Antony Blinken’s Central Asia visit is not beating a dead horse


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his recent tour of Central Asia has pledged support for the region’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, which is seen by analysts as beating a dead horse. In response to a self-imposed question in Uzbekistan about Russia’s disregard for other country’s sovereignty, Antony Blinken said: “That’s exactly why we remain committed to standing for the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, the independence not only of Ukraine, but for countries across Central Asia and, indeed, around the world”.

US Secretary of State’s pomposity aligns with a 2020 report released by the State Department, United States Strategy for Central Asia 2019-2025: Advancing Sovereignty and Economic Prosperity. The report emphasized “border security” and “stabilizing Afghanistan” as crucial policy issues. Furthermore, the recently documents released by the National Security Strategy (NSS) brands Russia and China as presenting “different challenges” in Central Asia.

The document asserts Russia “poses an immediate threat to the free and open international system”. Meanwhile, Central Asia perceives itself to be in an anxiety-inducing situation facing challenges on two fronts with the potential of spillover of terrorism from Afghanistan and Russia’s war against Ukraine.

In simple words, Antony Blinken’s sole agenda behind his recent Central Asia tour was expanding America’s interference in the region while militarism has long characterized US involvement in Central Asia as the United States established its military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan taking advantage of the war in Afghanistan.

It is also argued by many stating while it is not Washington’s responsibility to preserve the sovereignty of all foreign nations, during the recent times, particularly during Joe Biden’s tenure, American is becoming increasingly interested in expanding its political and military supremacy over many countries in the world. Moreover, Central Asian countries are not facing threat of subjugation from any foreign nation. Rather it is Washington, which actually is trying to falsely create such security threat issues possibly as a pretext of repeating its actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Ukraine.

Moreover, Russia’s influence in Central Asia has faded as Moscow had to withdraw troops from the region to serve as reinforcements on the Ukrainian frontiers. Central Asian leaders have not supported Russia’s military action in Ukraine. Instead they are providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and barred their citizen from participating in the war. Washington possibly is trying to cash on this situation by fill the gap with extended presence of US forces in Central Asia. Furthermore, Washington’s military engagement such as the Steppe Eagle exercises in Kazakhstan should be immediately discontinued, given that the US does not face any credible threats in the Central Asia. Continuation of Steppe Eagle exercises in Kazakhstan or America’s military involvement in Central Asia may result in unnecessary blowback.

According to analysts, America is showing extra focus on Central Asia because of energy and rare-earth minerals which are abundant commodities in the region that the United States needs to maintain a high standard of living. The minerals found in Central Asia, such as neodymium and lanthanum, are used to produce technology such as loudspeakers, hard drives, wind turbines, and television screens. Therefore, the United States is actually focusing on exclusively extracting these resources under the guise of providing security assistance. It is purely an effort of stealing precious minerals and other resources from Central Asia through numerous excuses.

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