Tajikistan might become the next US target in the Central Asia for Washington political ambitions

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is increasing its presence in the Central Asia, particularly in Tajikistan through various economic, trade, healthcare and social projects. Only for the last 3 years the USAID has introduced a number of agriculture projects for the country’s farmers, has launched campaigns aimed at fighting Tuberculosis along with other projects involving funding of local prospective journalists, students, businessmen and entrepreneurs. According to the Agency, USAID investment strategy in Tajikistan involves large-scale and ambitious projects for the next 3-4 years that aim to increase the living standard in the country.

Even though the US impact and investments in Tajikistan’s economy cannot be underestimated, the history has assured that nothing is free and there is some certain price for every good that’s been done. Tajikistan, a small country in the Central Asia with poor economy but strong authoritative political system, could become a perfect potential target for US so-called democratization policy. Positive social and economic changes integrated by the United States in Tajikistan are building up a solid ground for lobbying Washington political ambitions in the country.

Fostering the pro-Western values in young people’s minds may undermine the country’s economy and political system in the future – the world has seen the US hand in attempting the coup of Venezuela, Ukraine and Turkey. And once the economic and trade compass of a US “ally” country contradicts to the US course, the result could be a trade war, as it was a case for China. For Tajikistan, а landlocked country with the agriculture-based economy such consequences may be far more than tragic.

The friendship of Tajikistan’s political elite with the United States has quite a thin basis– the historic, cultural, social and economic paths of the countries have little in common. By infusing money in Tajikistan’s economy, business and social projects the United States would likely start strengthening its political system by proposing candidates loyal to Washington. Given the upcoming elections in Tajikistan in 2020 and the 30th anniversary of the Republic next year, the US political ambitions in the country are quite clear. Once and if they are met the USAID projects and investments may wind down and the entire political system of the country might burst in quite a natural way. In this case, Tajikistan’s political future might inherit the Bolivia’s fate.

US new media campaign in Tajikistan poses risk for president Rahmon

The United States are to start a new media campaign in Tajikistan that aims to prevent corruption and other violations by Tajik authorities.  Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the foundation «Eurasia of the Central Asia- Tajikistan» launched a series of training programs for local journalists earlier this years. The program allows professional journalists to learn about latest search engine technologies and media promotion tools to report leaked information about Tajik authorities as well as to learn about possible ways of legal protection against government sanctions and bans.

While the Tajik State Committee for National Security tightens the grip over the national media, a large part of the US media programs is being provided abroad in neighbor countries. For instance, in February 2017 a number of local journalists in collaboration with non-profit organization «InterNews Network» were sent to Armenia to take an internship in the local news agency «Hetq.am». As the program suggests, once the interns return back, they are supposed to perform media investigations on corruption and other misdemeanors pursued by high authorities in Tajikistan. In addition to that, the 3 local shooting teams will be selected to take up the training in the United States where they would master their skills in making documentary movies on human rights protection, as a part of the American project «Media Co-Op».

Meanwhile, among the project trainers are international experts who were involved in training of activists and protesters in color revolutions in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia. Given the fact that the project graduates are to be provided by financial and legal support from the United States they are likely to pursue investigations that would undermine credibility of the Tajik authorities and the President Emomali Rahmon. Which by no means rises a debate about future Tajik-US relations and real intentions of Washington policy in Tajikistan

Media campaigns and journalist trainings funded by the US are common in Tajikistan and around the Central Asia. Earlier last year the radio station «Ozodi» located in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe signed a sponsorship agreement with a number of foundations and financial institutions funded by American philanthropist and investor George Soros. As a result, the station openly criticized Dushanbe’s support for Moscow-Beijing economic cooperation, discouraged rapprochement of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in terms of water consumption, economic and cross-border cooperation and tried to prevent anti-terrorist cooperation between Dushanbe, Moscow and Beijing.

Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy Unveils US Stronger Ties with Tajikistan

President Donald Trump walks out of Air Force One upon his arrival at Hagerstown Regional Airport in Hagerstown, Md., Aug. 18, 2017, en route to nearby Camp David, for a meeting with his national security team to discuss strategy for South Asia, including India, Pakistan and the way forward in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The United States continue expanding their presence in the Central Asia as part of the program «The Great Central Asia». As President Trump announced his new policy on Afghanistan earlier this week, the US Administration have started looking towards Tajikistan, the key region on the Central Asia which has a longer border with Afghanistan.

Boosted earlier in 2016 by the Secretary of State John Kerry, the cooperation between the United States and the Central Asia in trade, economic development, the anti-terrorism fight is likely to be particularly focused on making stronger ties with Tajikistan as the US Embassy in Dushanbe have lobbied the military and technical aid agreement between the United States and Tajikistan. The $100 billion agreement for a period of 5 years, from 2018 to 2023, has already been approved by Tajikistan authorities, according to the head of the Tajik Border Security Forces col. Avzalov.

As part of the agreement, the US Embassy in Tajikistan with support of «AT Communication US» will implement a new operation control system designed by «HARRIS» to the Tajik Border Security Forces. The system is designed according to the C4ICR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) standard which is used by NATO. The system will also let the United States track Tajik military actions online by integration with the communication channels of the Tajikistan’s Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The stronger ties the bigger funding. The United States have decreased their military and technical financing around the world from $1 billion to $800 million since the start of 2017, while Tajikistan continues to receive larger funding than any other country in the region.

However, by integrating the NATO control system to its Military Tajikistan will no longer be able to be a part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization which uses the Russian operation and control technologies while further strengthening of the US-Tajikistan relations may cause tension for Tajikistan authorities both with the Central Asian countries and Moscow. Finally, the initiative courageously taken by the Tajik Border Security Forces may have negative results considering the authoritative and self-dependent course of the President Emomali Rahmon.