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Главная / Публицистика / Научные публикации, Политические науки; управление; идеология
© Alexander Zelichenko, 2013

Александр Леонидович ЗЕЛИЧЕНКО

Afghanistan 2014

 

NATO Coalition’s military troops’ pullout from Afghanistan, which already started, will be completed in 2014. Does it bear any threats to the security of our country, and what should Kyrgyzstan do today to minimize possible risks?

Looking forward, we must admit, that the forecasts for situation development both inside and outside the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan are mostly negative. Some people even talk about splitting the country in two, which means beginning of civil war, instability, existence of multiple uncontrolled armed formations. They are speaking also about “East Turkestan Islamic Movement”, “Akramia”, “Tablighi Jamaat”, “Mojaheds’ Jamaat of Central Asia”, and finally about “Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan”.

And if Taliban comes to power, that, according to the expert opinions, would help to avoid division of the country, and therefore is considered as the most probable option of developments, we should not be calm anyway. It is unlikely, that they will lay any territorial claims or will personally carry any militant radical ideas to us. But various terroristic organizations, based in the territory under their control, will respire for sure. They feel themselves eased there even now, and after coming to power by the loyal regime, they will feel even better. And then we should expect for intruders – the ground invasion in Batken (1999-2000) is a vivid example of this.

Transfer of conflict zone to the Fergana valley, where the south of the country is located is also possible. In this case, this territory loaded with big number of problems (related to lands, water distribution, ethnical, border, and others) will immediately become like powder keg with ignited wick …

In any of abovementioned options a new round of drug trade is easily forecasted, because it serves as financial basis for any local wars and terroristic activities: cultivation of opium poppy ensures up to 40% of Afghan GDP and involves more than 3.5 million Afghan people (almost 15% of country population). Notorious experience of the past is known: after coming to the power in early 2000-s, Talibs reduced poppy cropping areas, but created numerous reserves of the drug, which they provided to numerous transnational criminal corporations for long period of time by dumping prices.

In this situation, Kyrgyzstan should urgently develop so-called “preventive tactics” by focusing on strengthening of its state border. Such tactics, to our opinion, could include following directions:

At the international level:

• Strengthening of cooperation with UN, OSCE, European Union (for example, strengthening support within the frame of “Safety belt around Afghanistan”, for support of law enforcement agencies, armed forces), on the basis of mutually beneficial partnership. Keeping the experience of BOMCA/CADAP as the basis, strive for development and enhancement of existing, and establishment of bigger number of joint projects on countermeasures against drugs distribution, for strengthening of border control, etc.

• Further intensification of regional integration within the frame of Collective Security Treaty Organization, Shanghai Cooperation Organization. For example, final “finishing” of agreements on use of joint military forces in case of intervention to the territory of one of the member states from outside cannot be postponed any longer. I suppose, that neighboring countries, such as Tajikistan, which is able to provide political support to promotion of these initiatives are also interested in this.


• Reliance on “heavy weight” actors of the regional policy – Russia and China. Kazakhstan becomes more and more active in this role during recent time. These countries are able to become reliable guarantors of our security.

• Intensification of contacts of our secret services with their foreign colleagues in all levels. Establishment of “Liaison officers” institute if needed.

• Every possible support to turning Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre to fight against drugs and precursors (CARICC) into real “fighting unit” on the way of Afghan drug traffic.

Inside country:

• Urgent strengthening of Frontier Service, weakened by numerous managerial experiments. Recent decision of the President on establishment of independent agency for borders protection, subordinated directly to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief looks very reasonable against this background.

• Transition to the concept of professional army formation, and deployment of its most prepared and equipped units (mountain assault units, “Scorpio” etc.) to the forward lines. Even their presence in the territories, assumed as possible field of military conflict, can cool down many hot heads. This process has started, but should be accelerated by any means.

• Introduction of so-called “residence qualification” for ethnic Kyrgyz people returning to their historical homeland for borders strengthening. Today, they are mostly going to congested Chi valley, where the lack of natural resources becomes more evident, thus increasing existing numerous problems. And in the border Batken region, even acclimation will be smooth. After living there during mandatory 3-5 years, many of them may naturalize and stay there forever. Here, it is necessary to more widely use economic incentives, such as loans, mortgages with longer payback period or with lower interest rates, etc.

• Every possible use of rich experience of militia for borders protection. Participation of local population in such militia groups should be legislatively fixed, and such participation should be stimulated financially with salary, reduction of income tax, and accepting such service as alternative to military service.

• Raise the coordination activity of the State Drug Control Service to the new, higher quality level, up to and including attachment of staff members from other interested ministries and agencies (MIA, State Committee for National Security, Frontier Service, and Customs Service). Development and adoption of the Law “On countermeasures against drugs”, which would fix the area of responsibility of each state agency, would strongly support this. For example, the State Committee for National Security would fight against drug trafficking at the distant approaches, strengthening the cooperation with foreign counterparts, as well as conduct anti-corruption activities among the staff of drug controlling agencies. The State drug control service would combat against international and the MIA would fight against internal drug trafficking, and so on.

• Establishment of reliable schemes to fight against drug related corruption. For example, introduce proposals on unification of legislations of the CSTO member states and establishment of some kind of Internal Security Service on the basis of such Organization. The responsibilities of such Service should include detecting corrupted drug trafficking channels through joint investigations. As it is well known, proving the fact of drug-related corruption and bringing to responsibility of the guilty persons is very difficult. But in case of revealing of one and the same drug trafficking channel at least twice, the officers of the Customs, Frontier Service, Police, etc. suspected in involvement in the drug trafficking should be dismissed without any right for occupation in the security services in the future.

According to our opinion, it is reasonable to establish an expert task force within the Defense Committee of the republic for development of integrated advancing policy with the name title “Afghanistan-2014”. The Author of this article, basing on collected experience and knowledge, has set a task to bring attention to the forthcoming threat, and to provide some ways for its minimization.

Aleksandr Zelichenko, PhD,
    Retired colonel of Drug Control Service,
    Director of Central Asian Center of Drug Policy

 


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