U.S. STRATEGY IN CENTRAL ASIA: PROBLEMS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Guli Yuldasheva, D.Sc. (Political Science), Professor at the World Politics Chair of Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)
The events of the last decades have again demonstrated the close interconnection among all the parts of the international relations system. The main masterminds of world development are now finding that they too are being drawn into the processes going on in vitally important geopolitical zones of the world far beyond their own borders.
The Central Asia region is one of these zones for the following reasons:
it is geostrategically located at the intersection among many of the existing, potential, and planned transportation and pipeline routes;
it has extremely rich natural and human resources;
it is close in territorial-geographical, historical-cultural, and demographic terms to the hotbeds of instability in the Islamic world;
most of the global challenges and threats (territorial, ethnonational, religious, environmental, and so on) are concentrated in its territory.
In this context, establishing political equilibrium in Central Asia that is favorable for all the regional actors, integrating the region into the global economic expanse, and maintaining sustainable democratic development meet the interests of stability and development of the entire system of international relations.
The strategic imperatives of American foreign policy regarding Central Asia, on which the U.S.’s claims to global leadership largely depend, have not changed during the entire post-bipolar period.
However, it is also true that stabilization in Central Asia is hindered by the fact that the U.S. does not have a clear strategic conception (the changing international political situation periodically calls for its adjustment) or specific ways and methods to implement its plans, as well as by the fact that the geopolitical and geo-economic interests of other countries clash in the region.
This article attempts to analyze the evolution of the main trends and mechanisms of U.S. strategy in Central Asia (from 1991 until the present), in addition to the most important principles and factors predetermining the current situation in the region.
Fundamental Principles of the U.S.’s Central Asian Strategy
1991-1993. The collapse of the Soviet Union and formation of the newly independent states meant the beginning of a new era for the U.S. that symbolized the victory of Western ideals and democratic values. It was presumed that the United States would claim global hegemony and present a model of Western market democratic values in the new world order. U.S. strategy in Central Asia was also conceptually based on………..