Thesis Title

An Assessment of the Major Security Problems in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan

Date of Graduation

Spring 2002

Degree

Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies

Department

Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies

Abstract

In late 1991, the five Central Asian republics became politically independent entities. With no experience as sovereign states, these countries have encountered considerable challenges in their attempts to create stable, independent polities. This thesis examines the major security problems confronting three Central Asian states: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The primary focus of the study is on the indigenous security issues facing these three states. Sources of instability internal to the region include ethnic and sub-ethnic tensions, Islamic radicalism, porous state borders, and the fragmentation of Tajikistan following the cessation of the civil war in 1997. Complicating the prospects for stability is the manner in which these elements are often interwined. While each security problem constitutes a cause for concern, there is considerable potential for several issues to coexist and reinforce one another, resulting in deeper instability. Furthermore, instability within the region could prompt the encroachments of external states. Of the surrounding foreign powers, Russia remains the most likely candidate for such a scenario. Accordingly, this study includes an examination of Russian involvement in these three states.

Copyright

© Jeffrey A Bennett

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