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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.

The Scotsman: Why the humble Kazhak voter counts in the global oil game

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.

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1 Comment

There's a lot going on in Central Asia "behind the scenes" that will impact US interests. The Shanghai Cooperative Organization and the Eurasian Economic Community bear watching. It seems to me that Nazarbayev is attempting to position Kazakhstan in Central Asia similar to how France tried to position itself in the EU. It'll be interesting to see how well of a balancing act he can play between Russia, China, and the US.