U.S.-KYRGYZSTAN: PARTNERS IN DIFFERENT WEIGHT DIVISIONS
Marat Kazakpaev, Senior lecturer, Political Science Division, Department of International Relations, Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
The Military-Political Sphere
As soon as Kyrgyzstan became an independent state, its relations with the United States in the military-political sphere moved ahead at a slack pace mainly because the “island of democracy,” as the country was perceived in Central Asia, was too small and too poor economically to be contemplated as a strategic partner first by the Clinton and later by the George W. Bush Administration.
However, the Kyrgyz Republic’s consistent and positive foreign policy with respect to the U.S. contributed to the positive dynamics of their bilateral relations in all spheres. Thus, in the military-political sphere, all related government structures, the Defense Ministry in particular, invariably took part (with Washington’s support) in all of the West’s military-political events and profited from all types of military-technical aid extended by the U.S. and/or the EU.
Bilateral military-political contacts developed within NATO as well: as soon as Kyrgyzstan and NATO signed the Partnership for Peace Program with the White House’s direct support on 1 June, 1994, Kyrgyzstan had the opportunity to take part in NATO’s other important programs. The U.S. strengthened its position across the post-Soviet expanse when Kyrgyzstan (in December 1997), as………………