US Foreign Policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia: Politics, Energy and Security 9780755619405, 9781780769189

Central Asia and the Caucasus are of immense geopolitical importance for the US and Russia, but neither power has succes

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US Foreign Policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia: Politics, Energy and Security
 9780755619405, 9781780769189

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List of Figures and Tables

Figures 1  Freedom Support Act Account and Russia Account ($ million) 2 Map of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Route

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Tables 4.1

 .S. Foreign Aid to the South Caucasus States, FY1992 U to FY2010, and the FY2011 Request 4.2 U.S. Foreign Assistance to Central Asia, FY1992 to FY2009

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1 Introduction: US National Security and the Caspian Region The Caspian is the world’s largest inland body of water and has historically been a region where cultures and civilisations and the ambitions of Great Powers meet. The Russo-British rivalry over the region in the 19th century was referred to by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘Great Game’, which resulted in the Caspian region being incorporated into Russia’s sphere of influence. Except for a small part of its southern coastline, the Caspian and its mineral resources, especially oil and gas, later became part of the Soviet Union, encompassing a large number of different nationalities and ethnic groupings with a long history of their own. The unexpected and sudden dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in the emergence of a number of newly independent states in the Caspian region. Since then the region has once again become a focus of interest for the major powers which is likened to the ‘Great Game’ of the previous centuries. One of the principal players in the region is the United States, which as a major global power has a range of interests in the Caspian.1 The Caspian region forms a substantial part of what is called Central Asia, and some scholars use the term ‘former Soviet South’.2 Soviet Central Asia comprised the republics of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Nowadays it is common to include Afghanistan and China’s Xinjiang province in Central Asia.3 The subject of this study is the policy of the United States towards the South Caucasus and former Soviet Central Asia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.4

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After the collapse of the Soviet Union the region came into its own as a region of interest for other countries and an object of study by scholars and analysts. Academic studies fall primarily into two categories – those by international security specialists studying the emerging order in the former Soviet south,5 and those studying the exploitation of energy resources in the region.6 While this renewed interest in the Caucasus and Central Asia has spawned a sizeable literature, comparatively little attention has been paid to US interests in the region, especially in relation to international security. Major studies on the security of the region were published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)7 and the Royal Institute of International Affairs8 respectively. They looked at Central Asian security primarily in terms of regional factors and the relationship with Russia. The SIPRI volume contains one chapter by Amy Jaffe9, mostly on the role of the Caspian in US energy security, and the book edited by Allison and Jonson contains a chapter by Stephen Blank on US interests in the Caspian. Blank indeed has been the most prolific author on this theme in various articles and occasional papers.10 Some of the work of S. Neil McFarlane has also been concerned with Western interests and influences in Central Asia, although his concern has been more with Europe than the United States.11 S. Frederick Starr published papers critical of US policy in Central Asia.12 Academic work on the security dilemmas of the region has focused in particular on US-Russian relations and Russia’s relations with the ‘near abroad’. The most important major attempt to systematically assess US security interests in the Caspian region has been by the RAND Corporation.13 The work of Amy Jaffe and Rice University focuses on the energy resources in the Caspian regions and possible implications for US national interests, downplaying by and large the significance of the Caspian area for the United States.14 More recently Eugene Rumer published a lengthy paper on US relations with Central Asia in which he argued that because of its involvement in Afghanistan the United States held the key to Central Asian security and pleaded for a coherent and committed strategy towards the region.15 There is to date no systematic study of US policy towards the Caspian region that provides an analysis of US interests and policy-making. The

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existing studies were either written by security analysts16 (such as Stephen Blank17, Eugene Rumer18, S. Frederick Starr19 and various analysts in the RAND Corporation)20, area studies specialists who focus more on the region itself rather than US policy per se (Martha Olcott21, Brenda Shaffer22), specialists in the oil industry (Amy Jaffe, Julia Nanay) or economists (Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Richard Pomfret)23 who are concerned with the viability of the pipelines, the production co-operation agreements with Western companies and the impact of hydrocarbon exports on the development of the region. With the exception of the writings by Eugene Rumer there has been no attempt to assess US national interests in the region in a nuanced fashion. The literature does not attempt any analysis of different interests and policy priorities in the US government bureaucracy or Congress. Consequently this effort to understand the objectives of US policy and the manner in which different actors in the political elite (including different offices in the administration and Congress) engaged in the process of policy debate and decisionmaking by the use of various primary sources (Congressional reports and documents, official documents, publications by former policy-makers) and interviews to reconstruct US policy and provide a systematic analysis is an entirely novel approach to the subject. This study focuses on US policy during the Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations, with some reference to the G.W.H. Bush administration during which the Soviet Union was dissolved and the trajectory of US policy in the Obama administration. Understanding US National Security after the Cold War: Theoretical Approaches Before considering a specific case study some general remarks about US national security policy after the Cold War are in order so as to provide the context in which policy towards the region under study was formulated. There are two different classes of theoretical approaches that scholars use to understand or explain foreign policy behaviour. The first of these involves system-level theories that emphasise the structural constraints of the international system as opposed to the strategies and motivations of agents. From this perspective the relative power position is the critical

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factor that determines the behaviour of states and internal factors such as the type of political system or the actions of individuals are not significant. The second type of theoretical approach emphasises domestic and social factors that account for the action of states. A consideration of the different approaches to the explanation of foreign policy behaviour is relevant for this study, because of the analytical problems in explaining US policy towards the region. On the one hand the metaphor of a new ‘Great Game’ presupposes a competition between the major powers (the US, Russia and China) for influence in the region. On the other hand the empirical evidence (as will be demonstrated later) does not confirm this analysis and instead shows an uneven cycle of limited engagement and neglect, which (as will be argued later) indicates an inability by the US administrations to articulate US interests in the region and points to other factors that account for US policy. This thesis is a study in the exercise of soft power, so it is most closely related to the work of Joseph Nye24 and not in the neo-realist tradition (eg. Mearsheimer, Brzezinski)25 or the perspective of neo-conservatives. This is because, as we will see in more detail in Chapters 3 and 4, the main instruments of US policy towards the region were political engagement and economic aid, designed to achieve the diffusion of norms and promote political stability through democratization and economic development. The study also refutes more strident claims about US hegemony advanced by the political left (eg. Noam Chomsky, Fareed Zakaria)26 and essentially looks to the work of Michael Mandelbaum27 and Michael Ignatieff28 about the role of the US in international politics as well as the democratic peace tradition. It does not subscribe to the optimism of Fukuyama29, or the thesis of Samuel Huntington,30 nor does it endorse Krauthammer’s analysis of the ‘unipolar moment’ as the subject matter reveals the limits of US power as described by Charles Kupchan31 (although the work does not subscribe to his thesis more generally). Instead it considers the claims made by the Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations made for their policies in their official statements, and subjects them to scrutiny in the light of the implementation of policy, the debates in and actions taken by Congress, and bureaucratic politics.

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Structural Realism Neo-realism, or structural realism, was given its classic systematic exposition by Kenneth Waltz in Theory of International Politics32 and has been developed further by various scholars, including John Mearsheimer.33 Although in Waltz’s conception it is not a theory of foreign policy as such, it has been widely used as a conceptual basis for interpreting foreign policy behaviour. It is based on the assumption that the international system consists of states that can be described as rational actors. States are the primary actors in international politics which is a sphere of competition.34 This system is anarchic, i.e. it has no central authority, and its units are independent and sovereign. It is therefore also a self-help system in which states must provide for their own security and ensure their own survival. The assumption that domestic politics or the political structure of individual states is not an important factor with regard to international behaviour can be expressed by stating that states are functionally similar. Their institutional features resemble each other and through a combination of competition and imitation they are socialised into the international system.35 In order to ensure their survival states acquire offensive military capabilities. Thereby they can increase their relative power in the international system, but they also provoke mistrust and the strengthening of the military capabilities of other states. This problem is described as the security dilemma.36 The desire of states to maximize their power results in arms races and alliances. International relations is shaped by the balance of power. States differ primarily by their capabilities. Their balancing behaviour is a function of the structure of the system (the distribution of power). Co-operation between states is limited and only in accordance with the perceived national interest. Smaller states may be satisfied with absolute gains derived from co-operation with other states; major powers will generally seek to benefit more than others through co-operation (relative gains).37 According to Waltz, states will be satisfied with absolute gains when the international milieu is relatively benign, i.e. that level of interstate competition is not high and there is no perceived immediate threat of interstate conflict. Neo-realists are sceptical with regard to the effectiveness of international institutions or regimes to promote interstate co-operation and argue that the national interest will ultimately be the

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main factor that determines state behaviour.38 In Waltz’s approach, neorealist theory is not determinist. The structural distribution of power in the system provides constraints on the actions states can take and rewards or punishes various forms of behaviour, but different states may react to external pressures and incentives differently. Sometimes different options exist that will be more or less equivalent in terms of a state’s interest. Foreign policy analysis can bridge the gap to explain the behaviour of particular states. The principal strategic options for larger powers in an anarchical selfhelp system are ‘balancing’, ‘buck-passing’ or ‘bandwagoning’. ‘Balancing’ means seeking alliances with other states to balance against a major power. For example, closer strategic relations between Russia and China and calls for a ‘multipolar system’ rather than one dominated by one power could be considered an attempt at ‘balancing’ against the United States. Buck-passing refers to leaving the large power to deal with security threats. Much of European behaviour (leaving the US to address security in various crisis regions) is perceived in Washington as buck-passing.39 ‘Bandwagoning’ means that states align themselves with the strongest power. Two assumptions of structural realism are open to question – one is that the units have similar characteristics (i.e. liberal democracies behave in the same way as totalitarian dictatorships) and the other is that they behave as rational actors. The reasons to question the first assumption become apparent when we consider the example of the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States in the Cold War. Structural realism interprets it merely as a competition between two major powers. In this account it resulted in a structure of the international system which is called bipolar. The two ‘superpowers’ acted like the sociopolitical equivalent of magnetic poles with other states aligning their foreign policy behaviour in accordance with one pole or the other. While this description of the Cold War system is useful in some respects, it leaves out various other factors, such as Marxist-Leninist ideology, authoritarian or totalitarian governments and the shared values in the West including personal freedom, human rights and democracy. It can be argued that a theory that ignores the major salient factors that determine how the agents think about the power relationships that they are involved with and how they

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define their interests and goals is not complete. In other words, structural realism simply ignores what must be a major part of the story. The fact that structural realism does not allow for the possibility that international regimes or changing norms and identities could itself change the structure of the international system may account for its failure to account for the timing and the manner in which the Cold War ended. Indeed the fairly rapid collapse of the bipolar structure of the international system was a surprise to scholars and policymakers alike. From a different analytical perspective that takes into account the nature of the regime and the domestic structure of power the East-West conflict cannot be understood simply as the natural rivalry between two great power systems. It was a more fundamental antagonism involving the legitimacy of different types of socio-economic organisation and the legitimacy of certain political elites for which the pursuit of Great Power interests was an essential instrument to perpetuate their own existence and ambitions. The notion that different regime types lead to different behaviour regarding international co-operation and the use of force has received greater attention due to the ‘democratic peace theory’. It states that liberal democracies do not go to war with each other. This is based on the observation that not only have there been no wars between liberal democracies, but neither are they perceived to threaten one another and the balance of power between liberal democracies has been relevant only in the context of responses to other external threats. Some IR scholars have expressed the view that ‘the absence of war between democratic states has come as close as anything we have to an empirical law in international relations’.40 The extent to which the empirical evidence supports the ‘democratic peace theory’ depends on how one defines the term ‘liberal democracy’. Among the conditions for the theory to be applicable there must be a shared value system which includes the acceptance of international norms and the existence of institutional mechanisms for the resolution of conflicts. Other factors which may explain the ‘democratic peace theory’ such as the more diffuse nature of political power in liberal democracies that makes it difficult to sustain military conflicts, unless they are relatively limited in time and their objectives are widely accepted by the population. This generally rules out the acquisition of territory by force owing to the difficulties of absorbing hostile populations in the political system and the

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violation of political norms involved. It also means that domestic consent to a war depends highly on the nature of the regime against which war is to be conducted – i.e. it has to be credibly described as an aggressive and authoritarian (non-democratic) regime.41 The democratic peace theory is important because if it is true it makes an important statement about the nature of international relations and the contemporary international system. It is also of particular importance for this study because successive US administrations based their policy explicitly on the democratic peace theory, and perceived democracy promotion as an instrument to stabilise the Caspian region and prevent conflict.42 The Role of Ideas Neo-realism sees international relations to be primarily determined by material factors, whereas other approaches emphasise the importance of ideas and values, such as the constructivist approach, which is based on the notion that power in international politics is socially constructed. In other words, power relationships are not given in nature or determined by material factors alone and consequently can be altered by human practice. In the constructivist approach, elements of social reality such as perceptions of identity, norms and values, interests, fears and culture have a significant impact on the interactions of units (i.e. states) in the international system. In the words of Alexander Wendt: ‘The effects of anarchy are contingent on the desires and beliefs states have and the policies they pursue.’43 We can go further than that and state that the effects of anarchy are constrained by shared norms. Although the international system is anarchic in the sense that there is no world government and each state is considered to be sovereign, in reality many aspects of the interactions between states, in particular the use of force and international trade are highly regulated by treaties as well as international regimes and institutions. For most of the period after World War II until 1990 the structure of the international system was determined by the rivalry between two Great Powers. This kind of system has been referred to as ‘bipolar’. The bipolarity of the Cold War was unique in some respects in so far as the two ‘poles’ which came to be referred to as the two ‘superpowers’ had acquired

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a large stockpile of nuclear weapons that could be delivered to any point on the globe within a short period of time. Consequently they had unprecedented global reach and in extremis virtually infinite military power. The advent of nuclear weapons therefore modified the security dilemma and the classical approach to ‘balance of power’. At one level ‘mutual assured destruction’ prevented direct war between the superpowers which enjoyed an unprecedented level of national security. This resulted in a significant degree of ‘bandwagoning’. It also prevented the outbreak of war in Europe. But the intense rivalry between the superpowers still generated a great sense of insecurity and promoted conflict in other parts of the world. The end of the Cold War and the collapse of one of the superpowers resulted in a world in which the United States assumed a uniquely powerful position in the world with its unprecedented economic and military preponderance. The US became a superpower not only by virtue of its large strategic nuclear arsenal, but also its conventional capabilities which provided it with a global reach that no other power can match. This situation is frequently referred to as ‘unipolarity’ and the post Cold War situation was described by the phrase ‘the unipolar moment’ coined by the commentator Charles Krauthammer.44 The concept of unipolarity rests on the assumption that the United States has unrivalled military power, that the United States favours internationalism rather than isolationism, and that the threat of war has diminished. This analysis has given rise to an academic discourse on the nature of US hegemony in the postCold War world, exemplified by the enlargement of NATO to include Central and East European states, including some former Soviet republics, and US intervention in regional conflicts in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East (such as the war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq).45 The implication for the Caspian region is that US policy towards the region is based on displacing Russian influence and establishing a US presence instead. But Krauthammer’s statement reveals a fundamental contradiction in this conception of unipolarity. If there is a significantly diminished threat of war, the preponderance of military power becomes less relevant. Indeed, one of the major changes in the international system which is the culmination of a long-term trend is the decline in interstate conflict.

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The potential for interstate conflict predicted by John Mearsheimer was nowhere apparent in Europe except on the territory of states which have now fallen apart, such as certain parts of the former Soviet Union and the former Republic of Yugoslavia. These conflicts can be interpreted either as civil conflicts or post-colonial conflicts. What we witnessed in Europe were the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Yugoslav state, which created stability on their territories by the constant threat of force that has resulted in instability and conflict. More importantly, the post-Cold War conflicts that involved significant outbreaks of violence were not interstate conflicts (such as predicted by Mearsheimer), but rather intra-state conflicts. Generally speaking post-Cold War European states do not seem to be naturally prone to military conflict. Quite the opposite appears to be the case: the principal objective of virtually all Central and Eastern European states was/is to join various Western multilateral organisations such as NATO and the European Union and thereby accept international norms with regard to the use and the threat of the use of force and other consequent constraints on their foreign and domestic policies. The international environment that emerged after the Cold War was therefore different than predicted by some leading prominent neo-realist scholars. Other perspectives provide a sense of a deeper change. These range from Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, which sees the bipolar global power struggle replaced by new patterns of conflict and co-operation emerging along cultural lines,46 to Francis Fukuyama’s belief in the final triumph of Western liberalism and the end of history.47 It is not necessary to accept the whole of Fukuyama’s framework or the triumphalism of some of his adherents to conclude that a major paradigm shift has occurred with regard to the role of military force in the international system and that we are indeed in a new era in which war between the major powers has become unlikely, or, as some would say, obsolete. Joseph Nye emphasised the increased importance of ‘soft power’ for United States foreign policy in the post-Cold War world. The paradox of American power in a world characterised by economic interdependence was that although militarily, economically and politically the United States had a preponderance of power, it nevertheless needed to rely on international institutions and relations with friendly nations to ensure international security and stability.48 In the course of the 1990s

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a new pattern of international security began to emerge. The main threat to international security no longer emanated from great power conflict. Instead, the main sources of interstate conflict were confined to certain crisis regions, such as South Asia (Pakistan and India), the Far East (the Korean peninsula), sub-state and ethnic conflicts in regions with weak or failed states (the former Soviet south, Africa), so-called ‘rogue states’ that were governed by authoritarian regimes, had clandestine programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and were state sponsors of terrorism, and finally the rising threat of international terrorism. The broader foreign policy objectives of the Clinton administration could be summarised as follows: First, to manage the transition from a strategic nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union to a common security approach to strategic arsenals based on co-operative threat reduction. Secondly, to limit the risk of major war in Europe by drawing Central European countries into Western organizations. Thirdly, using co-operative threat reduction, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and other international regimes to reduce the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction. Fourthly, it sought to reduce protectionism in international trade as a means to support the economic prosperity of the United States. Finally, it strongly embraced the idea of a New World Order, first pronounced by President G.W.H. Bush in the context of the first Gulf War, of international relations based on norms mediated through the United Nations, global collective security, the role of international organisations and regimes and the promotion of democracy and human rights.49 At the heart of this policy was the relationship with Russia. Strategic relations with what remained of the erstwhile superpower and adversary were essential for a secure transition to a new international system. A new security relationship with Russia and Russia’s transition to democracy and a functioning market economy were considered central to international security.50 An important element of this policy was the co-operative threat reduction (CTR) process, which in combination with strategic arms control would deal with the heritage of the nuclear confrontation and ensure the safety and security of nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union.51 Clinton appointed two important figures from Harvard University, Graham Allison and Ashton Carter, to the Defense Department. They were strong advocates of ‘co-operative

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denuclearisation’, a process designed to ultimately take ‘nuclear weapons out of international relations’ by means of strategic arms control, CTR and other non-proliferation measures such as a Comprehensive Test Ban and the Fissile Material Production Cut-Off agreement. As a result US relations with the Caspian region were subordinated to these priorities until 1997, when a more nuanced policy emerged that sought to enable Caspian countries to develop their hydrocarbon resources without interference from Russia by the construction of a pipeline that by-passed both Russia and Iran. The Bush administration which assumed office in 2001 had a radically different philosophy than its predecessor, and this study will examine how this philosophy grounded in both realism and an idealist approach to democracy promotion as a tool of national security defined policy towards the Caspian region. The Bush national security team took pride in its radical approach, finally abandoning the Cold War approach to international security. It was grounded in the perception that the international system was now going through the ‘unipolar’ moment as the United States had unrivalled economic, political, and military power. There was no room for ‘spheres of influence’ in that vision. But its worldview remained rooted in old-fashioned realism according to which states are the main actors in the international system. The main purpose of US foreign and security policy had to be to keep the United States secure in the face of the multiple dangers it faced. Political influence, economic leverage and military power were all instruments at the disposal of the United States government, but they were not to be used to prevent genocides or conduct nation-building elsewhere in the world. Instead they were solely to be used to defend the national interests of the United States. The Bush administration was not ready to deal with, or even recognise the importance of the ‘new wars’ that were emerging as the main threat to international security and stability. Terrorism and proliferation of WMD were recognised as significant threats, but these were seen as the consequence of the action of ‘rogue states’ rather than non-state actors. Bush wanted to reduce US responsibilities abroad and focus on the US national interest rather than support efforts to build global collective security. He signalled that he was not going to get involved in further attempts to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict, Northern Ireland or any sort of nation-building in crisis regions,

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although this philosophy did not survive the challenges that it encountered during its first term. The initial focus of the security policy of the Bush administration was on National Missile Defence, even though it was uncertain whether a strategically significant system would ever materialise. The main challenges to the United States were perceived to emanate from China and Russia. 52 At the same time, there was an idealist element to Bush’s approach to foreign policy that did not sit easily with its realist themes. He declared the promotion of political freedom as part of ‘America’s destiny’ and proclaimed the ‘great and guiding goal: to turn this time of American influence into generations of democratic peace’.53 The new strategic outlook and the general tendency to eschew international regimes and depend on unilateral or bilateral arrangements, to rely on the overwhelming military power of the United States and neglect soft power exhibited itself first of all in arms control and nuclear policy, but then extended to other areas of international security. While Bush himself was inclined to reduce US global responsibilities, a different impulse came from the so-called neo-conservatives and their supporters in the government, such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Donald Rumsfeld. They advocated a form of hegemonist realism and using US military power to constrain ‘rogue states’ and bring about either regime change or at a minimum a fundamental change in the behaviour of these regimes which were seen as posing a threat to international security and US interests. ‘Rogue states’ that sponsored terrorists and sought to acquire weapons of mass destruction were described as an ‘axis of evil’. The neo-conservatives believed that these states could either be coerced to move towards conformity with international norms or even be replaced by democratic governments.54 When the Bush administration took office, the fight against international terrorism was not given a high priority. Efforts by the counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke, who was first appointed to this position in 1998, to get the administration to take the threat from Al Qaeda seriously, fell on deaf ears as National Security Adviser Rice pursued National Missile Defence and Deputy Defence Secretary Wolfowitz was obsessed with Iraq. While it is impossible to say with certainty whether the US government could have prevented the attacks of 11 September

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2001, it is nevertheless clear that it seriously underestimated the threat. 55 The determined response to 9–11 was in many respects decisive and impressive. The building of an international coalition, persuading Pakistan to reverse its previous policies and become a crucial partner in the battle against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the world-wide anti-terrorist effort and the defeat of the Taliban and the reorganisation of homeland security were all significant steps forward. Unfortunately there has not been the same determination and commitment to support the rebuilding of the Afghan state, so that the threat of instability in the region persists. Indeed, the administration explicitly rejected the notion that it should get involved in nation-building. Although the Bush administration adopted a confrontational approach to so-called ‘nuclear threshold powers’ such as North Korea, Iraq and Iran, it could be argued that it was fairly lackluster in its pursuit of non-proliferation, even as the threat of nuclear terrorism loomed. The fundamental commitment to non-proliferation regimes, building down nuclear arsenals through strategic arms control, the strategic relationship with the Russian Federation, the preservation of the ABM Treaty, the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the strengthening of the nuclear taboo that characterised the strategic policy of the Clinton administration was largely abandoned. The Bush administration rejected the basic premise of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that the objective of nuclear non-proliferation should be the creation of an equitable global regime that would reduce the significance of nuclear weapons and create conditions for their eventual elimination. Its proposed deal with India regarding nuclear co-operation was criticised for violating the norms of the NPT by co-operation with an illicit nuclear weapons state. It would be incorrect to describe the underlying philosophy of the Bush administration’s philosophy as purely realist. It was rather an uneasy and incoherent combination of realism and idealism. Like the Clinton administration, the Bush team espoused the liberal democratic peace theory and saw the spread of democracy and human rights as a central goal of foreign policy. But it was based on a firm belief in the anarchic nature of the international system, the primacy of the national interest supported by military and economic power and the rejection of the idea that the United States

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should be responsible for taking a lead in establishing global collective security. The study will examine how the fundamental approach of the Bush administration to foreign policy affected its policy towards the Caspian region. In particular, it will look at how the fundamental goal of democracy promotion related to the perception of US national interests and how these competing factors accounted for the policy outcomes that ensued. Subsequently the study will look at the trajectory of US policy towards the region during the Obama administration. Organisational Behaviour and Decision-Making Theories Considering the role of ideas in the formulation of foreign policy is also based on the assumptions that states are rational actors. In foreign policy analysis models of decision-making have been developed that question the rational expectations theories that are at the root of system level theories of international relations. A pioneering study by Graham Allison on the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis Essence of Decision proposed three alternative models for the study of decision-making: The rational actor model, the organisational behaviour model and the governmental politics model.56 The rational actor model is based on the assumption that governments are the primary actor in foreign policy, that they set a series of goals based on their assessment of the national interest and then devise policies to achieve them. The organisational behaviour model is based on the observation that the bureaucratic organisation of governments places limits on and influences the implementation of policy to the extent of sometimes determining the final outcome. Organisational processes, based on set procedures and previous experience are used to implement policy. In a crisis, due to time and resource limitations, governments do not necessarily examine all possible courses of actions, but often settle on the first proposal that seems to deal with the issue. Often there is no holistic approach to a problem, but different parts of the bureaucracy are responsible for different aspects and deal with it in accordance to established processes and the bureaucratic culture of the organisation rather than in terms of the overall desired outcome. Allison and Zelikow articulate this in terms of the ‘organisational behaviour paradigm’. Its main propositions

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are that ‘existing organised capabilities influence government choice’, ‘organisational priorities shape organisational implementation’, ‘implementation reflects previously established routines’ and this is characterised by ‘limited flexibility and incremental change’.57 The third model introduced by Allison and Zelikow is called the governmental politics model. It acknowledges that the government is not necessarily a unitary actor, but that differences of interests and points of view exist within a government and that government behaviour therefore can be understood as the outcome of bargaining games. The players include different elements of the governmental bureaucracy, different branches of government (in the US case this refers primarily to the administration and Congress), and outside players such as NGOs, lobby organizations and various stakeholders such as industry. The goals pursued by individual players can be their conception of the national interest, the parochial interests of their own organisation, or personal. Consequently the outcome of the bargaining processes may be more reflective of the interests of the players involved and foreign policy may not necessarily be designed to serve the interests of the state, but rather to serve the political interests of sections of the government or other vested interests in society and be wholly unrelated to the national interest in foreign policy.58 There is no doubt that the organisational behaviour model and the governmental politics model can be used to develop a rich narrative to explain the foreign policy of the United States. The interaction between different parts of the government bureaucracy (eg. State Department, Department of Defense, armed services, Department of Energy, Congress) frequently produces unintended outcomes that defeat the policy objectives of some or all of the parties involved. One prominent example is the loss of the strategic relationship with Uzbekistan, which is discussed in more detail below. An analysis of organisation behaviour therefore will form part of any analysis and narrative of US foreign policy. The United States and the Caspian Region The disintegration of the Soviet Union caught the United States foreign policy establishment by surprise. For decades the whole of the USSR had been viewed through the prism of the Cold War confrontation, where

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Central Asia played a marginal role. As the Soviet empire unravelled, the attention of American policymakers was on the implications of this process for international security. In particular they focused on the fate of the nuclear weapons deployed throughout Soviet territory and the end of the large conventional confrontation in Central Europe. With the exception of Kazakhstan where significant space and nuclear assets were based, the South Caucasus and Central Asia did not attract the attention of US policymakers and indeed cannot be said to have been an object of US foreign policy. The Clinton administration pursued a vigorous ‘Russia First’ policy led by Strobe Talbott in the State Department. The Department of Defense was driven by strategic arms reductions and co-operative threat reduction (providing for the safe and secure dismantlement of nuclear weapons and strategic missiles) which reinforced these priorities. Washington accepted Russian dominance in the former Soviet space. As conflicts broke out in the former Soviet south the United States government accepted that Russia had to play a leading role in dealing with these conflicts. The most serious of these was the Tajik civil war, and the Clinton administration seemed to accept not only that Russia had to provide military forces to stop the fighting, but that Russia had ‘important major national interests in Tajikistan’ and that Russia’s intervention in Tajikistan was not part of ‘a conscious attempt to somehow recreate the Russian empire’.59 This was the most obvious illustration of the fact that the partnership between the US and Russia was central to US policy in the region and that Washington did not see a role for itself in providing regional stability and security. It recognised the pro-Russian government of Rakhmonov even though it believed that the 1994 Tajik elections were deeply flawed. Essentially Washington approved Russia’s military presence and dominance in Central Asia. This appears a fair judgment of the US approach even though in principle it was committed to support the independence of the former Soviet Republics. Sentence should read: The Co-operative Threat Reduction Program (1991) and the Freedom Support Act (1992) provided funding for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and the development and independence of these new countries. The State Department’s European Bureau was in charge of relations with the former Soviet republics. In Washington’s foreign policy community Central Asia

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did not receive any systematic attention for most of the 1990s. This leads to a hypothesis that will be explored in more detail, that in the absence of clearly articulated policy preferences throughout the bureaucracy, decision-making conformed more closely to the rational actor model and bureaucratic politics did not have much of an impact until 1997. The policy line of Strobe Talbott was not challenged until outside stakeholders as well as other parts of the bureaucracy (in particular the NSC and the Department of Energy) developed alternative policy preferences. Thus, in the second half of the 1990s the policy consensus in Washington began to change as a result of a debate in the American and policymaking community in which some leading figures such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and S. Fredrick Starr advocated a change in policy. The origins and nature of this debate will be examined in Chapter 3. Clearly some disillusionment with the US-Russian partnership had set in and there was a growing interest in Caspian energy resources. A speech by Strobe Talbott in 1997 set out a new policy direction.60 The consensus that emerged in Washington was that it was in the interest of the United States to weaken the dependence of Central Asian states on Russia, promote democracy and economic development, prevent the growth of Chinese influence in the region, exclude Iran from having any interactions with Central Asian countries and in particular prevent the transport of oil and gas through Iran, deal with transnational threats and promote multiple pipelines for Caspian oil and gas exports to reduce the dependence on the Russian pipeline network. The instruments of this policy were the Freedom Support Act and military co-operation through the NATO Partnership for Peace and various form of bilateral co-operation between the United States and Central Asian countries. One of the unexplained features of US policy towards the Caspian region is that one of the drivers of a change in policy seems to have been a growing enthusiasm for the potential of energy resources in the Caspian region. This enthusiasm gripped the US government and Congress, while independent analysts were universally scathing about the policy that emerged in 1997. This was because the industry estimated the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian region at a much lower level than the figure bandied around by the US government (200 billion barrels of oil). Moreover, the United States was not expected to import any oil or gas

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from the region directly, and as the total proportion of world reserves from the Caspian region amounted to about 1.1% it was not believed to have a significant impact on energy security or global prices. The BakuTbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which would allow oil from Azerbaijan to be transported to a Turkish port without going through either Russia or Iran, was perceived by experts (and by the oil companies) as a political project that was not justified commercially. The policy of the Bush administration was initially a continuation of its predecessor’s, but with a reduced interest in engaging with Central Asia. This changed quite radically as a consequence of 9–11. Afghanistan became the first theatre of the ‘global war against terror’ and the Central Asian states had suddenly become frontline states.61 Consequently relations with Central Asian states were given high priority. In order to support American forces during ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ the United States obtained the right to base its forces in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Uzbekistan became the key ally in the region. Although Russia grudgingly accepted the US military presence in Central Asia, it was clear that this was quite an alarming development from Moscow’s point of view. Both Russia and China stressed repeatedly that they viewed the US military presence in Central Asia as a temporary situation and exerted some pressure for time limits on the basing of US forces in the region. The Bush administration reviewed its policy towards Central Asia as the case of Afghanistan had demonstrated that leaving the region to its own devices was not in the US interest. Even small and failed states were capable of generating threats to the security of the United States homeland. Regional stability within Central Asia became a central concern for the United States as it sought to engage with the region to combat terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, drug-trafficking and other transnational crime. The overthrow of the Taliban contributed greatly to the security of the region, and the routing of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan dealt with a serious terrorism threat until the resurgence of the Taliban in 2004. US support for military training in Central Asian states, counter-terrorism and border security increased significantly from 2002 onwards. This situation presented a significant opportunity for the United States, because it was suddenly in the position of being regarded by the Central

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Asian states as their major security guarantor. Given that China was not in a position and not inclined to play such a role, and Russia had repeatedly reneged on promises to provide serious support for counter-terrorism and had resolved the Tajikistan conflict in a manner which conflicted with the national interests of Uzbekistan, the Central Asian states welcomed the involvement of the United States (albeit with caution because of Russia’s reaction). US specialists such as Stephen Blank perceived this as a strategic competition with Russia, with the United States displacing Russian influence of the South Caucasus and Central Asia.62 However US policy towards the region after the fall of the Taliban faced some major contradictions. The first of these was that the American commitments to Central Asian security remained vague and for this reason the Central Asian states eventually considered them to be less reliable than those of Russia. The official position was that the United States did not seek permanent bases in Central Asia, but required access to regional facilities as part of long-term security relationships and for undefined future contingencies. Thus it remained unclear at what point Central Asian states would come under sufficient pressure from Russia and China to seek an end to the US military presence. At the same time it remained uncertain how reliable a partner Washington would be in the face of threats to the regimes. Indeed, as the United States was officially committed to the promotion of democracy and human rights in the region, it became apparent that the US itself might pose a threat to the survival of the regimes. These tensions that were implicit in US policy were exacerbated by pressure from NGOs and Congress to take a more aggressive stance on human rights in the region, especially with regard to Uzbekistan. The ‘colour revolutions’ which brought about the fall of governments in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan were portrayed by Russia as US interference in the region and raised anxieties in Central Asia. As will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 4, it was true that the United States was engaged in the promotion of democracy in those countries, but not in a manner or on a scale that could account for the ‘colour revolutions’ which were spontaneous political uprisings against authoritarian governments. Nevertheless, this perception of the US role affected relations between the United States government and those governments in the region that managed to resist the popular pressure for greater

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democracy. Consequently relations between the United States and Uzbekistan in particular deteriorated and led to a fundamental re-evaluation on the part of President Islam Karimov. His efforts to renegotiate the terms of the lease of the base and obtain more solid security guarantees from the United States failed.63 There was no substantial foreign investment in the Uzbek economy, and as Washington became consumed by the war in Iraq Defence Secretary Rumsfeld gave lesser priority to the bases in Central Asia. As the Bush administration failed to engage in a sustained effort to develop the relationship with Uzbekistan, the human rights criticisms from outside the administration increased. The suppression in the Uzbek town of Andijon on 12–13 May 2005 was widely seen in the West as a massacre of unarmed civilians by Uzbek security forces. The US and the European Union demanded an international investigation and the United States took measures to ensure that Uzbeks who had fled the scene to Kyrgyzstan would not be extradited. For Karimov, this was the final straw and he decided to return to Russia as the guarantor of Uzbekistan’s security. On 29 July 2005 Uzbekistan formally required the United States to leave the Khanabad airbase within 180 days. Consequently many of the gains the United States achieved in Central Asia in the immediate aftermath of 9–11 were lost. The Bush administration tried to minimise the damage by strengthening other bilateral relationships, especially with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. US Secretary of State Rice described Kazakhstan as a regional leader and the US doubled the payments to Kyrgyzstan in order to ensure the continued use of the Ganci air base. Co-operation with Tajikistan on border security and law enforcement was intensified. There was also a renewed effort to engage Turkmenistan after the death of President Niyazov at the end of 2006, with various visits by State Department’s chief Caspian advisor, Stephen Mann to Ashgabat, in order to explore options for US energy companies to invest in Turkmen gas production. But there was no longer a coherent policy towards the region, and US objectives and engagement in the region were ambiguous. President Obama entered office with the expectation of a fundamental change in US foreign policy, with greater participation in multilateral efforts and a shift of emphasis from military to diplomatic instruments, or hard power to soft power. This expectation manifested itself in the

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unexpected award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama. However, the Obama administration was from the outset constrained by the reality that the global financial crisis and the enormous financial losses in the US economy meant that the resources available to underpin US foreign policy were far more limited. In other words, at the very time when the new administration sought to enhance its soft power, it no longer had the instruments do so. In addition, the Obama administration soon embroiled itself in a supreme domestic political struggle over health care which consumed much of its attention. On the foreign policy front, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan loomed large. Policy towards Central Asia was therefore quickly subordinated to the need to solve the problem of Afghanistan as expeditiously as possible. The appointment of Richard Morningstar as Special Envoy for Eurasian energy, who had served in a similar capacity in the Clinton administration, signalled that there would be a continuity of policy. In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs) Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George A. Krol emphasized US interest in promoting stability, prosperity, security, human rights and economic and political reform in Central Asia. Relations with the region were designed to meet a range of critical challenges, from energy security to nuclear non-proliferation and counter-narcotics. He listed five main policy priorities in Central Asia; 1. ‘We seek to expand co-operation with Central Asian states to assist Coalition efforts to defeat extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan and bring stability and prosperity to the region... 2. We seek to increase development and diversification of the region’s energy resources and supply routes... 3. We seek to encourage political liberalisation and respect for human rights... 4. We seek to foster competitive market economies and encourage economic reform... 5. We seek to prevent state failure.’64 The fact the Krol devoted so much time to the question ‘Why is Central Asia important to the U.S.?’, a statement mirrored in the most recent CRS

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report by Jim Nichol on Central Asia, is an indication of the fact that the answer to this question is by no means self-evident.65 His statement also makes it clear that given Obama’s policy to implement a new counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, with additional troops and a (perhaps flexible) timetable for departure, this issue dominates US policy towards the region. When discussing the steps the United States is taking to achieving its goals in the region, Krol had little of substance to report. The only thing that was new were new mechanisms for annual high-level bilateral consultations. The first of these took place in December 2009 with a visit of Uzbek Foreign Minister Nirov to Washington. But the statement contained no substantive new initiatives. While Krol referred to a comprehensive assistance program to deal with food insecurity in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, no specific promises in relation to funding were made. In other words, the administration declared its aspirations and not much more. One clear priority emerging from the testimony is the establishment of improved transport links in what is being called the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), but the main purpose of this initiative is to relieve logistical pressure on US forces in Afghanistan close to Pakistan. Sharp criticism came from two outside experts, Stephen Blank and Martha Olcott, both recognised academic scholars with expertise in the region. Blank summarised his view of the Obama administration’s policy in the following terms: ‘The Administration has apparently opted to forego public discussion of the region’s democratic deficits as it has also done with Russia and China, in my opinion, a wrong decision even if it is an understandable one. Likewise, there does not seem to be any strong push by senior officials above the Ambassadorial level to get Central Asian energy moving through Nabucco or other pipeline plans offered by the EU. Even if the EU and not the US is the author of the Nabucco pipeline, surely the stakes involved here are such that we should be moving openly and vigorously to support it, line up financing for it, and convince Central Asian governments to commit to it by giving them assurances that they will not suffer negative consequences for so doing. Also there is no public sign of awareness of the seriousness of the region’s energy, water, and environmental issues or any truly strong push for enhanced US trade and investment programs to counter the Russian and

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Chinese quests for lasting influence here. In other words our Afghanistan strategy appears to remain incomplete, an Af-Pak (Pakistan) strategy rather than an overall regional strategy that embraces the entire region and sees all of its dimensions in their true strategic importance.’66

Blank’s critique is a fair summary both of the Obama administration’s words and deeds. Just like its predecessor, it voices support for the Nabucco pipeline which is designed to connect the European Union to gas sources in Central Asia and the Middle East to lessen dependence on Russia, but the project has been delayed due to the lack of any serious diplomatic action or funds. Blank’s testimony goes into great detail about the nature of the authoritarian leadership of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and he is also critical of Kyrgyzstan and to a lesser extent of Kazakhstan which it sees as the only state in the region making progress. In general Blank takes the view that US policy in the region has largely failed and that the situation in all of the Caspian states with the exception of Kazakhstan has worsened. Indeed, he considers these states to be close to being failed states. But as we have already discussed, the efforts of the United States to promote political reform have failed because of the stubborn resistance of the elites in the region, and the fact that the United States lacks the instruments to overcome it. In other words, the alternatives to the current policy are even worse and it is unclear how they would serve the national interests of the United States. This view is also supported by Martha Olcott’s testimony to the subcommittee: ‘In general the U.S. has found few effective levers to use to try and speed up the process of democracy building in the region, which overall has had at least as many setbacks as successes in the past eight years.’67

Blank is also exaggerating the extent to which Russia and China have enhanced their influence in the region. Despite sustained efforts by Presidents Putin and Medvedev, as we have previously seen in the analysis of the security organisations in the former Soviet space, Caspian states continue to resist these efforts to be bound into a Russian dominated security system. Again, Martha Olcott concurs with the author’s analysis:

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introduction: us national security and the caspian region 25 ‘...the limits of Russia’s ability to reassert its economic and military power in the region seem to have been reached, although the Kremlin itself may still be having difficulty accepting this. Moscow has tried to expand the functions of the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) to make it parallel to NATO in importance, but has not been able to turn its proposed Rapid Reaction Force into a regional multinational force able to engage in anything like the range of activities that NATO is capable of pursuing. While Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan all participate in the CSTO, Tashkent has effectively frozen its membership, by passing legislation which bars the Uzbek military from participating in military activities outside the borders of the country. The reason for this, Tashkent’s conviction that Russia plans to use its new CSTO base in Osh to regulate the internal developments in CSTO member states, rather than the mutual defence functions that the organization was designed to regulate. Russia’s economic position in the region has also been weakened largely because of the global economic crisis, which brought with it lower oil and gas prices, and tough choices for the formerly cash rich Russian government. The new customs union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, set to be introduced in the first half of 2010, is more a sign of the competitive weakness of these economies rather than their economic strengths.’68

The ability of the Obama administration to engage with the Caspian states is also affected by the trajectory of its military presence which is likely to lead to a substantially reduced deployment from 2014. The Central Asian states have become acutely aware of the fact that the United States is getting ready to leave. This creates a significant degree of uncertainty with respect to the future of military co-operation and the role of the United States in the security of the region. The Bush administration, in the aftermath of 9–11, could make a plausible case that there was a high degree of congruence between the security interests of the United States and the Central Asian states, although this was mitigated by the shift of focus to Iraq and the collapse of the security partnership with Uzbekistan in 2005. But in future the states in the region will be concerned about their border security, criminal trade, incursions from Afghanistan and what kind of relations they will have with that country.

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Research Questions and Methodology The theme of this study is US policy towards the Caucasus and Central Asia (also referred to as the Caspian region). US declaratory policy towards the Caspian/Central Asian region was based on a set of normative principles, namely to promote democracy and human rights, encourage economic development, promote political stability and conflict resolution and prevent the rise of political Islam. Over and against that there are two distinct sets of interests. On the one hand there are the interests of national security which include projecting US influence in the region, limiting Russian and especially Iranian influence, prevent political instability and conflict, and combating terrorism. On the other hand there are the interests in energy security. The main research question is: How can we account for US policy toward the Caspian region since the dissolution of the Soviet Union? The starting point is declaratory US policy, and the existing literature which variously attributes US policy to geopolitics (rivalry with Russia over influence in the region and limiting Iranian influence), the ‘war on terror’, and the energy reserves in the region (including the commercial interests of US energy companies). From a theoretical perspective, neo-realism, constructivism and the bureaucratic politics model generate different concepts with regard to US foreign policy. The neo-realist approach will explain the policy outcomes on the basis of the United States as a major power and regional hegemon which seeks to prevent the hegemony of another major power as a means to pursue both national security and economic interests. The study will test the governmental politics model of decision-making against rational actor models such as neo-realism and constructivism. In this context, the research seeks to answer the following questions: How was US policy towards the Caspian region formulated and articulated? How was the US national interest in the region assessed and by whom? To what extent was the declaratory policy implemented and why? What was the role of various agencies of the US government and US Congress in determining policy towards the region? How important were Caspian energy reserves in the assessment of US national interests?

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This study will consider US policy towards the Caspian and the South Caucasus on the basis of both the rational actor model and the bureaucratic politics model, and test the hypotheses that are generated by those approaches. In terms of the rational actor model, we will consider two fundamentally distinct theoretical approaches that yield quite different hypotheses. A neo-realist approach would explain US policy towards the region as a geopolitical power game between the major powers. In neo-realist theory, the fundamental purpose that governs the behaviour of states is the maximisation of relative power. According to John Mearsheimer, one of the operational state goals that emanate from this is that Great Powers seek regional hegemony. He posits that global hegemony is not feasible due to the difficulty of projecting power across oceans to the extent of being able to conquer and dominate regions separated from it by great bodies of water. But nevertheless according to the theory of offensive realism, Great Powers seek to not only dominate their own region, but also prevent other Great Powers from achieving hegemony in their own regions. This could explain US policy towards the region from 1997 onwards, where limiting Russian influence and preventing Russian hegemony over the near abroad was clearly a central goal. At the same time there was clearly no serious attempt to establish US hegemony, so this seems to fit in rather well with the offensive realist framework. It seems less relevant to the period from 1991–96 when the Clinton administration seemed to treat the former Soviet states as Russia’s sphere of influence. An analysis based on a constructivist approach produces an alternative narrative based on a rational actor model which sees US policy towards the region rooted in ideational factors. According to this, US behaviour in the region conforms to the policy objective of supporting the sovereignty and independence of the former Soviet states, prevent Russian interference in their affairs, undermine Russian efforts to control energy resources in the other Caspian states, promote economic development, democratisation and human rights. Again this policy did not take shape until 1997 and the earlier period has to be accounted for by the administration’s preoccupation with Russia and the safety and security of the strategic nuclear arsenal.

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The deficiency in the two approaches developed on the basis of a rational actor model is that they do not match the empirical evidence closely enough. Although there were efforts to support democracy and human rights, they remained limited and were, it seems, not pursued with sufficient determination.69 The offensive realist approach may not be sufficient to explain the empirical data because the degree of commitment of US engagement in the region was more limited than would be expected under this paradigm. Moreover, it raises the question about the national interests that were driving US policy in the region. There are several alternative hypotheses that suggest themselves from the existing secondary literature and the more general analysis of US foreign policy. One is that secure access to alternative energy supplies is the driving force of US policy in the region and that regional security and political stability are seen as requirements to ensure achievement of this objective. While this hypothesis is plausible to some extent in the context of US national interests generally, it seems inadequate to explain US policy overall. First of all, Caspian energy resources are not crucial, either to US, or even to global energy security, they require large investments to extract and their transport from landlocked countries is expensive. Secondly, the US itself is unlikely to import energy from the region. US interests in Caspian energy appear to be two-fold: The first is to assist US companies to get a significant share of the oil and gas assets in the region. Considerable diplomatic energy was devoted to this end, with rather mixed results. The second is that the dismal economic performance of the countries in the region would be transformed as a result of the successive exploitation of their energy resources, thus ensuring regional stability. At the same time the diversification of energy resources would make European countries less dependent on Russia and therefore enhance the energy security of America’s allies. An alternative hypothesis, which is more in conformity with a neo-realist approach to the analysis of US foreign policy would be that the United States seeks to maximise its influence in the region and exclude Russian and Chinese influence as much as possible in order to extend its influence, provide a beneficial environment for US companies especially in the energy sector and create a supportive environment for the war against terrorism and permit the continued containment of Iran. The corollary of the hypothesis is that the

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United States is willing to largely ignore human rights problems or the lack of democracy in Central Asian states. None of these hypotheses fully account for US foreign policy behaviour towards the region. While all of the various possible elements of US national interest identified above were articulated at various times, it remains unclear whether any of them were sufficient to sustain an engagement with the region or explain the empirical facts. In other words, rational actor models may not be adequate to account for US foreign policy towards the region. Instead, organisational behaviour and governmental politics models may provide a fuller picture. In particular, when the principal decision-makers have not established a clear direction of policy, especially in relation to issues that rank low among their priorities, governmental politics is likely to play a substantial role in explaining policy outcomes. The opposite can also be true – if there is a firm line of policy directed from the top, which increasingly comes into conflict with vested interests, and/or is perceived as not being in the national interests of the United States in various parts of the governmental bureaucracy, other political actors and outside experts and stakeholders, governmental politics may generate enough pressure to force a change in policy. The study will test the governmental politics model of decision-making against rational actor models such as neo-realism and constructivism. The neo-realist approach, as we have seen, will explain the policy outcomes on the basis of the United States as a major power and regional hegemon who seeks to prevent the hegemony of another major power as a means to pursue both national security and economic interests. The neo-realist approach, the constructivist approach and an analysis based on the governmental politics model of decision-making provide different explanations and responses to the research questions that are articulated in three different hypothesis respectively: Hypothesis I: US policy towards the Caspian region is another version of the ‘Great Game’, a powerplay of influence over their region, whereby the United States has sought to limit Russian influence over the region and support US business interests in the region, especially with respect to the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources.

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Hypothesis II: US policy was based on the principle of constructing a new world order after the Cold War on the basis of globalisation, democratisation, and human rights. Hypothesis III: US policy was the result of governmental politics, conflicting interests within the bureaucracy and lobbying from outside interest groups such as the oil industry and NGOs.

The study is based on empirical research of the events in question, looking at key events and actors using official records, government publications including congressional records, news articles and interviews with key individuals. It will test these hypotheses in light of the empirical evidence. The structure of the study is as follows: Chapter 2: The Geopolitics of the Region The chapter provides a survey of the geopolitical environment of the Caspian region, assesses the interests of the major players and provides the context in which US policy towards the region is shaped. Chapter 3: Engaging with the Caspian Region – US National Interests in the Post-Soviet Era In the early years the Clinton administration was pursuing a ‘Russia First’ policy designed to promote the integration of Russia into the international community and ensure the safety and security of nuclear weapons in the former Soviet space. In the years 1996/97 US policy towards the region underwent a notable shift. This was motivated by a range of different concerns, such as the potential for conflict and instability, Russia’s hegemonic role in the region, the emergence of international terrorism and the growing interest in oil and gas reserves in the Caspian. There was public commitment to the spreading of democracy and various norms and values, such as the norms that govern international relations, the rule of law and respect for human rights. In practice, however, such a policy was extremely difficult to implement in view of the realities of the post-Soviet world and would have required a political commitment and resources far beyond what the US government was able to muster. This chapter will focus on how US policy was formed and seeks to explain the shift from a benign neglect of

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the Caspian region to a more active engagement. The interaction between ‘energy security’ and traditional ‘national security’ interests is puzzling because much of this shift focused on energy policy, i.e. the construction of multiple pipelines and support for US companies seeking to invest in oil and gas production in the Caspian, and yet in the academic discourse the focus is on security as industry experts considered the impact of Caspian hydrocarbon resources marginal to US interests. The chapter analyses the relations between the politics of pipelines in the region and US national security policy and develops a coherent explanation for US policy. Chapter 4: US Policy towards the Caspian Region: The Security Dimension This chapter provides a more detailed analysis of US security policy in the Caspian region, focusing specifically on co-operative threat reduction, US policy towards the different conflict regions (Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan), US military engagement with the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia and international terrorism. It discusses the various instruments of US policy (military co-operation and training, the NATO Partnership for Peace programme) and assesses the extent and effectiveness of US military engagement in the region. It assesses support for political and economic reform as a strategy to enhance the security of the region and discusses the criticisms that democracy and human rights were ignored in order to promote shorter term security interests. Chapter 5: The United States and Energy Resources in the Caspian Region Chapter 5 looks in some detail at the involvement of the US government in the development of Caspian energy resources, its support for US companies in negotiations with regional countries and the development of alternative pipeline routes for the export of Caspian oil. It assesses the significance of Caspian energy resources for US energy security and assesses the relative significance of energy and security for US policy towards the region in the Clinton administration. This chapter will analyse the policy of the Bush administration towards the development of oil and gas in the region and look at the contemporary issues relating to energy security, energy transport (especially US attitudes to TransCaspian pipeline projects) and will assess the various factors that account for US policy towards the region in the Bush period.

