Growing U.S. Security Interests in Central Asia

  • October 01, 2002
  • Dr Elizabeth Wishnick

The author 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 difficult and fraught 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. If not astutely managed, this strategy could have the opposite of 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 of national power and prods the Central Asian regimes toward reform.