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Pragmatism will dictate US interests in Central Asia

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Significance

US interest in Central Asia, particularly Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, appears to be rising after several years of declining engagement. The two major Central Asian states, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are looking for US investment and perhaps a partial counter-balance to Russian political dominance and Chinese economic influence. US objectives primarily concern Afghanistan.

Impacts

  • Russia will remain watchful but will tolerate US involvement in Central Asia at or slightly above the current levels.
  • Any Afghan peace deal depends on whether the Taliban will engage with generous terms on offer.
  • Uzbekistan will try to steer a neutral path in Afghan politics and avoid its 1990s patronage of particular ethnic forces.
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