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2 The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region The geopolitics of the Caspian Region was an important factor in shaping US policy as it was the basis for defining the national interest involved and the objectives of US policy. The region itself is only of marginal significance for US interests – it is remote from Europe and the United States itself, and the Central Asian states are economically weak and they have no significant military potential. While the hydrocarbon resources of the region fuelled the imagination of policymakers and industry, they are marginal to US energy security, as will be demonstrated in more detail in Chapter 5. Nevertheless the region has become the focus of interest by other powers, especially Russia, Turkey, Iran and China giving rise to a geopolitical dynamic that affects US interests. The United States clearly has an interest in the outcome of geopolitical rivalries in the region and the prevention and resolution of conflicts that could spill over into other regions. More importantly, since 9–11 the region has become more central to US security policy as a focus of the global war on terror. This chapter first provides an analysis of the policies of the main external powers towards the region, their interests, their role in the region and the impact on regional security. The main focus is on the role of Russia as the major power that lays claim to the region as part of its sphere of influence, but China, Turkey and Iran and the European Union are also considered. In this context the chapter analyses the efforts to establish collective security regimes through regional security organisations. On the basis of this analysis the main security issues of concern to the United States and the potential role for US engagement in the region are identified. 33

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The events of 11 September 2001 and the war in Afghanistan have fundamentally affected the Caspian region where multiple threats to peace and stability exist. The lack of economic development, the inequality of wealth and the level of poverty in Central Asia are the principal threats to state security and contribute to the potential for ethnic and regional conflict. The region possesses significant mineral wealth and the potential contribution of energy and other natural resources to economic development is therefore fundamental to public policy and the interests of the state. The geopolitics of the region which has been in Russia’s sphere of influence have been affected by the removal of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the shift of terrorism to the centre of the international security agenda and the direct involvement of the United States in the region.1 The involvement of outside powers, including the United States, the European Union, China and Turkey and the effect of their policies on the security of the region is influenced by the prospects for the development of energy resources: the transport of energy, the removal of threats to security (including terrorism), and inasmuch as energy can provide economic stability, it also provides security to the region (although rivalry over competing claims to natural resources or access to transit routes can also be a source of conflict). The international system at the beginning of the 21st century has been characterised by the simultaneous processes of globalisation and regionalisation, by the shift from global power politics to geo-economics, the decline of Great Power rivalry and the emergence of regional conflicts and international terrorism.2 The tragic events of 11 September 2001 have focused attention on the countries at the southern periphery of the former Soviet Union. They lie in the strategic juncture between two major powers with nuclear arsenals, Russia and China, and at the interface between Russia and the Islamic world.3 This position and their rich natural resources, as exemplified in the energy resources of the Caspian region, define the strategic environment for these new states and their population of over 55 million people.4 The international system in the southern region of the former Soviet Union is now in flux and is being shaped by the following factors:

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1. International terrorism is now at the centre of the international security agenda. The involvement of major powers, especially the United States, in the region is likely for the foreseeable future. States are now competing for US military and financial support. Terrorism also has a substantial and lasting impact on the energy industry and the energy resources of the Caspian region in particular.5 2. Russia hitherto considered Central Asia to be in its sphere of national interest. This policy was directed at preserving Russian interests, such as border security, the interests of ethnic Russians and economic assets, including control over energy resources, while keeping out potential rivals such as China, Turkey, Iran or the United States. This policy has not been abandoned, but the US presence in the region marks a shift that could presage a more significant long-range geopolitical change. Limited resources and the insistence by Caspian countries on their own independence and sovereignty constrains Russian hegemonic ambitions.6 3. In spite of such developments on the international front, the main threat to regional stability is internal – economic and political. On the economic front, the lack of economic development and the economic downturn since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the resulting social problems are significant. On the political front, the internal ethnic and political tensions in states whose identities and institutions have not found new form since the Soviet collapse play an important role. By 1998 religious extremism came to be perceived as a serious threat to the stability of Central Asian states. In 1999 a number of bombs exploded in Tashkent in a determined albeit failed attempt to kill President Karimov. Since 1999 the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) has periodically engaged in terrorist activities in the Ferghana valley and beyond, and although the IMU lost its base in Afghanistan and its leader was killed in 2001 unrest continued, as evidenced by bombings in Bukhara and Tashkent in 2003 and the Andijon incident in 2005.7 The IMU found refuge in the tribal regions of Pakistan (the Federally Administered Tribal Areas - FATA) and lost their capacity to launch further actions in Uzbekistan, especially when in 2007 the local tribal leaders in Pakistan turned against all the so-called ‘foreign fighters’ as the result

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of an agreement with the Pakistani government.8 The Ferghana valley has been a focus of conflict between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic due to the civil conflict in Tajikistan, disputes over water resources and the drug trafficking from Afghanistan into the other Newly Independent States. The failure of the Caspian governments to effectively promote economic and political development and prevent substantial economic and social dislocation needs to be addressed if the influence of Islamic groups is to be mitigated.9 4. Economic performance and governmental economic policies are crucially important for the Caspian Sea region when estimating the dynamics of human development opportunities. Economic growth (insofar as it is based on the development of mineral resources) would not in itself guarantee better living standards, a greater number of choices or a more secure existence for the majority of the population. Nevertheless it is a necessary pre-condition for all these factors. The average per capita GNP is $726 per annum, placing the region in the ranks of the least developed countries. The principal question for the government is vision, willingness and ability to utilise this pre-condition (mineral wealth), and to what end.10 5. Poverty and inequality are multidimensional phenomena, which affect all Eurasian economies. The substantial deterioration of the economic situation in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union was accompanied by the systematic asset stripping by political elites. The rent-seeking behaviour is crucially related to the high share of primary exports (such as oil and gas), the high level of corruption, the development of the narcotics trade, and high unemployment, which will all have a significant impact on the future of the region. Thus there is a clear link between economics and security. 6. The control over the energy and other natural resources in the region is a critical factor in the international relations of this new regional subsystem of states. The governments of the Caspian Sea Region which are in charge of resource rich-countries are facing two major issues: how much of the income from the development of natural resources should they spend on the present generation and how much to save for the future; and how to adjust government spending

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in order to cushion the domestic economy from the unpredictable variations in oil prices and revenue.11 The geopolitical environment of the Caspian region is important for an analysis of US policy towards the region because it provides the context in which it was formulated, the constraints imposed and the incentives for US involvement in the region. In the next section, we will take a closer look at the evolution of Russian policy towards the region, and subsequently consider the role of other important regional actors. Russian Security Policy at the Southern Periphery When the Soviet Union was dissolved, the Russian leadership under Boris Yeltsin had not given much thought to the role of Central Asia in the post-Soviet world. Indeed, the Central Asian states were not party to the agreement and did not seek independence. Given the economic dependence of the Central Asian region on the Soviet state, the political elites in the Central Asian region preferred the status quo, although they accepted the inevitable and began the process of state-building once the Soviet Union ceased to exist. In the first two years of independence the Russian Federation was focused on developing its relations with the West. The Russian government with Acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar shared a consensus that Central Asia was not reforming politically or economically, and that it would be an unaffordable drain on the Russian economy, which was suffering serious difficulties in any case.12 Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev’s emphasis on relations with the West was accompanied by a neglect of relations with the other former Soviet republics, the disintegration of the ex-Soviet military and the severance of economic links between the newly independent states. In the face of the disintegration of the Soviet armed forces and the outbreak of conflicts in various parts of the former Soviet space, Russia sought to establish a collective security regime by means of the Tashkent Treaty signed in May 1992. There were two fundamental reasons why the Tashkent Treaty could not provide the basis for collective security. The first lay in the imbalance of power. The armed forces of the nonRussian former Soviet republics, especially the Central Asian states, had

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dwindled to a small remnant and most states (with the notable exception of Uzbekistan) were unwilling to invest significant resources in the military. Given that Russia had to supply the bulk of the forces for any significant crisis intervention, no action could be expected unless it was considered to be in Russia’s interest and Russia was willing to bear the economic and human burden of such an intervention. Secondly, there were no institutions in place that could guarantee or monitor the impartiality of any such intervention. The danger for the non-Russian states was that crisis intervention would become a tool for the promotion of Russian political interests throughout the former Soviet space. The non-Russian states found themselves in the paradoxical position that the guarantor of their security was also the greatest potential threat to their security (i.e. the Russian Federation) as the armed forces became a principal tool in ensuring the dominance of Russia’s influence throughout Eurasia.13 After the confrontation with the Congress of People’s Deputies in 1993, a foreign policy consensus emerged. Its main elements were that Russia’s main priority was to defend its national interests, even if this meant disagreement with the United States, that Russia was and should behave like a Great Power, that Russia should play a leading role in the former Soviet space and should form the nucleus of reintegration of the newly independent states. The Foreign Policy Concept that was developed in a process overseen by Security Council Secretary Yuri Skokov and eventually approved by President Yeltsin stated: In the emerging new system of international relations, the Russian Federation, despite the crisis it is experiencing, remains a great power in terms of its potential, its influence on world events and the responsibility it bears as a result of this. It is responsible … for the creation of a new system of positive relations among the states that used to make up the Soviet Union, and it is the guarantor of the stability of these relations.14

In September 1995 President Yeltsin issued a decree on military and economic integration in the CIS.15 Although there was a consensus on the principle of integration, there was no agreement or even a clear articulation of ‘what the concept “integration” should mean.’ There was also

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no understanding of how general objectives would be achieved by way of practical policy. The public discourse in Russia during the Yeltsin period indicated a range of security concerns. The inner-CIS borders remain unprotected and therefore Russia’s external border was in practice, although not de jure, the border of the former Soviet Union. For this reason Russia’s national defence relies on forward bases and the protection of the borders of the former Soviet space. In particular Russia was concerned about antiRussian forces penetrating the region from Afghanistan, as the Taliban took control over most of the country.16 Although there was no ‘war of dissolution’ of the Soviet Union as there was in the former Yugoslavia, nevertheless there was considerable potential for conflict in the newly independent states given the sheer diversity of ethnic groupings across the former Soviet space, the arbitrary nature of the borders of the former republics which proved to be a serious obstacle to nation-building and the historic rivalries between some of the nationalities in the region.17 Although such conflicts were largely suppressed during the Soviet period, some, like the confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh started to escalate in the final years before the Soviet Union was dissolved. In the initial years of the post-Soviet period, several major violent conflicts broke: the civil war in Tajikistan, the secession of Transdniestra from Moldova, as well as South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan had already erupted during the last years of the Soviet period. The Russian Foreign Ministry pursued a policy of strict non-intervention.18 The reluctance to get involved in these conflicts manifested itself in the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Azerbaijan. For the Russian military this position soon became untenable as it saw itself in the line of fire. In Tajikistan the 201st Motorized Rifle Division took over the functions of controlling the border with Afghanistan and maintaining security in the capital Dushanbe, and essentially fought on the side of Hissar and Kulyab clans to maintain the Rakhmonov government in power.19 This situation presented a dilemma for the US government. On the one hand it opposed Russia’s use of armed force to promote its interests in Central Asia. On the other hand the civil war in Tajikistan required military intervention due to the escalation of the violence that threatened

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to turn Tajikistan into a failed state, and only Russia had the resources and the political to will to do so. The official position of the US government was unsatisfactory, consisting of a mild condemnation of Russia’s action and the refusal to give Russia authority to engage in peace enforcement in the region either through the OSCE or the United Nations, without offering any alternatives.20 In March 1993 President Yeltsin laid claim to Russia’s role as the guardian of security in the former Soviet space: Stopping all armed conflicts on the territory of the former USSR is Russia’s vital interest... I believe the time has come for distinguished international organizations, including the UN, to grant Russia special powers as a guarantor of peace and stability in the region of the former USSR.21

From 1993 onwards there was a more pro-active policy of selective engagement in conflicts in the former Soviet Union in order to promote conflict resolutions on Russian terms. This became particularly obvious in the case of Abkhazia, where the involvement of Russian armed forces placed great pressure on the government of Georgia, and in the case of Tajikistan where the Ministry of Defence used its forces to promote Russia’s favoured outcome to the conflict.22 Over the next three years the Russian military leadership promoted a limited reintegration of the former Soviet space. The main elements of this were a unified air defence system which was implemented by way of bilateral agreements, forward basing of Russian armed forces in strategic locations, involvement in peacekeeping and the defence of the external border of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).23 This was a differentiated form of engagement, with a focus on key strategic states (Kazakhstan, Georgia and Belarus) and heavily constrained by Russia’s lack of resources.24 Kazakhstan was significant because of its large Russian population25 and its strategic assets (the Baikonur spaceport in particular).26 On the whole it must be said that during the Yeltsin period Russia’s efforts to achieve greater integration with Central Asian states had very limited results. The structures of the Commonwealth of Independent States proved largely ineffective. Although a large number of agreements were signed, most of them were not implemented. Economic integration

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remained limited because Russia was unprepared to provide major subsidies to the Central Asian economies and various structural obstacles (such as tariff barriers, the exclusion of Central Asia from the rouble zone, the inability of enterprises to pay and the lack of a proper banking infrastructure).27 Political integration was constrained by the priority of Central Asian states given to nation building which meant maintaining some distance from Moscow in order to develop the highest degree of political sovereignty achievable. Military integration by means of peacekeeping and forward basing had limited success. Russia was very heavily engaged in Tajikistan. But Turkmenistan declared its neutrality and cut off its links with Russia to a large extent. Uzbekistan decided to leave the Tashkent Treaty and consequently the only Central Asian state where Russian forces were deployed was Tajikistan. Apart from security and economic co-operation generally, the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in the Caspian region constituted one of Russia’s vital interests. Just as powerful members of the Russian political elite wanted to maintain the Commonwealth of Independent States as Russia’s exclusive sphere of influence, the Russian energy policy establishment wanted to control the disposition of energy resources in the former Soviet space.28 Given that the Caspian states were landlocked and that Russia controlled the pipeline network Moscow was in a strong position to control the transport of energy to the West. This was used in a rather ruthless fashion primarily to limit the volume of oil exports from Kazakhstan, the major player in Caspian oil, as well as extracting transport fees and conducting swaps under favourable conditions. Given that Russia even without its share of the Caspian was a major global oil exporter, its main interest was to maximise its own exports and minimise the competition from Central Asian states. Consequently it used the dispute over the ownership of Caspian seabed resources as a means of inhibiting oil exploration by other Caspian states.29 But the Russian energy sector was not in a position to effectively compete with Western companies for a stake in the development of Caspian hydrocarbons. The battles for the privatisation of the Russian energy sector and the poor international standing of the industry made it very difficult to raise capital for major projects. The Russian energy industry had to cope with the breakdown and increasing obsolescence of its equipment, lack of funds for modernisation and

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declining production within Russia itself. Only after Yeltsin decreed in 1997 that instead of only 15% foreign companies could acquire a 100% stake in Russian oil companies did the investment climate improve.30 The Caspian states resented their dependence on Russian transport routes and sought to diversify. They were eager for Western capital, but the major international energy companies harboured serious reservations about the viability of commercial relations with Russian companies. Nevertheless the Russian energy industry did manage to get a foothold in the Caspian, especially with the 10% stake in the Azerbaijani oilfields acquired by Lukoil as part of the ‘deal of the century’ in 1994. Russia also was involved in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium which modernised the northern route (Baku-Novorossyisk) for Azerbaijani oil. It also made a deal with Turkmenistan on favourable terms for the transit of Turkmen gas across the Russian pipeline network to Europe and signed contracts for the development of Iranian gas fields. On the whole, the Russian position in the Caspian region was not very strong at the end of the Yeltsin period. There had been little investment in developing Russia’s own sector of the Caspian, and its stake in the other sectors was small by comparison with that acquired by international companies and China. The Caspian states resented their dependence on Russia’s pipelines, the limits this dependence placed on their ability to export energy and the unjust economic benefits Russia extracted for energy transit. Russia had not devoted any substantial resources to integrate the region, and was perceived as a declining power that could not be relied upon as a security guarantor and might well be a threat to national sovereignty and security itself.31 This is the reason why Central Asian states were so receptive to security co-operation with the United States.32 Central Asia received high priority in Russian Foreign Policy when Vladimir Putin arrived in the Kremlin.33 One of Putin’s main preoccupations in security policy was counter-terrorism. This was also high on the agenda for Central Asian states given that the Taliban were controlling most of Afghanistan, the civil war that had raged in Tajikistan and the operations of Islamic terrorists in various countries, including Uzbekistan in particular. Putin sought to bring greater coherence to Russian Foreign policy and eliminate the bureaucratic infighting so characteristic of the Yeltsin era by concentrating decision-making power in the security

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council presided over by Sergei Ivanov. The other big-ticket item on Putin’s agenda was to deal with the large corporate interests, especially in the field of energy such as Gazprom and Lukoil. Initially it appeared that foreign policy under Putin was guided by the principle of regularising Russia’s relations with the West in the aftermath of the serious disagreements over Kosovo and Chechnya in 1999 on a realistic, professional basis. Clear indications were the rapid progress towards the ratification of START II, a goal that had eluded Yeltsin for years, and the re-engagement with NATO through the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council which had been suspended in the wake of the war in Kosovo. As Ivanov was promoted to defence minister, the role of the Security Council was weakened. The coherence of the Russian foreign policy establishment was further undermined when Putin made the immediate decision to support the United States in the ‘war on terror’ in response to the attacks of 9–11. This decision and in particular Putin’s consent to the basing of US forces on the territory of Central Asian states was broadly opposed by the political elite, including leading figures in the government.34 There is no doubt that in principle a foreign policy in which anti-terrorism was a central plank addressed the central security concerns of states in Central Asia and therefore provided Russia with an important source of influence. However, as so often before, the policy was large on rhetoric but failed to deliver much in terms of action. As Russia’s armed forces were tied down in Chechnya there seemed to be little room to support antiterrorist operations in other parts of the former Soviet Union. The then Defence Minister Igor Sergeev threatened strikes against terrorist camps in Afghanistan but in the end the Russian MoD confined its support to the provision of older weapons to Akhmed-Shah Masoud’s forces in northern Afghanistan. Although the 201st Motorized Rifle Division had a permanent base in Tajikistan, it did not launch any operations against the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan or the terrorist networks in the region.35 It is not surprising therefore that from 1997, when the United States policy shifted towards an engagement of the region, Central Asian states welcomed the prospect of a US presence in the region. Uzbekistan was considered to be particularly important from a strategic point of view. In April 2000, the Director of the FBI was received in Tashkent for a meeting

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on combating crime and terrorism in the region. The FBI opened an office in Almaty, Kazakhstan to co-ordinate co-operation with law enforcement bodies throughout the region. Although the Clinton administration was keen to develop its relations with Central Asian states and was clearly concerned about the various security risks in the region, including ethnic conflict and terrorism, its desire to supplant Russian influence36 was tempered by the recognition that co-operation with Russia and other states was necessary.37 In particular, the situation in Afghanistan prompted closer co-operation with Moscow. In 1999 the so-called ‘six plus two’ group involving the six countries bordering Afghanistan (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China, Iran and Pakistan) and Russia and the United States held two meetings to discuss how the varies parties that were fighting each other in Afghanistan could be involved in negotiations.38 In August 2000 there was a meeting involving Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State on Afghanistan. The common objectives enunciated were to work towards the formation of a broad based government in Afghanistan, the cessation of conflict and fighting the terrorism emanating from the territory of the country.39 This was the first in a series of such meetings, and in June 2001 Presidents Bush and Putin met in Ljubljana where they affirmed the renewal of US-Russian co-operation in the aftermath of the disagreements over Kosovo and Chechnya in 1999. Such declarations however disguised fundamental differences of view between the two governments. Russia was concerned about the unilateral approach of the Bush administration to international security and insisted on the decisive role of the United Nations in which Russia had a critical voice. The Putin government was also very wary about US efforts to expand its influence in the Caspian region. The integration of Central Asia under Russian leadership thus became a central plank of Putin’s40 foreign policy. Given the failure of the multilateral institutions in the former Soviet space in the Yeltsin period, the emphasis was on developing bilateral relations. The two vectors of integration were economic co-operation and security, in particular anti-terrorism. There were several factors other than US involvement that constrained Putin’s ambitions in Central Asia. Economic co-operation was limited by lack of resources in Russia and Central Asia. With regard to security,

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the old question of the extent to which Russia was prepared to guarantee the security of Central Asian states remained unanswered, and Central Asian states, especially Uzbekistan, remained wary about greater Russian military involvement in the region. Moreover, prior to 11 September 2001 the extent of the threat to Central Asia from terrorism was questioned by Central Asian governments.41 It was true that Afghanistan became a safe haven for Islamist extremists, but the scale of the threat seemed limited. The fear of the Taliban among Central Asian political elites had become muted, and Uzbekistan was considering ways of achieving an accommodation with its neighbour. Finally Central Asian states remained very hesitant about the extent to which they were prepared to accept Russian leadership or promote regional integration. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan continued their rivalry for regional leadership, while Uzbekistan distanced itself from Russia and looked to the United States. In other words, Russian weakness opened the possibility for the United States to become the main power broker and ‘security manager’.42 Putin’s focus on anti-terrorism as the central plank of regional security policy was vindicated by the events of 9–11 which brought about a global change in the perception of the nature of the threat emanating from Islamic extremists. Putin was the first foreign head of state to express support for the United States in the face of the attacks. He sent Bush a telegram on the night of 11 September that stated that ‘such inhuman acts should not stand without punishment.’43 But the issue that faced the Russian government was that any military response would mean the presence of US armed forces in the region. The evident keenness of Central Asian states to co-operate with the United States meant that at least in the short term US influence in the region could grow at the expense of Russia, which would find it even harder than before to persuade Central Asian states to fall in line with Russian policy. Speculation about the possibility of US forces being based on the territory of former Soviet Central Asian states surfaced in the international press on 14 September.44 On the same day Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov stated categorically that no NATO operations would be conducted from the territory of member states of the CIS.45 Abdulaziz Kamilov, Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, declared that Uzbekistan was ready to co-operate with the United States against terrorism in any way, including the use of Uzbek

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territory for strikes against terrorist camps in Afghanistan.46 In the period from 16–23 September 2001, the Russian government engaged in intense consultations with Central Asian leaders. It became clear to the Russian leadership that the position previously enunciated by Ivanov was untenable and that at a minimum Uzbekistan would host US forces.47 The policy that was announced on 24 September 2001 contained the following elements: 1. Russia would share intelligence about terrorists and their camps and infrastructure 2. Russia would grant overflight rights over its territory for humanitarian transports to Afghanistan 3. It would permit Central Asian states to grant similar overflight rights 4. Russia would take part if necessary in international search and rescue operations 5. It would increase its support for the Northern Alliance, especially with regard to military supplies.48 This statement tried to give the impression that Russia and the Central Asian states were in agreement about co-operation with the United States and maintain the façade of a Russian droit de regard over the foreign and security policy of ex-Soviet states. From the US point of view the most contentious aspect of this form of co-operation were the restrictions placed on overflights and the use of bases in Central Asia. There was no protest from the United States. The first priority was to get basing rights. The precise terms of the co-operation would evolve in light of the military situation. However, once the Taliban had been dislodged from power and attention was shifting to Iraq, the Bush administration was ambivalent about maintaining a military presence in former Soviet Central Asia. The strategic value of the airfields in Krygyzstan and Uzbekistan seemed to have declined in the light of the cost of maintaining them, including the risk of terrorist attacks. Washington adopted a wait-and-see approach, maintaining its presence but without building it up into a more substantial presence that would make it a serious player in Central Asia in military terms. Russia decided to counter-balance the US/NATO base at Manas in Kyrgyzstan

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with a new base in Kant (not far from the location of the US base) on the assumption that if there was a serious outbreak of violence in the region Central Asian countries would turn to Moscow rather than Washington for assistance.49 This view seemed to be confirmed when Uzbekistan’s President Karimov asked US forces to leave and closed down the base in Khanabad on 29 July 2005. The rapprochement between Uzbekistan and Russia was a major advance in Russia’s attempts to regain control over the security agenda in Central Asia. Russia had free use of its base facilities in Kyrgyzstan, while in early 2006 Kyrgyz President Bakiyev demanded that the United States should pay an additional $200 million per annum for the use of the Manas base. Later that year a settlement of $150 million in ‘total assistance and compensation’ was agreed. However, on 3 February 2009 Bakiyev announced during a visit to Moscow that the Manas airbase would be closed and the United States was notified on 19 February 2009 that it had 180 days to vacate the airbase. This decision may have been the result of a very generous economic support package offered by Moscow, consisting of a $150 million grant for budget stabilisation, a $300 million loan for economic development and the agreement to write off $180 million in debts. This was evidently an attempt by Russia to use its increasing financial resources to reassert its influence in the region. But soon it became evident that the Kyrgyz government did not want to break with the United States or forego the opportunity for increased payments for US basing rights. An annually renewable ‘inter-governmental agreement with the United States on co-operation and the formation of a transit center at Manas airport’ was concluded due to ‘the worrying situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan’. In addition to increased rent and infrastructure upgrades to the facilities the US pledged funds for a Joint Development Fund, counter-narcotic efforts and counter-terrorism efforts. President Bikayev was ousted in April 2010, and the then-acting President Roza Otunbayeva initially wanted to re-examine the lease and questions of corruption associated with commercial supplies, but subsequently announced that the Manas Transit Center was of importance for regional security and Kyrgyzstan would support its operation until 2014 when the US would draw down its forces in Afghanistan.50 Subsequently President Atambayev called for the closure of the base when the agreement comes up for renewal in 2014, which is in line with the constant

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refrain of regional states that US bases in the region should be temporary.51 Still, reliance on Moscow is problematic; judging by past performance it remains unclear whether Moscow would have either the political will or the resources to deal with large-scale violence and instability. The US presence is continuing while fighting in Afghanistan is escalating, but without any clear vision for future relations with Central Asian states, as regional leaderships (with the exception of that of Kyrgyzstan) continue to resist political reform and the goal to build a pipeline for oil transport to Europe by-passing Russia and Iran has been achieved.52 As the Obama administration has announced that it seeks to withdraw most of its forces in Afghanistan by 2014, Central Asia may become even more marginal in the future as the US military presence winds down. As far as Russian policy towards Caspian energy is concerned, it changed dramatically under Putin. The impetus was given at a special meeting of the Security Council on 21 April 2000 chaired by Putin, then acting president, which included government ministers and business representatives. The dominant theme that emerged was that Russia’s policy should be guided by the principle of using its economic influence to achieve gains for its own economy.53 This was confirmed at the first meeting of the interdepartmental commission on the problems of the CIS in the Security Council in October 2000 which identified the Caspian region as having the highest priority of Russia’s policy towards the CIS next to the union with Belarus.54 The official statement released by the Security Council stated that ‘the scale of Russia’s interests in the Caspian region determines the necessity of its [the Russian Federation’s] presence in the region and the need to pursue a more vigorous policy there.’55 The Security Council introduced measures to improve co-ordination between government officials, the military and business leaders on the basis of a specific list of policy objectives. A special envoy for the region was appointed, Viktor Kalyuzhny, who previously had been fuel and energy minister and was therefore deeply familiar with the issues and the players. The immediate result was a flurry of high-level diplomatic activity. In a major policy change Russia now officially endorsed the principle of multiple pipeline routes and dropped its opposition to the Baku-TbilisiCehyan (BTC) project which allowed Russian companies to bid for

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participation in this and other multilateral projects. In December 2001 Viktor Kalyuzhny elaborated on Russia’s new policy: Russia is not aiming at a transport monopoly in the Caspian region, and has nothing against the idea of there being a variety of pipelines. It understands that in the course of time demand for new pipeline infrastructure will rise in tandem with increase in oil-yield.56

This was a clear recognition that the BTC could no longer be stopped and that the refusal to become involved with such projects would hurt Russia’s commercial interests. It was also a way to reassure the other parties, even though Russia’s ambition to control as much of the energy resources in the region as possible remained untempered. In 2002 the Russian companies Lukoil and Yukos moved to acquire a share in the BTC project, but the deal (announced by President Putin) failed in the end for financial reasons.57 Another significant policy change was the decision to push for progress in settling the legal division of the Caspian Sea, instead of the previous policy under Yeltsin which was designed to impede any progress on this issue. The significance of the issue was highlighted by the prominence given to it in the new Russian Foreign Policy Concept in June 2000: Russia will work for the elaboration of such a status of the Caspian Sea which would enable the littoral states to launch mutually advantageous co-operation in using the region’s resources on a fair basis and taking into account the legitimate interests of each other.58

US involvement in Caspian energy development, such as it was, had two principal objectives: promote US business interests and ensure that the Caspian states could produce and export as much oil and gas as possible. Russia, on the other hand, wanted to prevent the export of Caspian energy reserves and control whatever exports did occur. From this point of view, US and Russian interests with regard to Caspian energy reserves were diametrically opposed. The principal means whereby Russia pursued its policy to control Caspian energy exports was through its monopolistic control of the export routes (i.e. the pipeline network controlled by

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Transneft). But Moscow also sought to inhibit production by raising doubts over the legal status of the division of the Caspian Sea and by implication the ownership of the oil reserves. In the 1990s Russia promoted the so-called condominium principle to determine the legal status of the Caspian Sea on the basis of the Soviet-Iranian treaties of 1921 and 1940. According to this principle the littoral states should exploit Caspian resources jointly, which implies that Russia would have a veto power over the development of any hydrocarbon resources under the Caspian seabed. By contrast other states, such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan argued in favour of a sectoral division of the Caspian on the basis of a delineation of state borders. Despite Russia’s opposition and the failure to move towards a resolution of the differences regarding the legal status of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan entered into many agreements with international oil companies to undertake the exploration of off-shore oil and gas fields, thereby making de facto territorial claims to parts of the Caspian seabed. Russia now accepts the principle that littoral states could legitimately claim ownership of resources on the Caspian seabed, even though a final settlement of the legal status of the Caspian Sea has not yet been reached. Thus Russia and Kazakhstan reached an agreement to divide the Russian and Kazakhstani littoral sectors in June 2002 (ratified by the Duma on 19 March 2003). According to this agreement each state has the right to develop the hydrocarbon resources located in their respective sectors, and any resources located on the median line dividing the two sectors will be jointly developed on the basis of an equal share for both sides.59 Lukoil has become very active in the exploitation of fields in the North Caspian and is involved in joint projects with Kazakhstan to exploit hydrocarbon deposits on the median line (Kurmangazy, Tsentralnoe and Khyvalynskoe). The company is also involved in a project in the sector of the Caspian claimed by Azerbaijan (the Alov-Araz-Sharq oilfield). It is clear therefore that under Putin policy towards the Caspian became more pragmatic and less based on geopolitical principles. Instead of seeking to perpetuate a stranglehold on hydrocarbon resources in the region, Russia began to accept foreign involvement and alternative transport routes and sought to profit as much as possible. In conclusion, Russia’s policy towards the Caspian region went through several phases after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Initially relations

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with Central Asia were neglected as the Russian government was emphasising relations with the West. The second phase began in late 1993 after the constitution was revised. There was an attempt to reintegrate the former Soviet space (excluding the Baltic countries) under Russian leadership. Economic co-operation and peacekeeping in conflicts in the CIS became the main vectors of integration. But there was no consensus on the meaning and the extent of integration that should be achieved, either within the Russian political elite or the other countries in the region. This resulted in a very inconsistent policy which was primarily pursued on a bilateral basis, and regional organisations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization lacked the instruments to play an active role. Generally speaking the Central Asian states sought to resist Russian hegemonic ambitions, especially given that with the exception of Tajikistan, Russia did not provide significant support to combat security threats. The tendency towards a hegemonic approach to the ‘near abroad’ proved counter-productive. In particular the political use of Russia’s pipeline network to establish the dependency of the Caspian states on Russia for its exports forced these countries to develop alternatives. The obstructionist approach to the legal status of the Caspian Sea had the consequence of impeding the exploration of hydrocarbon resources, but this affected Russia more than the other Caspian states. Consequently Russia lost influence and Russian companies were unable to compete with Western companies for a share of the exploitation rights. Under Putin there was a shift towards a more pragmatic and co-operative policy. In terms of security, the driving factor was the fight against terrorism. In the aftermath of 9–11, Russia developed closer relations with the United States and tolerated the presence of US armed forces in Central Asian countries in the context of the war against the Taliban. From 2005 Russia and China issued periodic calls for the United States to declare when they would leave the Central Asian bases, but it was clear that this would not occur until the military engagement in Afghanistan was over.60 As far as the exploitation of the energy reserves in the region is concerned, the main policy objective became to advance Russia’s economic interests. There are some linkages between traditional security concerns and energy, even though decisions on energy policy were

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devolved to state controlled companies and the Ministry of Foreign affairs did not have much influence. In a geopolitical sense, the preservation of control over energy assets in the former Soviet space was seen as a significant element of Russia’s hegemony over the region. There was also a more contingent security concern in that instability in the Caucasus threatened the security of Russian pipelines (especially the pipeline through Chechnya). This does not necessarily mean that there is no geopolitical rivalry or that Russia is not still hoping to minimise the influence of other powers. But Russia remains too weak to assume the kind of regional leadership role that many in its political elite are aspiring to and therefore a pragmatic approach that involves co-operation with the United States is perceived by the Russian government to be the most appropriate to Russia’s national interest. Although Vladimir Putin, after his election to a third term as President after a term served as Prime Minister under President Medvedev, signalled greater assertiveness towards the region, this situation has not changed. Russian policy towards the Caspian region was both a motivating and a constraining factor for US policy. From 1993 onwards there was a consensus in Moscow that the former Soviet space was Russia’s sphere of influence. The implications of that were not well defined, but it meant that the foreign and security policies of these states should be in conformity with Russia’s national interest, that the boundaries of the former Soviet Union (excluding the Baltic states) defined the security space of the Russian Federation itself and that the influence of outside powers should be minimised. If Russia had possessed the political will and the capability to realise these ambitions and enforce a reintegration of this sphere of influence on the basis of the Commonwealth of Independent States, there would have been very little political space for US involvement in the region. Instead, Russian policy motivated US involvement in the region. The effort by Moscow to minimise Caspian hydrocarbon production and export and forcing the Caspian state to use its pipeline network, thus giving Russian companies effective control over the volume and price of Caspian energy exports, galvanised the US government into supporting a major pipeline project that would bypass Russia. Russia’s coercive policies towards various states in the region also prompted US concern as this mode of hegemony over a sphere of influence was considered a

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serious violation of international norms, at a time when the integration of post-Soviet Russia into the international community on the basis of the adherence to international norms was a central goal of US foreign policy.61 The failure of Moscow to deal with the security problems in the South Caucasus and Central Asia and establish an effective regime of collective security in the former Soviet space enabled and encouraged the United States to develop security partnerships with states in the region in order to address both regional security issues as well as sources of terrorism. Conflict and Peacekeeping in the Caucasus and Central Asia The peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union was without doubt one of the most remarkable events in recent history. Nevertheless, the collapse of the empire gave rise to regional conflicts as a result of the arbitrary territorial divisions inherited from the Soviet period and ethnic tensions that had long been suppressed. The Caucasus and Central Asia have experienced a range of conflicts of varying severity that have shaped Russia’s relations with the region and especially its military involvement. The most serious conflict in the 1990s was the civil war in Tajikistan that resulted in considerable involvement by the Russian military against the Islamic insurgents and in favour of President Rakhmonov. The conflict endured for a number of years, until Russia in the end supported a compromise with the opposition, resulting in the truce of 1997.62 It marked the dominance of the Russian military in the process of determining Russian policy towards the crisis regions in the South until the military strategy proved inadequate and Russia’s Foreign Minister, Yevgeny Primakov, gained greater influence.63 It also demonstrated the weakness of the collective security agreement, as the involvement of other Central Asian states was symbolic at best. It created a deep sense of insecurity in Uzbekistan which saw itself threatened by a possible overspill of the conflict from Tajikistan and the growth of Islamic opposition movements.64 This created a space for US involvement which intensified after 9-11, between 2001 and 2005. Since then US–Uzbek relations went through a phase of virtual hostility, with US forces ejected from their base in the country and Islam Karimov turning to Russia as an alliance partner. Since 2008 relations

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have improved somewhat, but a renewal of close co-operation is not on the horizon. Other areas that have witnessed intense conflict include Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, Dagestan and Chechnya. The conflict over Karabakh broke out in 1988 towards the end of the Soviet era when the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, which is mainly populated by Armenians, declared its intention to join the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992, after the dissolution of the USSR, this conflict erupted into war between the now independent states of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The fighting revealed that the balance of power was not as favourable to Azerbaijan as the Azeri government had believed. By the time a ceasefire was agreed in May 1994, Azerbaijan had effectively lost 20% of its territory and almost one million Azeri citizens were internally displaced persons. Since then there have been negotiations on settling the dispute, without avail. The Azeri refusal to cede de jure sovereignty over the region has made it impossible to adopt compromises on the administration of Karabakh, the status of its citizens and relations to both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russia and Turkey were the most important external players in the conflict. Turkey supported Azerbaijan and almost intervened directly following an Armenian attack on Nakhichevan in 1992. Turkish policy is designed to strengthen its influence in the Caucasus politically and to benefit from the construction of pipelines and the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in the region. Although Russia seemed to support Armenia and clearly wanted to counter Turkish influence, it needs to maintain influence in Azerbaijan as well. Greater stability is in Russia’s interests, and Moscow is particularly concerned about the potential for the rise of radical Islam in Azerbaijan, especially among the internally displaced people. The large oil reserves in Azerbaijan are another factor that gives it strategic importance from the Russian perspective. Despite President Putin’s pragmatic approach Russia is still actively frustrating a settlement of the conflict; this may not ultimately be in Russia’s interest as it perpetuates the potential for conflict and instability. Iran is another major external factor, with 20 million Azerbaijanis living in Iran. Iran exercises considerable influence over the forces of Shia Islam in Azerbaijan, adding to the mix of potential factors of conflict in the region.65 The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict complicated US policy towards

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the region. On the one hand, Azerbaijan was a key partner given US interest in Azerbaijani oil production which was key to the centrepiece of US strategy, namely the Baku-Ceyhan-Tbilisi (BTC) pipeline. On the other, sentiment in Congress was against Azerbaijan in the conflict and favoured the Armenian position. This resulted in various successful efforts to curtail US funding to support Azerbaijan and profound contradictions in US policy towards the country.66 The most persistent conflict, however, is on the territory of the Russian Federation itself. The first Chechen war ended in ignominious defeat for Russia and a settlement that was never fully accepted by Russia as the end state of relations with the republic. The persistent internal strife in Chechnya meant the republic failed to develop as an entity that was perceived as capable of self-government. When in 1999 two apartment blocks were blown up in Moscow Putin decided to respond with the direct and unrestrained use of military force to deal with Chechnya and the terrorist threat that was said to emanate from the quasiindependent republic. Initially the second Chechen war served Putin well politically, but the failure to defeat the rebels gradually turned it into a political liability. Terrorist attacks in Moscow itself heightened anxiety in the population about this festering conflict which was subsequently sold as part of the ‘war against terror’. Although the West has continuously criticised Russia for systematic human rights abuses in Chechnya, such criticism has become more muted since the involvement of Islamic extremists from Pakistan and the Middle East has been revealed and Russia has supported the West in the war against terror.67 In 2002 the terrorist threat escalated sharply in the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia. On the basis of alleged links to Al Qaeda, the United States deployed some 200 military instructors to Georgia to train the Georgian army and convert four battalions into a high state of combat readiness. The threat of Russian strikes against terrorists in the Pankisi Gorge was quickly defused. For the United States the war against terror clearly has priority, and has limited any pressure on Russia to modify its policies in the region. Indeed, the principal concern of the George W. Bush administration was to get Russia’s acquiescence for US bases in Central Asia, overflight rights to support operations in Afghanistan and access to Russian intelligence about Afghanistan.68 While Russia’s policy towards the Caucasus has

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become more consistent and predictable, it essentially fails to deal with the conflicts in the region. The fragile stability of the status quo hides the accumulation of problems and a significant potential for conflict therefore persists. Western policy so far has not made any significant contribution to deal with this situation. The fact remains that the United States is not prepared to give serious security guarantees or become military engaged in any conflicts in the Caspian region.69 This is due to three fundamental factors. The first is that the United States has remained sensitive to the fact that Moscow regards the region as its sphere of influence. While this has not stopped the US from extending its influence, a substantial military engagement against Russia’s wishes would provoke a serious rift with Moscow. Indeed, it could potentially involve a direct military confrontation with Russia, something the United States would do its utmost to avoid given the risks and the fact that Russia is still a formidable strategic nuclear power. The second is that despite its commitment to a new global order based on international norms and global collective security, the United States government at the time of the Clinton administration was extremely reluctant to commit any combat forces to a conflict region because the President believed that public support would be lacking.70 Thus Clinton resisted the idea of intervening in the Balkans conflict until it became clear that the conflict was getting out of control and the Europeans were unwilling to intervene on their own. Even then Clinton refused to authorise the engagement with ground troops either in the Bosnian or the Kosovo war. The disastrous intervention in Somalia on behalf of the United Nations (1993–95) contributed considerably to the reluctance of the Clinton administration to intervene in regional conflicts with ground troops. The NATO enlargement process therefore remained limited to new members where the potential for armed conflict was considered to be so low that there was little risk that the established member of the alliance would have to take action to make good on the security guarantee in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.71 The Bush administration came into office with a view to reduce US global commitments and the Caspian region was very low on its agenda. This changed after 9–11, but its views in relation to security guarantees for the Central Asian states was not markedly different from that of its predecessor, even though it did not share the Clinton’s administration’s reluctance to use

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military force. However, Operation Enduring Freedom and from 2003 onwards the intervention in Iraq preoccupied the administration and stretched US military resources to its limits, precluding any possibility of taking on additional commitments. The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region: The Major Powers (other than Russia and the United States) This section will briefly sketch the interests and the role of the major powers in the Caspian region other than Russia and the United States. China China shares a border with three Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). This border was heavily disputed in the past, resulting in military clashes between China and the Soviet Union. Moreover, the Chinese province that borders Central Asia, Xinjiang province, represents a major public order problem for China itself as a result of Uighur separatism.72 The weakening of Russian control over Central Asia and the presence of substantial natural resources, especially oil and gas, mean that China now has important strategic interests in Central Asia. Quite soon after the dissolution of the USSR, Russia concluded an agreement with the Central Asian states to adopt a common approach towards China. This involved continued adherence to treaties concluded by the Soviet Union and a common position on negotiations with Beijing, especially on the border demarcation and confidence-building measures. The collective security agreement signed on 15 May 1992 made Russia the guarantor of the security of Central Asian states. While the precise meaning always remained vague, it was a way for Russia to declare Central Asia to be in its security sphere.73 Although Chinese leaders were interested in forging good relations with the Caspian states and enhancing Chinese influence in the region, the post-Cold War era also saw the emergence of a new ‘strategic partnership’ with Russia.74 Consequently China sought to avoid the impression of a competition with Russia over influence in Central Asia. China moved decisively to establish bilateral relations with the countries in the Caspian region, and presidents and foreign ministers visited

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Beijing, followed by a tour of Central Asia by Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng in 1994 which resulted in a range of bilateral agreements. The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in the emergence of new security threats for China. First of all the political and socio-economic dislocation raised the spectre of profound political instability. The Chinese government expected Russia to act as guarantor of stability in the region. Secondly, there is the growth of separatism involving the 8 million strong Uighur population in Xinijiang (total population 15 million) and other Turkic Muslim minorities. There is a large Uighur diaspora in central Asia (about 500,000 in total, with 200,000 in Kazakhstan alone), and China believes that Uighur separatists are receiving support from nationalists based in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.75 The ambitions by Muslim separatists to recreate a state of East Turkestan are perceived in Beijing as a serious security threat, especially as such ambitions have received support from the Taliban and other Islamic extremists.76 In 1996 China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan formed the ‘Shanghai Five’ (renamed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan) in order to build confidence-building measures in the context of the process of the delineation of the border between China and former Soviet states. The delineation of the border between Kazakhstan and China was more or less complete by 1999 with minor concessions of territory to China. The negotiations with Kyrgyzstan turned out more complicated and the 2002 treaty between China and Kyrgyzstan resulted in Bishkek ceding territory to the Chinese on a scale larger than previously envisaged (i.e. beyond the area under dispute in the Soviet period). This outcome resulted in serious internal criticism against President Akayev.77 Central Asian states agreed to take measures to prevent separatist attacks from their territories. These efforts were taken more seriously after a number of bombings in 1997. The Chinese government claimed that Uighur separatists were trained in Osama bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan, a claim which was later substantiated after the war in 2001 when relevant documentation was recovered. Beijing pressed for measures to be taken in the context of the Shanghai Five.78 China’s Caspian neighbours clearly did not want to harbour terrorists on their soil that could create both domestic and international instability, but they also had security concerns of their own. These arose from the uncontrolled

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influx of Chinese onto their territories (especially Kazakhstan), much of which reflected unofficial trading and economic activity.79 There was no evidence of a Chinese policy to encourage emigration and there are no official statistics of the number of Chinese living in Central Asia illegally. The Central Asian countries also began to increasingly import consumer goods from China, mitigating somewhat the dependence on Russia (although Central Asian countries imposed barriers on this trade).80 Central Asia accounts for only about 0.6 % of China’s foreign trade, while 10% of Central Asia’s total trade volume is represented by trade with the PRC (about $9.53 billion in 2006).81 The stranglehold that Russia had on energy transported from the Caspian region (especially Kazakhstan) naturally prompted the regional players to search for alternatives. As China’s rapid economic growth created a need for accelerating imports of energy, Beijing became increasingly interested in Caspian energy. As mentioned in the previous chapter, the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC) acquired a 60% stake in the Zhanazol and Kekiyak fields in Aktobe (Kazakhstan). In 1997 CNPC acquired a 60% equity share of Aktobemunaygaz and increased its stake by a further 25.4% in 2003, thereby gaining control of two large gas fields in the Aktyubinsk region. It also invested in the building of a pipeline that is going to run for 2,900 kilometres from Atyrau through Kenkyiak to Alashankou on the Chinese-Kazakh border. Two stretches of the pipeline became operational by the end of 2005. China continues scouting for further oil acquisitions in the region, and also plans to import gas from Turkmenistan after signing a twenty-year sale and purchase agreement in 2007. The CNPC has also signed a $600 million agreement with Uzbekneftegaz for some smaller oil fields near Bukhara with the intention of importing some of the associated gas. Kazakhstan is also involved in a project with China to export electricity from the joint development of a $4 billion coal-fired power plant at Ekibastuz, and Kyrgyzstan wants to sell hydroelectric power to China. Although energy had always been on China’s diplomatic agenda, energy relations with Central Asia did not receive high priority until 2001. China’s investments in Kazakhstan in the 1990s were made for commercial reasons, rather than energy security, and doubts about the financial viability of these projects construction was delayed and the projects were

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put on hold. But China’s attitude changed due to the rise in Chinese oil imports. Before 1997 China imported less than ten percent of its annual oil consumption (i.e. less than 15 million tons). Between 1997 and 1999 the annual oil imports amounted to about 35 million tons at a time when there was a surplus of oil in the market and prices were low. In 2000 China imported 30% of its oil (70 million tons), and by 2004 oil imports reached a level of 102 million tons as the international oil market was tightening and prices were rising.82 Diversification of supply became an important priority for China given that 50% of its imports come from the Middle East and 22% from Africa. Currently China imports 2 million tons of oil from Central Asia which is marginal in terms of the total volume of imports. After the planned pipeline project becomes operational this will rise to 10 million tons and eventually China hopes to import 20 million tons of oil from Central Asia. In short, trade and energy are going to be increasingly important factors that determine Chinese interests in the Caspian region.83 China clearly was uncomfortable with the increasing US military presence in a region so close to its own borders, and this gave greater impetus to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.84 In 2003 the SCO held its first joint military exercises and in January 2004 it opened an AntiTerrorism Centre. In 2005 China and Russia held their first ever joint military exercises. The SCO has not yet developed into a full-fledged collective security organisation, but serves a forum for members to coordinate their security policies in the region. Although Russia is pushing for the SCO to take on a military role, the emphasis may be more on diplomatic co-operation, especially in the field of counter-terrorism, and to give a symbolic expression of an alternative to security policies dominated by the United States. Nevertheless, the relationship with the United States in Central Asia is a mixture between rivalry and co-operation. The United States has expressed a clear interest in mutual co-operation against terrorism in the region, as evidenced by its freezing of the assets of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and by putting it on its terrorist list.85 It is evident that China’s influence in Central Asia has been growing. The main vector of this influence has been trade, as China rather than the United States or Russia has responded to the growing demand for consumer goods in Central Asian countries and has provided loans for investment

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in infrastructure (especially transport).86 China has also made, as we have seen, major investments in the oil industry in the region. In terms of security, there is some common ground between China and the United States as both want to defeat Islamic extremism and terrorism. But US military ties with Central Asian states are far more significant than those of China which are so far limited to the sales of small arms and small-scale joint exercises under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.87 From the Russian perspective, the US presence in the region weakens China’s efforts to play a dominant role.88 While this is deemed a positive consequence of the US presence, it remains Russian policy that the US military presence in former Soviet Central Asian states should be temporary and that Russia itself should make efforts to exert greater influence in the region. It is clear that China will be a major factor in the future of the Caspian region. Based on current trends, China’s economic role in the region will grow substantially and dwarf that of either Russia or the United States. From the US perspective this is a positive development because it will aid and stabilise the Central Asian economies and reduce the potential for conflict. In this complex game, Russia, China and the United States are seeking to limit the influence of the others, and each party is involved in co-operation with the other to weaken the position of the third. In the energy game, Russia remains in a dominant position. In terms of security, however, the role of China is likely to remain modest and remain confined to the limited activities of the SCO and domestic border control and antiterrorist operations. In relation to US Caspian policy, China was the dog that did not bark. China did not rush into Central Asia to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russian weakness. Chinese investments in Caspian energy remained tentative although this is changing. The United States generally supported the Sino-Russian strategic partnership because it contributed to regional stability, although it had misgivings about the scale of China’s military modernisation which was based on Russian high technology weapons exports and the anti-American posture of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Given that the demand for energy in Asia is growing much faster than in Europe, it is likely that eventually there will be transport routes that will carry much higher volumes

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eastward. This means that China will be a more serious player in the Caspian region in the future. Iran Iran is, like Russia itself, a Caspian littoral state but is included in the list of external actors because it is distinct from the Central Asian group of states and perceives itself as one of the regional centres of power seeking to develop its influence in the region. The Central Asian states have generally accepted that Iran is behaving as a traditional nation-state and that the Islamic revolution and the domination of the country by the Shia clergy does not pose a threat. The Central Asian states are secular states with a largely Sunni population and the relationship between state and religion has emerged from an accommodation with Soviet rule over seventy years and thus has little in common with the approach to Islamic governance that was forged by the Iranian revolution. Uzbekistan has been generally wary of Iranian ambitions in the region and in particular its relationship with Tajikistan where Tehran had close links with the Islamic Renaissance Party, one of the opposition parties in the civil war.89 Iran had a particular interest in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh due to the geographical proximity and the sizeable minority Azeri population in Iran itself. The official position of Iran was neutrality, despite the official doctrine that Iran is dedicated to protect and advance the causes of the Shi’i in the world. The continuation of the conflict suited Iran because it dampened the attraction of Azerbaijan for Azeris in Iran and potential conflict in Iran itself, as long as it did not escalate significantly. Overall Iran seems to have tilted towards the Armenian side. Iran has served as a source and conduit of supplies for Armenia, especially energy and in this way supported a major escalation of the conflict. Iran sponsored peace negotiations between the two sides and not surprisingly, Armenian leaders have at various times praised Iran as a guarantor of stability and security in the region. The position of Iran’s internal Azeri population was clearly a driving factor, as evidenced by Iran’s vehement opposition to trade corridors between Armenia and Karabakh and Azerbaijan and Nakhchevan, because the implementation of this plan would have considerably lengthened the Iran-Azerbaijan border.90 Iran’s relations in

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the region are overshadowed by its two major strategic relationships with the United States and Russia.91 The US policy of isolating Iran is a serious impediment for the development of energy transport routes through what would otherwise be the most logical way of escaping Russian dominance of the pipelines. Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan especially would like to export oil and gas through Iran. But US sanctions make it impossible to obtain international financing, and a joint Turkmen-Iranian project was scaled down to minimal levels. As Martha Brill Olcott has pointed out, Iran’s section of the Caspian does not promise substantial new revenues, and Iran’s best hope to benefit from new oil and gas and developments in the Caspian is through energy transit.92 Iran has also played a major role in the debate about the legal status of Caspian given that the previous regime was based on a Soviet-Iranian treaty.93 But US–Iranian relations took a turn for the worse after the reformist president Khatami was replaced by the radical Ahmadinejad. Since then relations with the United States have deteriorated even much further, due to the growing conflict over Iran’s nuclear program and its overt hostility to Israel and support for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Another contentious issue has been Iran’s support for the Shia in Iraq in the aftermath of the US-led invasion of 2003. In the wake of the removal from power of the Taliban in Afghanistan, which were considered as a serious threat by Tehran, and the Sunni-dominated regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Iran believes that it has emerged as the dominant power in the region and is engaged in a substantial effort to modernise its armed forces. Such a posture however increases tension between Iran on the one side and the United States and Israel on the other. Russia, on the other hand, has cultivated Iran as a strategic partner and supplied it with arms as well as the light-water reactor in Bushehr which is a principal part of Iran’s contentious nuclear program. Iran has also attempted at various times to procure nuclear materials and expertise in the former Soviet Union, especially Kazakhstan.94 Although Russia has sided with the United States and the European Union by opposing any Iranian uranium enrichment activities which could lead to an Iranian nuclear bomb, Moscow is likely to continue its co-operation with Tehran as long as Iran remains within the nuclear non-proliferation regime (NPT).

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The strategic conflict between Iran and the United States has been a major factor in US policy towards the Caspian region. For the Clinton administration, ensuring that there would be no oil or gas transport through Iran was the central most important goal of its policy towards the Caspian region, because economic sanctions and strategic isolation was its main policy instrument in its relations with Iran, in particular with respect to constraining Iran’s nuclear program. While the oil industry lobbied in favour of US support for a transit route through Iran, the administration was supported by Congress which during Clinton’s second term was even more adamant in enforcing the isolation of Iran, such as manifested in the vote to impose sanctions on Russian companies in May 1998 because of military and nuclear co-operation with Iran.95 Both as a result of the determined effort by the United States to exclude Iran and its very small share of Caspian oil deposits Iran has not been able to assert itself as a player in the exploitation of Caspian energy resources. It has not become a major export route, its oil swaps with Central Asian states have proven commercially unviable. In 2012 the Iranian state-controlled news agency Fars announced the discovery of new oil deposits in the Caspian with reserves potentially amounting to 12 billion barrels, the first major discovery in the Iranian sector for over a century.96 As long as sanctions against Iran prevail, however, it will be extremely difficult for Iran to gain access to the technical co-operation required to develop the oil fields or bring the oil to market. For the medium term at least Iran’s role in the Caspian region will continue to remain marginal at best. Turkey Turkey’s role is in some way the inverse of that of Iran – its developing relations with Central Asian countries are strongly encouraged by Washington, and viewed with hostility by Moscow. Based on a stronger economy, there was a great deal of interest by Turkish business to invest in Central Asia. The Turkish government sought to establish close relations with the newly independent Turkic states (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). Even though the Turks never ruled Central Asia, the Turkish leaders harboured the ambition of playing a regional leadership role in a more formal organisation. Despite various summits, Turkish aid and the development of business ties, not much

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came of it. This is due to a recognition of the limits of Turkish influence and severe pressure from Moscow to maintain balanced relations with Turkey. Ultimately Russia was not prepared to permit Turkey to exercise a hegemonic role in the region. Russia considered Turkish influence a threat also with regard to conflicts in the former Soviet space. Turkey was concerned about regional instability in Chechnya, Georgia and NagornoKarabakh. There was apprehension that such conflicts might spill over into Turkey, and sympathy for the Turkic/Muslim peoples involved in ethnic strife. Turkey clearly sided with Azerbaijan over NagornoKarabakh, and Moscow (which sided with Armenia) became concerned that Turkish armed forces might become involved. In the event Turkey limited its involvement to the training of Azeri troops and diplomatic efforts at conflict resolution, and decided to stay out of ethnic conflicts in the former Soviet South. Turkey has an important role in energy exports from the Caspian region due to its geographic location. Oil tankers from the Black Sea, carrying oil from the CPC pipeline amongst others have to pass through the Bosporus. As has been pointed out above, Turkey has sought to limit the volume of traffic given the substantial risk of accidents and environmental disaster. The principal alternative, namely the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline makes Turkey a major partner in the transit of oil.97 The European Union The EU’s interest in the Caspian region derives from its reliance on energy imports from Russia and the dangers posed by political instability in conflicts from a region which is getting closer to the borders of the EU as it expands. Nevertheless political engagement with the Caucasus and Central Asia has been modest, mostly through Political Cooperation Agreements (PCA). The European Security and Defence Policy took an active role towards the region by the appointment of Ján Kubiš (former Foreign Minister of Slovakia and Secretary General of the OSCE) as the EU Special Representative in July 2005. The mandate is as follows: To follow political developments in Central Asia by developing and maintaining close contacts with governments, parliaments, judiciary, civil society and mass media; encourage the countries to co-operate on regional issues of

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common interest, develop contacts and co-operation with the main interested actors in the region, contribute in close co-operation with the OSCE, to conflict prevention and resolution by developing contacts with the authorities and other local actors …; assist the Council in further developing a comprehensive policy towards Central Asia.98

Thus rather belatedly the European Union is beginning to develop an overall policy towards the region. Its main role has been as the largest provider of aid and assistance, amounting to €1.132 billion from 1991–2004, of which €516 million was disbursed through the Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States Program (TACIS) which serves to implement the PCA.99 Human rights issues have been problematic for European engagement in the region. The conflict in Chechnya has caused some difficulties in relations with Russia (such as suspension of membership of the Council of Europe), but on the whole the EU has muted its criticism due to the importance of relations with Russia in the fields of security and energy co-operation. In Uzbekistan the EU took a harder line, suspending parts of the PCA after the Andijon incident and reducing assistance.100 The dominating factor of EU interests in the region is energy, especially Caspian gas. European companies are leading major oil and gas projects in the Caspian (BP, Statoil, ENI/AGIP). Only the first steps towards political engagement have been taken so far.101 Regional Security Organisations The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the reshaping of the geopolitics of the region gave rise to several regional security organisations. This section will give a brief account of their history and role, their impact on security and US policy towards the region The Collective Security Treaty Organization The Collective Security Treaty Organization emerged from the Tashkent Treaty signed in 1992, shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The original signatories to the treaty were Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Azerbaijan signed on 24 September 1993, Georgia on 9 December 1993 (after ceding to

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Russian pressure to join the Commonwealth of Independent States) and Belarus on 31 December 1993. The treaty entered into force on 20 April 1994. Its purpose was to regulate security and military relations between the countries of the CIS and provide an institutional framework for peacekeeping in the former Soviet space.102 From the Russian perspective, the treaty was designed to provide legitimacy for the presence of Russian forces in the territories of the CIS countries as well as peacekeeping or peace enforcement operations. There were three fundamental problems with the Tashkent Treaty as a collective security arrangement. The first was the complete imbalance of power. The post-Soviet states, with the exception of Ukraine (which did not sign the treaty) and Uzbekistan had created very weak military establishments. The armed forces that had been based on their territory had been integrated in the Soviet command chain which was dominated by Russians, and after all the Russian officers and troops left they had to start building armed forces essentially from scratch, using whatever hardware had been left behind from the Soviet era. Therefore they would not be able to contribute much by way of military resources to any collective security operations and consequently their role in decision-making about the use of armed force was also constrained. The second problem was that Russian intervention in the event of a military threat was not guaranteed. There was no security guarantee, but just a vague promise. The third problem was that in any military intervention there was no constraint on Russian forces, and so Russia could use its military forces to promote its own ends, rather than peace and security in the region.103 There was some degree of ambiguity whether the Tashkent Treaty provided for collective security or collective defence. A collective security organisation has the purpose of preventing conflict among its members and usually involves some political mechanism, such as a security council, to identify conflicts and decide on actions to deal with them. Such action might involve common military action against an aggressor. A collective defence organisation on the other hand is designed to defend against possible external aggression against one or more member states. Although the Tashkent agreement, based on its official title and accompanying statements, appears to be a collective security arrangement, its provisions actually relate more to collective defence:

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• Parties to the Tashkent agreement shall refrain from joining any military alliances nor will they participate in any groupings of countries or any actions directed against any other member state of the agreement (Article 1); • They shall consult each other on all relevant issues of international security affecting their interests, and shall adjust their positions (Article 2); • They shall start consultations immediately after a threat has arisen to the security, territorial integrity or sovereignty of any or of several member states, or to international peace and security (Article 2); • Aggression against one party to the agreement is regarded as aggression against all other parties, which shall provide the victim of aggression with necessary assistance, including military assistance according to Article 51 of the UN Charter (Article 4).104 These provisions reveal the purpose of the treaty, which is to establish the former Soviet space as the defence sphere of the Russian Federation. It obligates members to eschew other alliances (in particular NATO), thereby relying exclusively on Moscow for security. In other words, the Tashkent treaty was an instrument for reasserting Russian hegemony over the ‘near abroad’ and exclude US influence. After Azerbaijan acceded to the treaty in 1993, the government in Baku insisted that the treaty should also apply to conflicts between member states. But Russia made it clear that the treaty could not be activated to prompt intervention in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The best that Azerbaijan could hope for as a result of its membership was to prevent Armenia from using the treaty against it. An important feature of the treaty was its use to legitimise the stationing of Russian forces on the territories of the other newly independent states. This became a crucial issue with respect to Georgia, which was coerced into joining the treaty for this reason. The survival of President Eduard Shevardnadze in office and the restoration of the territorial integrity of Georgia was made contingent on Georgia joining the CIS, acceding to the Tashkent treaty and accepting Russian military bases on its territory. Another function of the treaty was to enable the newly independent states to build up their armed forces and procure orders from the Russian military-industrial complex which was suffering a dramatic decline due to

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the shortage of funds in Russia and the lack of orders from former Soviet clients who now turned to US technology instead. The internal contradictions of the collective security/defence arrangement created by the Tashkent treaty, however, meant that the treaty was perceived by the non-Russian NIS to have little meaning. The only potential external enemy was China, but there was no discernible intention on the part of China to attack any of the former Soviet republics. Indeed, as is discussed below, China became the leader of another regional security organisation. The non-Russian CIS states had no confidence in any Russian security guarantee, and when towards the end of the 1990s they became increasingly concerned about the threat of terrorism and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the resources they required from Russia were not available. Likewise, when peace-keeping missions were organised through the CIS (not the Tashkent treaty arrangement), the non-Russian states were reluctant to even send symbolic contingents. Consequently even before 9-11 the Tashkent treaty failed in one of its main functions, namely to keep the United States out of Central Asia. In 1999 the treaty came up for renewal and Uzbekistan. Azerbaijan and Georgia refused to sign. The Uzbeks considered the treaty to have no value and wanted to eliminate the Russian presence on their territory. Among many grievances, President Karimov resented the exclusion of Uzbek influence in the settlement of the civil war in neighbouring Tajikistan. The events of 9–11 and the establishment of US military bases in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan was the nadir of the Tashkent treaty. But in order to counter US influence, Russian president Putin decided to revitalise the treaty on collective security and on 7 October 2002 the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan signed a charter that established and reiterated that member states would not be able to join other military alliances or groups of states. It also reaffirmed that aggression against one member state would constitute aggression against all. The CSTO was accorded observer status at the UN General Assembly. Nikolai Bordyuzha was appointed Secretary General of the CSTO. After its rift with the United States that resulted in the closing of the US base, Uzbekistan became a full member of the CSTO on 28 March 2008, indicating that it now relied on Russia as the main guarantor of its security once again.

