Are Uzbek-US strategic ties loosening?

by Laurence Jarvik on 8/14/2004 · 3 comments

From Eurasianet:

“The Pentagon’s aid actions appear driven in part by signs that Uzbekistan’s strategic ties to the United States are loosening. Since the September 11 terrorist tragedy, Uzbekistan has been Washington’s staunchest ally in Central Asia, making an air base available to the United States to help provide support for on-going anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Faced with the growing Islamic radical threat, however, President Islam Karimov’s administration has sought to diversify its security options, turning primarily to Russia for added economic and military support. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

“Trouble signs for US strategic interests are readily evident these days in Central Asia, and they are not limited to Uzbekistan. In July, Tajikistan agreed to host a permanent Russian military base. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. In mid-August, regional officials hailed military exercises involving the Collective Security Treaty Organization — comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – as a great success. In addition, Russian defense officials recently announced that Moscow would expand its military base in Kant, Kyrgyzstan. The Itar-Tass news agency on August 12 quoted Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Askar Aytmatov as saying that Russia was Bishkek’s “main strategic partner.” [For additional information see the Eurasia Insight archive].

“Russian political analysts say Russia has been able to bolster its strategic influence in Central Asia because of Washington’s focus on the upcoming presidential election, as well as the ongoing Iraq reconstruction operation. “The prolonged crisis in Iraq is not allowing the [Bush] administration to devote much attention to the Central Asian region,” commentator Dmitry Bagiro wrote in an article published August 11 by the web site. “At the same time, Russia has started working more regularly and more intensively with the leaders of Central Asian states.”

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{ 1 comment }

Art August 15, 2004 at 2:37 pm

Regardless of Russia, it might help to take a close look at Morocco this last month. They ‘lost’ 400 Al Quaeda opeartives in their country. Whether the Moroccans are directly running these is a question to ask Saudia Arabia. When the world complained they chose to ‘monitor’ or ‘run’ these 400 Al Quaeda from the original training camps, Morocco immediatlely responded by claiming 2000 more(and ANOTHER Al type) in their country, who might ‘get lost’ like the original 400.

Alot of countires consider this a threat, but most countries don’t play this threat game.

Who do you think wins this game and where do you think the Als went…………….

If your bored, check out my blog and the connections to Afghanistan, Peace Corps, and Congress.

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