THE WEST AND POST-SOVIET CENTRAL EURASIA: CERTAIN ASPECTS OF AMERICAN AND EU SECURITY STRATEGY IN THE REGION

Jannatkhan EYVAZOV


Jannatkhan Eyvazov, Ph.D. (Political Science), Deputy Director, Institute of Strategic Studies of the Caucasus, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Central Asia and the Caucasus (Baku, Azerbaijan)


Introduction

The threat of a wide-scale armed attack on the United States and its European allies disappeared together with the Soviet Union. The post-Soviet space, however, became a zone of what can be described as sustained political instability and a source of new challenges on the Western agenda. Moreover, the new geopolitical entity and energy resources in its territory became a target of rivalry of the world powers. This meant that merely winning the Cold War was not enough: the victors needed a new strategy in the post-Soviet territory.

Here I intend to outline some of the special features of the American and EU security strategy in Central Eurasia, their key security interests in the region and policy aimed at realization of these interests.

The Western Tandem in Central Eurasia

First of all I want to turn to the question why within the framework of the problem studied in this article I tend to contemplate these actors as a tandem, although, of course, each of them may have their own specific interests in the region and political activity stemming from this.

First, the social and axiological identity of the European Union and the United States created by the fact that they belong to the same civilizational community (Western civilization, to borrow the term from Samuel Huntington) looks especially important in the context of their common security. A social and axiological community, however, cannot remove the fairly static (material) factors, such as geographic proximity/remoteness. The geographic proximity of Central Eurasia makes the European Union much more concerned about security issues, while the geographic remoteness of the United States makes it much less concerned. At the same time, if not conducive to absolutely identical ideas about security, shared values are responsible at least for the two actors common approaches to and standard assessments of which phenomena/processes can be described as real/potential threats and to what extent and priority. The way Western societies are responding to the transnational security threat can be used as a pertinent example.

In Europe and the United States, the entire set of environmental issues or, for instance, the problems created by international organized crime have developed into permanent and real security issues irrespective of their geographic proximity/remoteness. The same applies to the issues related to the proliferation of democracy, human rights, and the market economy expected to create a context indispensable for a sustainable, conflict-free, and prosperous political environment.

The economic and technological development of the EU and the U.S. has left its imprint on their ideas about


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