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The CSTO has an institutional framework that the Tashkent treaty lacked. It has been given some substance by annual military exercises. The exercise called Rubezh 2008 involved 4,000 troops from all the member states. In 2009 five of the seven members agreed to set up the Collective Rapid Reaction Force (KSOR). Among the tasks of KSOR are defence against military aggression, anti-terrorist operations, fighting transnational crime and drug trafficking, and dealing with natural disasters.105 Since then Belarus has also joined KSOR (after settling a trade dispute with Russia), and Uzbekistan declined to formally join. Tashkent’s refusal (based on the fear that Uzbek troops might be used to rekindle ‘frozen conflicts’), the failure to send delegations to CSTO summits and the conspicuous absence of President Karimov from CIS summits in 2009 sent a strong signal that Uzbekistan is resisting Russian attempts to reestablish control over the former Soviet space. Russia has also met resistance in its attempts to gain support for its intervention against Georgia in 2008. The principle that ‘breakaway’ territories could be supported by a military intervention is alarming for the post-Soviet leaders (and strangely contradicts Russian efforts to prevent the independence or even autonomy of the Chechen Republic). Thus the attempt to obtain CSTO recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has so far been unsuccessful. One important development was an agreement that the establishment of new foreign military bases in member states of the CSTO requires the consent of all CSTO member-states, thus giving any member (including Russia) a veto with respect to the basing of outside military forces (eg. from NATO countries). This agreement does not cover existing bases however and therefore is not expected to have any practical consequences, unless the redeployment of US forces from Afghanistan to Central Asia in 2014 will require additional base facilities. However, the continuing efforts by Russia to fashion the CSTO as an instrument to regain control over the security of the region remain hampered by the half-hearted nature of Russia’s commitments and continuing disagreements among its members. As a case in point, when ethnic clashes broke out between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan, the acting President of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Otunbayeva requested assistance to deal with the disturbances. The request did not elicit any support.

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The Secretary General of the CSTO Nikolai Bordyuzha described the clashes in Kyrgyzstan as a ‘purely domestic affair’ and Russian President Medvedev stated: ‘Only in the case of a foreign intrusion and an attempt to externally seize power can we state that there is an attack against the CSTO…All the problems of Kyrgyzstan have internal roots.’106 These comments are odd since the CSTO is supposedly a collective security organisation, which by definition would also address internal threats, as for example in the case of Tajikistan in the 1990s, as opposed to a collective defence organisation like NATO. Indeed, the experience since its foundation demonstrates that members of the CSTO cannot rely on the organisation to provide security when it is really needed, and no-one was surprised when Uzbekistan once against suspended its membership in June 2012. The efforts by Russia’s Presidents Medvedev and Putin (in his third term) to use the CIS and CSTO to regain the role of security manager in the region and exclude the United States therefore has only been partially successful and the CSTO has not yet developed into a fullblown regional collective security arrangement.107 The Shanghai Cooperation Organization The Shanghai Cooperation Organization had its origins in the ‘Shanghai Five’ grouping formed on 26 April 1996 with the signing of the ‘Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions’ in Shanghai. The five signatory states were Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan. This treaty was part of the confidence-building measures put in place in the context of the border demarcation between China and the former Soviet states. It was followed by the ‘Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions’ signed in Moscow on 24 April 1997. The Shanghai Five conducted annual summits in an effort to promote regional security co-operation. China and Russia in particular were keen to foster such co-operation as an alternative to US-dominated security regimes and to demonstrate the alleged ‘multipolarity’ of international relations. In 2001 Uzbekistan was admitted to the grouping and on 15 Jun 2001 the leaders of the six countries declared the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The United States was purposefully excluded from the Organization (its application for observer status in 2005 was rejected) and one of the

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central goals of the SCO was to establish security co-operation in the region that would obviate any need for Central Asian States to rely on the United States. Its main focus was anti-terrorism, economic co-operation and multilateral trade. The basic principles of co-operation in the framework of the SCO is defined by a memorandum among the governments of SCO member states on the main objectives and directions of regional economic co-operation (2001), the Charter of the SCO (2002), the agreement among SCO member states on the regional anti-terrorist structure (2003), and the program of multilateral trade and economic co-operation among SCO member states (2004). In 2004 an SCO secretariat was established in Beijing, giving the organisation an institutional base.108 In practical terms, the security co-operation has been rather limited. Its main achievement is the creation of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS). There have been joint anti-terrorist exercises in 2002, 2003 and 2005, the establishment of a counter-terrorism centre in Bishkek and regular meetings of the Defence Ministers. In 2005 Russia and China held their first ever joint military exercises called Peace Mission 2005 (involving 4000 Chinese troops). On 21 April 2006 the SCO announced its intention to fight narcotics trafficking as part of its anti-terrorist activities. The Peace Mission 2007 was a counter-terrorism exercise in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region involving 6500 troops (mostly Russian and Chinese). However, as far as security co-operation is concerned, the SCO has been largely a talking shop, as a survey of its activities listed on the official website will reveal.109 The organisation is chronically short of funds, lacks human resources, has no military instruments at its disposal and is therefore unable to deal with any security challenges in a practical way. For this reason the United States has not taken the SCO very seriously, and there is no evidence that the SCO as such has in any substantial way influenced security co-operation between the United States and countries in the region. The SCO finally appeared on the radar screen of US policymakers when Iran was granted observer status. US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld criticised the SCO in the following terms: It strikes me as strange that one would want to bring into an organization that says it’s against terrorism … one of the leading terrorist nations in the world, Iran.110

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Rumsfeld’s criticism was rejected, partly because China hopes that Iran can help to address the secessionist tendencies in Xinjiang province given the cultural, ethnic and religious links between Iran and the Uighur people. At the core of the SCO is the strategic partnership between China and Russia. In April 1996 the President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, and the President of China, Jiang Zemin, declared that the two countries intended to establish a strategic partnership for the next century. This was the culmination of a transformation in Sino-Russian relations that started during the last years of the Soviet Union. This relationship has many elements. First of all there is border security and confidencebuilding after the military clashes during the Cold War period. Secondly there has been a steady rise in bilateral trade. Thirdly, there is energy co-operation. China’s dependence on external energy sources keeps rising, opening up the prospect of increasing Russian energy exports. But co-operation has been slow to develop as Russia insists on pipelines that are largely on its territory and not subject to Chinese control, and there is increasing competition between the two countries over Central Asian energy resources. Finally there is the large-scale export of military technology to China which is in the process of substantially modernising its military. There are also potential points of friction. Chinese immigration into Russia’s sparsely populated Far East is considered a threat by some in Russia given the porous borders, the population pressure from China and the abundance of natural resources in Siberia. Relations with Central Asia, and Russia’s view of the former Soviet states as its sphere of influence is likewise a future potential point of conflict. In this context some Russian analysts perceive the arms exports to China as inimical to Russia’s national interest, as Russia may be arming its future enemy.111 China is not included in the CSTO and that limits its involvement in the security of the region. Russia prefers using the CSTO for peace-keeping and other operations in the region. This relegates the role of the SCO to a diplomatic instrument to counter US influence and provide some degree of policy co-ordination. The signing of an MOU between the SCO and the CSTO is an acknowledgement of the need for some convergence between the operational and diplomatic efforts to establish security in the region.

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The United States views Sino-Russian co-operation favourably, but is seriously concerned about China’s military modernisation and the cascade of Russia’s most advanced military equipment into China. As for the SCO, it is viewed in Washington as largely ineffectual, and despite the objections to the exclusion of the US, it is not perceived as threatening US interests. GUAM The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic development started as a consultative forum on 10 October 1997 between Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Essentially these were former Soviet republics which were united by their resistance to Russian hegemony and attempts to control military security in the former Soviet space, and faced serious internal conflicts.112 Uzbekistan joined in 1999 as it was cutting its security ties with Russia, but left on 25 May 2006 shortly after the Andijon massacre as it re-established security ties with the Russian Federation.113 The executive body of the organisation is the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member states and the institutional basis is the Committee of National Coordinators. The eight working groups cover a similar range of interests as those of the SCO, such as transport, trade and economics, the struggle against terrorism, organised crime and the dissemination of drugs. In some respects, the GUAM is a mirror organisation to the SCO, designed to limit Russia’s influence and promoting closer links with the West, as Ukraine and Georgia are hoping for membership of the European Union and NATO. But it is clearly weaker than even the SCO given that the major powers in the region are not involved. GUAM is a useful partner for the United States as it does limit Russia’s influence in the region and enables the United States to influence policies of the GUAM states on critical transportation corridors on which the US wants to bypass Iran and Russia. Although the GUAM has been described as a significant regional organisation,114 its resources and influences remain very limited.

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The Global War against Terrorism and the Geopolitics of the Caspian Region The geopolitics of the Caspian region changed as a result of 9–11 and the US-led campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan which resulted in the collapse of the Taliban regime. Operation Enduring Freedom required the basing of US forces in Central Asia, thereby creating a military presence on the territory of the former Soviet Union that had not been previously envisaged and that generated strategic concerns in Russia in particular. It also resulted in the increase of co-operation programs with countries in the region.115 Although US forces were asked to leave Uzbekistan in 2005, it is likely that some US forces will remain, especially in Kyrgyzstan, even as Operation Enduring Freedom draws down and European NATO forces continue to play an increasingly important role in securing Afghanistan. The effect of the military presence on US policy goals in the region, namely the political and economic stability of Central Asian countries and the prevention of the emergence of new ‘failed states’ is uncertain. There is no doubt that Russia has increasingly viewed the US military presence in Central Asia as a threat to its own position in the region and has both at various times let it be known that US forces should not stay for long as well as reinforcing its own military presence in the region. The United States government, on the other hand, sees value in its military presence in the longer term primarily for strategic reasons in relation to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East. US analysts seem uncertain whether the basing of US forces in Central Asia has done much or will do much to advance political goals such as supporting the stabilisation of the economy and a transition to democratic governance.116 The war in Afghanistan from 2001 which toppled the Taliban regime and eliminated the Al Qaeda training camps was initially perceived by all states in the region as improving the security situation. The Taliban had been perceived as a real security threat and as a source of Islam extremism that could spread further into the former Soviet space. Both the new relationship between the United States and the countries in the region as well as US–Russian relations seemed to benefit from this new co-operation. Moreover, various terrorist groups that had been operating in Uzbekistan

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and beyond lost their safe havens and many of their leaders were captured. The engagement of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and improved border control were important stabilising factors in the aftermath of the military operation. The internationally aided reconstruction of Afghanistan involved major infrastructure projects which also meant co-operation with its Central Asian neighbours. A new government under President Hamid Karzai was in place and the Bonn agreement (2001) provided for disarmament as well as a political settlement which resulted in the adoption of a constitution in 2004 and subsequent elections. But the warlords refused to implement the disarmament provisions and fighting intensified in 2003, when a new UN mandate for reconstruction in Afghanistan provided for NATO to take over the responsibility for the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. Since then the remit of ISAF has been extended beyond Kabul and a resurgence of the Taliban which became especially apparent in 2006 has resulted in a further intensification of combat operation. Another problem has been the significant resumption of opium exports from Afghanistan. In the light of these developments some regional states began to take a different view of the security environment; Uzbekistan in particular was concerned that the instability in Afghanistan poses significant threats which are not sufficiently mitigated by the American presence.117 The situation improved somewhat after President Obama decided to order a surge involving 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in order to implement a counterinsurgency strategy developed by General McChrystal at the end of 2009 and some co-operation between the United States and Uzbekistan resumed, in particular in relation to the transit of some troops and non-lethal supplies, although anxieties remain given the withdrawal of American forces that is to take place in 2014. The geopolitical analysis of the Caspian region shows that some of the general assumptions found in the literature require some modification. What we observe in the Caspian region is not so much a ‘great game’ but rather a ‘little game’ between the major external players. In other words, the United States, Russia and China clearly have economic and security interests in Central Asia. But these interests remain limited, and as it will become clear in the analysis of policy towards the region during the Clinton and Bush administrations, the United States has neither the will

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nor the capacity to become the dominant player in the region. This means that the analysis in this chapter does not confirm hypothesis I. Some of its rhetoric points to a re-emergence of regional hegemonic ambitions on the part of Russia. This manifests itself in greater commitment to the security of the region via the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO – based on the hitherto quite ineffective Tashkent Treaty of 1993) a greater military presence and the realignment of Uzbekistan with Russia. Nevertheless, Central Asian countries still are not prepared to trade sovereignty for security, and the Russian presence is largely symbolic. In the area of economic co-operation Russia’s economic growth, largely based on oil and gas exports at a time of high prices, has enhanced Russia’s role and influence in the region. Russia’s increased role in the Caspian region however is the result of a more pragmatic policy that puts economic interests first and is based on greater co-operation both with regional and external powers. Russian ambitions are challenged by internal political changes. The ‘colour revolutions’ in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan were strongly opposed by Moscow and represent a significant challenge to the Sovietera leadership that is still ensconced in most of the Central Asian states. Although efforts to promote democracy and human rights are largely confined to NGOs, the issue of governance is perceived in Moscow as a means whereby the United States is seeking to increase its influence, even though the United States itself is giving primacy to good relations with Caspian states and strategic interests rather than human rights and democracy. Both the United States and Russia are trying to limit the negative impact of their rivalry, as there are many issues in which US–Russian co-operation remains vital, such as strategic nuclear arms control, nuclear non-proliferation and regional conflicts which require Russian support in the UN Security Council. From the standpoint of the United States, the geopolitical significance of Central Asia has clearly increased since 9–11. This is due to a host of economic, political and military factors. The fact that oil and gas production has increased and new pipeline capacity has come online is important at a time when energy prices are comparatively high. Increasing revenues have finally generated economic growth in the region, especially in Kazakhstan, which is an important factor in maintaining political stability.

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The fact that violent conflicts in the region have either been resolved or reached a stable impasse (with the exception of some regions in the Caucasus) has further improved regional stability. The ‘global war on terror’ likewise has put the Central Asian region in the spotlight of international politics due to its strategic location. Although much attention has shifted to the war in Iraq and the confrontation with Iran, stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan remains crucial to the United States. The importance of military bases in the region lies in the operational requirement for the United States to be able to rapidly reintroduce military forces in the region if that should become necessary. It is also a means of engaging Central Asian states and assisting them in enhancing the effectiveness of their own armed forces, for example in the area of international peacekeeping, anti-terrorism and the control of the narcotics trade. For all of these reasons the predominant view in Washington is that continued involvement in the Caspian region will be essential for US strategic interests in the longer term, but what precisely that means and what military and financial resources Washington is prepared to deploy in order to achieve its objectives will be discussed in greater detail in subsequent chapters.

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3 Engaging with the Caspian Region – US National Interests in the Post-Soviet Era

This chapter looks at the evolution of US policy towards the Caspian region in the early post-Soviet era and discusses the various factors that shaped the perception of the national interest in the US government. As will be elaborated further throughout this chapter, the basis of US declaratory policy towards the Caspian/Central Asian region was a set of normative principles, namely to promote democracy and human rights, encourage economic development, promote political stability and conflict resolution and prevent the rise of political Islam. Over and against that there are two distinct sets of interests. On the one hand there are the interests of national security which include projecting US influence in the region, limiting Russian and especially Iranian influence, preventing political instability and conflict, and combating terrorism.1 On the other hand there are the interests in energy security. By looking at the different phases of US policy towards the region, this chapter will seek to establish which of the identified drivers of US policy were significant and how policy outcomes can be explained.

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The United States and the Former Soviet Space US policy towards the Caspian region after the end of the Cold War went through several phases. The initial phase which lasted until 1994 was characterised by the ‘Russia First’ policy.2 Post-Soviet Russia represented a panoply of potential dangers. The first post-Soviet government of the newly independent state called the Russian Federation was led by Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin was determined that Russia should join the West,3 but his government was besieged by opponents. The locus of power in Russia was uncertain, at least until the confrontation between the parliament and the President in October 1993.4 The Russian Federation itself was subject to the same centrifugal forces that had resulted in the dissolution of the Soviet Union, partly due to the fact that during their monumental power struggle Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev had encouraged regional autonomy,5 and partly due to the weakness of the state and the social and economic dislocation resulting from the abandonment of the Soviet system of political control and the dismantling of the central planning system.6 Among the major security issues on the agenda which were perceived critical to US security were: ensuring that former Soviet strategic and tactical nuclear weapons were safe and secure, the removal of all nuclear weapons from non-Russian Soviet successor states, and the development of new security arrangements in Europe, including the adaptation of the Conventional Forces Europe treaty to the post-Soviet era.7 The ‘Russia first’ policy was driven by the overwhelming sense that the transition to a stable post-Cold War era had to succeed. In the words of Secretary of State Warren Christopher: One of the highest foreign policy priorities [is] helping the Russian people to build a free society and a market economy. This in my judgment is the greatest strategic challenge of our time. Bringing Russia–one of history’s most powerful nations–into the family of peaceful nations will serve our highest security, economic and moral interests. For America and the world the stakes are just monumental. If we succeed, we will have established the foundation for out lasting security into the next century. But if Russia falls into anarchy or lurches back to despotism, the price we pay could be frightening.8

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The vanguard of the new strategic partnership with Russia that the Clinton administration aspired to was the Cooperative Threat Reduction program which had been initiated during the G.W.H. Bush administration by Senators Nunn and Lugar. It was pursued with great vigour during the Clinton period because then its intellectual fathers, such as Ashton Carter and Graham Allison from Harvard University had been appointed to positions in the Department of Defence (DoD) from where they did everything in their power to put their ideas into practice.9 Cooperative Threat Reduction was motivated by the perception that the collapse of the Soviet Union posed unprecedented dangers with regard to the control over the nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union. The program provided funds from the DoD budget to assist with the dismantlement of ex-Soviet ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads, provide safe and secure transportation and storage for nuclear weapons and materials, and ensure that all nuclear weapons outside the Russian Federation would be withdrawn and brought to Russia for dismantling. Tactical nuclear weapons had been based in every part of the Soviet Union, but the Russian military managed to return all of them to Russia by May 1992. The situation with strategic nuclear forces based on fixed missile silos was more problematic. Strategic forces were based in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. On the territory of Kazakhstan there were 104 SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles, the most potent weapon in the ex-Soviet arsenal and previously a major US target in strategic arms control negotiations, as well as 40 Bear long-range bombers. Other important Soviet era military assets were based in the country, such as the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the Baikonur cosmodrome where most of the Soviet space launches took place. For some time Ukraine and Kazakhstan resisted demands that the weapon be removed, until agreements were made to fund their removal and compensate the host countries under the Cooperative Threat Reduction initiative.10 The policy of the United States towards Ukraine and Kazakhstan from independence until mid-1993 was dominated by the goal of denuclearisation.11 The Clinton administration was even more determined than its predecessor to achieve this objective. The deal that eventually emerged involved financial compensation from the US while Russia provided nuclear fuel to compensate for the loss of nuclear materials contained in the warheads that were transferred back to Russia

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(equivalent to the assessed value of the fissile materials in the dismantled nuclear warheads).12 Although CTR was a remarkable and innovative program, it suffered from several serious shortcomings. In the first place the funds allocated ($500 million per annum) were not nearly enough to deal with the tasks at hand (dismantling ICBMs, securing nuclear warheads and materials, building storage facilities for plutonium) in a time-urgent manner. Even then the Defence Department was unable to spend the money allocated in the first two years, resulting in the expiry of $330 million of appropriated funds.13 Moreover Congress mandated that the bulk of the money was to be spent in the United States, a policy that resulted in severe logistical problems and made it less attractive to the Russians. The strong US–Russian partnership that characterised the first two years of the post-Soviet era came under pressure after the events of October 1993. The intense conflict between President Yeltsin and the Congress of People’s Deputies finally came to a head when the parliament sought to depose the President, and Yeltsin used the armed forces to resolve the conflict. A new constitution was approved in a referendum which put almost all executive power in the hand of the President. Although this power struggle was resolved in Yeltsin’s favour, these events mark a change in the direction of Russian foreign policy. Whereas previously the Russian government had focused on relations with the West and paid less attention to Central Asia and other newly independent states, reintegration within the former Soviet sphere became accepted policy on all sides of the political spectrum, even though there was no clear consensus on what that would mean.14 Russia engaged in efforts to give the Commonwealth of Independent States greater significance, especially in order to re-establish economic ties between its members. Already prior to October 1993 the Russian government had abandoned its benign neglect of conflict regions in the former Soviet Union and begun to engage more actively in peace enforcement. A Collective Security Treaty had been signed in Tashkent in May 1992 by Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus signed in 1993), but it did not enter into force until 20 April 1994 and its effectiveness has been questionable.

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As has been established in Chapter 2, Russia’s policy towards Central Asia cannot accurately be described as a consistent and determined effort to enforce Russia hegemony. This analysis explains the peculiar nature of the US–Russian competition for influence in the region. This was by no means an all-out struggle, as both Russia’s and US interest in the region waxed and waned over the years. At a rhetorical level relations with the West became distinctly colder after 1993, even though much of this rhetoric was for domestic consumption.15 The cooling of US relations with Russia manifested itself in the fact that the strategic arms reduction process stalled and the issue of the enlargement of NATO to incorporate Central European states became increasingly contentious.16 The Clinton administration ignored the calls of conservative critics like Zbigniew Brzezinski that the United States should support other former Soviet states such as Ukraine to contain Russia where nationalists and communists were said to be gaining the upper hand, determined to restore Russian dominance over the former Soviet space and pursue an anti-Western line.17 Until mid-1994 therefore the United States avoided any initiatives that Russia might have perceived as detrimental to its interests.18 At this time the United States was more concerned with the European part of the former Soviet Union. This was in line with its preoccupation with the emerging framework of European security and Russia’s role in particular. Thus it was concerned about Russia’s relations with the Baltic states and Ukraine. In 1994 President Clinton went so far as to indicate to Russian president Boris Yeltsin that the Caucasus and Central Asia were more the concern of Russia than the United States (almost recognising a Russian sphere of influence): You will be more likely to be involved in some of these areas near you, just like the United States has been involved in the last several years in Panama and Grenada near our area.19

However, such sentiments ran counter to the more fundamental tenets of the Clinton administration which were based on the alleged congruity of national values (the promotion of democracy, freedom and human rights) with national interests (strategic stability, access to energy).20 With the NATO program called Partnership for Peace (PfP) there was

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an engagement strategy that had proven very successful in Central Europe and was promising for Central Asia, even though in the case of the Caspian region it was not considered to be a preparation for NATO membership as such.21 By 1994 the nuclear issue had been resolved in principle. The United States had supported the denuclearisation of the non-Russian former Soviet republics, but once the three states with strategic nuclear forces on their territory had agreed to eliminate them, there was greater political space for a critical approach to Russia’s policy towards the other newly independent states (NIS). In particular, the United States was concerned about threats to the sovereignty of states in the region and was not prepared to give unconditional support to Russian military actions in the former Soviet space which were considered to lack impartiality and involved (in some cases) substantial human rights violations.22 The US government was also concerned about the smuggling of drugs, weapons and people from the region and perceived a risk that the region might become a breeding ground for terrorism if economic and political reform did not succeed.23 Some Central Asian states were admitted into membership of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (later renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council). But there was no prospect of NATO membership being offered as the United States had no intention of giving the countries of the region a security guarantee. Military co-operation extended to membership of the Partnership for Peace. The main objective was to ensure proper civilian control over the Central Asian armed forces and enable them to participate in some joint operations with NATO if necessary, in particular to provide peacekeepers and disaster relief. Joint exercises for example focused on mine clearance and provision of humanitarian aid.24 The Clinton administration established a special interagency group on the Caspian region chaired by Sheila Heslin, Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council. The special interagency group articulated United States declaratory policy towards the former Soviet republics and Central Asia in particular as being based on the following objectives:25

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• Support the independence and sovereignty of the newly independent states in the Caucasus and Central Asia (the unspoken assumption being that Russia constituted the main threat) • Encourage resolution of conflict and promote stability in the region • The promotion of democracy and human rights • Encourage successful economic reform and the transition to a market economy • Prevent the spread of radical Islam (The United States government became increasingly aware of the threat of radical Islam within the region, which became manifest in the Islam Renaissance Party of Uzbekistan (founded in 1991) and the Islamic faction in the civil war in Tajikistan. At the same time there was concern that Iran would seek to spread radical Islam into the region.)26 • Limit the influence of other outside powers (especially Iran) • To enable Caspian hydrocarbon reserves to reach the global market without transiting Iran or Russia There is a consensus in the literature that at this time economic interests were not the dominant factor in US policy towards the region; instead strategic considerations were decisive.27 According to these accounts, the United States wanted to limit Russian influence, support the observance of international norms by states in the region and the resolution of regional conflicts. Another important aspect of the US geopolitical agenda in the region was support for Turkey and the containment of Iran.28 While there is some plausibility in this analysis which is supported by official US government statements, nevertheless it can also be argued that Western access to the oil and gas resources of the region give it an importance for the United States that it otherwise simply would not have. The renewed interest in Central Asia manifested itself in increased provision of aid (even though the total level of aid remained modest).29 Washington also changed its policy with regard to Azerbaijan. Initially the United States favoured Armenia but despite the June 1993 coup in which the former member of the Soviet politburo, Haidar Aliyev, displaced the democratically elected Elchibey, a rapprochement with the US began to take place.30 Washington was hoping that Aliyev would limit Russian influence in the region and relations were consolidated by the Contract

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of the Century in September 1994 between Azerbaijan and a consortium of Western companies to exploit Azerbaijani oil reserves.31 Due to US intervention, Iran was excluded from this contract. In the wake of this contract President Clinton set up a Caspian Task Force headed by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. The task force undertook to promote the diversification of pipeline routes while seeking to prevent pipeline projects that would transport oil and gas through Iran. The advice of the US government to countries in the Caspian region was to consider their own rights and producers of gas and oil and view Russia and Iran as competitors. Central Asian states were receptive to the idea of reducing reliance on Russia, although this was easier said than done. They were less keen on avoiding dealing with Iran since energy transport through Iran was an obvious alternative, but they largely bowed to US pressure on this issue as it was practically impossible to raise funding to build pipelines through Iran. This approach manifested itself in the determined pursuit by the US government of the BTC pipeline project, which ultimately came to fruition in 2006.32 During the early phase of the Cooperative Threat Reduction programme Kazakhstan was Washington’s main partner in Central Asia. The driving factor was clearly the achievement the dismantling of the SS-18 ICBMs based in northern Kazakhstan, the shutting down the Aktau fast breeder reactor and securing nuclear materials. Kazakhstan was a relatively congenial partner for the United States with a political commitment to economic reform, openness to investment and trade and a comparatively liberal government (although only pro-forma a democracy). In 1994 a joint commission was set up to institutionalise US–Kazakh security co-operation.33 Other Central Asian states were included in security co-operation through NATO’s Partnership for Peace program (PfP). Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan joined PfP in 1994 and in 1995 they began to take part in exercises which also included Tajikistan. President Clinton had given Deputy Secretary of State Talbott special responsibility for the region. Talbott articulated the view of the administration that increased military–to-military co-operation would help to reduce regional instability and promote mutual security in order to avoid the power rivalry of the ‘Great Game’ in the 19th century.34

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But US relations with Kazakhstan became less close as it became evident that Kazakhstan was unable and unwilling to move too far out of Russia’s orbit due to its geographic proximity, the large Russian population in the country and its strategic interests.35 The latter included reliance on Russia for external security, export of oil through Russian pipelines and the use of Russian oil refineries, and mutual co-operation in the use of the Baikonur Space Center which Russia continued to use as its principal facility for space launches.36 Meanwhile the Clinton administration became preoccupied with the conflicts in the Balkans and Kazakh President Nazarbayev was irked by its promotion of human rights. When Nazarbayev’s advisor James Giffen (an American citizen) was suspected of money laundering in 1999 (he was arrested in 2003) and Nazarbayev’s name was linked with criminal investigations in the United States relations cooled further.37 As US interest in Kazakhstan waned Uzbekistan began to emerge as its favoured partner in the region. This occurred despite the fact that Uzbekistan was not a very natural partner for the United States.38 The government of Islam Karimov was not just undemocratic, but downright authoritarian; it staunchly resisted economic reform to the point of refusing loans from the IMF, and was guilty of serious human rights violations.39 But all of these factors were downplayed by the US in view of the strategic importance of the relationship.40 Uzbekistan was not only a significant regional player with the largest combat ready armed forces in Central Asia, but was a frontline state in the effort to prevent the spread of Taliban influence into the former Soviet space and considered a bulwark against Islamist extremism in the region. Russian promises to provide military support to assist Uzbekistan in the fight against terrorists who detonated a series of bombs in an effort to assassinate Karimov were never followed up by any action (even promised weapon deliveries failed to materialise) and consequently Karimov decided to look for security partners elsewhere. He was a supporter of Israel and co-operated with US sanctions against Iran. Dekmejian and Simonian noted that Turkmenistan, which maintained good relations with its neighbour Iran, was judged more harshly on its human rights record even though the level of human rights violations in Uzbekistan was comparable.41

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The reason why Turkmenistan was judged more harshly may have been simply that the US had no other reason to engage with Turkmenistan and therefore no reason to ignore the human rights record. There were also efforts from 1994 onwards to find solutions for regional conflicts, especially the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh and the conflict in Georgia in relation to Abkhazia.42 However, due to the difficult discussions with Russia over the eastward enlargement of NATO which was strongly opposed by most of the Russian political elite, the Clinton administration did not want to involve itself in the Caspian region too overtly or be seen as posing a threat to Russian influence. This restraint was strongly criticised by more conservative analysts such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Cheney and James Baker as well as the oil industry.43 It is fair to say, therefore, that US policy towards the Caspian was subject to profound contradictions. The promotion of democracy, political stability and economic reform were said to be central objectives, but were relegated to secondary status in favour of strategic objectives. The limitation of Russian influence was a major strategic objective, but the United States did not become directly involved in regional conflicts during the 1990s. The only impact of the US on regional conflicts was to deny Russia UN Security Council support to legitimise their military actions. No clear alternative to energy transport through Russia had emerged and Russia continued to block the development of Caspian oil resources with its attitude to the dispute over the Caspian Sea’s legal status. US relations with Azerbaijan were marred by the denial of aid under the ‘Freedom Support Act’ due to Azerbaijan’s blockade of Armenia in the course of the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. Conservative critics of US foreign policy had long demanded a more differentiated approach to the former Soviet space and in particular criticised the ‘Russia first’ policy which ignored the failure of democracy in Russia and the anti-Western elements of Russian foreign policy. Paul Wolfowitz for example complained about ‘a dangerous and misguided policy of “Russia only”’. 44 In 1998 Frederick S. Starr made similar points in his testimony to Congress, stating that ‘we have viewed policy towards Central Asia and the Caspian basin as a subset of some other policy concern, usually Russia, rather than a focus of American policy in its own

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right.’45 As an expert in Islamic culture, Starr had a special interest in the region that had now become liberated from Soviet dominance. Starr’s outspoken support for engaging the authoritarian regimes of Central Asia earned him the nickname ‘Professor of Repression’ in the liberal media.46 The conservative critics demanded a fundamental policy shift. This would include greater US involvement in the region, a lifting of sanctions against Iran to permit the development of new energy transport routes by-passing Russia and the lifting of restrictions on aid to Azerbaijan.47 One prominent advocate of a more differentiated policy towards the former Soviet space was Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. He generally perceived relations with Russia as being characterised by rivalry as well as co-operation and advocated greater support for various states in Eurasia (such as Ukraine) to balance Russia.48 In this context he argued for a more proactive policy towards Central Asia: US political relations with Uzbekistan, and to some extent Turkmenistan, both of which appear to resist external domination, have lagged behind because in Washington’s view these largely Muslim countries have made insufficient progress towards democracy. Yet US policy toward Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, for example, does not appear to be motivated by the same concern and, for equally good strategic reasons, neither was it in years past toward Taiwan or Korea.49

Zbigniew Brzezinski was at the core of a group of analysts at the Centre for Strategic & International Studies in Washington lobbying for change in policy towards Russia and the CIS. Another such group was based at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University which launched a Central Asia-Caucasus Institute under the directorship of Frederick Starr. Just before he assumed that position Starr wrote a seminal article in Foreign Affairs which highlighted the strategic importance of Central Asia and identified Uzbekistan as a state pivotal to regional stability.50 Unlike Brzezinski, whose main concern was the power game between Russia and the United States in which Central Asia is playing a role, Starr was motivated by his particular concern for the future of the countries of Central Asia.51 In July 1998 the United States Senate held a hearing before the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy,

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Export and Trade Promotion of the Committee on Foreign Relations on ‘Implementation of U.S. Policy on Caspian Sea Oil Exports.’52 Various experts were invited to testify, included Zbigniew Brzezinski, Martha Brill Olcott, Stephen R. Sestanovich (Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for New Independent States) and Frederick Starr. Brzezinski called again for a comprehensive policy towards the region which he said was characterised by ‘internal weakness, internal instability, internal ethnic, national and religious conflicts’.53 He argued in favour of improving relations with Iran and loosening the ‘dual containment’ strategy because it was essentially freezing the United States out of the game. The geostrategic importance of Central Asia was based on its rich energy resources. Martha Brill Olcott focused on the security interests of the United States in the region and the critical role of Uzbekistan for regional stability. After this hearing the Senate adopted the Silk Road Strategy Act of 1999. It provided for US support for the development of transport infrastructure in the region and energy-extracting industries. It was also designed to encourage democratic and free-market institutions and support human rights. The Security Assistance Act of 1998 provided for defence co-operation with a number of newly independent states including Uzbekistan. Despite the official commitment to support human rights and democracy, it was becoming increasingly clear that the US government was willing to work with governments whose commitment to either was highly questionable. There was strong support in Congress for this change in the direction of policy. For example, Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations known for his conservatism and who had strongly opposed most-favoured nation status for China because of human rights issues, took a different view on Central Asia: It is necessary to recognize that human rights problems exist in every country in the region. Under existing human rights statutes however, the Administration has not found such violations to be sufficient to merit a cutoff of US assistance.54

In summary, US policy towards the former Soviet space, including the Caspian region, was initially dominated by the concern to support a peaceful transition to a new international order in which the former

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Soviet Union would reform politically and economically and integrate into the international community. The main focus was on Russia and the management of a new strategic nuclear relationship, co-operative threat reduction to mitigate the dangers of the Soviet nuclear inheritance and establishing Russia’s new role in the security architecture of Europe. This policy was pursued until 1997 when it came under criticism both from within and without the administration. Engaging Central Asia and Pipeline Politics In 1997 US policy towards the Caspian entered a new phase marked by increased engagement in the pursuit of US national interests. There are a number of factors that could account for this shift. First of all, relations with Russia were changing as many of the objectives of the ‘Russia First’ policy seemed to have been achieved. Yeltsin survived the many challenges to his position and won a second term. The denuclearisation of the non-Russian former Soviet republics had been agreed and was being completed. The United States defied Russia over the enlargement of NATO and through the Partnership for Peace developed closer military co-operation with Central Asian states. Although the evidence shows that Clinton continued to attach great importance to the relationship with Russia,55 there was some sympathy with the arguments advanced by critics such as Brzezinski. In the first place the administration was concerned about Russian involvement in the region which threatened the sovereignty of the newly independent states as Russia was projecting force to resolve conflicts on its terms.56 Secondly the arguments for the proposition that engagement with the key states in Central Asia was essential were broadly accepted by the Clinton administration. This was exemplified for example by the new Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during her confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she identified the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan as a priority for US foreign policy.57 Such an engagement could not wait until the problems were resolved and to make aid conditional on certain indicators was problematic, because Central Asian leaders were likely to prefer continued reliance on Russia.58 Promotion of democracy and human rights became ultimately subordinated to strategic objectives.59 In March 1997 the then

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National Security Advisor Sandy Berger announced that the Caucasus and Central Asia had high priority for US foreign policy and that involvement in the region would increase.60 Strobe Talbott outlined US strategic interests in the region in a major policy speech on 21 July 1997:61 If reform in the nations of the Caucasus and central Asia continues and ultimately succeeds, it will encourage similar progress in the other newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, including Russia and Ukraine. It will contribute to stability in a strategically vital region that borders China, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, and that has growing economic and social ties with Pakistan and India. The consolidation of free societies, at peace with themselves and each other, stretching from the Black Sea to the Pamir mountains, will open up a valuable trade and transport corridor along the old Silk Road, between Europe and Asia … If economic and political reform … does not succeed, if internal and cross-border conflicts simmer and flare, the region could become a breeding ground of terrorism, a hotbed of religious and political extremism, and a battleground for outright war. It would matter profoundly to the United States if that were to happen in an area that sits on as much as 200 billion barrels of oil.62

This speech highlights another important factor of the US policy shift. At the heart of it was the determination by US Energy Secretary Frederico Pena ˘ that the transport problems that restricted the amount of oil that could reach world markets from the Caspian region needed to be addressed seriously. There was serious concern both in Congress and in the administration that in the face of increasing worldwide demand for oil an increase and diversification of supply was of critical importance.63 A critical driver of US policy was the emerging ‘threat’ of new multiple pipelines that would pass through Russia (the northern route) and Iran (the southern route). The southern route was considered by many analysts by far the most economically viable, and there was a network of oil company representatives, analysts and members of Congress who advocated a partial lifting of sanctions against Iran and support for a southern pipeline.64 Oil companies recruited such high-level former officials as Zbigniew Brzezinski, John Sununu, Dick Cheney and James Baker. Similar political pressure was building up in the region as Azerbaijan

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and Kazakhstan in particular were looking for alternatives to the Russian pipeline network. Officials of the Azerbaijan International Operating Co. consortium and the Amoco Corporation held briefings with maps showing possible pipeline routes through Iran and complaining about the cost of sanctions. Such lobbying continued with great intensity for some time.65 Dick Cheney, then chairman of the Halliburton Corporation stated with respect to sanctions against Iran as mandated by the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act: I think we sort of marginalize ourselves in terms of our ability to operate in the region… I just see it as a very shortsighted policy.66

This was rejected by the Clinton administration which perceived itself to be involved in a strategic confrontation with Iran.67 Indeed, the administration engaged in a major political campaign both at home and abroad in order to drive home the message that any exports through Iran were unacceptable. On 27 May 1997 Energy Secretary Peña announced a new Caspian Sea Initiative in Istanbul which brought together EXIM (the US Export-Import Bank), OPIC (the Overseas Private Investment Corporation) and TDA (the United States Trade and Development Agency) to coordinate and support the development of projects in the Caspian region. In November 1997 Peña went on tour of Central Asia.68 He used every stop to reinforce the message of US government opposition to investments by Western companies in the Iranian oil and gas sectors as well as transit routes for Caspian oil and gas through Iran.69 In July 1998 Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs reiterated the reasons for seeking to exclude Iran as a possible corridor for energy transport in his testimony to Congress: … we will also continue our active efforts to dissuade countries from considering Iran as an acceptable route for transporting their energy reserves. As Secretary Albright said on May 18, we remain ‘strongly opposed to oil and gas pipelines which transit Iran and as a policy matter we will continue to encourage alternative routes for the transport of Caspian energy resources.’ In her Asia Society speech in the middle of June, she reiterated that ‘our economic policies, including with respect to export pipelines for Caspian

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oil and gas, remain unchanged.’ Iran is not only risky as a route for energy; it also keeps control of the region’s energy reserves in fewer hands, and we do not believe that it is in anyone’s interest. As the Secretary also said, we will examine carefully, under the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act and other relevant authorities, any new proposals for the construction of pipelines and take action appropriate to the circumstances. 70

Instead the administration supported the concept of a major TransCaspian pipeline across an East-West corridor to Turkey that would bypass both Iran and Russia. Dekmejian and Simonian argue that despite Talbott’s declaratory commitment to the spread of democracy and conflict resolution, the US government joined the ‘Great Game’ with determination. They cite Sheila Heslin, the Director of Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs in the National Security Council who chaired the ‘Caspian Energy Interagency Working Group’. She testified to the US Congress that the goal of the Clinton administration was to Promote the independence of these oil-rich republics, to in essence break Russia’s monopoly over the transportation of oil from that region.71

This was the centrepiece of the strategy to protect the sovereignty of the Caspian states against Russian hegemonic influence. However, this was easier said than done, as Russia itself was seeking to extend its pipeline network and strengthen its control over energy resources in the former Soviet space. The lynchpin of the Clinton strategy was the Baku-TbilisiCeyhan pipeline which would allow Azeri oil to be transported to a Turkish port.72 In mid-1998 administration officials reiterated the key elements of their policy towards the Caspian region in testimony before Congress. In the words of Marc Grossman (Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs), these were: • Diversify world energy supplies, increasing energy security for us and our European allies; • Eliminate traditional energy monopolies on which many of the countries in the region were dependent;

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• Avoid the emergence of choke points such as the Bosporus in the Caspian • Advance opportunities for American business; and • Provide support for the new nations of Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as our NATO ally Turkey.73 This second point implied clearly that the United States wanted to end the Russian monopoly over energy transport while preventing any new pipelines through Iran. As for supporting countries in the region, the main instrument for this purpose was the Freedom Support Act of 1992. However, the level of support provided was relatively modest, amounting to $3.4 billion from FY1992 to FY2004 for all countries.74 One issue relating to the Freedom Support Act that generated a great deal of political controversy and created problems for the Clinton administration’s strategy was section 907. This section prohibited any direct aid to Azerbaijan unless it took steps to end blockades and the use of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Azeri President Aliyev at various times expressed his discontent with the failure of the US Senate to repeal this section,75 while there was significant lobbying by the Armenian government to retain it.76 The Clinton administration strongly supported the repeal of section 907 and the adoption of the Silk Road Strategy Act77 which was first proposed by Senator Sam Brownback in 1997.78 For the administration, its engagement of Azerbaijan whose oil production was the centerpiece of its regional diplomacy, the denial of aid was a deep contradiction at the heart of US policy. There was opposition to this policy in Congress, spearheaded by Senator Sarbanes, ranking minority member of the subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion who described Azerbaijan as the third most corrupt developing country in the world and stated that ‘human rights will not be glossed over in order to protect oil interests’.79 The Silk Road Strategy Act was adopted in 1999 but retained the ban on direct aid to Azerbaijan even though its purpose was to provide support to Central Asian states and the development of the East-West transport corridor.80 The administration was never able to muster support for the repeal of section 907 due to the influence of the Armenian lobby, but its successor (the Bush administration) obtained a waiver for its provision from 2002 onwards as

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a result of increased support for engagement of the region in the aftermath of 9–11. The BTC project was pursued to its final conclusion despite Russian and EU opposition. It not only created the first major export route for Caspian oil that did not run through Russia, but by terminating in a Mediterranean port it obviated the need for shipping through the Bosporus which is a serious concern for Turkey on environmental grounds. The project was designed to strengthen US relations with its NATO ally Turkey while at the same time reducing the likelihood of a new pipeline through Iran. Indeed, US sanctions against Iran were tightened to prevent any investment in pipelines that would transport oil or gas through Iran. US interest in forging relations with Caspian states was emphasised in 1997 by a range of high level visits. In particular Azerbaijani president Aliyev and Georgia’s President Shevardnadze received the red carpet treatment in Washington. The purpose was clear: Washington was seeking support for a pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan through Georgia. Initially the US had proposed a pipeline route from Azerbaijan through Armenia. This was highlighted by the State Department as a means to promote a settlement of the conflict between the two countries, but it became clear that the continuing volatility of the region would make it impossible to finance such a scheme.81 Moreover, it would have been impossible to get Azerbaijan’s co-operation, whereas Georgia and Azerbaijan had developed closer political and economic relations. Even so, from the US perspective pipeline policy was to a significant extent also security policy, given the serious efforts to reduce the dependence of Caspian states on Russia and prevent oil and gas exports through Iran. Thus it was an important goal of US policy to support Georgia’s endeavours to strengthen its independence from Russia and make it into an important Western ally in the region. In November 1997 First Lady Hillary Clinton went on a trip to Central Asia, visiting Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic.82 The administration efforts to get the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project going reached new heights in 1998, despite unfavourable circumstances. Thus in July 1998 Ambassador Richard L. Morningstar was appointed to be Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State for Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy to coordinate US policy and programs relating to the development of oil and gas resources in the Caspian Basin.83 The

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participation of Kazakhstan was considered to be crucial to the project given the scale of Kazakhstan’s oil reserves in order to ensure the required volume of oil. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev supported the project in principle, but failed to commit to use the pipeline to export Kazakh oil. In December 1997 Nazarbayev pledged to support the BTC project provided proper financing arrangements could be agreed, but he also made public remarks about offers from Teheran to pay for a pipeline through Iran.84 Although Kazakhstan had to endure inequitable conditions imposed by Russia for the use of its network, it was still largely committed to export through Russia because of its involvement in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium that was building a new pipeline to Novorossyisk. The situation changed as a result of the discovery of large additional deposits in the Kashagan oil fields for which an extension of the BTC pipeline would be the appropriate transport route.85 Towards the end of the 1990s falling oil prices caused analysts to question the financial viability of the project. Indeed the steep drop in oil prices in 1998 caught politicians, companies and analysts by surprise and seemed to render various investment projects unviable. Consequently the dominant mood among American analysts and academic scholars was that the Caspian energy resources were not as significant as the Clinton administration seemed to think. For a start, the US State Department figure for oil reserves in the region significantly exceeded the estimates of the industry. Figures for proven reserves were at about 30 billion barrels for the Caspian basin, representing less than 3% of proven world reserves. The State Department’s claim of a potential of 200 billion barrels seemed for many analysts to represent speculative hype.86 As far as gas reserves are concerned, the proven reserves in the Caspian basin are about 242–372 trillion cubic feet, a small proportion of the estimated reserves in Russia and Iran which amount to 1700 and 800 trillion cubic feet respectively.87 Since most of the region was landlocked energy transport costs were comparatively high. Amy Myers Jaffe from the Baker Institute at Rice University in Texas was relentless in attacking ‘the myth of the Caspian resource bonanza’ in general and the Baku-Ceyhan line in particular:

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Ironically, the key problem for the success of the Baku-Ceyhan line, and US policy towards the region with it, is the fact that not enough oil has been discovered yet to justify its construction.88

Jaffe reflected a widespread view in the industry.89 Julia Nanay, Director at the Petroleum Finance Company in New York, put it like this: The dilemma for the US government is that in November 1997, when it first began making its enormous push for East-West pipeline routes, the euphoria over first production … got in the way of rational thinking.90

This comment ignores the fact that the support for East-West pipelines was primarily driven by geopolitical and not financial or economic considerations. The success of the BTC project was clearly due to the extraordinary degree of commitment at the very highest level of the Clinton administration, as Energy Secretary Bill Richardson (Peña’s successor) made clear at the occasion of the signing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline agreement on 18 November 1999.91 Without such determination by the Clinton administration this project would have failed, because the countries in the region were more interested in a pipeline through Iran, as was the oil industry. The business case for the BTC was extremely hard to sustain. All the problems notwithstanding, and after various false starts and delays, the BTC pipeline project was finally launched in October 2002 with a projected capacity of a million barrels per day at a cost of $3.2 per barrel. The pipeline was opened in spring 2006 and its total cost amounted to $3.4 billion. It remains the main export route from Central Asia to the West and carries a volume of 900,000 barrels per day.92 It is important to note that despite the increasing efforts in the second Clinton administration to engage the Central Asian states, support the investment of US energy companies, limit Russian influence and support countries in the Caspian region in their efforts to strengthen their national sovereignty, there were clear limits to US engagement. In spite of various degrees of military co-operation, the United States was not prepared to become directly involved in regional conflicts or intervene militarily against any threat to the national security of the regional states. It was not willing to assume major security responsibilities in such an unstable

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region, or to confront either Russia or China too overtly, as security relations with Russia remained central to the national security strategy of the United States. Finally, US companies have faced serious competition from European companies. Thus BP-Amoco is lead player in Azerbaijan, while the main US interest is represented by Chevron Texaco who is the key investor in Kazakhstan (principally the Tengiz oil and gas fields). Exxon Mobil also has an extensive regional presence, and the two companies provided about half of the cost of the pipeline to the Russian port of Novorossyisk built by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). The first phase of this project was completed in 2001 and regular operations began in 2003.93 China also registered serious interest with the purchase of 60% of Kazakhstan’s Aktyubinsk Oil Company for $4.3 billion in 1997 based on plans for the construction of a pipeline linking Kazakhstan and China’s Xinjiang province. The Bush Administration and US National Security Interests in Central Asia The advent of the Bush administration marked a significant shift. The initial national security policy envisaged a reduction of US commitments overseas or involvement in regional conflicts in other parts of the world. In particular it initially did not want to continue the Clinton administration’s efforts to find a resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. It also downgraded the significance of Russia and Eurasia in an endeavour to shift attention from the Cold War era concerns to new potential sources of international security threats.94 In particular the Bush administration was focusing on the rivalry with China, whose impressive economic growth rates and huge population made it a potential strategic superpower and rival in the 21st century.95 None of these meant that the Bush administration would not support US oil interests in the region,96 and it also endorsed the BTC pipeline. Indeed the National Energy Development Group chaired by Vice-President Cheney produced a report that advocated, among other measures, the diversification of energy supplies to which Caspian energy resources could contribute. But these were viewed as economic and industrial rather than security interests. Of course basic elements of US policy towards the region remained in place. The United

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States remained committed to promote stability in the region while at the same time supporting political and economic reform as well as counterterrorism. But US interests in this remote region and countries which had little connection with the United States, with small economies and very limited military capabilities were difficult to articulate in a manner that would convince either the general public in the US or even senior policymakers of their importance. Essentially Central Asia was relegated to an even lower tier in the hierarchy of US strategic interests. The unwillingness of the Bush administration to become involved in Central Asia was rather graphically demonstrated by remarks from Elizabeth Jones in April 2001, then Senior Advisor for Caspian Energy Diplomacy, to the effect that the US military would not intervene in the event of Islamist terrorist incursions into Central Asia.97 The Impact of 9–11 The attitude of the Bush administration changed dramatically in response to the attacks of 9–11. With the conflict in Afghanistan the Central Asian region suddenly became the focus of global security. The security relationship between the United States and Central Asian countries reversed. Whereas previously the United States had played a role in providing security for the region, now suddenly the national security of the United States required the support of Central Asian states. According to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe, the US government adopted the view as a result of 9–11 ‘that it was critical to the national interests of the United States that we greatly enhance our relations with the five Central Asian countries’ (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) to ensure that they would not become harbours for terrorism.98 The position previously enunciated by Elizabeth Jones (appointed Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in 2001) was reversed and she herself referred to the Central Asian countries as ‘frontline states’ in the war on terrorism. In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee she identified ‘three significant U.S. national interests in the region: preventing the spread of terrorism, providing tools for political and economic reform and institution of the rule of law, and ensuring the security and

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transparent development of Caspian energy reserves.’99 She mapped out the new thinking on the future of the region and US involvement in the following terms: We have a vision for this region – that it becomes stable, peaceful, and prosperous. We have a vision that the individual countries will markedly accelerate their economic reforms and democratic credentials, respect human rights, and develop vibrant civil societies. We have a vision that the countries of this region are increasingly integrated into the global economy via an east-west corridor of co-operation stretching from China and Afghanistan across the Caucasus to the Mediterranean. We share this vision with the well-educated, ambitious, hard-working people of these new countries. We are engaging – seriously and for the long term – with Central Asia.100

Not surprisingly, the statement was short on detail. The immediate need was for Central Asian states to support the US logistical requirements for the war in Afghanistan and to provide corridors for humanitarian assistance and supplies for reconstruction. But military co-operation with Central Asian states and in particular the basing of US forces was also an issue in US relations with Russia. There was a consensus in the administration on US interests in Central Asia, even though views on the kind and degree of US engagement with the region differed.101 US support to the former Soviet republics was considered necessary in order to prevent political instability and inhibit the growth of terrorist groups which had the potential to affect the security of neighbouring states and the threat of international terrorism more generally. Another issue high on the agenda was the need to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons-related technology and other WMD technology, and due to the Soviet legacy Central Asia was considered to pose some risk.102 The mitigation of political instability, the support for the democratisation and respect for human rights would alleviate some of the social conditions that strengthened Islamic extremism. The US presence in the region would also strengthen the independence of the former Soviet states and prevent the reassertion of Russian hegemony. Some observers outside government argued that aid should be made conditional

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on the observance of human rights and that US support for governments that refused to engage in political reform and improve their human rights record should be cut or restricted.103 This was based on the argument that given the centrality of democracy promotion and adherence to human rights and other international norms, US policy lacked credibility both in and outside the region. They warned that the US might come to be perceived as a supporter for authoritarian or even repressive regimes by the local population which might fuel anti-American sentiment and Islamic extremism and that according higher priority to the goals of regional integration, non-proliferation and trade was misguided. While the critique of the inconsistencies of US policy was undeniably correct, it rested on an unrealistic analysis of the policy options. First of all, there was no evidence that US policy did generate any significant anti-American sentiment in the region. Secondly, the Central Asian leaders were staunchly resisting US efforts to introduce political reform or improve human rights, and the critics of the policy did not explain what policy instruments the United States had at its disposal to actually achieve the objectives which they advocated. US policy had to take into account the effect of engagement with Central Asia on US-Russian relations. The events of 9–11 afforded Russian President Vladimir Putin an opportunity to elevate US-Russian relations to the level of a new partnership and to override his critics at home, when he promised Russia’s support in the fight against terror.104 There was much to gain for Russia. Until this moment Russia had figured relatively low in the priorities of the Bush administration.105 Russia needed a predictable international environment to the West, the continuation of the process of an orderly restructuring of the nuclear relationship with the US, and continued economic support from the West. Furthermore, the US war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda dealt with Russia’s most serious external security threat, namely infiltration from Afghanistan by the Taliban and other Islamic extremists.106 In particular, it deprived the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and other insurgent movements of their base in Afghanistan. In turn, the US benefited greatly from Russian intelligence about Afghanistan, the activities of the Taliban and the location of Al Qaeda training camps. The United States also needed to base forces in Central Asia, and states in the region, especially Tajikistan and

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Uzbekistan, were keen to host American forces. Strictly speaking the United States did not need Russia’s permission for this, but serious opposition by the Russian government would have made the decision more difficult for the governments of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Despite some misgivings in Moscow, Putin made a virtue of the necessity of acquiescing to the basing of US forces on former Soviet territory after it became clear that there was little that Russia could do to stop it. Russia not only supplied intelligence and humanitarian air corridors, but also provided arms for the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, which played a key role in the US campaign in Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan initially appeared to increase the stability of the region and Central Asian states eagerly welcomed the establishment of US military bases. Soon there was agreement with Uzbekistan on a US military base, a status of forces agreement and even a strategic partnership agreement. Although Washington did not fulfil all of Tashkent’s demands (such as admission to NATO for example), the negotiations went smoothly. Defence Secretary Rumsfeld visited Uzbekistan and on 7 December 2001 a visit by Secretary of State Powell emphasised the significance of the new relationship between Uzbekistan and the United States. During the war in Afghanistan the United States had two military bases in Central Asia to support its operations – Karshi-Kanabad (K-2, Uzbekistan) and Manas (Kyrgyzstan). There was also a US military presence in Tajikistan. Uzbekistan expected wide-ranging security and financial assistance; these expectations were only partially met. For example, the United States rejected Karimov’s demand to be admitted into NATO due to the fact that Uzbekistan would not be able to meet the political and technical criteria for NATO membership and such a move would be very provocative vis-à-vis Russia. Moreover, the United States was not prepared to give a security guarantee in the event of a conflict with Russia or other states in the region, since there was unlikely to be domestic political support in the US or in the other NATO states for such a risky commitment. However in March 2002 Secretary of State Colin Powell and President Karimov signed a ‘United States – Uzbekistan Declaration on the Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Framework’. The main points were as follows:

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Uzbekistan reaffirms its commitment to further intensify the democratic transformation of its society politically and economically. The United States agrees to provide the Government of Uzbekistan assistance in implementing democratic reforms in priority areas such as building a strong and open civil society, establishing a genuine multi-party system and independence of the media, strengthening non-governmental structures, and improving the judicial system. ... The U.S. affirms that it would regard with grave concern any external threat to the security and territorial integrity of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The two countries expect to develop co-operation in combating transnational threats to society, and to continue their dynamic military and military-technical co-operation.107

This amounted to a de facto security guarantee for a former Soviet state, although the scope of such a guarantee remained unclear (for example, the US would probably not have intervened against an internal uprising in Uzbekistan). US Freedom Support Act (FSA) funds to Uzbekistan increased to $118.2 million in 2002 (compared with $24.8 million in the previous year). Foreign Military Finance (FMF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds to Uzbekistan increased more than tenfold to $37.7 million in 2002. In 2003 FSA funds amounted to $39.5 million, while FMF/IMET were just $8.6 million.108 Furthermore $15 million were paid for the use of the airfield and $55 million in credits from the US Export-Import bank. As we discussed earlier, the United States also established a base at Manas in Kyrgyzstan and had the use of an airport at Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The main purpose of establishing these bases had to do with the military logistics for Operation Enduring Freedom. Nevertheless, it fitted in well with the efforts to develop military ties with the Central Asian countries. Moreover, it bound the states of the region into support for the operations in Afghanistan which was clearly of central strategic significance.

