United States Military in Central Asia: Beyond Operation Enduring Freedom
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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U.S. interests in Central Asia are far-reaching and varied. The arguments, both for and against a post Operation Enduring Freedom OEF U.S. military presence in Central Asia are equally diverse. Publicly, the United States claims it has no plans to maintain long-term basing in Central Asia. Yet, the longer the conflict in Afghanistan rages on, the harder it will be to make the case to significantly draw down or eliminate the current military presence in Central Asia. While there are economic, political, and strategic reasons supporting the post-OEF U.S. presence in Central Asia, this paper examines the militarysecurity necessity for a continued U.S. military presence. As background, this paper begins by providing a synopsis of U.S. interests in Central Asia and the influence of those interests on U.S. Security Cooperation since the five Central Asian statesKazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistangained their independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Finally, this paper provides arguments for and against a continuing U.S. military presence in Central Asia and then draws conclusions and offers recommendations based on an analysis of those arguments.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics