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View Diary: British torture memos (150 comments)

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  •  Fair enough, and a good question... (4.00)
    Here's some possibilities:

    (1)  Get more international help and spend more money and effort to stabilize Afghanistan (which borders Uzbekistan to the South) - better we have one reasonably well functioning government in the region than none at all.

    (2)  Support NGOs and civil society movements in Uzbekistan through intermediaries if necessary.  People will die, and there will be repression, but most of the FSR political movements so far, including Ukraine, Kyrgizstan and Kazakhstan owe a debt to local NGOs.

    (3)  Get better intelligence within the country.  We need to track Islamist movements w/in Uzbekistan if only to know more about their links to the outside.  Better to infiltrate them and independently establish some networks of intelligence than depend on goons who literally boil people for bad information.  We need real intelligence services, not dirty tricks.

    (4)  Stay as neutral as we can in the Islamic revivals that are still reacting to Soviet era repression.  There are too many unpaid blood debts from a century of conquest, exploitation and violence.  We don't need a dog in that fight if we can help it.  Sometimes with an Islamic revival, the best thing to do is stand back a little if it is inevitable - as in parts of Central Asia (and in Southern Iraq), and make clear what the limits are.  Try to moderate it, contain it, and keep communications open.  Then wait.  

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