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Engaging Central Asia With the ‘global war on terror’ becoming the central focus of US foreign policy, a considerable effort to engage Central Asian states such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and to some extent Kazakhstan and Tajikistan was undertaken. The long-term interests of the United States in the region were elaborated by Assistant Secretary of State A. Elizabeth Jones at a congressional hearing on US-Central Asian Cooperation: 1. Prevention of the spread of terrorism 2. Providing assistance to Central Asian States with political and economic reform and promoting the rule of law 3. The secure and transparent development of Caspian energy resources.109 The most profound transformation occurred in relations with Uzbekistan, but there was also a complete turn-around in US policy towards Azerbaijan. The US Senate amended US legislation that had prohibited aid to Azerbaijan (except for disarmament) until the Baku government ended the use of force and blockades against Nagorno-Karabakh. The foreign appropriations bill passed on 24 October 2001 gave the president the authority to waive any restrictions on aid to Azerbaijan on the grounds of the national interest. Thus the Bush administration asked for $50 million in FY2002 and $52.98 million FY 2003 in additional support for Azerbaijan. The Bush administration did not exert overt pressure on Central Asian governments to engage in political reform and sought to build a constructive relationship with the autocratic post-Soviet rulers.110 Nevertheless there was a consensus in Washington that long-term stability in Central Asia required a program of change that would lead to a democratic political order, with governments that enjoyed legitimacy on the basis of the rule of law and respect for human rights, civil society and economic reform. In the course of congressional testimony Elizabeth Jones detailed various instances of human rights violations in several Central Asian states and then addressed the issue of democracy:

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No country in the region has held a free and fair democratic election. Moreover, attempts by governments to curtail political activity through spurious or selective prosecutions, and through removing opposition candidates from the ballot are common. Kazakhstan has pledged to adopt a new liberal elections law that meets OSCE standards. Though the current draft before parliament is not OSCE-compliant, we hope that Kazakhstan will continue its close co-operation with the OSCE to ensure that it is. We have also emphasized the importance of a normal, constitutional transfer of power in the Kyrgyz Republic upon President Akayev’s promised departure from office in 2005. After the disappointing and flawed constitutional referendum there in February, we hope that the Kyrgyz government will co-operate with OSCE expert advisors to ensure that resulting legislation meets international standards.111

As will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 4, the linkage between democracy and political stability was based on the conception that authoritarian governments, repression of dissent and the abuse of human rights would promote domestic political instability and Islamic extremism as the only available alternative. But the commitment to democracy promotion and adherence to human rights was also a response to pressure from the US Congress where the administration was criticised due to the lack of progress in political reforms and human rights policy in the region, in particular in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The instruments of US policy highlighted by Jones, apart from reminding the governments continuously of the need for political and economic reform, were ‘exchanges’ involving academic training in the United States for 13,000 Central Asians, promoting the creation of NGOs active in Central Asian countries, various form of economic co-operation including energy and water management. There were inherent contradictions and external constraints that meant that this approach could deliver little in terms of tangible outcomes. First of all there was the contradiction between shortterm and medium to long-term interests. The concept that Central Asian states could only deal with terrorism and prevent the further radicalisation of opponents of their regimes if they created a civil society and a pluralistic political system was almost universally accepted in Washington.112 The Central Asian elites whose first priority was to perpetuate themselves

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in power were sowing the seeds of future instability. On the other hand, other objectives such as practical co-operation in the war against terrorism and limiting Russian and Chinese influence in the region meant that the US government saw no option but to closely co-operate with the Central Asian leaders without serious efforts to force them to reform. The Central Asian elites considered the concept of ‘stability through change’ a contradiction in terms. For them the status quo and the preservation of the regimes was the precondition for political stability. This meant that for them the United States was both a needed ally who could contribute to the solution of existential problems faced by Central Asian states, while at the same time constituting a threat to national security. As Eugene Rumer, a Russia specialist at the National Defense University, put it: The regimes the United States had to rely on as partners to defeat terrorists in the near term were the same regimes the United States would have to challenge in the long run in order to remove the conditions that terrorists could exploit. In short, a broad consensus of U.S. policymakers and analysts believed that, without reform and change in Central Asia, near-term partners in the war on terror would become long-term adversaries. For local elites, top priority was and is stability of their regimes, both short term and long term.113

But there was also a view among analysts, in NGOs and Congress that the US government could hold Central Asian governments to higher standards. This view was especially forcefully expressed by Martha Brill Olcott who noted that countries like Kazakhstan had the level of economic development comparable with some Central European countries, but the US government had lower expectations in terms of political reform.114 The principal mechanism to either support political change or put pressure on governments in the region had been foreign, mostly funded from Foreign Operations Appropriations under the Freedom Support Act. From FY1992 to FY2005 aid to Central Asia amounted to $3.8 billion (13.6% of the total amount for all Eurasian states). This reflects the lower priority given to the region before 9–11. In FY2002 aid was boosted substantially and declined gradually after that due to the phasing out of aid to Kazakhstan (due to its improving economy and high oil revenues) and the withholding of funds allocated to Uzbekistan (due to restrictions as a

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result of the failure to meet human rights standards). In FY2006 Congress reduced the presidential request for FSA funding for Central Asia by $17.5 million to $99 million due to human rights concerns. The FY2008 budget request included $79.07 million in FSA funding for Central Asia, principally for Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan where according to the Bush administration ‘there are opportunities to consolidate stability and promote democratisation (see Table 1, p.183 below). Total Freedom Support Act funding to the region reduced by more than 10% in FY2009 and again in FY2010.115 The Obama administration came into office at a time when the focus of attention of policymakers was on managing the wind-down of the presence in Iraq and finding a way forward in Afghanistan. Central Asia was low on the priorities of the US government in the context of a growing consensus that the United States had historically few significant interests in Central Asia, and fears that Islamic extremism could threaten the secular post-Communist regimes or in other ways harm US interests had subsided. Moreover, despite intermittent efforts and official rhetoric, Russia proved unwilling and unable to establish increasing hegemonic influence in the region, while at the same time efforts to promote democratisation were not likely to make much headway in the near future. The Obama administration announced a policy of ‘enhanced engagement’ with Central Asia designed to achieve the following objectives: 1. Maximise co-operation of the states in the region with counterterrorism efforts by the coalition in Afghanistan 2. Increase the development of the region’s energy resources and the diversification of supply routes. 3. Promote the eventual emergence of good governance and foster respect for human rights in Central Asian countries 4. Support the development of competitive market economies 5. Prevent state failure and support the capacity of states to govern themselves116 The administration made no bones about its key priority, which was co-operation with the conflict in Afghanistan. The United States government was keen to ensure that it could continue to host air bases, and

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that countries in the region co-operated fully with the transit of troops and supplies in what is known as the ‘Northern Distribution network’. Support for the development of energy resources and diversification of export routes was in continuity with previous policy, but did not involve any significant diplomatic or financial resources as the main goal of enabling Caspian countries to export their hydrocarbon resources and preventing the development of transport routes through Iran had essentially been achieved. It is also notable that instead of a commitment to the promotion of democracy, the administration used the term ‘eventual good governance’, reflecting grater realism both about the pace of change and the forms of governance that could emerge. In terms of implementation, the policy involved the establishment of Annual Bilateral Consultations (ABCs) with each of the states in the region, covering an extensive agenda from counter-terrorism, rule of law, human rights, democratic reform, trade, health and education. The Obama administration clearly believed that improved relations with Russia as signified by the so-called ‘reset’ in 2009 facilitated US engagement with Central Asia.117 This case was made by Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake who denied that the focus on security meant that the administration was ignoring human rights.118 Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Sedeny emphasised that collaboration with Central Asian countries both with respect to the Afghanistan conflict and building capacities in the countries in various security related areas from counter-terrorism to counter-narcotics.119 In October 2011 Hilary Clinton visited Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and discussed her ‘New Silk Road Vision’ of a new transportation, trade and energy hub across Central Asia and Afghanistan. All of these elements signified continuity with policies of the Bush administration, involving signposts for a future role of Central Asia in the aftermath of the Afghanistan conflict, and a preoccupation with securing air bases and the Northern Distribution Network (especially given the problems with the supply route through Pakistan) without significant further commitment of resources.

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Conclusion The analysis in this chapter shows that there were several distinct phases in which different factors were driving US policy towards the Caspian region. During the first phase (1991–1997) US policy was dominated by the relationship with Russia and the denuclearisation of the former Soviet space. During the second phase a distinct policy towards the region had emerged which involved limiting Russian influence to support the sovereignty of the newly independent states, supporting political and economic reform, and the development of indigenous hydrocarbon resources. One central element of this policy was the support for multiple pipeline routes and in particular one pipeline, the BTC, which would enable the countries in the region to export oil without being hampered by Russia or having to export oil through Iran. In the third phase (2001–10) relations with the region were dominated by its role in the ‘global war on terror’. The principal driving factor was national security, and interest in Caspian energy resources had a significant impact only for a short period in 1997–98. In fact, Caspian energy became an instrument of US security policy, both in terms of supporting the economic development and hence the political stability of the region and in the geopolitical relations with Russia and Iran which drove the multiple pipeline policy that was the centrepiece of US engagement with the Caspian region. In terms of hypothesis I, that US policy towards the Caspian region is another version of the ‘Great Game’, the research shows that there was indeed a powerplay of influence over their region, whereby the United States has sought to limit Russian influence over the region and support US business interests in the region, especially with respect to the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources, after the initial phase mapped out above. But it was not a ‘Great Game’ in that both Russia and the United States were not willing to commit the resources to establish a full hegemony in the region. In terms of hypothesis III, the research finds the effects of bureaucratic politics were relatively limited. Until 1997 the administration pursued a ‘Russia First’ policy which was driven from the top down by Strobe Talbott on behalf of President Clinton. The shift in policy in 1997 was the result of changes in external factors (the most urgent objectives of the ‘Russia First’ policy were deemed to have been achieved), an

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internal reconsideration in policy spearheaded by the National Security Council and external lobbying from academic specialists and the oil industry. However the central core of the policy towards the Caspian, which was to enable oil production and exports of the states in the South Caucasus and Central Asia without being dependent on Russian pipelines and without energy transport through Iran was pursued again from the top down, ignoring the vigorous protests of the oil industry, academic experts and the leaders of the affected states in the region. The evidence does support hypothesis II, in so far as the construction of a new world order and the promotion of political and economic reform, democracy and human rights were central to the policy towards the region as articulated by the Clinton administration. The same goes for the Bush administration, which became more engaged with the region as a result of the events of 9-11. However, despite President Bush’s personal beliefs, the significance of Central Asia for the ‘global war on terror’ sharpened the dilemma between national security and the promotion of democracy and human rights. For the Obama administration, the role of Central Asia in providing air bases and enabling the transit of troops and supplies to Afghanistan was the paramount concern. Despite the instability in Kyrgyzstan and Tajiksitan, the other security issues that had preoccupied the Clinton and the first G.W. Bush administration appeared to have been settled and the Obama adminsitration pursued similar policies of military collaboration and financial support for democracy promotion and human rights as its predecessor. The issue of the dilemma between security and the promotion of democratic governance as well as human rights and its impact on the central argument of this study will be explored in more detail in Chapter 4.

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4 US Policy towards the Caspian Region: The Security Dimension US security interests in the region have been diverse and defy simple conceptualisation. The argument to be developed in this chapter is that successive US policymakers conceived US interests in the region very differently at different times in the period under discussion. This fits in with the constructivist approach according to which the perception of the national interest changes according to differing perceptions of identity, norms and values, interests, fears and culture. For example, the perception of the importance of human rights waxed under Clinton and waned post 9-11, and the perception of the importance of the region as an energy source changed according to industry estimates of its resources. During the Clinton administration policy towards the region went through two distinct phases. The first phase was determined by the focus on relations with Russia and the effort to overcome the last remnants of the Cold War, adapt the strategic nuclear relationship to the new international order and integrate Russia into the international community as a ‘normal state’ that conducted its relations with other states on the basis of international norms and principles. In the second phase there was a sustained effort to engage states in the Caspian region in order to counter Russian threats to their national sovereignty, deny Russia control over energy exports from the region and prevent the development of energy transport routes through Iran. The Bush administration initially downgraded the importance of the region, but the events of 9–11 subsequently motivated a reengagement and a deeper involvement as US forces came to be based in former Soviet Central Asia. This chapter will analyse how 113

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US national security interests and policy were articulated and in particular look at how the objectives of democracy promotion and a commitment to human rights interacted with the priorities of US national security in the ‘global war on terror’. In the early 1990s there was no specific US policy towards the region. US foreign policy was focused on the strategic relationship with Russia and dealing with the problem of the Soviet nuclear weapons legacy. In terms of the Caspian region, the main concern was the denuclearisation of Kazakhstan and dealing with the ex-Soviet nuclear infrastructure. In terms of the geopolitics of the region, the United States looked favourably at Turkey’s ambitions to extend its influence in the region and was concerned to prevent any Iranian influence.1 This was based on the recognition that the Central Asian states were likely to look for alternative strategic partners to Russia, and as a secular state with a mostly Muslim population and ethnic affinities with the Central Asian people Turkey seemed a natural partner, and as a NATO ally one acceptable to Washington. Given the enduring strategic conflict with Iran, the United States government wanted to prevent any increase in Iranian influence in the region.2 In the period from 1991 to 1993, the US did not see itself in competition with Russia for influence in Central Asia and was content with the ex-Soviet republics to be in the Russian sphere of influence. Russia itself had little interest in the former Soviet south which was seen as backward, requiring financial and economic support and posed the risk of embroiling Russia in ethnic conflicts. The shift in US policy towards the region away from the ‘Russia first policy’ which was finally announced by Strobe Talbott in 1997 involved, as we have seen, a reconceptualisation of US interests in the region.3 This did not amount to a ‘grand strategy’ or even specific policies with regard to the region. In order to get a clearer sense of how this shift translated into policies we will look at how the perception of national interests in the region and hence the engagement with it evolved. During the Soviet period the Caspian region was not the focus of US foreign policy in its own right and this did not change immediately after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The high priority of US policy was to manage the transition from the Cold War period. A major element of this was secure the denuclearisation of the non-Russian newly independent

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states, provide for the safety and security of all elements of the nuclear weapons complex and the implementation of the START 1 agreement. All nuclear weapons were withdrawn from Central Asia by May 1995. Apart from the focus on nuclear non-proliferation, US policy towards the Central Asian states was directed to encourage political and economic reform to aid the transition from communism and central planning. From the US perspective ‘transition’ meant the development of a functional market economy and a democratic political system, but this did not occur in any of the Central Asian states. The most reform-minded countries were Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan which went through privatisation, adopted economic reforms including macroeconomic stabilisation, opened their economies to foreign trade and investment and embarked on a process of political liberalisation. But in the period under discussion, there was no sign of democratisation; although formal democratic structures were adopted, in effect the leaders from the end of the Soviet period remained in power and prevented any change of government. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan chose the opposite route, namely a strong, Sovietstyle central government (without the Communist ideology), resistance to market liberalisation and foreign links. In Tajikistan a civil war broke out which prevented both economic development and political reform for a number of years. If the results of the policy were mixed, the objective remained uncertain. The United States was not prepared to put significant pressure on Central Asian states to engage in political reform, because it was considered that this would be counter-productive and have a serious negative impact on relations with the region. All of the leaders in Central Asia were primarily preoccupied with political survival, which would be threatened either by internal instability or democratisation (which in their view amounted to the same thing). They also perceived Russian ambitions for hegemony over the region as a threat. For this reason they welcomed engagement with the United States, because it helped them to limit Russian influence and was conducive to aid and foreign investment. But if pushed on political form to the point where they perceived it as a threat, they would turn away from the United States (as happened in the case of Uzbekistan) and restore relations with Russia. The consensus that emerged in 1997 was that it was in the national interest of the United States to engage with Central Asian states and limit Russian influence in

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the region despite the persistence of human rights problems and the lack of political reform. In terms of security, US policy towards Central Asia followed a familiar pattern, namely using the Euro Atlantic security institutions to engage with the states in the region. Although NATO membership was not on the agenda for these countries, NATO invited them to become members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). The five Central Asian countries were also offered (and accepted) membership in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. The kind of security assistance offered by the United States again followed the pattern in Eastern Europe and was directed at encouraging the adoption of a model of civil-military relations to ensure civilian control over the military and enhance their capabilities to meet the security challenges that they faced. But neither the United States nor NATO had any intention of getting involved in military conflicts in the region. These conflicts were too remote and too intractable for the US government to garner enough domestic political support for the deployment of US forces. Here the United States deferred to Russia, albeit with some reservations. As relations with Russia became more difficult in the mid-90s criticism of the ‘Russia first policy’ which the Clinton administration followed under the leadership of Strobe Talbott in the Department of State began to gather momentum both within and outside the administration. Until this point Talbott had strongly resisted any notion of a ‘Great Game’ in the Caspian region. The United States was not going to get involved in a ‘zero sum game’ with other powers (Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, India, Pakistan) for influence in the region. But this approach was incomprehensible to the regional players. Russia and the Central Asian states perceived the geopolitics of the region in terms of a ‘zero sum game’. One of the important vectors of influence was energy. Russian leaders believed they had a droit de regard over Caspian energy resources which had initially been developed, albeit rather partially, during the Soviet era. The ‘deal of the century’ which involved major Western involvement in the development of Azerbaijani oil fields was perceived in Moscow to be a blow against Russian interests even though Russia was given a stake in the deal. Moreover, Russia was controlling and to a significant degree inhibiting the development Caspian hydrocarbon resources by its control over

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the pipeline networks that were crucial to enable the landlocked Central Asian states to export oil and gas. This issue played a central role in the change of policy that was announced by Talbott in 1997. Given the difficulties which the political elite in Washington experienced in articulating a vital US national interest in the region beyond denuclearisation, there seems to be prima facie case that the substantial hydrocarbon reserves in the region should be the dominant factor in US policy. It is true that for a brief period in 1997–98 the development of energy reserves in the region did capture the imagination of policymakers. But the research in this study shows that energy security and the prospect of new oil and gas reserves becoming available to the world market did not shape US policy beyond support for US companies that sought to acquire a stake in the development of oil fields.4 Indeed it became clear that even if the full production potential of the Caspian region were realised it would only supply a small fraction of the world’s oil demand and as prices dipped below $20 per barrel interest in these hard to develop and costly to transport oil deposits diminished even further. Instead, as we have seen in Chapter 3 the dominant themes of US policy towards Central Asia were geopolitical, and US interest in the development of Caspian energy reserves and the building of new pipeline capacity was motivated by geopolitical factors. Another hypothesis advanced in the literature is that United States was involved in another ‘Great Game’, a relentless competition for power and influence in the region with other powers such as Russia, China, Turkey and Iran. This is a dominant theme in the writings of Stephen Blank, a specialist on Russia and Eurasia at the US Army College in Carlisle Pennsylvania.5 This was explicitly rejected by Talbott in his 1997 speech. At the same time it could be inferred from the principles of US policy enunciated for the region that this was indeed what the United States was embarking on. Democratisation, the development of a market based economy and multiple pipeline networks were, from the perspective of other powers, not neutral concepts. The creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which explicitly excluded the United States and was posited as an alternative to US power, was a clear indication the other powers in the region considered the increasing involvement of the US in the region as a threat. But in reality the commitment to such a ‘Great Game’ was

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limited from all sides. Russia considered Central Asia part of its sphere of influence but was wary of having to shoulder the burden of the severe economic decline and could not even muster sufficient resources to deal with the security concerns of Central Asian states. China was keen in principle to increase its influence but was wary about antagonising Russia and moved slowly, confining itself to increasing its economic penetration of the region. This situation provided the United States with an opportunity to assert leadership in the region and become the manager of regional security in Central Asia (excluding Tajikistan and Turkmenistan). But the US government failed to commit the necessary political, economic and military resources in the aftermath of the Soviet dissolution, a situation that did not significantly change after 9–11. Moreover, the manner in which US policy goals were articulated embodied a fundamental contradiction. It was impossible to engage with the Central Asian states and achieve US geopolitical objectives and at the same time promote democracy (which threatened the existing regimes) and put pressure on regional government over human rights. Although the US was concerned about conflicts in the region, and about Russia’s ulterior motives as well as the lack of capabilities to manage these conflicts, it was not willing to confront Russia directly or commit forces to intervene directly prior to 9-11. The most visible and ultimately successful element of US policy towards the Caspian region was the multiple pipeline policy which manifested itself in the relentless pursuit of the BTC pipeline. This was driven by two principal objectives, namely to break the Russian control over energy exports from the Caspian region and to exclude Iran from arrangements for energy transport. The US government put relentless pressure on the states of the region and the oil companies and defied Russia’s clearly expressed opposition to this project. The geopolitical nature of this project was also evident in the fact that at the time the business case for the pipeline was quite difficult to sustain and the industry lobbied for alternatives. The United States government perceived a range of threats to national security from the Central Asia region. From the collapse of the Soviet Union, these included nuclear proliferation, regional conflicts, and from the mid-nineties the spread of terrorism. This chapter will explore in detail how the United States government sought to address these threats

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through engagement with the countries in the region which included military co-operation and providing resources for political and economic reform as well as ensuring the necessary conditions for the development of energy reserves. Co-operative Threat Reduction in Central Asia Dealing with the nuclear weapons heritage of the former Soviet Union was the principal security concern of the United States with regard to the region. The main instruments for dealing with this were strategic nuclear arms control (the START process) and co-operative threat reduction (CTR). CTR was primarily directed at the safeguarding of nuclear materials and the safe and secure dismantling of nuclear weapons. But both START and CTR were also based on the common US-Russian objective to achieve the denuclearisation of all non-Russian former Soviet republics. For the United States government, the elimination of all nuclear weapons outside the Russian Federation was its principal policy objective towards the region that dominated all others during the period from 1991–95.6 The only Central Asian state that had significant nuclear assets on its territory during the Soviet period was Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan was not a party to the agreement that dissolved the Soviet Union and like all other Central Asian states, Kazakhstan would have preferred the preservation of the Union. As a result of the decision by Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, Kazakhstan faced the problems of creating a state and developing a national identity. The most important Soviet strategic assets on Kazakhstani territory were the ICBM bases with 104 SS-18, the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, the Baikonur space launch centre, and the ABM radar site. The disposition of these assets raised major difficulties since on the one hand Kazakhstan could not integrate them into its own military forces, on the other hand it had an interest in getting the most out of their presence on its soil. Furthermore President Nazarbayev insisted that all military installations in Kazakhstan were the property of Kazakhstan. When the Soviet Union was dissolved in December 1991, the armed forces on the territory of Kazakhstan consisted of 440,000 military personnel. About 95 per cent of the officers were from Russia, Ukraine and

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Belarus. President Nazarbayev expressed a clear preference for the preservation of unified CIS forces when Russian President Yeltsin created the armed forces of the Russian Federation in 1992. After that the process of separating Russian, CIS and Kazakhstani armed forces was undertaken. A Republican guard of 2,500 men to protect the President and the Parliament was created. Initially force planning by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense was based on the criterion that troop numbers should be at least 0.5 per cent of the state’s population (i.e. about 83,000). This proved to be unrealistic due to the shortage of funds and the inability to enforce conscription consistently. The other serious problem for the Kazakhstani armed forces is the lack of experienced Kazakhstani military leadership personnel. About 6,000 Russian troops from the former Soviet 40th Army remained in Kazakhstan to provide military training. According to bilateral agreements with Russia, 500 officers from Kazakhstan are sent to Russian military schools each year. Nevertheless, Kazakhstan still has to rely on ethnic Slavs for most of its officer corps. Kazakhstan has armed forces of about 68,800 men as of 2010. Nazarbayev was acutely aware of the geopolitical situation of Kazakhstan. The ethnic mix of the population of the country is unbalanced, with the north being mostly Russian. This gave rise to the fear that Russia may have designs on those parts of Kazakhstani territories where Russians predominate and where the strategic military assets were located. Kazakhstan is also a front-line state with regard to China. Potential security threats for Central Asia come from several directions: The relationship with Russia remains precarious and is perceived as posing a potential security risk to the national interest of Central Asian states. It is true that Russia has no intention of re-assimilating the Central Asian states; Russia does not have the resources to fully support the economies of the Central Asian countries. Nevertheless Russia claims this area as part of her sphere of influence. Relations with China are good, but the instability of China’s Xinjiang province and the uncontrolled movement of population from China to Kazakhstan presents a strategic problem. The civil conflicts in Tajikistan and Afghanistan were seen by the US government as a potential destabilising factor in the region. The victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan and the peace agreement in Tajikistan allayed fears to some extent, but Central Asian states still perceive the potential

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for subversion through Islamic extremism and terrorism or other forms of violence emanating from Afghanistan as a major security problem. The main threat to stability in the region, however, comes from internal problems - the lack of economic development, the steep decline in GDP since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the resulting social problems, and the internal ethnic and political tensions in states whose identities and institutions have not properly formed since the Soviet collapse. But in view of Kazakhstan’s inability to defend itself against external threat, retaining nuclear weapons appeared an attractive option. After Ukraine staked out its claims to nuclear status, Nazarbayev also asserted Kazakhstan’s rights to nuclear weapons based on its geo-political position, and he was much less circumspect than the Ukrainians about pointing out that Russia might be a potential adversary.7 This step seriously threatened the principal national security policy objective of the US in the region, namely the prevention of the emergence of new nuclear states. Soon after this statement Nazarbayev sent a joint letter with Yeltsin to President Bush stating that strategic nuclear weapons should remain in Kazakhstan, under Russian control, as foreign weapons based in Kazakhstan to provide for Kazakhstani security. This proved completely unacceptable to the United States for two reasons. First of all, the goal of total denuclearisation of the non-Russian states had acquired the status of an absolute from which the purists in the DoD (such as Graham Allison and Ashton Carter) were not prepared to deviate. Moreover, if weapons remained in Kazakhstan this might complicate negotiations with Ukraine. Secondly, the ICBMs based in Kazakhstan were SS-18, the ‘heavy missile’ that US arms control efforts had been dedicated to eliminating. The removal and destruction of a significant proportion of these missiles was an important benefit of the denuclearisation of Kazakhstan. Leaving a sizeable number of SS-18 in Kazakhstan would defeat the central US objective in strategic arms control. Although there was widespread support in Russia for Nazarbayev’s concept of forward deployed ICBMs, the Russian government later stipulated that the fact that Yeltsin had signed this letter did not mean that its content constituted government policy.8

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The strategic nuclear missiles were stood down as part of the START process and all the nuclear warheads were transferred to Russia as Kazakhstan joined the NPT as a non-nuclear power. The Semipalatinsk site was closed. After much political wrangling, the Baikonur space complex was made available to Russia on the basis of a 20-year, renewable lease.9 The nuclear factor meant that in the initial post-Soviet period Kazakhstan was the preferred partner for the United States in the Caspian region. In February 1994 the Charter of Democratic Partnership between the United States and Kazakhstan was signed by Presidents Clinton and Nazarbayev. It affirmed the high importance that the United States assigned to the ‘security, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and democratic development’ of the Republic of Kazakhstan.10 The Kazakhstani government prided itself in being the only ‘US partner’ in the region and interpreted this as US support for Kazakhstan’s ambition to be the leading country in the region (a role which was bitterly contested by Uzbekistan). But the United States stopped well short of giving Kazakhstan binding security guarantees. In 1994 US Defence Secretary William Perry went as far as to state explicitly that the United States ‘would not go to war’ for Kazakhstan.11 This was consistent with US policy towards the entire region during the Clinton period and beyond. It pursued military co-operation, but remained clear that no security guarantees could be given to the Central Asian States, given the anticipated lack of popular support and the costs and risks inherent in making good on them in extremis. Conflict Regions in the Former Soviet Space Although the Soviet Union dissolved peacefully, the post-Soviet period was marked by the outbreak of various ethnic and substate conflicts. All of these conflicts were contained within the region. At the same time they had the potential for derailing Washington’s policy goals there. The United States sought to support democratisation, economic reform, US trade interests, and the sovereignty of the newly independent states. Starting with the G.H.W. Bush administration the United States has supported US private investment in regional energy development. As the Soviet era

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came to a close, the prospect of large-scale foreign involvement in its oil industry opened up and with Bush and Baker’s ties to the US oil giants they wanted to use what they considered their special diplomatic leverage to enable American companies to obtain the largest possible share of whatever business could be done. In particular, the prospect of serious investment to develop the Caspian oil fields which had been neglected during the Soviet period looked like a good opportunity for US companies. The Clinton administration also supported projects to develop multiple pipelines for the export of oil and gas. In this context stability in the region was crucially important. But there was no clear understanding on how the emerging conflicts in the region could be resolved or contained. The Caucasus and the whole of Central Asia was a potential conflict zone. Leaving aside the Chechen wars which took place on the territory of the Russian Federation itself, serious conflict broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, there was fighting in South Ossetia and Georgia, a major civil war broke out in Tajikistan and there was fighting in various other regions of the former Soviet Union. There were no well-developed instruments for international peace-keeping or conflict resolution. The Collective Security Treaty signed in 1992 (known as the Tashkent Treaty) did not create an institution that had the capacity to seriously engage in conflict prevention, mediation or armed intervention.12 Moreover, prior to 9–11 there was little prospect that US troops or even NATO troops would be involved in major efforts to restore peace in the region. This meant that the only state with the military resources to intervene decisively was Russia, on whose whim any serious effort to provide military capabilities for peace-keeping or enforcement depended. It was clear to the US government that it was necessary for Russia to play this role, especially in Tajikistan, but it was nevertheless sceptical of Russia’s role because there was serious doubt about Moscow’s impartiality - a basic requirement for peace-keeping. US policy was to foster the ties of newly independent states with the West and use the OSCE and the NATO Partnership for Peace as an instrument to develop a security partnership and support democratisation. While the OSCE could not assume the role of a fully-fledged collective security organization in the former Soviet space because it had neither the political authority nor the armed forces required for such a purpose, its virtually universal membership and its role

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in observing conflicts did give it a limited function with regard to such conflicts and it played useful role in the promotion of conflict resolution by diplomatic means. In order to gain more understanding about the main conflicts that concerned the United States we will consider them in turn. Armenia and Azerbaijan The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh was a major point of concern for the United States due to the concerns of Armenian-Americans and the interests of US energy companies in Azeri oil reserves. In the final years of the Soviet Union Azerbaijan underwent major social upheavals as the first ethnic conflict in the former Soviet space unfolded and the anti-Soviet Azerbaijan Popular Front was formed. In January 1990 Soviet troops intervened in Baku to stop anti-Armenian pogroms. The conflict in the region of NagornoKarabakh started in 1988 when the Armenian majority in this province voted to unite with neighbouring Armenia and sought to overturn Stalin’s 1921 edict which had incorporated Nagorno-Karabakh in the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic. After the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh escalated to the level of a full-scale war as the Armenians in the region voted to establish an independent state. Armenian separatists took control of much the enclave, which led to overthrow of the neo-Communist leader of Azerbaijan, Ayaz Mutalibov and his replacement by Abulfaz Elchibey of the Azerbaijan Popular Front. Elchibey won presidential elections in 1992 due to his control over the state apparatus.13 Elchibey launched a campaign against the Armenians which resulted in 40% of the enclave returning to Azeri control, but renewed fighting in 1993 reversed the situation to some extent. Moreover the Armenians occupied Kelbajar, an Azeri district located between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. Armenia had provided weapons and other support to the Armenian rebels, and by December 1993 regular Armenian troops were involved in the fighting. The fighting ended in 1994 with Nagorno-Karabakh and several Azerbaijani regions under Armenian control. Several thousand people had died and over 100,000 had become refugees. Nagorno-Karabakh has become an independent autonomous region closely linked with Armenia (using the same currency).14

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Elchibey was ousted in June 1993 by a rebellion led by Surat Husseinov, who paved the way for the old Communist leader from Azerbaijan, Haidar Aliyev, to come back into power. Aliyev won presidential elections in August 1993 with 98.9% of the votes. During the following years, Aliyev succeeded in gaining control over all the means of coercion and economic resources of the country, essentially suppressing the political opposition and in particular the Azerbaijan Popular Front. But Aliyev was unable to deliver an acceptable resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict or a significant improvement in the standard of living.15 Between 1990 and 1996 GDP declined by 42%. Rent-seeking became pervasive as in other newly independent states, with a newly wealthy elite that supported the regime in order to maintain their position, foreign investment in oil exploration and production brought about a partial recovery of the economy, although the fall in the oil price in 1998 hit Azerbaijan hard. Foreign investment in non-oil industries is considered to be high risk. Oil production declined significantly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union due to the general decline of the country and the aging infrastructure, but as a result of $1.8 billion being invested by international oil companies between 1994 and 1998 oil production grew again, reaching a level of 14.7 million tons. Onshore and offshore operations are controlled by the State Oil Corporation of the Azerbaijan Republic.16 Azerbaijan remains a reformist autocratic state under the leadership of Aliyev’s son Ilham. The blatant manipulation of elections and the failure to deliver on economic development means that there is a latent potential for unrest. Azerbaijan continues in a tense relationship with Russia. Both Russia and Iran supported Armenia, but Russia still has interests in Azerbaijan and the stalemate in Karabakh may serve Russia’s efforts to obtain more leverage. Azerbaijan joined the Tashkent Collective Security Treaty but withdrew in 1999. Nevertheless, it still has some military co-operation with Russia, such as joint exercises in the Caspian Sea. Despite the lack of progress towards democracy, the United States has a significant strategic interest in relations with Baku. Not only is there major Western involvement in Azerbaijan’s oil industry, but the BTC pipeline has provided a major transport route by-passing Russia. Azerbaijan has also established close relations with Western institutions, such as NATO, the EU (it joined the Council of Europe in 2001) and the pan-European

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OSCE. Thus Azerbaijan has been successful in limiting Russian influence, although the fact that 25% of its population works in Russia means that it depends critically on the inflow of funds earned in the Russian Federation. There is no doubt that there exists a potential for major security problems, primarily due to the radicalisation of the youth with regard to Nagorno-Karabakh and the threat of a return to violence. According to statements by administration officials US policy was therefore geared towards maintaining its influence in the country, promote further movement towards the establishment of genuine democracy, economic reform and support Western economic interests.17 While there was consensus between different administrations and Congress on these principles, there were disagreements about the implementation which will be discussed further below. As for Armenia, it was the first non-Baltic former Soviet republic to secede from the Soviet Union. Its first president after independence in 1991 was Levon Ter-Petrosyan who was re-elected in 1996 but resigned in 1998 because there was strong opposition to his support for the OSCE peace proposals for Nagorno-Karabakh. The former Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan, himself from Nagorno-Karabakh, won the presidential elections in March 1998 and was re-elected in 2003 in a controversial election that was criticised by the OSCE for falling short of international standards. Parliamentary elections in the same year were likewise criticised. In October 1999 gunmen entered parliament and killed the Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisyan and the Speaker Demirchyan as well as six other people, possibly motivated by clan grievances. These events illustrated the severe political infighting within Armenia and the threats to political stability. The US State Department and various NGOs have characterised Armenia as a ‘partly free’ and a ‘semi-consolidated authoritarian regime’, although in 2008 the presidential election was assessed as ‘democratic’ by the OSCE. In 2006 the US State Department report on human rights characterised the human rights situation in Armenia as poor, with frequent arbitrary arrests and detentions, and regular mistreatment of citizens by police and security forces. Efforts by the international community to deal with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict focused on the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE – OSCE from December 1994) from March 1992 with the initiation of the so-called Minsk process.

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It was planned to hold a conference in Minsk in 1992 to promote a peaceful settlement, with the details to be worked out beforehand by the Minsk Group which involved eleven countries (including the United States), but in the event the obstacles for a resolution were such that the conference was postponed indefinitely and the Minsk Group became the forum for negotiating a settlement. The ceasefire in 1994 was brokered by Russia (not the Minsk Group as such), highlighting the fact that Russia itself had an interest in this conflict as a dominant actor in the region. Another member of the Minsk Group, Turkey, sided with Azerbaijan and instituted a blockade of Armenia after the Armenian occupation of Kelbajar in March 1993. It also supplied Azerbaijan with military hardware. In view of the competing national agendas the participants in the peace negotiations were limited, with other members of the Minsk Group not being directly involved. From 1997 on there was a troika of co-chairs (Russia, the United States and France) which played the leading role in the talks. However it could be argued that the co-chairs were not impartial mediators and continued to be informed by their own national interests. Russia in particular adopted a pro-Armenian position. The US was cognisant of the fact that a reversal of the status quo that had been established as a result of the conflict and the reintegration of Karabakh into Azerbaijan was unachievable (nor would Congress have endorsed such a policy).18 The main objective of US policy therefore became to end the conflict and improve stability in the region, without endangering its relations with Azerbaijan. Consequently it adopted a consistent policy of accepting any proposal that would be agreed by the parties. For example, when US Secretary of State Powell opened talks as co-chair of the Minsk Group on 3 April 2002 he stated that the administration was ‘prepared to accept any agreement acceptable’ to the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Three different approaches were adopted by the Minsk Group towards a solution. The first was called the ‘package’ proposal, designed to address all outstanding issues simultaneously (including the final status for the Karabakh region, on the assumption that there would be more room for compromise if all matters were on the table. These included ending the conflict and troop withdrawals, deployment of peacekeeping forces, return of refugees and security guarantees (Agreement I). Agreement II was to be about the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh. Although there was interest

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in Baku and Yerevan in pursuing the package proposal, it was rejected by the government in Stepanakert (Nagorno-Karabakh). The second approach, called the ‘step-by-step’ approach was another variant which proposed that Agreement I should be concluded prior to Agreement II, with the question of the Lachin corridor that links Armenia with Karabakh to be left for Agreement II. In the meantime Nagorno-Karabakh would be granted an internationally recognised ‘interim status’. By refusing to withdraw from the Azerbaijani parts of Karabakh Stepanakert effectively vetoed this approach as well. The third approach was described as the ‘common state’ proposal that would create some kind of confederation between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, but this was unacceptable to Baku because it was taken to mean that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan would be destroyed. Essentially Azerbaijan’s objective remains that the realities created by the fighting should be reversed by the Minsk process, an outcome completely unacceptable to the Armenians in Karabakh. Although the Armenian government in Yerevan was somewhat more amenable to compromise it would not go that far. Indeed, both the Armenian and the Azerbaijani Presidents were forced to withdraw compromises they reached after discussions in 1998 and 2001 due to dissent at home, and Levon Ter-Petrosian was forced to resign by his own cabinet. Thus a settlement has proved elusive. In November 2007 the co-chairs of the Minsk group presented the so-called ‘Madrid Principles’ which incorporated the results of the previous three years negotiations. They envisaged a phased resolution of the conflict starting with a gradual freeing of districts of Azerbaijan occupied by Karabakh Armenian forces during the 1991–94 war. Nagorno-Karabakh would retain a land corridor to Armenia. The final status of the enclave would be decided in a future referendum. US Co-chair, Matthew Bryza engaged in a sustained effort to push the process forward. The principal motivating factor was the perception that there remained a real prospect for the resumption of conflict and the US government wanted to at least ‘freeze’ the conflict permanently. The Armenian caucus in the United States formally objected to the Madrid Principles as giving too many concessions to Azerbaijan and Bryza’s role in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but the US government continues to stand behind those principles as the best framework to negotiate the settlement that remains elusive.19

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The work of the Minsk Group has more or less exclusively focused on the establishment of peace rather than on a comprehensive solution. While the ceasefire meant that the conflict in some respect became frozen, efforts to resolve it have made little progress. The general approach of the United States has been to support the stability and independence of the states in the South Caucasus using multilateral and bilateral efforts to promote conflict resolution and the provision of humanitarian relief. At the same time it sought to use membership in the OSCE and the NATO Partnership for Peace to draw these countries closer to the West, support political and economic reform, and reduce their dependence on Russia. When the Soviet Union was dissolved, the G.H.W. Bush administration recognised Armenia before Azerbaijan, on the grounds that Armenia had adhered to Helsinki principles (based on the Helsinki agreement of 1973 that brought the CSCE into being) earlier. The perception of a pro-Armenian tilt was increased by the attitude in Congress which was strongly influenced by the Armenian lobby. Indeed, the pro Armenian stance of Congress became clear as foreign aid legislation was used to put pressure on Azerbaijan to change its policies. The attitudes in Congress nevertheless created a difficult situation for the US administration as its perception of US interests in the region were more finely balanced. The perception of a pro-Armenian tilt could drive Azerbaijan towards Iran, an outcome that the US government was determined to avoid. This is why the US government insisted on the OSCE framework for negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, because Iran is not a member of OSCE, whereas Russia was a member and therefore bound into the decision-making structures of this institution. More important still was the fact that Azerbaijan was at the centre of US policy towards Caspian energy. The administration needed good relations with Azerbaijan because of its support for giving access to the US energy industry. In the later stages of the administration the importance of Azerbaijan increased because of the priority given to the development of the BTC pipeline. The US role in the peaceful resolution of the conflict in NagornoKarabakh has at various times been criticised in Congress for being rather half-hearted, given that one envoy was responsible for three different conflicts (Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and Dniestr) and this envoy was

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frequently changed and not at a senior level.20 As Russia has frequently dominated the peace talks there were calls in Congress for the US to make greater efforts to ensure a multinational role. The Clinton Administration had to tread carefully given the strength of the Armenian-American lobby that had proven itself in the votes to restrict aid to Azerbaijan. At the same time, the State Department consistently opposed the restrictions on aid to Azerbaijan which were a significant obstacle to American policy objectives, with a certain degree of success (more details below). At the same time the administration was mindful of Russia’s concerns, and at a summit with Russian President Yeltsin in 1994 President Clinton said that ‘the United States does not object to Russia taking an active role in the resolution of Nagorno Karabakh .... Russia is doing things in pursuit of stability, without being inconsistent with sovereignty and territorial integrity and independence, that are appropriate.’21 Although Congress tended to favour Armenia, influenced by the American-Armenian lobby and human rights groups that persistently lobbied for the US government to address human rights violations in Azerbaijan, it was also sensitive to US investment in the Azerbaijani energy sector and was also concerned over Azeri refugees. The ban was softened by legislation enacted on 12 February 1996 (P.L. 104–107) that sanctioned US humanitarian aid for Azerbaijan if the President made a determination that non-governmental support was inadequate. It also included the ‘Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act’ which banned the US government from providing aid to countries that restrict the transfer or provision of US humanitarian assistance, unless the President determines that it is in the US national interest. This act was directed against Turkey which was also enforcing a blockade of Armenia. The US government consistently opposed the ban on aid to Azerbaijan as it had a negative impact on its relations with Azerbaijan and US foreign policy objectives in the region. The argument against the ban was that it had not had any positive effect on the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and punished the victims of the conflict. It was also strongly opposed to taking measures against Turkey because this could threaten relations with Turkey that were vital to bring the multiple pipeline projects to fruition. Nevertheless the Human Aid Corridor Act was made permanent on 30 September 1996 (P.L. 104–208), even though the provision for a waiver rendered

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it symbolic. Aid for victims for the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh was appropriated for the first time on 26 November 1997 ($12.5 million) and created an exemption from Section 907 to provide assistance for displaced persons, residents of Karabakh and reconstruction and remedial activities related to conflicts in the Caucasus (P.L. 105–118). Reconstruction aid for Azerbaijan was not exempted from Section 907. From then on a certain percentage of funds for the Caucasus were appropriated for Nagorno-Karabakh. The Clinton administration openly argued for the repeal of Section 907. At Senate Hearings on the ‘Implementation of U.S. Policy on Caspian Sea Oil Exports’ in July 1998 Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, argued for the adoption of the proposed Silk Road Strategy Act and the repeal of Section 907 as part of the multiple pipeline policy that would involve Turkey and Azerbaijan in a project to bring Caspian energy to world markets. He stated that this policy would benefit the United States and its European allies by contributing to the diversification of energy markets and help with the development of the emerging market economies of those countries that supplied the energy and the transit countries. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were identified as the key suppliers (Grossman did not refer to the fact that at that time the participation of Kazakhstan was uncertain). Relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey were critical to this project.22 Senator Hagel (Nebraska – R) questioned the two Clinton administration officials present at the hearing (Marc Grossman and Stephen Sestanovich) about the risks to the energy projects posed by the instability in the region (due to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, an indirect criticism of Azerbaijan which now was the only party questioning the new status quo). Stephen Sestanovich denied that the business community was considering withdrawing from their investments in the region. But the committee on the whole was highly critical. Senator Sarbanes linked the promotion of democracy with stability.23 Sestanovich responded by saying that the repeal of Section 907 was necessary to support democratisation, and that all the opposition groups in Azerbaijan also supported the repeal. But Sarbanes was not convinced. Refering to Aliyev’s past role as a member of the Soviet Politburo and high ranking official in the Azerbaijani KGB, he went on at length about the autocratic nature of the regime, the corruption and human rights

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abuses, concluding with two newspaper articles about Azerbaijan being included in the congressional record. The sympathy for Armenia was further evidenced by the invitation to Van Krikorian, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Armenian Assembly of America to deliver a lengthy statement to the Committee which consisted of a trenchant and lengthy critique both of Azerbaijan and President Aliyev and the White House for the manner in which it conducted its relations with Aliyev despite the behaviour of the regime. The White House strategy enunciated by Marc Grossman during the hearings failed. Although, as was discussed previously, Senator Brownback (Kansas – R) introduced the Silk Road Strategy Act on 10 March 1999 and offered it as an amendment to the Foreign Operational Appropriations Act to authorise assistance to support the political and economic independence of the countries in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, and this included a presidential waiver of Section 907 on the grounds of ‘national interests’, a secondary amendment by Senator McConnell (Kentucky – R)24 deleting the waiver authority also passed.25 In 2000 another attempt was made at the behest of the Clinton administration to weaken Section 907. The Security Assistance Act of 2000, Section 516 gave authority for security assistance for the GUUAM countries which include Azerbaijan. The conference report26 confirmed that aid to Azerbaijan was restricted by Section 907 but that it could receive assistance to support anti-terrorism, non-proliferation and export control activities.27 The terrorist attacks of 9–11 finally brought about a change of heart in Congress. First Senator Brownback once again tried to repeal or amend Section 907. The Bush administration weighed in with a plea from Secretary of State Colin Powell on 15 October 2001 for a presidential waiver authority on the grounds that Section 907 constrained the US ability to provide support for Azerbaijan in the global war on terror. Those senators such as McConnell and Hagel who had sided with the Armenian lobby because of their critical view of the Aliyev regime changed their position due to the shift of the importance of the South Caucasus and Central Asia as a result of the war on terror and in response to the request of a Republican administration.28 The Foreign Appropriations Act for 2002

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passed on 10 January 2002 (P.L. 107–115) granting the President the authority to waive section 907 to counter terrorism or support the operation readiness of U.S. armed forces as long as it did not undermine efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Georgia The former Soviet republic of Georgia is another troublespot where conflict broke out in the final years of the Soviet period in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Abkhazia had been integrated into the Georgian Soviet Social republic as an autonomous republic in 1931. By 1989 the Abkhaz population accounted for a mere 17.8% of the population of the autonomous republic and the local leaders feared that they would lose any cultural and political identity within an independent Georgia. In March 1989 there were demonstrations organised by the People’s Forum of Abkhazia calling for Abkhazia to be made a separate Soviet Socialist Republic and armed clashes ensued. After independence, Georgia attempted to restore the territorial integrity of the newly independent state with military force in August 1992. The resulting thirteen-month war went badly for the Georgians as volunteers came in from the North Caucasus with Russian arms. Russia actively supported the Abkhazians with arms and equipment and Russian troops took part in the fighting. Although Georgian forces at first occupied the capital Sukhumi, an Abkhaz offensive in September 1993 expelled all Georgian troops from Abkhaz territory along with a large number of Georgians living in Abkhazia (resulting in about 280,000 refugees). In May 1994 there was a ceasefire agreement and the Commonwealth of Independent States gave a mandate for the deployment of Russian peacekeeping forces along the Enguri River. Skirmishes continued in the border zone of the Gali District but the status quo established in 1994 has not changed since then. Although Abkhazia has not been recognized by any country (not even Russia) as an independent state, the Abkhaz leadership has declared independence from Georgia. The conflict in South Ossetia was similar in that the South Ossetian Autonomous Region, which had been divided from North Ossetia in 1922 by its inclusion in Georgia (rather than the Russian Federation of Socialist Republics) sought to prevent further

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integration into Georgia as the Soviet Union was disintegrating. In 1989 the Supreme Soviet of South Ossetia voted to change its status to that of an Autonomous republic, a decision that was annulled by the Georgian parliament a year later. This in turn resulted in armed conflict between Georgian armed forces and South Ossetian militias that lasted until June 1992. A ceasefire agreement resulted in the deployment of a Russian-led peace-keeping force and was observed throughout the 1990s.29 Georgia itself went through serious turmoil. It declared independence on 9 April 1991 and on 26 May 1991 Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected President. However, he was deposed in a violent coup in January 1992 and a bitter civil war erupted. The former Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze returned to Georgia in 1992 and together with the leaders of the coup, Kitovani and Iseliani, formed a ‘State Council’ to govern the country. Shevardnadze was elected President of Georgia in 1995. Shevardnadze never accepted the idea that Abkhazia or South Ossetia should remain autonomous and did not negotiate any final settlement based on compromise. Instead he sought external help, first from Russia (allowing Russia to establish four military bases in return for what he hoped would be Russian help to restore the territorial integrity of Georgia). But this was based on a misunderstanding as Russia had no intention of helping Georgia regain control over Abkhazia.30 Later Shevardnadze sought military assistance from the United States and other members of NATO. Although the United States supported the Georgian position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and also maintained close relations with Shevardnadze due to his role as the Soviet Foreign Minister in the Gorbachev period, US policy remained that these issues needed to be resolved by diplomacy and limited it military relations to training and advisory roles. In the aftermath of 9–11, the United States accorded higher strategic priority to its relations with Georgia and especially military co-operation. Washington was concerned to develop Georgia’s counterterrorist capabilities and to prevent Georgia from becoming a host to international terrorist organisations (or a conduit for terrorists to Chechnya and other regions, a concern the US shared with Russia). The US also was concerned that instability or insecurity in Georgia could have an impact on the safety of energy transport from the Caspian Sea. The political situation in Georgia

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changed dramatically in the aftermath of parliamentary elections in November 2003 which were widely considered to be fraudulent. Massive street protests in Tbilisi involving tens of thousands of people ensued. The crisis ended after twenty days with the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze. New elections were called for early 2004 which brought to power the government of Mikheil Saakashvili. The success of the ‘rose revolution’ in Georgia became one of the central objectives of US policy towards the country. The strategic importance the US accorded to Georgia was highlighted in testimony to the Senate Armed Force Committee in 2005 by the commander of US Europe Command, General James L. Jones when he emphasised the importance of Georgia as a vital air corridor for US actions in Afghanistan and Iraq and as a key transit state for Caspian oil and gas exports. He also stated that Georgia was ‘a geographical pivot point in the spread of democracy and free markets to the states of Central and South West Asia’31 This highlighted the importance the Bush administration placed on the new ‘showcases’ for democracy, such as Ukraine and Georgia. The desire of the Saakashvili government to integrate Georgia more closely with the West was indicated by the participation in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan with 50 troops under German command and the deployment of 900 soldiers to aid coalition operations in Iraq. The United States also engaged in substantial military co-operation with Georgia. Thus in 2002 the Georgia Train and Equip Program (GTEP) was launched. It provided funs of $64 million to train 2,000 Georgian troops in counterinsurgency over 24 months.32 The program has two elements, counter-terrorism (offensive measures) and anti-terrorism (defensive measures). The program was launched in response to an increase in Russian pressure on Georgia in the form of threats to intervene militarily in Georgia to pursue Chechen rebels that were allegedly hiding in the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia.33 In December 2002 the US Marine Corps was put in charge of GTEP. In 2005 another $60 million were provided for the Sustainment and Stability Operation Program (SSOP) in order to train two Georgian infantry battalions that were to be deployed for peace support operations in Iraq.34 Furthermore, there was US assistance to train a logistics battalion and support for the reform of the Land Forces Command and Georgia continued to receive assistance through the Georgia Border Security and Law Enforcement

