Accession Number:

ADA310898

Title:

After Empire: The Emerging Geopolitics of Central Asia,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1995-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

255.0

Abstract:

The fall of the Soviet empire encouraged Western scholars and observers alike to anticipate a period of political chaos, civil unrest and a series of ethno-religious explosions among the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. The general expectation was that the removal of a repressive Soviet control structure would unleash the subliminal forces of political radicalism and religious extremism which along with all forms of non-Soviet political expression had been suppressed in the 15 former republics of the USSR for seven decades. The newly independent nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan have not followed the path which many had predicted. The nightmarish scenarios of regional upheaval have not materialized largely for three reasons 1 the prevalent Western assumption that these new nations would each be prepared for and eager to pursue their independence was dramatically wrong 2 the penetration of Soviet influence in Central Asia was much deeper than realized and therefore administrative and political structures had been more thoroughly transformed and Russified than was appreciated, and 3 largely as a result of the first two factors, those who were elected to lead the new nations of Central Asia did not represent a new generation of leaders. Indeed, with one exception Kyrgyzstan they were drawn from the senior ranks of the Communist apparat. Finally, following the end of Soviet rule, where conflicts have occurred along the southern periphery, in both the Caucasus and in Central Asia, most notably the violence in Tajikistan Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabakh Russian manipulation may be as much to blame as intrinsic ethnic hatreds.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Geography

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE