US policy concerning Kazakhstan?


I have to write a memo outlining what I think US policy should be concerning Kazakhstan and I'm not sure where to begin. I was hoping for some ideas or something to guide me on where to look for information.

I appreciate any help and thanks for your time

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are a couple of areas to look at. I'm not going to write your memo for you but I'll point you in the right direction.

    Kazakhstan is a big player in the energy market, so look at issues concerning the export of oil and natural gas from Kazakhstan. Specifically look at how oil and gas gets from Kazakhstan to the rest of the world as far as existing pipelines, proposed pipelines, and the Caspian.

    Another issue is democracy and human rights. The US likes to promote these values and central Asia is woefully lacking in this department. Look at Kazakhstan's record on human rights and how involved family members are in government.

    The war on terror is a big issue for central Asia too. The war in Afghanistan has brought the US into the area in a big way, and now there is an ongoing struggle for influence in the area between the US, Russia and China. All three countries are stumbling over themselves to improve relations with these countries and limit the other countries' influence, for economic, military and political reasons.

    The best source for information on this area is probably The Economist magazine. Check out their online archives for articles on Kazakhstan. You might have to pay for access. Also, read up on "The Great Game" and "The New Great Game." The struggle for influence in the area has been going on between major powers for quite some time now, and it's only recently that the US has come into the picture. There's a link to a good New York Times article below.

  • 10 years ago

    As a former Soviet satellite state our policy towards Kazakhstan needs to be uniquely aware of the position Russia is in to exercise control over the Kazakhs and potentially undermine whatever it is we are seeking to achieve in Kazakhstan. Counter-terrorism and regional stability should be at the top of our priorities given the proximity to Afghanistan.

    It's a difficult balancing act between encouraging stability, favoring our security interests and exerting influence without upsetting the Russians too much.

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