Summary: The strategic reconfiguration of Central Asia creates both opportunities and challenges for the new nations formerly under Soviet rule -- Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. As Russia has become more disengaged from the region, these countries have expanded their relations to the south, west, and east. The international implications of these processes are only now coming into full focus as the rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea reg ...show moreion attract global interest. In addition, the security risks from issues such as the scarcity of water resources or an Islamic revival overshadow more traditional international security concerns.
The authors in this study assess internal security policy problems and examine the security content of evolving relations between the Central Asian states and regional and international powers -- specifically the stakes, interests, and policies of Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, and the United States. While new possibilities for regional security cooperation in Central Asia can be explored, there remains a danger of destabilizing rivalry, which would fracture the region and hamper economic development. These dilemmas are examined by a team of specialists from Western Europe, the United States, Russia, and China. ...show less