Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States recognized the independence of
all the former Central Asian republics, supported their admission into Western organizations, and
elicited regional support to counter Iranian influence in the region. Congress was at the forefront
in urging the formation of coherent U.S. policies for aiding these and other Eurasian states of the
former Soviet Union.
Soon after the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001, all the Central Asian states
offered overflight and other support for coalition anti-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan.
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan hosted coalition troops and provided access to airbases. In
2003, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan also endorsed coalition military action in Iraq, and Kazakhstan
provided about two dozen troops for rebuilding. U.S. policy has emphasized bolstering the
security of the Central Asian “front-line” states to help them combat terrorism, proliferation, and
arms and drug trafficking. Other U.S. objectives have included promoting free markets,
democratization, human rights, energy development, and the forging of east-west and Central
Asia-South Asia trade links. Such policies aim to help the states become what the Administration
considers to be responsible members of the international community rather than to degenerate
into xenophobic, extremist, and anti-Western regimes that threaten international peace and
The Administration’s diverse goals in Central Asia have reflected the differing characteristics of
these states. U.S. interests in Kazakhstan have included securing and eliminating Soviet-era
nuclear and biological weapons materials and facilities. U.S. energy firms have invested in oil
and natural gas development in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and the Administration backs
diverse export routes to the West for these resources. Economic and democratic reforms have
been among U.S. concerns in Kyrgyzstan. In Tajikistan, U.S. aid has focused on economic
reconstruction following that country’s 1992-1997 civil war. U.S. relations with Uzbekistan
suffered following the Uzbek government’s violent crackdown on armed and unarmed protesters
in the city of Andijon in May 2005.
The 111th Congress is likely to continue to be at the forefront in advocating increased U.S. ties
with Central Asia, and in providing backing for use of the region as a staging area for supporting
U.S.-led stabilization efforts in Afghanistan. Congress is likely to pursue these goals through
hearings and legislation on humanitarian, economic, and democratization assistance, security
issues, and human rights. The 2006 bilateral accord on the continued U.S. use of airbase facilities
in Kyrgyzstan included U.S. pledges of boosted foreign aid and other compensation, which are
subject to regular congressional appropriations and oversight. Assistance for border and customs
controls and other safeguards to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
and to combat trafficking in persons and drugs will likely be ongoing congressional concerns.
Congress will continue to consider whether and how to balance its concerns about human rights
abuses and lagging democratization against other U.S. interests in continued engagement with the
region to advance energy security and prosecute the Global War on Terrorism.
Most Recent Developments.............................................................................................................1
Overview of U.S. Policy Concerns..................................................................................................2
Post-September 11 and Afghanistan...................................................................................3
Support for Operation Iraqi Freedom.................................................................................4
Fostering Pro-Western Orientations................................................................................................4
Obstacles to Peace and Independence: Regional Tensions and Conflicts.......................................8
The 1992-1997 Civil War in Tajikistan.....................................................................................9
The Incursions into Kyrgyzstan................................................................................................9
The 1999 and 2004 Attacks in Uzbekistan..............................................................................10
The 2005 Violence in Andijon, Uzbekistan.............................................................................10
Actions of the IMU and IJU in 2006-2008.............................................................................12
U.S. Designation of the IMU and IJU as Terrorist Organizations...........................................13
Democratization and Human Rights.............................................................................................13
Recent Developments in Kazakhstan................................................................................15
The 2005 Coup in Kyrgyzstan..........................................................................................16
Succession in Turkmenistan..............................................................................................18
Recent Developments in Uzbekistan................................................................................19
Security and Arms Control............................................................................................................21
Closure of Karshi-Khanabad...................................................................................................24
Access at Manas................................................................................................................25
Weapons of Mass Destruction.................................................................................................26
Trade and Investment....................................................................................................................27
K a za khstan ........................................................................................................................ 31
Turkmeni stan ....................................................................................................................32
U.S. Aid Overview........................................................................................................................33
Congressional Conditions on Kazakh and Uzbek Aid......................................................34
110th Congress Legislation............................................................................................................36
Figure 1. Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and
Uzbeki stan ..................................................................................................................... ............. 39
Table 1. U.S. Foreign Assistance to Central Asia, FY1992 to FY2008.........................................38
Author Contact Information..........................................................................................................39
At a meeting with Tajik officials on November 7, World Bank emissaries raised concerns that the
world economic slowdown might severely impact Tajikistan. The World Bank warned that while
Tajikistan might benefit from lowered import costs for food and energy, the country could suffer
from lowered profits from cotton and other commodity exports, from possibly sharply lowered
remittances from migrant workers, and lowered foreign aid and investment. The World Bank
advised the Tajik government to focus on “essential health, education, and social protection
services to people to ensure that a temporary shock does not result in permanent loss of human
capital and social welfare of poorer households,” while deferring lower priority expenditures. It
also advised regulatory and rule of law reforms to encourage entrepreneurial activity and 1
diversification and modernization of the inefficient agricultural sector.
A Russian ultra-nationalist website in October 2008 alleged that the Islamic Movement of
Uzbekistan and other terrorist groups were infiltrating Turkmenistan with the goal of
overthrowing the government. The website called for Russian officials to inform the president of
Turkmenistan that Russia stood ready to assist in defeating a coup attempt, so that the president 2
would not request assistance from China or the United States.
A video released by the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) terrorist organization in late October 2008
stated that as long as Germany supports NATO operations in Afghanistan, and uses a base in 3
Uzbekistan to support these operations, it is subject to IJU attacks.
Some international human rights groups protested against a visit by the head of the Uzbek state
security service to Germany in late October 2008. He had been subject to a visa ban that had been
lifted by the Council of the European Union because of what the Council stated was progress by
Uzbekistan in respecting human rights. He reportedly advised German officials on IJU activities
in Central Asia.
Central Asia consists of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan; it
borders Russia, China, the Middle East, and South Asia. The major peoples of all but Tajikistan
speak Turkic languages (the Tajiks speak an Iranian language); and most are Sunni Muslims
(some Tajiks are Shiia Muslims). Most are closely related historically and culturally. By the late th
19 century, Russian tsars had conquered the last independent khanates and nomadic lands of
Central Asia. By the early 1920s, Soviet power had been imposed; by 1936, five “Soviet Socialist
Republics” had been created. Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, they 4
1 The World Bank. Republic of Tajikistan: Financial Crisis and Potential Implications on the Tajik Economy,
November 7, 2008.
2 Open Source Center. Central Eurasia: Daily Report (hereafter CEDR), October 2, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-21004.
3 Open Source Center Analysis. German Terrorist Manhunt Shows Authorities’ Concerns, November 12, 2008, Doc.
4 See CRS Report 97-1058, Kazakhstan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests, by Jim Nichol; CRS Report 97-690,
Kyrgyzstan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests, by Jim Nichol; CRS Report 98-594, Tajikistan: Recent
Central Asia: Basic Facts
Total Area: 1.6 million sq. mi., larger than India; Kazakhstan: 1.1 m. sq. mi.; Kyrgyzstan: 77,000 sq. mi.; Tajikistan:
55,800 sq. mi.; Turkmenistan: 190,000 sq. mi.; Uzbekistan: 174,500 sq. mi.
Total Population: 61.36 million, slightly less than France; Kazakhstan: 15.34 m.; Kyrgyzstan: 5.36 m.; Tajikistan: 7.21
m.; Turkmenistan: 5.18 m.; Uzbekistan: 28.27 m. (July 2008 est., The World Factbook).
Total Gross Domestic Product: $293.39 billion in 2007; per capita GDP is about $4,800, but there are large income
disparities and relatively large percentages of people in each country are in poverty. Kazakhstan: $161.5 b.;
Kyrgyzstan: $10.38 b.; Tajikistan: $11.87 b.; Turkmenistan: $47.37 b.; Uzbekistan: $62.27 b. (The World Factbook,
purchasing power parity).
After the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, then-President George H.W. Bush sent
the “FREEDOM Support Act” (FSA) aid authorization to Congress, which was amended and
signed into law in October 1992 (P.L. 102-511). In 1999, congressional concerns led to passage of
the “Silk Road Strategy Act” (P.L. 106-113), which authorized enhanced policy and aid to support
conflict amelioration, humanitarian needs, economic development, transport and
communications, border controls, democracy, and the creation of civil societies in the South
Caucasus and Central Asia.
U.S. policymakers and others hold various views on the appropriate types and levels of U.S.
involvement in the region. Some have argued that ties with “energy behemoth” Kazakhstan are 5
crucial to U.S. interests. At least until recently, others have argued that Uzbekistan is the
“linchpin” of the region (it is the most populous regional state and is centrally located, shaping
the range and scope of regional cooperation) and should receive the most U.S. attention.
In general, U.S. aid and investment have been viewed as strengthening the independence of the
Central Asian states and forestalling Russian, Chinese, Iranian, or other efforts to subvert them.
Advocates of such ties have argued that political turmoil and the growth of terrorist enclaves in
Central Asia could produce spillover effects both in nearby states, including U.S. allies and
friends such as Turkey, and worldwide. They also have argued that the United States has a major
interest in preventing terrorist regimes or groups from illicitly acquiring Soviet-era technology for
making weapons of mass destruction (WMD). They have maintained that U.S. interests do not
perfectly coincide with those of its allies and friends, that Turkey and other actors possess limited
aid resources, and that the United States is in the strongest position as the sole superpower to
influence democratization and respect for human rights. They have stressed that such U.S.
influence will help alleviate social tensions exploited by Islamic extremist groups to gain
adherents. They also have argued that for all these reasons, the United States should maintain
military access to the region even when Afghanistan becomes more stable. At least some of these
Developments and U.S. Interests, by Jim Nichol, CRS Report 97-1055, Turkmenistan: Recent Developments and U.S.
Interests, by Jim Nichol, and CRS Report RS21238, Uzbekistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests, by Jim
5 U.S. Department of State. Office of the Spokesman. Remarks: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice At Eurasian
National University, October 13, 2005. Perhaps indicative of the boosted emphasis on U.S. interests in Kazakhstan,
Secretary Rice argued that the country has the potential to be the “engine for growth” in Central Asia.
views appear to be reflected in the Administration’s most recent National Security Strategy of the 6
United States, which proclaims that “Central Asia is an enduring priority for our foreign policy.”
Some views of policymakers and academics who previously objected to a more forward U.S.
policy toward Central Asia appeared less salient after September 11, 2001, but aspects of these
views could gain more credence if Afghanistan becomes more stable. These observers argued that
the United States historically had few interests in this region and that developments there
remained largely marginal to U.S. interests. They discounted fears that anti-Western Islamic
extremism would make enough headway to threaten secular regimes or otherwise harm U.S.
interests. At least until the coup in Kyrgyzstan in March 2005 (see below, “Democratization and
Human Rights”), these observers argued that the United States should not try to foster
democratization among cultures they claimed are historically attuned to authoritarianism. Some
observers reject arguments that U.S. interests in anti-terrorism, non-proliferation, regional
cooperation, and trade outweigh concerns over democratization and human rights, and urge
reducing or cutting off most aid to repressive states. A few observers point to instability in the
region as a reason to eschew deeper U.S. involvement such as military access that might
needlessly place more U.S. personnel and citizens in danger.
Appearing to indicate a more negative assessment of developmental prospects in Central Asia, the
Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Thomas Fingar, testified to Congress in July 2007 that
“there is no guarantee that elite and societal turmoil across Central Asia would stay within the
confines of existing autocratic systems. In the worst, but not implausible case, central authority in
one or more of these states could be challenged, leading to potential for increased terrorist and 7
criminal activities.” However, in February 2008, the Director of National Intelligence, J. Michael
McConnell, seemed to de-emphasize these threats, stating that “Central Asia remains fertile
ground for radical Islamic sentiment and movements, due to socioeconomic and other factors,” 8
but appearing to evaluate the regional governments as presently stable.
Since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the Administration has
stated that U.S. policy toward Central Asia focuses on the promotion of security, domestic
reforms, and energy development. According to then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State B. Lynn
Pascoe in testimony in June 2002, the September 11 attacks led the Administration to realize that
“it was critical to the national interests of the United States that we greatly enhance our relations 9
with the five Central Asian countries” to prevent them from becoming harbors for terrorism.
After September 11, 2001, all the Central Asian states soon offered overflight and other assistance
to U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition operations in Afghanistan. The states were predisposed to
welcome such operations. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan had long supported the Afghan Northern
Alliance’s combat against the Taliban, and all the Central Asian states feared Afghanistan as a
6 The White House. National Security Strategy of the United States, March 16, 2006, p. 40.
7 U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Armed Services. Global Security Assessment: Testimony by Deputy
Director of National Intelligence, Thomas Fingar, July 11, 2007.
8 U.S. Senate. Select Committee on Intelligence. Annual Threat Assessment: Testimony by the Director of National
Intelligence, J. Mitchell McConnell, February 5, 2008.
9 U.S. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Subcommittee on Central Asia and the South Caucasus. The U.S. Role
in Central Asia. Testimony of B. Lynn Pascoe, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, June 27,
base for terrorism, crime, and drug trafficking (even Turkmenistan, which tried to reach some
accommodation with the Taliban). In 2005, however, Uzbekistan rescinded its basing agreement
with the United States. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have maintained their basing support for NATO
peacekeeping operations—and Kyrgyzstan has continued its basing support for U.S. operations—
in Afghanistan (see also below, “Security and Arms Control”).
In early June 2008, Kazakh foreign minister Marat Tazhin balked at a larger security role for the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Afghanistan, stating that the
OSCE should focus on reconstruction assistance. However, a session of the OSCE Parliamentary
Assembly held in Kazakhstan in late June-early July 2008 approved a resolution calling on
members “to strengthen their contributions, military and humanitarian, to Afghanistan’s security
and stability,” as well as assisting in its reconstruction. At the session, the speaker of
Kazakhstan’s Senate (upper legislative body), Qasymzhomart Toqaev, reportedly stated that the
OSCE should focus on security issues rather than on human rights and election monitoring.
Uzbekistan was the only Central Asian state that joined the “coalition of the willing” in February-
March 2003 that endorsed prospective U.S.-led coalition military operations in Iraq (Kazakhstan
joined later). Uzbekistan subsequently decided not to send troops to Iraq, but Kazakhstan has
deployed some two dozen troops to Iraq who reportedly do not take part in combat operations.
The United States has encouraged the Central Asian states to become responsible members of the
international community, supporting integrative goals through bilateral aid and through
coordination with other aid donors. The stated policy goal is to discourage radical anti-democratic
regimes and terrorist groups from gaining influence. All the Central Asian leaders publicly
embrace Islam but display hostility toward Islamic fundamentalism. At the same time, they have
established some trade and aid ties with Iran. Although they have had greater success in attracting
development aid from the West than from the East, some observers argue that, in the longer run,
their foreign policies may not be anti-Western but may more closely reflect some concerns of
other Islamic states. Some Western organizational ties with the region have suffered in recent
years, in particular those of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),
which has been criticized by some Central Asian governments for advocating democratization 10
and respect for human rights. Despite this criticism, President Nazarbayev successfully pushed
for Kazakhstan to hold the presidency of the OSCE (see below).
