Central Asia

Opposition parties seize power in Kyrgyzstan amid growing geopolitical rivalry in the region

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 8 October 2020

The current seizure of power marks the third removal of a sitting president since 1991 in a poverty-stricken country that is dominated by oligarchic politics and geopolitical rivalries.

Kazakhstan: Hospital workers demand resignation of government official over spread of COVID-19

By David Levine, 22 April 2020

Hospital workers demanded that the city’s chief public health officer, who accused medical workers of being responsible for the spread of the virus, be removed from office.

Coronavirus spreads to Turkey, risking a rapid outbreak

By Ulas Atesci, 16 March 2020

On Sunday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Turkey rose from six to 18, while at least 3,000 people are reportedly under quarantine.

US secretary of state declares “military response” to Iran “being considered”

By Peter Symonds, 17 June 2019

Clearly Japan and Germany simply do not believe the US allegations against Iran and suspect that the tankers attacks could well be a US provocation to provide the pretext for war.

Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev resigns amid mounting political crisis

By David Levine and Clara Weiss, 30 March 2019

The crisis in Kazakhstan is a result of the resurgence of working-class struggles and the escalating war drive by US imperialism against Russia and China.

New York Times admission of Afghanistan fiasco provokes “human rights imperialist” backlash

By Bill Van Auken, 9 February 2019

The Times editorial supporting a US withdrawal from Afghanistan is a self-damning indictment of the entire “war on terror,” which the newspaper supported for the better part of two decades.

US involvement in enslavement and rape of Afghan children

By Kayla Costa, 29 January 2018

Between 2010 and 2016 alone, there were nearly 6,000 accusations of child sexual abuse reported by American military personnel, with no actions taken in response.

US bombing of Afghanistan up by 300 percent

By Bill Van Auken, 23 November 2017

While the media lavished attention on the Pentagon’s claims to have bombed opium production facilities, the latest raids are only part of a tripling of airstrikes this year.

US airstrikes kill dozens of Afghan civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 7 November 2017

The air war has been stepped up as the International Criminal Court reviews potential war crimes charges against the US military and CIA in Afghanistan.

Pentagon halts release of information on Afghanistan war

By Bill Van Auken, 1 November 2017

The order to halt public reporting is part of a turn to unfettered and unaccountable control of secret US wars from Africa to south Asia by the American military brass.

Pentagon to fortify Kabul for unending Afghanistan war

By Bill Van Auken, 18 September 2017

The Pentagon is reportedly sending another 4,000 troops into the conflict, the longest war in US history.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, architect of the catastrophe in Afghanistan, dead at 89

By Bill Van Auken, 29 May 2017

“What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe?” the former national security adviser said of the CIA alliance with Al Qaeda.

Washington prepares to send up to 5,000 more troops into Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 10 May 2017

The planned escalation of US imperialism’s longest war involves not only more “boots on the ground,” but also ceding control of the war to US military commanders.

Afghanistan-Pakistan border clash erupts amid seething regional tensions

By Sampath Perera and Keith Jones, 8 May 2017

Fighting Friday between Afghan and Pakistan troops killed at least 12 people and possibly many more.

US defense secretary makes crisis trip to Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 25 April 2017

Mattis arrived in Kabul as his Afghan counterpart and other top military commanders were resigning over a disastrous Taliban attack that killed nearly 200 troops.

America’s longest war drags on in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 19 April 2017

More than 15 years after the US invasion, the insurgency against the US puppet government in Kabul is gaining the upper hand.

Taliban captures key Afghan district in fierce fighting

By Peter Symonds, 31 August 2016

The latest attack takes place against the backdrop of geo-political intrigue that is drawing the entire region, including Afghanistan, into US preparations for war against China.

Top US general confirms Pentagon plans for permanent combat role in Afghanistan

By Thomas Gaist, 8 February 2016

Statements from the commander in Afghanistan are the latest in a series of acknowledgements by US officials that the American military is planning a permanent occupation of the country.

US planning to keep military forces in Afghanistan for “decades”

By Thomas Gaist, 27 January 2016

The US military is planning on using Afghanistan as a launching pad for military operations throughout South and Central Asia, senior US military officials told the Washington Post.

Six US soldiers killed as Taliban overruns Helmand district in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 22 December 2015

The suicide bomb attack on a US-Afghan patrol is symptomatic of the escalating crisis of the continued American occupation of Afghanistan.

