The New 'Great Game': The Plans for the 'Stans
For readers not versed in the Central Asian 'Stans (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, et al), an article in The Scotsman will serve as an informative and interesting primer.
Today's envoys come from mighty oil companies and arrive by Gulfstream jet clutching spreadsheets showing the billions in profits that will roll out if leaders sign up to their plans.
But as in the 19th century, the result is a messy contest with the great powers treating the nations of Central Asia like chess pieces in a struggle for influence. The fuel for this struggle has been a string of contentious elections.
It is short & efficient, and readers are strongly encouraged to read on. A good 3-minutes' investment.