US Reportedly Looking to Central Asia for Help Countering Terrorism

US Reportedly Looking to Central Asia for Help Countering Terrorism

US Anti-TERRORISM Plan – Teaming Up With Asia?

( – While there are numerous things a nation can change about itself and how it interacts with the rest of the world, one thing it cannot change is its location. A country’s neighbors might greatly influence its outlook on the rest of the world. With this in mind, the US reportedly hopes to team up with Central Asian nations to help keep terrorism from organizations like al Qaeda and the Islamic State at bay.

Unpacking Central Asia, Terrorism, and Russia

Countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan make up Central Asia, and each lies near Iran, Afghanistan, or Russia. These nations must walk a fine line of not aggravating their more aggressive neighbors while ensuring their own safety from bad actors and terrorists.

Hoping to build allies in the region, US General Erik Kurilla took a 10-day tour in mid-June to participate in the region’s culture and begin discussing how to work together. During his trip, the Wall Street Journal recorded what he highlighted as the top three concerns of the nations he would visit: “Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan.”

That assessment is not overly surprising after the world watched the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country’s government when US troops left. Kurilla noted it would take a decent investment of time and resources to earn the trust of these Central Asian countries, but he believes there will be a “big return” eventually.

US Hopes for a Drone Base in Central Asia

It’s difficult to gather intelligence about a region like Afghanistan without boots on the ground. The US military hopes one of the countries it’s networking with will eventually agree to host a drone base. The military could observe and contain, if necessary, militant activity and potential acts of terror using drones.

However, a nation agreeing to host such a base could aggravate Russia. Such a move would require a large commitment from the US, and after watching Afghanistan fall to the Taliban, nations in the region are hesitant to trust American politics or military assurances.

Emil Dzhuraev, an independent researcher previously employed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, emphasized that most nations near Russia are “hesitant” about working with countries in the West because they’re “not a reliable fallback option in the face of a blowback from Russia for any misbehavior.”

Walking a Fine Line

International politics involves a lot of compromise and trust-building. The US military seems willing to invest the work to team with a nation or two in Central Asia. However, only time will tell if those nations will eventually be open to such a partnership. But, if it does happen, could it be key to the national security of the US and those nations?

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