The State Department in 2006 included Central Asia in a revamped Bureau of South and Central
Asian Affairs. According to Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Steven Mann,
“institutions such as NATO and the OSCE will continue to draw the nations of Central Asia closer
to Europe and the United States,” but the United States also will encourage the states to develop 11
“new ties and synergies with nations to the south,” such as Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan.
10 See also CRS Report RL30294, Central Asia’s Security: Issues and Implications for U.S. Interests, by Jim Nichol.
11 U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on International Relations. Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central
Asia. Assessing Energy and Security Issues in Central Asia. Testimony of Steven Mann, Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, July 25, 2006. The State Department has appointed a Senior Advisor on
Secretary Rice emphasized these ties when she heralded Kazakhstan’s role as part of “a new Silk
Road, a great corridor of reform linking the provinces of northern Russia to the ports of South 12
Asia, the republics of Western Europe to the democracies of East Asia.” In May 2007, Defense
Secretary Robert Gates urged Asian countries to provide Central Asia with road and rail,
telecommunications, and electricity generation and distribution aid to link the region with Asia; to
help it combat terrorism and narcotics trafficking; to send technical advisors to ministries to
promote political and economic reforms; to offer more military trainers, peacekeepers, and
advisors for defense reforms; and to more actively integrate the regional states into “the Asian 13
security structure.” (See also below, “Trade and Investment.”)
The European Union (EU) has become more interested in Central Asia in recent years as the
region has become more of a security threat as an originator and transit zone for drugs, weapons
of mass destruction, refugees, and persons smuggled for prostitution or labor. Russia’s cutoff of
gas supplies to Ukraine in early 2006 also bolstered EU interest in Central Asia as an alternative
supplier of oil and gas. Such interests contributed to the launch of a Strategy Paper for assistance
for 2002-2006 and a follow-on for 2007-2013 (see below), and the EU’s appointment of a Special
Representative to the region. The EU has implemented Partnership and Cooperation Agreements
(PCAs, which set forth political, economic, and trade relations) with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
and Uzbekistan. An existing Interstate Oil and Gas Transport to Europe (INOGATE) program was
supplemented in 2004 and 2006 by a Baku Energy Initiative to diversify energy supplies. One
project involves the proposed Nabucco pipeline, which could transport Caspian region gas to 14
In June 2007, the EU approved a new “Central Asian strategy” for enhanced aid and relations for
2007-2013. It calls for establishing offices in each regional state and assistance of $1 billion over
the next five years. The strategy argues that the EU ties with the region need to be enhanced
because EU enlargement and EU relations with the South Caucasus and Black Sea states bring it
to Central Asia’s borders. The strategy also stresses that “the dependency of the EU on external
energy sources and the need for a diversified energy supply policy in order to increase energy
security open further perspectives for cooperation between the EU and Central Asia,” and that the 15
“EU will conduct an enhanced regular energy dialogue” with the states. An EU-Central Asia
Forum on Security Issues was held in Paris on September 18, 2008, to discuss cooperation to
counter trafficking in arms, narcotics, persons, and weapons of mass destruction; to combat
terrorism and extremism; and to develop energy and protect the environment. Follow-on meetings
Regional Integration in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert Deutsch, who has focused on bolstering
trade and transport ties between South and Central Asia.
12 Remarks at Eurasian National University, October 13, 2005. Some observers in Russia maintain that the State
Department is encouraging ties between South and Central Asia in an effort to reduce Russia’s influence in Central
Asia. CEDR, January 23, 2007, Doc. No. CEP-436006.
13 U.S. Department of Defense. Department of Defense Documents. International Institute for Strategic Studies -
Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Singapore, June 1, 2007.
14 For details, see CRS Report RL33636, The European Union’s Energy Security Challenges, by Paul Belkin. See also
European Union. “The EU and the Countries of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea Regions Agree on a Common Energy
Strategy,” Press Release, November 30, 2006.
15 European Commission. Regional Strategy Paper for Assistance to Central Asia for the Period 2007-2013, June 2007;
Council of the European Union. Presidency Conclusions, 11177/07, June 23, 2007, p. 12; European Commission.
External Relations. Joint Progress Report by the Council and the European Commission to the European Council on
the implementation of the EU Central Asia Strategy, June 24, 2008.
will take place in Dushanbe in October 2008 on border protection, in Brussels in October 2008 on
combating drug trafficking, in Baku in November 2008 on the Baku Energy Initiative, and in 16
Ashkhabad in December 2008 on water resources.
During most of the 1990s, U.S. administrations generally viewed a democratizing Russia as
serving as a role model in Central Asia. Despite growing authoritarian tendencies in Russia
during the presidency of Vladimir Putin (2000-2008), the Bush Administration has emphasized
that Russia’s counter-terrorism efforts in the region broadly support U.S. interests. At the same
time, the United States long has stressed to Russia that it should not seek to dominate the region
or exclude Western and other involvement. Virtually all U.S. analysts agree that Russia’s actions
should be monitored to ensure that the independence of the Central Asian states is not threatened.
Soon after the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Russia acquiesced to
increased U.S. and coalition presence in the region for operations against Al Qaeda and its
supporters in Afghanistan. Besides Russia’s own concerns about Islamic extremism in
Afghanistan and Central Asia, it was interested in boosting its economic and other ties to the West
and regaining some influence in Afghanistan. More recently, however, Russia has appeared to
step up efforts to counter U.S. influence in Central Asia by advocating that the states increase
economic and strategic ties with Russia and limit such ties with the United States. Such a stance
appears paradoxical to some observers, since Russia (and China) benefit from anti-terrorism
operations carried out by U.S. (and NATO) forces in Afghanistan.
During the 1990s, Russia’s economic decline and demands by Central Asia caused it to reduce its
security presence, a trend that Vladimir Putin appeared determined to reverse during his
presidency (2000-2008). In 1999, Russian border guards were largely phased out in Kyrgyzstan,
the last Russian military advisors left Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan withdrew from the
Collective Security Treaty (CST; see below) of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS),
in part because the treaty members failed to help Uzbekistan meet the growing Taliban threat in
Afghanistan, according to Uzbek President Islam Karimov. However, Russia has appeared
determined to maintain a military presence in Tajikistan. It long retained about 14,500 Federal
Border Guards in Tajikistan, most of whom were Tajik conscripts, and 7,800 Russian troops of st17
the 201 motorized rifle division.
Russia’s efforts to formalize a basing agreement with Tajikistan dragged on for years, as
Tajikistan endeavored to maximize rents and assert its sovereignty. In October 2004, the basing
agreement was signed, formalizing Russia’s largest military presence abroad, besides its Black
Sea Fleet. At the same time, Tajikistan demanded full control over border policing. Russia
announced in June 2005 that it had handed over the last guard-house along the Afghan-Tajik
border to Tajik troops. Reportedly, some Russian “advisory” border troops remain. Tajik
President Emomali Rahmon (or Rakhmonov) and others emphasize that growing drug production 18
and trafficking from Afghanistan pose increasing challenges.
16 “Paris: Security Talks with Central Asia,” Paris Intelligence Online, September 25, 2008; European Union. Joint
Declaration of the Participants in the EU-Central Asia Forum on Security Issues in Paris, September 18, 2008.
17 The Military Balance 2005-2006. London: International Institute of Strategic Studies, 2005.
18 U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Afghanistan Opium Survey 2008, August 2008. UNODC stated that
In a seeming shift toward a more activist role in Central Asia, in April 2000, Russia called for the
members of the CST to approve the creation of rapid reaction forces to combat terrorism and
hinted that such forces might launch pre-emptive strikes on Afghan terrorist bases. These hints
elicited U.S. calls for Russia to exercise restraint and consult the U.N. Presidents Clinton and
Putin agreed in 2000 to set up a working group to examine Afghan-related terrorism (this working
group now examines global terrorism issues). CST members agreed in 2001 to set up the Central
Asian rapid reaction force headquartered in Kyrgyzstan, with Russia’s troops in Tajikistan
comprising most of the force. CIS members in 2001 also approved setting up an Anti-Terrorism
Center (ATC) in Moscow, with a branch in Kyrgyzstan, giving Russia influence over regional
Perhaps to counteract the U.S.-led military coalition presence in Kyrgyzstan established after the
September 11, 2001, attacks (see below), Russia in September 2003 signed a 15-year military
basing accord with Kyrgyzstan providing access to the Kant airfield, near Kyrgyzstan’s capital of
Bishkek. More than two dozen Russian aircraft and several hundred troops at the base also serve
as part of the Central Asian rapid reaction force. The base is a few miles from the U.S.-led
coalition’s airbase. Besides its military presence in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Russia has also
asserted its maritime dominance in the Caspian Sea. Russia’s Caspian Sea Flotilla has been
bolstered by troops and equipment.
Taking advantage of Uzbekistan’s souring relations with many Western countries (see below),
Russia signed a Treaty on Allied Relations with Uzbekistan in November 2005 that calls for
mutual defense consultations in the event of a threat to either party (similar to language in the
CST). Uzbekistan re-joined the CST in June 2006, consolidating its strategic security ties with
Russia. The member-states of the CST agreed in June 2006 that basing agreements by any
member with a third party had to be approved by all members, in effect providing supreme veto
power to Russia over future basing arrangements.
Pointing to the deterioration of U.S.-Uzbek ties, many observers suggest that the appreciative
attitude of Central Asian states toward the United States—for their added security accomplished
through U.S.-led actions in Afghanistan—has declined over time. Reasons may include
perceptions that the United States has not provided adequate security or economic assistance.
Also, Russia and China are pledging security support to the states to get them to forget their pre-
September 11, 2001, dissatisfaction with Russian and Chinese efforts. Russia also encourages the
leaders to believe that the United States backs democratic “revolutions” to replace them. Lastly,
the security situation in Afghanistan has seemingly deteriorated in recent months.
Russia’s economic interests in Central Asia are being reasserted as its economy improves and
may constitute its most effective lever of influence. Russia seeks to counter Western business and
gain substantial influence over energy resources through participation in joint ventures and by
insisting that pipelines cross Russian territory. After an Energy Cooperation Statement was signed
at the May 2002 U.S.-Russia summit, it appeared that Russia would accept a Western role in the
Caspian region, including construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline.
Subsequently, however, Russian officials urged the Central Asian states to rely on Russian-
opium production declined slightly in 2008 after setting a record in 2007, but that Afghanistan remained the source of
most of the world’s opiates. UNODC estimated that about one-fifth of Afghan-produced morphine and heroin transit
Central Asia. Only a tiny percentage of Afghan drugs reaches U.S. consumers, and most does not appear to be
smuggled through Central Asia.
controlled export routes (see below, “Energy Resources”). A U.S.-Russia Strategic Framework
Declaration signed by President Bush and then-President Putin in Sochi, Russia, in April 2008
calls for the U.S.-Russia Working Group on Energy to discuss cooperation “to enhance energy
security and diversity of energy supplies through economically viable routes and means of 19
The legacies of co-mingled ethnic groups, convoluted borders, and emerging national identities
pose challenges to stability in all the Central Asian states. Emerging national identities accentuate
clan, family, regional, and Islamic self-identifications. Central Asia’s convoluted borders fail to
accurately reflect ethnic distributions and are hard to police, hence contributing to regional
tensions. Ethnic Uzbeks make up sizeable minorities in the other Central Asian countries and
Afghanistan. In Tajikistan, they make up almost a quarter of the population. More ethnic Turkmen
reside in Iran and Afghanistan—over three million—than in Turkmenistan. Sizeable numbers of
ethnic Tajiks reside in Uzbekistan, and seven million in Afghanistan. Many Kyrgyz and Tajiks
live in China’s Xinjiang province. The fertile Ferghana Valley is shared by Tajikistan,
Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. The central governments have struggled to gain control over
administrative subunits. Most observers agree that the term “Central Asia” currently denotes a
geographic area more than a region of shared identities and aspirations, although it is clear that
the land-locked, poverty-stricken, and sparsely-populated region will need more integration in
order to develop.
Regional cooperation remains stymied by tensions among the states. Such tensions continue to
exist despite the membership of the states in various cooperation groups such as the CST
Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and NATO’s Partnership for Peace
(PFP). The CST was signed by Russia, Belarus, the South Caucasus countries, and the Central
Asian states (except Turkmenistan) in May 1992 and called for military cooperation and joint
consultations in the event of security threats to any member. At the time to renew the treaty in
1999, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and Azerbaijan formally withdrew. The remaining members formed
the CST Organization (CSTO) in late 2002, and a secretariat opened in Moscow at the beginning
of 2004. Through the CSTO, Russia has attempted to involve the members in joint support for the
Central Asian rapid reaction forces and joint efforts to combat international terrorism and drug 20
trafficking. Former Kyrgyz President Akayev apparently did not call for the aid of the CSTO
during the coup that overthrew him in 2005 (see below), and the CSTO has appeared inactive
during other crises in the region. In September 2008, its members agreed to condemn Georgia’s
“aggression” against its breakaway South Ossetia region but refused a request by Russia to extend
diplomatic recognition to South Ossetia and Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia.
In 1996, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan signed the “Shanghai treaty” with China
pledging the sanctity and substantial demilitarization of mutual borders, and in 1997 they signed a
follow-on treaty demilitarizing the 4,300 mile former Soviet-Chinese border. China has used the
treaty to pressure the Central Asian states to deter their ethnic Uighur minorities from supporting
19 The White House. Office of the Press Secretary. US-Russia Strategic Framework Declaration, April 6, 2008.
20 Roger McDermott, Eurasia Insight, August 28, 2002.
separatism in China’s Xinjiang province, and to get them to extradite Uighurs fleeing China. In
Terrorism Structure (RATS) was set up there. Military exercises have become a major form of
cooperation, with the most recent—involving some 5,000 troops—taking place in August 2007 in
southern Russia and northwestern China. According to some observers, a major aim of these
“anti-terrorism” exercises is to convince the Central Asian states that Russia and China are able to
supplant the United States in helping the region to combat terrorism. China also has stressed
economic cooperation with the region to build east-west transport routes, and these efforts may 21
mark some significant progress toward regional integration.
Tajikistan was among the Central Asian republics least prepared and inclined toward
independence when the Soviet Union broke up. In September 1992, a loose coalition of
nationalist, Islamic, and democratic parties and groups tried to take power. Kulyabi and Khojenti
regional elites, assisted by Uzbekistan and Russia, launched a successful counteroffensive that by
the end of 1992 had resulted in 20,000-40,000 casualties and up to 800,000 refugees or displaced
persons, about 80,000 of whom fled to Afghanistan. After the two sides agreed to a cease-fire, the
U.N. Security Council established a small U.N. Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) in
December 1994. In June 1997, Tajik President Rahmon and the late rebel leader Seyed Abdullo
Nuri signed a comprehensive peace agreement. Benchmarks of the peace process were largely
met, and UNMOT pulled out in May 2000. To encourage the peace process, the United States
initially pledged to help Tajikistan rebuild. Some observers point to events in the city of Andijon
in Uzbekistan (see below) as indicating that conflicts similar to the Tajik civil war could engulf
other regional states where large numbers of people are disenfranchised and poverty-stricken.