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Program (GBSLE) initiated by the US State Department in 1997. The United States also supported Georgia’s efforts to deepen its relations with NATO and in October 2004 the North Atlantic Council approved Georgia’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) which was designed to define relations between Georgia and NATO. The IPAP sets out action plans over two years regarding military, security and political reform. In September 2006 Georgia was offered an Intensive Dialogue on its aspirations for NATO membership and at the NATO Summit in Bucharest in April 2008 it was agreed that Georgia should eventually become a member of NATO, subject to progress in the reforms. To its great disappointment, Georgia was not yet offered a Membership Action Plan, largely due to German opposition. The United States government also supported Georgia’s position with regard to its territorial integrity in the conflicts with Abkhazia and South Ossetia and at various times made it clear that the status quo was unacceptable. In 2004 the US government called for an expansion of the existing OSCE mandate in South Ossetia. In 2005 John Tefft, then Ambassadordesignate to Georgia, said to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the conflicts should not remain frozen, but that peaceful, diplomatic means must be used to move towards a resolution.35 Subsequently Secretary of State Rice raised the issue of South Ossetia and Georgia’s proposal for settling it consistently at meetings with the Russian Foreign Minister. Saakashvili’s preoccupation with restoring Georgia’s territorial integrity however was such that the US felt obliged to urge some degree of restraint. In August 2008 exchanges of fire between South Ossetian separatists and Georgian armed forces escalated into a military offensive by Georgian forces into South Ossetia. According to President Saakashvili Georgia’s offensive was prompted by the movement of Russian forces through the Roki tunnel that connects South Ossetia to the Russian Federation. This action in turn provoked a Russian military intervention involving the deep penetration of Georgia proper by Russian forces. This was widely interpreted as a Russian response to US attempts to encroach on Russia’s sphere of influence and led to a very sharp deterioration in US–Russian relations in the short term. Although US–Russian relations recovered and the Obama administration attempted to clear the slate with the so-called ‘re-set button’ for US–Russian relation, the United States

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continued to support Georgia’s territorial integrity, refusing to recognise Abkhazia and Ossetia as independent states. Russian ‘peace-keeping troops’ are maintaining their positions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In January 2009 the US–Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership was signed, and the US provided $1 billion in assistance for Georgia. This included support for resettling internally displaced persons, rebuilding destroyed homes and infrastructure, and rebuilding the police forces in Georgia. The US European Command undertook a comprehensive assessment of Georgia’s defence needs that concluded that the Russia intervention had resulted in a considerable degradation of Georgia’s capabilities, equipment and infrastructure. At a Congressional Hearing on 4 August 2009, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow stated that the United States was ‘assisting Georgia to move along the path to having modern, western-oriented, NATO interoperable armed forces capable of territorial defence and coalition contributions.’36 However the United States also made it clear to the Georgian government that it would not support the use of military force to try to reunite the now separated parts of the Georgian state. Military aid to Georgia remained restricted to rebuilding the institutions and infrastructure, but excluded support for the purchase of military hardware, indicating some sensitivity to Russia’s response to US support for Georgia. In 2009 Vice President Biden also confirmed US support for Georgia’s aspirations to join NATO and in August 2009 the NATOGeorgia commission was launched with the task of developing an Annual National Program to guide Georgia’s reform progress and enable it to fulfil NATO membership standards. As part of its commitment to the strategic partnership and its ambitions to join NATO, Georgia dispatched forces to Afghanistan (1000 troops in 2010) to support NATO’s ISAF operations. The Russian intervention in Georgia was in part a warning shot across NATO’s bow with respect to the admission of Georgia and Ukraine. Due to its ‘open door’ policy and the support for democratic states in the region, it is problematic for NATO to actually deny membership to states that meet its criteria. However, the slow pace of initiating the process is an indication of the lack of enthusiasm in NATO for this latest phase of enlargement, given the anticipated opposition from Moscow and the

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hazards of providing security guarantees to those from the region aspiring to membership. The example of Georgia demonstrates how the promotion of democracy and the endeavour to restrain Russia’s domination of the former Soviet space when it violated the sovereign rights of the newly independent states were central to US policy towards the region and is therefore supportive of hypothesis II, which states that US policy was based on the principle of constructing a new world order after the Cold War on the basis of globalisation, democratisation, and human rights. The fact that Georgia had developed into a full-blown democracy encouraged military co-operation and financial assistance to the country. But the US did not support the use of force to reunite the disparate parts of Georgia’s territory, and was not prepared to engage its own forces for this purpose. Tajikistan In the early years of the post-Soviet period the civil war in Tajikistan was the most serious threat to regional security.37 The conflict is explained by the political geography of the country. It is divided into the northern province of Sugd (previously Leninabad) which is cut off from the rest of the country by a high mountain range. It is the most prosperous part of the country. The province of Khatlon was formed by the joining of Kulyab and Qurgan Teppe. The latter is a major cotton producing area. The east of Tajikistan includes Gharm and the autonomous region of Gorno Badakhshan. The area is a mountain region that is sparsely populated. The civil war was a power struggle between the northern elite led by Rakhmon Nabiyev and the Islamic parties and opposition groups that opposed the neoCommunist elite.38 But it could also be described as a conflict between the regions.39 The 1997 agreement absorbed large numbers of the fighters into the national armed forces and 30% of government posts at all levels were offered to the various elements of the opposition. However, many in the opposition were not satisfied with the settlement, and leaders from the Sugd (Leninabad) region were excluded. In 1998 a former Popular Front officer, Makhmud Khudoberdeyev, launched an attack from Uzbek territory. The 1000 strong force briefly captured all administrative buildings in Khojand, the regional capital, before being evicted by government

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forces. This was an indication of the remaining potential for conflict, strengthened by the decommissioning of 4000 rebel troops in 2000. From 2001 onward President Rakhmonov systematically undermined the power of the warlords and at the same time strengthened his own political position by using his office to appoint loyal supporters to high office. The influence of the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) was gradually reduced, despite the power sharing arrangements agreed in 1997. In other words, Rakhmonov was gradually accumulating power in his own hands and transforming Tajikistan into an autocratically governed state similar to other Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan. Nevertheless the potential for a resumption of conflict clearly exists, especially given the dismal economic performance. During the civil war output fell dramatically; manufacturing in 1997 was only 27% and agricultural output half of the level of 1990. The anarchy of the period and the presence of rival armies resulted in systematic asset stripping of industry. Governmental control over significant portions of the country remains weak, and the trade in drugs and weapons may account for 30–50% of economic activity. It is not surprising therefore that Tajikistan has the lowest standard of living and the greatest inequality in Central Asia. Although since 1999 Tajikistan has experienced rapid economic growth, these problems persist and contribute to the risks of criminal activities.40 Tajikistan did not make a strategic choice between Russia and the United States, but rather sought a partnership with both. The United States was keen to develop co-operation on combating terrorism and the drug trade, but did not attempt to reduce Tajikistan’s reliance on Russian military support. While the United States retained a deep strategic interest in the stability of the country and the development of more effective strategies to counter the threat of unrest, terrorism and narcotics, the Russian presence and the instability prevented direct US involvement. The events of 9–11 resulted in closer involvement of both the United States and Russia in the country. Tajikistan joined the US-led anti-terror coalition and gave permission for a US military contingent to be based on its territory. In January 2002 the US ban on the export of weapons to Tajikistan was lifted and in February Tajikistan formally joined the NATO Partnership for Peace programme. In December 2002 President Rakhmonov visited the United States and President Bush spoke of a

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long-term strategic partnership between the two countries.41 As Tajikistan negotiated with Russia to take over the protection of the border from Russian forces, the US offered to provide training, support and equipment to the Tajik State Border protection troops. Despite the increase in Russian economic involvement in Tajikistan (especially in the hydroenergy and aluminium sectors) and the establishment of a new military base, by turning over border protection Russian military involvement actually was reduced. Despite the perception in Washington that there were significant strategic interests in Tajikistan, the political circumstances in the aftermath of the civil war and the role Russia played in the country meant that there was no political will to commit to greater involvement with Tajikistan. US Military Engagement in Central Asia Soon after the dissolution of the Soviet Union the United States established contacts with the military establishment of the newly independent states and in 1993 various military officers and government officials took part in training sessions at the George C. Marshall Center in GarmischPartenkirchen in Germany. Among the goals for US military engagement in the region were first of all to overcome the legacy of mistrust of the Cold War, assist the NIS in developing proper civil-military relations, and lay the foundation for modern armed forces. From the mid-1990s military co-operation was part of a sustained effort to support the territorial integrity of the Central Asian states, support regional security and co-operation and create a counterweight to Russian influence. In 1999 the US Congress expanded the commitment to military engagement (consisting primarily in financial assistance to the military and training) in order to enable the regional militaries to Westernise and achieve higher professional standards. It was a means to strengthen the US presence without giving security guarantees or becoming directly involved in regional conflicts. In terms of the regional security problems, Congress stressed assistance with border controls to combat transnational crime such as drug trafficking and nuclear smuggling. In response to the attacks by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Kyrgyzstan in the summer of

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1999, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency became focal points of US military engagement. The NATO partnership for peace became the institutional framework for regional military co-operation especially by way of various multinational military exercises. The Partnership for Peace was an initiative promoted by the Clinton administration at a NATO Defence Ministers meeting in October 1993 in order to involve Central and East European countries with NATO without extending full membership or security guarantees. At that time there was much controversy over whether the Partnership for Peace was an instrument to enlarge NATO or a substitute for enlargement. As it became clear, it was the first step for the enlargement of NATO to include some Central European countries and eventually ten members of the PfP joined NATO. However, so far the NATO Alliance has not sought to extend membership either to the Russian Federation or the Central Asian states, even though they joined the PfP (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Russia joined in 1994; Tajikistan joined in 2002). Neither the United States nor its European allies are prepared to contemplate NATO membership of the Russian Federation. Russia would not join just as a European member of NATO, but as a nuclear superpower that would demand equal status to the United States. Given the differences in national interests and the divergence in perceptions about European security, this would give Russia the ability to veto military action by NATO. Extension of NATO membership to Caucasian and Central Asian states has not been ruled out, but no progress has been made due to Russian opposition, the lack of democracy in those countries and the potential for conflicts in which NATO would have to intervene if these states were to become members. The only country which has cleared the first hurdle for accession to NATO membership is Georgia, but this has been set back by the conflict with Russia in 2008.Since then, the United States government has come under pressure from leading figures in Congress, such as Senator John McCain (and then Senator Obama), to extend NATO membership to Georgia.42 The Obama administration has generally been sympathetic to this concept, especially given Georgia’s contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, but the efforts to speed

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up the process continues to meet opposition from Germany and France because of their priority to maintain good relations with Russia.43 As far as the Central Asian states were concerned, the Partnership for Peace involved military co-operation and joint exercises designed to provide training for peacekeeping activities which were the only realistic contingencies for the relatively small armed forces of the Central Asian states (with the exception of perhaps Uzbekistan), to foster proper civil-military relations and help these countries to develop military interoperability for joint operations. In August 1995 Fort Polk’s Operation ‘Nugget exercises’ took place with the participation of armed forces from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. They were designed to develop tactics for peacekeeping by land forces. In July 1997 there was a round of followup exercises. This time a contingent from Kazakhstan took part. Along with 18 other PfP member states these three Central Asian states took part in an international amphibious exercise in North Carolina, and in March 2001 Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan participated in exercises in Nova Scotia led by the United States and involving the other NATO and PfP member states. In this context it is worth mentioning that Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan formed their own peacekeeping unit called Centrasbat in December 1995. Since then there have been annual exercises with the US and other NATO member states to provide training for the Central Asian forces. The sum total of all of these activities which have continued to the present day amount to a major influence of the United States on the development and operations of Central Asian armed forces. Most of the training was undertaken by Special Operations Forces (SOF), due to their professionalism and their expertise in counterinsurgency and anti-terrorist operations, which fit the requirements of Central Asian countries which were not preparing for a large-scale, high intensity war but rather local conflicts in which substate actors would play a significant role. Centrasbat remained essentially a symbolic unit, as regional integration and collective security in the former Soviet space never developed properly. Likewise PfP did not become an instrument of regional security, although as an element of bilateral military co-operation between the US and Central Asian states it promoted US strategic interests by allowing Western approaches to the armed forces to be introduced and

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weakening the dependence on Russia. But US military co-operation with Central Asian states remained limited. In contradiction to hypothesis I, the United States was not prepared to become the security manager of the region, because it was not deemed sufficiently central to the US national interest in order to deploy the very considerable resources that would be needed. The United States was not prepared to become embroiled in any regional conflicts, or face down Russian military power. Moreover, the US remained wary of Russia’s reaction and tailored its policy to what it perceived to be the limits of Russian tolerance of its involvement.44 Terrorism Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union terrorism has become an increasingly significant issue in the security of the region and was identified as such by the Clinton administration. Richard Clarke who worked in the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations in various capacities (as counter-terrorism czar under Clinton) reported that the Clinton administration identified a network of Afghan veterans that included Chechens and various other ‘foreign fighters’ that were transformed by Osama bin Laden into his front organisation. From 1996 onwards there was an increasing number of foreign jihadis involved in Chechnya, while the influence of fundamentalist movements in Central Asia became more apparent from the mid-1990s.45 However, the use of the term terrorism in relation to the South Caucasus and Central Asia is problematic. The use of violence by various non-state actors and regional conflicts, support for secession or regional independence are all subsumed under the term ‘terrorism’, even if there is no connection to international terrorism or external threats to the region. The primary source of conflict in the former Soviet Union is not Islamic extremism, nor are all acts of violence carried out by Islamists. The main source of instability in Russia is the North Caucasus, partly as a consequence of the two Chechen wars. Armed conflicts in the region are not part of a jihad against a distant enemy, but a response to local problems, the behaviour of regional governments and the socio-economic dislocation of the region. For the most part the post-Soviet Muslim populations have not been supportive of the radical Salafist ideas propagated by the

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Taliban or Al Qaeda and their supporters. While most of the violence in the newly independent states has, contrary to much of the public anti-terrorist discourse of the governments in the region, local sources, there is an international dimension. There are several factors that can be identified: The proximity to Afghanistan means the mujahedin have used Central Asia for some time as a refuge and vice versa the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan was given shelter by the Taliban. There are jihadist groups involving Uzbeks that are active in the tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Fundamentalist movements from Arab countries as well as Pakistan, Turkey and Iran have made an impact in their endeavour to radicalise Muslims in Central Asia. More concretely, the Chechen conflict mutated increasingly since 1996 from a secessionist struggle to a jihad in which foreign Muslims (including various Arabs and members of Al Qaeda) became engaged. The Saudi Arabian Emir Kahttab and his followers organised the training of mujahedin to join the Chechen rebels and the Chechen leader Shamil Bassayev who carried out many terrorist operations identified himself with the global jihad in 1998. Two major terrorist operations which gave greater credence to the characterisation of the Chechen resistance as terrorism were the hostage crisis in a Moscow theatre which began on 23 October 2002 and the attack on a school in Beslan in 2004 which ended in a massacre. Consequently there is a connection between transnational Islamist networks and terrorist activities in Central Asia. However, local governments substantially exaggerate the scale of these activities. The radicalisation of opposition figures and political violence have primarily regional political, socio-economic and cultural causes. Even so the Chechen conflict has its origin in regional dynamics and cannot be properly understood primarily as a conflict with Islamism. The US government was aware of the involvement of jihadis in the Chechen conflict from the time of the first Chechen conflict in 1994, but did not see radical Islam as the primary cause of this conflict. Although there were clearly major acts of terrorism, and there was not always a clear distinction between rebels and terrorists, the manner in which after 9-11 the Putin administration tried to jusitfy its campaign in Chechnya in 1999 as part of the ‘war on terror’ (ignoring the issues of self-determination for the Chechens) was decried by the US government that criticised the excessive use of force in quelling Chechen separatism

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and the failure to check human rights abuses by Russian armed forces throughout the entire history of the Chechen conflict.46 Two principal movements are considered to pose a threat to Central Asian States. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan was formed in 1998 by Tajik Islamists Tohir Yuldeshev and Juma Namangani in response to the peace agreement in Tajikistan in 1997 where the Islamic opposition IRPT agreed to share power with President Rahmonov. Namangani was born Jumbaoi Khojaev in the Fergana Valley (Uzbekistan) and served as a paratrooper during the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan where like many other Central Asian Soviet soldiers he was radicalised by the encounter with the radical Islam of the Mujahedin. The main goal of the IMU was the creation of a militant opposition to the rule of President Karimov in Uzbekistan. The IMU received some funding from Pakistan Inter-Service Intelligence agency (ISI) and began establishing links with the Taliban in Afghanistan. It established a base in the Tavildara Valley in Tajikistan. In 1999 there were several bomb attacks in Tashkent clearly designed to assassinate President Karimov, although they failed in achieving their objective. Karimov blamed Islamist extremists and in particular the IMU and launched a campaign against Islamist extremism which involved major violations of human rights including arbitrary arrests and torture. While the link between IMU and the 1999 Tashkent bombings remains unproven, there are no such doubts in relation to an incursion into the Batken region of southern Kyrgyzstan (mostly populated by Uzbeks) when IMU rebels captured the mayor of the regional capital Osh and released him for a ransom paid by the Kyrgyz government. This was followed by further raids into Kyrgyzstan and kidnappings for ransom. In response to these attacks President Karimov put enormous pressure on Tajikistan to expel the group and in 1999 the IRPT persuaded the IMU to relocate to northern Afghanistan. There the IMU established training camps and recruited more disaffected Muslims, especially Uzbeks. The IMU supported the Taliban against the Northern Alliance and fought together with Bin Laden’s fighters in the siege of Taloqan in January 2001. Uighur militants joined the IMU as the Taliban came under pressure from China to expel them. As they lost their separate identity as a group of fighters, Taliban felt able to deny that they gave them any support. Funding for the IMU was boosted through the Afghan

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opium trade and Western intelligence sources reported in 2000 that they had acquired more advanced equipment including night vision goggles and two heavy transport helicopters supplied by Bin Laden. Subsequently IMU fighters came back to the Tavildara Valley in Tajikistan to launch various attacks into northern Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. In 2000 the United States Department of State classified the IMU as a terrorist organisation after four US mountain climbers were kidnapped in Kyrgyzstan and held hostage until they escaped on 12 August 2000. International pressure once again forced Tajikistan to expel the insurgents and they returned to Afghanistan in January 2001. Relations between the IMU and Taliban became very close, which was indicated by the appointment of Namangani as Deputy Defence Minister of the Taliban government and their continued participation in fighting against the Northern Alliance. In 2001, during Operation Enduring Freedom following 9–11 the IMU was largely destroyed and Namangami was killed. Yudelshev together with some of his other IMU fighters fled with the Taliban to Pakistan. Consequently the IMU threat has been diminished to a large extent, although in the view of the US government not entirely eliminated. In 2003 US Assistant Secretary of State of Europe and Eurasia Elizabeth Jones stated that the ‘IMU is still active in the region – particularly in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan – and it represents a serious threat to the region and therefore to our interests.’ In 2004 a series of bombings were carried out in Tashkent by IMU fighters and attributed to ‘Islamic Jihad’. In 2006 the Russian government proscribed an organisation named the ‘Islamic Party of Turkestan’ whose leader Rafik Kamalov was killed by Kyrgyz special forces on 7 August 2006 and which is generally accepted to be synonymous with the IMU. There is no doubt that the capacity of the IMU to engage in insurgency has been reduced, as many Uzbek fighters were expelled from the Pakistani tribal areas and Central Asian governments clamped down hard on suspected IMU members. Since then the IMU fighters have hidden in the tribal areas of Pakistan where they joined other jihadists in operations against ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan).47 This does not mean that there cannot be further terrorist actions, but the focus of concern has shifted from the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan to the Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Unlike the IMU, however, HuT has adopted an

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approach of non-violence and instead of the use of force seeks grassroots support by exploiting the economic dislocation and political alienation in the region. It is also taking advantage of the Soviet-era repression of Islam to advance its own radical version of Islam. As an opposition voice to local governments it has garnered significant support for its message of antiWestern and especially anti-American rhetoric and support for the victims of oppression by regional governments and other local concerns. The group made significant inroads in the Ferghana region and Uzbekistan more generally and spread to northern Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The HuT has emerged as the most viable opposition to the secular governments in parts of the region, its advance furthered by the suppression of the secular opposition, many of whose leaders are either imprisoned or in exile. The organisational skills of the movement which is built on a network of very small cells and funded by Middle Eastern sponsors has contributed to its rapid growth. It is also popular for some of its social services, including Islamic marriages, divorce and family court services. The secular governments in Central Asia have identified the HuT as a serious threat and have tried to enlist the United States in its suppression by having it classified as a terrorist organisation. Despite its name, the HuT does not see itself as a political party nor does it seek to provide an alternative government for specific states, but rather promotes the vision of the unity of all Muslim states under an Islamic caliphate. The activities of HuT are not restricted to Central Asia but extend to over 40 countries. They explicitly reject the notion of democracy and espouse Shariah law. The renunciation of violence is not one of principle, but one of tactics. Their strategy involves three stages: Firstly, to build an extensive grassroots community, secondly to build mass support among Muslims for their general goals, and thirdly facilitate a change of government once mass support has been achieved with the aid of military leaders or other influential figures. Their deeply subversive goals therefore cannot be denied. Nevertheless the United States has so far resisted pressure from Central Asian states to put HuT on the State Department list of terrorist organisations, even though the German government has banned the group in 2003 for urging violence against Jews.48 Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary for State for European Affairs under whose purview the Caspian region comes, stated in 2006: ‘We lack evidence of Hizb ut-Tahrir having organized terrorist actions,

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but we know it skilfully uses Western freedoms to provide the ideological foundation for Islamist terrorists.’49 Rather than giving Central Asian governments more justification for violent repression and driving HuT underground, it can be argued that pushing for democratic change and addressing the grievances of ordinary people is a more effective long-term strategy for dealing with HuT. While these are the principal planks of official US policy, as we have seen its implementation is not yet adequate to deal with this evolving threat and the security challenges in Central Asia and the Caucasus. In summary, the Caspian region was given higher priority in US national security policy because of the threat of terrorism and after 9-11 the ‘war on terror’. But despite the emergence of some pockets of Islamic extremism in former Soviet Central Asia itself, this threat was perceived as relatively minor compared with that emanating from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The importance of the Caspian region in the ‘war on terror’ resided primarily in its supporting role for the US intervention in Afghanistan. The Case of Uzbekistan Uzbekistan is a crucial lynchpin in the Central Asian security complex that currently is a source of stability but could turn into a source of major conflict. There is no doubt that Uzbekistan is engaged in a quest to be a dominant power in the region. The Uzbek government is pursuing historical claims to parts of the territory of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and there are Uzbek citizens in its neighbouring states, while the ancient cities of Samarkand and Bukhara have a significant Tajik population and could be said to properly belong to Tajikistan. The Fergana Valley, a densely populated agricultural region, reaches into northern Tajikistan, southern Kyrgyzstan and eastern Uzbekistan. In order to provide supplies to its part of the Valley, Uzbek transport has to pass through the unstable areas of Tajikistan.50 Uzbekistan’s foreign policy was strongly influenced by two factors, relations with Russia and the threat of political Islam.51 The experience of the conflict in Tajikistan, the terrorist activities of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and finally the fall of Kabul to the Taliban all emphasised the seriousness of the threat. At the same time there was a suspicion that

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the Karimov government was overselling the threat, blaming extremists for popular discontent against his authoritarian regime. Indeed, Uzbek attempts to lobby the United Nations and Western governments to get them to take this threat seriously failed. This obviously changed after 9–11, an event that brought about geopolitical changes that much favoured Uzbek interests. The Uzbek government became actively involved in the civil war in Tajikistan and actively opposed the opposition movement (Islamic and pro-democracy elements). In 1992 Tashkent offered the anti-Islamic forces military equipment as they strove to bring down the Reconciliation Government. The Uzbek air force launched various raids onto Tajik areas after a failed attack on the Tajik capital Dushanbe by the deposed chair of Tajikistan’s supreme soviet Safarali Kanjaev in October 1992. After Tajik opposition forces sought refuge in Afghanistan in 1993, Uzbekistan sent forces to help seal the Tajik-Afghan border. President Karimov urged Russia to take the problem of fundamentalism in Central Asia seriously and take a more active role in Tajikistan. In November 1993 the formation of a CIS peacekeeping force was announced which involved troops from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Russia. However, the bulk of the forces consisted of the 201st Russian Motorrifle Division, and the contribution from other countries remained token. Uzbekistan supported Russia in the endeavour to obtain UN support for the operation in Tajikistan, but this was opposed by the United States and others because they viewed Russian peace enforcement as lacking impartiality.52 Indeed there was no doubt that Russia supported the government of Emomali Rakhmonov. UN-sponsored talks to end the civil war lasted from 1994– 97 and came to fruition when the Russian Federation supported the inclusion of the opposition in a power-sharing arrangement. Uzbekistan exhibited a negative attitude to the negotiations, which may have been due to the fact that leaders from the Leninabad region were not included in the power-sharing arrangements because they never participated in the armed conflict and any political efforts to establish some representation for them were rebuffed. The Leninabad leaders were traditionally close to Uzbekistan and some of them resided there during the conflict. More importantly, the inclusion of the Islamists at all levels of government (on the basis of a 30% quota) was what alarmed Tashkent. Measures

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to prohibit religious mobilisation were removed from the revised constitution. Tashkent’s concerns seemed to be confirmed when the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan used Tajikistan as a base to launch attacks in Uzbekistan in 1999.53 More alarming even than events in Tajikistan (where the situation stabilised considerably after the 1997 agreement) were developments in Afghanistan. In September 1996 the capital Kabul fell to the Taliban. President Muhammad Najibullah was summarily executed and the Taliban occupied large parts of Afghanistan where they implemented a totalitarian, puritanical rule based on a strict interpretation of Sharia law. Uzbekistan strengthened the protection of its border and mobilised its forces to achieve a high state of combat readiness. In May 1997 the Taliban occupied the city of Mazar-e Sharif. The commander of the northern Uzbek and Tajik forces, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, was forced to flee to Turkey. The Taliban were beaten back and had to leave Mazar-e Sharif one week later but reoccupied the city in August 1998. In addition to military measures to protect the country, Uzbekistan launched diplomatic initiatives designed to weaken Pakistan’s support for the Taliban and get the United States and other Western countries as well as the United Nations to take the Taliban threat seriously. The fact that the IMU based itself in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan was also disturbing for Tashkent. In particular they highlighted the alleged links between the Taliban and international terrorism and the drug trade. At the Central Asian Summit in May 1997 President Karimov confronted the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and demanded that Pakistan cease its support for the Taliban. The fact that Al Qaeda had moved into Afghanistan in 1998 strengthened US support for the Uzbek position. After the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania President Bill Clinton ordered strikes again Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan from then on began to emphasise the threat of global terrorism emanating from Afghanistan. In 1998 the United Nations, in response to a great deal of diplomatic activity by Uzbekistan, established the Six Plus Two Group (China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as the regional states, and Russia and the US as major powers with an interest in the region). In the so-called Tashkent declaration principles for the establishment of

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a multi-ethnic and representative government in Afghanistan were laid down, but it remained unclear how this aspirations could be realised. Although Russia and other Central Asian states identified the Taliban as a threat, the extent and nature of this threat was never clearly conceptualised. For example, there was never any evidence that the Taliban had any intention of invading former Soviet Central Asian republics should they succeed in occupying the entire territory of Afghanistan. In 2000 Tashkent softened its position and sought some accommodation with the Taliban by asserting that it sought good relations with any government in Afghanistan and that it did not seek to interfere in the internal affairs of its neighbours. But relations with the Taliban did not improve as a result, and the IMU leadership continued to operate from Afghan territory. Consequently it was not surprising that Uzbekistan eagerly supported the ‘war against terror’ following the attacks of 9–11.54 In 2002 there was very vocal criticism in Congress about Uzbekistan’s human rights record based on reports from various NGOs. But relations between Uzbekistan and the United States were deepening, as President Karimov came to a summit with President Bush in Washington and various bilateral consultations took place. Bush made it quite clear to Karimov that the US was not going to lecture Uzbekistan on human rights and five bilateral agreements between the two countries were signed. Uzbekistan supported the United States unequivocally in its confrontation with Iraq, thus placing itself further at odds with Russia.55 But the human rights issue did not go away. NGOS such as the International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, The Open Society and Amnesty International continued to highlight human rights violations in Uzbekistan and briefed members of Congress. Neglect by the US government of Uzbekistan’s dismal human rights record was severely criticised by both Democratic and Republican members of Congress at a hearing in the House on 6 March 2002.56 They received some unexpected support from Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Cramer, who visited Uzbekistan several times and issued statements on the human rights situation in Uzbekistan that appear not to have been coordinated with the Secretary of State, to the effect that further expansion of US relations with Uzbekistan depended on an improvement in the human rights record.57 This statement was in stark contrast to others made by Assistant Secretary of State B. Lynn Pascoe in the Bureau

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of European and Asian Affairs58 or Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones who advocated the official line of engagement despite Uzbekistan’s human rights record.59 In 2003 the annual renewal of Freedom Support Act assistance provided the opportunity to advance the human rights agenda. Funds for Uzbekistan under the FY03 Foreign Operations Act were made conditional on a determination by the Secretary of State that Uzbekistan was making progress in establishing a democracy and respect for human rights. Frederick Starr suggests that the belief in Washington that President Karimov was resisting reform in these areas was mistaken and that Karimov faced internal opposition, primarily from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.60 In the same year Uzbekistan experienced a wave of new terrorist attacks. In the time period of 29–31 March bombings and shootings in Tashkent and Bukhara resulted in 47 deaths (including 33 alleged to be terrorists). These events strengthened the line taken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In August during the trials of those apprehended for the March bombings there were a series of suicide bombings attacking the Israeli embassy and the Prosecutor-general’s office, a response to the clampdown against Islamic extremists. The US Secretary of State certified that Uzbekistan was making progress towards democracy as required, but in 2004 the State Department, on the basis of a finding by Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Cramer, issued a declaration to the effect that Uzbekistan was not making progress towards achieving international human rights standards.61 This finding took place because of a requirement of CTR funding. It was ignored by President Bush who provided CTR funding to Uzbekistan on the basis of a presidential waiver because of Uzbekistan’s importance for US national security. Although President Bush formally declared during the Inaugural Address of his second presidential term that it was US policy to support democratic change in Central Asia and the Middle East, the effect of this declaratory policy remains limited in the Caspian region.62 This is due to the fact that all of the Central Asian states (except for Kyrgyzstan since the end of the Akayev regime) will engage with the United States only to the extent that the position of the political elite is not threatened. Aid conditionality and political pressure causes Central Asian states to distance themselves from the US and improve their ties with Russia.

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The policy of the Bush administration unravelled due to a series of events which completely changed the Uzbek national security calculus. The first of these were the ‘orange revolutions’ in Ukraine, Georgia and the Kyrgyz Republic. In particular the fall of President Askar Askayev in Kyrgyzstan on 24 March 2005 sent a shock wave through Central Asia. It reinforced a growing perception that the United States was extending its influence in the region, in particular through the support of NGOs that promoted democracy and human rights. The second was a crackdown against anti-government protestors in Andijon in May 2005 when armed men took over the regional administration building and the local prison and released prisoners. Their goal was the release of 23 men accused of forming the cell of a banned Islamist organisation (the Akramiya). Over 160 people were killed by the security forces (according to Uzbek official sources – others claim the number was higher) and about 400 Uzbeks fled to neighbouring Kyrgyzstan.63 In the political discourse in the US Karimov was now considered a dictator and the entire incident was portrayed as an example of the regime’s persistent human rights violations, with powerful voices like John McCain and John Sununu weighing in. The administration felt obliged to support such criticisms. The relentless campaign in the West against Uzbekistan’s government by politicians, NGOs and human rights activists and the intense pressure to permit an international investigation of the events in Andijon and the failure of the United States to respond to Uzbekistan’s attempts to reengage the US at an official level resulted in the decision by Uzbekistan to renew its ties with Moscow and rely on Russian support instead. The United States was given notice that Uzbekistan was abrogating the agreement on the basis of which the US was permitted to use the Khanabad airbase. This was a severe blow because of the logistical importance of the basis, even though military assets could be shifted to the US base in Krygyzstan. But the real significance of this chain of events for US security interests in the region is more fundamental. Instead of welcoming the ‘orange revolutions’, the Russian government depicted them as part of a US effort to increase its influence in Eurasia. This was partly motivated by an attempt to quell any opposition to Putin, as evidenced by increasing restrictions on the operations of NGOs in Russia and the attempts to control the press. At the same time Russia was engaged in a serious effort to reduce

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US influence in the newly independent states and concomitantly increase its own. However, Uzbekistan remained an unreliable partner for Russia and Uzbekistan’s relations with Russia and the US kept changing depending on the level of confidence Tashkent had with respect to Russia (i.e. whether Uzbekistan was counting on Russia’s protection or felt undue ambitions on the part of Moscow to exert influence in the region). In 2008 relations between Uzbekistan and the United States improved somewhat and the Uzbek government permitted US personnel under NATO command on a case-by-case basis to transit to Afghanistan using an airbase near the town of Termez where the German forces were permitted to be based. In April 2008 President Karimov attended the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania. He declared that Uzbekistan would permit the transit of nonlethal goods to Afghanistan, and in May 2008 it was announced that the United States and NATO would be able to use the Navoi airport for such transports. In July 2009 Under Secretary of State William Burns visited Uzbekistan, followed by General David Petraeus in August 2009. These visits resulted in an agreement on military educational exchanges and training as well as permission by Uzbekistan for military overflights to Afghanistan, and were followed by Assistant Secretary Blake in November 2009. As with other Central Asian countries, the United States proposed setting up annual high-level consultations on border security, co-operation on narcotics, trade and development and ‘individual rights’.64 The first meeting took place in December 2009, followed by another meeting in 2011. The fact that Uzbekistan refused to take part in the CSTO rapid reaction force and suspended its membership in 2012 is a sign that the United States can maintain as security relationship with Uzbekistan in which there is room for non-military co-operation and at least a limited opportunity to promote a human rights agenda. Security and Democracy Support for human rights and political reform to establish democratisation has been a fundamental principle of engagement with the Caspian region across all US administrations since the collapse of the Soviet Union. For the G.W.H. Bush administration, the collapse of communism

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and the dissolution of the USSR was concomitant with the victory of democracy and the beginning of a transition for this region from the communist, totalitarian government and centrally planned economy to a free market and governance based on the principles of democracy, the rule of law and adherence to human rights. Similarly the more fundamental tenets of the Clinton administration which were based on the alleged congruity of national values (the promotion of democracy, freedom and human rights) with national interests (strategic stability, access to energy).65 Clinton himself professed his belief in the ‘democratic peace theory’ and that the spreading of democracy was crucial to US national security. Stephen Sestanovich, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States, articulated the objectives of the Clinton administration in this manner: ‘I am sure you have heard it said, as I have, that American interest in the Caspian is exclusively about energy. It is not. If there were no oil or gas there at all, the United States would still have important interests in the region. They are: to advance the sovereignty, prosperity, and democratic development of the countries; to promote regional co-operation among them, and to support their integration into international institutions and the international economy.’66 The G.W. Bush administration likewise declared the promotion of democracy and human rights to be central to its policy of engagement with the Caspian region. Thus Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that ‘freedom, prosperity and peace are not separate principles, or separate policy goals. Each reinforces the other, so serving any one requires an integrated policy that serves all three.’67

His successor, Condoleezza Rice likewise declared: ‘I want to speak to the people of Central Asia: The United States believes that liberty and dignity and justice are within reach of everyone in this region. And we are fully committed to partnership in helping you to realize this vision. We seek peace and security. We seek economic development and prosperity. We seek democratic values and human rights that unite all free nations in trust and respect.’68

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The three fundamental elements of official US policy towards the South Caucasus and Central Asia always were security (supporting regional stability, preventing the proliferation of WMD or the spread of terrorism), political and economic reform (democratisation, establishing a free market economy and securing human rights) and the development of energy reserves and transport routes. These were generally understood to be reinforcing each other in the sense that regional stability and security would be threatened by poverty and the failure of economic development, as well as human rights abuse and authoritarian government. The latter was perceived to encourage extremism and domestic unrest. This view gained a great deal of traction in Congress where the administration was criticised for support of authoritarian regimes and the failure of democratisation. For example, during the 1998 Senate Hearings Senator Sarbanes stated: ‘It seems to me the United States has a fundamental interest in promoting basic American values and principles, such as respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. If you are unwilling to subscribe to that as a basic fundamental concept, then I would just go on to suggest that the longterm goals of peace and stability, security and prosperity, which are essential really to developing these strategic concerns on the energy resources, are often unobtainable or meaningless.’69

It was clear therefore that the US government could only get congressional support for engagement with Central Asia if it was seen to promote political reform and the observance of human rights. Moreover, in light of the fact that the authoritarian governments in the region remained in power and there were serious concerns about human rights abuses in all countries of the region, the administration at various times had to defend the progress that was being made even if it did not exactly match the evidence. The governmental agency that is devoted to the support and promotion of democracy programs is the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). It has expressed the objectives of the United States in the following terms:

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Assist newly formed democracies in implementing democratic principles Assist democracy advocates around the world to establish vibrant democracies in their own countries. Identify and denounce regimes that deny their citizens the right to choose their leaders in elections that are free, fair and transparent.70

According to the DRL, the engagement of the United States with the world community to foster democratisation consists of three fundamental goals: Hold governments accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights instruments. Promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women’s rights, children’s rights and the protection of minorities. Promote the rule of law, seek accountability, and change cultures of impunity.71

The principal means for the United States to promote political and economic reform is assistance in the form of expert advice and material support. Financial assistance was provided to support democratisation, economic and social reform programs, humanitarian aid and security assistance. The underlying question is what form of conditionality should be attached to financial assistance. If there is no progress in political reform or if human rights abuses persist, there is criticism in Congress and outside Congress of engagement and demands for cutting off financial assistance are made. In fact, raising the prospect of cutting financial assistance is the main way in which Congress can voice its concern about the lack of democracy and human rights violations in the region. Although cutting off assistance may be portrayed as a way of putting pressure on a government for its failure to reform, it remains open to question how effective such pressure would be. At the same time it may damage the

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objectives of aid and cutting security assistance will also have negative consequences for the achievement of the security goals of the United States. The Freedom Support Act (FSA) of 1992 (P.L. 102–511) is the main instrument for authorising assistance programs to support democratisation and economic growth. From 1992 to 2007, the United States provided in excess of $28 billion in financial assistance to the former Soviet republics (excluding the Baltic states) and has continued to provide $2 billion per annum.72 Economic and social reform programs included support for private sector development, the privatisation of state-owned business, provision of credit for small enterprises, equity investments in business and expertise to businessmen and farmers. Efforts to deal with health concerns (including efforts to combat infectious disease), housing and environment and domestic energy supplies have also been supported. In FY1995 the proportion of assistance devoted to economic and social reform programs amounted to about 43.5%; by FY2005 the proportion had declined to 14.4%. The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) was established in 2004 to provide significant assistance to some states of the former Soviet Union that had met certain standards for commitment to democratic and economic reform and certain standards of accountability. The funding is provided through the Millennium Challenge Corporation and is also available to designated countries in other parts of the world. The Bush administration set a target of $3 billion for the MCA, but Congress never provided more than $2 billion. Armenia and Georgia met the criteria for MCA funds in 2004 and thereafter. Ukraine, Molodova and the Kyrgyz Republic were accorded ‘threshold status’ which made them eligible for some funding to improve their performance.73 Financial assistance to promote democracy is designed to encourage the development of civil society and non-governmental organisations and involves initiatives like assistance to political parties, parliaments and independent media. There is also funding, mostly under State Department appropriations, for exchanges designed to introduce leaders and citizens in the Newly Independent States to US political institutions. Funding to promote democracy amounted to 8.7% of total assistance in FY1995 and grew to 14.4% in FY2005. During the Bush administration, the proportion

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of funding for democracy promotion was consistently higher than during the Clinton and averaged about 15%. Humanitarian aid programs focused primarily on the PL480 food aid program (about 80% of humanitarian aid) and was highly significant in 1992–99 when agricultural production in Russia fell seriously short of requirements. Security assistance was mostly devoted to dealing with non-proliferation and Cooperative Threat Reduction (P.L.102–228) designed to deal with the security risks from the former Soviet nuclear weapons complex. In FY1995 security assistance accounted for 23.7% of total U.S. assistance to the former Soviet Union, rising to 66.7% by 2005, reflecting the rise in funding for CTR. Most of the funding for security was not provided through appropriations under the Freedom Support Act. An emergency supplemental in 2001 authorised funds for Central Asian countries that provided bases for U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan. The FSA program was assumed to be ‘transitional’ and although there was no firm deadline it was assumed that it would eventually be phased out. In 1994 the State Department strategy was based on ending the Russia program around 1998. Although this did not occur, the Bush administration determined in 2003 to phase out the Russia programmes beginning in 2006. They declined from a peak of $334 million in 1994 to $50 million in 2008. The entire FSA account has followed a similar pattern.74 Reductions in funding particularly affected the economic reform programs. As Russia began to experience substantial economic growth and oil revenues had a similar effect in other Caspian countries, they were no longer deemed necessary. The rising proportion of funding devoted to democracy programs conceals the fact that in real terms they declined during the Bush administration (from $254 million to $128 million between 2003 and 2008) as overall levels of funding fell. Aid to Russia and Central Asia has always been subject to conditionality. In general countries were expected to engage in political and economic reform, adhere to human rights, international treaties and support counter-terrorism. These conditions were generally left to the discretion of the president. Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act was more specific and denied most forms of assistance to the government of Azerbaijan unless

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it ceased the blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh and military actions against Armenia and Karabakh. A range of conditions was applied against Russia, resulting in a cut of aid of about 60% in most years. Aid to Central Asian countries was increased as these countries became frontline states in the war on terror ($174 million extra was provided through FSA appropriations in FY2002). The failure of countries in the region to engage in meaningful political reform and their continuing poor human rights record compelled Congress to impose conditions on continued aid. In 2004 $18 million of aid for the government of Uzbekistan was withheld as Secretary of State Powell could not determine that Uzbekistan met the conditions for aid to be provided. Foreign operations appropriations to Uzbekistan in FY2006 was made conditional on substantial and continuing progress in democratisation and the observance of human rights. Similar conditions were imposed on Kazakhstan. But these conditions could be waived on national security grounds and Secretary of State Rice did in fact use the waiver in May 2006. Conditionality turned out to be a very ineffective tool, partly because it was very inconsistently applied and almost always presidential waivers were used. More fundamentally, the very concept of conditionality was flawed. Although governments in the region were keen to receive extra funds, some of which would disappear in the pockets of individuals, they were never willing to pay the price imposed by the conditions. In those countries with significant hydrocarbon resources the level of aid was small compared to energy export revenues. In fact, in oil rich countries like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan the oil wealth has reinforced patronage and corruption in the elite and reduced any incentives to reform. The activities funded were perceived to be largely in the interests of the United States rather than those of the recipient states. Funding for CTR and anti-terrorism activities were designed to support US security interests and therefore it seemed counterproductive to suspend funding for any reason. This is the reason why both the Clinton and Bush administrations opposed conditionality and sought presidential waivers. Moreover, during the Bush administration there was increasing governmental resistance in the region to the activities funded by FSA. The work of NGOs, political organisations and human rights groups came to be increasingly perceived as a threat to the state and came under pressure from governments in

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the region (in particular Uzbekistan), especially after the ‘colour revolution’ in Kyrgyzstan.75 Democracy promotion therefore has become widely viewed by elites in the Caspian region as interference in their internal affairs which needs to be resisted. Their power entirely depends on their relationship with the ex-Soviet leaders, who took control of the countries at independence and maintained themselves in power in perpetuity while creating a system of patronage based on rent-seeking to prevent any political change. Consequently the belief by the US government that the three elements of a policy of engagement with the South Caucasus and Central Asia were mutually reinforcing was not shared by the governments in the region. While they were prepared, to varying degrees, to accept economic reform, and welcomed US support for the development of hydrocarbon resources and alternative export routes, US efforts to promote political reform were considered a threat to their interests. A review of aid, the conditionalities and the implementation by the US government correlates quite well with the notion that despite the fact that support for democratisation and human rights was central to declaratory policy, the administration sought to minimise any pressure on governments in the region due to the importance it attached to co-operation with the Central Asian states for reasons of national security. However in the course of time congressional pressures became more insistent and this had an adverse effect on efforts by the administration to engage the countries in the region. A particular target of the critics was Uzbekistan. It is true that when there was a choice the US government across all administrations of the post-Soviet period almost always chose to continue engagement. Critics have argued that the United States is ignoring its own fundamental principles in order to satisfy short term security interests in the region and that this has the effect of encouraging Islamist extremism as the only available channel to voice dissent against the authoritarian regimes.76 Sarah Mendelson of CSIS expressed it in the following way: ‘In the United States, policy makers have often traded compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law for allegedly greater security in their efforts to combat radical jihadists. This is a false and dangerous trade-off.’77

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This argument gained significant traction in Congress, although it misrepresents the policy of the United States government. While the United States government from 1997 persistently sought to engage the Central Asian states, this engagement was always coupled with efforts to achieve improvement in human rights and political reform. The key bone of contention with the administration and Congress was the issue of conditionality of military and economic aid. While for Congress and outside observers conditionality was often seen as a litmus test of the commitment to human rights, closer scrutiny reveals it to be an ineffective instrument.78 After 2005 efforts by the administration to exempt countries from restrictions were increasingly abandoned as the strategic partnership with Uzbekistan effectively ended in the aftermath of the uprising in Andijon. The Omnibus Appropriations for FY2003 (P.L. 108–7) included a prohibition by Congress to provide FSA funding to the government of Uzbekistan unless the Secretary of State determined that progress was made in terms of democratisation and human rights. Similar restrictions were put in place with regard to aid to Kazakhstan. The government could waive these restrictions on grounds of national security. In May 2003 Colin Powell certified that Uzbekistan was making progress and likewise in July he reported that Kazakhstan was making progress as required by the act, although by late 2003 the administration decided it could no longer certify that Uzbekistan was making progress in line with the Strategic Partnership Declaration. In FY2004 the State Department announced that due to ‘lack of progress on democratic reform and restrictions put on U.S. assistance partners on the ground’ aid to Uzbekistan (including FSA, International Military Education and Training – IMET and Foreign Military Financing – FMF- funds of up to $18 million) could be withheld.79 In contrast it was reported that Kazakhstan met the requirements for progress, even though there were no substantial changes evident in Kazakhstan with regard to political reform or human rights. Support for IMET and FMF was indeed cut in that year, provoking harsh criticism from General Meyers during a visit to Uzbekistan, while ‘notwithstanding authority’ (a device whereby the US government can waive congressional restrictions on spending on the basis of national security) was used for FSA funding.80 This pattern continued after Condoleezza Rice was appointed Secretary of State. Aid restrictions

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against Uzbekistan remained in place but Freedom Support Act funding was provided on the basis of ‘notwithstanding authority’ and Uzbekistan also received some IMET funds. Rice did not certify that Kazakhstan had made sufficient progress but waived the funding restrictions on grounds of national security. In 2006 aid restrictions against Uzbekistan remained in place (there was no IMET or FMF funding), and a much reduced level of FSA funding ($4.16 million) was provided to Uzbekistan on ‘notwithstanding authority’. Once again Kazakhstan received funds due to a waiver on national security grounds. Overall then it could be said that aid conditionality did not yield any discernible results to promote declaratory US policy objectives, while at the same time it had a serious detrimental effect on the other aspects of US policy, namely those concerned with more immediate issues of national security such as military training and the provision of aid. It is true, as we have seen, that the United States government provided resources for democracy promotion and political reform that were dwarfed by funds for security co-operation, and the policy engagement constrained the extent to which it put pressure on local leaders to reform. But the above analysis also makes it clear that alternative policies did not advance political reform. The former Soviet states welcomed co-operation with the United States because Russia was too negligent in taking care of their security concerns and at the same time sought to use military co-operation as leverage to limit their sovereignty and force them to adopt policies in conformity with Russian interests. However, in the end there was always the choice for Central Asian states to re-establish links with Russia if co-operation with the United States came to be perceived as threatening the regime. The kind of longer term strategy of democracy and human rights promotion advocated by Matthew Crosston and Sarah Mendelson would have the effect of driving these countries back into Russia’s sphere of influence, as demonstrated by the case of Uzbekistan, and end any influence by the United States. Conditionality of aid also did not have the desired effect. On the surface it appears that the policy pursued both by the Clinton and Bush administrations is best described as semi-realist, with a declaratory commitment to the values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, but weak implementation because of the national interest. Closer examination reveals the policy

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to be a complex balance of security co-operation, support for political and economic reform, and the development of energy resources. It was not the lack of will on the part of the US government that was the key constraint. Rather the low potential for development of a civil society, the entrenchment of authoritarian elites through patronage and the geopolitics of the region prevented political reform.81 The US government did not have the means to further democratise the region, but judged that engagement was preferable to isolation.

Appendix to Chapter 4 Table 1  U.S. Foreign Aid to the South Caucasus States, FY1992 to FY2010, and the FY2011 Request (millions of dollars) South Caucasus Country Armenia Azerbaijan

FY1992-FY2008 Budgeted Aida 1,821.17

FY2009 Actualb

FY2010 Estimateb

52.357

45.6

FY2011 Requestb 45.2

832.24

25.835

28.115

29.285

Georgia

2,108.23

311.817

78.95

90.085

Total

4,761.64

390.009

152.665

164.57

13.6

50

25

27

Percent

Sources: State Department, Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations for FY2011, March 2010. Jim Nichol, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, (Washington, DC, Congressional Research Service RL33453, 16 September 2010) a. Assistance to Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia (AEECA) and Agency budgets. b. AEECA and other ‘Function 150’ funds. Does not include Defence or Energy Department funding, funding for exchanges, Peace Corps, or Millennium Challenge Corporation programs in Armenia and Georgia.

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us policy towards the caspian region Table 2  U.S. Foreign Assistance to Central Asia, FY1992 to FY2009 (millions of dollars) Central Asian Country

FY1992 thru FY2007 Budgeteda

FY2008 Actualb

FY2009 Estimateb

FY2010 Requestb

Kazakhstan

1,470.88

21.1

19.3

17.3

Kyrgyzstan

905.01

29.96

29.1

48.2

Tajikistan

747.36

31.3

29.9

52.3

Turkmenistan

276.82

7.2

8.9

16.7

Uzbekistan

833.08

9.5

8.6

10.8

Regional Total Percent

87.15

2.98

3.0

12.0

4,320.3

102.04

98.8

157.3

14

24

25

31

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; Jim Nichol, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, (Washington, DC, Congressional Research Service RL33458, 11 January 2010) a. FSA and Agency funds. Excludes some classified coalition support funding. Includes $19.3 million in Defence Department Section 1206 train and equip funds for Kazakhstan in FY2007. b. FSA and other Function 150 funds. Does not include Defence or Energy Department funds, funding for exchanges, or Millennium Challenge Corporation aid to Kyrgyzstan. 

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Figure 1:  Freedom Support Act Account and Russia Account ($ million) Source: Congressional Research Service, Curt Tarnoff, U.S. Assistance to the Former Soviet Union, (Washington, DC, CRS Report RL32866, March 2007)

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5 The United States and Energy Resources in the Caspian Region Until 1991, the Caspian region was under the control of the Soviet Union and Iran. Since the emergence of the ‘Newly Independent States’ the oil and gas reserves in the Caspian region have become a key focus of interest in the region and allusions to a new ‘Great Game’ have appeared in the academic literature and statements by politicians. As we have seen, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union until 1994 the United States was focused on relations with Russia and paid little attention to Central Asia with the exception of Kazakhstan, where strategic nuclear weapons were located. Of course international oil companies had been aware of energy reserves in the Caspian Sea region that had not been fully developed and the possibility of further discoveries even during the Soviet period. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union the development of these resources became a top priority for the countries of the region, but they lacked the capital and expertise and therefore invited major international companies to enter into negotiations. As will be discussed in more detail below, the government of the United States did not engage with the emerging competition over Caspian hydrocarbon resources until the run-up to the signing of the ‘Contract of the Century’ between the government of Azerbaijan and the consortium known as the Azerbaijan International Oil Company (AIOC) in 1994. In Kazakhstan Chevron concluded a contract to develop the large Tengiz field as part of a consortium of international oil companies. The exploitation of energy resources in the Caspian region has three different dimensions. The first is the development of known oil and gas 167

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deposits. Given the relative neglect of the region during the Soviet period and the limitations of Soviet technology this requires very large amounts of capital. The second is exploration, which may reveal substantial new deposits. This also requires foreign investment and in addition to the usual risks is also hampered by political disagreement about the division of the Caspian Sea. The third is the transportation of oil and gas, which is constrained by the fact that all the Caspian states are landlocked and the then existing network of pipelines was under control of the Russian Federation. The United States has no direct interest in Caspian energy reserves in the sense that it does not import either oil or gas from the region. In terms of US energy policy, the key issue is the extent to which Caspian hydrocarbon reserves can contribute to the global supply and thereby reduce the price and enhance energy security in a general sense. The United States also seeks to reduce its dependence on Middle East oil, but as the US does not import oil from the Caspian region its contribution is at best a very indirect effect. The United States is also concerned about the energy security of its Allies, but again Caspian oil is not crucial to securing this objective. Finally, the US government has a clear interest in US energy companies winning a significant share of the contracts for exploration and development. Apart from these specific energy-related interests, Caspian energy reserves have other implications for US national interests. One constant theme in statements on US policy towards the region is the concern about political stability and economic reform. Caspian energy resources have a crucial role in the economic development of the region. At the same time Russia’s control of the pipeline creates a dependency of the Caspian states on Russia with regards to the volume and price of exports. This has wider ramifications for the geopolitics of the region that is of concern for the United States. This chapter will first look more generally at the actual and potential energy reserves in the Caspian region and their significance for US energy security in terms of their contribution to the global supply of oil and gas. Subsequently it will look at specific countries, their oil and gas reserves and US involvement in the production of energy. Next it will consider the technical, economic and political aspects of pipelines and energy transport. Finally it will consider the

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broader geopolitical implication of Caspian energy reserves for US policy towards the region. US Energy Policy and the Caspian Region There is no doubt that the United States government perceives energy security as a key national interest. How energy security is defined and what place it occupies in the hierarchy of interests is open to debate. In 2000 the bipartisan Commission on America’s National Interests identified the following five principal U.S. national interests: 1. ‘Prevent, deter, and reduce the threat of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons attacks on the United States or its military forces abroad; 2. Ensure US allies’ survival and their active co-operation with the US in shaping an international system in which we can thrive; 3. Prevent the emergence of hostile major powers of failed states on US borders; 4. Ensure the viability and stability of major global systems (trade, financial markets, supplies of energy, and the environment); and 5. Establish productive relations, consistent with American national interests, with nations that could become strategic adversaries, China and Russia.’1 Energy security is listed in fourth place as part of a larger concern for global economic stability. In the most general sense energy security means a reliable and sufficient supply of energy at reasonable prices. For net consumers of energy the most important issue is security of supply, whereas producers are concerned about security of demand. As the largest net consumer, reliable energy supplies are of critical importance to the United States. Given the scale of global oil supplies, the key questions are diversification (avoiding over-dependence on any supplier) and price. This means that in principle the United States could have a great interest in Caspian oil and gas reserves.

