FROM INTERNAL TO EXTERNAL: CHALLENGES AGAINST U.S.’S CENTRAL ASIAN POLICY
Dr. Robert Guang TIAN
Dr. Robert Guang Tian, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Medaille College (Buffalo, NY, U.S.)
With the 9/11 event as the baseline, America’s awareness of the strategic importance of Central Asia and the latter’s weight in the U.S. global strategy was greatly changed. According to Charles Manes, the 9/11 terrorist attack enabled the U.S. to “discover Central Asia.” This attack has straightened out the uncertainty due to confusion within the U.S. Government about the importance of the Central Asian area to the U.S. and enabled the U.S. to suddenly realize the important advantage of the five Central Asian nations in the global geopolitical pattern. However, the sympathy of the Central Asian nations, Russia and China for the U.S. on the terrorist attack and the warm help from the Central Asian nations to U.S.’s Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and to the U.S. military actions against al-Qa‘eda, facilitated the U.S. army in Central Asia to gain the Manas Air Base and the Karshi Khanabad Airport (also called K2 Base). This symbolized a turning point for the U.S. to access the Central Asian area in one stroke. By stationing in Central Asia, the U.S. became a remarkably important power in Central Asia and nearby.
In terms of strategy, the U.S. is very far away from Central Asia. However, judging from the undergoing Afghanistan Action of Antiterrorism and the U.S. military bases in Central Asia, the five Central Asian nations have actually fallen into the U.S. “New Frontier” category. This was the first time for the U.S. to observe and influence the Central Asian situation so closely. Surprisingly, the happening of the Kyrgyz “Tulip Revolution” in March 2005 and the Uzbekistan Andijan event in May of the same year interrupted the accelerating the U.S. influence in Central Asia. Although the U.S. kept its Manas Air Base in the end, Kyrgyzstan failed to observe the Kyrgyzstan-American Goodwill Policy after the “Tulip Revolution” and it vacillated on the U.S. stationing issue, which remained a headache to the U.S. The development of the Andijan event further led the U.S. to realize the complexity of the Central Asian situation. After the Andijan event, the U.S. Government required the Karimov Government to allow the international commission of inquiry to stand firm on the independence, which forced the U.S. army to withdraw from the Karshi Khanabad Airport on 21 November, 2005. The withdrawal of the U.S. army from Uzbekistan symbolized a great setback of the Central Asian policy, which is regarded as…………………