The country went through a long civil war, when the Soviet Union collapsed. During this time, according to Robert Baer, government officials were complicit in the drug trade. It also had internal insurgencies, some of which used it as a sanctuary from Afghanistan; the largest group was led by Abdullah Nuri, head of the United Tajik Opposition. Russia and Tajikistan asked for help against them, saying he was subsidized by Saudi Arabia; the CIA independently confirmed Nuri received money and weapons from the World Islamic League of Saudi Arabia.
Refugees from Afghanistan also came to the country.
By 2002, it was the poorest of the Central Asian states. It joined the NATO Partnership for Peace.
Both the French and the Russians obtained the right to use Dushanbe as a base in 2002.
- Tajikistan, Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved on 2009-02-14.
- Glenn E. Curtis, ed. (March 1996), Tajikistan Internal Security, Tajikistan: a country study, Federal Research Division, Library of Congress
- Linda M. Buyers, ed. (2003), Central Asia in Focus: Political and Economic Issues, Nova Science Publishers, ISBN 1590331532, p. 32