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The United States' National Interests in Central Asia

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Central Asia consists of five newly independent states situated between Russia, China, and Iran halfway around the world from the United States. For the last eight years, the Central Asian States CAS have been the object of considerable attention from the United States. The focus of this research is to identify what national interests the United States has in Central Asia, how national interests link to U.S. foreign policy, and explain the benefits and implications of the U.S. pursuing engagement and development in the region. Although the political, economic, and military costs of U.S. engagement in Central Asia are high, so are the benefits. The long-term benefits to the U.S. will be having a more stable less volatile region and access to its significant natural resources. The 1999 version of A National Security Strategy for a New Century NSS, states the U.S. national interests in Central Asia as 1 supporting continued democratization in the five Central Asian States CAS, 2 promoting prosperity, 3 enhancing security in the region, 4 pursuing arms control and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction WMD, and 5 integration in the larger community a political and economic goal. This research paper organizes the U.S. national interests in Central Asia into three categories political, economic, and military and a detailed discussion of the interests then flows from each of the three categories. Based on President Clinton s 1999 NSS, policy announcements made by The State Department, and legislation introduced in Congress, I believe the U.S. has identified that it has overall important national interests in Central Asia. Although the implications of the U.S. having important interests in Central Asia affect the world at large, the primarily affect is on Russia, who also has important and multiple national interests there.

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  • Government and Political Science

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