Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests [Updated May 7, 2008]   [open pdf - 364KB]

"After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States recognized the independence of all the former Central Asian republics, supported their admission into Western organizations, and elicited Turkish support to counter Iranian influence in the region. Congress was at the forefront in urging the formation of coherent U.S. policies for aiding these and other Eurasian states of the former Soviet Union. Soon after the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001, all the Central Asian states offered overflight and other support to coalition anti-terrorist efforts in Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan hosted coalition troops and provided access to airbases. In 2003, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan also endorsed coalition military action in Iraq, and Kazakhstan provided about two dozen troops for rebuilding. U.S. policy has emphasized bolstering the security of the Central Asian 'front-line' states to help them combat terrorism, proliferation, and arms trafficking. Other strategic U.S. objectives have included promoting free markets, democratization, human rights, and energy development. […] The second session of the 110th Congress is likely to continue to be at the forefront in advocating increased U.S. ties with Central Asia, and in providing backing for use of the region as a staging area for supporting U.S.-led stabilization efforts in Afghanistan. Congress is likely to pursue these goals through hearings and legislation on humanitarian assistance, economic development, security issues, human rights, and democratization. The July 2006 U.S.-Kyrgyzstan agreement on the continued U.S. use of airbase facilities in Kyrgyzstan included U.S. pledges of boosted foreign assistance and other compensation, which are subject to regular congressional appropriations and oversight."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33458
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