Major city in Afghanistan falls to Taliban attack

By Patrick Martin, 30 September 2015

The capture of Kunduz is a major blow to the US-backed puppet regime in Kabul and to the Obama administration.

Earthquake kills thousands in Nepal

By W.A. Sunil, 27 April 2015

Though an earthquake is the product of enormous natural forces, the extent of death and destruction has definite social roots.

US general suggests delaying troop withdrawals from Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 8 November 2014

General Campbell’s comments reflect concerns in Washington that its puppet government in Kabul could fall to the Taliban.

Kazakhstan: Eleven workers, one officer sentenced following police massacre

By Clara Weiss, 30 May 2012

Following a ferocious police intervention ending in the deaths of 16 striking oil workers in the city of Zhanaozen on December 16, a court has sentenced 11 workers in Kazakhstan.

Workers put on trial after police massacre in Kazakhstan

By Clara Weiss, 27 April 2012

More than three dozen workers and political activists have been put on trial following a brutal intervention by police on December 16 in the Kazakh city Zhanaozen, which left at least 17 striking oil workers dead and hundreds wounded.

Kazakh elections take place amid rising social tensions

By Clara Weiss, 27 January 2012

On January 15, Kazakhstan held its parliamentary elections amid rising social tensions.

Police massacre striking oil workers in Kazakhstan

By David Firestone, 19 December 2011

A public commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of Kazakhstan independence on Friday in the town of Zhanaozen, located 60 kilometers from the shore of the Caspian Sea, turned into a violent police attack on striking oil workers.

SCO summit points to deepening global tensions

By John Chan, 22 June 2011

Ten years after its formation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is emerging as a potential rival bloc to the US and its European allies.

Another rigged election in Afghanistan

By Tom Peters, 18 September 2010

Today’s parliamentary election is yet another repudiation of the claim that the US-led invasion of the country was intended to produce a democratic government.

Great power rivalries intensify ethnic conflicts in Kyrgyzstan

By Niall Green, 16 September 2010

In an expression of the deep political instability wracking Kygryzstan, fueled by great power rivalries in the region, an international policing mission scheduled to deploy in the country’s south was postponed on September 2.

General Petraeus calls for 2,000 more troops to Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 8 September 2010

The call for more troops is calculated to increase political pressure on various European governments, and non-NATO US allies such as Australia, to boost their contributions to the occupation of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: Offensive in Kandahar underway

By Tom Peters, 2 September 2010

Over the past four months, checkpoints have been established at all the main routes into the city, and thousands of tall concrete blast walls have been installed around police stations and government buildings.

Evidence that Afghan leaders are on CIA payroll

By James Cogan, 30 August 2010

Leaks over the past week have revealed that members of the Afghan government headed by President Hamid Karzai are paid agents of the CIA.

Leaked documents expose imperialist war in Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 27 July 2010

Nearly 92,000 military documents posted on the Internet by the WikiLeaks web site paint a devastating picture of US-NATO imperialist atrocities in Afghanistan.

A record of war crimes

By Bill Van Auken, 27 July 2010

The tens of thousands of documents posted online by WikiLeaks have provided a detailed, documentary portrait of the criminal war being waged by the Obama administration.

Afghanistan casualty rate highest of war

By James Cogan, 26 July 2010

The rate of US and allied casualties has soared to the highest level of the nearly nine-year war and is beginning to match the bloodiest stages of the occupation of Iraq.

Kyrgyz ethnic pogroms leave 2,000 dead, 400,000 homeless

By Alex Lantier, 22 June 2010

Bloodshed continued in Kyrgyzstan after ethnic pogroms left thousands dead and 8 percent of the country’s population homeless, and amid continuing political conflict after the April ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Hundreds killed and wounded in ethnic pogroms in Kyrgyzstan

Unrest destabilizes Central Asian region

By Barry Grey, 15 June 2010

Mobs of ethnic Kyrgyz continued to attack ethnic Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, bringing the government’s official casualty toll to 124 killed and 1,685 wounded.

Interim government moves to consolidate power in Kyrgyzstan

By Niall Green, 26 May 2010

The interim government in the ex-Soviet republic Kyrgyzstan is attempting to consolidate its rule, implementing a state of emergency in one of the largest cities and postponing promised elections.

Rival factions continue to vie for power in Kyrgyzstan

By Niall Green, 17 May 2010

Over one month since anti-government demonstrations in Kyrgyzstan forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev from office, fighting continues between rival factions in the former Soviet republic.

