PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF NATO’S CENTRAL ASIAN STRATEGY: THE ROLE OF KAZAKHSTAN
Timer Shaymergenov, Official at the Majilis Secretariat of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Astana, Kazakhstan)
Since the 1990s, Central Asia has been steadily moving into the limelight of world geopolitics because of its geostrategic and geo-economic potential. Political influence, economic interests, access to its considerable resource potential, promotion of religious and national ideas, as well as all aspects of regional security can be described as priorities. The region’s geographic location is certainly advantageous: it is found, first, between two influential geopolitical forces and, second, between powerful industrial centers and large consumer markets of Europe and Asia. This means that the region’s security and sustainable development are an indispensable condition for realizing all sorts of interests. It goes without saying that it is not easy, for several (including objective) reasons, to set up a system of regional security in Central Asia.
Today the regional security system has several levels; however, it lacks a more or less clear structure, while relative stability is maintained by bilateral military-political agreements between the Central Asian states and foreign power centers by the efforts of several international organizations. At the same time, the more active involvement of transnational security structures with different ideological platforms is introducing latent geopolitical tension and heating up rivalry among the large geopolitical players. The CSTO, SCO and NATO, all of them dynamically developing military-political alliances, are used as regional rivalry tools.
It should be said that the former two are present in the region for historical and geographic reasons, while the latter has come to stay. In the long-term perspective, therefore, its impact on the regional processes will become inevitable, while the efficiency of regional collective security efforts will largely depend on the format of relations between the Central Asian states and NATO, as well as on cooperation between NATO and Russia, China, the CSTO, and the SCO.
NATO’s Contemporary Development Trends
Dynamic developments in the international security sphere have posed the question of the effectiveness of the transnational structures responsible for maintaining security throughout the world by…………….