Insurgency in Greater Baluchistan: A CNA Small Group Discussion, March 29, 2013
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA STRATEGIC STUDIES RESEARCH DEPT
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In the 19th century, national boundaries in South Asia were delineated without regard to greater Baluchistan. Today, the Baluch, who may number as many as 15 million, live as too often marginalized and disaffected minorities in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Successive generations of Baluch have waged armed rebellion against outside rule. Pakistans military and intelligence services consider Baluch insurgency an existential threat to the state and counter it with all possible force. Iranian officials have recently demonstrated greater flexibility in dealing with the Baluch. Indeed, Iran is utilizing Dar-ul-Uloom, the Sunni Deobandi University in Zahedan, as an instrument of soft power to project Iranian influence. The national government is little present in Baluch areas in southwestern Afghanistan where Baluch smugglers have helped supply the insurgency against US forces and transported opium on behalf of powerful drug networks linked to the Taliban. In addition, China is partnering with Pakistan and India with Iran to develop competing ports and regional transportation networks from greater Baluchistan into Central Asia.
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare