Growing U.S. Security Interests in Central Asia

Growing U.S. Security Interests in Central Asia

Growing U.S. Security Interests in Central Asia

Growing U.S. Security Interests in Central Asia

Excerpt

Among the many changes brought to American security policy by the attacks ofl September 11, 2001, is a shiflt in the strategic geography. Regions and nations that had been at the periphery ofl concern have taken on new importance because ofl their relationship to terrorists and the states that sponsor them. Nowhere is this more true than in Central Asia. Until recently, the United States paid very little attention to Central Asia. Now the combination ofl energy reserves and the region's location has increased its strategic signiflicance a great deal.

In this study, Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick, currently a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, assesses U.S. security interests and military activities in Central Asia. She notes that strengthening the Central Asian states against terrorism and assisting their transition to stable and prosperous nations are diflflicult and flraught with danger. In particular, there is the risk that the U.S. military presence in the region and security assistance to repressive regimes might taint America. Ifl not astutely managed, this strategy could have the opposite ofl the intended results and generate increased instability, spark anti-Americanism, and antagonize Russia and China. To avoid this, Dr. Wishnick advocates a multilateral strategy that integrates the military, political, and economic elements ofl national power and prods the Central Asian regimes toward reflorm.

The Strategic Studies Institute is pleased to oflfler this study to help U.S. deflense leaders and strategic planners assess U.S. security interests in Central Asia.

DOUGLAS C. LOVELACE, JR.
Director
Strategic Studies Institute . . .

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