Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Among the Sons of Togarmah, Part 5

In Part 1 we considered how the boundaries of Soviet Republics were drawn so that, should the USSR dissolve, these would be international borders, the demarcation of which would cause unrest; and, we saw how this was especially true in the Caucasus. We also examined how oil increasingly moves through pipelines in the Caucasus, skirting Russian borders, and we keyed in on Dagestan and Chechnya as examples of militant Islamic activity, what it may bring, and how difficult it is to effectively fight it.

In Part 2 we saw how Islamic terrorists sought to destabilize Kabardino-Balkaria, countering a Russian strategy of investment to improve the tourist industry in the region, which, in turn, was hoped to remove potential recruits from the jihadists by giving them jobs.

In Part 3, we saw how Moscow's strategy of "Chechenization" of the conflict in Chechnya might actually be more appropriately named "Kadyrovization" since Moscow seems to pin its hopes on a Chechen leader named Kadyrov. I summarized this situation thusly:

It should be noted that Chechens have developed a reputation for involvement in organized crime, throughout the Russian Federation and even on a global scale. Consequently, what Putin did was put one organized crime faction in charge of running Chechnya; other groups could either be friends or enemies of the most powerful organized crime group, which was powerful due to its ties to Moscow, and which was held in check by Moscow through the availability of other clans that could be placed in charge, should Kadyrov betray the Kremlin.

Basically, Moscow pays off, via support and federal money, one organized crime family to run Chechnya. This delegimitizes both federal and local authorities, creating a niche for the expansion of Islamic militant authority, and thus creating an atmosphere conducive to further Islamic insurgent activities. One immediate effect was that as violence initially died down in Chechnya, it increased in neighboring parts of the Caucasus.

In Part 4 we considered how the same dynamic that was at work creating problems in Dagestan was also at work in the northwest Caucasus, in Kabardino-Balkaria. We also saw how Dagestan was becoming the center of jihadism in the Caucasus. A recurring theme through this series has been how jihad is funded through criminal activities, including trafficking of Afghan heroin to Russia and Europe (and America).

Now, we have reports that Russian troops are moving from Chechnya to Dagestan.

In Russia Deploying Troops for Temporary Dagestan Reinforcement, dated March 19, we hear about troops being moved in to fight the separatist insurgency, and in Dagestan's President Promises a Decisive Crackdown on the Insurgency, from April 9, we hear about increased fighting between government forces and insurgents, and an increased resentment of Moscow-backed forces by the local Dagestanis.

Confusion Surrounds Reported Troop Deployment To Daghestan, from April 11, points out discrepancies between some observers, who claim a movement of about 1000 troops, and claims by Kavkaz Center of tens of thousands of troops; for example, 25.000 troops and more than 300 armored vehicles deployed in Dagestan from Chechnya from March 17 places the troop movement at the equivalent of two divisions.

Interesting analysis can be found in Chechen Troops in Dagestan: A Step Toward "Kadyrovization" of the North Caucasus?, which gives excellent background about ethnic disputes between Chechens and Dagestanis. The article goes on to question the ethnic composition of the troop movement, and point out the potential for trouble should too many Chechens be allowed too free a hand in Dagestan. So far, this has been a jihadist/infidel thing, but it could easily have an added Dagestani/Chechen dimension, from which the Islamic jihadists, whose ideology claims to transcend ethnicity, could be positioned to benefit.

But then there is the question of Kadyrovization, beyond battling insurgents. As I pointed out, this can be viewed in the light of organized crime, as corrupt officials in Moscow allow their local affiliates a free hand to organize crime in the Caucasus under the control of "their" guy, Kadyrov.

Kavkaz Center certainly views the world through its own prism; occasionally, this skews the view, but sometimes they come up with some very good information. In its entirety, with any edits from me, Russian-occupied Georgian provinces are transit corridors for Putin's KGB drug trafficking:

Publication time: 9 March 2012, 15:06

Two Russian occupied Georgian provinces are a transit corridor for Putin's KGB drug shipment from Asia to Europe, reports say.

As is known, drug trafficking is the main source of income for Putin's KGB generals and officers.

"Many observers believe that Georgia's separatist regions are main corridor for drug smuggling. Georgia's legislation is not again executed in the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. There are concerns that the drugs pass through this territory. It is impossible to re-verify this information, as the Russian occupation forces or de facto government of the regions do not exchange information on movement of drugs with the Georgian side," a report says.

The document's authors also note that the trucks moving on long-distance routes, sometimes carry drugs, and these goods must be checked at the points of departure and prior to shipment must be sealed.

The report's items on Georgia say that the country does not produce drugs, except a small volume of amphetamine-type stimulants.

The so called "crocodile", which is an alternative to morphine and is becoming popular, is often mentioned as a drug shipped by the KGB. It also says that heroin, subutex, methadone and marijuana are available on the Russian and international markets.

In turn, the CIA and US Army generals and officers actively control the drug production by their puppets in the American-occupied Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Other information I have implicates certain US officials, both military and civilian, in trafficking Afghan heroin, including on board US military aircraft, thus confirming some of these jihadist allegations.

Could this jihadist report be accurate?

If so, could one reason for the troop movement be to secure marketshare in the trafficking of narcotics through the Caucasus?

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