The author investigates the wrong implementation of what was long an international acclaim of formal democracy in Tajikistan: the country’s secular-Islamic governing coalition. The extremely unbalanced distribution of power within the coalition and the rapid marginalisation of its Islamist component, with approval and support by the USA, are very soundly considered by the author a source of great danger for international security. M. Crosston notably insists on the fact that the quota system planned by the 1997 Peace Accord following the civil war was, in fact, never possible for the simple reason that the Tajik government never intended to allow such institutionalisation. He reconstructs the history of the past thirteen years from the perspective of President Rahmon’s strategy focusing on the construction of absolute power. The damage inflicted to democracy potential in Tajikistan, leading to increasing radicalisation within the country’s youth, creates doubt about American and more generally Western intentions. In all, the investigation calls into question the efficacy of a foreign-aid regime based purely on pragmatism and realpolitik.