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Central Asia Factsheet

Central Asia Factsheet

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Published by: The American Security Project on Feb 28, 2012
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www.AmericanSecurityProject.org1100 New York Avenue, NW Suite 710W Washington, DC
Factsheet: US StrategicInterests in Central Asia 
By Kelvin Lum
M
aintaining economic and political security in Central Asia is importantfor both US energy and national security purposes. A major US policy goal: foster the long-term development of democraticinstitutions and respect for human rights.
Te United States has had a long-standing commitment to the region since the fall of theSoviet Union:
PassageoftheFREEDOM(FreedomforRussiaandEmergingEurasianDemocraciesandOpenMarkets)SupportAct1992:createdsupportforthedevelopmentofmarketsanddemocraticinstitutionsin
Central Asia.
PassageoftheNunn-LugarCooperativereatReductionActof1992fundedmassivenucleardemobilizationinKazakhstanandelsewhereintheFormerSovietUnion.ProposalofSilkRoadStrategyActof1999and2006furthersupported
this desire for democratization.
iscommitmentbecomemoresignicantfollowingtheUSinvasionofAfghanistanAnnualBilateralConsultationsestablishedin2010witheachofthe
regional states
ReorganizationofUSStateDept.movedpolicyresponsibilitytotheBureauofSouthAsianAairs(nowtheBureauofSouthandCentralAsianAairs)ManasTransitCenteroutsideofBishkek,Kyrgyzstanhascontributednearly$1.4billiontotheKyrgyzeconomy.DevelopmentoftheNorthernDistributionNetwork:overlandsupplynetworkofnon-lethalsuppliesfromEuropetoAfghanistan.
 
2
 AmericAn security project
However,theCentralAsiastatesrankpoorlyonbothhumanrightsanddemocratizationmeasuresAllbutTajikistanwerelistedasnotfreeaccordingtotheFreedomHousemeasureofpoliticalandcivilfreedoms(Tajikistanwaslistedaspartlyfree).NoneoftheCentralAsianstateswaslistedasbeingelectoraldemocraciesonthesame
measure
Economic Security 
 June2004–TIFAsignedwiththeCentralAsianstatestocreateaUS-CentralAsiaCouncilonTradeandInvestment,to“addressintellectualproperty,labor,environmentalprotection,andotherissuesthatimpedetradeandprivateinvestmentowsbetweentheUnitedStatesandCentralAsia.”
Energy Security 
Largeamountofnaturalgasreservesintheregion:405trillioncubicfeetlocatedinKazakhstan,Turkmenistan,andUzbekistan.Kazakhstanisamajorglobalsourceofoil.
Resources
FreedomforRussiaandEmergingEurasianDemocraciesandOpenMarketsSupportActof1992http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d102:HR04547:@@@L&summ2=m& JoshuaFoust,“NoGreatGame:eStoryofPost-ColdWarPowersinCentralAsia,”eAtlantic,16December2011,http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/no-great-game-the-story-of-post-cold-war-powers-in-central-asia/250010/

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