Russia Picking Up the Pieces in Central Asia

by Laurence on 8/27/2004

In The National Interest, Peter Lavelle argues that Russia plans to pick up the pieces from America’s broken Central Asian policies:

Historically, Russia has never really been welcomed in Central Asia, but it is a country with its attendant mindset that local leaders well understand — local populations included. As independent countries, and former Soviet republics, it is difficult to conceive that they will ever seriously seek long-term protection from a country like the United States, when Russia will remain forever near. Russia has no problem allowing, even helping, the United States to do the heavy lifting against international terrorism and the containment of weapons of mass destruction in Central Asia, knowing full well that the United States will either want to leave the region at some point or be asked to leave. Russia probably is more than happy to wait out America’s mission in Central Asia, riding on its coattails until the time comes when Central Asia welcomes Russia’s well-known embrace.

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