Political instability continues in Kyrgyzstan after president flees

By Niall Green, 21 April 2010

Political tensions between supporters of ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and the new interim government in Bishkek continue to destabilize this strategically important Central Asian country.

Kyrgyz president flees country

By Andrea Peters, 17 April 2010

The ousted president of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has left the country. While his departure has forestalled the possible outbreak of civil war, the political situation remains unstable in the impoverished Central Asian nation.

Kyrgyz opposition struggles to consolidate power

By Alex Lantier, 10 April 2010

As fighting continues between supporters of ousted President Bakiyev and of the opposition, a potentially explosive struggle for influence is developing between the US and Russia.

Struggle for power continues in Kyrgyzstan

By Niall Green, 9 April 2010

As President Bakiyev and the opposition groups vie for control, the major powers seek to maintain their interests in Kyrgyzstan, where impoverished workers have risen up against the despotic US-backed regime.

Kyrgyz government falls

By Niall Green, 8 April 2010

The government of the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan appears to have fallen. The impoverished state plays a crucial role in Washington’s war in Afghanistan and is a center of intrigue between the major powers.

US/NATO death squads killing indiscriminately in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 18 March 2010

Despite a directive calling for more caution, US special forces operations are continuing to terrorise and kill civilians in Afghanistan.

Rockets kill 12 near Marjah

More civilian deaths as US launches offensive in southern Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 15 February 2010

In what is likely to be the first of many atrocities in the current US-led offensive in Afghanistan, 12 civilians were killed Sunday when two rockets slammed into their home near Marjah.

In line with US demands, Afghan parliament rejects cabinet proposals

By James Cogan, 7 January 2010

A cabinet is being assembled that will consist of individuals who have been vetted and deemed acceptable by the Obama administration and its main NATO allies.

China opens a major gas pipeline from Central Asia

By John Chan, 21 December 2009

The opening of a gas pipeline linking Turkmenistan to western China is another sign of rivalry among the major powers for domination of energy-rich Central Asia.

Obama officials drop “withdrawal” ruse

US in Afghanistan to stay

By Tom Eley and Barry Grey, 8 December 2009

Over the past week, Obama’s leading national security officials have dropped any pretense that the administration’s military escalation in Afghanistan is aimed at hastening a withdrawal of US troops, beginning in July 2011.

Obama’s speech on Afghanistan: A compendium of lies

By Alex Lantier, 3 December 2009

In his December 1 speech at West Point announcing the deployment of 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama attempted to justify a major escalation of a deeply unpopular war on the basis of lies and distortions.

Attack on UN in Kabul in lead-up to sham Afghan election

By Peter Symonds, 29 October 2009

An attack by Taliban fighters on a UN guesthouse in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has underscored the fragility of the US-led occupation in the lead-up to the second round of presidential elections on November 7.

Afghan election crisis enters new stage

By James Cogan, 15 October 2009

Two months after voting took place, matters are coming to a head. A decision has to be made over the fate of Washington’s puppet government in Kabul.

Another costly week in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 13 October 2009

The 100,000-strong US and NATO occupation force in Afghanistan is continuing to suffer casualties at an unprecedented rate.

Obama rules out troop drawdown in Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 8 October 2009

President Barack Obama will not consider any reduction in the US military commitment in Afghanistan, White House and congressional officials declared after a three-hour meeting at the White House on Tuesday.

Afghanistan: Further evidence of massive electoral fraud

By James Cogan, 8 September 2009

Amid further widespread evidence of fraud, the Afghan presidential election has become a political debacle for the US-led occupation.

War to escalate after Afghan election

By James Cogan, 24 August 2009

In the wake of last Thursday’s election in Afghanistan, the US establishment is proceeding with plans for a further expansion of the war.

Mass abstention and vote rigging in Afghanistan election

By Patrick O’Connor, 21 August 2009

Yesterday’s presidential election in Afghanistan featured massive abstention and blatant ballot rigging, underscoring the corrupt character of the exercise.

Pentagon to Obama: Send more troops or lose war in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 13 August 2009

The stage has been set for the Obama administration to announce another major escalation of the war in Afghanistan, amid warnings that the Taliban insurgency has to be stemmed over the next 12 to 18 months to avoid the risk of a humiliating US defeat.

A corrupt election in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 10 August 2009

It is widely acknowledged that the August 20 presidential election in Afghanistan will be characterised by vote-rigging and the bribing or intimidation of voters in the areas under US-NATO control.

The assassination of Baitullah Mehsud

By James Cogan, 8 August 2009

The American political establishment and the US media, along with Washington’s client government in Islamabad, are reveling in the reports that missiles launched from an unmanned US Predator drone on Wednesday killed Pakistani tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud.

One year since Russian-Georgian war

Georgia remains focus of Washington-Moscow tensions

By Niall Green, 7 August 2009

On August 7 last year, long escalating tensions between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia erupted into full-scale war. One year on from the war, tensions between the two sides remain high.

Mounting popular opposition to the war in Afghanistan

By Stefan Steinberg and Barry Grey, 7 August 2009

In the face of mounting popular opposition to the slaughter in Afghanistan, the US and European governments are stepping up their intervention and making clear that the neo-colonial occupation is open-ended.

Civilian death toll soaring in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 3 August 2009

A report issued late last month by the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) sheds light on the rising number of innocent Afghan men, women and children who are being killed in order for the US and its allies to consolidate their neo-colonial occupation of the country.

Violence increases in Russia’s Caucasus republics

By Niall Green, 31 July 2009

A recent spike in violence between Russian security forces and local militants indicates that Moscow has no plans to loosen its military grip in the North Caucasus.

July casualties highest of Afghan war

By James Cogan, 22 July 2009

The number of US/NATO deaths in July has already reached 58—the highest monthly toll since the invasion in October 2001.

Afghan insurgents hold US soldier

By David Walsh, 22 July 2009

Within the wider tragedy of the brutal US occupation of Afghanistan, the fate of Private Bowe Bergdahl has its own tragic dimension.

Britain: Spike in casualties used to push for more troops in Afghanistan

By Julie Hyland, 20 July 2009

A concerted campaign is underway to manufacture popular support for stepped-up British participation in the US-led surge in Afghanistan.

Journalist critical of government killed in Chechnya

By Niall Green, 18 July 2009

Human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, a prominent critic of the pro-Kremlin government in Chechnya, was abducted and shot Wednesday while investigating alleged abuses by government-backed militias in the province.

US commander in Afghanistan lobbies for more troops

By James Cogan, 14 July 2009

Less than six months after Barack Obama ordered 21,000 additional American soldiers to Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed US commander, has launched a lobbying drive for more troops.

Turkish unions agree to sell-out contract for public workers

By Sinan Ikinci, 10 July 2009

The Turkish trade unions have played a crucial role in the decline in living standards experienced by workers during the past 15 years.

Two days of US drone attacks kill nearly 80 in Pakistan

By Barry Grey, 9 July 2009

The United States fired multiple missiles from pilotless drones on Wednesday in two separate attacks on insurgents in Pakistan’s South Waziristan district, killing up to 60 people.

Letters on Iran, Afghanistan and the “left”

9 July 2009

A selection or recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on Iran, Afghanistan, and the “left.”

Limited concessions and unresolved tensions after US-Russia summit

By Niall Green, 8 July 2009

The US-Russia summit marked an attempt to improve relations between the two countries, but did not resolve any of the fundamental differences between them.

Afghan deaths, troop casualties soar in first days of new US offensive

By James Cogan, 7 July 2009

The first days of the offensive by US marines into the southern province of Helmand make clear it will result in a massive escalation in violence against the Afghan people.

German military to engage more offensively in Afghanistan

By Marius Heuser, 6 July 2009

Over a half century after the Second World War, the German government is systematically working to condition the population to the role of the German army as a force for aggression.

Comoros air crash raises issue of safety standards

By Peter Daniels, 6 July 2009

The June 30 crash of a Yemeni airliner in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa has focused attention on the issue of air safety, especially in poorer sections of the world.

Obama sends marines to suppress population of southern Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 4 July 2009

The Obama administration has ordered the marines into a brutal and potentially bloody offensive in the southern province of Helmand.

Corrupt election campaign unfolds in US-occupied Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 2 July 2009

Amid the chorus of denunciations in US and European ruling circles over the alleged theft of the Iranian elections, the Obama administration and its NATO allies are presiding over an election campaign in Afghanistan that is as corrupt as it is illegitimate.

Two summits in Russia: A cautious challenge to the US

By John Chan, 22 June 2009

Two summits in Yekaterinburg last week involving the emerging powers—Russia, China, Brazil and India—signal a shift in economic and strategic alignments under the impact of the global financial crisis.

US reinforcements in place in southern Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 11 June 2009

The Obama administration’s “surge” in Afghanistan is taking shape, with 10,000 marines completing the commencement of their deployment to the volatile province of Helmand over the next several weeks.