Several hundred Islamic extremists and others first invaded Kyrgyzstan in July-August 1999.
Jama Namanganiy, the co-leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU; see below),
headed the largest guerrilla group. They seized hostages and several villages, allegedly seeking to 22
create an Islamic state in south Kyrgyzstan as a springboard for a jihad in Uzbekistan. With
Uzbek and Kazakh air and other support, Kyrgyz forces forced the guerrillas out in October 1999.
Dozens of IMU and other insurgents again invaded Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in August 2000.
Uzbekistan provided air and other support, but Kyrgyz forces were largely responsible for
defeating the insurgents by late October 2000. The IMU did not invade the region in the summer
before September 11, 2001, in part because bin Laden had secured its aid for a Taliban offensive
against the Afghan Northern Alliance.
21 Roger McDermott, The Rising Dragon: SCO Peace Mission 2007, Occasional Paper, The Jamestown Foundation,
October 2007; S. Frederick Starr, ed., The New Silk Roads: Transport and Trade in Greater Central Asia (Washington
D.C.: Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, 2007).
22 According to Zeyno Baran, S. Frederick Starr, and Svante Cornell, the incursions of the IMU into Uzbekistan and
Kyrgyzstan in 1999 and 2000 were largely driven by efforts to secure drug trafficking routes. Islamic Radicalism in
Central Asia and the Caucasus: Implications for the EU, Silk Road Paper, July 2006.
About a dozen alleged IMU members invaded from Tajikistan in May 2006 but soon were
defeated (some escaped). After this, the Kyrgyz defense minister claimed that the IMU, HT, and
other such groups increasingly menaced national security.
A series of explosions in Tashkent in February 1999 were among early signs that the Uzbek
government was vulnerable to terrorism. By various reports, the explosions killed 16 to 28 and
wounded 100 to 351 people. The aftermath involved wide-scale arrests of political dissidents and
others deemed by some observers as unlikely conspirators. Karimov in April 1999 accused
Mohammad Solikh (former Uzbek presidential candidate and head of the banned Erk Party) of
masterminding what he termed an assassination plot, along with Tohir Yuldashev (co-leader of the
IMU) and the Taliban. The first trial of 22 suspects in June resulted in six receiving death
sentences. The suspects said in court that they received terrorist training in Afghanistan,
Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Russia and were led by Solikh, Yuldashev and Namanganiy. In 2000,
Yuldashev and Namanganiy received death sentences in absentia, and Solikh received a 15.5 year
prison sentence. Solikh denied membership in IMU, and he and Yuldashev denied involvement in
On March 28 through April 1, 2004, a series of bombings and armed attacks were launched in
Uzbekistan, reportedly killing 47. An obscure Islamic Jihad Group of Uzbekistan (IJG; Jama’at 23
al-Jihad al-Islami, a breakaway part of the IMU) claimed responsibility. In subsequent trials, the
alleged attackers were accused of being members of IJG or of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT; an Islamic
fundamentalist movement ostensibly pledged to peace but banned in Uzbekistan) and of
attempting to overthrow the government. Some defendants testified that they were trained by
Arabs and others at camps in Kazakhstan and Pakistan. They testified that IMU member
Najmiddin Kamolitdinovich Jalolov (convicted in absentia in 2000) was the leader of IJG, and
linked him to Taliban head Mohammad Omar, Uighur extremist Abu Mohammad, and Osama bin
Laden. On July 30, 2004, explosions occurred at the U.S. and Israeli embassies and the Uzbek
Prosecutor-General’s Office in Tashkent. The IMU and IJG claimed responsibility and stated that
the bombings were aimed against Uzbek and other “apostate” governments. A Kazakh security
official in late 2004 announced the apprehension of several IJG members. He alleged that the IJG
had ties to Al Qaeda; had other cells in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia; and was planning 24
Dozens or perhaps hundreds of civilians were killed or wounded on May 13, 2005, after Uzbek
troops fired on demonstrators in the eastern town of Andijon. The protestors had gathered to
demand the end of a trial of local businessmen charged with belonging to an Islamic terrorist
group. The night before, a group stormed a prison where those on trial were held and released 25
hundreds of inmates. Many freed inmates then joined others in storming government buildings.
23 The IJG changed its name to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) in 2005.
24 See also CRS Report RS21818, The 2004 Attacks in Uzbekistan: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests, by Jim
25 There is a great deal of controversy about whether this group contained foreign-trained terrorists or was composed
mainly of the friends and families of the accused. See U.S. Congress. Commission on Security and Cooperation In
President Karimov flew to the city to direct operations, and reportedly had restored order by late 26
on May 13. On July 29, 439 people who had fled from Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan were airlifted
to Romania for resettlement processing, after the United States and others raised concerns that 27
they might be tortured if returned to Uzbekistan.
The United States and others in the international community repeatedly have called for an
international inquiry into events in Andijon, which the Uzbek government has rejected as
violating its sovereignty. In November 2005, the EU Council approved a visa ban on twelve
Uzbek officials it stated were “directly responsible for the indiscriminate and disproportionate use
of force in Andijon and for the obstruction of an independent inquiry.” The Council also
embargoed exports of “arms, military equipment, and other equipment that might be used for 28
internal repression.” The EU Council in November 2006 permitted some bilateral consultations
to help Uzbekistan comply “with the principles of respect for human rights, the rule of law, and
fundamental freedoms.” In October 2007 and April 2008, the EU Council suspended the visa ban
for six months but left the arms embargo in place. In October 2008, the EU Council praised what
it viewed as some positive trends in human rights in Uzbekistan and lifted the visa ban, although 29
it left the arms embargo in place.
At the first major trial of fifteen alleged perpetrators of the Andijon unrest in late 2005, the
accused all confessed and asked for death penalties. They testified that they were members of
Akramiya, a branch of HT launched in 1994 by Akram Yuldashev that aimed to use force to
create a caliphate in the area of the Fergana Valley located in Uzbekistan. Besides receiving
assistance from HT, Akramiya was alleged to receive financial aid and arms training from the
IMU. The defendants also claimed that the U.S. and Kyrgyz governments helped finance and
support their effort to overthrow the government, and that international media colluded with local
human rights groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in this effort. The U.S. and
Kyrgyz governments denied involvement, and many observers criticized the trial as appearing
stage-managed. Reportedly, 100 or more individuals have been arrested and sentenced, including
some Uzbek opposition party members and media and NGO representatives. Partly in response,
Congress has amplified calls for conditioning aid to Uzbekistan on its democracy and human th30
rights record (see below,”110 Congress Legislation”).
Europe. Briefing: The Uzbekistan Crisis. Testimony of Galima Bukharbayeva, Correspondent. Institute for War and
Peace Reporting, June 29, 2005. For a contrasting assessment, see Shirin Akiner, Violence in Andijon, 13 May 2005:
An Independent Assessment, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, July 2005; and AbduMannob Polat, Reassessing Andijan:
The Road to Restoring U.S.-Uzbek Relations, Jamestown Foundation, June 2007.
26 Analyst Adeeb Khalid draws a parallel between the Uzbek government’s actions at Andijon and at a large student
demonstration in Tashkent in January 1992. In the latter case, Karimov allegedly ordered troops to fire on the marchers,
resulting in up to six deaths and two dozen or more injuries. Islam After Communism (Berkeley, CA: University of
California Press, 2007), p. 155. See also Reuters, January 17, 1992.
27 See also CRS Report RS22161, Unrest in Andijon, Uzbekistan: Context and Implications, by Jim Nichol.
28 Council of the European Union. Uzbekistan: Council Adopts Restrictive Measures, Press Release 14392/05,
November 14, 2005. U.S. officials argued that the United States already had been limiting military assistance—at
congressional request—because of human rights abuses.
29 Council of the European Union. 2824th General Affairs Council Meeting. Press Release, October 15-16, 2007; 2864th
and 2865th General Affairs and External Relations Council Meetings. Press Release, April 29, 2008; 2897th General
Affairs and External Relations Council Meeting, Press Release, October 13, 2008.
30 OSCE. Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Report from the OSCE/ODIHR Trial
Monitoring in Uzbekistan, April 21, 2006; Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Republic of Uzbekistan. Comments on the
Report Prepared by the OSCE ODIHR, April 19, 2006.
Pakistan reported in November 2006 that it had arrested IJU members who had placed rockets
near presidential offices, the legislature, and the headquarters of military intelligence in
Islamabad. Reportedly, the IJU was targeting the government because of its support for the 31
United States. Pakistani media reported in March-April 2007 that dozens of IMU members had
been killed in northern Pakistan when local tribes turned against them, possibly reducing their
strength or forcing them to move into Afghanistan and Central Asia. More alleged IMU and IJU
members were reported killed by Pakistani forces during fighting in North Waziristan in October
2007. Indicating a widening of the IMU’s focus, Tohir Yuldashev called in January 2008 for
creating a Shariah state in Pakistan.
Officials in Germany arrested several individuals on September 5, 2007, on charges of planning
explosions at the U.S. airbase at Ramstein, at U.S. and Uzbek diplomatic offices, and other targets
in Germany. The IJU claimed responsibility and stated that it was targeting U.S. and Uzbek
interests because of these countries’ “brutal policies towards Muslims,” and targeting Germany
because it has a small military base in Termez, Uzbekistan, which is used to support NATO
operations in Afghanistan. Reportedly, the suspects had received training at IMU and al Qaeda
terrorist training camps in Pakistan, and had received their orders from Gofir Salimov (not
apprehended), who is wanted in Uzbekistan in connection with the 2004 bombings. The suspects
were part of a larger IJU branch in Germany of about 30 members. In U.S. Congressional
testimony on September 10, 2007, John Redd, the director of the National Counterterrorism
Center, and Mike Mcconnell, the Director of National Intelligence, stated that U.S.
communications intercepts shared with Germany had facilitated foiling the plot.
In January 2008, an IJU website seemed to indicate that an al Qaeda official—who had been
killed by the United States—had been one of the leaders of the IJU. In March 2008, an IJU
website claimed that one of its members—the German-born Cunyt Ciftci (alias Saad Abu
Fourkan)—had assisted Taliban forces in Afghanistan by carrying out a suicide bombing that 32
killed two Afghan and two U.S. troops and wounded several others. According to the IJU
website and other sources, IJU is playing a more significant role in fighting in Afghanistan. In
June 2008, an IJU video claimed that one Uzbek IJU member had taken part in the 1999 attack in
Kyrgyzstan, and later had fought in Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance and then against
U.S. and NATO forces. Another Uzbek member had been trained in Chechnya by Khattab in 1998 33
and also had fought against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
In May 2008, French, German, and Dutch authorities reported that they had detained ten
individuals for suspicion of running a network to funnel money to the IMU in Uzbekistan. In late
September 2008, German authorities reported the arrest of two suspected members of IJU and
issued wanted posters for two other suspected members. The four allegedly had received terrorist
training in Pakistani IJU camps. German authorities also arrested two people allegedly attempting 34
to leave the country to undergo terrorism training in Pakistan by the IJU.
31 BBC Monitoring South Asia, November 4, 2006.
32 Guido Steinberg, A Turkish al-Qaeda: The Islamic Jihad Union and the Internationalization of Uzbek Jihadism,
Center for Contemporary Conflict, 2008; UPI, March 17, 2008.
33 CEDR, August 4, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-318001.
34 Simon Sturdee, “German Commandos Arrest Two Terror Suspects on Aircraft,” Agence France Presse, September
26, 2008; Craig Whitlock, “Germany Pulls Two Suspected Terrorism Trainees from Plane,” Washington Post,
In September 2000, the State Department designated the IMU as a Foreign Terrorist Organization,
stating that the IMU, aided by Afghanistan’s Taliban and by Osama bin Laden, resorts to
terrorism, actively threatens U.S. interests, and attacks American citizens. The “main goal of the
IMU is to topple the current government in Uzbekistan,” the State Department warned, and it
linked the IMU to bombings and attacks on Uzbekistan in 1999-2000. IMU forces assisting the
Taliban and Al Qaeda suffered major losses during coalition actions in Afghanistan, and 35
Namanganiy was probably killed.
Former CIA Director Porter Goss testified in March 2005 that the IJG/IJU “has become a more 36
virulent threat to U.S. interests and local governments.” In May 2005, the State Department
designated the IJG/IJU as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global 37
Terrorist, and in June, the U.N. Security Council added the IJG/IJU to its terrorism list. In June
2008, Jalolov and his associate Suhayl Fatilloevich Buranov were added to the U.N. 1267
Sanctions Committee’s Consolidated List of individuals and entities associated with bin Laden, al
Qaeda, and the Taliban. Also, the U.S. Treasury Department ordered that any of their assets under
U.S. jurisdiction be frozen and prohibited U.S. citizens from financial dealings with the 38
A major goal of U.S. policy in Central Asia has been to foster the long-term development of
democratic institutions and respect for human rights. Particularly since September 11, 2001, the
United States has attempted to harmonize its concerns about democratization and human rights in
the region with its interests in regional support for the Global War on Terrorism. According to
some allegations, the Administration may have sent suspected terrorists in its custody to 39
Uzbekistan for questioning, a process termed “extraordinary rendition.” Although not verifying
such transfers specifically to Uzbekistan, the Administration has stated that, under the rendition
policy, it received diplomatic assurances that transferees would not be tortured. Several citizens
of Central Asian states who were held in U.S. custody at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base have
September 27, 2008, p. A14.
35 U.S. Department of State. Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003, April 2004.
36 U.S. Senate. Committee on Armed Services. Testimony of the Director of Central Intelligence, The Honorable
Porter J. Goss, March 17, 2005.
37 U.S. Department of State. Press Statement: U.S. Department of State Designates the Islamic Jihad Group Under
Executive Order 13224, May 26, 2005; U.N. Security Council. The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. Press
Release: Security Council Committee Adds One Entity to Al-Qaida Section of Consolidated List, SC/8405, June 3,
38 U.S. Department of the Treasury. Press Release: Treasury Designates Leadership of the IJU Terrorist Group, June
39 The New Yorker, February 14, 2005; New York Times, May 1, 2005; New York Times, December 31, 2005;
Representative Edward Markey, Congressional Record, December 13, 2005, p. H11337; European Parliament.
Temporary Committee on the Alleged Use of European Countries by the CIA for the Transport And Illegal Detention
of Prisoners, Draft Interim Report, 2006/2027(INI), April 24, 2006; and On the Testimony by Craig Murray, Former
British Ambassador, Working Document No. 5, June 1, 2006.
been returned to their home countries, although one Uzbek has not been returned because of 40
concerns about his possible treatment in Uzbekistan.
Several of the Central Asian leaders have declared that they are committed to democratization. 41
Despite such pledges, the states have made little progress, according to the State Department.