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The Structure of Caspian Hydrocarbon Resources In order to get a clearer sense of the structure of Caspian hydrocarbon resources and their future prospects in the context of regional security, it is necessary to briefly look at the two main producing countries of the Caspian region, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Azerbaijan Azerbaijan is of crucial concern with regard to security in the Caspian region because of its large offshore hydrocarbon reserves and its role in one of the major conflicts in the region. The Azerbaijani oil industry dates back to the first half of the 19th century. The period of 1871–1921 is described as the first oil boom when about 50 refineries were in operation near Baku. The second onshore boom is dated 1921–1948, followed by the construction of a vast ‘offshore city’ in the Stalin era that enabled the offshore boom of 1949–1991. In 1941 output amounted to 450,000 b/d, about 70% of total Soviet production. But as the Germans advanced deeper into Soviet territory during World War II drilling operations in Baku ceased and the equipment was transferred to oilfields in the VolgaUrals and output in the Azerbaijani fields fell to 200,000 b/d. The offshore operations after World War II led to the discovery of the Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli fields which now account for the most of Azerbaijani output. In the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Azerbaijani government began to seek large investments from the major international oil companies to develop these three fields which actually form one big oil reservoir which is subterraneally connected. The Azeri state oil company (SOCAR) initially entertained bids by oil companies for stakes in the individual fields, but in May 1993 adopted the position of dealing with the three fields as a unitary oil reservoir of which the various oil companies could acquire a share as part of a big partnership. This would subsume the deals with BP, Amoco and Pennzoil that had been pending. The scheme of unitisation had been promoted by Unocal in the hope of wresting a major share from the competition. After an initial agreement had been reached between the oil companies and the Azerbaijani officials, a signing bonus of $70 million was paid but the contract was never signed when the Elchibey government collapsed as a result of Husseinov’s rebellion.

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The new government led by Aliyev rejected the contract negotiated by its predecessor and initiated a new round of negotiations. The matter became pressing for Aliyev because of the advances of the Armenians on the battlefield and the sheer scale of the external support Armenia was receiving. The position of the United States was inconsistent – on the one hand a certain amount of military aid was provided by US veterans of special forces to train Azeri troops, although this was for a brief period and on a limited scale. On the other hand the US Congress limited assistance to Azerbaijan because of the ‘inhuman’ economic blockade of Armenia. Aliyev’s response to this situation was: ‘My weapon is oil, and with it we will manage to win the war’.2 A new deal was negotiated and oil companies lobbied the US government for support as the agreement awaited ratification by the Azerbaijani parliament. The oil companies feared that Aliyev was prevaricating because he felt that Armenia was getting more favourable treatment from the United States. Deputy Energy Secretary Bill White, who had become convinced of the importance of the Caspian region and a potential US role in assisting the states of the region from maintaining some degree of independence from Russia agreed to go to Baku.3 He travelled via Moscow in order to get the Russian view of the situation. Russia’s energy minister Yuri Shafranik made it clear that Russia perceived that it had a right to develop Caspian resources and asserted that Russian companies would develop Azerbaijani oil fields. Relations between Azerbaijan and Russia were difficult, to say the least. In the ongoing conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh the Russians had provided military support to Armenia. It became clear to the Americans that while there was a common interest with Azerbaijan in assisting the country in developing its oil resources and promoting the interests of US oil companies in terms of getting a significant share of the contracts, the Azerbaijanis could not simply ignore Russian interests and demands. Both the involvement of Russian companies and the role of the Russian pipeline network to transport the oil would become major issues. During his discussions with Azerbaijani officials it became clear that for the government in Baku there was an important linkage between the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the granting of stakes in the development of oil. Prime Minister Hassan Husseinov told White bluntly that ‘America is not doing its job as a superpower’ because it was not using its power to resolve the conflict.4 White’s

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meeting with Aliyev was inconclusive. The Azerbaijani President expected that if US companies were to get 40% of the deal then the US needed to provide overt political support to Azerbaijan. In order to mollify the Russians, Aliyev agreed with Shafranik that the Russian share of the deal would be 10%.5 Negotiations with the Western companies broke down soon thereafter when the Azerbaijani oil ministry sought to fundamentally revise the structure of the agreement. In response the Western oil companies formed the Azerbaijan International Oil Consortium (AIOC) and insisted on joint negotiation with Azerbaijan. After the concession granted to Russia by Aliyev, Shafranik decided to push for greater Russian influence. He demanded a doubling of Russia’s share to 20%. At the same time the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that all five states with a Caspian shoreline would have to agree to any underwater development, which would give Russia a veto on any off-shore project. This reflected a dispute over the legal status of the Caspian Sea with implications for the ownership of natural resources. Russia maintained that the legal status of the Caspian Sea was defined by the Soviet-Iranian Treaties of 1921 and 1940 and that the UN Conference on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS 1982) could not be applied. In other words, the Caspian Sea should be exploited jointly by all littoral states rather than being equally divided among them.6 However, three out of five littoral countries (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) unilaterally claimed their own sectors and began to enter into negotiations on the development of natural resources. This was justified on the basis of UNCLOS 1982 and the arrangements during the Soviet period where each Soviet republic was assigned a sector of the Caspian Sea. Russia sought to use the unresolved legal status of the Caspian Sea to inhibit the development of natural resources, but this strategy involved fundamental contradictions as Russia itself became party to various agreements.7 Although the issue is unresolved, Russia signed agreements with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in 1998 defining national sectors, thus removing a potentially serious obstacle to development.8 As far as the Azerbaijani oil development plans were concerned, Aliyev rejected the demands of Russian oil minister Yuri Shfranik and the Foreign Ministry claim was simply ignored. But Russia also wanted to ensure that all Azerbaijani oil would be transported through Russian pipelines. This concept was unacceptable to either Western investors or the Azerbaijani

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government, because this would give Russia the power to regulate both the volume and price of Azerbaijani oil exports, as in the case of Kazakhstan. As the negotiations dragged on, the US government intervened in order to facilitate the conclusion of the deal. President Aliyev was offered a meeting with President Clinton at the occasion of the signing ceremony which was to take place in Washington on 20 September 1994. Bill Clinton and Al Gore also met with Russian President Yeltsin to ensure Russian approval of the deal. The Russians were non-committal as regards the 10%, but kept emphasising that they insisted on control over the pipeline. However, in the end they accepted what came to be known as the ‘Deal of the Century’ and Stanislav Pugach, Chief of the Main Department of the Russian Ministry of Fuels and Energy attended the signing ceremony. But the Russian government was divided, and while the oil ministry moved ahead involving Lukoil in the consortium Foreign Minister Kozyrev denounced the deal on the grounds that given that the legal status of the Caspian Sea had not been determined, any such arrangement was illegitimate. He even proposed an economic blockade of Azerbaijan and warned the United Kingdom against the deal. But although the legal dispute raised by Russia of the ownership of the Caspian created a certain degree of risk for the major oil companies, they were not deterred despite the very large sums of money involved. The general view seemed to be that the more such deals were struck the harder they would be to undo in the future. The shares in the consortium with a capital investment of $8 billion were divided as follows: • SOCAR (Azerbaijan): 20% • British Petroleum (United Kingdom): 17.13% • Amoco (United States): 17.01% • Lukoil (Russia): 10% • Pennzoil (United States): 9.82% • Unocal (United States): 9.52% • Statoil (Norway): 8.56% • McDermott (United States): 2.45% • Ramco (United Kingdom): 2.08% • Delta-Nimir (Saudi Arabia): 1.68% • TPAO (Turkey): 1.75%

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SOCAR subsequently transferred another 5% to TPAO because of difficulties in financing its share and in the spring 1995 Exxon was awarded a 5% share.9 The United States government not only intervened diplomatically in order to ensure the ‘Deal of the Century’ would go ahead despite Russian misgivings, but it also blocked a sustained effort by Iran to get a share by putting pressure on the American oil companies to exclude Iran at a time when they held a 43% share in the consortium. The exclusion of Iran from Central Asian oil and gas production or energy transport is one of the most consistent themes running through US policy towards the region. This was motivated by the fear that once an elaborate network of regional interdependence with Iran had been created, the US would no longer be in a position to apply sanctions against Iran which was its main policy instrument in its confrontation with Teheran over its nuclear program and regional hegemonistic ambitions. Kazakhstan’s Oil Production and US Interests Western efforts to get involved in oil production in Kazakhstan date back to the final years of the Soviet period. Soviet President Gorbachev had decided to do business with Western oil companies to provide the investment to develop the Tengiz field where the Soviet Union lacked the necessary technology. However the lines of authority in the Soviet Union with regard to this situation were unclear. Gorbachev himself had decided to go for a deal with Chevron, and in this he was supported by the oil ministry. The Geology Ministry favoured international competition for a deal and was sympathetic to BP’s interest which had the backing of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Another player was the Nursultan Nazarbayev, who as head of the Communist Party in Kazakhstan was effectively in charge of the Soviet republic and who was pursuing discussions with BP in the belief that it was up to him to make a deal with foreign investors for Kazakhstan. Chevron signed a protocol on Tengiz with Gorbachev in June 1990, and three weeks later Nazarbayev signed an agreement with BP to lead a consortium for the development of Tengiz. Thus two separate deals had been made, but the Kazakhstani signature would only mean something if for some reason Soviet authority over Kazakh oil resources were to be lost. In Moscow the conviction

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developed that a deal with Chevron should go forward and that the oil deal should be used to improve Soviet-American relations. This was partly due to direct intervention by the US President in response to a request by Chevron. G.W.H. Bush indicated to Gorbachev that a deal with a big US company like Chevron would be a good way of attracting investment from the United States. In July 1991 Bush spent an entire afternoon discussing every aspect of the deal with the CEO of Chevron.10 For this reason Gorbachev was not willing to consider anything other than American oil companies. BP was forced to abandon its efforts as Russia threatened that the company would be excluded from any projects in Russia if it concluded a deal with Kazakhstanis. However, the initial deal that Chevron signed quickly fell apart. As the situation in the Soviet Union deteriorated, the potential revenues from Tengiz loomed large in the minds of the leadership in Moscow. Yegor Gaidar, a prominent economist and reformer (later a leading figure in Boris Yeltsin’s government) denounced every aspect of the deal. But all of this became moot when Gorbachev, in the middle of the struggle for control over the Soviet Union against the rising power of the republics, had to concede to Nazarbayev the right to control the Tengiz oil field. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 there was no doubt that the Kazakhstanis were in charge of the development rights. Nazarbayev on the other hand insisted that negotiations had to begin from scratch. The Kazakhstanis were particularly annoyed about the high share of the profits (28%) that Chevron had been granted. After hard and prolonged negotiations involving the Dutch oil trader John Deuss they settled for 20% and the agreement was signed on 6 April 1993. President Bush smoothed the negotiations by having lunch with Nazarbayev. Bush wanted the deal with Chevron to be completed, even though the issue had lost the political salience it had had when Chevron was in negotiation with the Soviet authorities. One of the key problems facing the development of Tengiz was the absence of pipeline capacity. Chevron projected a volume of 700,000 b/d, but the existing Soviet pipeline system could accept only 60,000 b/d. One key provision in the agreement with Kazakhstan was the development of a dedicated pipeline that would transport oil from Tengiz to a sea terminal. The responsibility for this pipeline lay with the Kazakhstani government.

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The rights to develop the pipeline were awarded to Oman oil, a company jointly owned by the Dutch oil trader John Deuss and the Omani royal family. Deuss invited Azerbaijan and Russia to join what became known as the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (political turmoil in Azerbaijan prevented its involvement). The route for the CPC pipeline was announced in October 1992. It would run from Tengiz to the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, from where oil would be transported in tankers through the Bosporus. Russia supported this pipeline project in which it would have a financial stake itself. Chevron’s plans for the development of Tengiz ran into difficulties as soon as the ink on the agreement was dry because the Russians would not allow more than 30,000 b/d to be shipped through the existing pipeline network. The Russians claimed shortage of pipeline capacity and also blamed the high concentration of mercaptans (a sulphurous contaminant) in Tengiz oil. In order for Chevron’s financial plan to be viable they needed at least double the volume early on. Chevron’s own calculations determined that there was sufficient pipeline capacity for the required volumes. But Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin did not relent. The Russian government was trying to delay and curtail production from Caspian oil fields, partly because it was still smarting over having lost control due to the Soviet collapse and was still trying to establish how much control it could regain, and partly because it did not want Caspian oil to compete with its own oil production. The collapse of Chevron’s financial planning for the development of Tengiz induced a serious confrontation between John Deuss and Chevron over the financing of the CPC pipeline as it became increasingly apparent that the project could not be financed without Chevron’s participation. While the stand-off between John Deuss who controlled the pipeline consortium with Russian backing and Chevron chairman Ken Derr continued over the financing of the pipeline, the Kazakhstani government grew increasingly impatient. It empowered the oil trader Jim Giffen to develop its strategy of how to overcome this impasse. Both Chevron and the Kazakhstani government extensively lobbied the US government to intervene on behalf of Chevron to break the deadlock over the pipeline consortium. John Deuss in the meantime proceeded with the construction of a partial pipeline to Novorossiysk that was to use existing Russian

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and Kazakh pipeline portions but that would fall short of connecting to Tengiz until a deal with Chevron could be reached. The Clinton administration hesitated for some time but at the urging of Sheila Heslin from the National Security Council and Bill White from the Department of Energy it finally concluded that a free entrepreneur such as John Deuss should not be allowed to control the flow of oil from the Caspian. The Treasury Department was given the task of implementing the policy. One point of pressure was the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which had provided crucial support for the initial financing of the pipeline. David Lipton from the US Treasury made it clear to Ron Freeman, the senior US appointed delegate to EBRD, that the United States government expected the EBRD to act in conformity with US foreign policy objectives in the region and from then on both the US government and the EBRD acted in support of Chevron. US VicePresident Al Gore admonished both the Omani government and Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin that Chevron should be permitted to take the leading role in the pipeline project. The Russian government balked, but its position was made more difficult by the Kazakhstani government which refused to allow Deuss to use its existing pipeline assets. At a meeting with the Omani oil minister Kazakhstan was granted permission to explore funding outside the consortium. The degree to which the Russian government sought to control this process became manifest when it notified the Kazakhstani government that it would not accept any oil exports through Russian pipelines from Kazakhstan until further notice. In the meantime Jim Giffen on behalf of the government of Kazakhstan brought in other players, notably Mobil which agreed to participate in return for a stake in Tengiz, as well as British Gas and Agip. The death of the Omani oil minister further eroded John Deuss’s position as the Omani government was no longer fully behind his scheme. The deadlock was finally broken when Nazarbayev visited Russian President Boris Yeltsin in November 1995 and persuaded him to agree to alternative ways of financing Tengiz. But the price the Chernomyrdin exacted was a share of the Tengiz field itself to be granted to the Russian oil company Lukoil.11 For some time it remained unclear where this share was to come from (i.e. the Kazakhstani or Chevron’s stake) and how it was going to be paid for. Eventually the US based company Arco teamed up with Lukoil to acquire 5% of Chevron’s

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share for $200 million. The Omani government terminated the involvement of John Deuss in 1995. The consortium was structured so that governments would own half the shares and the companies actually using the line the rest. TengizChevrOil (TCO), the Chevron-led consortium developing the Tengiz field, was to get the majority of those shares. In return for the rights of way, companies financed the construction for the pipeline, and tariffs would be based on the costs of the project, preventing Russia from charging whatever tariffs it wanted because there was no alternative transport route.12 The final line-up of shareholders for the Caspian Pipeline Consortium is as follows:13 Transneft – 24% Kazakhstan – 19% Oman – 7% Chevron Caspian Pipeline Consortium Co. – 15% LUKARCO B.V. – 12.5% Mobil Caspian Pipeline Co. – 7.5% Rosneft - Shell Caspian Ventures Ltd. – 7.5% Agip International (N.A.) N.V. – 2% Oryx Caspian Pipeline LLC – 1.75% BG Overseas Holdings Ltd. – 2% Kazakhstan Pipeline Ventures LLC – 1.75% The construction of the pipeline was completed in 2001 and on 13 October 2001 the first shipment of crude oil was loaded onto a tanker in Novorossiysk. The pipeline reached its full capacity of 22 million tons a year in 2004, but further expansion is planned to increase its capacity by a factor of 2.5. TengizChevrOil is in charge of development and oil production; its major shareholders are Chevron (50% ownership), ExxonMobil KazMunayGas (owned by the Kazakhstani government)(20% ownership) and the US-Russian consortium LukArco (5%).14 The history of Chevron’s struggle over Tengiz demonstrates some features of US policy towards the development of energy resources in the Caspian. First of all, the US government was reluctant to intervene especially as it meant playing hardball with the Russian government. The underlying philosophical perspective of the Russian government was that

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it still considered it had a droit de regard over Caspian oil reserves and that it was entitled to at least a share of all fields and to control exports through its pipeline networks. For those who had an interest in Caspian issues in the NSC and the DOE this behaviour was alarming because it was part of a larger pattern of projecting Russian hegemony to the ‘near abroad’, thereby violating the sovereignty of the Newly Independent States.15 Moreover, by inhibiting oil exports on a larger scale Russia was damaging the economic development of countries that were seriously lacking in resources, thereby potentially putting the political stability of the region at risk. But the issue that seems to have concentrated the minds at the highest level of the administration was the damage to the commercial interests of large US based companies. Although Russia in the end was forced to change its stance, it is hard to describe the outcome as a defeat for Russian oil interests. Not only did Russia acquire a stake in Tengiz, but it benefits very handsomely from tariffs. It utilises previously mothballed sections of the Russian pipeline system and in addition to oil from Tengiz, also carries Russian oil which is injected at Krapotkin in Krasnodar. About 85% of all expenditures on the CPC pipeline go to Russian suppliers given that most of the pipeline is routed through Russia.16 Although the restrictions that Russia used to impose on Kazakhstani oil exports are no longer acceptable, the Russian government can still claim that it practically controls exports from the Tengiz oil field, while the US government claimed that the success of CPC safeguarded US commercial interests and was in line with its policy to support multiple pipelines for Caspian oil. Kazakhstan as an Energy Producer Oil Proven crude oil reserves for Kazakhstan are estimated at 9 billion barrrels of oil and 1,840 bcm of gas.17 The three major oil fields being developed are Tengiz, Karachaganak and Kashagan. Tengiz and the adjacent Korolev structure were discovered in 1979. They are located on the northeast shores of the Caspian Sea and are operated by the joint venture TengizChevrOil. The field currently produces 290,000 barrels per day (b/d) and Tengiz and Korolev are estimated by ChevronTexaco to have 6–9 and 2–3 billion barrels of oil in recoverable

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reserves respectively. The technological challenges presented by the development of this field are formidable. It is the deepest oil field under development in the world, with oil producing strata beginning at a depth of 4 km. Other technical issues are the hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide content and other impurities, such as mercaptins (organic chemicals that contain sulphur) and paraffin. There are plans to reinject ‘sour gas’ released by the field in order to maintain the high pressure of the oil, but this technology is as yet unproven. Nevertheless TCO projects an increase in production to 700,000 b/d by 2010.18 Until the CPC pipeline opened in 2001 oil from Tengiz was shipped through the Russian pipeline system and by rail and barge. TCO plans to ship all Tengiz oil through CPC once its expansion is complete by 2010. Karachaganak is another onshore oil field located north of Tengiz. In 1995 a production sharing agreement was signed involving Agip/PNA, Gazprom and British Gas. Gazprom’s share was bought by the Russian company Lukoil and ChevronTexaco got involved by acquiring a 20% share from the operators BG and Agip/PNA. The consortium is known as Karachaganak Integrated Organisation (KIO). The oilfield is estimated to have recoverable reserves of 2.3–2.5 billion barrels of oil and condensate. Since 2004 production has been in excess of 200,000 b/d and is projected to rise to 240,000 b/d by 2010. A significant feature of Karachanagak are the associated gas reserves, estimated at 450 bcm which formed the basis of Gazprom’s interest. However in the end Russia was not so interested in buying gas from Kazakhstan because it competed with its own supplies and after Lukoil bought out Gazprom’s stake KIO has been looking for alternatives to selling gas to Russia at a low price, such as building a gas processing plant at Karachaganak and looking for new pipelines for exporting the gas. As most of this gas is associated gas, it is hard to separate from the oil and another option is to reinject the gas into the field in order to maintain the oil pressure. So far Kazakhstan has failed to attract the investment necessary to solve the problem of the associated gas which in principle could be an attractive substitute for imports to meet Kazakhstan’s own needs for natural gas.19 Kashagan: The Kashagan field located offshore south of Atyrau was discovered in 2000 and its recoverable reserves have been estimated at 9–13 billion barrels, although this may increase as the assessment of this

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field is still on-going. The field is operated by a consortium led by Eni (Agip KCO- Agip Kazakhstan North Caspian Operating Company N.V.) (16.81%) that involves seven companies, namely ExxonMobil (16.81%), Shell (16.81%), Total (16.81%), KazMunayGas (16.81%), ConocoPhillips (9.26%) and Inpex (8.33%). Originally BG was involved but it sold its stake in 2004 which is when KazMunayGas became involved. The Kazakhstani government’s attempt to give the BG stake to the state owned company involved retroactive legislation according to which all subsurface pre-emptive rights with the government. This resulted in a major conflict with the Western investors that was finally settled on the basis that KazMunayGas acquired half of the BG stake with the remainder being sold to the other parties. Production is now assumed to start in 2011, a significant delay for which the Kazakhstani government has penalised the companies. These three fields and the Uzen field account for 76% of Kazakhstani oil and gas reserves, with 6 smaller fields (some close to China) making up the rest.20 All of this shows that Kazakhstan has the potential of being a major player in the geopolitics of energy in the region. The contribution of Kashagan to the BTC and the transport of Kazakhstani gas to Western Europe directly will depend on the development of the resources and the construction of TransCaspian pipelines. The Battle of the Pipelines Despite the ‘deal of the century’ production from the offshore AIOC fields remained constrained, due to the lack of pipeline capacity. Early Oil Production was moved from 1997 through the Western line through Georgia to Supsa (by-passing Russia) and then shipped through the Bosporus (about 150,000 b/d). SOCAR transported some quantities of oil through the pipeline to Novorossiysk and by rail, but the conflict in Chechnya made the use of this pipeline problematic. The pipeline to Supsa was characterised as the ‘Early Oil’ pipeline, implying the need for a main transport pipeline. From 1992, when Turkey and Azerbaijan established diplomatic relations, Turkey lobbied for a pipeline from Baku to a Turkish port. Apart from presenting a good commercial

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opportunity, Turkey wanted to strengthen its influence in the region at Russia’s expense and especially sought to have closer ties with Azerbaijan which it supported in its struggle against Armenia. Turkey was also keen to forestall any increase in the oil tanker traffic through the Bosporos which it considered to present major environmental hazards. On 9 March 1993 Turkey and Azerbaijan signed a framework for a pipeline from Baku through Tbilisi (Georgia) to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. This plan preceded the agreement for the development of the oil fields.21 As part of its support for multiple pipelines the United States promoted a route through Turkey for the following reasons (according to Forsythe): This will augment the total amount of pipeline capacity to export oil from the Caspian region, relieving current pressures on the Russian pipeline system; decrease Caspian countries’ dependence on a single route through Russia, allow exports to avoid the weather and capacity problems at the Russian port of Novorossiysk; reduce the potential for oil spills and tanker accidents in the Black Sea and the Turkish Straits; and reduce the pressure for a route through Iran to the Persian Gulf.22

As we have seen in Chapter 3, the driving force of US support for multiple pipelines was the absolute priority given to prevent energy exports being routed through Iran and to release the stranglehold Russia had on energy exports from the region, restricting the volume of exports and reducing the profits that Caspian states could earn by disadvantageous pricing arrangements for oil swaps and transit fees. However, it remained unclear what precise route a pipeline should follow. In 1994 the situation in Georgia was so unstable that the proposed route through Tbilisi seemed problematic. A more direct route through the Araks valley would mean the pipeline had to run either through Armenia or Iran. The former was wholly unacceptable to Azerbaijan, the latter to the United States.23 From 1995 on, however, Georgia was considered stable enough for a pipeline. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project was enthusiastically supported by the United States. Its principal virtue was that it passed neither through Russia nor Iran. Steve LeVine, a journalist who spent many years in the region and interviewed most of the principals in the Clinton administration, has argued that

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united states and energy resources in the caspian region 183 ... the Clinton administration thought that the pipeline could be the catalyst to reorder historic north-south routes in the region – an outcome that would favour the West and disfavour Russia. Central Asia and the Caucasus traditionally shipped raw material like oil, natural gas, and cotton north to Russia, which sent finished products in return. Washington imagined that the pipeline and its related network of barges, highways, and railroads could redirect trade along east-west routes, with Turkey playing the role that had once belonged to Russia. Critics called the scheme grandiose, but the United States took every opportunity to tout what it called its ‘East-West Corridor’.24

Indeed the vision of a revival of the ‘Silk Road’ that was so effectively championed by S. Frederick Starr of the Johns Hopkins University seemed to capture the imagination of senior policymakers in the Clinton administration, including US Energy Secretary Frederico Peˇna and First Lady Hillary Clinton. Peˇna was determined that the transport problems that restricted the amount of oil that could reach world markets from the Caspian region needed to be addressed seriously. There was significant concern both in Congress and in the administration that in the face of increasing worldwide demand for oil an increase and diversification of supply was of critical importance.25 A critical driver of US policy was the emerging ‘threat’ of new multiple pipelines that would pass through Russia (the northern route) and Iran (the southern route). The alternative was a pipeline that would by-pass Russia and Iran through to Turkey. There was considerable opposition from analysts and the oil industry to such a project, especially from British Petroleum which was leading the Azerbaijani consortium. The southern route was considered by many analysts by far the economically most viable, and there was a network of oil company representatives, analysts and members of Congress who advocated a partial lifting of sanctions against Iran and support for a southern pipeline.26 Their concerns were exacerbated by the low price of oil which made an investment on the scale required to build a pipeline to Turkey through Georgia appear prohibitive.27 Oil companies recruited such high-level former officials as Zbigniew Brzezinski, John Sununu, Dick Cheney and James Baker. Similar political pressure was building up in the region as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in particular were looking for alternatives to the Russian pipeline network. Officials of the Azerbaijan

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International Operating Co. consortium and the Amoco Corporation held briefings with maps showing possible pipeline routes through Iran and complaining about the cost of sanctions. Such lobbying continued with great intensity for some time.28 In July 1998 Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs reiterated the reasons for seeking to exclude Iran as a possible corridor for energy transport in his testimony to Congress: … we will also continue our active efforts to dissuade countries from considering Iran as an acceptable route for transporting their energy reserves. As Secretary Albright said on May 18, we remain ‘strongly opposed to oil and gas pipelines which transit Iran and as a policy matter we will continue to encourage alternative routes for the transport of Caspian energy resources.’ In her Asia Society speech in the middle of June, she reiterated that our economic policies, including with respect to export pipelines for Caspian oil and gas, remain unchanged. Iran is not only risky as a route for energy; it also keeps control of the region’s energy reserves in fewer hands, and we do not believe that it is in anyone’s interest. As the Secretary also said, we will examine carefully, under the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act and other relevant authorities, any new proposals for the construction of pipelines and take action appropriate to the circumstances.29

Instead the administration supported the concept of a major TransCaspian pipeline across an East-West corridor to Turkey that would bypass both Iran and Russia. Dekmejian and Simonian argue that despite Talbott’s declaratory commitment to the spread of democracy and conflict resolution, the US government joined the ‘Great Game’ with determination. They cite Sheila Heslin, the Director of Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs in the National Security Council who chaired the ‘Caspian Energy Interagency Working Group’. She testified to the US Congress that the goal of the Clinton administration was to: Promote the independence of these oil-rich republics, to in essence break Russia’s monopoly over the transportation of oil from that region.30

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This was easier said than done, as Russia itself was seeking to extend its pipeline network and strengthen its control over energy resources in the former Soviet space. The lynchpin of the Clinton strategy was the BakuTbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline which would allow Azeri oil to be transported to a Turkish port.31 In mid-1998 administration officials reiterated the key elements of their policy towards the Caspian region in testimony before Congress. In the words of Marc Grossman, these were: • Diversify world energy supplies, increasing energy security for us and our European allies; • Eliminate traditional energy monopolies on which many of the countries in the region were dependent; • Avoid the emergence of choke points such as the Bosporus as the Caspian is developed • Advance opportunities for American business; and • Provide support for the new nations of Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as our NATO ally Turkey.32 This second point implied clearly that the United States wanted to end the Russian monopoly over energy transport while preventing any new pipelines through Iran. Instead the administration supported the idea of a ‘Eurasian transport corridor’ including oil and gas pipelines across the Caspian through Turkey.33 Still, it was a hard sell to the industry and the expert community. Academic and industry analysts continued to question the viability of the proposed Main Export Pipeline. Amy Myers Jaffe from the Baker Institute at Rice University in Texas was relentless in attacking ‘the myth of the Caspian resource bonanza’ in general and the Baku-Ceyhan line in particular: Ironically, the key problem for the success of the Baku-Ceyhan line, and US policy towards the region with it, is the fact that not enough oil has been discovered yet to justify its construction.34

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Jaffe reflected a widespread view in the industry.35 Julia Nanay, Director at the Petroleum Finance Company in New York, put it like this: The dilemma for the US government is that in November 1997, when it first began making its enormous push for East-West pipeline routes, the euphoria over first production … got in the way of rational thinking.36

But strong opponents to the regime in Teheran, including Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat and Leon Fuerth prevailed. Intense lobbying by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and more discreetly by the Israeli embassy also had an effect. As Eizenstat explained: ... this is a situation where the strategic interests of the United States are so great that they outweigh the temporary advantages of American companies.37

Clearly permitting a major oil pipeline to go through Iran would make it difficult to impose any significant sanctions on Iran at any time in the future. Faced with an immovable US government the oil companies eventually gave up on the Iranian option and in the fall of 1998 proposed another alternative, namely an enhancement of the Early Oil pipeline to Supsa. The flaw in this proposal was that it would result in an unacceptable increase of tanker traffic through the Black Sea and the Bosporus straight. At a meeting with oil executives in October 1998 the Clinton administration’s co-ordinator of Caspian policy, Richard Morningstar, bluntly declared that although the pipeline to Supsa would be cheaper, it was not an option that was available to them.38 The oil companies still balked given the sheer scale of the project (the cost was estimated at $2.4 billion to $3 billion) and the problems of attracting suitable financing. But the US government remained adamant. When the oil companies suggested some oil swaps with Iran, Morningstar again said that this was not acceptable. The critical factor that persuaded the oil companies to abandon their resistance to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, apart from the lack of any alternative, was ironically the leading role that a British company, BP, played in the AIOC consortium. In 1998 BP acquired Amoco, thereby increasing its share in the consortium to 34%. In the spring of 1999 BP announced its intention to purchase

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the US company Arco which would give BP access to major oil production in Alaska. This purchase ran into major opposition in Congress and BP simply could not afford to antagonise the US government. In addition the Turkish government also put major pressure on BP, to a point of boycotting its products and forcing it to temporarily close its operations in Turkey. On 19 October 1999 BP made a public statement declaring its support for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline.39 But the company exacted a price from the US and other governments involved in the form of significant financial guarantees and tariff concessions. The commitment of the governments was signified that uniquely the BTC pipeline deal consisted of an international agreement between several countries, signed by President Clinton and the heads of state of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Kazakhstan in Istanbul on 18 November 1999. From the American side, a commitment from the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the World Bank and the EBRD ensured that commercial banks would get involved. The involvement of Kazakhstan was considered to be of critical importance because in order for the BTC pipeline to be commercially viable it was estimated that it needed a throughput of 1 million b/d and those analysts who had criticised this project had estimated that the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) complex would not produce enough oil to fill the pipeline.40 Indeed, the financing of the project remained despite the commitments from the US and regional governments as the daily volume of oil and the total volume of ACG reserves were below levels that were considered to make the project viable. Political instability in the region was also a factor in view of the continuing risk of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and Georgia. After new geological surveys reserves in the ACG complex were higher than originally estimated and it was declared that by 2008 together with condensate from the Shah Deniz gas field it would be able to produce enough oil to fill BTC until about 2014.41 The revised estimate of total reserves of the ACG complex amounted to 5.4 billion barrels.42 By 2010, the volume of oil passing through BTC was at maximum capacity, resulting in a consensus that the capacity of BTC needed to be increased.43 Another important development was Chevron-Texaco joined the pipeline consortium, undertaking to ship oil from Kazakhstan (from the Aspheron oilfield).44 This was significant because although, in the face of adamant opposition by the

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US government to a pipeline through Iran the Kazakhstani government pledged support for BTC but did not commit to any volumes of oil to be shipped. The Tengiz field was connected to the CPC through Russia (see below for more details). The discovery of Kashagan in 2000 meant that BTC might be a more serious option for Kazakhstan, although it would require oil to be shipped across the Caspian to Baku or the construction of a TransCaspian pipeline to connect with BTC in Baku. The Italian company Eni who operates the Kashagan field acquired a 5% stake in the BTC project after it was launched, thus obtaining the right to ship 50,000 b/d. In August 2002 the creation of the BTC Pipeline Company was announced. An agreement had been reached whereby a consortium of nine oil companies would build the pipeline.45 Parallel to the oil pipeline it was decided to construct a gas pipeline that would transport gas from the Shah Deniz field operated by BP. Construction of the Baku-TbilisiCeyhan Pipeline began in April 2003 after a launching ceremony held on 18 September 2002 and was completed in 2005. On 10 May 2005 the first oil was pumped from Baku which reached Ceyhan on 28 May 2005. The BTC line resulted in a dramatic increase in production in the ACG fields, and was carrying 900,000 b/d by 2010.46 But the basic reality about Azerbaijani oil fields is that they are moving towards their peak and will then decline unless new reserves are found. By 2024 production from the ACG fields will be 200,000 b/d or less.47 The natural gas reserves at Shah Deniz (estimated at 400 bcm) is on a par with a large number of other gas sources competing for buyers in Europe, with Turkey and Greece being the most likely. US Policy towards Caspian Oil and Gas Resources in the Bush Administration The United States does not import oil and gas from the Caspian region, but nevertheless like its predecessor the Bush administration had a keen interest in Caspian energy. US objectives include supporting the sovereignty of the states in the region (against possible efforts by Russia to control their resources), developing ties with these countries and promoting US energy security by supporting a diversification of world supply. The national energy policy report published in May 2001 stated that Caspian

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energy resources would both aid in the development of economies of the region and contribute to US energy security by mitigating potential disruptions in supply. The report recommended that the President should direct US government agencies to support the completion of the BTC and the South Caucasus pipelines, encourage oil companies active in the region to use the BTC pipeline, and encourage further investment in the oil and gas industry in the Caspian.48 The Bush administration ignored critics of the BTC and SCP, supported the BTC and attempted to persuade Kazakhstan to commit to using the BTC oil pipeline and foster a stable environment for US business. Until 2004 there was a special advisor on Caspian Energy diplomacy (Stephen Mann) in the Department of State whose brief was to support US efforts to counter Russia’s endeavour to gain greater control over Caspian energy resources and transport spearheaded by deputy foreign Minister Viktor Kalyuzhny. As the BTC line came closer to completion this post was phased out and the responsibilities were in part transferred to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in 2005–2006 who also took on the role of Special Negotiator for Nagorno-Karabakh and Eurasian Conflicts. This change was based on the judgment in the department of State’s Inspector General’s office that the objectives for which the Special Advisor had been appointed had been largely achieved (although in 2008 a Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Diplomacy was appointed (C. Boyden Gray) to succeed Stephen Mann.49 The policy of multiple pipelines which goes back to the Clinton administration received further momentum due to Russia’s temporary cutoff of gas to Ukraine which highlighted the high degree of European dependence on supplies through the Russian pipelines. The US seeks to encourage diversification of supply for its European allies even though a significant change in this dependence is unlikely in the medium term. US policy is a response to efforts by Putin to reclaim the former Soviet space as Russia’s sphere of influence. By 2006 these efforts were deemed to be particularly evident in the realm of energy policy. This policy has two strands – one is the effort to end all subsidies for energy supplies to countries in the region and force all its customers to pay world prices, and the other is to maintain and expand Russia’s control over all energy transport in the region. The former manifested itself in the dispute about gas prices

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charged to Ukraine in 2005–06 that sent shivers through West European capitals as the volume of gas supplied was temporarily reduced. In the course of this crisis the Russian company Gazprom made deals with Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan which means that Russia will absorb almost all the Central Asian gas exports. This means that Ukraine and the European Union will be unable to diversify their supply as Russia’s leverage has increased. 50 The second strand is manifested in the pressure by Putin on Caspian states (and in particular Kazakhstan) to minimise their participation in projects to create new west-bound transport routes by-passing Russia, increase the capacity of energy transit routes to Russia and guaranteeing that all newly developed gas and oil fields will use Russian transport routes. The problem is that an increase in the capacity of the CPC is not much use as this oil can reach the West only by oil tanker through the Bosporous which is already at the limit of its capacity in terms of tanker traffic. Among the proposals discussed between Putin and Nazarbayev was a pipeline from Samsun to Ceyhan, a pipeline from Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast to the Greek Agean cost and the building of a refinery on Turkey’s Black Sea Coast.51 Nevertheless Kazakhstan is wary of overdependence on Russia given Russia’s behaviour, such as the continuous refusal to step up the capacity of the CPC. In August 2007 Kazakhstan signed a memorandum of understanding with Azerbaijan about using the BTC and it is upgrading the port at Atyrau to enable oil to be shipped across the Caspian. While US policy is therefore showing some modest success, Russia tightened its grip on Caspian energy by the Gazprom deal with Turkmenistan to ship most if not all Turkmen gas through the Russian gas pipeline network. The emerging agenda after the completion of BTC includes the construction of TransCaspian oil and gas pipelines and the proposed Nabucco pipeline. These projects are of primary interest to Europe which currently depends heavily on natural gas supplies from Russia. Although Vice-President Richard Cheney at a visit to Kazakhstan in 2006 expressed his support for projects that would move Caspian oil and gas west without going through Iran or Russia, and the US is on record that it supports the Nabucco (which would transport gas from Turkey to Austria) and the TransCaspian pipelines, there is neither a significant lobby of support for these projects in Washington, there is no official economic analysis to justify them. Matthew Bryza, the Deputy

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Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs who was until 2009 the most senior official concerned with Caspian issues (and he is of relatively low rank, fifth from the top) let it be known that markets should determine which pipelines are constructed.52 A high degree of diplomatic activity by Stephen Mann and others to engage Turkmenistan after the sudden death of President Niyazov in 2006 has not produced any results as the bulk of Turkmen gas is pledged to Gazprom and Eni (which bought Burren energy) is the only Western company that Turkmenistan is prepared to have production-sharing agreements with.53 If the TransCaspian projects come to fruition, it will be as a result of European political pressure and financing. On the basis of current policy and an analysis of US national interests, priorities and resources, formal US government engagement in the further development of Caspian energy sources will remain limited to general political support. The consensus of US experts is that Nabucco is another political project which is not viable and is unlikely to be realised.54 This view may be overly pessimistic – the extent of official involvement by the European Union means that even if it may take a long time the project is likely to come to fruition eventually and some practical steps have already been taken. US efforts to counter Russian energy dominance in the region therefore have met with only modest success, especially given the conviction in the Bush administration that the development and transport of hydrocarbon resources should be determined by industry and the markets, and that the government can at best play a facilitating role. Conclusion A coherent US policy towards the development of energy resources in the region emerged only gradually and the evidence shows clearly that although there was some interest in the benefits of Caspian energy resources for US energy security, policy was dominated by geopolitical interests. At various times there were some disagreements about what US interests were and what policies should be pursued to secure them. The policy goals that were articulated from 1997 onwards were as follows:

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1. Support for the sovereignty, independence as well as political and economic reform of the countries in Caspian region. While initially after the dissolution of the Soviet Union the US government was focused on relations with Russia, the US began to engage more closely with the non-Russian former Soviet republics. US engagement with Caspian countries has at times been described as a geopolitical game with Russia. While it is true that the United States assisted the newly independent states to resist Russia’s hegemonic ambitions, in particular with respect to energy, US-Russian rivalry was rather constrained at best. Nevertheless the judgment in Washington was that the development of oil and gas resources in the region had a crucial role to play in promoting regional political and economic stability, and that the Russian stranglehold on export routes hindered such a development. The policy of supporting multiple pipelines was not wholly anti-Russian, because the United States also endorsed the CPC pipeline through Russia. The relentless campaign by the US government to realise the BTC pipeline project was driven by several objectives. The first was to ensure that there was a viable export route for the Azerbaijani oil complex that would make the investment in oil and gas production worthwhile. The second was to have a major pipeline from the region that did not go to Russia in order to break the Russian monopoly on energy transport. In particular, there was concern about Kazakhstan’s dependence on Russian pipelines as Russia had sought to control and limit Kazakhstan’s oil exports. Alternative export routes were also deemed necessary because a major increase of the volume of oil tanker traffic through the Bosporos strait was considered to be pose unacceptable risks. The third was to maintain the isolation of Iran, to prevent any pipeline from going through its territory and develop closer relations with Turkey. 2. The diversification of world oil supplies to reduce future dependence on Persian Gulf oil is a central goal of US energy policy. The prevailing opinion among analysts and policymakers in the United States in the Caspian oil reserves can make a useful, albeit minor contribution to this goal.

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3. The development of oil and gas resources of the Caspian region is crucially dependent on Western technology and the US government intervened decisively on several occasions to facilitate a deal that was perceived to be in the commercial interests of the United States. It is fair to say that by 2000 all the major goals of US policy with respect to the development of energy resources in the Caspian region had advanced to the point where further intervention by the US government was no longer necessary. The construction of the pipeline and the development of oil and gas resources from then on was considered a matter for the consortia that had been created. The policy of the Obama administration with regard to Caspian energy resources was to some extent in continuity with that of the Bush administration. In terms of its energy policy in general, the Obama administration focused on alternative energy and efforts to shift away from the reliance on hydrocarbons. At the same time conservatives in the United States led by advocates such as Newt Gingrich demanded the rapid exploration and exploitation of oil and gas sources in the United States itself, in order to escape the dependency on foreign oil. For this reason efforts by the United States to promote the further exploitation of Caspian energy resources remained at the rhetorical level during the Obama administration.

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Appendix to Chapter 5

Figure 2  Map of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Route

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6 Conclusion

The colourful history of the Caspian region naturally evokes images of a ‘Great Game’, where major powers struggle for control. Some scholars have chosen this image to define US policy in terms of a strategic rivalry with Russia, Turkey, Iran and China over influence in the region. The fundamental driving force is either national security or access to energy resources. The confusion and uncertainty in the academic literature is mirrored by the lack of clarity in the rhetoric of the United States government regarding the nature and significance of US interests in the region. The collapse of the Soviet Union caught the American government by surprise. As the end of the Cold War seemed to be in sight, the Bush Sr. Administration did not welcome the dissolution of the Soviet Union as such. The implications for international security arising from the demise of the USSR were not clear for some time. The initial preoccupation of the US government was that the dissolution should be peaceful and not give rise to new regional conflicts and that the countries of the former Soviet Union should be stable and reform politically and economically, and that weapons of mass destruction would remain under the control of a competent authority. The G.H.W. Bush administration and the Clinton administration that followed it, with Strobe Talbott in charge of policy towards the newly independent states, initially focused on its relations with Russia in order to achieve a stable transition to a new system of European security and deal with any dangers arising from the former Soviet nuclear arsenal.

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American policymakers were not familiar with Central Asia and there was no policy towards Central Asia as such. The principal partner of the US in the region was Kazakhstan because it was involved in the process of dismantling the nuclear weapons structure in the former Soviet space located outside the Russian Federation. Until the mid-nineties the US government seemed to accept Russian hegemony in the former Soviet space and supported Russia’s intervention in the so-called ‘near abroad’ to deal with various conflicts. This attitude was particularly demonstrated in relation to the civil war in Tajikistan. The US government agreed to Russia’s military intervention. In testimony to Congress officials acknowledged Russian interests in Tajikistan and expressed the belief that Russia was not seeking to recreate an empire. Even though the US government noted grave violations of procedure in the presidential elections, it recognised Russia’s candidate Imomali Rakhmonov. The Tajik civil war was the most serious conflict in the region after the collapse of the Soviet Union resulting in about 50,000 casualties. Russia established its leading role in peace enforcement in the region, while the US sent a clear signal that it would not intervene. This policy can be explained by several factors. The first is that the overriding policy priority of both the G.W.H. Bush administration and most of the first term of its successor was to effect the peaceful transition from the Cold War period to the post-Cold War period, which also meant from the Soviet period to the post-Soviet era. Both administrations identified the establishment of a constructive relationship with Russia as key to this process. President Clinton put his old friend Strobe Talbott in charge of policy towards the region, who had long established relationships with reformers in Moscow who played a prominent role in the Yeltsin government. The second factor was the influence of scholars from Harvard who were preoccupied with what they perceived as the threat from the nuclear weapons complex of the former Soviet Union. With the support of the influential senators Richard Lugar and George Nunn they established the Co-operative Threat Reduction programme which was supported by the G.W.H. Bush administration. Two prominent members of the Harvard group joined the Clinton administration where they were effectively in charge of CTR. The priority given to this program also required a focus on

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relations with Russia and moreover ensured that relations with the other newly independent states were based on the principle that Russia and the United States worked together jointly to ensure the stability of the region and its denuclearisation. Consequently the first two factors reinforced each other. The third factor was the failure to articulate any distinct US interests with respect to the Caucasus and Central Asia either within or outside the administration. In the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it took some time for new geopolitics of the region to emerge. The nature of the newly independent states and the regional power dynamics remained unclear for some time. Although all aspects of US foreign policy involve bureaucratic politics, US policy towards the region can be explained on the basis of the rational actor policy. The ‘Russia first’ policy was not the product of a bureaucratic process, but of a well developed set of goals and objectives embedded in a vision for the transition of global politics from a state of bipolar confrontation to one governed by common norms and principles along the lines of ‘common security’. These principles did not have much in common with those of the intellectual tradition of ‘realism’ in international relations, although they were advocated on the basis of representing the national interest. The Clinton administration quite explicitly sought to build a transnational security community based on shared values and perceptions of reality. Clinton himself professed his belief in the ‘democratic peace theory’ and that the spreading of democracy was key to US national security. Co-operative threat reduction, the enlargement of the NATO alliance and the Partnership for Peace were all elements of this policy. This is accordance with a constructivist perspective and the social construction of a new world order. The Clinton administration tried to bind its former Communist adversaries into an international community that was composed of liberal democracies, integrated into the world trade and financial systems and committed to global security on the basis of international norms as codified in international law. This approach was highly successful with regard to the former Communist states of Central Europe but not with respect to Russia and the former Soviet states in the Caspian region. Even though Yeltsin’s government was initially dominated by proponents of democracy and

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close relations with the West, their policies were challenged by powerful traditional forces in the Russian elite. They demanded an end to the pro-Western approach, a more vigorous defence of Russia’s national interests and the re-establishment of Russia’s hegemony over the former Soviet space or ‘near abroad’. The intellectual basis for this was a so-called ‘Eurasian foreign policy’, which explicitly rejected the idea that Western norms in international relations were necessarily applicable to Russia. Although President Yeltsin continued his pro-Western course with a veneer of anti-Western rhetoric to the extent that the Russian parliament would permit, US-Russian relations now evolved into a more complex mix of conflict and co-operation as Russia adopted a strong position against NATO enlargement and Western intervention in the Balkans. The turbulent events in Russian domestic politics and the resulting shifts in foreign policy contributed to the pressure that was mounting by the mid-90s from within and without the US administration for a change of policy. Realist critics such as Zbigniew Brzezinski of the US administration questioned the extent to which Russia could be considered to be a strategic partner. They considered it to be in the interest of the United States to provide a counterweight to Russia which was seeking to expand its hegemonic influence in the ‘near abroad’. S. Frederick Starr from Johns Hopkins University made a strong case that Uzbekistan had the best chance of acting as stabiliser in Central Asia given Kazakhstan’s dependence on Russia. Oil companies lobbied in favour of engaging with the Caspian countries as they were seeking contracts to exploit the oil reserves in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and advocated pipelines through Iran in order to escape from the stranglehold on energy transport from the region imposed by the dependence on the Russian pipeline network. Within the administration, arguments for a change of policy were gathering support based on somewhat different principles. Concern was growing in the National Security Council from 1995 onwards that Russia was re-establishing a hegemonic empire in the former Soviet Union, essentially subverting the sovereignty of the newly independent states. Paradoxically, although ‘energy security’ as a national security objective was not the driving force of shift in policy, energy policy became the instrument whereby it was pursued. This was the case partly because of the perception by Sheila Heslin and Rosemary Forsythe in the NSC that

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Russia’s control over energy transport through its pipeline network was one of the principal means whereby it was promoting its efforts to control the Caspian region. Gradually a consensus emerged in the Clinton administration with regard to US interests in the region. The two central elements were that as part of the containment policy directed at Iran, the latter should be excluded as far as possible from influence and interactions with the region, and that the dependence of Central Asian states on Russia should be weakened. Furthermore, the expansion of Chinese influence should be checked and transnational threats from the region addressed. These interests were strategic in nature, based on US global security interests. Although it is possible to identify the bureaucratic politics that brought about the shift in policy, its content and objectives can be best explained in terms of the ideas and concepts in which the formulation of US foreign policy was embedded, rather than the parochial interests of bureaucrats and other stakeholders. Despite intense lobbying by the oil companies, the latter were forced to fall in line with the policies of the administration rather than the other way around. The policy shift did not mark an adoption of the realist arguments of the administration’s critics, but instead addressed the contradictions that had become apparent between its existing policies and its cosmopolitan world view, in particular the acceptance of Russian hegemony in the ‘near abroad’ that was clearly incompatible with the values that the administration professed to propagate. The goals of the United States in the region were articulated as follows: • Support for the independence of the former Soviet Republics, human rights, democracy and economic development. In this context oil and gas were significant because the US government saw oil in particular as the key to the economic viability of some of the states in the region, such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. • The American government supported the involvement of US companies in the production and export of oil in the region. • Energy security: The United States had an interest in the diversification of global oil supplies to reduce dependency on the Persian Gulf.1

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Support for US companies in the exploitation of energy resources in the former Soviet Union was nothing new; it had already begun during the last years of the Soviet Union when the possibility arose that Western companies would be able to acquire shares of Soviet oil fields and gas deposits. But increasingly Western involvement in the exploitation of Caspian resources was opposed by the Russian government which believed it had a droit de regard over all energy resources in the former Soviet state and thus the United States government was beginning to enter a game for influence in the region. The ‘deal of the century’ with Azerbaijan in 1994 was concluded against Moscow’s wishes and Russia was largely (although not completely) excluded. In the Department of Energy, Bill White, the Deputy Secretary of Energy, shared the view emerging in the NSC regarding US interests in the Caspian region. The policy that emerged through the interagency process was focused on support for multiple pipelines some of which would not pass through Russia and all of which would bypass Iran. In 1997 Strobe Talbott announced a new policy of engagement with Central Asia which was accompanied by what industry experts considered to be a great deal of hype about the potential of energy resources in the Caspian region. But the research shows very clearly that the multiple pipeline policy, at the heart of which was the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, although important for US companies, was driven by geopolitical considerations. The US government accorded the BTC project high priority and used all of its diplomatic and financial levers to get the regional governments and the oil companies in line to bring this project to fruition. Despite the increasing efforts in the second Clinton administration to engage the Central Asian states, support the investment of US energy companies, limit Russian influence and support countries in the Caspian region in their efforts to strengthen their national sovereignty, there were clear limits to US engagement. Although there were various degrees of military co-operation such as through the NATO Partnership for Peace, the United States was not prepared to become directly involved in regional conflicts or intervene militarily against any threat to the national security of the regional states. It was not willing to assume major security responsibilities in such an unstable region, or to confront either Russia or China too overtly, as

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relations with Russia remained central to the national security strategy of the United States. As far as energy security was concerned, this issue provided some additional impetus to the policy shift in 1997 as the State Department issued estimates of the Caspian region’s oil potential that were far higher than those of the industry. However, the drivers of US policy were geopolitical and commercial interests rather than energy security. As the modest contribution that Caspian oil and gas resources would make to global energy supplies became clearer, energy security, although it remained a factor, did not have any significant impact on US policy towards the Caspian region. From a theoretical perspective, during the Clinton period we see a conception of foreign policy that incorporates liberal and even constructivist elements. In other words, the administration was in principle committed to nation building, which involves the establishment of national identities of the newly independent states. There was a public commitment to the spreading of democracy and various norms and values, such as the norms that govern international relations, the rule of law and respect for human rights. In practice, however, such a policy was extremely difficult to implement in view of the realities of the post-Soviet world and would have required a political commitment and resources far beyond what the US government was able to muster. Indeed the various elements of the policy were incompatible with each other, as the national security objectives and the interests of US companies involved in oil production required political stability. The advocacy of democracy and human rights on the other hand was perceived as a threat by regional leaders who without exception took measures to perpetuate their own rule indefinitely. The Clinton policy has been described as semi-realist, in which the promotion of democracy, human rights and international norms surfaced whenever it is compatible with US economic and security interests.2 Closer examination reveals the policy to be a complex balance of security co-operation, support for political and economic reform, and the development of energy resources. It was not the lack of will on the part of the US government that was the key constraint. Rather the low potential for development of a civil society, the entrenchment of authoritarian elites through patronage and the geopolitics of the region prevented

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political reform. Some elements of the policy were successful as some of its central objectives were achieved. The initial priority, to provide for the denuclearisation of the non-Russian former Soviet republics, was an unqualified success. Likewise the US government played a crucial role in the ‘deal of the century’ and the development of oil and gas production in Central Asia. The opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was a visible symbol of the success of the multi-pipeline policy. However, in terms of political and economic reform and expanding US influence in the region, progress remained modest and US commitment to engagement with Central Asia started to wane towards the end of the Clinton administration. In the academic literature, there is a debate on whether traditional national security interests or US energy security were the main drivers of US policy towards the region. The competition for influence in the region has been characterised as a re-emergence of the so-called ‘Great Game’. By implication US policy is best explained by a neo-realist analysis. The fundamental dynamic is a geopolitical rivalry with Russia, and the efforts to promote economic development and democracy in the region are just window-dressing. A more nuanced analysis claims that US policy was semi-realist, in that the efforts to promote human rights and democracy were sincere, but that national security interests were given precedence when ‘push came to shove’. This study finds that these so-called ‘drivers’ of US policy do not properly account for it. The emphasis given to the geopolitical rivalry by experts such as Stephen Blank and Edward Lucas,3 which also seems to dominate the thinking of the Russian political elite after the Yeltsin period is refuted both by the degree of co-operation with Russia, the acceptance of Russian strategic interests in the region and the failure to pursue a determined policy to assert US interests and promote US influence. Although there were some elements of such a ‘game’ in US policy, Washington was not interested in an all-out competition with Moscow and sought to limit rather than displace Russia’s influence in order to create a space for oil development and export, economic development and political reform. By the same token, with the exception of a brief surge of interest in 1997, the Caspian region was not considered to be of vital significance for US energy security. Although the diversification of supply and the addition of Caspian reserves to global oil and

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gas production contributes to global and hence US energy security, the scale of production and reserves was not considered that significant and the United States itself does not import either oil or gas from the region.4 Thus US interest in the energy resources in the region was limited to their potential for contributing to the economic development of the Central Asian states (thereby preventing political instability) and the promotion of the commercial interests of US energy companies. This study has shown that the principal driving factor was and remains national security. The United States was concerned with the independence and sovereignty of the newly independent states, stability in the region, combating Islamist extremism, limiting Russian hegemony and preventing Iran from gaining influence in Central Asia. Interest in Caspian energy resources in terms of global energy security had a significant impact only for a short period in 1997-98. In fact, Caspian energy became an instrument of US security policy, both in terms of supporting the economic development and hence the political stability of the region and in the geopolitical relations with Russia and Iran which drove the multiple pipeline policy that was the centerpiece of US engagement with the Caspian region. There was less scope for bureaucratic politics as Strobe Talbott, a close friend of President Clinton, was in charge of policy towards the region. Consequently the State Department played the lead role and other departments, such as Commerce and Energy, had little input into the policy process. Nevertheless there was a policy shift formally announced by Talbott in 1997 which came about as a result of both internal policy development and external lobbying. Officials in charge of Caspian policy in the NSC were concerned about Russian policy towards the near abroad and the development of Caspian energy development and promoted a change in the ‘Russia first’ policy. At the same time there were some leading political experts such as S. Frederick Starr and Zbigniew Brzezinski who advocated a shift in policy for geopolitical reasons. Oil companies also lobbied for a change in policies in order to promote their attempts to obtain a share in the development of Caspian oil fields and develop alternative routes for the transport of oil. Strobe Talbott accepted some of the strategic rationales articulated in the public debate and the internal NSC documents, as signalled by choosing S. Frederick Starr’s centre at Johns Hopkins University to announce

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the new policy. But from then on policy continued to be driven by the State Department, with some significant support from the Departments of Energy, Commerce and Defence. The promotion of human rights and democracy was a central objective in US policy towards Central Asia and the Caucasus according to official statements. However, there has been a vigorous debate about the extent to which these goals did in fact play any role in US policy and whether they should have done. At the one end of the spectrum is Matthew Crosston who has accused the US government of hypocrisy, of not taking any serious action to promote democracy in Central Asia and engaging with authoritarian rulers who are engaged in systematic human rights violations and oppressing their people. His analysis focuses in particular on US engagement with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. He argues that US policy violates US law and fosters Islamic extremism by supporting the authoritarian rule and the suppression of dissent.5 On the other end of the spectrum are geopolitical strategists like Zbigniew Brzezinski who criticised the Clinton administration for failing to engage with states such as Uzbekistan and thus accepting Russian hegemony in the region and damaging US national interests.6 This study has found that the commitment by the US government to economic and political reform in the region was real, and backed up by funding through the Freedom Support Act. Indeed, the promotion of democracy was espoused by the Clinton administration as a crucial tool to promote political stability and prevent both interstate and sub-state conflicts. Nevertheless the concept of the promotion of human rights and democracy embodied fundamental contradictions which rendered it ineffectual. As Eugene Rumer has explained, the most important barrier to political reform was the resistance by the political leaders in the region.7 While these countries were keen to develop economic and security co-operation with the United States in order to improve their situation and reduce the influence of Russia, they considered democracy promotion as a fundamental threat to their vital interests. This raises the question of whether the US government failed to use appropriate policy tools in order to engage more seriously in the promotion of democracy and human rights. But the evidence seems to suggest that such tools were not available. The United States Congress, lobbied by human rights activists, at various times attempted

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to attach conditionality to aid to the region. The literature on conditionality of aid shows quite convincingly that this kind of conditionality is not effective, especially in relation to Central Asia where the political leaders had other options.8 Again, in the Caspian region aid conditionality had the effect of cutting aid that was designed to achieve objectives that were in the US national interests irrespective of human rights or political reform. This is why critics like Brzezinski and Starr argued that the failure to engage with countries because of their political and human rights record was damaging to the US national interest and ignored geopolitical realities. The introduction to this study introduced the following hypotheses: Hypothesis I: US policy towards the Caspian region is another version of the ‘Great Game’, a powerplay of influence over their region, whereby the United States has sought to limit Russian influence over the region and support US business interests in the region, especially with respect to the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources. Hypothesis II: US policy was based on the principle to construct a new world order after the Cold War on the basis of globalisation, democratisation, and human rights. Hypothesis III: US policy was the result of governmental politics, conflicting interests within the bureaucracy and lobbying from outside interest groups such as the oil industry and NGOs.

