Author(s)Lampton, James D.
Contributor(s)ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
KeywordsGovernment and Political Science
CAS(CENTRAL ASIAN STATES)
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AbstractSince 2004 the US has been steadily losing ground to Russia and to a lesser extent China in the five former-Soviet Central Asian States (CAS) in terms of economic, political and military influence and access. After a very promising period following the 9/11 attacks, all of the Central Asian states opened their doors to cooperation with US-led efforts to combat Islamist extremists. There are several factors which have led to the current state of affairs in which the US is in the process of being expelled from its second and only remaining Central Asian base in the span of four years. First, US political and military engagement in Central Asia has frequently been disjointed and inconsistent. Second, the US has been unable to promote a coherent regional strategy, which looks holistically at the national interests of both the CAS themselves and other regional actors, of which Russia and China are the most important. Finally, expectations have been poorly managed so that CAS governments and societies have generally expected more material, financial and political benefits than the US has been able to or willing to provide, and the US has had equally unrealistic expectations concerning the pace of these states' reforms.