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Central Asia has numerous important links to Afghanistan that will open the region to significant effects after the upcoming U.S. and NATO drawdown. Tashkent has an unofficial population of more than three million people. The Aral Sea is decreasing in volume because of water being diverted from the two rivers to be used for irrigation of desert lands to grow enormous crops of grains and cotton. I repeat the answer below. Not wishing to rely on Russia’s monopoly on the pipelines, Turkmenistan developed an additional pipeline to China to help boost income and profits. Hazardous wastes such as anthrax and toxic chemicals contaminated the land and found their way into the sea. The EU will fund the programme with an initial budget of $4.3 million. The outstanding geographic feature of Afghanistan is its mountain range, the Hindu Kush. Geographers call Uzbekistan a doubly landlocked nation because all the countries that surround it are also landlocked. Natural resources are the main attraction of the region driving the economic forces that determine the development patterns of individual countries. Efforts have been made to marginalize the environmental damage of the contamination, but the damage has not been completely ameliorated. In a military action dubbed Operation Enduring Freedom, the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001, removed the Taliban from power, and dismantled the al-Qaeda training camps. It shares its border with three of the Central Asian countries including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan which are further connected with Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. In this photo is the Lataband Road between Kabul and Surobi. Multinational corporations have vigorously stepped up their activity in the region. The eastern half of the sea is completely dry. Efforts to locate and marginalize bin Laden continued through to the US presidency of Barack Obama. The smaller Mārgow Desert of salt flats and desolate steppe lies west of Rīgestān. Pakistan and Iran create the southern border of the region, and the vast expanse of Russia is to the north. The modern boundaries of Afghanistan were established in the late 19th century in the context of a rivalry between imperial Britain and tsarist Russia that Rudyard Kipling termed the “Great Game.” Modern Afghanistan became a pawn in struggles over political ideology and commercial influence. Figure 8.68 Propaganda Poster in Afghanistan with Image of Osama bin Laden. Siemens Energy has signed a multi-phase agreement with Afghanistan to establish the country as an energy hub in central Asia. Agriculture employs a full one-fourth of the population and accounts for one-fourth of the gross domestic product (GDP). The US Department of Defense issued an official statement on Afghanistan in 2008 (Source DoD 2008): The Western military troops aligned themselves with Afghan groups such as the Northern Alliance to defeat the Taliban and remove the al-Qaeda presence. By … Synonyms for Afghanistan-Central Asia in Free Thesaurus. The expansive treeless, grassy steppes that surround the desert regions are considered an extension of the steppes of Eastern Europe. The country’s forbidding landscape of deserts and mountains has laid many imperial ambitions to rest, as has the tireless resistance of its fiercely independent peoples—so independent that the country has failed to coalesce into a nation but has instead long endured as a patchwork of contending ethnic factions and ever-shifting alliances. High mountain passes, generally situated between 12,000 and 15,000 feet (3,600 to 4,600 metres) above sea level, are of great strategic importance and include the Shebar Pass, located northwest of Kabul where the Bābā Mountains branch out from the Hindu Kush, and the storied Khyber Pass, which leads to the Indian subcontinent, on the Pakistan border southeast of Kabul. The imperial contest over Central and South Asia by the Russian and British empires in the 19th century traumatically severed Afghanistan from Central Asia, with lasting and problematic consequences. Since antiquity, Afghanistan has been part of what is now referred to as Central Asia – politically, economically, and culturally. This epic tale is a renowned part of the culture and festivals of Kyrgyzstan. The rugged landscape of this mountainous land includes the high ranges of the Tian Shan Mountains, which can reach elevations as high as 24,400 feet and cover about 80 percent of the country. Several large rivers cross the southwestern plateau; among them are the Helmand River and its major tributary, the Arghandāb. From 1992 to 1997, a bitter civil war between regional factions killed more than fifty thousand people. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. It is also colloquially referred to as "the stans" as the countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of". Does Yemen take its name from the Arabic word meaning "northerly?" Most of the country is ruled by warlords and clan leaders who have few resources other than tradition and custom. Russian is often used as a lingua franca. This accounts for the dryness of the climate. At about 1,500 miles long, the Amu Darya is the region’s longest river. The following is a summary of trends in Central Asia: Identify the following key places on a map: World Regional Geography by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. The Taliban is a Sunni Muslim group that adheres to strict Islamic laws under the Wahhabi branch of the faith similar to that of Saudi Arabia. After the collapse of Soviet Union, emerging central asian countries were struggling with their respective economic crisis inherited from former Soviet. At the same time, Pakistan would enjoy trade with Tajikistan under terms similar to Afghanistan’s transit arrangement. The Central Asian region includes Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, but the region is inextricably linked to neighboring Afghanistan by a vital resource: water. 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