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Chapter 6 - Central Asia and Afghanistan

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Chapter 6:
Central Asia and Afghanistan
Countries
• Afghanistan
• Independent since 19th century
• Close cultural and trade ties with region
• Central Asian Countries
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Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Part of USSR from 1921 to 1991
Prior to Soviet period, more closely tied to south and west due to Islamic
heritage
World Regional Geography,
Tenth Edition
Copyright В© 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. 2
Natural Regions
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Three major regions dominate.
1. Mountains
2. Steppe
3. Desert
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Tenth Edition
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Mountains
• Hindu Kush–in Afghanistan
• Pamirs–in Tajikistan and
Afghanistan
• Fan–Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
• Tien Shan–Kyrgyzstan
• Majority of population lives in
river valleys, foothills, or
meadows at mountain bases.
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Tenth Edition
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Steppe
• Dominates much of Kazakhstan
• Low levels and variability of
precipitation makes agriculture
difficult.
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Tenth Edition
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Desert
• Largest portion of region
• Arid
• Prominent deserts
• Kyzl Kum Desert–East of Aral
Sea in Uzbekistan and
Kazakhstan
• Kara Kum Desert–in
Turkmenistan
• Registan and Dasht-i Margo–in
western Afghanistan
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Waterways
• Caspian Sea–92 feet below sea level
• Syr Darya and Amu Darya Rivers–Feeds Kyzl Kum and
Kara Kum Deserts
• Zerafshan River
• Flows from Tajikistan into Uzbekistan
• Dissapears in the Kyzl Kum Desert
• Afghanistan rivers
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Harirud
Helmand
Kabul
Kunduz
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Tenth Edition
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Central Asian Heritage
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Two major groups dominate.
1. Turkic ethnic groups
2. Persian ethnic groups
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Area of the Silk Road
19th century–Became pawns
between Great Britain and
Russia (the “Great Game”)
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Wakhan Corridor
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World Regional Geography,
Tenth Edition
Area separating Afghanistan
from China
Separated Great Britain and
Russia in 19th-century
Afghanistan
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Major Languages
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Major Religious Communities
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Natural Resources
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Agricultural Zones
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USSR Domination in 20th Century
• Three major influences
1. Centralization
• Dominated by Moscow
• Politically, economically, and
socially
• Command economy
2. Collectivization
• All lands, goods, and equipment
appropriated by the government
• Consolidation of farms into large
farms (collectives)
• Farmers paid stipends or in
produce from farm
3. Russification
• Control of culture
• Emphasis on the Russian
language
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Tenth Edition
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Aral Sea: Man’s Environmental Ignorance
• In 1940 the U.S.S.R.
began to construct canals
to divert water from the
rivers that fed the Aral
Sea to grow rice, melons,
and cotton in a desert area
• Cotton production
increased
• Fishing industry was
destroyed as Aral Sea
shrank by 60% in surface
area and by 80% in
volume.
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Tenth Edition
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Society and Culture
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Dense settlement in arable land areas
Dominated by USSR
Typical colonial mentality
Islam
Limited industry
Some demographics suggest certain Soviet influences.
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Literacy rates
Infrastructure development
Universal health and child care
Jobs
• Post-Soviet period–New emphasis on local ethnicity
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Village Family in the Fan Mountains
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Central Asia and Afghanistan
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Demographic Data for Central Asia
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Central Asian Development During & After the
Soviets
• Culturally different from Russia
• Czarist administration and Soviets saw area as a
peripheral, undeveloped area.
• Soviets sought efforts to exploit their resources,
modernize their people, and bring their economy into line
with the rest of the sprawling area, marking an uneven
approach to development.
• Still some dependence with Russia (i.e., pipelines, energy)
• Development of trade avenues (Turkey attempted to step
into breach)
• Opium drug trade (valuable for warlords; military
financing)
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The Impact of USSR and Russification
• What parts of Central Asia were “intrinsically Russian”?
• In the wake of independence, some countries of the USSR
stayed closer, whereas others did not.
• Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan–Broke away completely
• Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan–Sought to
integrate the Soviet past with an often, governmentcontrolled sense of ethnic sensibility
• Some of these countries retained the Russian language
(forced by Stalin).
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Religious Issues
• Religious fever pitch in 1930s; receded during World War
II
• Processes of secularism and russification sought to
marginalize Islam in these countries.
• Religion (especially Islam) became personal–practiced at
home.
• Reactions to secular communism not restricted to this
area.
• Bosnia and Herzegovina
• The Caucasus
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Tenth Edition
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Modern Afghanistan
• British and Russian struggle for control during the Great
Game
• North and West–Allied with Iran and Central Asia
• East–Allied with India
• Attempts at economic liberalization in 1960s and 1970s
• Communist coup in 1978
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Now routed in USSR control
Spawned resistance–mujahideen (insurgents)
Lasted until 1992 after USSR dissolved
Original plan for ethnic rotation of control failed.
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Tenth Edition
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Physical and Agricultural Regions of Afghanistan
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Tenth Edition
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Taliban
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Movement began in madrasahs
Quranic schools
Financed by Saudi Arabia
Located on Pakistani and Afghan
border
Very strict interpretation of Islam
(Wahhabism)
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Very hostile to women
Banning of sports and music
Soccer fields converted to public
disciplinary areas
Students formed the core of
followers of mullahs–religious
leaders.
Gained control of country in mid1990s
North maintained something of a
state of war.
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Tenth Edition
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Ethnic Composition of Afghanista
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Destruction in Kabul
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Post-9/11/2001
• War in Afghanistan following assassination of Ahmed
Shah Masud and New York and Washington, D.C. attacks
• US and Britain, allied with Afghan warlords, drive
Taliban from control
• Elements of resistance still remain.
• Mullah Omar has never been captured.
• Struggle toward developing a democratic country
• Elections
• Parliament
• President Hamid Karzai
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Tenth Edition
Copyright В© 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. 27
Still Struggling
• Karzai not well-respected
• Taliban resurgent
• Bin Laden and company in mountains bordering Pakistan
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Tenth Edition
Copyright В© 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. 28
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