During Nazarbayev’s 1994 U.S. visit, he and then-President Clinton signed a Charter on
Democratic Partnership that recognized Kazakhstan’s commitments to the rule of law, respect for
human rights, and economic reform. During his December 2001 and September 2006 visits,
Nazarbayev repeated these pledges in joint statements with President Bush. In March 2002, a
U.S.-Uzbek Strategic Partnership Declaration was signed pledging Uzbekistan to “intensify the
democratic transformation” and improve freedom of the press. During his December 2002 U.S.
visit, Tajikistan’s President Rahmon pledged to “expand fundamental freedoms and human
Until recently, almost all the leaders in Central Asia had been in place since before the breakup of
the Soviet Union (the exception was the leader of Tajikistan, who had been ousted in the early
1990s during a civil war). These leaders long held onto power by orchestrating extensions of their
terms, holding suspect elections, eliminating possible contenders, and providing emoluments to
supporters and relatives. After this long period of leadership stability, President Akayev of
Kyrgyzstan was toppled in a coup in 2005 (see below), and President Niyazov of Turkmenistan
died in late 2006, marking the passing of three out of five Soviet-era regional leaders from the
Possible scenarios of political futures in Central Asia have ranged from continued rule in most of
the states by elite groups that became ensconced during the Soviet era to violent transitions to
Islamic fundamentalist rule. Relatively peaceful and quick transitions to more or less democratic
and Western-oriented political systems have been considered less likely by many observers.
While some observers warn that Islamic extremism could increase dramatically in the region,
others discount the risk that the existing secular governments soon will be overthrown by Islamic 42
In the case of the three succession transitions so far, Tajikistan’s resulted in a shift in the Soviet-
era regional/clan elite configuration and some limited inclusion of the Islamic Renaissance Party.
Perhaps worrisome, Tajik President Rahmon has written a “spiritual guide” reminiscent of the one
penned by Turkmenistan’s late authoritarian president, and has given orders on how citizens
should live and dress. Kyrgyzstan’s appears to involve power-sharing by Soviet-era regional/clan
elites. The Kyrgyz government appears recently to be backsliding on democratization. In
Turkmenistan, it appears that Soviet-era elites have retained power following Niyazov’s death and
have eschewed meaningful democratization.
40 House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight.
Hearing: City on the Hill or Prison on the Bay? The Mistakes of Guantanamo and the Decline of America’s Image,
May 6, 2008; Hearing: Rendition and the Department of State, June 10, 2008. At least three Tajiks returned to
Tajikistan from Guantanamo were then tried and imprisoned on charges of belonging to al Qaeda or the IMU.
41 U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2007.
42 Analyst Adeeb Khalid argues that the elites and populations of the regional states still hold many attitudes and follow
many practices imposed during the Soviet period of rule. This “Sovietism” makes it difficult for either Islamic
extremism or democratization to make headway, he suggests. Khalid, p. 193. For a perhaps more troubling view of the
threat of Islamic extremism, see above, “Overview of U.S. Policy Concerns.”
In May 2007, President Nazarbayev proposed changes to the constitution that he claimed would
increase legislative power and boost democratization. He explained that after Kazakhstan gained
independence, “the need to build Kazakh statehood and a market economy from scratch
demanded [that] I assume all the responsibility.... But today, when the process of modernization
of the country is irreversible ... the time has come [for] a new system of checks and balances.”
The legislature approved the changes the next day. The changes include increasing the number of
deputies in the Majilis and Senate, permitting the president to be active in a political party, and
decreasing the president’s term in office from seven to five years (reversing a 1998 change from
five to seven years). One change requires a two-thirds vote in each legislative chamber to
override presidential alterations to approved bills. Another provision specifies that nine Majilis
deputies are appointed by the People’s Assembly (a public body mentioned in the constitution for
the first time). An implementing Constitutional Act on Elections approved in June 2007 provides
for electing the other 98 Majilis deputies by party lists.
Some critics considered that many of the changes were superficially reformist and perhaps aimed
at convincing the OSCE that Kazakhstan was democratizing and should be granted its request to
chair the OSCE in 2009. Other observers praised some of the changes as progressive if fully
implemented, such as the requirement for a court order in case of detention or arrest. Perhaps
indicating another reason for the changes, a legislative “initiative” excluded Nazarbayev from
term limits. Visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher met with Kazakhstani
officials in June 2007 and stated that “these constitutional amendments go in the right direction.
The overall effect over the long term could be to strengthen political parties [and] the power of
parliament. There have been concerns about the lifting of term limits on the president, but it
remains to be seen how that will work out in the longer term.... It’s a good legal framework. It 43
points the way to a stable, democratic system.”
Similar to the events of late 1993, deputies in Kazakhstan’s Majilis (the lower legislative
chamber) in June 2007 ostensibly requested that President Nursultan Nazarbayev cut short their
terms and hold early elections. He acceded to the request the next day and the election was
scheduled for August 18, 2007. As per constitutional amendments and election law changes, the
size of the Majilis increased from 77 to 107 members. Ninety-eight members are elected by party
lists and nine by the People’s Assembly (which is headed by the president). At the opening of the
headquarters for the main pro-government party, Nur-Otan (Fatherland’s Ray of Light), on July 2,
Nazarbayev appeared to endorse a predominant role for Nur-Otan when he allegedly claimed
(erroneously) that since World War II, Japan has flourished under the one party rule of the Liberal
Democrats. Seven parties were registered for the election, six of which are pro-government and
one of which is an opposition party. Local legislative elections also took place, but these involved
voting for individuals rather than party lists.
Nur-Otan reportedly received 88.05% of 8.87 million votes cast and won all 98 seats. The other
six parties running were unable to clear a 7% threshold needed to win seats. In a preliminary
assessment, observers from the OSCE praised some positive aspects of the vote, but judged it as
falling short of a free and fair race. They were critical of irregularities in counting ballots, a high
vote hurdle for parties to win seats, the appointment of nine deputies, and no provision for
43 U.S. Embassy, Astana, Kazakhstan. Interview by Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A.
Boucher with Aybek Aldabergenov of Era TV, June 6, 2007.
candidates who were not party-affiliated to run. One Russian pundit observed that an ever-
dwindling number of parties have won seats in legislative elections since Kazakhstan gained
independence. On the other hand, U.S. analyst Ariel Cohen hailed “a relatively clean election that 44
demonstrates high popular support.”
Although Kazakhstan lobbied extensively for holding the presidency of the OSCE in 2009, the th
15 Ministerial Meeting of the OSCE at the end of November 2007 decided that Greece would
hold the OSCE presidency in 2009, followed in 2010 by Kazakhstan. This positive decision was
made despite the appearance in early November of the final report of the OSCE’s Office of
Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which assessed Kazakhstan’s August
legislative election as not meeting OSCE commitments (although the election was considered
improved over previous races). Kazakhstan was among several CIS members that called in 2007
for restricting the scope of election observation by ODIHR. Also in late October 2007, Kazakh
authorities were alleged to have closed down several independent newspapers and Internet sites.
Despite some reservations, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Evan Feigenbaum stated that the
Administration had supported Kazakhstan’s OSCE presidency as “a historic opportunity for
Kazakhstan.... [It] is a chance, as Kazakhstan itself has said, to really meld, they say, East and
West within the organization [and] to help create a ... sustainable institution for the long term.”
He stressed that Kazakhstan at the Ministerial Meeting had pledged to uphold the mandate of
ODIHR and to implement various democratization reforms by the end of 2008. These reforms 45
include changes to the electoral code, media law, and political party law.
Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE in Astana on June 29, 2008, President
Nazarbayev stated that his country’s preparations for holding the chairmanship included the
elaboration of a blueprint he termed “the path to Europe,” which envisages Kazakhstan’s
integration with Europe in the areas of energy, transport, technology transfers, education, culture,
and democratization. He reaffirmed that Kazakhstan would implement reforms to foster a
multiparty system, a multiparty legislature, and free media, but cautioned that such reforms would
accord with Kazakh cultural values. Testifying to Congress in July 2008, a Kazakh diplomat
criticized congressional inquiries about democratization progress, stating that “it is very offending
to us to hear when someone continuously doubts the sincerity of Kazakhstan’s efforts.” He gave
assurances that all the reforms pledged in November 2007 at the OSCE Summit would be 46
implemented by the end of 2008.
Demonstrations in Kyrgyzstan against a tainted legislative election and economic distress resulted
in President Akayev’s relatively peaceful overthrow in March 2005. Some observers hailed this
coup as the third so-called “democratic revolution” in Eurasia, after those in Georgia and
44 OSCE. Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Republic of Kazakhstan Parliamentary Elections, 18
August 2007: OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Report, October 30, 2007; Open Source Center. Central
Eurasia: Daily Report (hereafter CEDR), August 22, 2007, Doc. No. CEP-950376; Ariel Cohen, “Kazakh Vote: A Step
Forward,” Washington Times, August 21, 2007.
45 U.S. Department of State. Evan Feigenbaum ... Interview With Navbahor Imamova of Voice of America, December
46 Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission). Hearing: Promises to Keep,
Kazakhstan’s 2010 OSCE Chairmanship, July 22, 2008.
Ukraine, and the first in Central Asia. They suggested that the country, because of its slightly
wider scope of civil liberties compared to the rest of Central Asia, might lead the region in
democratic reforms. Other observers have cautioned that governmental corruption, institutional 47
weakness, and pro-Russian overtures could jeopardize Kyrgyzstan’s independence. In late
October 2006, U.S. media reported that the U.S. FBI allegedly had determined that former
President Akayev and his family had skimmed off Kyrgyz state assets, including U.S. payments
for use of the Manas airbase.
Opposition politician and acting president Kurmanbek Bakiyev received 88.71% of about 2.0
million votes in a 7-person presidential election held on July 10, 2005. The OSCE stated that
“fundamental civil and political rights were generally respected,” but it raised concerns about
“problematic” vote tabulation. In November and December 2006, conflict between the executive
and legislative branches over the balance of powers resulted in the passage of successive
constitutions, with President Bakiyev appearing to lose and then win back some presidential
powers (for background, see CRS Report RL32864, Coup in Kyrgyzstan: Developments and
Implications, by Jim Nichol; and CRS Report RS22546, Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Crisis:
Context and Implications for U.S. Interests, by Jim Nichol).
In late September 2007, the pro-Bakiyev constitutional court invalidated all constitutional
changes since the adoption of the 2003 constitution. Bakiyev announced a few days later that he
was setting up and supporting a new political party, the Ak Dzhol People’s Party. He then pushed
through a snap referendum on October 21, 2007 on a draft constitution he unveiled that set forth 48
strong presidential powers. The next day, he dissolved the legislature and set new elections for
December 16, 2007, a move many observers viewed as preventing opposition parties from 49
carrying out effective campaigns during the short period of time. Some of those who observed
the vote on the new constitution alleged that many irregularities took place, and warned that
similar problems might be repeated in the December election.
Twelve parties were registered for the December 2007 election. The new constitution established
a 90-seat legislature elected by party lists. A new election law stated that a party could not win
seats unless it received 5% or more of the vote of all registered voters. Another provision stated
that a party could not win seats unless it gained at least 0.5% of the vote in each region. This
provision did not specify how the percentage was to be calculated, leading to controversy that
was eventually settled by a Supreme Court decision.
Voting on election day was essentially peaceful. Initial results appeared to indicate that only Ak
Dzol and Ata Mekan had surpassed the 5% hurdle, but that Ata Mekan might be disqualified
47 Analyst Matthew Fuhrmann, who was in Kyrgyzstan during the coup, states that it fundamentally was an action led
by citizens who mobilized to replace what they viewed as a corrupt and undemocratic regime, and was not merely a
clan-based or criminal-led effort. “A Tale of Two Social Capitals: Revolutionary Collective Action in Kyrgyzstan,”
Problems of Post-Communism, November/December 2006, pp. 16-29. Other observers suggest that the coup was more
a clan-based shift of power than a spontaneous popular uprising. Kathleen Collins, “The Logic of Clan Politics:
Evidence from the Central Asian Trajectories,” World Politics, January 2004, pp. 224-261; S. Frederick Starr, Clans,
Authoritarian Rulers, and Parliaments in Central Asia, Silk Road Paper, June 2006.
48 The Venice Commission concluded that the draft constitution placed an “excessive concentration of power in the
hands of the president,” so that “the powers of the president are almost unrestricted.” The legislature “is not an
effective counterweight.” European Commission for Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission). Opinion on the
Constitutional Situation in the Kyrgyz Republic, Opinion No. 457/2007, December 17, 2007.
49 In a perhaps telling move, the Ak Dzhol Party placed Cholpon Bayekova, the chairwoman of the Constitutional
Court, at the head of its party list.
because it had not received 0.5% of the vote in one region. On December 18, media initially
reported that the Supreme Court had struck down the 0.5% hurdle, but it was later reported that
the court had required a different means of calculation, which still resulted in Ata Mekan
reputedly being disqualified. Finally, the CEC announced on December 19 that Ak Dzhol, the
Social Democratic Party, and the Communist Party had surpassed the hurdles and had won seats
in the legislature, and that Ata Mekan had been disqualified based on the amended 0.5% rule. The
next day, the CEC declared that Ak Zhol had won 71 legislative seats, the Social Democrats 11
seats, and the Communists 8 seats, although it did not release final election results.
In its final report on the election, observers from the OSCE assessed the race as “fail[ing] to meet
a number of OSCE commitments.... The elections were a missed opportunity, falling short of
public expectations for the further consolidation of the democratic election process.” Although
the observers fell short in declaring the results invalid, they stated that there were “serious
irregularities and inconsistencies” in vote-counting, and that there was “questionable consistency” 50
between reported preliminary and final results.
President Niyazov died on December 21, 2006, at age 66, ostensibly from a heart attack. The
morning of his death, the government announced that deputy prime minister and health minister
Gurbanguly Malikgulyyewic Berdimuhamedow would serve as acting president. The Halk
Maslahaty (HM or People’s Council, a supreme legislative-executive-regional conclave)
convened on December 26 and changed the constitution to make legitimate Berdimuhamedow’s
position as acting president. It quickly approved an electoral law and announced that the next
presidential election would be held on February 11, 2007.
The HM designated six candidates for the presidential election, one from each region, all of
whom were government officials and members of the ruling Democratic Party. The ruling
Democratic Party endorsed Berdimuhamedow as its candidate, thereby seemingly anointing him
as Niyazov’s heir-apparent. Reportedly, 94% of 2.6 million voters turned out and 89.23%
endorsed Berdimuhamedow. A small delegation from the OSCE allegedly was not allowed to
view the election vote-counting and one member reportedly termed the vote a “play” rather than
“real” election. According to the U.S. State Department, the election “represent[ed] a modest step
toward political electoral change that could help create the conditions in the future for a free, fair, 51
open and truly competitive elections.” Berdimuhamedow has not announced any fundamental
policy changes, and some critics allege that there has been scant progress in democratization and
respect for human rights.
A constitutional commission unveiled a draft constitution in July 2008 that after public debate
was approved at a final session of the HM on September 26, 2008. The new constitution abolishes
the HM and divides its powers between the Mejlis and the president. It calls for enlarging the
Mejlis from 65 to 125 members. A legislative election is scheduled for December 14, 2008.
50 OSCE. Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Kyrgyz Republic Pre-Term Parliamentary Elections,
16 December 2007, OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report, April 24, 2008. Referring to the OSCE
preliminary assessment, the State Department evinced “serious concerns” about the conduct of the election and called
for reforms. U.S. Department of State. Press Release, December 21, 2007.
