Any immediate military action by the United States-led anti-terrorism coalition in Central Asia needs to be accompanied by long-term efforts to bring political and economic stability to the region, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).
In a new report titled "Central Asian Perspectives on 11 September and the Afghan crisis," ICG examines the potentially dangerous impact of the current crisis on five Central Asian nations - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - giving consideration also to Russia's role in the region.
"Strategic partnerships between the international community and authoritarian regional leaders may produce dangerous and unintended consequences," ICG Asia Program Director Robert Templer said.
"The international community will be making a serious policy blunder if it allows Central Asian leaders to continue or intensify their autocratic ways as the price for cooperation in the fight against terrorism."
According to ICG, the current situation in Afghanistan stems partly from the fact that although much money and energy went into fighting the Soviet invasion, little has been done, at least since 1992, to deal with the chaotic aftermath.
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