There is evidence to support hypothesis I and II for the Clinton period. Hypothesis I to some extent (as explained above) conforms to US policy from 1997 onwards. The attempt to limit Russian hegemony in the Caucasus and Central Asia appears to confirm John Mearsheimer’s analysis that Great Powers will seek to limit the hegemony of other Great Powers in their sphere of influence. But a constructivist explanation seems more appropriate in this case, as expressed in hypothesis II. From the US perspective, their engagement with Central Asia was designed to prevent undue interference by the Russian government in the affairs of former Soviet states and constrain their ability to develop and export

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their hydrocarbon resources, which would threaten the stability of the region by inhibiting its economic development. The difference between this analysis and that of ‘offensive realism’ is that according to hypothesis II the policy was not driven purely by the national interest, but was based on normative principles. For the United States government, the issue about Russia’s relations with the region was not about Russian influence per se. It was about the coercive nature of Russia’s diplomacy, which included the forward basing of troops and the aggressive assertion of its dominance over the pipeline network to strangle oil developments in the region. Hypothesis III is not supported by the research in the sense that the rational actor model provides a better explanation for US policy towards the region, but details of policy and in particular CTR and the shift in policy towards the region in 1997 are in part accounted for by bureaucratic politics. Bureaucratic politics becomes an important factor when there are significant vested interests within the bureaucracy that compete for influence and resources. This was evident in the case of CTR, because substantial funds were involved, as well as interagency rivalry over control of policies. Technically nuclear safety was a matter for the Department of Energy, but CTR funding came from the Pentagon budget. Congress made its influence felt by putting restrictions on how the funds could be spent (insisting on a buy-American clause that proved to be almost fatal to the central purpose of the program) and adding conditionality to the disbursement of funds that required a presidential certification or waiver. This is how we can explain that some elements of the programme (such as the dismantling of missiles) proceeded quickly and others (MCP&A) were significantly delayed, and funds were lost from the programme due to the failure to commit expenditures in a timely fashion. Policy towards the Caspian region, on the other hand, had, for the most time, a low priority in the Clinton administration and did not appear on the radar screen of the principal players. While the administration at various times stated the vital interests of the United States in the region, it struggled to articulate what these were and why substantial attention and resources should be devoted to it. These difficulties were reflected in a study by the RAND Corporation ‘NATO and Caspian Security: A Mission Too Far?’9 Bureaucratic politics could not gain any traction because it was

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unclear what benefits were to be derived by supporting one or another policy alternative. The policy shift of the Clinton administration in 1997 did respond to lobbying by oil companies and outside experts, but only because the existing policy had come to be perceived as no longer tenable within the administration. We can thus trace a bureaucratic process that resulted in a major shift in policy at the top. On the rare occasion when the administration decided that a policy issue relating to the Caspian region did affect the vital interests of the US, it pursued with great single-mindedness. For example, in order to implement its multiple pipeline policy, the administration supported the Baku-Ceyhan-Tbilisi pipeline project and rode roughshod over the concerted opposition of the oil industry, the Armenian lobby, the Russian Federation and the countries in the region, ignoring the lack of commercial viability of the project at the time when it was conceived and forced it through. The Bush administration’s foreign policy was based on assumptions about the international system that were significantly different from its predecessor’s. It was influenced by National Security Advisor Rice’s explicit commitment to realism that defined the guiding principles of US foreign policy in terms of the national interest. The implication was mistrust of international regimes and an effort to limit US global commitments. Initially the Bush administration did not assign any particular priority to policy towards the region. The events of 9-11 however brought about a significant shift of policy. Three Central Asian states provided military facilities of US forces for the war in Afghanistan and the efforts to bring stability to the region and conduct counterinsurgency operations against Taliban remnants and other terrorist groups and the United States at least temporarily assumed the role of security manager in the region. The engagement with Uzbekistan became the lynchpin of US strategy in the region. Downplaying the issues of democratisation and human rights, the Bush administration was pursuing an approach based on realpolitik. This approach embodied similar contradictions as that of the Clinton administration. Despite the significance of Central Asia in the war against terrorism, the United States was only prepared to devote limited resources to the new strategic engagement. Moreover as the Iraq war began to consume both the attention of policymakers and the political

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and military resources of the United States from 2003, interest in Central Asia began to fade. This became most visible in Afghanistan where the military and financial resources required to stabilise the Karzai government and enable it to take full control over the country were lacking as the US government declared it was not in the business of nation-building. Likewise Uzbekistan never received the degree of support, either in the form of security guarantees, financial aid or military resources that it had expected. At the same time the US declaratory commitment to democracy and human rights, underpinned by the Freedom Support Act, made it difficult for the United States to be seen as the guarantor of stability and security in the region given that these commitments were perceived to threaten its political leaders who took every possible measure to remain in power in perpetuity with the least possible accountability to their populations. These contradictions were particularly acute in the case of Uzbekistan, because on the one hand Uzbekistan was the most important regional partner from a strategic perspective, but also the greatest liability because of the highly authoritarian rule of President Karimov and the sheer scale of human rights abuses in the country. Growing opposition from Congress and NGOs meant that US policy based on ignoring human rights abuses became increasingly untenable, and finally collapsed with the Andijon uprising in 2005. Paradoxically the ‘colour revolutions’ which brought some degree of political reform to Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan have served to significantly diminish US influence as Central Asian states have distanced themselves from the US and moved closer to Moscow in order to prevent similar developments in their own country. Since then the United States partially retreated from Central Asia, although the continuing turmoil in Afghanistan means that the United States continues perform a vital role in the region that neither Russia nor China can assume. Therefore Central Asian states and even Russia and China welcome some continuing US engagement in the region for the foreseeable future. The United States has struggled since the end of the Cold War to define its relations with the Caucasus and Central Asia and to articulate its interests in the region. The events of 11 September 2001 and later the Russian intervention in Georgia in August 2008 demonstrated quite

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vividly that the United States cannot simply ignore the region. The policy that dominated for most of the period under consideration was successful in achieving some important near-term objectives, but proved unable to bring about the transformation in Central Asia that the US government professed to be seeking. Indeed the strategic national security objectives became harder to pursue in conjunction with a more aggressive policy of democratisation that created instability rather than democracy. On the other hand a pure realpolitik approach that limits US policy to security, energy and military co-operation will not command domestic political support as it contradicts political values that are fundamental to the American polity. The prospect of Ukrainian and Georgian NATO membership will increase pressure for a different approach as the United States and other NATO members will be required to provide solid security guarantees for its members under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. These issues have become particularly acute since the Russian intervention in the South Ossetian conflict in August 2008 which involved deep incursions into Georgia proper and have highlighted the degree of tension in relations with Russia if Georgia and Ukraine were to join NATO. Such new commitments, alongside a more resolute effort to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan may prompt a serious reconsideration of US policy towards the Caspian region. The Obama Administration and the Trajectory of US Policy towards the Caspian Region In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs) Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George A. Krol stated: ‘… this Administration does not consider Central Asia a forgotten backwater, peripheral to U.S. interests. The region is at the fulcrum of key U.S. economic and political interests. It demands attention and respect and our most diligent efforts. The Obama Administration is committed to that very approach.’10

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In reality, however, the administration has given the region low priority and effectively continued the policies that had emerged at the end of the Bush administration. The main focus of the Obama administration has been to secure air force basing rights in Central Asia and the transit of troops and supplies through the Northern Distribution Network. It is unlikely that any coherent policy towards Central Asia will emerge, or that commitments will match the rhetoric of official policy.

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Notes

Chapter 1   1 On the historical ‘Great Game’ see R. Hrair Dekmejian and Hovann H. Simonian, Troubled Waters – The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, (London: I.B Tauris 2003), Chapter 1; see also Umirserik Kasenov, Bezopasnost’ Tsentralnoi Asii, (Almaty: Kainar University 1998).    2 See for example Roy Allison (ed.), Challenges for the Former Soviet South, (London, RIIA 1996).    3 S. Frederick Starr, In Defence of Greater Central Asia, Silk Road Studies Program (Washington, DC, Johns Hopkins University 2008).   4 The countries included are Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan   5 See for example Martha Brill Olcott, Central Asia’s Second Chance, (Washington, DC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 2005); Roy Allison and Lena Jonson (eds.), Central Asian Security, (London, RIIA 2001). Christoph Bluth, ‘Eurasia at the Crossroads’, Soundings, Issue 33, Summer 2006, pp.119–130; Yelena Kalyuzhnova and Dov Lynch, The EuroAsian World: A Period of Transition, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2000).    6 Two examples: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Caspian Energy Resources, (London: I.B Tauris 2000; Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe, Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke; Palgrave 2002).    7 Gennady Chufrin (ed.), The Security of the Caspian Sea Region, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2001).    8 Roy Allison and Christoph Bluth (eds.), Security Dilemmas in Russia and Eurasia, (London, RIIA 1998).

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   9 Amy Jaffe, ‘US policy towards the Caspian region: can the wish-list be realized?’, in Gennady Chufrin (ed.), The Security of the Caspian Sea Region, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2001), pp.136–150.   10 Stephen J. Blank, US Military Engagement with Transcaucasia and Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 2000); Stephen J. Blank, After Two Wars: Reflections on the American Strategic Revolution in Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 2002).   11 S. Neil McFarlane, Western Engagement in the Caucasus and Central Asia, (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs 1999).  12 S. Frederick Starr, ‘Power Failure: American Policy in the Caspian’, The National Interest, No.47, Spring 1997, pp.20–31; S. Fredrick Starr, ‘The Silk Road to Success’, The National Interest, Winter 2004–05, pp.65–72.   13 Richard Sokolsky and Tanya Charlick-Paley, NATO and Caspian Security – A Mission Too Far? (Santa Monica CA, RAND Corporation 2003), MR1074.  14 Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe, Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2002).   15 Eugene Rumer, ‘The United States and Central Asia: In Search of a Strategy’, in Eugene Rumer, Dmitri Trenin and Huasheng Zhao, Central Asia – Views from Washington, Moscow and Beijing, (Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe 2007), pp.18–74.   16 Strobe Talbott, The Russia Hand, (New York: Random House 2002); Peter Truscott, Russia First, (London: I.B.Tauris 1997); Christoph Bluth, The Nuclear Challenge, (Basingstoke: Ashgate 2000); George W. Grayson, Strange Bedfellows, (Lanham, MD, University Press of America 1999).  17 Stephen J. Blank, After Two Wars: Reflections on the American Strategic Revolution in Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 2002).   18 Eugene Rumer, Dmitri Trenin and Huasheng Zhao, Central Asia – Views from Washington, Moscow and Beijing, (Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe 2007); Eugene Rumer, ‘The U.S. Role and Interests in Central Asia after K2’, The Washington Quarterly, 29:3, Summer 2006, pp.141–154   19 S. Frederick Starr, ‘Making Eurasia Stable’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.74, No.1., January-February 1996; S. Frederick Starr, ‘Power Failure: American Policy in the Caspian’, The National Interest, No.47, Spring 1997, pp.20–31   20 Richard Sokolsky and Tanya Charlick-Paley, NATO and Caspian Security – A Mission Too Far?, (Santa Monica CA, RAND Corporation 2003), MR1074  21 Martha Brill Olcott, Central Asia’s Second Chance, (Washington, DC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 2005).   22 Brenda Shaffer, Energy Politics, (Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania Press 2009).

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 23 Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe, Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2002); Richard Pomfret, The Central Asian Economies Since Independence, (Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press 2006).  24 Joseph S. Nye, The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2002).   25 John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, (New York, W.W. Norton & Co. 2001); Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, (New York, NY, Basic Books 1998).  26 Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, (New York, NY, Holt Paperbacks 2004); Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World, (New York, NY, W.W. Norton & Co. 2008).  27 Michael Mandelbaum, The Dawn of Peace in Europe, (New York, NY: Twentieth Century Fund 1996).   28 Michael Ignatieff, Empire Lite, (New York, NY, Vintage 2003).   29 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, (New York, NY, The Free Press 1992).  30 Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, (New York, NY, Simon&Schuster 1996).   31 Charles Kupchan, The End of the American Era: US Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-First Century, (New York, NY, Vintage 2003).   32 Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics, (New York: McGraw-Hill 1979).   33 John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, (New York, NY, W.W. Norton & Co. 2001).  34 E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations, (New York, Palgrave 2001.   35 Adrian Hyde-Price, ‘“Normative” power Europe: a realist critique’, Journal of European Public Policy, 13:2, March 2006, pp.217–234.   36 John H. Herz, ‘Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma’, World Politics, Vol.2, No.2, January 1950, pp.157–180.  37 Josef Grieco, ‘“Understanding the problem of international co-operation” the limits of neo-liberal institutionalism and the future of realist theory’, in David A. Baldwin (ed.), Neorealism and Neoliberalism, (New York: Columbia University Press 1993), pp.301–339.  38 John Mearsheimer, ‘The false promise of international institutions’, in Michael Brown, Sean-Lynn Jones and Steven Miller (eds.), The Perils of Anarchy. Contemporary Realism and International Security, (Cambridge MA, MIT Press 1995, pp.332–376).

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  39 For an analysis of ‘balancing’ versus ‘buck-passing’ see Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, Chapter 8.   40 Samuel S. Kim, ‘In Search of a Theory of North Korean Policy’, in Samuel S. Kim (ed.), North Korean Foreign Relations in the Post-Cold War Era, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1998), pp.3–31.   41 Bruce Russett, Grasping the Democratic Peace, (Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press 1993); Robert Latham, ‘Democracy and War-Making: Locating the International Liberal Context’, Millenium, Vol.22, No.2, Summer 1993, pp.139–164; Randall L. Schweller, ‘Domestic Structure and Preventive War: Are Democracies More Pacific?’, World Politics, Vol.44, No.2, January 1992, pp.235–269; for an opposing view see John J. Mearsheimer, ‘Back to the Future’, International Security, Vol.15, No.1, Summer 1990, pp.49–51; for an analysis of the empirical evidence, see Alex Mintz and Nehemia Geva, ‘Why Don’t Democracies Fight Each Other? An Experimental Study’, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol.37, No.3, September 1993, pp.484–503; Z. Maoz and B. Russett, ‘Alliance, contiguity, wealth and political stability: Is the lack of conflict among democracies a statistical artifact?’, International Interactions, Vol.17, No.3, 1992, pp.245–267; Michael Sheehan, International Security, (Boulder, Lynne Rienner 2005), pp.25–42; Christoph Bluth, ‘The Security Dilemma Revisited: A Paradigm for international security in the 21st century?’, The International Journal of Human Rights, October 2010, pp.1–16.  42 Bill Clinton, ‘American Foreign Policy and the Democratic Ideal’, Orbis, Vol.37, No.4, pp.651–660; George W. Bush, Decision Points, (New York, NY, Crown Publishers 2010), pp.395–438.  43 Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 1999), p.196.  44 Charles Krauthammer, ‘The Unipolar Moment’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.70, No.1, 1991.   45 Andrew. J. Bacevic, American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy, (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press 2002).  46 Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, (New York, Simon&Schuster 1996).   47 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, (New York, NY, The Free Press 1992).  48 Joseph S. Nye, The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2002).   49 Jason Ralph, ‘Persistent Dilemmas: US National Security in the Post-Cold War Era’, in Clive Jones and Caroline Kennedy-Pipe (eds.), International Security in a Global Age, (London, Frank Cass 2000), pp.28–56; Stephen M.

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Walt, ‘Two Cheers for Clinton’s Foreign Policy’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.79, No.2, March/April 2000, pp.63–79.  50 Strobe Talbott, ‘Post-Victory Blues’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.71, No.1, 1992, pp.53–69; Strobe Talbott, ‘Democracy and the National Interest’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.75, No.6, 1996, pp.47–63.   51 John M. Shields and William C. Potter (eds), Dismantling the Cold War, (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press 1997); Christoph Bluth, The Nuclear Challenge, (Aldershot, Ashgate 2000).  52 Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay, America Unbound – The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy, (Washington, DC, Brookings Institution Press 2003), pp.36–45.   53 Bush quoted in Maureen Dowd, ‘Freudian Face-Off ’, New York Times, 16 June 1999, p.A29; George W. Bush, Decision Points, (New York, NY, Crown Publishers 2010), pp.395–438.   54 Daalder and Lindsay, America Unbound.   55 Bob Woodward, Bush at War, (New York, Simon&Schuster 2002); Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies, (New York, Simon&Schuster 2004).   56 Graham T. Allison, The Essence of Decision, (Boston, Little Brown & Co 1971); in this study we will use the updated version by Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision, 2nd editon, (New York, Addison Wesley 1999).   57 Allison and Zelikow, Essence of Decision, pp.176–180.   58 Allison and Zelikow, Essence of Decision, Chapter 5.  59 ‘Developments in Tajikistan’, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Europe and Middle East of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, 103rd Congress, 2nd Session (Washington, DC, US Government Printing Office, 1995), pp.6, 14.   60 Strobe Talbott, ‘A Farewell to Flashman: American Policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia’, http://www.sais-jhu.edu/pubs/speeches/talbott.htm   61 Elizabeth Jones, Statement to the Subcommittee on Central Asia and South Caucasus of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 13 December 2001, http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2001/11299.htm   62 Stephen J. Blank, Energy, Economics and Security in Central Asia: Russia and Its Rivals, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 1995); Blank, US Military Engagement with Transcaucasia and Central Asia; see also Eugene Rumer, ‘The United States and Central Asia: In Search of a Strategy’, in Eugene Rumer, Dmitri Trenin and Huasheng Zhao, Central Asia: Views from Washington, Moscow and Beijing, (New York, NY: M.E. Sharpe 2007), pp.18–74.

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  63 John C.K. Daly, Kurt H. Meppen, Vladimir Socor and S. Frederick Starr, Anatomy of a Crisis: U.S.–Uzbekistan Relations 2001–2005, Silk Road Paper, (Washington, DC, Johns Hopkins University 2006).  64 Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, George A. Krol, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, December 15, 2009, http://foreign.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/20091215/, accessed 2 April 2010.   65 Jim Nichol, Central Asia’s Security: Issues and Implications for U.S. Interests, (Washington, DC, CRS Report RL 30294, March 2010), p.49.     66 Problems in Central Asian Security. Testimony of Dr. Stephen Blank US Army War College Carlisle Barracks, PA 17013 To the Subcommittee on Central Asia, Senate Foreign Relations Committee December 15, 2009  67 U.S. Policy in Central Asia: Looking Ahead, Martha Brill Olcott, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Written Testimony, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, December 15, 2009.   68 Olcott, US policy in Central Asia.   69 This issue will be explored in greater detail on the basis of empirical evidence in Chapter 4. Chapter 2    1 For an analysis of the central issues, see Robert Legvold (ed.), Thinking Strategically, (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press 2003).   2 Mark Duffield, Global Governance and the New Wars, (London, Zed Books 2002); Mary Kaldor, New and Old Wars, (Cambridge, Polity 2001); Ian Clark, Globalisation and International Relations Theory, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1999).   3 U.T. Kasenov, Besopasnost’ Tsentral’noi Azii, (Almaty, Kainar University 1998). Curiously the literature on the security of the region largely ignores India and Pakistan, based on the belief that the Indo-Pak conflict will not affect former Soviet Central Asia.   4 Gregory Gleason, The Central Asian States: Discovering Independence (Boulder, CO, Westview Press 1997).    5 Amy Myers Jaffe and Ronald Soligo, ‘Re-evaluating US Strategic Priorities in the Caspian Region: Balancing Energy Resource Initiatives with Terrorism Containment’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.17, No.2., July 2004, pp.255–268    6 This issue is analysed in greater detail in Chapter 3.

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  7 John C.K. Daly, Kurt H. Meppen, Vladimir Socor, S. Frederick Starr, Anatomy of a Crisis: U.S.–Uzbekistan Relations, 2001–2005, Silk Road Studies Program. Washington DC 2006; Shahram Akbarzadeh, Uzbekistan and the United States, (London, Zed Books 2005).   8 Testimony of Stephen Blank, Hearing before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, ‘Central Asia: Terrorism, Religious Extremism and Regional Stability’, 108th Congress, 1st Session, Washington, DC, 29 October 2003   9 Yelena Kalyuzhnova and Dov Lynch, The Euro-Asian World: A Period of Transition, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2000); Martha Brill Olcott, Central Asia’s Second Chance, (Washington, DC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 2005).  10 Yelena Kalyuzhnova and Michael Kaser, ‘Prudential Management of Hydrocarbon Revenues in Resource-rich Transition Economies’, PostCommunist Economies, Vol.18, No.2, June 2006, pp.167–187.  11 Yelena Kalyuzhnova, ‘Overcome the Curse of Hydrocarbon: Goals and Governance in the Oil Funds of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan’, Comparative Economic Studies, December 2006.   12 These views were expounded by Russian government officials at a meeting at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, May 1992. See also Report of the Centre of International Studies, The Commonwealth of Independent States: Developments and Prospects, (Moscow, MGIMO 1992); Irina Zviagelskaia, The Russian Policy Debate on Central Asia, (London, Royal Institute of International Affairs 1995).   13 Roy Allison and Christoph Bluth (eds.), Security Dilemmas in Russia and Eurasia, (London, RIIA 1998); Kasenov, Besopasnost’ Tsentral’noi Azii (Kasenov was Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies in Almaty, an official institute that reported to the President).  14 Nezavisimaya gazeta, 29 April 1993, pp.1, 3 (Translation by the Ermo Bimal, University of Chicago).  15 Diplomatichesky Vestnik, No.10 (October 1995) Decree No.940.   16 Lena Jonson, Vladimir Putin and Central Asia, (London, I.B.Tauris 2006); Stephen Blank, The Future of Transcaspian Security, (Carlisle, PA, SSI 2002).   17 Examples are: Kazakhstan, where at the time of independence the northern areas of Kazakhstan were predominantly Russian, Uzbekistan with areas such as Bukhara and Samarkand which are predominantly Tajik, and Ukraine, which incorporates the Crimea that historically was part of

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Russia. For a detailed analysis, see Valery Tishkov, Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in and after the Soviet Union, (London, Sage 1997).  18 Izvestiya, 22 February 1992, p.1.   19 Lena Jonson, Tajikistan in the new Central Asia, (London, I.B Tauris 2006); Dov Lynch, Russian Peacekeeping Strategies in the CIS, (Basingstoke, Macmillan 2000), Chapter 7.   20 United States Senate, Senator Alan Cranston, Central Asia in Transition: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, (Washington, DC, US Government Printing Office, September 1992); Evgeny F. Trotskiy, ‘US Policy in Central Asia and Regional Security’, Global Society, Vol.21, No.3, July 2007, pp.415–428.   21 President Boris Yeltsin, Speech to the Civic Union, ‘Russia’ TV programme, Moscow, 28 February 1993, BBC SU/1626, B/1–3.  22 The objectives of Russian policy were set out by Defence Minister Grachev. See ‘Grachev Calls For Strengthening of Russian Forces in Tajikistan’, SWB, SU.2101 G/1 (15 September 1994) This policy was modified when Yevgeny Primakov became Foreign Minister in 1996 and a peace agreement was reached in 1997 according to which the opposition was represented in the government, a settlement that has steadily eroded since then. Jonson, Tajikistan in the new Central Asia, Chapter 7.   23 Anatoly Ladin and Vladimir Maryukha, Krasnaya zvezda, 10 February 1995, p.1. See also Colonel Viktor Samsonov, Nezavisimaya gazeta, 26 November 1994, p.3; Interview with Lieutenant-General Leonid Ivashov, Nezavisimaya gazeta, 22 September 1993, p.1.   24 This is based on an analysis of the various bilateral agreements made between Russia and newly independent states. See Lynch, Russian Peacekeeping Strategies in the CIS, p.91.  25 For an exposition of Russian grievances against Kazakhstan’s policy of marginalising its Russian population which at that time exceeded the Kazakh population see K. Zatulin, Otchet ob itogakh poezdki gruppy deputatov Federal’nogo Sobraniya, nablyudavshikh za vyborami v Verkhovniy Sovet Respublii Kazakhstan’,Doc. No.316/333, Moscow 1994.  26 On the Russian policy towards Baikonur, see Rossyiskaya gazeta, 7 September 1994. For a detailed history of the negotiations over Baikonur see Alexandrov, Uneasy Alliance – Relations Between Russia and Kazakhstan in the Post-Soviet Era, 1992–1997, Chapter 5.  27 Katrin Elborgh-Woytek, Of Openness and distance: trade developments in the commonwealth of independent states, 1993–2003, IMF Working Paper WP/03/207, (Washington, DC, IMF 2003).

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 28 This is a rather vague ambition. In practice it amounted to a Russian demand articulated by Russia Minister for Fuel and Power Engineering Yuri Shafranik that Russia should receive a share of all production, be consulted about all production agreements in the Caspian and control energy transport through its pipelines. Of course none of these demands had any chance of being accepted, except for the fact that Caspian oil was largely transported through Transneft’s pipelines. Reuters News Service, 2 March 1993, ‘Intergovernmental Council on Oil and Gas Established’.   29 See Chapter 5 for more details.  30 The Economist, ‘Russia Champs at the Drill-Bit’, 15 November 1997, pp.71–72.   31 Brief discussion with Senator Richard Lugar during Q and A session at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC, December 2007   32 For more detail, see Chapter 4.   33 Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation 2000, www.mid.ru; for analysis see J.L. Black, Vladimir Putin and the New World Order, (Oxford, Rowman&Littlefield Publishers 2004) Chapter 10; Lena Jonson, Vladimir Putin and Central Asia, (London, I.B.Tauris 2006).  34 On the defence minister’s sceptical position, see Nezavisimaya gazeta, 15 September 2001. Even liberals were critical; see Grigorii Yavlinskii, Nezavisimaya gazeta, 13 September 2001.   35 Viktor Mukhin, Nezavisimoe Voennoe Obozrenie, 18 August 2000.   36 This was implicit in the 1998 National Security Strategy that stated the United States would not allow any hostile power to dominate a region of US national interest. William J. Clinton, A National Security Strategy for a New Century, (Washington, DC, White House 1998).   37 See the exposition by US Ambassador Richard Morningstar who had special responsibility for the Caspian region. Richard Morningstar, ‘Address to CERA Conference’, Washington DC, 7 December 1998 (Cambridge Research Associates 1998).   38 Roy Allison, ‘Structures and frameworks for Security policy co-operation in Central Asia’, in Roy Allison and Lena Jonson (eds.), Central Asian Security: The New International Context, (London: RIIA 2001), p.225.  39 Nezavisimaya gazeta, 5 August 2000.   40 The pattern of trade shows a clear reorientation of the former Soviet republics to the ‘far abroad’. Exports of the Central Asian states to Russia fell by more than 50% while Russia’s exports to the region fell by more than 60% in the 1990s. Consequently the import of goods from China increased

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substantially. Boris Rumer, ‘The Powers in Central Asia’, Survival, Vol.44, No.3, Autumn 2002, pp.57–68.  41 See for example the statement by President Karimov of Uzbekistan, a frontline state in relation to the Afghanistan conflict, in which he indicated Uzbekistan might be willing to recognise the Taliban. Itar-Tass News Agency, 13 October 2000.   42 Based on discussion with Kazakh and Uzbek officials in Washington DC 2009. The term ‘security manager’ was coined by Eugene Rumer to describe the role of the United States in Central Asia after 9-11 when Central Asian states primarily looked to the United States for their security and the US engaged with the region through programs of military assistance, training and co-operation. See Eugene Rumer, ‘The United States and Central Asia – In Search of a Strategy’, in Rumer, Trenin and Zhao, Central Asia, pp.18–74.  43 Nezavisimaya gazeta, 13 September 2001.  44 New York Times, 14 September 2001.  45 ORT Vremya Program, 14 September 2001/ITAR-TASS, 14 September 2001.  46 Jamestown Monitor 170 (18 September 2001).  47 Pavel K. Baev, ‘Assessing Russia’s Cards: Three Petty Games in Central Asia’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.17, No.2, July 2004, pp.269–283, p.274; Lena Jonson, Vladimir Putin and Central Asia, (London, I.B. Tauris 2006), p.85.  48 http://www.kremlin.ru/text/appears/2001/09/28639.shtml   49 Sergei Sokut, ‘We will deter terrorists from Bishkek’, Nezavisimoe Voennoe Obozrenie, 6 December 2002.   50 U.S. Department of State, Remarks With President Otunbayeva After Their Meeting, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, 2 December 2010.   51 Jim Nichol, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, CRS Report RL33458 (Washington, DC, CRS 2012).   52 For more detailed analysis see Chapter 4.  53 Oksana Antonenko, ‘Russia’s policy in the Caspian region: reconciling economic and security agendas’, in Shirin Akiner (ed.), The Caspian – Politics, Energy and Security, (Abingdon, Routeledge Curzon 2004), pp.244–262, p.247.   54 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Daily News Bulletin, 5 October 2000.  55 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Factsheet on Russia’s policy in the Caspian region, www.mid.ru, document 396–11–5–200.   56 ‘Russian Envoy Says Moscow Not After Caspian Transport Monopoly’, BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union – Economic, 22 December 2001.

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 57 ‘Top Manager Welcomes Russian Oil Companies to Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan Project’, BBC Monitoring Global Newsline, 18 January 2002.   58 Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation 2000, www.mid.ru   59 Antonenko, ‘Russia’s policy in the Caspian region’, p.250.   60 Michael Schwirtz, ‘In Reversal, Kyrgyzstan Won’t Close a U.S. Base, New York Times, 23 June 2009.   61 This was true for the G.W.H. Bush administration and it successors. See Lee Marsden, Lessons from Russia, (Aldershot, Ashgate 2005), especially Chapters 1 & 2. See also Warren Christopher, Statement before Senate Foreign Relations Committee, ‘Testimony on assistance to Russia and foreign affairs budget’, 20 April 1993.   62 Lena Jonson, Tajikistan in the New Central Asia, (London, I.B. Tauris 2006).  63 Interviews with Eugene Rumer and Sheila Heslin, Washington DC, December 2007.  64 Dov Lynch, Russian Peacekeeping Strategies in the CIS, (Basingstoke, Macmillan 2000); these issues are analysed in greater detail in Chapter 4.   65 Christopher J. Walker, ‘The Armenian presence in mountainous Karabakh’, in John F.R. Wright, Suzanne Goldenberg and Richard Schofield (eds.), Transcaucasian Boundaries, (London, UCL Press 1996), pp.89–112; Gary K. Bertsch, Cassidy Craft, Scott A. Jones and Michael Beck, Security and Foreign Policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia, (London, Routledge 2000) .   66 This is discussed in more detail below (pp.146–156).   67 Anatol Lieven, Chechnya – Tombstone of Russian Power, (New Haven, CT, Yale University Press 1999); Richard Sakwa (ed.), Chechnya: From Past to Future, (London, Anthem Press 2005).   68 George W. Bush, Decision Points, (New York, NY, Random House 2010), p.196.   69 Stephen J. Blank, U.S. Military Engagement with Transcaucasia and Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA, Strategic Studies Institute 2000); Stephen J. Blank, The Future of Transcaspian Security, (Carlisle, PA, Strategic Studies Institute 2002); Rand Research Brief, U.S. Military Has Important But Limited Long-Term Role in Central Asia, (Santa Monica, CA, Rand Corporation 2005).   70 Richard N. Haass, The Reluctant Sheriff: The United States after the Cold War, (New York, NY, Council on Foreign Relations 1997); Bill Clinton, My Life, (New York, NY, Vintage 2005), p.554.   71 Christoph Bluth, ‘The post-Soviet space and Europe’, in Roy Allison and Christoph Bluth (eds.), Security Dilemmas in Russia and Eurasia, (London, RIIA 1998), 323–341.

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 72 Chien-Peng Chung, ‘The Defence of Xinjiang: Politics, Economics, and Security in Central Asia.’ Harvard International Review, 25.2 (2003): 58.   73 This is the clear implication of the exclusivity of the treaty that does not permit members to join other alliances or groupings; see the text of the treaty in Sodruzhestvo, 1992, No.5, p.9. President Yeltsin made a more explicit statement asserting Russia’s special position and declaring the former Soviet space to be Russia’s security sphere in what came to be dubbed the ‘Monrovskyie doctrine’. See Speech to the Civic Union as reported on Moscow television on 28 February 1993, FBIS, Eurasia Daily Report, 1 March 1993.   74 Jennifer Anderson, The Limits of Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership, Adelphi Paper 315, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1997).  75 Dru C. Gladney, ‘China’s Interest in Central Asia: Energy and Ethnic Security’, in Robert Ebel and Rajan Menon, Energy and Conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus, (Lanham, MD, Rowman&Littlefield 2000), pp.209–224  76 Xinhua News Agency, 9 November 2001.   77 Martha Brill Olcott, ‘Regional Cooperation in Central Asia and the South Caucasus’, in Ebel and Menon, op.cit., pp.123–144.   78 Niklas Swanström, ‘China and Central Asia: a new great game or traditional vassal relations’, Journal of Contemporary China, Vol.45, No.14, November 2005, pp.569–584.   79 Based on discussions with Robert Kagan at the Central Eurasian Studies Society Annual Conference at Georgetown University, 18th September 2008.  80 Martha Brill Olcott, Central Asia’s Second Chance, (Washington, DC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), pp.61–66.  81 Huasheng Zhao, ‘Central Asia in China’s Diplomacy’, in Eugene Rumer, Dmitri Trenin and Huasheng Zhao (eds.), Central Asia: Views from Washington, Moscow and Beijing, (Armon, N.Y, M.E. Sharpe 2007), pp.137–214.   82 Zhao, ‘Central Asia in China’s Diplomacy’, pp.569–71.  83 ‘Implementation of U.S. Policy on Caspian Sea Oil Exports’, Hearing before the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 105th Congress, Second Session, 8 July 1998, www.access.gpo.gov/ congress/index.html   84 This expressed itself in the recurrent emphasis on the principle that US forces should only stay in the region for a limited time. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Press Conference on 11 March 2003, http://www.fmprc.

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gov.cn/eng/xwfw/2510/2511/t14619.htm. See also ‘Beijing’s Central Asia Strategy’, Jane’s Intelligence Digest, 2 October 2003; Francesco Sisci, ‘China, US and the New World Order’, Asia Times, 19 September 2001.   85 Kerry Dumbaugh, ‘China-US Relations’, Issue Brief for Congress, (Library of Congress, 31 January 2003).   86 Swanström, ‘China and Central Asia: a new great game or traditional vassal relations’.   87 Based on a discussion in Chicago on 31st August 2007 with Dr. Stephen J. Blank, former Department of Defense advisor and Professor of Strategic Studies at the U.S. Army War College. See also, Stephen Blank, ‘The Arming of Central Asia’, Asia Times, 23 August 2002; IISS Military Balance 2007, (Abingdon, Routledge 2007).   88 ‘Russia Using the United States as a Buffer in Central Asia: Russia is unlikely to retain its influence in Central Asia’, Nezavisimaya gazeta, 30 April 2003.   89 Martha Brill Olcott, Central Asia’s Second Chance, pp.74–76.  90 Brenda Shaffer, Iran’s Role in the South Caucasus and Caspian Region: Diverging Views of the U.S. and Europe, Research Paper, (Berlin, SWP 2003).  91 Kenneth M. Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, (New York, Random House 2004); J.L. Black, Vladimir Putin and the New World Order, (Lanham, MD, Rowman & Littlefield 2004), pp.332–339; Geoffrey Kemp, ‘U.S.Iranian Relations: Competition or Cooperation in the Caspian Sea Basin, in Ebel and Menon, Energy and Conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus, pp.145–162.  92 Olcott, Central Asia’s Second Chance, pp.74–76.  93 Mehrdad Mohsenin, ‘The evolving security role of Iran in the Caspian region’, in Gennady Chufrin (ed.), The Security of the Caspian Sea Region, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2001), pp.166–177; Siamak Namazi and Farshid Farzin, ‘Division of the Caspian Sea: Iranian policies and concerns’, in Akiner op.cit., pp.230–243.   94 John M. Shields and William C. Potter (eds), Dismantling the Cold War, (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press 1997); IISS, Iran’s Strategic Weapons Programmes, (London, Routledge 2005).  95 Marsden, Lessons from Russia, p.106.   96 Ladane Asseri and Ayesha Daya, ‘Iran Finds Its First Caspian Sea Oil for More Than A Century’, Bloomberg, 20 May 2012.  97 Sabri Sayari, ‘Turkey’s Caspian Interests: Economic and Security Opportunities’, in Ebel and Menon, op.cit., pp.225–246; Gareth Winrow, ‘Turkish National Interests, in Kalyuzhnova, Jaffe, Lynch and Sickles, op.cit., pp.234–250.

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  98 ‘Appointing a Special Representative of the EU for Central Asia’, Council Joint Action L199/100, 2005/544/CFSP (Official Journal of the European Union 29 July 2005).   99 Anna Matveeva, EU stakes in Central Asia, Chaillot Paper No.91, (Paris, ISS 2006), p.86. 100 Matveeva, EU stakes in Central Asia, p.93. 101 Shaffer, Iran’s Role in the South Caucasus and Caspian Region, p.18. 102 For more detail, see Andrei Zagorski, ‘CIS regional security policy structures’, in Allison and Bluth, Security Dilemmas, pp.281–302. 103 Pavel Baev, ‘Peacekeeping and conflict management in Eurasia’, in Alison and Bluth, Security Dilemmas, pp.209–229. 104 Sodruzhestvo, Informatsionnyyi vestnik Soveta glav gosudarstv i soveta glav pravitel’stv SNG, Minsk, 1992, No.5, pp.9–10 (translated by Ermo Bimal, University of Chicago). 105 Daniel Darling, ‘With Russian Prodding, CSTO Begins Taking Shape’, The Faster Times, 30 October 2009. 106 Citations from: Miriam Elder, ‘Kyrgyzstan tests Russia’s regional commitments’, The Global Post, 15 June 2010. 107 Dmitri Trenin. ‘Russia and Central Asia’, in Rumer, Trenin and Zhao, Central Asia, pp.75–103. 108 Neil Renwick, ‘Contesting East Asian Security Leadership: China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’, in Christopher M. Dent (ed.), China, Japan and Regional Leadership in East Asia, (Cheltenham, Edward Elgar 2008), pp.203–225. 109 http://www.sectsco.org 110 Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2006. 111 Bobo Lo, Axis of Convenience: Moscow, Beijing and the New Geopolitics, (London, Chatham House 2008). 112 Elizabeth Fuller, ‘Interests Converge Among the Members of the GUAM States’, RFE/RL, 1 December 1997. 113 The organization was called ‘GUUAM’ while Uzbekistan was a member. 114 Oleksandr Pavliuk, ‘GUUAM: The Maturing of a Political Grouping into Economic Cooperation’, in Renata Dawn and Oleksandr Pavliuk (eds.), Building Security in the New States of Eurasia, (Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe 2000), pp.33–46. 115 For more details see Chapter 5. 116 Stephen J. Blank, U.S. Military Engagement With Transcaucasia and Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA, SSI 2000); Eugene Rumer, ‘The U.S. Role and Interests in Central Asia after K2’, The Washington Quarterly, 29:3, Summer 2006,

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pp.141–154. It is notable that Central Asia does not seem to have played any role in the internal debate in the Obama administration about its strategy in Afghanistan, see Bob Woodward, Obama’s Wars, (New York, NY, Simon&Schuster 2010). 117 Based on discussions with Uzbek officials at the CSIS in Washington DC, June 2006; these concerns still prevail even though US–Uzbek relations have improved somewhat. Chapter 3    1 This and the subsequent chapters will discuss how these various priorities evolved in the course of the Clinton and Bush administrations. Regarding the US perception of the terrorist threat, see Jim Nichol, Central Asia’s New States: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, CRS Issue Brief for Congress IB93108, 2000 and Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies, (New York, NY, Simon&Schuster 2004), p.136.   2 For a forceful argument regarding this point see Eugene B. Rumer, ‘Peripherie, Zentrum, Problemfall: Die Zentralasien Politik der USA’, Ostpolitik, Osteuropa Vol.57, No.9, August-September 2007, pp.295–312; see also James E. Goodby, Regional conflicts: the Challenge of US-Russian co-operation, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1995), Strobe Talbott, The Russia Hand, (New York, Random House 2002.    3 It is beyond the scope of this study to provide detailed evidence for this controversial assertion. A detailed analysis of the political views inside the Yeltsin team before and in the early period after the dissolution of the Soviet Union is given by Nikolai Sokov, Russian Strategic Modernisation, (Oxford, Rowman and Littefield 2000). Strobe Talbott who ran American Russia policy in the Clinton administration reports that Clinton and Yeltsin maintained a positive relationship and a common sense of purpose even when the official rhetoric in Russia was anti-Western and through the crises of NATO enlargement and conflict in the Balkans, see Talbott, The Russia Hand. For a Russian insider’s view, see Alexei G. Arbatov, ‘Russian National Interests’, in Robert D. Blackwill and Sergei Karaganov, (eds.), Damage Limitation or Crisis? (London, Brassey’s, 1994), pp.55–76.   4 Michael McFaul, Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin, (Ithaca NY, Cornell University Press 2002).   5 John B. Dunlop, The Rise of Russia and the Fall of the Soviet Empire, (Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press 1993e Soviet Empire).

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   6 Based on interviews with academics at the Institute for United States and Canada and Foreign Ministry officials in Washington DC in 2006. See also, Martin Nicholson, Russia and the Regions, (Abingdon, Routledge 1999) Adelphi Paper 330.   7 For more detail see Christoph Bluth, The Nuclear Challenge, op.cit.; Christoph Bluth, Emil Kirchner and James Sperling, The Future of European Security, (Aldershot, Dartmouth 1995); Christoph Bluth, Germany and the Future of European Security, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2000).   8 Warren Christopher, The Three Pillars of U.S. Foreign Policy and Support for Reform in Russia,’ address before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, March 22, 1993. See Warren Christopher, In the Stream of History. Shaping Foreign Policy for a New Era, (Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press 1998), pp.121–25.    9 The inside story of the Harvard influence in the DoD is in Jeanne E. Nolan, The Elusive Consensus, (Washington DC, Brookings Institution 1999).  10 For details, see Christoph Bluth, The Nuclear Challenge, (Basingstoke, Ashgate 2000); Christoph Bluth, ‘Nuclear Doctrine and Strategic Force Modernization’, in Michael H. Crutcher (ed.), The Russian Armed Forces at the Dawn of the Millenium, (Carlisle PA, Center for Strategic Leadership 2000), pp.361–378; G.T. Allison, O.R. Cote˙, R.A. Falkenrath and S.E. Miller, Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy, (Cambridge MA, MIT Press 1996); George Quester, The Nuclear Challenge in Russia and the New States in Eurasia, (London, M.E. Sharpe 1995).  11 Jason D. Ellis, Defence By Other Means, (Westport, CT, Praeger 2001), p.51.   12 The Department of Defence was in charge of all aspects of CTR, except for the Material Protection, Control and Accounting of Nuclear Materials which was funded and administered through the Department of Energy.   13 Christoph Bluth, The Nuclear Challenge, p.57.   14 For a discussion of the concept of ‘integration’ of the NIS, see Lena Jonson, ‘Comments on NATO Enlargement and the CIS’, in Ingmar Oldberg (ed.), Priorities in Russian Foreign Policy: West, South or East? (Stockholm, FOA 1997), pp.65–73.   15 This conclusion is based on extensive interviews in London with experts from Russia’s Institute for Strategic Studies, MGIMO, IMEMO and the Foreign Ministry during various visits in 2007. It is corroborated by the fact that Yeltsin did not take any of the various actions urged on him by anti-Western politicians, such as leaving the CFE and INF treaties. Strobe Talbott has provided a first hand account of the relationship between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, and therefore also of the true relationship between

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the US and the Russian government. Talbott, op.cit. Talbott’s assertion that Yeltsin’s policies were in part driven by the goal to be admitted to the G8 is confirmed by Yeltsin himself in Boris Yeltsin, Midnight Diaries, (London, Weidenfeld&Nicolson 2000) For further analysis of the ‘Russia First’ policy see Joe Barnes, ‘US National Interests: Getting Beyond the Hype’, in Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe, Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2002), pp.212–233.  16 J.L. Black, Russia Faces NATO Expansion, (Oxford, Rowman&Littlefield 2000).  17 Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, (New York, Basic Books 1998).   18 This is evidenced in the policy of the administration towards NATO enlargement, for example, and Central Asia. See Gerald B. Solomon, The NATO Enlargement Debate 1990–1997: The Blessings of Liberty, (Westport, CT, Praeger 1998); Abdul Shakoor, ‘Central Asia: The US Interest Perception and Its Security Policies’, Eurasian Studies, 2, No.2, Summer 1995, pp.20–35.   19 Remarks made at the joint press conference of the Clinton-Yeltsin summit in Moscow, January 1994, cited from Zbigniew Brzezinski, ‘The Premature Partnership’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.73, No.2, March-April 1994, p.70.   20 For a critical analysis of the values and ideas informing Clinton’s foreign policy see William G. Hyland, Clinton’s World: Remaking American Foreign Policy, (Westport CT, Praeger 1999).   21 Stephen J. Blank, US Military Engagement with Transcaucasia and Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 2000).   22 This expressed itself in denial of support for Russian peace-keeping operations by the UN Security Council. Based on an interview with Catherine Kelleher (former NSC official) at the Brookings Institution April 2006. For example, the US was critical of Russian actions in Tajikistan which were seen to further Russia’s own interests and of course the war in Chechnya (although this case is different as Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation).  23 Eugene B. Rumer, ‘Peripherie, Zentrum, Problemfall: Die Zentralasien Politik der USA’, Ostpolitik, Osteuropa Vol.57, No.9, August-September 2007, pp.295–312, p.299; Strobe Talbott, ‘A Farewell to Flashman: American policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Address at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Baltimore, Maryland. US Department of State Dispatch, July 1997, www.state.gov/www/regions/ nis/970721talbott.html

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 24 Rumer, ‘Peripherie, Zentrum, Problemfall, p.299; Stephen J. Blank, US Military Engagement with Transcaucasia and Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 2000).   25 Talbott, ‘The Great Game Is Over’; Jim Nichol, Central Asia’s New States: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, CRS Issue Brief for Congress IB93108, 2000.  26 On this point see Jim Nichol, Central Asia’s New States: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, (Bethesda, MD, Congressional Research Service 1995); Jim Nichol, Transcaucasus Newly Independent States: Political Developments and Implications U.S. Interests, (Bethesda, MD, Congressional Research Service 1995).   27 S. Neil McFarlane, Western Engagement in the Caucasus and Central Asia, (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs 1999); see also Robert Legvold (ed.), Thinking Strategically: The Major Powers, Kazakhstan and the Central Asian Nexus, (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press 2003); R. Hrair Dekmejian and Hovann H. Simonian, Troubled Waters – The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, (London: I.B Tauris 2003), pp.131–139.   28 Carter Page, ‘US involvement in the business and politics of the Caspian Sea region’, in Shirin Akiner (ed.), The Caspian – Politics, Energy and Security, pp.263–277.   29 US foreign assistance for all 5 Central Asian former Soviet republics from FY 1992–FY2002 amounted to less than $3 billion. For more detail see Martha Brill Olcott, Central Asia’s Second Chance, (Washington, DC, Carnegie Endowment 2005).   30 Based on an interview with Catherine Kelleher (former NSC official) at the Brookings Institution April 2006.  31 R. Hrair Dekmejian and Hovann H. Simonian, Troubled Waters – The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, (London: I.B Tauris 2003), p.134; David I. Hoffman, ‘Azerbaijan – The Politicization of Oil’, in Robert Ebel and Rajan Menon, Energy and Conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus, (Oxford, Rowman&Littlefield 2000), pp.55–77.  32 See John Roberts, ‘Pipeline Politics’, in Shirin Akiner, The Caspian, (London, Routledge Curzon 2004), pp.77–89.  33 Jim Nichol, Central Asia’s New States: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, CRS Isssue Brief for Congress IB93108, 2000.   34 Strobe Talbott, ‘The Great Game Is Over’, Financial Times, 1 September 1997, p.18.

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  35 President Nazarbayev spelt out his view of relations with Russia at a speech given on 29 April 1996 published in Kazakhstan i mirovoe soobshestvo, No.1, 1996, p.7.  36 Mikhail Alexandrov, Uneasy Alliance – Relations Between Russia and Kazakhstan in the Post-Soviet Era, 1992–1997, (London, Greenwood Press 1999); Andrei Kalyuzhnov, Julian Lee and Julia Nanay, ‘Domestic Use of Energie: Oil Refineries and Gas Processing’, in Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe, Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2002), pp.133–168.   37 In an ironic twist of fate, it turned out that Giffen was in fact a CIA asset. In November 2010 Giffen was exonerated of all but a minor tax code violation and commended by the judge for his service to the country. See Steve Levine, ‘James Giffen’s Trial Ends: A Slap on the Wrist and a Triumph for American Putinism’, Foreign Policy, 6 August 2010; Steve Levine, ‘Was James Giffen Telling the Truth?’ Foreign Policy, 19 November 2010.   38 Shahram Akbarzadeh, Uzbekistan and the United States, (London, Zed Books 2005).   39 UN Reports on Human Rights in Uzbekistan and responses by the Uzbek government can be found at http://www.ubisnet.un.org  40 John C.K.Daly, Kurt H.Meppen, Vladimir Socor and S.Frederick Starr, Anatomy of a Crisis: U.S.-Uzbekistan Relations 2001–2005, Silk Road Paper (Washington, DC, Johns Hopkins University 2006). Meppen writes from the perspective of a former DoD official who was responsible for policy towards Central Asia.  41 R. Hrair Dekmejian and Hovann H. Simonian, Troubled Waters – The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, (London: I.B Tauris 2003), p.134. See the UN Reports on Uzbekistan, note 49.   42 Christopher J. Walker, ‘The Armenian presence in mountainous Karabakh’, in John F.R. Wright, Suzanne Goldenberg and Richard Schofield (eds.), Transcaucasian Boundaries, (London, UCL Press 1996), pp.89–112; Gary K. Bertsch, Cassidy Craft, Scott A. Jones and Michael Beck, Security and Foreign Policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia, (London, Routledge 2000).   43 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and Richard Murphy, ‘Differentiated Containment’, Foreign Affairs, 76, No.3, May-June 1997, pp.20–30; David B. Ottoway and Dan Morgan, ‘Ex-Top Aides Seek Caspian Gusher’, Washington Post, 6 July 1997, p.A1; S. Frederick Starr, ‘Power Failure: American Policy in the Caspian’, The National Interest, No.47, Spring 1997, pp.20–31.  44 Paul D. Wolfowitz, ‘Clinton’s First Year’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.73, No.1, January-February 1994, p.41

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  45 S. Frederick Starr before the House Committee on International Relations, Sub-committee on Asia and the Pacific, Federal News Service, 12 February 1998.   46 Ken Silverstein, ‘The Professor of Repression’, Harper’s Magazine, 24 May 2006.   47 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and Richard Murphy, ‘Differentiated Containment’, Foreign Affairs, 76, No.3, May–June 1997, pp.20–30.  48 Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, (New York, NY, Basic Books 1998), Also, based on discussions with S. Frederick Starr at the Central Eurasian Studies Society Annual Conference at Georgetown University, 18th September 2008. A picture of intensive lobbying by scholars around Brzezinski based at the Washington based Center for Strategic & International Studies in favour of a policy change emerged. This resulted in an exaggerated perception in Moscow in a shift in US policy towards Ukraine, which did not in fact materialise.   49 Zbigniew Brzezinski, ‘The Premature Partnership’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.73, No.2, March-April 1994, pp.67–83, p.67.   50 S. Frederick Starr, ‘Making Eurasia Stable’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.74, No.1, January–February 1996. The article was seminal in the sense that it was widely cited and contributed much to initiating the debate.   51 See for example S. Frederick Starr, ‘Rediscovering Central Asia’, The Wilson Quarterly, Summer 1999.  52 ‘Implementation of U.S. Policy on Caspian Sea Oil Exports’, Hearing before the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 105th Congress, Second Session, 8 July 1998, www.access.gpo. gov/congress/index.html. The subcommittee was chaired by Chuck Hagel (Nebraska), and the other members were Craig Thomas (Wyoming), Bill Frist (Tennessee), Paul Coverdell (Georgia), Paul S. Sarbanes (Maryland), Joseph R. Biden (Delaware) and Paul D. Wellstone (Minnesota).   53 Senate Hearing, ‘Implementation of U.S. Policy on Caspian Sea Oil Exports’.   54 United States Senate, 105th Congress, Second Session, 9 October 1998, www.access.gpo.gov/congress/index.html   55 For a first- hand account see Strobe Talbott, The Russia Hand, (Random House, New York 2002). Among the issues that were considered critical to US security policy were the conflict in the Balkans, where Russia played a significant role, strategic arms reductions, resolving the dispute over theatre missile defences and the ABM Treaty, and the continuation of co-operative threat reduction. For further analysis of US strategic

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priorities, see Joe Barnes, ‘US National Interests: Getting Beyond the Hype’, in Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe, Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2002), pp.212– 233; Martha Brill Olcott, ‘Central Asia, Russia, and the West’, in Gennady Chufrin (ed.), Russia and Asia: The Emerging Security Agenda, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1999), pp.137–15.   56 This argument was made very forcefully by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott; see Sonia Winter, ‘Central Asia: U.S. Says Resolving Conflicts A Top Priority’, http://www.rferl.org/features/1997/07/f.ru.970722124729.asp   57 S. Rob Sobhani, ‘The “great game” in play in Azerbaijan’, The Washington Times, 20 February 1997.  58 Based on an interview on 17th August 2007 with Prof. Graham Allison, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy and Plans and Director of the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University.   59 A good example is the effort to forge a relationship with Azerbaijan and the welcome President Aliyev received in the White House in July 1997. See Don Hill, ‘Western Press Review: Caspian Oil Draws Worlds’ Attention to Caucasus’, RFE/RL, 28 July 1997. For a trenchant critique see Senator Paul S. Sarbanes questioning of Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs and Stephen R. Sestanovich, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Policy, Export and Trade Promotion, 105th Congress, 8 July 1998.   60 Ian Bremmer, ‘Oil Politics: America and the riches of the Caspian Basin’, World Policy Journal, Vol.15, No.1, 1998.   61 This public speech was made to an audience of academics and specialists. Martha Brill Olcott has argued that the choice of venue was a deliberate gesture in support of Frederick S. Starr who had advocated a shift in US policy (interview in Washington, D.C., December 2007).   62 Strobe Talbott, ‘A Farewell to Flashman: American policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Address at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Baltimore, Maryland. US Department of State Dispatch, July 1997, www.state.gov/www/regions/nis/970721talbott.html   63 A detailed account of Pena’s ˇ trip to the region was given by Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, Senate Hearing, ‘Implementation of U.S. Policy on Caspian Sea Oil Exports’, 8 July 1998, p.6. For more detailed analysis see Steve A. Yetiv, Crude Awakenings, (Ithaca, Cornell University Press 2004).

