Central Asia is likely to become a new arena of international interest in the twenty-first century, not least because of its volatile cocktail of abundant oil and gas, Islamic Jehadist groups, dictatorial regimes and the political and economic rivalry of the United States, Russia, China and Iran. Some believe that it could become the new Middle East' a battleground for access to precious resources, religious fundamentalism and democratic politics. Narcotics, ethnic tensions and impoverished states with weapons of mass destruction further add to the region's instability. "Oil, Islam and Conflict" is a timely regional perspective that gathers together and analyses a range of issues including terrorism, counter-insurgency and energy security. Rob Johnson covers the Civil Wars in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, the conflicts in Chechnya and the Caucasus and terrorism across the region, particularly by the IMT (Islamic Movement of Turkestan). He also examines the policies of Central Asian governments, including their attitudes to democratic reform, human rights, energy and economic development, and how these are related to civil violence.
Further consideration is given to Islamist movements such as the IRP (Islamic Renaissance Party) and Hizb ut-Tahrir, and their impact on the people of Central Asia, as well as the unrest in China's Xinjiang province. This book will be of interest to policy researchers and practitioners, military personnel, oil and gas companies, students and general readers interested in this increasingly turbulent and important region.