Qubay Ortiqov is a farmer from Karakalpakstan, a remote region in the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan.
"We have planted cotton with expectations, but we cannot irrigate it. Right now we're supposed to have finished the second stage of irrigation, but we haven't been able to do it," Ortiqov said, adding that he had lost 20 hectares of cotton.
Like the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia also suffers from poverty, corruption, heavy-handed governments, widespread unemployment, and scant opportunities for the young. All too aware of the similarities, governments there are already taking measures to prevent public upheaval of the kind that has shaken the Arab world.
That adage, attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, remains valid even in the 21st century. The NATO-led international forces in Afghanistan depend heavily on far-flung supply lines for the food, fuel, and goods they need to go on fighting.