The stakes of security and stability in Central Asia

As the American campaign in Afghanistan puts Central Asia in the heart of the antiterrorist plan drawn up by the international community, the stability and security of those republics seem threatened by radical Islam, drug traffic and organised criminality. These threats designed by the five Centro-Asian capitals as the main causes of regional instability, find no response, either regionally or globally. If the outcome of the first ten years of independence shows the efforts made by Central Asian leaders in terms of security, it is however necessary to identify the considerable role played by the United States and Western countries in general. Nevertheless, this influence, which has increased since 9/11, shouldn’t erase the importance of regional players in their quest for national stability. Thus, the reinforcement of regional co-operation structures in terms of defence and security has become the main tool to steady Central Asia in the heart of their strategy of power. The definition of a new regional balance is now one of the questions raised by the start of this 21st century. –Summary AFRI-2003