KAZAKH-U.S. MILITARY-POLITICAL COOPERATION IN THE CONTEXT OF U.S. GEOPOLITICAL INTERESTS IN CENTRAL ASIA
Marat Nurgaliev, Research associate, the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studiesunder the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
As is known, Central Asia is an important strategic element of the U.S.’s foreign policy. It is interesting both from the energy perspective and in the context of Washington’s expanding geopolitical influence in the region.
Today, the U.S.’s key objectives in Central Asia are as follows:
First, establishment of dominant positions in Central Asia.The Washington administration is striving to assert its dominance in Central Asia by playing on the contradictions between the countries in the region, on the one hand, and Russia and China, on the other. U.S. interests would be best served by the following scenario: The maximum possible weakening of Russia and maintaining a balance of forces between the Central Asian states without any one of them playing a dominant role. This is a long-term priority. Military-political rapprochement with one or several Central Asian countries is essential for the implementation of U.S. plans.
Second, broader access to Central Asia’s energy resourcesis one of the most powerful incentives for the U.S.’s foreign policy. In this context, U.S. military presence in Afghanistan increases the chances of the successful implementation of U.S. lobbied south- and west-bound pipeline projects in Central Asia.
Third, advancement of Western democratic ideals and valuesis an important U.S. priority in Central Asia, as, incidentally, in other parts of………………….