For Kazakhstan, cordial relations with the United States are an important part of its strategy for counterbalancing Russian and Chinese influence.
The nature of the Afghan problem for Central Asia and Russia lies in Afghanistan becoming a source of instability for the region.
The CSTO still has a chance to prove itself—if it can demonstrate effective and coordinated work after the impending withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
It was not so long ago that the United States had military bases in the region. But now much depends on whether the advantages would outweigh the inevitable losses that Central Asian countries would sustain as a result of Moscow and Beijing’s displeasure.
The recent escalation did not resemble a local dispute that got out of hand. Dark clouds have been gathering over the region for a long time, and the decision to embark on military action was taken at the highest level.
Moscow doesn’t see the current Afghan government as autonomous, and is trying to strike a balance between all the different forces at play there in order to retain its influence if one of those forces collapses.
China sees security issues in Central Asia as inextricably tied to its own domestic security concerns, and is rapidly establishing a footprint that will allow it to deal with matters as it sees fit in the region.
Hitherto content to work with Central Asia’s incumbent leaders, China is now supporting pro-China politicians: an unprecedented intervention in the region’s affairs that is shaking the foundation of Moscow’s cooperation with Beijing there.
This podcast episode focuses on the shift in power in Central Asia and the evolving roles of China and Russia there.
Biden’s rhetorical support for the region will make it easier for Central Asian and South Caucasus governments to bring their issues to Washington's attention. But a Biden administration may not have the bandwidth to take on many new problems.