In 2009 the escalation of the war in Afghanistan and the growing insecurity of supply lines in Pakistan led to the installation of the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a supply line for allied forces in the region. Running from the Baltic through Russia and Central Asia to Afghanistan, the NDN has sparked renewed U.S. interest in engaging militarily with the nondemocratic states in post-Soviet Central Asia.
This Open Society forum will present Lora Lumpe’s paper “U.S. Military Aid to Central Asia, 1999-2009: Security Priorities Trump Human Rights and Diplomacy.” Commissioned by the Open Society Foundations Central Eurasia Project, it analyzes U.S. military and police aid to Central Asian countries pre- and post-9/11. Her research shows that the Pentagon established many new military and assistance programs, and that such programs contain six times the funds that are earmarked for the promotion of rule of law, democratic governance, and respect for human rights. Lumpe’s findings suggest that the U.S. military has acquired an oversized impact on U.S. foreign policy toward Central Asia.
Alexander Cooley will discuss the regional security environment in which the U.S. military assistance takes place, and the human rights and governance challenges in the states of Central Asia.