A threat inflated? The countering and preventing violent extremism agenda in Kyrgyzstan

Often overshadowed by regional headline-grabbing hotspots like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, Central Asian countries like Kyrgyzstan rarely get international attention. The post-Soviet country – once on the ancient Silk Road – rarely makes the news now, but it has its share of challenges. Bisected by the ’northern route’ of opioid traffickers, it struggles with pervasive corruption and the threat of political instability, ethnic conflict and now – purportedly – a jihadist underbelly. In response, alongside counter-terror efforts to bolster Central Asian state security services with training and equipment, international policy towards Kyrgyzstan has become increasingly focused on ‘countering/preventing violent extremism’ (C/PVE).

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2019

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