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Poor nations often leave countless young males without an education, a stable family, or a strong government to follow. These conditions make the choice to join a group of religious radicals appealing. Tajikistan, a country of over seven million located just north of Afghanistan in Central Asia, is surrounded by war torn, politically unstable neighbors and fits the profile of a hotbed for religious radicalism. While the country has avoided a large-scale international war, political instability and economic deficiencies have left Tajikistan primed for future conflict. The situation presents an intriguing study for those concerned with humanitarian issues and those involved in security matters alike. This in-depth inspection of the state’s complex economy reveals areas of great concern along with reasons for optimism.

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