Category Archives: Conflict

Personal Reflections on Kunduz and the Bombing of the MSF Hospital

When I heard Kunduz, a major city in the north of Afghanistan, had been overtaken by the Taliban, I was shocked. The shock did not stem from surprise, or a disbelief that Talib fighters might be capable of such a victory, despite the psychological impact, the possible loss of morale, that the takeover led to. Kunduz had long been the most problematic city in the north of the country. A mix of ethnicities, interwoven with vying political factions, meant that the Taliban were able to take advantage while the city was essentially mismanaged. Continue reading Personal Reflections on Kunduz and the Bombing of the MSF Hospital

From Exeter CASN, Catherine Owen’s “Researchers at Risk: Debating the Dilemmas of Research in Authoritarian Societies”

(Reposted by agreement with the Exeter Central Asian Studies Network.  The original, posted on Oct 3, 2014, can be found here.)< Continue reading From Exeter CASN, Catherine Owen’s “Researchers at Risk: Debating the Dilemmas of Research in Authoritarian Societies”

The Xinjiang Conflict, Western Response, & Lessons for Academics and Policy Makers – Part II

Broader Lessons to Be Learned

A recent Foreign Policy op-ed by Whitney Kassel on the Xinjiang conflict represents an excellent example of the conceptual divide between the academic and policy-security communities. Continue reading The Xinjiang Conflict, Western Response, & Lessons for Academics and Policy Makers – Part II

The Xinjiang Conflict, Western Response, & Lessons for Academics and Policy Makers – Part I

In a private English lesson in a classroom in Urumqi, a young Han Chinese girl and I were discussing American TV. A lull in the conversation led to a pause, and she hesitated. A furtive look came across her face as she checked her surroundings for eavesdroppers. “You know…I hate Uighur people”, she said.< Continue reading The Xinjiang Conflict, Western Response, & Lessons for Academics and Policy Makers – Part I

Crimea, Central Asia, & Russia: Cheat Sheet Part One

Introduction and Overview

Russia’s recent military incursion into the Crimea has brought a level of attention to the northern Black Sea region rarely seen over the last couple of centuries. This corner of the northern Black Sea is generally not a source of daily global news. Nonetheless, when the world’s focus is drawn to Crimea, it seldom disappoints. Continue reading Crimea, Central Asia, & Russia: Cheat Sheet Part One