“I expect there will be a massive fight for power now in Turkmenistan and it’s likely to take place between pro-U.S. and pro-Russian forces,” said a Russian gas industry source, who declined to be named. “Gas will become the main coin of exchange and the key asset to get hold of.”
Saparmurat Niyazov, the somewhat egotistical iron-fisted ruler of Turkmenistan, who titled himself Turkmenbashi the Great (“Turkmenbashi” means “leader of all Turkic peoples”), died. He left no provision for a successor, and it is unclear who will succeed him, how, and when.
But his death in this former Soviet republic, and the political if not armed conflict that will ensue, shows how Cold War II, between the West, particularly The United States, and Russia, among others, is quite an important factor in politics these days.
Let us see who will win and how the result will change the operations and goals of relevant powers in the region. At least the more Russia has to worry about, the more it gives and gives, extending its resources, and the easier it would be to win by default when Russia implodes.
I am coming to believe that this conflict with stubborn losers would be far easier, perhaps, if we actually embraced imperialism and actively colonized those states in our sphere of influence. Russia and China, to some degree, do this, and so we’re at a disadvantage compared to them. In a way, we’re too nice now. But were we to become imperialistic, all benefits to other states notwithstanding, it simply wouldn’t be the American way.
Time to take off the kid gloves and do what we need to so that we can gain Turkmenistan in the West’s sphere of influence. And to keep it there. As it is, we lost Uzbekistan.
When you regain your strength, geoff, I’d like to hear your perspective. Any others, please chime in!