51 CEDR, February 12, 2007, Doc. No. CEP-950160. U.S. Department of State. Daily Press Briefing, February 15,
The Uzbek CEC in mid-November 2007 approved four candidates to run in the prospective
December 23, 2007, presidential election. Three of the candidates were nominated by pro-
government political parties and one by a supposedly independent citizens’ initiative committee.
Although the Uzbek constitution bars a president from more than two terms, the Uzbek CEC
argued that since the most recent constitution was approved in 1992, Karimov’s “first term”
should be considered as following his election in January 2000, and that he is eligible to run for a
“second term” in December 2007.
Karimov won with 88% of 14.8 million votes with a 90.6% turnout.52 A small election
observation mission sponsored by OSCE ODIHR assessed the election as “generally fail[ing] to
meet many OSCE commitments for democratic elections.” OSCE ODIHR reported that there
were no campaign debates or open public meetings, and that media coverage was minimal. Each
presidential candidate used similar language to laud economic development and democratization
under the incumbent president. State-owned media urged the electorate to vote for the 53
incumbent. In his inaugural address on January 16, 2008, Karimov stated that the “historic
election” might be remembered for centuries and thanked the citizenry “who gave me a massive
vote of confidence by freely expressing their will [in an] election which was held in full
compliance with our constitution and laws, international legal norms, and universally recognized 54
The NGO Freedom House has included Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan among countries such as
Cuba, Myanmar, North Korea, and Sudan that have the lowest possible ratings on political rights 55
and civil liberties. In all the Central Asian states, adherents of non-favored faiths, missionaries,
and pious Muslims face religious rights abuses, and unfair elections increase political alienation
and violence aimed against the regimes.
Since 2001, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has
recommended that the Secretary of State designate Uzbekistan a “country of particular concern”
(CPC), where severe human rights violations could lead to U.S. sanctions. In November 2006,
Secretary Rice designated Uzbekistan a CPC. In its more recent report in 2008, USCIRF reported
that Uzbekistan had made scant efforts to address religious freedom abuses and should retain its
CPC designation. In the case of religious freedom in Turkmenistan, USCIRF visited the country
and talked to President Berdimuhammedow in August 2007, but recommended in its 2008 annual
report—as it had since 2000—that Turkmenistan be designated a CPC. USCIRF stated that “the
system of oppressive laws and practices that have led to severe violations of human rights,
including freedom of religion or belief, remain in place. In addition, the overall repressive
atmosphere that characterized public life in Turkmenistan under President Niyazov remains
52 The final vote turnout was reported two hours after the polls closed. Results that were termed “preliminary” were
reported the next day (December 24), which were identical to “final” results reported on December 28.
53 OSCE. ODIHR. Final Report on the 23 December 2007 Presidential Election in Uzbekistan, April 23, 2008.
54 CEDR, January 16, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-950404.
55 Freedom House. The Worst of the Worst: The World’s Most Repressive Societies, September 6, 2006; May 9, 2007;
and May 6, 2008.
largely unchanged, and significant religious freedom problems and official harassment 56
In June 2006, the State Department downgraded Uzbekistan to “Tier 3,” for having problems as a
source country for human trafficking that did not fully comply with the minimum standards for
the elimination of trafficking and was not making significant efforts to do so. No U.S. aid
sanctions were reported as a direct result of the Tier 3 designation. In June 2008, Uzbekistan was
found to have made some modest progress in addressing human trafficking problems, and was
upgraded to the “Tier 2 Watch List.” According to the State Department, Uzbekistan in 2008
adopted an anti-trafficking law and demonstrated modest improvement in its victim assistance
and protection efforts. However, the Uzbek government “did not amend its criminal code to
increase penalties for convicted traffickers and did not provide financial or in-kind assistance to
NGOs providing assistance to victims.... The government also did not take steps to end forced
child labor during the annual cotton harvest.” In regard to other Central Asian countries,
Tajikistan was downgraded from “Tier 2” to the “Tier 2 Watch List” because of the government’s
“failure to provide evidence over the previous year of increasing efforts ... to investigate, 57
prosecute, convict, and sentence traffickers.”
Among U.N. actions, the General Assembly in 2003 and 2004 approved resolutions expressing
“grave concern” about human rights abuses in Turkmenistan and urging reforms. The U.N.
Rapporteur on Torture in early 2003 completed a report that concluded that police and prison 58
officials in Uzbekistan “systematically” employed torture. In late 2005, the U.N. General
Assembly’s Third Committee approved resolutions critical of human rights violations in
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The resolution on Turkmenistan expressed “grave concern” about
political repression, media censorship, religious minority group harassment, and detainee torture.
The resolution on Uzbekistan expressed “grave concern” about violence against civilians in
Andijon and called on the government to permit an international investigation. The Uzbek
representative asserted that the resolution contained no credible facts and ignored Uzbekistan’s 59
right to defend its constitutional order against terrorists. In late 2007, the U.N. Committee
Against Torture stated that it “remained concerned that [in Uzbekistan] there were numerous
reports of abuses in custody, and many deaths, some of which were alleged to have followed 60
torture or ill-treatment.” Amnesty International is among NGOs submitting petitions to the
upcoming December 2008 session of the working group of the revamped U.N. Human Rights
56 U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Annual Report, May 1, 2007; and Annual Report, May 1,
2008. USCIRF first urged that Uzbekistan be designated a CPC in its 2005 Annual Report. See also “Uzbekistan
Religious Freedom Survey,” Forum 18 News Service, July 2008.
57 U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2006, June 2007, and June 2008.
58 U.N. General Assembly. Resolution: Situation of Human Rights in Turkmenistan, 58/194, December 22, 2003;
Resolution: Situation of Human Rights in Turkmenistan, 59/206, December 20, 2004. U.N. Economic and Social
Council. Commission on Human Rights. Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture, Theo van Boven. Report of the
Special Rapporteur Submitted in Accordance with Commission Resolution 2002/38. Addendum: Mission to Uzbekistan,
E/CN.4/2003/68/Add.2, annex, February 3, 2003. U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture, Manfred
Nowak. Report by the Special Rapporteur. Addendum: Follow-up to the Recommendations Made by the Special
Rapporteur, E/CN.4/2006/6/Add.2, March 21, 2006.
59 U.N. General Assembly. Third Committee. Draft Resolution: Situation of Human Rights in Turkmenistan,
A/C.3/60/L.46, November 2, 2005; Draft Resolution: Situation of Human Rights in Uzbekistan, A/C.3/60/L.51,
November 2, 2005; Press Release: Third Committee ... Approves Text Expressing Deep Concern over Human Rights
Situation in Uzbekistan, GA/SHC/3843, November 22, 2005.
60 U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Committee Against Torture. Press Release: Committee
Against Torture Concludes Thirty-ninth Session, November 23, 2007.
Council alleging ongoing Uzbek human rights abuses.61 The working group will also examine
human rights in Turkmenistan at the December 2008 session.
Among other human rights abuses, higher educational institutions were closed in cotton-growing
areas of Tajikistan and college students reportedly were given “permission” by Tajik President
Rakhmanov to take part in cotton-picking in September-October 2008. Reportedly, however, the
students faced expulsion if they did not participate. In Uzbekistan, some high-school students
ordered to pick cotton or face expulsion allegedly had been beaten in the fields. Several Western 62
retail stores have announced a boycott of Uzbek cotton products. At the end of October 2008,
Uzbek President Karimov reportedly issued a decree to increase the efficiency of agriculture by
consolidating small lease-holdings into larger farms. Under the decree, cotton-growing will
decrease and the growing of food crops will increase. Some farmers allege that they are being 63
coerced into relinquishing their long-term land leases.
The U.S.-led coalition’s overthrow of the Taliban and routing of Al Qaeda and IMU terrorists in
Afghanistan (termed Operation Enduring Freedom or OEF) increased the security of Central
Asia. According to then-Assistant Secretary of Defense J. D. Crouch in testimony in June 2002,
“our military relationships with each [Central Asian] nation have matured on a scale not th
imaginable prior to September 11.” Crouch averred that “for the foreseeable future, U.S. defense
and security cooperation in Central Asia must continue to support actions to deter or defeat
terrorist threats” and to build effective armed forces under civilian control.
According to Crouch:
• Kyrgyzstan became a “critical regional partner” in OEF, providing basing for
U.S. and coalition forces at Manas (in mid-2008, U.S., French, and Spanish
troops and personnel reportedly numbered about 1,200).
• Uzbekistan provided a base for U.S. operations at Karshi-Khanabad (K2; just
before the pullout, U.S. troops reportedly numbered less than 900), a base for
German units at Termez (in mid-2008, German troops reportedly numbered about
300), and a land corridor to Afghanistan for humanitarian aid via the Friendship
Bridge at Termez.
• Tajikistan permitted use of its international airport in Dushanbe for refueling
(“gas-and-go”) and hosted a French force (in early 2008, French troops numbered
• Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan provided overflight and other support.64
61 Amnesty International. Uzbekistan: Submission to the U.N. Universal Periodic Review Working Group, U.N. Human
Rights Council, July 21, 2008.
62 CEDR, September 23, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-950217; September 24, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-950308; November 1, 2008,
Doc. No. CEP-950083; International Labor Rights Forum, Uzbekistan Update: Government Still Forcing Young
Children to Harvest Cotton Despite Pledges to Ban the Practice, November 2008; “Wal-Mart Bans Uzbekistan’s
Child-Picked Cotton,” RFE/RL Watchdog, October 1, 2008.
63 CEDR, November 14, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-950124.
64 Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Subcommittee on Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Statement of J.D.
To obtain Uzbekistan’s approval for basing, the 2002 U.S.-Uzbek Strategic Partnership
Declaration included a nonspecific security guarantee. The United States affirmed that “it would
regard with grave concern any external threat” to Uzbekistan’s security and would consult with
Uzbekistan “on an urgent basis” regarding a response. The two states pledged to intensify military
cooperation, including “re-equipping the Armed Forces” of Uzbekistan, a pledge that appeared to
be repudiated by Uzbekistan following events in Andijon.
Although U.S. security assistance to the region was boosted in the aftermath of 9/11, such aid has
lessened since then as a percentage of all such aid to Eurasia, particularly after aid to Uzbekistan
was cut in FY2004 and subsequent years (see below). Security and law enforcement aid to
Central Asia was 31% ($188 million) of all such aid to Eurasia in FY2002, but had declined to
14% ($203 million) in FY2007. Of all budgeted assistance to Central Asia over the period from
FY1992-FY2007, security and law enforcement aid accounted for a little over one-fifth. Security
and law enforcement aid includes Foreign Military Financing (FMF), International Military
Education and Training (IMET), and Excess Defense Articles (EDA) programs and border
security aid to combat trafficking in drugs, humans, and WMD. A new Defense Department
counter-terrorism train and equip program (created under Section 1206 of the National Defense
Authorization Act for FY2006-FY2007; P.L. 109-163) provided $19.3 million to Kazakhstan in
FY2007. Another new Defense Department program for defense articles, services, training or
other support for reconstruction, stabilization, and security activities (created under Section 1207
of P.L. 109-163) provided $9.9 million to Tajikistan in FY2008.
To help counter burgeoning drug trafficking from Afghanistan, war supplementals for FY2005
(P.L. 109-13), FY2006 (P.L. 109-234), and FY2008 (P.L. 110-252) have provided some assistance
to Central Asia. Sec. 1026 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2009 (P.L. 110-417)
calls for the Defense Department to submit a report to Congress on a drug control strategy for
FY2010 for Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan,
Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. In September 2008, the Chief of Staff of Tajikistan’s Border Guard
Forces, Major General Sharaf Fayzulloyev, praised the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) for providing nearly $1.1 million to upgrade
three Tajik-Afghan border posts. He alleged that “Afghanistan does not protect its border,
therefore, we have to protect it unilaterally. We do not even meet Afghan [border guards on the
Shurobod-Khwahan districts] border section, because the chiefs of Afghan border posts 65
themselves lead drug trafficking groups.”
In addition to the aid reported by the Coordinator’s Office, the Defense Department provides
coalition support payments to Kyrgyzstan, including base lease payments and landing and
overflight fees (overall authority and funding have been provided in emergency supplemental
appropriations for military operations and maintenance). In June 2008, the outgoing U.S.
commander at Manas reportedly stated that the United States pays Kyrgyzstan $17.5 million
annually for renting the land for the U.S. facilities and pays the Manas international airport about 66
$21 million per year in takeoff, landing, parking and other fees. Uzbekistan received a payment
of $15.7 million for use of K2 and associated services. On October 5, 2005, an amendment to
Crouch II, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, June 27, 2002.
65 CEDR, September 22, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-950194; “U.S. Government Continues Support for Tajik Border
Security,” Asia Pulse, September 15, 2008.
66 CEDR, June 24, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-950248.
Defense Appropriations for FY2006 (H.R. 2863) was approved in the Senate to place a one-year
hold on Defense Department plans to pay another $23 million. Despite this congressional
concern, the Defense Department transferred the payment in November 2005. The conferees on
H.R. 2863 later dropped the amendment (H.Rept. 109-360; P.L. 109-359).
U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) in 1999 became responsible for U.S. military
engagement in Central Asia. It cooperates with the European Command (USEUCOM), on the
Caspian Maritime Security Cooperation program (similar to the former Caspian [Sea] Guard
program). Gen. Bantz Craddock, Commander of EUCOM, testified in 2008 that the Caspian
Maritime Security Cooperation program coordinates security assistance provided by U.S.
agencies to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. He stated that U.S. Naval Forces Europe cooperates with
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command “to promote maritime safety and security and maritime 67
domain awareness in the Caspian Sea.” Russia objects to the involvement of non-littoral
countries in Caspian maritime security and has appeared to counter U.S. maritime security aid by
boosting the capabilities of its Caspian Sea Flotilla and by urging the littoral states to coordinate
their naval activities exclusively with Russia.
The Commander of USCENTCOM periodically visits the Central Asian states. During a visit to
Kazakhstan in November 2007, then-Commander William Fallon discussed a new five-year
military cooperation with Kazakhstan’s defense minister. The defense ministry praised the
previous five-year plan for providing training for 200 troops in the United States, a number of
High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (Humvees), the imminent delivery of two UH-1H
Huey-2 helicopters, and the refurbishment of the base in Atyrau for the Western Military
Command’s infantry battalion, among other cooperation. President Karimov hailed a visit by
Fallon to Uzbekistan in January 2008 as a sign of improving U.S.-Uzbek relations. Fallon also
visited Turkmenistan and Tajikistan in January 2008. In Tajikistan, he welcomed Tajik offers to
help train Afghan military forces.
