Q. Are Central Asian Republics capable to contain looming security challenges and threats in the region in their own way (without the involvement of the big powers)? What are their strategies and mechanisms to contain it?
Printer-friendly versionSend to friend
Replied by Dr Pravesh Kumar Gupta

Central Asian region is geo-strategically located between the East and the West, which had placed it at the centre of struggle between the major powers not only in Soviet era but also in the Post-Soviet period. The regional security apparatus in Central Asia is way more crucial for two of neighbouring big powers; Russia and China than that to Central Asia. However, most of the Central Asian Governments being authoritarian had tackled the regional security issues in the past by taking unilateral extreme measures which adversely impacted the regional cooperative mechanism between these republics. Region’s proximity to Afghanistan made it vulnerable to external threats. Three of the Central Asian republic (CARs) share direct border and are directly impacted by the developments in Afghanistan. The threats of terrorism and extremism are of core concern for Central Asian regimes.

The question of containing the regional security threats in Central Asia without involvement of the major powers seems perplexing as three of these republics; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are members of Russia led military and security organization, Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The CSTO’s purpose is to ensure the collective defence of any member that faces external aggression. Beyond mutual defence, the CSTO also coordinates efforts in fighting the illegal circulation of weapons among member states and has developed law enforcement training for its members in pursuit of these aims. Members also use the organization to counter cyber warfare, narcotics trafficking, transnational crime, and terrorism. Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is also a security initiative led by China as Central Asia had always been a greater concern for maintaining security in China’s Xinjiang region. In the recent past, regional integration process in Central Asia has witnessed positive development which will enhance the prospects for a collective security mechanism in near future.

Date : 03/04/2020
Contact Us