Growing U.S. Security Interests In Central Asia   [open pdf - 193KB]

As Secretary of State Colin Powell told the House International Relations Committee in February 2002, the United States "will have a continuing interest and presence in Central Asia of a kind that we could not have dreamed of before." After providing background on the development of U.S. security interests in Central Asia, this monograph examines post-9/1 1 trends in U.S. policy and military engagement. In the 1990s the United States initiated military engagement with Central Asia to support the region's integration with western political-military institutions, as well as to protect the sovereignty and independence of these states, assist them to improve their border security against transnational threats, encourage them to adopt market-oriented reform and democratization, and ensure access to energy resources in the region. U.S. military cooperation expanded rapidly with Central Asian states in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 due to the framework of relations that had been built piecemeal in the 1990s. For the first time the United States acquired temporary basing in this region in response to a changing security environment, as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan became frontline states in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Anti-terrorism became the central focus of U.S. policy in the region, although other goals still remain important.

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