Strategic Consequences of the Iraq War: U.S. Security Interests in Central Asia Reassessed

  • May 01, 2004
  • Dr Elizabeth Wishnick

The U.S.-led war in Iraq complicates security cooperation between the United States and Central Asia at a time when other regional powers—especially Russia, China, and India—are competing for influence in the region more overtly. Concerned about the implications of the U.S. interest in "regime change" for their own rule, Central Asian leaders now have an added incentive to overstate terrorist threats, persecute political opposition, and crack down on peaceful religious activity. The author argues that the United States should do more to address the underlying human security problems in Central Asia, which increase its vulnerability to terrorist movements.