All the Central Asian states except Tajikistan joined NATO’s PFP by mid-1994 (Tajikistan joined
in 2002). Central Asian troops have participated in periodic PFP (or “PFP-style”) exercises in the
United States since 1995, and U.S. troops have participated in exercises in Central Asia since
1997. A June 2004 NATO summit communique pledged enhanced Alliance attention to the
countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia, and the NATO Secretary General appointed a
Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia. Uzbekistan sharply reduced its
participation in PFP after NATO raised concerns that Uzbek security forces had used excessive
and disproportionate force in Andijon (however, it continued to permit Germany to use a base at
Termez). Perhaps marking a turn-around in relations, President Karimov attended the NATO
Summit in Bucharest, Romania, in early April 2008 and stated that Uzbekistan was ready to
discuss the transit of non-lethal goods and equipment by NATO through Uzbekistan to
Afghanistan. This issue was part of the agenda during Assistant Secretary Boucher’s May 30-June
Kazakhstan’s progress in military reform enabled NATO in January 2006 to elevate it to
participation in an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP). The NATO Secretary General’s
67 House of Representatives. Armed Services Committee. Statement of General Bantz J. Craddock, Commander,
United States European Command, March 13, 2008. Caspian Sea Maritime Proliferation Prevention aid to Kazakhstan
was $4 million in FY2005, $5 million in FY2006, and $7 million in FY2007, and $8 million was requested for each of
FY2008 and FY2009. U.S. Department of Defense. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. FY2008-FY2009 Budget
Estimates: Former Soviet Union Threat Reduction, February 2007.
Special Envoy for the Caucasus and Central Asia, Robert Simmons, in April 2008 announced that
Kazakhstan was making good progress in implementing the IPAP. Kazakhstan has stated that it
does not plan to join NATO but wants to modernize its armed forces. In April 2008, Kazakhstan
agreed to facilitate the railway shipment of non-lethal equipment and supplies from NATO
countries to support operations in Afghanistan. Then-President Putin earlier had agreed with
NATO to permit such shipments to cross Russia.
According to some reports, the Defense Department has been considering possibly setting up
long-term military facilities in Central Asia termed Cooperative Security Locations (CSLs; they
might contain pre-positioned equipment and be managed by private contractors, and few if any
U.S. military personnel may be present). The Overseas Basing Commission in 2005
acknowledged that U.S. national security might be enhanced by future CSLs in Central Asia but
urged Congress to seek inter-agency answers to “what constitutes vital U.S. interests in the area 68
that would require long-term U.S. presence.” According to former CENTCOM Commander
Fallon, the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan is the Forward Operating Site (basing intended for
rotational use by operating forces with limited U.S. military support presence and possibly pre-
positioned equipment) for access to and operations in Central Asia. CENTCOM’s FY2008 Master
Plan for infrastructure requirements at its U.S. overseas military facilities reportedly placed a high 69
priority on sustaining long-term access to locations across its area of responsibility.
On July 5, 2005, the presidents of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan signed a declaration
issued during a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO; see above, “Obstacles
to Peace and Independence: Regional Tensions and Conflicts”) that stated that “as large-scale
military operations against terrorism have come to an end in Afghanistan, the SCO member states
maintain that the relevant parties to the anti-terrorist coalition should set a deadline for the
temporary use of ... infrastructure facilities of the SCO member states and for their military 70
presence in these countries.” Despite this declaration, none of the Central Asian leaders
immediately called for closing the coalition bases. However, after the United States and others
interceded so that refugees who fled from Andijon to Kyrgyzstan could fly to Romania,
Uzbekistan on July 29 demanded that the United States vacate K2 within six months. On
November 21, 2005, the United States officially ceased operations to support Afghanistan at K2.
Perhaps indicative of the reversal of U.S. military-to-military and other ties, former pro-U.S.
defense minister Qodir Gulomov was convicted of treason and received seven years in prison,
later suspended. Many K2 activities shifted to the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan. In early 2006,
Kyrgyz President Bakiyev reportedly requested that lease payments for use of the Manas airbase
be increased to more than $200 million per year but at the same time re-affirmed Russia’s free use 71
of its nearby base.
68 Commission on Review of the Overseas Military Facility Structure of the United States. Interim Report, May 9,
69 House of Representatives. Appropriations Committee. Subcommittee on Military Construction. Statement of Admiral
William J. Fallon, Commander, U.S. Central Command, on Military Construction in U.S. Central Command, April 17,
2007; General Accountability Office. Defense Infrastructure: Overseas Master Plans Are Improving, but DOD Needs
to Provide Congress Additional Information about the Military Buildup on Guam, GAO Report No. GAO-07-1015,
September 12, 2007.
70 CEDR, July 5, 2005, Doc. No. CPP-249.
71 For background, see CRS Report RS22295, Uzbekistan’s Closure of the Airbase at Karshi-Khanabad: Context and
Some observers viewed the closure of K2 and souring U.S.-Uzbek relations as setbacks to U.S.
influence in the region and as gains for Russian and Chinese influence. Others suggested that U.S.
ties with other regional states provided continuing influence and that U.S. criticism of human 72
rights abuses might pay future dividends among regional populations.
Possibly a sign of improving U.S.-Uzbek relations, in early 2008 Uzbekistan reportedly permitted
U.S. military personnel under NATO command, on a case-by-case basis, to transit through an
airbase near the town of Termez that it has permitted Germany to operate as part of NATO 73
peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan. Similarly, during a visit to Uzbekistan in late May-
early June 2008, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher discussed issues associated with
Uzbekistan’s expressed willingness to facilitate the rail transit of non-lethal goods and equipment
from NATO countries to support operations in Afghanistan. He praised some recent progress by
the government in respecting human rights. President Karimov reportedly told Boucher that he
was “pleased” about “positive changes in bilateral relations.”
On July 14, 2006, the United States and Kyrgyzstan issued a joint statement that the two sides had
resolved the issue of the continued U.S. use of airbase facilities at Manas. Although not
specifically mentioning U.S. basing payments, it was announced that the United States would
provide $150 million in “total assistance and compensation over the next year,” subject to
congressional approval. Kyrgyz Security Council Secretary Miroslav Niyazov and U.S. Deputy
Assistant Defense Secretary James MacDougall also signed a Protocol of Intentions affirming
that the United States would compensate the Kyrgyz government and businesses for goods,
services, and support of coalition operations. In June 2008, the outgoing U.S. commander at
Manas reportedly stated that the United States pays Kyrgyzstan $17.5 million annually for renting
the land for the U.S. facilities, pays the Manas international airport about $21 million per year in
takeoff, landing, parking and other fees, and spends $25 million annually for local construction 74
materials and services. He also reportedly stated that during the past year over 130,000 troops,
including 3,200 ISAF troops, transited through the base to Afghanistan, as well as hundreds of
tons of cargo.
Some observers have suggested that a May 2006 terrorist incursion from Tajikistan into
Kyrgyzstan and the more recent escalating Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan have contributed to
a Kyrgyz evaluation that the U.S. coalition presence is still necessary. In September 2007, a U.S.
military officer stated that the Manas airbase was moving toward “a sustainment posture,” with
the replacement of virtually all tents and the building of aircraft maintenance, medical, and other 75
facilities. National defense authorizations for FY2008 and FY2009 legislate construction
Implications, by Jim Nichol. Perhaps indicating Kyrgyz pressure on Russia to compensate for use of the base, Russia in
October 2006 pledged grant military assistance to Kyrgyzstan.
72 On growing Chinese regional influence, see Michael Mihalka, “Counter-insurgency, Counter-terrorism, State-
Building and Security Cooperation in Central Asia,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, May 2006.
73“U.S. Military Returns to Ex-Soviet Uzbekistan,” Agence France Presse, March 6, 2008; “Only Germany Can Use
Uzbek Bases Now,” United Press International, December 13, 2005.
74 CEDR, June 24, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-950248.
75 Lt. Col. Michael Borgert, “Liberandos: Thank You for a Job Well Done,” 376th Expeditionary Services Squadron
Public Affairs, September 9, 2007.
funding for the Manas airbase, including for building a parking area for heavy cargo aircraft (see th
below, “110 Congress Legislation”).
Major U.S. security interests have included elimination of nuclear weapons remaining in
Kazakhstan after the breakup of the Soviet Union and other efforts to control nuclear proliferation
in Central Asia. The United States has tendered aid aimed at bolstering their export and physical
controls over nuclear technology and materials, in part because of concerns that Iran is targeting
After the Soviet breakup, Kazakhstan was on paper a major nuclear weapons power (in reality
Russia controlled these weapons). In December 1993, the United States and Kazakhstan signed a
Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) umbrella agreement for the “safe and secure” dismantling
of 104 SS-18s, the destruction of silos, and related purposes. All bombers and their air-launched
cruise missiles were removed by late February 1994 (except seven bombers destroyed with U.S.
aid in 1998). On April 21, 1995, the last of about 1,040 nuclear warheads had been removed from
SS-18 missiles and transferred to Russia, and Kazakhstan announced that it was nuclear weapons-
free. The SS-18s were eliminated by late 1994. The United States reported that 147 silos had been
destroyed by September 1999. A U.S.-Kazakh Nuclear Risk Reduction Center in Almaty was set
up to facilitate verification and compliance with arms control agreements to prevent the
proliferation of WMD.
Besides the Kazakh nuclear weapons, there are active research reactors, uranium mines, milling
facilities, and dozens of radioactive tailing and waste dumps in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Many of these reportedly remain inadequately protected against theft.
Kazakhstan is reported to possess one-fourth of the world’s uranium reserves, and Kazakhstan
and Uzbekistan have been among the world’s top producers of low enriched uranium. Kazakhstan
had a fast breeder reactor at Aktau that was the world’s only nuclear desalinization facility. Shut
down in 1999, it had nearly 300 metric tons of uranium and plutonium spent fuel in storage pools
(three tons of which were weapons-grade). In 1997 and 1999, U.S.-Kazakh accords were signed
on decommissioning the Aktau reactor.
CTR aid was used to facilitate transporting 600 kg of weapons-grade uranium from Kazakhstan to
the United States in 1994, 2,900 kg of up to 26% enriched nuclear fuel from Aktau to
Kazakhstan’s Ulba facility in 2001 (which Ulba converted into less-enriched fuel), eleven kg of
uranium in fuel rods from Uzbekistan to Russia in 2004, and 63 kg of uranium from Uzbekistan
to Russia in April 2006.
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan hosted major chemical and biological warfare (CBW) facilities
during the Soviet era. CTR and Energy Department (DOE) funds have been used in Kazakhstan
to dismantle a former anthrax production facility in Stepnogorsk, to remove some strains to the
United States, to secure two other BW sites, and to retrain scientists. CTR funding was used to
dismantle Uzbekistan’s Nukus chemical weapons research facility. CTR aid also was used to
eliminate active anthrax spores at a former CBW test site on an island in the Aral Sea. These latter
two projects were completed in 2002. Other CTR aid helps keep former Uzbek CBW scientists
employed in peaceful research. Uzbekistan has continued to cooperate with DOD and DOE—
even after it restricted other ties with the United States in 2005—to receive portal and hand-held
radiation monitoring equipment and training.
The Administration and others stress that U.S. support for free market reforms directly serves
U.S. national interests by opening new markets for U.S. goods and services and sources of energy
and minerals. U.S. private investment committed to Central Asia has greatly exceeded that
provided to Russia or most other Eurasian states except Azerbaijan. U.S. trade agreements have
been signed and entered into force with all the Central Asian states, but bilateral investment
treaties are in force only with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. In line with Kyrgyzstan’s accession to
the World Trade Organization, the United States established permanent normal trade relations
with Kyrgyzstan by law in June 2000, so that “Jackson-Vanik” trade provisions no longer apply
that call for presidential reports and waivers concerning freedom of emigration.
In June 2004, The U.S. Trade Representative signed a Trade and Investment Framework
Agreement (TIFA) with ambassadors of the regional states to establish a U.S.-Central Asia
Council on Trade and Investment. The Council meets yearly to address intellectual property,
labor, environmental protection, and other issues that impede trade and private investment flows
between the United States and Central Asia. The Bush Administration at the annual meetings also
has called for greater intra-regional cooperation on trade and encouraged the development of
regional trade and transport ties with Afghanistan and South Asia. As stated by Secretary Rice,
these efforts support a “new Silk Road, a great corridor of reform” extending from Europe
southward to Afghanistan and the Indian Ocean. According to Deputy Assistant Secretary
Feigenbaum, “we are ... promoting options and opportunities omni-directionally but increasingly
to the south—the least developed direction.” The reorganization of the State Department in 2006 76
to create the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs facilitated this emphasis. At the fourth
annual meeting of the Council on Trade and Investment in mid-June 2008 in Dushanbe,
Tajikistan, Acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Mark Mowrey discussed simplifying 77
regional import and export procedures and improving the regional investment climate.
All the states of the region possess large-scale resources that could contribute to the region
becoming a “new silk road” of trade and commerce. The Kazakh and Turkmen economies are
mostly geared to energy exports but need added foreign investment for production and transport.
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are major cotton producers, a legacy of central
economic planning during the Soviet period. Uzbekistan’s cotton and gold production rank
among the highest in the world and much is exported. It has moderate gas reserves but needs
investment to upgrade infrastructure. Kyrgyzstan has major gold mines and strategic mineral
reserves, is a major wool producer, and could benefit from tourism. Tajikistan has one of the
world’s largest aluminum processing plants. According to the IMF, the Central Asian countries
exported $37.9 billion in goods and services in 2006 and imported $37.7 billion. Major export
partners included Russia, China, Turkey, and Italy. Major import partners included Russia, China, 78
Turkey, and Germany.
76 Remarks at Eurasian National University, October 13, 2005; and U.S. Congress. House International Relations
Committee. Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia. Testimony by Steven R. Mann, Principal Deputy
Assistant Secretary, July 25, 2006. See also U.S. Embassy Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan and the United States in a Changed
World, August 23, 2006.
77 U.S. Fed News, June 18, 2008; BBC Monitoring International Reports, June 20, 2008.
78 IMF. Direction of Trade Statistics, September 2007.
Despite the region’s development potential, the challenges of corruption, inadequate transport
infrastructure, punitive tariffs, border tensions, and uncertain respect for contracts discourage
major foreign investment (except for some investment in the energy sector). Examples of such
challenges include Uzbekistan’s restrictions on land transit, which have encouraged Tajikistan
and Kyrgyzstan to explore building a major road to Kazakhstan that bypasses Uzbekistan. Cotton
production has contributed to environmental pollution and water shortages, leading some
observers to argue that it is not suited to the largely arid region.
Tajikistan’s economy has appeared to worsen in 2008, harmed by rampant corruption, rising
inflation, and a harsh winter that contributed to a food crisis that necessitated international
humanitarian assistance. In March 2008, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that
it was demanding the early repayment of some loans to Tajikistan. The reserves of the Tajik
National Bank had been depleted in recent years by losses in the inefficient cotton-production
sector, but the bank did not report these data to the IMF. Despite this record, some international
financial institution lending has continued, including an August 2008 announcement by the World
Bank of a $4.5 million loan for upgrading a hydroelectric power station.
