Central Asia's Security: Issues and Implications for U.S. Interests [March 11, 2010] [open pdf - 625KB]
"The Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) face common security challenges from crime, corruption, terrorism, and faltering commitments to economic and democratic reforms. […] After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the former Bush Administration established bases and other military access in the region to support U.S.-led coalition operations in Afghanistan. The Obama Administration has highlighted U.S. interests in such continued access as well as the long-term security and stability of the region. U.S. interests in Central Asia include combating terrorism, drug production, and trafficking; assisting the development of oil and other resources; and fostering democratization, human rights, free markets, and trade. The United States also seeks to thwart dangers posed to its security by the illicit transfer of strategic missile, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons technologies, materials, and expertise to terrorist states or groups, and to address threats posed to regional independence by Iran. […] Most in Congress have supported U.S. assistance to bolster independence and reforms in Central Asia. The 106th Congress authorized a 'Silk Road' initiative for greater policy attention and aid for democratization, market reforms, humanitarian needs, conflict resolution, transport infrastructure (including energy pipelines), and border controls. The 108th and subsequent Congresses have imposed conditions on foreign assistance to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, based on their human rights records. Congress has continued to debate the balance between U.S. security interests in the region and interests in democratization and the protection of human rights."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30294