Joshua Kucera

Friday, January 23, 2015 - 10:15

This blog was originally posted in The Bug Pit blog at


Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 23:25
The United States is donating over 300 armored vehicles to Uzbekistan's military, American officials have announced. The deal, the largest ever transfer of military hardware from the U.S. to an ex-Soviet Central Asian states, comes just three years after Washington lifted a ban on weapons exports to Uzbekistan because of the country's poor record on human rights.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 06:29
Russia and Central Asian governments have long been overplaying the threat that Islamist militants present to their countries, but it's not clear what is behind the recent spate of even more dire -- and apparently unfounded -- assessments.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 07:53
A senior Kremlin official has warned that the Islamist group ISIS is gathering its forces in northern Afghanistan in preparation for an attack against Central Asia and Russia, and that a wide array of military measures are required to prevent that. But in spite of the alarmist rhetoric, he suggested that the Russian military would not be heavily involved in Central Asia's fight against ISIS.
Monday, January 5, 2015 - 12:12
The United States significantly stepped up its training of Kyrgyzstan's special forces in 2013, as Washington was trying to convince Bishkek to allow its air base to remain in the country. The U.S. trained 1,024 troops from Kyrgyzstan in fiscal year 2013 (that is, the year beginning October 1, 2012), up from 345 the year before. Of those, 880 were special forces troops which took part in six-week training courses led by their American special forces counterparts, documents newly released by the U.S. State Department show.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 05:32
The Georgian armed forces have begun their new mission in northern Afghanistan, serving as the rapid-reaction force under German command in Mazar-e-Sharif.
Monday, December 15, 2014 - 06:25
Uzbekistan appears to be increasingly relying on Russia for military equipment as the United States withdraws from Afghanistan without -- as Tashkent had hoped -- handing over some of its secondhand gear.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 06:24
Russia has reinforced its air base in Kyrgyzstan with five new aircraft, as Russian officials said the base's role would "only increase" in light of the Western military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Monday, December 8, 2014 - 06:32
Senior United States diplomats have visited Tashkent for their regular consultations with the government of Uzbekistan, and in spite of continuing tension over Afghanistan and human rights, the Americans were unusually positive in their assessment of ties with Uzbekistan.
Friday, December 5, 2014 - 05:53
NATO officials are in Georgia doing the preliminary work to set up a training facility, an official from the alliance said on a visit to Tbilisi. The establishment of the joint training facility, announced in September, was the main component of the "substantial package" that NATO had long promised Georgia for continuing to be a good ally.