Slavery Unending in Central Asia

Those countries that are working toward Western ideals, however haltingly, are the good ones. The satrapies of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan do not care, and so medieval brutalities are commonplace.

2013’s Year of Upheaval

2014 will be the year that Europe’s mettle is truly tested.

A Realignment of the -Stans

Today, as Russia and China tussle over the post-American world on the continent, Ashgabat and Tashkent can become secondary beneficiaries of the energy and commerce that will move through the area.

Iran as the Unseen Hand in Former Soviet Republic Power Plays

Tehran has ruthlessly exploited its near environs almost perfectly, challenging halting Western inroads in the area through soft power and trade while also never angering Moscow, a jealous if still-wounded imperial giant.

Turkmenistan Steps Farther Into Darkness

A largely informal geopolitical alliance is again slowly cohering around a series of shared principles — basically that the Western model of development must be left behind for one more inclined to support “national aspirations.”

Turkmenistan’s Prison Cell Phone Ban Is Not The Problem

This misses the forest for the trees. Turkmenistan is basically the seventh layer of Hell. The best thing you can say about it is that there is currently no genocide in progress there.

J-Lo’s ‘Blessing’ of Dictatorship in Turkmenistan

This is a reminder that so many of the terrible things, the very Soviet things, that are done in the broken empire’s wreckage remain out of the world’s view save when a spotlight is briefly shone on them.

Cybersecurity and the Former Soviet Union

As long as these former Soviet republics maintain a Soviet-era view of private property, their future in the modern world will be more than a few nodes away.

Turkmenistan’s New Electoral Code and Other Unicorn Sightings

In a just world, the Council of Europe and Turkmenistan’s neighbors and allies would use this as a teaching opportunity, to show Ashgabat the possibilities of reform and help them draw slowly toward it.

European Battle Against Gazprom Continues

Europe is tired of the Gazprom monopoly and isn’t going to take it any more. At least, that appears to be the message from Lithuania, which will take over the European Union’s rotating presidency in July.