US Army chief sees Iraq, Afghanistan occupations continuing for a decade

By Bill Van Auken, 29 May 2009

Amid mounting violence in Iraq and preparations for a major escalation of the US war in Afghanistan, the chief of staff of the US Army said that the military is preparing to continue its interventions in the two countries for at least another decade.

China and Russia forge closer military cooperation

By John Chan, 26 May 2009

As the US war in Afghanistan and US-sponsored fighting in Pakistan intensify, Russia and China are stepping up military cooperation, announcing 25 joint manoeuvres this year.

Turkish unemployment soars to record level

By Sinan Ikinici, 20 May 2009

Despite platitudes from the Turkish government seeking to assure the population that a recovery is “around the corner,” unemployment has soared to its highest level ever.

Killing of Afghan civilians covered-up by Australian military

By James Cogan, 19 May 2009

Information has surfaced this month that the Australian military has covered up the role of Special Air Service personnel in the killing and wounding of civilians in Afghanistan.

Massacre in Kurdish area highlights Turkey’s “village guard” system

By Justus Leicht, 13 May 2009

Gunmen from a local “village guard” killed 44 people at a wedding party in the mainly Kurdish-populated region of Turkey on May 4.

Turkey: Metal workers protest threat of wage cut

By our correspondent, 24 April 2009

Turkish steel workers have demanded details of contract negotiations from the leadership of the Türk Metal trade union.

US airstrike kills six civilians in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 15 April 2009

As the top US military commander predicted that the Obama administration’s troop buildup in Afghanistan will lead to a surge in violence, an air strike by US-led occupation forces once again left civilians dead and wounded.

Turkish unemployment at record rates

By Sinan Ikinci, 18 March 2009

Unemployment in Turkey has risen to record levels, with many branches of industry in free-fall.

US missiles kill 24 in Pakistan

By Bill Van Auken, 14 March 2009

US missiles killed at least 24 people in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of Kurram Thursday evening. The American military attack came in the midst of an intense political crisis that is calling into question the Pakistani government’s stability.

Obama lays out Afghanistan war strategy

By James Cogan, 11 March 2009

The desperation at the heart of the Obama administration’s plans for the escalation of the war in Afghanistan was laid bare in the interview that the president gave to the New York Times last Friday.

Turkey: 12 years since the last military intervention, new coup feared

By Sinan Ikinci, 2 March 2009

Twelve years after the Turkish military last presented an ultimatum to the Islamist-dominated coalition government, there are growing discussions in Turkey of the dangers of a military coup.

Obama defends his “Guantánamo” in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 27 February 2009

While alleged “terrorist suspects” will no longer be detained without trial and abused at Guantánamo, the Obama administration has given the green light for such outrages to continue unchecked at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

US commander warns American troops will be in Afghanistan for years

By Peter Symonds, 21 February 2009

The top US commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, warned on Wednesday that the troop buildup announced this week was “not a temporary force uplift” but would have to be sustained for years.

40,000 demonstrate against Turkish government as economic crisis deepens

By our correspondent, 18 February 2009

In a protest organised by the Turkish trade unions, some 40,000 people demonstrated in Istanbul February 15 against the AKP government. The unions themselves have lost membership and credibility.

US-Russia tensions escalate over closure of Afghan supply base

By Bill Van Auken, 6 February 2009

The threatened closure of a key Pentagon supply base in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, with serious implications for the Obama administration’s planned escalation of the war in Afghanistan, has deepened tensions between Washington and Moscow.

As Vice President Biden warns of an “uptick” in casualties

Afghanistan civilians killed in US military raid

By Patrick O’Connor, 26 January 2009

A US military raid in the eastern Afghanistan province of Laghman last Friday night resulted in the deaths of at least 16 civilians, including women and children, according to local residents.

US moves to consolidate new supply routes to Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 26 January 2009

The commander of US forces in Central Asia, General David Petraeus, has announced an agreement with the Russian government for the transit of “non-military” supplies through its territory to the US and NATO occupation forces in Afghanistan.

China dispatches warships to Somali waters

By Carol Divjak, 21 January 2009

China has used attacks on Chinese ships by pirates off the coast of Somalia, and the authorisation by the UN Security Council to fight piracy, to launch itself as a blue water naval force on the international scene.

US military prepares for Obama’s expansion of Afghan war

By James Cogan, 13 December 2008

The US military in Afghanistan is preparing for an influx of tens of thousands more American troops during the first months of the Obama presidency.