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 64 See David B. Ottaway and Dan Morgan, ‘Ex-Top Aides Seek Caspian Gusher’, Washington Post, 6 July 1997, p.A1 One such analyst was Geoffrey Kemp, a former official of the Reagan administration at the Nixon Centre. He argues the case in Geoffrey Kemp, ‘Iran and Caspian Energy: Prospects for Cooperation and Conflict’, in Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Caspian Energy Resources, (I.B.Tauris, London 2000), pp.53–70. Among the oil companies the French company TotalFinaElf had the greatest interest in a pipeline through Iran. See John Roberts, ‘Pipeline Politics’, in Shirin Akiner (ed.), The Caspian, (RoutledgeCurzon, Abingdon 2004), pp.77–89.   65 See for example Michael Bronner, ‘Oil economist says sanctions hurt U.S. firms’, The Washington Times, 22 November 1997, p.A8.   66 Cited from Michael S. Lelyveld, ‘US oil firms no longer suffer in silence over Iran sanctions; Complaints rise as Caspian plans develop’, Journal of Commerce, 20 February 1997, p.3A.   67 The principal factors were Iran’s regional ambitions in the Middle East, its terrorist activities in Lebanon, Palestine as well as Western Europe, and the nuclear program. The exclusion of Iran from all deals is the one constant element on US policy towards the Caspian. For a detailed analysis of US-Iranian relations by a former official who served in the CIA and the NSC in various capacities as a Gulf analyst, see Kenneth M. Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, (New York, NY, Random House 2004).   68 For a detailed schedule of Secretary Peña’s trip, see ‘Secretary Peña leads presidential mission to five nations in the Caspian region’, FDCH Federal Department and Agency Documents, 10 November 1997.   69 This is based on comments by William Ramsay, then deputy assistant secretary of state for energy, sanctions and commodities in London, reported in Stuart Parrott, ‘Central Asia: Pipeline Superhighway replaces the Silk Road’, http://www.rferl.org/features/1997/11/f.ru.971119122709.asp   70 Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Policy, Export and Trade Promotion, 105th Congress, 8 July 1998, p.5.   71 Cited from R. Hrair Dekmejian and Hovann H. Simonian, Troubled Waters – The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, (London: I.B Tauris 2003), p.135.   72 For Clinton’s speech on the BTC pipeline, see Agence France Presse, ‘Final Legal Hurdle for Baku Tblisi Ceyhan Pipeline Cleared, 28 April 2000.   73 Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Policy, Export and Trade Promotion, 105th Congress, 8 July 1998, p.6.   74 State Department, U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia: FY2003 Annual Report

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 75 ‘Azerbaijani President meets with US Delegation’, RFE/RL Newsline 13 August 1999.   76 K.P. Foley, ‘Yerevan: Armenia Urges U.S. to Maintain Azerbaijani Sanctions’, http://www.rferl.org/features/1998/06/f.ru.980612133742.asp, 12 June 1998.   77 Julie Moffett, ‘Central Asia: East-West Pipeline Could Aid Independence’, http://www.rferl.org/features/1997/10/f.ru.971027133729.asp, 27 October 1997.  78 See Marc Grossman’s testimony, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Policy, Export and Trade Promotion, 105th Congress, 8 July 1998, p.5 .   79 Jason Keyser, ‘Senator warns of focus on Caspian oil’, The Washington Times, 9 July 1999, p.A15.   80 K.P. Foley, ‘U.S. : Foreign Aid Bill Advances in Congress’, http://www.rferl. org/features/1999/08/f.ru.990804124357.asp, 4 August 1999.   81 John Mareska, ‘A “Peace Pipeline” to End the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict’, Caspian Crossroads, No.1, (1995), pp.17–18.  82 Hillary Rodham Clinton, Living History, (New York, Simon & Schuster 2003), pp.430–432. This account reveals a rather positive and perhaps naïve view of Central Asian states, especially Uzbekistan.   83 ‘White House Statement on Morningstar Appointment’, US Newswire, 24 July 1998.  84 Michael S. Lelyveld, ‘The rig’s up: US has until October to forge transCaspian pipeline plan’, Journal of Commerce, 1 December 1997, p.1.  85 See Roberts, op.cit., p.84. The Italian company ENI, the operator at Kashagan, acquired a 5% stake in the BTC project which gave it the right to ship up to 50,000 barrels per day through system. Until the completion of a TransCaspian pipeline the oil has to be shipped to Baku.   86 Joe Barnes, ‘US National Interests: Getting Beyond the Hype’, in Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe, Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2002), pp.212–233; Amy Jaffe, ‘US policy towards the Caspian region: can the wish-list be realized?’, in Gennady Chufrin (ed.), The Security of the Caspian Sea Region, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2001), pp.136–150; the US government did lower its estimates considerably and in 2007 the total reserves in the Caspian region were estimated at about 32 billion barrels (http://www.eia. doe.gov/emeu/international/oilreserves.html).  87 Ottar Skagen, Caspian gas, (London, RIIA 1997); see also Andrei V. Belopolsky and Manik Talwani, ‘Geological Basins and Oil and Gas Reserves of the Greater Caspian Region’, in Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe,

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Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2002), pp.13–33.   88 Ronald Soligo and Amy Myers Jaffe, ‘The Economics of Pipeline Routes: The Conundrum of Oil Exports from the Caspian Basin’, in Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe, Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2002), pp.109–132, p.111; see also Amy Myers Jaffe and Robert A. Manning, ‘The Myth of the Caspian ‘Great Game’: The Real Geopolitics of Energy’, Survival, Vol.40, No.4, Winter 1998–99, pp.112–29.  89 The Energy Information Administration, a US government agency, later issued a revised estimate of Capsian oil reserves of between 18–30 billion barrels. Alec Razisade, ‘The Mystery of the Caspian Oil Boom’, Contemporary Review, Vol.284, No.1664, 1 September 2004, p.129.   90 Julia Nanay, ‘The Industry’s Race for Caspian Oil Reserves’, in Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Caspian Energy Resources (London: I.B Tauris 2000), pp.111–126, p.123.  91 ‘Transcript of Briefing by Energy Sec. Richardson’, U.S. Newswire, 18 November 1999. The Bush administration also supported the BTC pipeline project, but by the time Bush came to office the project was so far advanced that it required no intervention by the administration to see it through to completion.   92 For more details on the history of the BTC and the technical and financial arrangements, see Jason M. Davis, US Oil Policy in the Caspian: the story of the BTC pipeline from 1998 to June 2001, MA Dissertation, McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts 2002. For more up-to-date information see John Roberts, Pipeline Politics, (London, Chatham House 2010).   93 For more detail on the investment structure by US and European companies in Caspian oil and gas fields see Julia Nanay, ‘The Industry’s Race for Caspian Oil Reserves’, in Caspian Energy Resources, (London, I.B. Tauris 2000), pp.111–126.  94 Condoleezza Rice, ‘Campaign 2000: Promoting the National Interest’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.79, No.1, January-February 2000.   95 For an insightful analysis of the early Bush administration’s policy on China by a former senior NSC official, see ‘The Bush administrations China Policy – A Discussion with Kenneth Lieberthal’, Nixon Center Program Brief, Vol.7, No.16, 2001.   96 Richard Cheney, National Energy Policy: Report of the National Energy Policy Development Group, Washington DC, May 2001.

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 97 Jim Nichol, Central Asia’s New States: Political Developments and Implications for US Interests, Congressional Research Service Issue Brief (11 December 2002), p.2. http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/16175. pdf  98 B. Lynn Pascoe, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Central Asia and the Caucasus, Washington, DC, December 13, 2001.   99 A. Elizabeth Jones, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Central Asia and the Caucasus, Washington, DC, December 13, 2001. 100 Jones, Testimony. 101 Based on discussions with a range of experts in Washington who participated in regular meetings with administration officials at State, Energy and Defence, including Eugene Rumer, Martha Brill Olcott and Maureen Crandall. See also Jim Nichol, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, CRS Report RL33458, November 2007. Rumer and Olcott are specialists on the politics of the region, while Crandall is a specialist on oil and gas deposits and transport. The consistency of these accounts in relation to meetings they were party to and the facts that are known about the conduct of US policy give these sources high credibility. 102 The Defense Department was primarily interested in military co-operation and the use of military bases. Based on discussions with various specialists at NDU and DoD. 103 Among those who argued this viewpoint with various degree of vigour were Martha Brill Olcott from the Carnegie Endowment and Sarah Mendelsohn from CSIS. 104 Lena Jonson, Vladimir Putin and Central Asia, (London, I.B. Tauris 2006), Chapter 5; J.L. Black, Vladimir Putin and the New World Order, (Oxford, Rowman&Littlefield 2004). 105 See Rice, ‘Campaign 2000: Promoting the National Interest’; also Ivo H. Daalder, and James M. Lindsay, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy, (Hoboken, NJ, Wiley 2005). This attitude may be surprising given that Dr. Rice’s academic expertise and previous government experience focused on the Soviet Union/Russia. 106 Tamara Makarenko, ‘The Changing Dynamics of Central Asian Terrorism’, Jane’s Intelligence Review, February 2002, pp.36–39; see Chapter 2 for more details.

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107 United States-Uzbekistan Declaration on the Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Framework, 12 March 2002, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ ps/2002/8736.htm 108 ‘Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations’, 2000–2006, http://www.state.gov/s/d/rm/rls/cbj. See also John C.K. Daly, Kurt H. Meppen, Vladimir Socor, S. Frederick Starr, Anatomy of a Crisis: U.S.Uzbekistan Relations, 2001–2005, Silk Road Studies Program. Washington DC 2006, p.23. 109 A. Elizabeth Jones, ‘U.S.-Central Asian Cooperation’, Testimony to the Subcommittee on Central Asia and the Caucasus, Foreign Relations Committee, US Senate, December 13, 2001, p.9. 110 This was particularly demonstrated by the example of Uzbekistan; see Daly et.al., Anatomy of a Crisis: U.S.-Uzbekistan Relations, p.23. 111 A. Elizabeth Jones, Testimony. Central Asia: Terrorism, Religious Extremism, and Regional Stability. Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia of the Committee on International Relations House of Representatives, 108th Congress, First Session, October 29, 2003. 112 Based on wide-ranging discussions with specialists in Washington. See also The Bureau of Democracy, Humans Rights and Labor (DRL), ‘US Human Rights and Democracy Strategy’, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/ democ., accessed 26 June 2005; Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, ‘Frequently Asked Questions about US Policy in Central Asia’, http://state.gov/p/eir/rls/fs/15562.htm, accessed 26 June 2005; for a critique see Matthew Crosston, Fostering Fundamentalism, (Aldershot, Ashgate 2006). 113 Eugene Rumer, ‘The United States and Central Asia. In Search of a Strategy’, in Eugene Rumer, Dmitri Trenin and Huasheng Zhao, Central Asia – Views from Washington, Moscow and Beijing, (Armonk, NY, M.E.Sharpe 2007) The above analysis is in part based on discussions with Dr. Rumer in Washington, D.C., December 2007. 114 Martha Brill Olcott, U.S. Policy in Central Asia:Balancing Priorities, Testimony Prepared for the Committee on International Relations, Hearing on the Middle East and Central Asia, 26 April 2006. 115 Congressional Budget Presentation for Foreign Operations FY2008. See also Joshua Kucera, ‘US Aid budget to Central Asia: A Monument to InterAgency Pettiness’, Eurasianet 11 February 2008; Jim Nichol, Central Asia’s Security: Issues and Implications for US Interests, Washington, DC, CRS 20109, RL30295; Marian Leonardo Lawson, Susan B. Epstein and Tamara J. Resler, State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: FY2011 Budget and Appropriations, Washington, DC, CRS 20010, RL41228

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116 Jim Nichol, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, Congressional Research Service RL22458, (Washington, DC, CRS 2012), p.3. 117 Helene Cooper, ‘Promises of ‘Fresh Start’ for US-Russian Relations’, The New York Times, 1 April 2009; Simon Schuster, ‘U.S.-Russian Relations in Need of a New Reset’, Time, 16 March 2010 118 U.S. Department of State, Robert O. Blake, Jr., Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Policy Towards Central Asia, Carnegie Endowment for Peace, 30 July 2010 119 U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, Hearing on the Emerging Importance of the U.S.-Central Asia Partnership. Testimony of Robert O. Blake, Jr., Assistant Secretary. Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and Testimony of Robert Sedeny, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, 17 November 2010. Chapter 4   1 James Baker III, The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War and Peace, 1989–1992 (New York, NY, G.P. Putnam’s Sons 1995), p.629; Senator Alan Cranston, Central Asia in Transition: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, (Washington, DC, US Government Printing Office, September 1992); Evgeny F. Trotskiy, ‘US Policy in Central Asia and Regional Security’, Global Society, Vol.21, No.3, July 2007, pp.415–428.   2 Thomas L. Friedman, ‘U.S. To Counter Iran in Central Asia’, New York Times, 6 February 1992; John E. Yang, ‘U.S., Turkey Pledge Aid to New States’, Washington Post, 12 February 1993; Scott A. Jones, ‘Turkish Strategic Interests in the Transcaucasus’, in Gary K. Beretsch, Cassady Craft, Scott A. Jones and Michael Beck (eds.), Security and Foreign Policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia, (London, Routledge 2000), pp.55–65.    3 Richard Sokolsky and Tanya Charlick-Paley, NATO and Caspian Security – A Mission Too Far ?, (Santa Monica CA, Rand Corporation 2003), MR1074, p.7.    4 This is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5.    5 Stephen J. Blank, US Military Engagement with Transcaucasia and Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 2000); Stephen J. Blank, After Two Wars: Reflections on the American Strategic Revolution in Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 2002). See also Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game:The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia, (New York, NY,

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Kodansha Globe 1994). The metaphor of the ‘Great Game’ is invoked in virtually every publication on the Caspian region, prompting Talbott to ban its use in internal communications in the US government (based on interviews in Washington, DC, 2007).    6 This has been articulated by various key members of the Clinton administration. See for example the account by the Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the NSC, Rose Gottemoeller, ‘Presidential Priorities in Nuclear Policy’, in John M. Shields and William C. Potter (eds.), Dismantling the Cold War, (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press 1997), pp.61–81; see also Togzhan Kassenova, From Antagonism to Partnership – the Uneasy Path of the U.S.Russian Cooperative Threat Reduction, (Stuttgart, ibidem Verlag 2007).   7 Washington Post, 6 May 1993, p.1.   8 Nikolai Sokov, Russian Strategic Modernization, (Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2000), p.108.    9 For more detail about the nuclear debate in Kazakhstan, see Murat Laumilin, ‘Kazakhstan’s Nuclear Policy and the Control of Nuclear Weapons’, in George Quester (ed.), The Nuclear Challenge in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, (London: M.E. Sharpe 1995), pp.181–211.   10 Kasymzhomart Tokaev, Pod styagom nezavisimosti: Ocherki o vneshnei politike Kazakhstan, (Almaty, Bilim 1997), p.380. The author had discussions with Tokaev and Oumirserik Kassenov (Director of the Kazakh Institute for Strategic Studies) about US-Kazakh relations, the nuclear question and Kazakhstan’s security policy in Almaty, Moscow and London.  11 Washington Post, 21 March 1994.   12 The major factor was the complete imbalance of military resources; since only Russia could field sufficiently substantial levels of troops, any intervention could only occur if Russia decided that it was needed, and consequently would control all aspects of such an intervention. See Roy Allison, ‘Subregional Cooperation and Security in the CIS’, in Renata Dwan and Oleksandr Pavliuk (eds.), Building Security in the New States of Eurasia, (Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe 2000), pp.149–176.  13 R. Hrair Dekmejian and Hovann H. Simonian, Troubled Waters – The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, (London: I.B Tauris 2003), p.60.   14 Christopher J. Walker, ‘The Armenian presence in mountainous Karabakh’, in John F.R. Wright, Suzanne Goldenberg and Richard Schofield (eds.), Transcaucasian Boundaries, (London, UCL Press 1996), pp.89–112; Gary K. Bertsch, Cassidy Craft, Scott A. Jones and Michael Beck, Security and Foreign Policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia, (London, Routledge 2000).

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 15 Arman Grigorian, ‘The EU and the Karabakh Conflict’, in Dov Lynch (ed.), The South Caucasus: a challenge for the EU, Chaillot Paper 65 (Paris, Institute for Security Studies 2003), pp.129–142.  16 R. Hrair Dekmejian and Hovann H. Simonian, Troubled Waters – The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, (London: I.B Tauris 2003), p.66.  17 Sabit Bagirov, ‘Azerbaijan’s strategic choice in the Caspian region’, in Gennady Chufrin (ed.), The Security of the Caspian Sea Region, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2001).   18 Attitudes in Congress to Armenia and Azerbaijan are discussed below.   19 For Matthew Bryza’s views, see ‘OSCE Minsk Group US Co-Chair Matthew Bryza Discusses Madrid Principles, New Role for ‘Azerias in Karabakh’, Azbarez.com, 12 August 2009; the letter from the Armenian National Committee can be found at http://www.anca.org/press_releases/press_ releases.php?prid=1748. Bryza was appointed US ambassador to Aberzaijan in May 2010.  20 See for example remarks by Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (Maryland–D), Implementation of U.S. Policy on Caspian Sea Oil Exports, Hearing before the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 105th Congress, 2nd Session, 8 July 1998, when he pressed Stephen R. Sestanovich, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States on this issue.   21 Cited from Carol Migdalovitz, Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, Congressional Research Service Issue Brief, September 2001, p.14.  22 ‘Implementation of U.S. Policy on Caspian Sea Oil Exports’, Hearing before the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 105th Congress, Second Session, 8 July 1998, www.access.gpo.gov/ congress/index.html., P.8.   23 Paul Sarbanes (Maryland – D) is a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian issues. For a full list see http://www.aaainc.org   24 Mitch McConnell is a prominent senator (he was the highest ranking senator in the 110th US Congress and well known for his defence of conservative values). He is the husband of Elaine Chao, US Secretary of Labor in the Bush administration.   25 Jim Nichol, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, CRS Report for Congress, Washington, DC, CRS RL33453.   26 H. Rept. 106–868, 21 September 2000.

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 27 Carol Migdalovitz, Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, Washington, DC, CRS Issue Brief for Congress IB92109, 27 February 2003.   28 Curt Tarnoff, U.S.Assistance to the Former Soviet Union, Washington, DC, CRS 2005, RL32866; Magdovitz, Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, pp.15 f.   29 Dov Lynch, Why Georgia Matters, Chaillot Paper No.86 (Paris, Institute for Security Studies 2006).   30 Dov Lynch, The Conflict in Abkhazia: Dilemmas in Russian ‘Peacekeeping Policy’, (Chatham House Discussion Paper No.77, London 1998).   31 Statement of General James L. Jones (USMC), Commander US Europe Command before the Senate Armed Forces Committee, (1 March 2005).  32 ‘Fact Sheet’ on GTEP, US Department of Defence Europe Command, http://eu-com.mil. See also Richard Giragosian, ‘The US Military Engagement in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus: An Overview’, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol.17, No.1, pp.43–77.   33 C. Charles Fairbanks, C. Richard Nelson, S. Frederick Starr and Kenneth Weisbrode, Strategic Assessment of Central Eurasia, (Washington D.C., Johns Hopkins University 2001).   34 Statement of General James L. Jones (USMC), Commander US Europe Command to the Senate Armed Forces Committee, 1 March 2005.   35 Statement of John Tefft, Ambassador-Designate to Georgia, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 24 May 2005.  36 ‘Hearing on Georgia: One Year After the August War’, Testimony of Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee for Europe, August 4, 2009.   37 Sergei Solodovnik, ‘The Tajikistan conflict as a regional security dilemma’, in Allison and Bluth op.cit., pp.230–240.   38 For a detailed history, see Dov Lynch, Russian Peacekeeping Strategies in the CIS, (Basingstoke, Macmillan 2000), Chapter 7.  39 Richard Pomfret, The Central Asian Economies Since Independence, (Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press 2006), p.62.  40 Pomfret, The Central Asian Economies Since Independence, p.65.   41 Lena Jonson, Tajikistan in the New Central Asia, (London, I.B.Tauris 2006), Chapter 4.  42 Jim Nichol, Russia-Georgia Conflict in South Ossetia: Context and Implications for U.S.Interests, CRS Report for Congress, Washington, DC, 2008, CRS RL34618, p.31.   43 Hilary Rodham Clinton, ‘Remarks at the U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership Omnibus Meeting’, 6 October 2010, http://www.state.gov/ secretary/rm/2010/10/149080.htm, accessed on 21 February 2011.

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  44 Eugene Rumer, ‘The United States and Central Asia: In Search of a Strategy’, in Eugene Rumer, Dmitri Trenin and Huasheng Zhao, Central Asia – Views from Washington, Moscow and Beijing, (Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe 2007), pp.18–74. p.46   45 Richard A.Clarke, Against All Enemies, (New York, NY, Simon&Schuster 2004), p.60 .  46 Clarke, Against all Enemies, p.60; Talbott, The Russia Hand, pp.357– 58; Jim Nichol, Bringing Peace to Chechnya: Assessment and Implications, (Washington, DC, Congressional Research Service 2009), RL32272.   47 Andrew R.Feitt, ‘Countering the IMU in Afghanistan’, Small Wars Journal, 11 March 2010.   48 For the State Department List of Foreign Terrorist Organisations, see http:// www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm (accessed 20 November 2010).   49 Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Overview of Islamic Extremism in Europe, http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/64192.htm   50 Richard Sokolsky and Tanya Charlick-Paley, NATO and Caspian Security – A Mission Too Far?, (Santa Monica CA, Rand Corporation 2003), MR1074.   51 Farkhad Khamraev, ‘Radical Islam as a threat to the security of the Central Asian states: a view from Uzbekistan’, in Gennady Chufrin (ed.), The Security of the Caspian Sea Region, (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2001), pp.311–324.   52 For example, the way in which Russian armed forces were used to resolve the civil war in favour of the Rakhmonov government or Russia’s intervention in Abkhazia was interpreted as a use of armed intervention to pursue Moscow’s goals in the region.   53 Shahram Akbarzadeh, Uzbekistan and the United States, (London, Zed Books 2005), pp.40–42.  54 See ‘Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations’, 2000– 2006, http://www.state.gov/s/d/rm/rls/cbj. See also John C.K. Daly, Kurt H. Meppen, Vladimir Socor, S. Frederick Starr, Anatomy of a Crisis: U.S.Uzbekistan Relations, 2001–2005, Silk Road Studies Program. Washington DC 2006, p.23.  55 http://www.whitehouse.gov/infoucs/iraq/news/20030326–7.html  56 ‘“A Review of the State Department’s Human Rights Reports from the Victims’ Perspective” – a Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights of the Committee on International Relations’, House of Representatives, 107th Congress, Second Session, 6 March 2002, http://commdocs.House.gov/committees.

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  57 RFE/RL Newsline, 11 November 2002, Vol.6, No.211.   58 US Department of State, 24 September 2002; http://www.forum.abuz.com/ archive/index.php/t-9626.html   59 Federal Information and News Dispatch, 14 April 2003.   60 John C.K. Daly, Kurt H. Meppen, Vladimir Socor and S. Frederick Starr, Anatomy of a Crisis: U.S.-Uzbekistan Relations 2001–2005, Silk Road Paper (Washington, DC, Johns Hopkins University 2006).   61 Washington Post, 11 January 2004.  62 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, ‘Country Reports on Human Rights’. These reports are available for all Central Asian States since 1999. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/   63 For more details see John C.K. Daly, Kurt H. Meppen, Vladimir Socor and S. Frederick Starr, Anatomy of a Crisis: U.S.–Uzbekistan Relations 2001–2005, Silk Road Paper (Washington, DC, Johns Hopkins University 2006).  64 U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Press Conference of Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake, 14 October 2009.   65 For a critical analysis of the values and ideas informing Clinton’s foreign policy see William G. Hyland, Clinton’s World: Remaking American Foreign Policy, (Westport CT, Praeger 1999).  66 ‘Implementation of U.S. Policy on Caspian Sea Oil Exports’, Hearing before the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 105th Congress, Second Session, 8 July 1998, www.access.gpo.gov/ congress/index.html  67 Cited from http://www.useu.be/Terrorism/USResponse/Dec1401JonesUS PolicyCentraAsia.html, accessed 12 January 2008.   68 Speech by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Eurasian University, Astana, Kazakhstan, 13 October 2005.   69 Hearings, p.17.  70 The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), ‘Mission Statement’, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/democ, accessed 15 July 2008.  71 The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), ‘Mission Statement’, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/democ, accessed 15 July 2008.   72 Curt Tarnoff, U.S. Assistance to the Former Soviet Union, (Washington, DC, CRS Report RL32866, 1 March 2007); Jim Nichol, Kazakhstan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests, (Washington, DC, CRS Report 97–1058, 5 October 2010); Jim Nichol, Kyrgyzstan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests, (Washington, DC, CRS Report 97–6090, 9 September 2010); Jim Nichol, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests, (Washington, DC, CRS Report RL 33453, 16 September 2010).

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  73 See the website of the Millenium Challenge Coroporation, http://www.mcc. gov  74 Tarnoff, U.S. Assistance to the Former Soviet Union.   75 It should be noted that even after the ‘colour revolution’ Kyrgyzstan still fails to meet US standards for democracy and human rights, as assessed by the Millenium Challenge Corporation (http://www.mcc.gov); for more analysis see Matthew Crosston, Fostering Fundamentalism, (Aldershot, Ashgate 2006), Chapter 4.  76 Crosston, Fostering Fundamentalism; Testimony of Stephen Blank, Hearing before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, ‘Central Asia: Terrorism, Religious Extremism and Regional Stability’, 108th Congress, 1st Session, Washington, DC, 29 October 2003.   77 Sarah E. Mendelson, Director, Human Rights and Security Initiative, and Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS, Testimony Before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, ‘Russia Today: In Transition or Intransigent’, 24 May 2007.   78 Gordon Crawford, Foreign Aid and Political Reform, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2001), pp.156–160  79 U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesman, Secretary of State Decision not to Certify Uzbekistan, 13 July 2004.  80 Defence and Foreign Affairs Daily, 16 August 2006.   81 For closer analysis of the obstacles to democratisation in the Caspian region, see Susan Stewart, ‘Democracy promotion before and after the ‘colour revolutions’’, Democratisation, Vol.16, No.4, August 2009, pp.645–660; Aytan Gahramanova, ‘Internal and external factors in the democratisation of Azerbaijan’, Vol.16, No.4, August 2009, pp.777–803. Chapter 5   1 The Commission on America’s National Interest, America’s National Interest, (Cambridge, MA, J.F.Kennedy School of Government 2000).    2 In conversation to the UN diplomat Paolo Lembo, cited in Steve LeVine, The Oil and the Glory, (New York, NY, Random House 2007), p.190.   3 Interviews with a range of experts in Washington (Maureen Crandell, Martha Brill Olcott, Sheila Heslin, S. Frederick Starr), December 2007. Sheila Heslin and Bill White were also supported by the then Deputy National Security Sandy Berger; see Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, (London, Penguin Books 2004), pp.307–09.    4 Cited in LeVine, The Oil and the Glory, p.189.

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  5 LeVine, The Oil and the Glory, p.190.    6 For more details see Ali Granmayeh, ‘Legal history of the Caspian Sea’, in Shirin Akiner (ed.), The Caspian – Politics, Energy and Security, (Abingdon, RoutledgeCurzon 2004), pp.17–47.    7 Vyacheslav Gizzatov, ‘Negotiations on the legal status of the Caspian Sea 1992–1996: a view from Kazakhstan’, in Akiner, The Caspian – Politics, Energy and Security, pp.48–59.    8 For more recent developments, see John C.K Daly, ‘Division of the Caspian’, Energy Daily, 9 August 2007; Bruce Pannier, ‘Caspian: Summit Fails to Resolve Key Problem’, RFE/RL, 16 October 2007.   9 Rosemary Forsythe, The Politics of Oil in the Caucasus and Central Asia, (London, IISS 1996), p.40.   10 Steve LeVine, The Oil and the Glory, p.115.   11 Steve LeVine, The Oil and the Glory, pp.236–251.  12 John Roberts, Pipeline Politics and Global Energy Security, (London: Chatham House 2010, p.23.  13 Roberts, Pipeline Politics, Chapter 2; see also Maureen S. Crandall, Energy, Economics & Politics in the Caspian Region, (Westport, CT, Praeger Security International 2006), Chapter 2.  14 Roberts, Pipeline Politics, p.28.   15 For an analysis of Russia’s coercive policies in the region, see Dov Lynch, Russian Peacekeeping Strategies in the CIS, (Basingstoke, Macmillan 2000); for Russia’s coercive use of its pipeline network to control the volume and pricing of energy exports see Mikhail Alexandrov, Uneasy Alliance – Relations Between Russia and Kazakhstan in the Post-Soviet Era, (Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1999); Shirin Akiner (ed.), The Caspian, (London, RoutledgeCurzon 2004).   16 For details see www.cpc.ru   17 ‘Worldwide Look at Reserves and Production’, Oil and Gas Journal, Vol.102, Issue 47, p.22.   18 Gaffney, Cline&Associates, ‘Study of the oil and gas sectors in the Caspian with special emphasis on Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan’, April 2003, (Glasgow, Trade Partners UK, 2003).   19 ‘BG has Karachaganak first oil’, Energy Economist, August 2003.  20 ‘Kazakhstan’, Petroleum Economist, Vol.70, No.8, August 2003, p.32.  21 http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/articlephp?enewsid=48692&contact=1  22 Forsythe, The Politics of Oil in the Caucasus and Central Asia, p.20.   23 John Roberts, ‘Pipeline Politics’ in Akiner, The Caspian – Politics, energy and security, pp.77–89, p.83.  24 LeVine, The Oil and the Glory, p.347.

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 25 For more detailed analysis see Steve A. Yetiv, Crude Awakenings (Ithaca, Cornell University Press 2004).  26 See David B. Ottaway and Dan Morgan, ‘Ex-Top Aides Seek Caspian Gusher’, Washington Post, 6 July 1997, p.A1. One such analyst was Geoffrey Kemp, a former official of the Reagan administration at the Nixon Centre. He argues the case in Geoffrey Kemp, ‘Iran and Caspian Energy: Prospects for Cooperation and Conflict’, in Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Caspian Energy Resources, (I.B.Tauris, London 2000), pp.53–70. Among the oil companies the French company TotalFinaElf had the greatest interest in a pipeline through Iran. See John Roberts, ‘Pipeline Politics’, in Shirin Akiner (ed.), The Caspian, pp.77–89.   27 For an analysis of the economics of the pipeline routes, see Ronald Soligo and Amy Myers Jaffe, Unlocking the Assets: Energy and the Future of Central Asia and the Caucasus, (Houston, TX, Baker Institute 1998). (http://www.rice.edu/ energy/publications/docs/UnlockingtheAssets_EconomicsPipelineRoutes. pdf). They concluded that of all the pipeline routes under consideration (including those through Iran), the Baku-Ceyhan route involved the highest transport cost per barrel.   28 See for example Michael Bronner, ‘Oil economist says sanctions hurt U.S. firms’, The Washington Times, 22 November 1997, p.A8.   29 Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Policy, Export and Trade Promotion, 105th Congresss, 8 July 1998, p.5.   30 Cited from R. Hrair Dekmejian and Hovann H. Simonian, Troubled Waters – The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, (London: I.B Tauris 2003), p.135.   31 For Clinton’s speech on the BTC pipeline, see Agence France Presse, ‘Final Legal Hurdle for Baku Tblisi Ceyhan Pipeline Cleared, 28 April 2000.   32 Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Policy, Export and Trade Promotion, 105th Congress, 8 July 1998, p.6.   33 Based on discussions with Prof. Ashton Carter, former Assistance Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in November 2008.   34 Ronald Soligo and Amy Myers Jaffe, ‘The Economics of Pipeline Routes: The Conundrum of Oil Exports from the Caspian Basin’, in Yelena Kalyuzhnova, Amy Myers Jaffe, Dov Lynch and Robin C. Sickles (eds.), Energy in the Caspian Region, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2002), pp.109–132, p.111; see also Amy Myers Jaffe and Robert A. Manning, ‘The Myth of the Caspian ‘Great Game’: The Real Geopolitics of Energy’, Survival, Vol.40, No.4, Winter 1998–99, pp.112–29  35 The Energy Information Administration, a US government agency, later issued a revised estimate of Capsian oil reserves of between 18–30 billion

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barrels. Alec Razisade, ‘The Mystery of the Caspian Oil Boom’, Contemporary Review, Vol.284, No.1664, 1 September 2004, p.129.   36 Julia Nanay, ‘The Industry’s Race for Caspian Oil Reserves’, in Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Caspian Energy Resources, (London: I.B Tauris 2000), pp.111–126, p.123. Interview with Julia Nanay in Washington, DC, December 2007.   37 Cited in LeVine,The Oil and the Glory, p.348.   38 Interview with Richard Morningstar, December 2007.  39 LeVine, The Oil and the Glory, p.354   40 For a very critical analysis of overestimates of Azerbaijani oil reserves and other Caspian oil resources by the former President of AIOC, see Terence Adams, ‘Caspian Energy Development’, in Akiner (ed.), The Caspian – Politics, Energy and Security, pp.90–106   41 In a private conversation in 2007 Terry Adams, the previous President of AIOC, was critical about these new estimates.  42 ‘Caspian Pipeline Dream Becomes Reality’, BBC News, 17 September 2002.  43 Roberts, Pipeline Politics, p.22   44 Michael Lelyveld, ‘Azerbaijan: Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline gets as boost’, RFE/ RL, 13 January 2001.   45 Michael Lelyveld, ‘Caspian: Western Oil Companies Approve Construction Of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline’, RFE/RL , 5 August 2002.   46 Roberts, Pipeline Politics, p.21.  47 Crandall, Energy, Economics & Politics in the Caspian Region, p.65.   48 Jim Nichol, Central Asia’s Security: Issues and Implications for U.S. Interests, Washington, DC, CRS 2009, RL30294, p.43.  49 Seminannual Report to the Congress, October 1 to March 31, 2004.   50 ‘Central Asian Gas: Lost to European After Russian-Ukrainian Deal’?, in Vladimir Socor, The Current Status of Petroleum Politics in the Caspian Sea Region, Jamestown Foundation 2006.   51 ‘Putin Leaning on Nazarbayev to Thwart Westbound Energy Projects’, 24 May 2006, in Socor, The Current Status of Petroleum Politics in the Caspian Sea Region.   52 Valdimir Petrov, ‘Interview – U.S.’s Bryza Says Market to Decide Europe Gas/Oil Pipeline Project Winners’, See News, 6 April 2007.   53 Interview with a consultant to Burren energy in January 2009.   54 Interview with Martha Brill Olcott (Carnegie Endowment) and Maureen S. Crandall (National Defence University), Washington, December 2007.

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Chapter 6   1 Rosemary Forsythe, The Politics of Oil in the Caucasus and Central Asia, (London, IISS 1996) pp.17–20.   2 Thomas Carothers, ‘Democracy Promotion under Clinton’, Washington Quarterly, Vol.xviii, No.4 (autumn 1995) p.18.    3 Stephen J. Blank, US Military Engagement with Transcaucasia and Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 2000); Stephen J. Blank, After Two Wars: Reflections on the American Strategic Revolution in Central Asia, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute 2002); Edward Lucas, The New Cold War, (London, Bloomsbury 2008), Chapter 7.   4 Gawdat Bahgat, American Oil Diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, (Gainsville, FL, University of Florida Press 2003), p.146.   5 Matthew Crosston, Fostering Fundamentalism, (Aldershot, Ashgate 2006)   6 Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, (New York, Basic Books 1998); Zbigniew Brzezinski, ‘The Premature Partnership’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.73, No.2, March-April 1994, p.70; Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and Richard Murphy, ‘Differentiated Containment’, Foreign Affairs, 76, No.3, May–June 1997, pp.20–30.    7 Eugene Rumer, ‘The United States and Central Asia: In Search of a Strategy’, in Eugene Rumer, Dmitri Trenin and Huasheng Zhao, Central Asia – Views from Washington, Moscow and Beijing, (Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe 2007), pp.18–74, p.53.   8 Gordon Crawford, Foreign Aid and Political Reform, (Basingstoke, Palgrave 2001), pp.156–160.    9 Richard Sokolsky and Tanya Charlick-Paley, NATO and Caspian Security – A Mission Too Far?, (Santa Monica CA, Rand Corporation 2003), MR1074.  10 Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, George A. Krol, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, December 15,2009, http://foreign.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/20091215/, accessed 2 April 2010.

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Randall L. Schweller, ‘Domestic Structure and Preventive War: Are Democracies More Pacific?’, World Politics, Vol.44, No.2, January 1992, pp.235–269 Brenda Shaffer, Energy Politics, (Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania Press 2009) Brenda Shaffer, Iran’s Role in the South Caucasus and Caspian Region: Diverging Views of the U.S. and Europe, Research Paper, (Berlin, SWP 2003) Abdul Shakoor, ‘Central Asia: The US Interest Perception and Its Security Policies’, Eurasian Studies, 2, No.2, Summer 1995, pp.20–35 John M. Shields and William C. Potter (eds), Dismantling the Cold War, (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press 1997) Ken Silverstein, ‘The Professor of Repression’, Harper’s Magazine, 24 May 2006 Richard Sokolsky and Tanya Charlick-Paley, NATO and Caspian Security – A Mission Too Far?, (Santa Monica CA, RAND CORPORATION 2003), MR1074 Vladimir Socor, The Current Status of Petroleum Politics in the Caspian Sea Region, (Washington, DC, Jamestown Foundation 2006) Nikolai Sokov, Russian Strategic Modernisation, (Oxford, Rowman and Littefield 2002) Gerald B. Solomon, The NATO Enlargement Debate 1990–1997: The Blessings of Liberty, (Westport, CT, Praeger 1998) S. Frederick Starr, ‘Making Eurasia Stable’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.74, No.1., JanuaryFebruary 1996 S. Frederick Starr, ‘Power Failure: American Policy in the Caspian’, The National Interest, No.47, Spring 1997, pp.20–31 S. Fredrick Starr, ‘The Silk Road to Success’, The National Interest, Winter 2004– 05, pp.65–72 Niklas Swanström, ‘China and Central Asia: a new great game or traditional vassal relations’, Journal of Contemporary China, Vol.45, No.14, November 2005, pp.569–584 Strobe Talbott, ‘Post-Victory Blues’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.71, No.1, 1992, pp.53–69 Strobe Talbott, ‘Democracy and the National Interest’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.75, No.6, 1996, pp.47–63 Valery Tishkov, Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in and after the Soviet Union, (London, Sage 1997) Kasymzhomart Tokaev, Pod styagom nezavisimosti: Ocherki o vneshnei politike Kazakhstan, (Almaty, Bilim 1997) Evgeny F. Trotskiy, ‘US Policy in Central Asia and Regional Security’, Global Society, Vol.21, No.3, July 2007, pp.415–428 Stephen M. Walt, ‘Two Cheers for Clinton’s Foreign Policy’, Foreign Affairs, Vol.79, No.2, March/April 2000, pp.63–79

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Index

Abkhazia 39–40, 70, 88, 129, 133–134, 136–137, 220, 254–255 ABM 14, 119, 245 Adams, Terence 260 Ahmadinejad 63 Akayev, Askar 58, 106, 152 Akiner, Shirin 215, 234, 237, 242, 246, 258–260 Aktobemunaygaz 59 Aktyubinsk 59, 99 Al Qaeda 13–14, 55, 75, 102, 144, 150 Albright, Madeleine 91, 93, 184 Alexandrov, Mikhail 215, 232, 243, 258 Aliyev, Haidar 85, 95–96, 125, 131–132, 171–173, 245 Allison, Roy 2, 11, 15–16, 81, 121, 215–216, 225, 229, 231, 233, 235, 238, 240, 245, 252, 254 Andijon 21, 35, 66, 74, 153, 162, 208 Antonenko, Oksana 234–235 Arbatov, Alexei G. 239 Armenia 39, 54, 62, 65–66, 68–69, 82, 85, 88, 91, 95–96, 123–130, 132–133, 158, 160, 164, 171, 182, 213, 247, 253– 254, 256 Askayev, Askar 153

Astana 256 Atambayev 47 Atyrau 59, 180, 190 Azerbaijan 19, 39, 50, 54–55, 62, 64–66, 68–69, 74, 82, 85–86, 88–89, 91–93, 95–96, 99, 105–106, 123–133, 141, 159–160, 164, 167, 170–173, 176, 181–184, 187, 190, 198–200, 214, 219–220, 225, 231, 242, 245, 253, 256–258, 260 Bacevic, Andrew J. 216, 228 Baev, Pavel K. 216, 234, 238 Baku-Novorossyisk pipeline 42 Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline 19, 48, 65, 94, 96–98, 182, 185–188, 190, 194, 200, 202, 220, 235, 246, 259–260 Baldwin, David A. 216, 227 Balkans 56, 87, 198, 239, 244 Bassayev, Shamil 144 Belarus 25, 40, 48, 67, 69–70, 81–82, 119–120 Berger, Sandy 92, 257 Bertsch, Gary K. 216, 235, 243, 253 Beslan 144 Bikayev, Kurmanbek 47

263

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Bin Laden, Osama 58, 143, 145–146 Bosporous 65, 95–96, 176, 181–182, 185–186, 190 Bremmer, Ian 216, 245 Bryza, Matthew 28, 128, 190, 253, 260 Brzezinski, Zbigniew 4, 18, 83, 88–92, 183, 198, 203–205, 217, 227, 241, 243–244, 261 Bush, George W. 3, 4, 11–15, 19, 21, 25, 31, 44–46, 55–56, 76, 81, 95, 99–100, 102, 105, 108, 109, 111, 113, 121–123, 129, 132, 135, 139, 143, 151–155, 158–160, 163, 175, 188–189, 191, 193, 195–196, 207, 210, 217, 223, 228–229, 235, 239, 248, 249, 253 Bushehr 63 Caucasus 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16–18, 20, 22, 24, 26–28, 30–31, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52–56, 58, 60, 62, 64–66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 78, 80, 82–86, 88, 90, 92, 94–96, 98, 100–102, 104, 106, 108, 110–111, 114, 116, 118, 120, 122–124, 126, 128–134, 136, 138, 140, 142–144, 146, 148, 150, 152, 154, 156, 158, 160–162, 164, 166, 168, 170, 172, 174, 176, 178, 180, 182–186, 188–190, 192, 194, 196–198, 200, 202, 204–206, 208, 210, 212–214, 216, 218, 220, 222, 226, 228–230, 232, 234–238, 240–246, 248–254, 256, 258–261 Chechnya 43–44, 52, 54–55, 65–66, 134, 143–144, 181, 220–221, 235, 241, 255 Chelyabinsk 72 Chernomyrdin, Viktor 176, 177

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China 4, 6, 13, 19–20, 23–24, 33–35, 42, 44, 51, 57–62, 69, 71–74, 76, 90, 92, 99, 101, 116–118, 120, 145, 150, 169, 181, 195, 200, 208, 213, 218, 222–233, 236–238, 248 Chomsky, Noam 4, 227 Christopher. Warren 80, 213, 215, 218, 235, 238, 240, 243, 252 Chufrin, Gennady 217, 225–226, 237, 245, 247, 253, 255 Chung, Chien-Peng 217, 236 Clinton, Bill 3, 4, 11, 14, 17, 22, 27, 30, 31, 44, 56, 64, 76, 81, 83–84, 86–88, 91, 93–99, 109–111, 113, 116, 122–123, 130–132, 141, 143, 150, 155, 159–160, 163, 173, 177, 182, 184–187, 189, 195–197, 199–207, 214–215, 217, 219, 222–223, 228–229, 23–235, 239–241, 244, 246, 252, 254, 256, 259, 261 Clinton, Hillary 96, 128, 183, 234, 247 Cramer, Lorne 151–152 Crandall, Maureen 217, 249, 257, 258, 260 Cranston, Alan 212, 232, 251 Crawford, Gordon 217, 257, 261 Crimea 231 Crutcher, Michael H. 217, 240 CSCE 126, 129 CSTO 25, 69–71, 73, 77, 154, 238 CTR 11–12, 82, 119, 152, 159–160, 196, 206, 240 Daalder, Ivo 217, 229, 249 Dagestan 54 Davis, Jason M. 248 Dekmejian, R. Hair 87, 94, 184, 217–218, 225, 242–243, 246, 252–253, 259

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Deuss, John 175–177 Dostum, Abdul Rashid 150 Duffield, Mark 218, 230 Dumbaugh, Kerry 213, 237 Dunlop, John B. 218, 239 Dushanbe 39, 104, 149 EBRD 177, 187 Elborgh-Woytek, Katrin 232 Elchibey, Abulfaz 85, 124–125, 170 Falkenrath, Richard 215, 240 Ferghana Valley35, 36, 145, 147–148 Fuerth, Leon 186 Fukuyama, Francis 4, 10, 218, 227–228 Gahramanova, Aytan 257 Gaidar, Yegor 37, 175 Gamsakhurdia, Zviad 134 Gazprom 43, 180, 190–191 Gottemoeller, Rose 252 Grachev, Pavel 232 GUAM 74, 234, 256 GUUAM 132, 238 Haass, Richard 218, 235 Hagel, Chuck 131–132, 244 Hezbollah 63 Huntington, Samuel 4, 10, 218, 227–228 Hussein, Saddam 63 Husseinov, Surat 125, 170–171 Hyde-Price, Adrian 219, 227 Ignatieff, Michael 4, 227 IMEMO 240 Iran 12, 14, 18–19, 22, 28, 33, 35, 44, 48, 54, 62–64, 72–74, 78, 8–87, 89, 90, 92–98, 109–111, 113–114, 116–118, 125, 129, 144, 150, 167,

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174, 182–186, 188, 190, 192, 195, 198–200, 203, 219, 222, 237–238, 246, 251, 259 Iraq 9, 13–14, 21–22, 25, 46, 57, 63, 78, 108, 135, 151, 207, 255 Israel 63, 87, 99, 186 Ivanov, Sergei 43, 45–46 Ivashov, Leonid 232 Jaffe, Amy 2, 3, 97, 98, 185–186, 219, 225–227, 230, 237, 241, 243, 245, 247–248, 259 Kabul 76, 148, 150 Kaldor, Mary 230 Kalyuzhnov, Andrei 243 Kalyuzhnova, Yelena 3, 219, 225–227, 231, 237, 241, 243, 245, 247–248, 259 Kalyuzhny, Viktor 48–49, 189 Kamalov, Rafik Kamilov, Abdulaziz 45 Kanjaev, Safarali 149 Karachaganak 179–180, 258 Karaganov, Sergei 216, 219, 239 Karimov, Islam 21, 35, 47, 53, 69–70, 87, 103, 145, 149–154, 208, 234 Karshi-Kanabad 103 Karzai, Hamid 76, 208 Kaser, Michael 219, 231 Kashagan 97, 179–181, 188, 247 Kassenov, Oumirserik 219, 225, 230–231 252 Kassenova, Togzhan 219, 252 Kazakhstan 1, 17, 21, 24, 25, 40, 41, 44–45, 50, 57–59, 63–64, 66, 69, 71, 77, 81–82, 86–87, 93, 96–97, 99–100, 105–106, 107, 114–115, 119–122, 131, 141–142, 146, 148–149, 160, 162–163, 165,

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167, 170, 172–175, 177–181, 183, 187–190, 192, 196, 198–199, 214–215, 219, 222, 225, 231–232, 242–243, 252, 256, 258 Kazmunaygas 178, 181 Kelleher, Catherine 241, 242 Kennedy-Pipe, Caroline 219, 228 KGB 131 Khanabad airbase 21, 47, 153 Korea 14, 89 Krauthammer, Charles 4, 9, 219, 228 Kuwait 89 Kyrgyzstan 19–21, 23–25, 46–48, 57–59,   64, 66, 69–71, 75, 77, 82, 86, 100, 103–105, 108, 111, 115, 140–142, 145–149, 152–153, 161, 165, 204, 208, 214, 225, 235, 238, 256–257 Laumilin, Morat 252 Legvold, Robert 219, 230, 242 Lelyveld, Michael S. 219–220, 246, 247, 260 Leninabad 138, 149 LeVine, Steve 182, 220, 243, 257–258, 260 Lieberthal, Kenneth 248 Lieven, Anatol 220, 235 Lynch, Dov 219–220, 225–227, 231–232, 235, 241, 243, 245, 247–248, 253–254, 258–259 Mandelbaum, Michael 4, 227 Mann, Stephen 21, 189, 191 Matveeva, Anna 220, 238 McChrystal, Stanley 76 McConnell, Mitch 132, 253 McFarlane, S.Neil 2, 220, 226, 242 McFaul, Michael 220, 239 Mearsheimer, John 4, 5, 10, 27, 205, 220, 227–228

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Medvedev. Dmitry 24, 52, 71 Morningstar, Richard 22, 96, 186, 233, 247, 260 Nabiyev, Rakhmon 138 Nabucco pipeline 23–24, 190–191 Nagorno-Karabakh 31, 39, 54, 62, 65, 68, 88, 95, 105, 123–131, 160, 171, 187, 189, 247 Najibullah, Muhammad 150 NATO 9–10, 18, 25, 31, 43, 45–46, 56, 68, 70–71, 74–76, 83, 84, 86, 88, 91, 95–96, 103, 114, 116, 123, 125, 129, 134, 136–137, 139, 141–142, 154, 185, 197, 198, 200, 206, 209, 216, 222, 226, 239–241, 251, 255, 261 Nazarbayev, Nursultan 87, 97, 119–122,174–175, 177, 190, 243, 260 neo-realism 5, 8, 26, 29 neoliberalism 216, 227 neorealism 216, 227 Nicholson, Martin 221, 240 Niyazov. Saparmurat 21, 191 Nolan, Janne 221, 240 Obama, Barack 3, 15, 21–25, 48, 76, 108–109, 111, 136, 141, 193, 209–210, 223, 239 Olcott, Martha Brill 3, 23–24, 63, 90, 107, 212–213, 221, 225–226, 230–231, 236–237, 242, 245, 249–250, 257, 260 Ottaway, David B 246, 259 Otunbayeva, Roza 47, 70, 234 Pakistan 11, 14, 22–24, 35–36, 44, 47, 55, 78, 92, 109, 116, 144–146, 148, 150, 230

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Partnership for Peace 83, 86, 141–142 Peña, Frederico 93, 98, 246 Petraeus, David 154 Petrov, Vladimir 260 Pollack, Kenneth M. 221, 237, 246 Pomfret, Richard 3, 221, 227, 254 Powell, Colin 103, 127, 132, 155, 160–162 Primakov, Yevgeny 53, 232 Putin, Vladimir 24, 42–45, 48–52, 54–55, 69, 71, 102–103, 144, 153, 189–190, 216, 219–220, 231, 233–234, 237, 239, 249, 260 Rakhmonov, Emomali 17, 39, 53, 139, 145, 149, 196, 255 Rice, Condoleezza 13, 21,136, 155, 160–163 Romania 154 Rumer, Eugene 2, 3, 107, 204, 221, 226, 229, 234–236, 238–239, 241–242, 249–250, 255, 261 Rumsfeld, Donald 13, 21, 72–73, 103 Russet, Bruce 220–221, 228 Russia 1, 2, 4, 6, 11–13, 17–21, 23–28, 30, 33–35, 37–63, 65–77, 80–89, 91, 92, 94, 96–97, 99, 101–103, 107–110, 113–123, 125–127, 129–130, 133–134, 137–143, 148–154, 159–160, 163, 166–169, 171–173, 175–176, 178–185, 188–189, 190, 192, 195, 196–204, 206, 208–209, 211, 213–221, 225–226, 229, 231–233, 235–241, 243–245, 249, 252, 255, 257–258 Saakashvili, Mikheil 135–136 Sakwa, Richard 221, 235 Scowcroft, Brent 217, 243–244, 261

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Semipalatinsk 81, 119, 122 Sestanovich Stephen R. 90, 131, 155, 245, 253 Shaffer, Brenda 3, 222, 226, 237–238 Shafranik, Yuri 171–172, 233 Sharif, Nawaz 150 Shevardnadze, Eduard 68, 96, 134–135 Simonian, Hovann H. 87, 94, 184, 217–218, 225, 242–243, 246, 252–253, 259 Stalin, Josef 124, 170 Starr, Frederick S. 2, 3, 18, 88–90, 152, 183, 198, 203, 205, 211, 217–218, 222, 225–226, 230–231, 243–245, 250, 254–257 Statoil 66, 173 Stewart, Susan 257 Sugd see Leninabad Tajikistan 1, 17, 19–21, 23, 25, 31, 36, 39, 40, 41–44, 51, 53, 57–58, 62, 66, 69, 71, 82, 85–86, 100, 103, 104–105, 108–109, 111, 115, 118, 120, 123, 138–141, 145–150, 165, 196, 204, 211, 219, 229, 232, 241, 254 Talbott, Strobe 17–18, 86, 92, 94, 110, 114, 116, 117, 184, 195, 196, 200, 203, 213–215, 222, 226, 229, 239–242, 244–245, 252, 255 Thomas, Craig 244 Tishkov, Valery 222, 232 Tokaev, Kasymzhomart 222, 252 Turkey 64, 92, 96, 183 Turkmenistan 1, 21, 24, 41–42, 44, 59, 63–64, 86–89, 100, 108, 115, 118, 141, 148, 150, 165, 172, 190, 191, 225

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Uighur 57, 58, 73, 145 Uzbekistan 1, 16, 19–21, 24–25, 35–36, 38, 41–47, 53, 58, 62, 64, 66–67, 69–71, 74–77, 82, 85–87, 89–90, 96, 100, 102–106, 108–109, 115, 122, 139–142, 144–154, 160–163, 165, 190, 198, 204, 207–208, 213, 215, 217, 225, 230–231, 234, 238, 243, 247, 250, 255–257 Uzbekneftegaz 59

Yavlinskii, Grigorii 233 Yeltsin, Boris 3, 8, 39, 40, 42–43, 73, 82, 91, 121, 173, 175, 177, 197–198, 236, 239–241 Yugoslavia 10, 39 see Balkans Yukos 49 Zelikow, Philip 15–16, 215, 229 Zhao, Huasheng 221, 226, 229, 234, 236, 238, 250, 255, 261 Zviagelskaia, Irina 223, 231

Xinjiang 1, 57, 58, 73, 99, 120, 217, 236

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