AUTONOMY AND ENERGY SECURITY IN CENTRAL ASIA: RISKS AND IMPLICATIONS OF POLITICAL SEPRTATISIM IN GORNO-BADAKHSHAN, AND CONTRIBUTING AFGHAN FACTORS
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This study aims to determine the degree to which political separatism in Gorno-Badakhshan threatens energy security in Central Asia. To answer this question, the study employs a modified ICRG method of measuring political risk. This framework measures six variables and assigns them a rating of either “low,” “medium,” or “high” according to their significance relating to either “energy significance” or “probability of political upheaval/conflict.” Such significance is determined according to the ICRG methodology, and a final rating is given for the significance political separatism in Gorno-Badakhshan has in affecting regional energy security. The result of this study found this rating to be a “medium” level, with two primary factors contributing to this conclusion: an event of actualized political violence/widespread revolt in Gorno-Badakhshan would (1) pull Tajik security forces into a drawn-out conflict in the territory, leaving room for militants in western Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan to launch attacks on energy infrastructure in and near Tajikistan and (2), hinder the maintenance and future development of energy infrastructure within, and proximate to, GBAO’s borders.