Central Asia has oil and gas.
Journalist Simon Reeve said of his trip to the Stans, such as Uzbekistan:
"Most people I met longed for a return to the financial security of Communism...
Tajikistan kids by babasteve
"Unemployment is now rampant in Central Asia.
"Poverty, censorship and government repression are the norm." (BBC NEWS Meet the Stans)
Craig Murray, the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004, has written about how ISLAM KARIMOV, President of Uzbekistan, boils people Alive.
It was the CIA that promoted Islamism in Central Asia, as a way of ending control by Russia. (CIA activities in Uzbekistan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )
The CIA now has an intelligence alliance with the Uzbek government of Islam Karimov, .
The CIA has funded and trained a counterterrorism unit of the Uzbek military. (CIA activities in Uzbekistan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )
Who gets to control the oil, the gas and the pipelines?
Rick Rozoff, at Global Research, 10 July 2009, wrote Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia
Among the points made:
1. Countries involved in Afghanistan include Germany, Romania, formerly neutral Finland and Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Macedonia.
2. Pentagon And NATO are fanning out from Afghanistan into Central Asia and the states of the Caspian Sea.
3. In June 2009, in Kazakhstan, the defence chiefs of 28 NATO countries and 22 partner countries held a meeting of its Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC).
Kazakhstan has the largest proven reserves of oil and natural gas in Central Asia.
NATO's partner countries in Central Asia are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
Kazakhstan Presidential Palace by Em and Ernie
4. Top Pentagon officials have paid a number of visits to countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
These US officials want from these countries:
A. military bases.
B. troop commitments
C. the right to move war materials through these countries.
5. The Pentagon has recently regained use of the Manas Airbase in Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan by sjameron
6. The NATO Secretary General's Special Representative to Central Asia and the South Caucasus is Robert Simmons, an American.
Simmons has recruited a force of Georgian troops for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has gathered additional Azerbaijani soldiers for the same purpose.
Who gets to control the oil and gas?
7. Turkmenistan now allows overflights by the USA. It also allows US troops on its territory. It has offered the US the use of the air base at Mary.
The USA wants Turkmenistan's oil and gas to go not to Russian pipelines but to the Western-controlled pipelines which deliberately bypass Russia, Armenia and Iran.
8. Turkmenistan has put up 32 Caspian oil and gas field units for international tenders. Bidders include US and European companies.
Turkmenistan people by minifastcar33
9. The USA supports the Nabucco pipeline.
A US spokesman said: "An inter-governmental agreement on the Nabucco project envisaging natural gas supplies from the basin of the Caspian Sea to Europe avoiding Russia will be signed in Ankara on July 13....
"Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Iraq are considered as among potential energy resources for Nabucco.
"The US stands against Iran's participation in Nabucco's realization but supports gas transportation to Europe from Iraq."
Azerbaijan by teuchterlad
10. The US and NATO are active in Azerbaijan.
The U.S. wants military cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of land forces.
Azerbaijan has a lingering dispute with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh.
Armenia is an ally of both Russia and Iran.
11. Reportedly, the USA and NATO want to bring Armenia over to their side.
'Colour Revolutions' were used by the USA and NATO to win over Georgia and the Ukraine.
Russia is being ringed in by NATO states and partners.
Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) is currently a de facto independent republic. Azerbaijan wants it back.
12. If Azerbaijan goes to war against Nagorno Karabakh, countries that could be drawn into the conflict include Armenia, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and NATO states including Turkey and the United States.
The USA and NATO have been increasing cooperation with Azerbaijan.
13. Israel is deeply involved in the Caspian area.
On 28 June 2009, Israeli President Shimon Peres visited Azerbaijan, before going on to Kazakhstan.
According to an Armenian news site, "Israel rearms Azerbaijani army".
Israel supplied neighboring Georgia with drones for its war with Russia in August 2008.
14. On 1 July 2009, The Jerusalem Post reported: "Israel gains ground in Central Asia."
According to the Jerusalem post, "Israel played the central role in rebuilding and modernizing the Azeri military after its losses in Nagorno-Karabakh."
Russian analyst Andrei Areshev was quoted by an Armenian news source as saying "It's unclear whether Israel plays its own game or acts as an agent of another power wishing the destabilization of Russia and Iran."
15. In an Azerbaijani news report called "Israeli air force to join overseas exercises with eye on Iran," it was revealed that the Israeli Air Force "will take part later this year in a joint aerial exercise with a NATO-member state..."
16. It's a long war.
Back in 1978, the USA was training Moslem warriors in Afganistan.
It is not yet clear who is winning. Alliances can shift.On 13 July 2009, we learn a Nabucco Europe gas pipeline deal has been agreed BUT that the Turk PM wants Iranian and Russian gas in Nabucco
Turkey and four European Union countries, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria, have signed an agreement to construct the Nabucco natural gas pipeline to bring gas from the Caspian and the Middle East across Turkey and into Europe.
It has still to be agreed where the gas will come from.
Azerbaijan will be the main source of Nabucco's gas when the pipeline is opened, due by 2014.
However, two weeks ago, Azerbaijan agreed to sell some of its gas to Russia.
Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Egypt are possible suppliers to Nabucco in the longer term.
Russia is planning two of its own new gas pipelines to Europe.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on 13 July 2009 that Turkey wanted Iranian gas to be transported to Europe via the planned Nabucco pipeline "when conditions allow."
The USA opposes this.
The Nabucco Consortium has mentioned Russia as a source for gas.
Erdogan also said he believed Russian gas could be transported to Europe via Nabucco.
The USA opposes this.