Research Report


Stephen J. Blank Editor
Copyright Date: Apr. 1, 2011
Pages: 94
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. v-vi)

    President Barack Obama has outlined a comprehensive strategy for the war in Afghanistan, which is now the central front of our campaign against Islamic terrorism. That strategy strongly connects our prosecution of that war to our policy in Pakistan and internal developments there as a necessary condition of victory. But it has also provided for a new logistics road through Central Asia. In this monograph, Dr. Blank argues that a winning strategy in Afghanistan depends, as well, upon the systematic leveraging of the opportunity provided by that road and a new coordinated nonmilitary approach to Central Asia. That approach would...

  2. (pp. vii-x)

    On January 25-26, 2010, SSI organized a conference entitled, “Contemporary issues in International Security,” at the Finnish embassy in Washington, DC. This was the second in what we hoped will be annual conferences bringing together U.S., European, and Russian scholars and experts to discuss such issues in an open forum. The importance of such regular dialogues among experts is well known, and the benefits of these discussions are considerable. Just as we published the papers of the 2008 conference in 2009 (Stephen J. Blank, ed., Prospects for U.S.-Russian Security Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2009)...

  3. (pp. 1-34)

    The classic external security threats are fewer in Central Asia: all the bordering states have recognized their respective independence and make no territorial claims in their regards. Russia has never threatened the Central Asian states with any sort of military intervention related to border issues. Territorial conflicts with China were settled on friendly terms, and Russia's southern borders with Iran and Afghanistan were not put into question after the disappearance of the Soviet Union. Only the maritime borders of the Caspian Sea remain the object of continuing debate, in particular those between Turkmenistan and Iran, and Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. The...

  4. (pp. 35-78)
    Dmitri Trenin

    Central Asia’s five countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—are often lumped together. Outsiders, even most Russians who used to live in a common state with the Central Asians, find it difficult to differentiate among the five. Yet, the region is, in reality, five very distinct entities, which in some cases—e.g., Kyrgyzstan vs. Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan vs. the other four—have very little communication among themselves. The Central Asian Union, announced in the early 1990s, never managed to become a regional organization and ceased to exist in the 2000s. There is no obvious leader: Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are...