ON UZBEKISTAN’S GRAND STRATEGY
Farkhad Tolipov, Ph.D. (Political Science), Independent Researcher (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)
After ten years of independence, the Republic of Uzbekistan has become a strategic partner of the United States, an unprecedented geopolitical event: for the first time in its history, Central Asia, which for centuries remained on the sidelines of world politics, has found itself in the limelight of the global and regional powers.
After twenty years of independent development, the Central Asian countries are still coping with the fundamental task of formulating adequate foreign policy strategies.
This article analyzes the strategic interests of Uzbekistan and the constantly changing regional context; there is the opinion that the Republic of Uzbekistan holds prime responsibility for the regional situation. This issue calls for a detailed analysis—here I shall take a look at some of the elements of what is known as the state’s Grand Strategy.
What is a Grand Strategy?
By the 20th century, the term strategy, the meaning of which was initially limited to military matters, gained wider interpretation. Victory in a war is the product of a skilful combination of forces and assets applied at the best time and in the best place; a good strategy is a good combination of objective and subjective factors. When applied to a wider sphere of state activities, strategy implies integrating forces and assets into a single plan of political actions designed to achieve certain aims with due account of the suitable time, place, and conditions (environment), as well as potential advantages.
A so-called grand strategy (national security strategy), the highest level of state strategy, suggests that political decisions are taken at the top level and that all the means necessary for their realization are mobilized: military might, economic potential, commercial potential, technological base, intelligence resources, diplomatic instruments, ideological means, etc., in short, all the key spheres of state activities.
Liddell Hart wrote that a grand strategy “should not only combine various instruments, but also regulate their use in order to avoid damage to the future state of peace—for its security and prosperity.”
What fundamental instruments can Uzbekistan employ to create a Grand Strategy of its own? I have already written that we should adequately assess the strategic and military-political situation; identify the state’s vitally important interests; set goals; formulate tasks; and assess the forces and assets necessary for their realization.
A grand strategy calls for fundamental investigation of the issues enumerated above; in this article I shall limit myself to a concise analysis of some of them.
First of all, we should identify the vitally important strategic interests related to the nation’s physical, cultural, and political survival. They should be protected; otherwise the country might slide into chaos, unmanageable negative processes, political and economic disintegration, etc. This category primarily includes national security interests. To protect them, the state has to…………..