by Richard Weitz (05/01/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Kazakhstan’s government is atypical among Central Asian countries for its prominent efforts to reduce tensions in Eurasia as well as to increase understanding, trust, and cooperation between different regions, cultures, and religions. The Kazakhstani government’s motives in seeking such a prominent role are straightforward. It aims to reduce security threats and advance economic interests. It also wants to elevate the country’s profile in world affairs by hosting prominent international gatherings and by making visible contributions to international peace and prosperity. Kazakhstan’s main problem is that Astana’s limited diplomatic and other resources limit its ability to pursue its ambitious foreign-policy agenda.
by Aigul Kasymova (04/03/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
According to the Congressional Budget Justification by the Department of State (FY2013), the U.S. will make a cut of 13 percent in aid to the Central Asian region. Assistance from the U.S. will stress the importance of security programs in the region rather than programs aimed at the economy, politics, health and/or education. Despite the drop in aid, U.S. policies toward Kyrgyzstan will continue to support programs aimed at assisting the country’s development.
by Robert M. Cutler (04/03/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The success of the recent summit between the Russian and Chinese presidents is significant not only for agreements reached between the two sides but also for the absence of disagreements over Central Asia. Speculation abounded after the Soviet break-up over possible Russo-Chinese competition; but by the time the U.S. military established a presence in Central Asia in support of Afghanistan operations, a Sino-Russian entente had begun to close over the region. Today Sino-Russian energy cooperation outside Central Asia and deepening political elite-level friendships signify the re-assertion of that bilateral entente as the U.S. diminishes its profile in Central Asia.
by Roger N. McDermott (03/06/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On February 17-21, Russia conducted its first surprise military inspection exercise in twenty years. The exercise in the Southern and Central Military Districts (MDs) tested combat readiness levels in key formations. These involved the elite Airborne Forces (VDV), Ground Forces brigades, Military Transport Aviation (VTA) and the defense ministry’s 12th Main Directorate. The top brass criticized the performance of officers and soldiers and equipment deficiencies following the exercise, which also revealed the limited power projection options the Russian military possesses in relation to Central Asia.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.