Washington’s Central Asian Detour to Afghanistan

Alexander Cooley

in Great Games, Local Rules

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199929825
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950485 | DOI:
Washington’s Central Asian Detour to Afghanistan

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Chapter 3 overviews the evolution of U.S. regional policy, exploring how its Central Asia strategy increasingly has become a function of supporting military operations in nearby Afghanistan. These roles have included establishing military bases and access agreements for OEF and concluding new commercial agreements in order to expand the delivery of supplies via the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), an alternative to shipping through Pakistan. At the same time, U.S. policymakers have had to balance their security cooperation with a public commitment to promote political and economic reforms in the region. These two imperatives clashed in the aftermath of the Uzbek government’s crackdown in the city of Andijan in May 2005, when the Uzbek government, in response to U.S. criticism of its actions, evicted the U.S. military from its airbase in Karshi-Khanabad (K2). Over the course of the decade, Central Asian leaders have grown increasingly cynical and even dismissive of such political criticism and demands for reform, while the United States and its Western allies have become less vocal about the so-called values agenda in order to placate their regional partners.

Keywords: United States; Uzbekistan; Karshi-Khanabad; Northern Distribution Network; Greater Central Asia; Afghanistan; Pakistan; Andijan

Chapter.  8028 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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