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The Central Asianist Podcast

Top experts and journalists from around the world discuss the politics, economy, and culture of Central Asia. Hosted by Nate Schenkkan.
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Now displaying: August, 2015
Aug 27, 2015

In this episode, I spoke with Alex Nice of the Economist Intelligence Unit about Kazakhstan's decision to float its national currency after more than a year of trying to defend it against devaluation. We used the Kazakhstani decision as a launching point to discuss regional economic forecasts and the likelihood of other governments being forced to float or devalue.

Questions discussed in the podcast include: Is Kazakhstan truly floating the tenge? What vulnerabilities are their in other countries in the region? What are the likely consequences of the current economic crisis now that it is intensifying and becoming more clear?

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Aug 14, 2015

In this episode, I spoke with Obaid Ali, assistant country director & researcher at the Afghanistan Analysts Network. Obaid just returned from a research trip through northeastern Afghanistan, including Badakshan and Kunduz provinces on the border with Tajikistan, and we talked about his observations of the state of the insurgency in the north. The Taliban have pressed an offensive across the north this year in provinces traditionally thought outside of their main area of influence. Some reports stress their support from foreign fighter groups driven from Pakistan's tribal territories since June 2014 ("the North Waziristan operation").

Questions in this episode include: What is behind the success of the northern insurgency this year? How important are foreign fighters in the insurgency? How much are the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and other groups of foreign fighters dependent on the Taliban in northern Afghanistan? What is the prognosis for the northern insurgency this year? Will the insurgency take Kunduz city? 

PS - Apologies for some audio issues in this episode. It's been a couple months and I'm a little rusty.

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