After declining to intervene in southern Kyrgyzstan’s turmoil over the summer, the Collective Security Treaty Organization is facing a fresh challenge in Tajikistan. And once again the Russia-led security group appears set to refrain from acting. The CSTO’s hesitancy is a reflection of a lack of clarity about the possible mission in Tajikistan, as well as underlying problems with its decision-making mechanism.
Events over the past few months have revealed Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to be the sick men of Central Asia, both in need of outside stabilization help. The CSTO would, on paper, seem to be an appropriate choice to come to the aid of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, especially since both are members of the organization. Yet, despite a threat of the spread of instability to other Central Asian states, the CSTO in practice appears unready or unwilling to test its peace-making capabilities at this time.
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