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      New edition [online]. Djalili, Mohammad-Reza, and Thierry Kellner. Your e-mail has be sent. However, with the United States not willing to provide financial resources to back up this project, the results thus far have been disappointing, and its longer-term prospects as well as the potential more broadly for regional economic integration are problematic at best for several reasons.

      12 - Central Asia as an Object of Orientalist Narratives in the Age of Bandung

      None of the prospective regional stakeholders in the NSR has bought into the project. The inability thus far of the U. It remains to be seen whether China will actually deliver on its ambitious and expensive plans. But even if Beijing scales back its plans by 50 percent or more, a comparable U. A number of Central Asian states are afflicted by varying degrees with internal weaknesses—poor governance, corruption, weak rule of law, lack of economic opportunities for large sectors of the population—that increase state fragility.

      Predicting whether and when a weak or a failing state will become a failed state is an inherently difficult task, and even Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the weakest states in Central Asia, have repeatedly defied predictions of their imminent demise. The task of preventing state failure is equally challenging. As a result, U.

      The Middle East: United States Policy and Relations in the Latter Half of the 20th Century

      Even a limited American intervention would require cooperation and possibly coordination or at least consent from Russia, China, or both. The United States did not intervene in the ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan in , despite concerns about the survival of the provisional government following the overthrow of then president Kurmanbek Bakiyev and the security of the former U. Moreover, the lack of any permanent U. Beyond the risk of internal collapse, there is also the potential over the next several years for intraregional tensions to spark armed conflict—for example, a resurgence of intercommunal violence in Kyrgyzstan, a troubled political transition in one of the states, or a dispute over access to water.

      A big unknown is what neighboring powers would do in the event of destabilization of one of the Central Asian states. The Fergana Valley, in particular, is rife with political, economic, and social problems. Any unrest there would affect Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and could be used by extremist forces to expand their foothold in the region.

      Although Russia aspires to organize regional security in Central Asia under the CSTO and the SCO, its will and capacity to perform the role of regional security manager are problematic. China appears loath to assume greater security commitments in the region, though this could change if regional conflict threatens to spill into western China or if major Chinese investments and energy infrastructure in the region are directly threatened. However, a U. China and Russia have far greater interests in the region and assets stationed nearby than the United States and should therefore bear the greatest share of responsibility for assisting the governments of Central Asia on security matters.

      More than two decades of U. Kyrgyzstan, arguably the most democratic state in Central Asia, is also its least stable and has been through two popular uprisings that resulted in the overthrow of presidents who had won office in relatively competitive elections. The current president was elected in a competitive vote, but his tenure has also been associated with concerns about his consolidation of power and the quality of democratic politics in Kyrgyzstan. Severe limits on independent media, civil society, and domestic and international nongovernmental organizations leave little space for U.

      Identifying the Boundaries

      Over the longer term, internal changes in Central Asian states could create opportunities for the United States to champion this agenda. In the near term, however, such opportunities are likely to remain very limited. Over the past quarter century, the U. Invariably, these visions offered a glimpse of American interests that more often than not proved transitory. America lacks close economic, political, or societal bonds with Central Asia. It also is continuing to shrink its military footprint in Afghanistan and is preoccupied with crises elsewhere.

      Learn About The Turmoil In West & Central Asia : Crash Course For Medieval Indian History

      For these reasons, the United States needs to put its engagement with the region on a long-term, sustainable basis, commensurate with its interests and available resources. As one expert has observed, offshore balancing is a way to relieve the United States of its burdens of managing the security affairs of unstable regions by transferring to others the task of maintaining regional power balances. Any offshoring by the United States needs to be carefully calibrated—it should match the demands of host governments but avoid overcommitting the United States, especially to the role of first responder in situations that do not call for active U.

      Kazakhstan presently offers the best opportunity for U.

      U.S. Policy Toward Central Asia 3.0

      It has the vision, resources, and institutional capacity to play a greater leadership role and to help put Central Asia on a more positive trajectory. In its foreign and domestic policy, Kazakhstan has a number of important accomplishments to its credit, and, unlike other states in the region, it has set out an ambitious agenda for the future. But any U. Uzbekistan could assume a higher place in U. It is arguably the most important country in the region from the standpoint of security and U. Although U. Kyrgyzstan could be a useful partner if it manages to stabilize its political system, but it is unlikely to serve as a pillar of U.

      Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are troubled states; the United States has neither the resources nor the interests to change their trajectory, and should gauge its engagement with them accordingly. American policy toward Central Asia should be based on the premise that it is a region of convergent rather than competitive interests, offering greater space for policies that do not work at cross-purposes and are even complementary.

      Thus, where possible and appropriate, Washington should better harness Russian and Chinese presence in the region to its favor. In such circumstances, Washington may face a painful choice between greater Russian assertiveness and any number of unpalatable local actors, including Islamic extremist groups, filling those vacuums.