Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 175

The second and final stage of the CentrasBat-97 military exercise was held from September 18-20 at the Chirchik training range outside Tashkent. Participants included the Uzbek-Kazakh-Kyrgyz joint battalion CentrasBat; a reinforced company of the U.S. Army’s 82nd airborne division; and one platoon each from Turkey, Latvia, Georgia, and Russia. This phase of the exercise tested coordination of command, control, and logistics of national units in a UN-authorized, NATO-led international peacekeeping operation in Central Asia. The exercise, however, was organized by the U.S. Atlantic command, not NATO. The scenario envisaged a Bosnia-type operation in Central Asia, with account taken of local conditions. Under the exercise scenario, the authority of a national government is challenged by an ethnic group residing in a border region — the group’s ethnic kin form the majority of a neighboring nation. In this hypothetical situation, the local conflict thus risks escalating into a confrontation between the two neighboring countries. (Russian and international agencies, September 18-21)

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