U.S. policy goals regarding energy resources in the Central Asian and South Caucasian states
have included supporting their sovereignty and ties to the West, supporting U.S. private
investment, promoting Western energy security through diversified suppliers, assisting ally
Turkey, and opposing the building of pipelines that transit “energy competitor” Iran or otherwise
give it undue influence over the region. The encouragement of regional electricity, oil, and gas
exports to South Asia and security for Caspian region pipelines and energy resources also have
been recent interests. President Bush’s 2001 National Energy Policy report suggested that greater
oil production in the Caspian region could not only benefit regional economies, but also help
mitigate possible world supply disruptions. It recommended U.S. support for building the BTC
pipeline and an Azerbaijan-Turkey gas pipeline, coaxing Kazakhstan to use the oil pipeline, and
otherwise encouraging the regional states to provide a stable and inviting business climate for 79
Until 2004, the Administration retained a Special Advisor on Caspian Energy Diplomacy, who
helped to further U.S. policy and counter the efforts of Russia’s Viktor Kaluzhny, deputy foreign
minister and Special Presidential Representative for Energy Matters in the Caspian. This
responsibility came to be shifted at least in part to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
European and Eurasian Affairs in 2005-2006 along with responsibilities of the former Special 80
Negotiator for Nagorno-Karabakh and Eurasian Conflicts. Some critics have juxtaposed
79 The White House. National Energy Policy, May 2001. The BTC pipeline began delivering oil to Turkey’s port of
Ceyhan in mid-2006. The South Caucasus Pipeline was completed in early 2007.
80 In 2004, the Department of State’s Inspector General recommended that the post of Special Advisor on Caspian
Energy Diplomacy might “now be phased out, with residual responsibilities folded into other units,” because the
purpose for which it was created was achieved. Office of the Inspector General. Semiannual Report to the Congress,
October 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004. The Special Advisor’s duties included “realizing the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC)
pipeline, in the launch of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) line, and a range of other Eurasian energy issues.”
Office of the Spokesman. Press Release, April 16, 2004.
Russia’s close interest in securing Caspian energy resources to what they term sporadic U.S. 81
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140; signed into law on December
19, 2007) called for the appointment of a Coordinator for International Energy Affairs under the
Secretary of State to help develop and coordinate U.S. energy policy. In testimony in February
2008, Secretary of State Rice stated that “It is a really important part of diplomacy. In fact, I think
I would go so far as to say that some of the politics of energy is warping diplomacy in certain
parts of the world. And I do intend to appoint, and we are looking for, a special energy 82
coordinator who could especially spend time on the Central Asian and Kazakh region.” On
March 31, 2008, President Bush announced the nomination of Boyden Gray to be a special envoy 83
for Eurasian energy issues.
The Caspian region is emerging as a notable source of oil and gas for world markets, although
many experts emphasize that regional exports will constitute only a small fraction of world
supplies. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the region’s proven natural gas 84
reserves are estimated at 232 trillion cubic feet (tcf), comparable to Saudi Arabia. The region’s
proven oil reserves are estimated to be between 17-49 billion barrels, comparable to Qatar on the
low end and Libya on the high end. Kazakhstan possesses the region’s largest proven oil reserves
at 9-40 billion barrels, according to DOE, and also possesses 100tcf of natural gas. Kazakhstan’s 85
oil exports currently are about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd). Some U.S. energy firms and
other private foreign investors have become discouraged in recent months by harsher Kazakh 86
government terms, taxes, and fines that some allege reflect corruption within the ruling elite.
Turkmenistan possesses about 100tcf and Uzbekistan about 65tcf of proven gas reserves, 87
according to DOE.
Especially since Russia’s temporary cutoff of gas to Ukraine in January 2006 highlighted
European vulnerability, the United States has supported EU efforts to reduce its overall reliance
on Russian oil and gas by increasing the number of possible alternative suppliers. Part of this
policy has involved encouraging Central Asian countries to transport their energy exports to
Europe through pipelines that cross the Caspian Sea, thereby bypassing Russian (and Iranian)
81 Eurasia Daily Monitor, May 31, 2007.
82 U.S. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Hearing on the FY2009 Budget: Foreign Relations, February 13,
83 In testimony in April 2008, Assistant Secretary Boucher claimed that the State Department recently had realized that
there were “new opportunities” for the export of Caspian oil and gas, so that Deputy Assistant Secretary Steven Mann
had returned to work “full time” on Caspian energy diplomacy. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Subcommittee
on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment. Hearing on Central Asia. Testimony by Assistant Secretary Richard
Boucher, April 8, 2008.
84 Including the countries of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
85 U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Information Administration. Kazakhstan Country Analysis Brief, February 2008.
86 A perhaps troubling case concerns Kazakhstan’s August 2007 suspension of the activities of the international
consortium developing the Kashagan offshore oilfield. In January 2008, Kazakhstan and the consortium of companies
developing Kashagan reached an agreement that permitted Kazakhstan to pay a below market price to increase its share
to about 17% (making it the largest shareholder) and levied several billion dollars in fines against the consortium for
delays. Economist Intelligence Unit, January 21, 2008. In June 2008, another agreement was signed that sets late 2013
as the date production would begin. In July 2008, Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson stated that the Kazakh government
should stop interfering in the project. International Oil Daily, July 2, 2008.
87 U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Information Administration. Central Asia Country Analysis Brief, February
territory, although these amounts are expected at most to satisfy only a tiny fraction of EU 88
The Central Asian states have been pressured by Russia to yield large portions of their energy 89
wealth to Russia, in part because Russia controls most existing export pipelines. Russia
attempted to strengthen this control over export routes for Central Asian energy in May 2007
when visiting former President Putin reached agreement in Kazakhstan on supplying more
Kazakh oil to Russia. Putin also reached agreement with the presidents of Turkmenistan and
Kazakhstan on the construction of a new pipeline to transport Turkmen and Kazakh gas to Russia.
The first agreement appeared to compete with U.S. and Turkish efforts to foster more oil exports
through the BTC. The latter agreement appeared to compete with U.S. and EU efforts to foster
building a trans-Caspian gas pipeline to link to the SCP to Turkey. The latter also appeared to
compete with U.S. and EU efforts to foster building a pipeline from Turkey through Greece,
Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary to Austria (the so-called Nabucco pipeline). Seeming to indicate
a direct challenge to these plans by Russia and the West, China signed an agreement in August
2007 with Kazakhstan on completing the last section of an oil pipeline from the Caspian seacoast
to China, and signed an agreement with Turkmenistan on building a gas pipeline to China (see 90
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have the potential to export hydro-electricity to Afghanistan and
Pakistan. Major foci of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s (TDA’s) Central Asian
Infrastructure Integration Initiative and USAID’s Regional Energy Market Assistance Program
include encouraging energy, transportation, and communications projects, including the
development of electrical power infrastructure and power sharing between Central Asia, 91
Afghanistan, and eventually Pakistan and India. In 2006, the TDA granted $800,000 to support
work between the U.S. energy company AES and Tajikistan to rebuild power lines to export
excess Tajik power to Afghanistan by the end of 2008. According to Assistant Secretary of State
Richard Boucher, the TDA grant was “the first stage of a project that will eventually build new 92
Tajik hydro capacity and export electricity across Afghanistan to Pakistan.” The Asian
Development Bank (ADB) launched a Central Asia-South Asia Regional Electricity Market
(CASAREM) project in 2006 and approved $3 million for feasibility and project design studies of
the potential for Pakistan to import electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. As part of the
CASAREM project, ADB supports a Regional Power Transmission Interconnection Project to
build a 220-kilovolt twin-circuit power transmission line by 2010 from hydropower plants on the
88 For details, see CRS Report RL33636, The European Union’s Energy Security Challenges, by Paul Belkin. See also
International Crisis Group. Central Asia’s Energy Risks, May 24, 2007.
89 According to a plan published by Russia’s Institute of Energy Strategy covering the period 2007-2030, “Russian
control over a large share of Central Asian gas needs to be maintained.” See Minpromenergo (Ministry of Industry and
Energy), Institut energeticheskoi strategii, Kontseptsiya energeticheskoi strategii Rossii na period do 2030g., 2007. As
reported by Philip Hanson, “How Sustainable Is Russia’s Energy Power?” Russian Analytical Digest, No. 38 (2008).
90 An oil and gas conference involving Kazakh, Chinese, and Russian energy ministries and firms has met annually
since 2004 to “exchange views” on possible regional cooperation. ITAR-TASS, December 5, 2007.
91 U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Press Release: USTDA Launches Central Asian Infrastructure Integration
Initiative, October 14, 2005; Joshua Kucera, “Washington Seeks to Steer Central Asian States Toward South Asian
Allies,” Eurasia Insight, April 28, 2006; Joshua Kucera, “USAID Official Outlines Plan to Build Central-South Asian
Electricity Links,” Eurasia Insight, May 4, 2006.
92 U.S. Department of State. Remarks at Electricity Beyond Borders: A Central Asia Power Sector Forum, June 13,
River Vakhsh in Tajikistan to the Afghan border town of Sher Khan Bandar. A Task Force on
Regional Electricity Cooperation was formed by Central and South Asian countries in April 2007.
On August 4, 2008, an inter-governmental agreement was signed by Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan,
Pakistan, and Tajikistan to build a 500-kilovolt electric power transmission line from Central Asia
through Afghanistan to Pakistan. The project cost is estimated to be $935 million to be provided
by the ADB, World Bank, and the Islamic Development Bank. About two-thirds of the electricity
would be provided to Pakistan and one-third to Afghanistan. The power line is planned to be
completed by 2013. Meanwhile, a drought in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has resulted in low water
levels in reservoirs used for hydropower generation. Officials warn that the reservoirs may be
depleted during the winter. Emergency rationing of electricity already has begun. The countries
have endeavored to obtain alternative energy resources from neighboring states.
Kazakhstan’s main oil export route has been a 930-mile pipeline—owned by the Caspian Pipeline
Consortium (CPC), in which Russian shareholders have a controlling interest—that carries
234.56 million barrels per year of oil from Kazakhstan to Russia’s Black Sea port of
Novorossiysk. Lengthy Russian resistance to increasing the pumping capacity of the pipeline and
demands for higher transit and other fees, along with the necessity of offloading the oil into
tankers at Novorossiysk to transit the clogged Turkish Straits, spurred Kazakh President
Nazarbayev to sign a treaty with visiting Azerbaijani President Aliyev in June 2006 to barge
Kazakh oil across the Caspian Sea to Baku to the BTC pipeline. Kazakhstan began shipping about
Apparently to counter this plan, then-President Putin’s May 2007 agreement with Nazarbayev
(see above) envisaged boosting the capacity of the CPC pipeline. Despite this Russian pledge to
increase the capacity of the CPC, Kazakhstan has proceeded to upgrade its Caspian Sea port
facilities and in May 2008, the Kazakh legislature ratified the 2006 treaty. Kazakhstan also barges
some oil to Baku to ship by rail to Georgia’s Black Sea oil terminal at Batumi, of which
Kazakhstan became the sole owner in early 2008. Kazakhstan plans by the end of 2008 to begin
barging oil from Batumi to the Romanian port of Constantsa, to be processed at two refineries it
purchased. Some Kazakh oil arriving in Baku also could be transported through small pipelines to
Georgia’s Black Sea port of Supsa or to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, although in the 93
latter case Kazakhstan might be faced with high transit charges by Russia.
Besides Kazakhstan’s development of oil export routes to Europe not controlled by Russia,
Kazakhstan and China have completed an oil pipeline from Atasu in central Kazakhstan to the
Xinjiang region of China (a distance of about 597 miles). Kazakhstan began delivering oil
through the pipeline in May 2006. Initial capacity is 146.6 million barrels per year. At Atasu, it
links to another pipeline from the town of Kumkol, also in central Kazakhstan. On Kazakhstan’s
Caspian Sea border, China has finished construction of an oil pipeline from the port city of Atyrau
eastward to the town of Kerkiyak. The last section of the route from the Caspian Sea to China, a
link between the towns of Kerkiyak and Kumkol, began to be built in late 2007 and is expected to
be completed in 2009.
93 ITAR-TASS, May 29, 2008; CEDR, December 11, 2007, Doc. No. CEP-950096; April 26, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-
In November 2007, Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement permitting Russia to export 10.6
million barrels of oil per year from Atasu through the pipeline to China. This is the first Russian
oil to be transported by pipeline to China.
At the end of October 2008, China and Kazakhstan signed a framework agreement on
constructing a gas pipeline from western Kazakhstan (near the Caspian Sea) to China that is
planned initially to supply 176.6 bcf to southern Kazakhstan and 176.6 bcf to China. Plans call
for pipeline construction to begin in 2010 and to be completed by 2015, but financing remains
The late President Niyazov signed a 25-year accord with then-President Putin in 2003 on
supplying Russia up to 211.9 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas in 2004 (about 12% of production),
rising up to 2.83 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2009-2028, perhaps then tying up most if not all of
Turkmenistan’s future production. Turkmenistan halted gas shipments to Russia at the end of
2004 in an attempt to get a higher gas price but settled for all-cash rather than partial barter
payments. In early 2006, Turkmenistan again requested higher gas prices from Russia, because
Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom gas firm had raised the price it charged for customers
receiving the gas that it had purchased from Turkmenistan. In November 2007, Turkmenistan
requested still another price increase, and the two sides agreed on a price of $130 per 35.314
thousand cubic feet for the first half of 2008 and $150 for the remainder of 2008, and a price
thereafter based on “market principles.”
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia signed accords in May and December 2007 on building a
new gas pipeline that is planned to carry 353 bcf of Turkmen and 353 bcf of Kazakh gas to
Russia. Although the Turkmen government may have had reservations about building another
pipeline to Russia, in July 2008, it announced that it would soon invite bids to construct the
Turkmen section of the “high priority” pipeline.
Although appearing to continue to rely mainly on pipeline export routes to or traversing Russia,
Berdimuhammedow has declared that “adherence to diverse fuel export schemes will remain as a 94
basic principle of [Turkmenistan’s] economic development strategy.” In 2007,
Berdimuhammedow signaled Turkmen interest in building a trans-Caspian gas pipeline. The
United States has advocated building trans-Caspian oil and gas pipelines, because Central Asia
could transport some of its energy through routes not controlled by Russia and Iran. The United
States also has endorsed his proposal to build a gas pipeline through Afghanistan to Pakistan and
India, but investment remains elusive. Some observers warn that Turkmenistan has pledged large
amounts of gas to Russia, China, and other customers in coming years, although it is unclear
whether production can be ramped up in a timely fashion to meet these pledges.
Seeking alternatives to pipeline routes through Russia, in December 1997 Turkmenistan opened
the first pipeline from Central Asia to the outside world beyond Russia, a 125-mile gas pipeline
linkage to Iran. Turkmenistan provided 282.5 bcf of gas to Iran in 2006 and reportedly a larger
amount in 2007. At the end of 2007, however, Turkmenistan suddenly suspended gas shipments,
94 CEDR, February 9, 2008, Doc. No. CEP-950154.
causing hardship in northern Iran. Turkmen demands for higher payments were the main reason 95
for the cut-off. Gas shipments resumed in late April 2008 after Iran agreed to a price boost.
As another alternative to pipelines through Russia, in April 2006, Turkmenistan and China signed
a framework agreement calling for Chinese investment in developing gas fields in Turkmenistan
and in building a gas pipeline with a capacity of about 1.0 tcf per year through Uzbekistan and
Kazakhstan to China. All three Central Asian states will send gas through this pipeline to China.
Construction of the Turkmen section of the gas pipeline reportedly began in August 2007.
Construction of Uzbek section started in June 2008, and construction of the Kazakh section began
in July 2008.
