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Mainstream Vol. XLVIII, No 17, April 17, 2010

Washington’s Motive in Central Asia and its Track Record

Monday 19 April 2010, by Benjamin Todd

The strategic importance of Central Asia, a region rich in oil, gas and other resources while being located in between Russia, China and the Indian subcontinent, is growing with every passing day. And the US is doggedly persisting with its efforts to reinforce its influence in that part of the globe. Washington is eager to control the local energy wealth there and regulate the so-called ‘manageable chaos’ in the area so as to exert pressure on its main rivals—Moscow and Beijing—as well as New Delhi, Tehran and Islamabad.


The US pretends to be a partner of the Central Asian elites in the latter’s enthusiastic attempts to deliver hyprocarbons to the international market in exchange for much-needed hard cash. Outwardly the Americans are displaying their active participation in almost every project to make the passage for Turkmen gas or Kazakh oil reach the Indian Ocean or Europe. But all these oil and gas bubbles are in conflict with each other. In reality Washington neither wants energy security for the EU states nor economic growth for the Central Asian nations. Its principal objective is its permanent military presence in the region.

During the past few months the US Adminis-tration has made some headway in Tashkent and Bishkek. The Kyrgyz authorities have given their consent to the American plan to create an Anti-Terror Training Centre in the southern part of the country.

The incident involving the radical Iranian Sunni jehadi, Abdolmalek Rigi, has exposed the real purpose of this facility: the terrorist leader was arrested by the Iranian authorities after spending some time with the US secret service agents in the NATO transit base “Manas” near Bishkek, thereby bringing into focus the not-so-insignificant nexus between Washington’s spy operatives and terrorists of different hues, jehadis included.


The Central Asian nations can learn a lot from the plight of Pakistan and Afghanistan—the basic lesson is: Washington is keenly engaged in using foreign governments and proxies to destabilise their neighbours. Some decades ago Islamabad and the Afghan mujahideen had earned billions of dollars besides achieving the fame of being “victors” in the protracted war against the erstwhile USSR on Afghan soil. Thereafter they had to deal with endless internecine warfare, drugs and religious extremism while the US ‘disengaged’ itself from the Afghan conflict zone as its real task—comprehensively defeating the Soviet Union in the Cold War thereby leading to the ultimate break-up of that multinational state—was over. (It’s a different matter that it returned to Afghanistan following the audacious 9/11 terrorist attacks on US territory to wage its war on terror to eliminate the Al-Qaeda run by Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar’s Taliban operating from that country against US interests worldwide.) What does this signify? It means that Washington never remembers the ‘good services’ rendered by its allies and accomplices after the ‘job’ is done—the US doesn’t believe in conveying its sense of gratitude to those who helped further its interests.

Today Kyrgyzstan has become the American base for spreading terror in the neighbourhood. Tomorrow, however,

Washington would not suffer any qualms of conscience in employing Tashkent or Dushanbe to undermine the stability and integrity of their neighbour, Kyrgyzstan. This is its historical track record which cannot be obliterated by any amount of wishful thinking or illusion.

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