Breaking Away from the Bear

  • August 01, 1998
  • LTC Dianne L Smith

Lieutenant Colonel Dianne L. Smith examines the development of post-Soviet Central Asian armed forces, Central Asian efforts to guarantee their national security, and the implications for the United States of this struggle. She cautions that the United States use its influence and its military-to-military contact programs judiciously. This is a region of great instability, with massive infusions of energy wealth just beyond the horizon. If these states can create viable methods to ensure domestic and regional security, this wealth may produce prosperity and secure well-being for their citizens. If these states fail to create institutions to preserve their national sovereignty, the new century could presage long, lingering chaos and waste on a grand scale. One need only look south to Afghanistan for such a model.