Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests [January 3, 2012] [open pdf - 666KB]
"U.S. policy toward the Central Asian states has aimed at facilitating their cooperation with U.S. and NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and their efforts to combat terrorism, proliferation, and trafficking in arms, drugs, and persons. Other U.S. objectives have included promoting free markets, democratization, human rights, energy development, and the forging of East-West and Central Asia-South Asia trade links. […] Congress has been at the forefront in advocating increased U.S. ties with Central Asia, and in providing backing for the region for the transit of equipment and supplies for U.S.-led stabilization efforts in Afghanistan. Congress has pursued these goals through hearings and legislation on humanitarian, economic, and democratization assistance, security issues, and human rights. During the 112th Congress, the Members may review assistance for bolstering regional border and customs controls and other safeguards to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), combating trafficking in persons and drugs, encouraging regional integration with South Asia and Europe, advancing energy security, and countering terrorism. Support for these goals also has been viewed as contributing to stabilization and reconstruction operations by the United States and NATO in Afghanistan. For several years, Congress has placed conditions on assistance to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan--because of concerns about human rights abuses and lagging democratization--which have affected some U.S. diplomatic and security ties. Congress will continue to consider how to balance these varied U.S. interests in the region."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33458