Perhaps a further effort to diversify export routes, Turkmenistan signed a memorandum of
understanding in April 2008 with the EU to supply 353.1 bcf of gas per year starting in 2009,
presumably through a trans-Caspian pipeline that might link to the SCP and to the proposed
Nabucco pipeline. According to some analysts, an early trans-Caspian link could be built between
offshore platforms belonging to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, which themselves are linked to
shore. The issue of building a trans-Caspian gas pipeline was part of the agenda of visiting
Assistant Secretary Boucher in late May 2008. The risk of such a project appears greater in the
wake of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, since the gas supplies would transit the South
On March 11, 2008, the heads of the national gas companies of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and
Turkmenistan announced that their countries would raise the gas export price to the European
level in 2009. They signed a memorandum of understanding on the price with Russia’s Gazprom
state-controlled gas firm, which controls most export pipelines. Negotiations on the price are
underway, with Gazprom demanding that the price reflect transit costs and profit margins.
For much of the 1990s and until September 11, 2001, the United States provided much more aid
each year to Russia and Ukraine than to any Central Asian state (most such aid was funded from
the FSA account in Foreign Operations Appropriations, but some derived from other program and
agency budgets). Cumulative foreign aid budgeted to Central Asia for FY1992 through FY2005
amounted to $3.8 billion, 13.6% of the amount budgeted to all the Eurasian states, reflecting the 96
lesser priority given to these states prior to September 11. Budgeted spending for FY2002 for
Central Asia, during OEF, was greatly boosted in absolute amounts ($584 million) and as a share
of total aid to Eurasia (about one-quarter of such aid). The Administration’s aid requests since
then have gradually declined in absolute amounts, although it has continued to stress important
U.S. interests in the region. The Administration has highlighted the phase-out of economic aid to
Kazakhstan and restrictions on aid to Uzbekistan (see below) as among the reasons for declining
aid requests. In April 2008, Assistant Secretary of State Boucher stated that another reason for
95 Iran: Daily Report, January 21, 2008, Doc. No. IAP-11017; January 24, 2008, Doc. No. IAP-950014; April 26, 2008,
Doc. No. IAP-950049; and May 6, 2008, Doc. No. IAP-950052.
96 In comparison, the EU has reported that it has provided approximately 1.39 billion euros ($2.13 billion at current
exchange rates) in assistance to the region since 1991. Its planned aid of about $1 billion in 2007-2013 may prove to be
more than projected U.S. aid to the region. European Community. Regional Strategy Paper for Assistance to Central
Asia for the period 2007-2013, June 2007; Council of the European Union. Presidency Conclusions, 11177/07, June
23, 2007, p. 12.
declining U.S. aid to the region was a more constrained U.S. budgetary situation. Aid to Central
Asia in recent years has been about the same or less in absolute and percentage terms than that
provided to the South Caucasian region. (See Table 1).
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), created in 2004 to provide U.S. aid to countries
with promising development records, announced in late 2005 that Kyrgyzstan was eligible to
apply for assistance as a country on the “threshold” of meeting the criteria for full-scale
development aid. On March 14, 2008, the MCC signed an agreement with Kyrgyzstan to provide
$16 million over the next two years to help the country combat corruption and bolster the rule of
law. According to one report, the signing of the agreement had been delayed over U.S. concerns
over non-transparency of the vote count in the December 2007 Kyrgyz legislative election (see 97
At the end of January 2008, the Tajik government declared a humanitarian crisis and asked the
United Nations for assistance. Severe winter weather and electricity, gas, and food shortages
contributed to what the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs declared to be
an emergency that reportedly resulted in a number of deaths. The U.S. State Department
announced in mid-February that it was boosting fuel and food aid by $2.5 million.
In Congress, Omnibus Appropriations for FY2003 (P.L. 108-7) forbade FREEDOM Support Act
(FSA) assistance to the government of Uzbekistan unless the Secretary of State determined and
reported that it was making substantial progress in meeting commitments under the Strategic
Partnership Declaration to democratize and respect human rights. The act also forbade assistance
to the Kazakh government unless the Secretary of State determined and reported that it
significantly had improved its human rights record during the preceding six months. However, the 98
legislation permitted the Secretary to waive the requirement on national security grounds. The
Secretary reported in May 2003, that Uzbekistan was making such progress (by late 2003, the
Administration had decided that it could no longer make this claim; see above, “Weapons of Mass
Destruction”). In July 2003, the Secretary reported that Kazakhstan was making progress. Some
in Congress were critical of these findings.
Consolidated Appropriations for FY2004, including foreign operations (P.L. 108-199) and for
FY2005 (P.L. 108-447, Section 578), and Foreign Operations Appropriations for FY2006 (P.L.
109-102, Sections 586 and 587) retained these conditions, while clarifying that the prohibition on
aid to Uzbekistan pertained to the central government and that conditions included respecting
human rights, establishing a “genuine” multi-party system, and ensuring free and fair elections
and freedom of expression and media. These conditions remained in place under the continuing
resolution for FY2007 (P.L. 109-289, as amended; see above) and in appropriations for FY2008
(Secs. 685 [Uzbekistan] and 698 [Kazakhstan]; P.L. 110-161).
97 ITAR-TASS, March 18, 2008.
98 The language calling for “substantial progress” in respecting human rights differs from the grounds of ineligibility
for assistance under Section 498(b) of Part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (P.L. 87-195), which includes as
grounds a presidential determination that a Soviet successor state has “engaged in a consistent pattern of gross
violations of internationally recognized human rights.” The Administration has stated annually that the president has
not determined that Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have engaged in “gross violations” of human rights.
In July 2004, the State Department announced that, despite some “encouraging progress” in
respecting human rights, up to $18 million in aid to Uzbekistan might be withheld because of
“lack of progress on democratic reform and restrictions put on U.S. assistance partners on the 99
ground” (in contrast, progress was reported regarding Kazakhstan). This determination
potentially affected IMET and FMF programs as well as FREEDOM Support Act funding, since 100
legislative provisions condition IMET and FMF on respect for human rights. The State
Department reprogrammed or used notwithstanding authority (after consultation with Congress)
to expend some of the funds, so that about $8.5 million was ultimately withheld. Notwithstanding
authority was used for funding health care reforms, promoting better treatment of detainees,
combating HIV/AIDS, combating trafficking in drugs and persons, and supporting World Trade
Organization accession. During an August 2004 visit to Uzbekistan, Gen. Myers criticized the
cutoff of IMET and FMF programs as “shortsighted” and not “productive,” since it reduced U.S. 101
military influence (see also above, “Weapons of Mass Destruction”).
For FY2005, Secretary of State Rice reported to Congress in May 2005 that Kazakhstan had
failed to significantly improve its human rights record, but that she had waived aid restrictions on
national security grounds. The Secretary of State in FY2005 did not determine and report to
Congress that Uzbekistan was making significant progress in respecting human rights, so Section
578 aid restrictions remained in place. The State Department reported that it used notwithstanding
authority to allocate $4.16 million in FREEDOM Support Act aid to Uzbekistan to continue the 102
same programs it used the authority for in FY2004.
For FY2006, Secretary of State Rice reported to Congress in May 2006 that Kazakhstan had
failed to significantly improve its human rights record but that she had waived aid restrictions on
national security grounds. She did not determine and report to Congress that Uzbekistan was
making significant progress in respecting human rights, so Section 586 restrictions remained in
place (IMET and FMF programs were among the affected programs that did not receive funding).
99 U.S. Department of State. Office of the Spokesman. Secretary of State Decision Not to Certify Uzbekistan, July 13,
100 Sec.502B of Part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (P.L. 87-195) states that “no security assistance may be
provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally
recognized human rights.” Sec.502B also specifies that IMET cannot be provided “to a country the government of
which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights,” unless the
President certifies in writing that extraordinary circumstances exist warranting the provision of IMET. Notwithstanding
authority is provided for the president to furnish security assistance if there is “significant improvement” in a
government’s human rights record. Some IMET and FMF was provided to Uzbekistan in FY2004. See U.S.
Departments of Defense and State. Foreign Military Training: Joint Report to Congress, FY2004-FY2005, April 2005.
101 Defense and Foreign Affairs Daily, August 16, 2004.
102 Some IMET aid was provided to Uzbekistan in FY2005. See U.S. Departments of Defense and State. Foreign
Military Training: Joint Report to Congress, FY2005-FY2006, September 2006. For FY2006, no IMET aid was
provided to Uzbekistan, but three Uzbeks received military training through other Defense Department programs.
Foreign Military Training: Joint Report to Congress, FY2006-FY2007, August 2007.
The State Department repeated its FY2005 statement that it used notwithstanding authority to
allocate $4.16 million in FREEDOM Support Act aid to Uzbekistan in FY2006.
Operating under the direction of the continuing resolution (P.L. 109-289, as amended), the
Secretary of State reported to Congress in April 2007 that Kazakhstan had failed to significantly
improve its human rights record but that she had waived aid restrictions on national security
grounds. She did not determine and report to Congress that Uzbekistan was making significant
progress in respecting human rights, so Section 586 restrictions remained in place (IMET and
FMF programs were among the affected programs that did not receive funding).
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte reported to Congress in late February 2008 that
Kazakhstan had failed to significantly improve its human rights record but that he had waived aid
restrictions on national security grounds. He did not determine and report to Congress that
Uzbekistan was making significant progress in respecting human rights, so aid restrictions
remained in place (IMET and FMF programs were among the affected programs that did not
Besides bilateral and regional aid, the United States contributes to international financial
institutions that aid Central Asia. Recurrent policy issues regarding U.S. aid include what it
should be used for, who should receive it, and whether it is effective.
P.L. 110-53, H.R. 1 (Bennie Thompson)
Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007. Introduced on January 5,
2007. Passed the House on January 9, 2007. Passed the Senate with an amendment in the nature
of a substitute on July 9, 2007. Conference report (H.Rept. 110-259) agreed to in the Senate on
July 26 and in the House on July 27. Signed into law on August 3, 2007 (P.L. 110-53). Sec. 1811
repeals specified restrictions on the use of Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program funds
and activities. Title 21 calls for the executive branch to promote democratization and respect for
human rights in nondemocratic and democratic transition countries. Sec. 2033 calls for expanding
scholarship, exchange, and library programs in predominantly Muslim countries to enhance
respect for democracy and human rights.
S. 198 (Nunn)
Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Act of 2007. Introduced on January 8, 2007; referred
to the Committee on Armed Services and the Foreign Relations Committee. Amends the Soviet
Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991, the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act of 1993, and the
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 to repeal specified restrictions on the
use of Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program funds and activities. Amends the
FREEDOM Support Act of 1992 to make specified funding requirements respecting independent
countries of the former Soviet Union inapplicable to CTR programs. Similar language was
incorporated into H.R. 1 (see above).
S. 328 (Menendez)
Ensuring Implementation of the 9/11 Commission Report Act. Introduced on January 17, 2007.
Sec. 324 contains language similar to that in S. 198 (above).
P.L. 110-181, H.R. 4986 (Skelton)
National Defense Authorization Act for FY2008. Introduced on January 16, 2008. Signed into law
on January 28, 2008. Sec. 2903 authorizes $30.3 million for the Air Force for military
construction at the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan.
P.L. 110-161, H.R. 2764 (Lowey)
Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2008. On December 17, 2007, the House considered two
amendments to H.R. 2764 as received from the Senate. The first amendment inserted a
Consolidated Appropriations Act covering 11 regular appropriations bills, including Division J:
Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. The second amendment dealt
with emergency supplemental military funding (incorporated from H.R. 2642 and H.R. 3043).
Agreed to in the House on December 17, 2007. The Senate offered an amendment to House
amendment 2, and concurred with House amendment 1. On December 19, the message on the
Senate action was received in the House. The House agreed with the Senate amendment to the
House amendment 2, and the bill was cleared for the White House. Signed into law on December
Sec. 685 calls for assistance to be provided for the central government of Uzbekistan only if the
Secretary of State reports that Uzbekistan is making substantial and continuing progress in
meeting its commitments under the Declaration of Strategic Partnership, including respect for
human rights, establishing a multi-party system, ensuring free and fair elections, freedom of
expression, and the independence of the media, and that the government is supporting a credible
international investigation of events in Andijon. Assistance includes excess defense articles.
Provides that if the Secretary of State has credible evidence that Uzbek officials may be linked to
the “deliberate killings of civilians in Andijon ... or for other gross violations of human rights,”
these individuals shall be ineligible for admission to the United States. The Secretary may waive
this ineligibility if admission is necessary to attend the United Nations or to further U.S. law
enforcement. Sec. 698 on Central Asia directs that assistance may be provided to the Kazakh
government only if the Secretary of State reports that Kazakhstan has made significant
improvements in the protection of human rights. A national security waiver is provided. The
Secretary is to provide a report at the end of the fiscal year describing the defense aid and
financial services provided to (and how they were used by) the Central Asian states during the
P.L. 110-329 (H.R. 2638)
Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009. Introduced
on June 7, 2007. Signed into law on September 30, 2008. Appropriates $6 million for the Air
Force for military construction of a hot cargo pad at the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan.
P.L. 110-417 (S. 3001)
Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009. Sec. 1207 extends the
1207 authority through September 30, 2009. Authorizes $6 million for the Air Force for military
construction at the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan. Sec. 1026 calls for the Secretary of Defense to
submit by the end of June 2009 a comprehensive report on counter-narcotics strategy in the South
and Central Asian regions. Introduced on May 12, 2008. Passed the Senate on September 17,
2008. Passed the House on September 24, 2008. The Senate agreed to the House amendment on
September 27, 2008. Signed into law on October 14, 2008.
H.R. 2869 (Pitts)
The Central Asia Education Enhancement Act of 2007. Introduced on June 26, 2007; referred to
the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Establishes a pilot program of fifty Central Asian scholarships
in each of the fiscal years FY2008-FY2010 for undergraduate and graduate level public policy
internships in the United States.
Table 1. U.S. Foreign Assistance to Central Asia,
FY1992 to FY2008
(millions of dollars)
Central Asian FY1992 thru FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 FY2008
Country Budgeteda Budgeteda Budgeteda Estimateb
Kazakhstan 1,244.8 80.16 165.59 25.191
Kyrgyzstan 806.5 43.29 54.6 32.626
Tajikistan 679.7 44.84 49.21 31.914
Turkmenistan 255.4 10.44 19.84 9.149
Uzbekistan 760.9 49.30 35.21 10.19
Regional 73.2 4.83 7.59 2.976
Total 3,820.5 232.86 332.04 112.046
Percent 14 12 16 24
Sources: State Department, Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia, information as of
November 1, 2008; Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations, FY2009: South and Central Asia.
a. FSA and Agency funds. Excludes some classified coalition support funding. Includes $19.3 million in Defense
Department Section 1206 train and equip funds for Kazakhstan in FY2007.
b. FSA and other Function 150 funds, including Peace Corps. Does not include Defense or Energy Department
funds, funding for exchanges, or Millennium Challenge Corporation aid to Kyrgyzstan.
Figure 1. Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
Source: Map Resources Adapted by CRS. (08/02 M. Chin)
Specialist in Russian and Eurasian Affairs