Karabakh conflict sides to follow ceasefire agreements." April 11, 2016. 93. UNHCR. "Azerbaijan: Situation Analysis and Trend Assessment." February 2008. 94. Varghese, Johnlee. "Syria: Photos of Alparslan Celik, rebel leader from Turkey who shot Russian pilot, go viral." International Business Times, November 27, 2015. 95. Vestnik Kavkaza. "OSCE Minsk Group: no new projects on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict." April 10, 2016. 96. Weisbrode, Kenneth. Central Eurasia —  Prize or Quicksand?: Contending Views of Instability in Karabakh, Ferghana and Afghanistan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. 97. World Bulletin. "2 dead in Karabakh clashes despite truce." April 8, 2016. 98. Wroughton, Lesley. "Kerry calls for ‘ultimate resolution’ of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict." Reuters, March 30, 2016. 99. Yunusov, Arif. "Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and IDPs in Azerbaijan: Issues and Perspectives." Carim East, September 2013.


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