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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightThe imperialist tussle...

The imperialist tussle in central Asia


It has always been a main agenda of America to poke its nose into the policies and directions of world's nations raising catchy slogans like freedom,  democracy, peace and development,  and bring them under its control as far as possible.   The US -  which has not lowered from its shoulders the 'white man's burden' to reform the world - is deeply engrossed in its efforts to actualize its imperialist hegemony all over the world.  The American presence in West Asia is just an example. Perhaps in equal measure or even more than that is its eagerness to bring under its tutelage the central Asian republics which broke apart following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. 

Many of these coutnries,  which carry on with autocratic regimes but go under the name of 'republics' are pitted on the side of Russia or China.   But Washington is exploring is how to achieve either full or partial servility or at least friendship of such nations.  Ever since these countries became independent 29 years ago,  America has been hovering above them to realize that dream.  To this end,  since 2015 the US has also been virtually running a common platform named C5+1 pulling together Kazakhstan, Kyrgizstan, Tajikistan, Turkenistan and Uzbekistan under a US umbrella.   Although they are different nations,  the overlord of the collective is the US President.  As a continuation of that, America also formulated a five-year plan.  In the first week of February,  the Trump administration also made a re-declaration of this central Asian plan with a reformed version.

To the question why Washington shows so much of interest in this region,  the policy document which was renewed this year,  gives this answer:  " The United States’ primary strategic interest in this region is to build a more stable and prosperous Central Asia that is free to pursue political, economic, and security interests with a variety of partners on its own terms; is connected to global markets and open to international investment; and has strong, democratic institutions, rule of law, and respect for human rights."  So much for the US aspirations.  Ever since the central Asian countries won independence from the Soviet Union,   American policy in the region has been to capitalise on these coutnries' propensity for development, by pumping liberal funds and making  them dependent on global financial institutions.  The US has so far invested in over 70 large scale plans across central Asia.  It also gave direct aid to the tune of USD 9 bill for the peace and security of the region.  This is in addition to the private investments from the US of USD 31 billion.  Further, the US facilitated financing by global financial bodies like IMF,  European Bank and ADB amounting to USD 500 bill.  The US also adopted 40,000 students and professionals and deployed a large number of immigrants in different vocations.

With the arrival of Donald Trump,  himself also a businessman,  in the White House,  moves to tighten the grip in the East became more vigorous.  Although unwilling to mention  Russia and China by name,  the Trump attempt to open a new 'cold war front' with them in central Asia, will on the one hand make US's position safer,  and on the other help it firm up its foot and put an impediment in China's march to the strategically critical region.  Although the US withdrew its forces from Afghanistan,  the terrorist threat from that country has yet not ended.  Further,  if China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) makes any headway,  the US will face a threat of not being able to make an entry thereafter.  It is to obviate such an eventuality that Trump has re-formulated the five year plan for central Asia.  America is working on a calculation that with the death of President Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan and President Nur Sultan Nazarbayev's relinquishment of power in Kazakhstan,  the change of regime in those countries can be used to its advantage. With the remaining three countries patently unlikely to make a unilateral tilt towards the left, the Trump administration has in effect intensified its efforts to exploit the political prospect to its utmost through the declaration of the year plan upto 2025. The thrust of Trump's spirited move is nothing other than to pre-empt the growth of Chinese and Russian influence in Central Asia,  a region rich in energy resources.  But China is not prepared to relent either:  it has spent billions of dollars in these countries in the name of BRI projects for infrastructure development.  China's strategy also includes a tactic to tame the central Asian 'stans',  by burdening them with loans that can never be easily repaid particularly with conditions of  repatriating the Uighur migrants back to China.  On another front, in Afghanistan,  Russia, the country's former master, is also pitted against the US move.   On top of this is the European's new stratetic plan declaration.   Thus caught in the midst of the tug-of-war for partition among imperialistic forces, the central Asian countries are in a state of being strangled with the yoke of slavery around their neck that cannot be lowered.

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