Collective Security Treaty Organization

Kazakhstan Downplays NATO’s Role in Central Asia

By Roger McDermott

Kazakhstan has recently participated in international military exercises with its NATO partners as well as through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in what at first sight appears to confirm that its multi-vector foreign policy also strongly influences its defense and security policy. Nonetheless, the scope, intensity and seriousness attached to the country’s defense and security relations with Moscow and its involvement in the CSTO goes far above the lip service it pays to cooperation with NATO. This critical distinction in Astana’s defense policy is amply demonstrated by the country hosting the CSTO’s first peacekeeping exercises from October 8 to October 17 (Interfax, October 3; see EDM, September 11). READ MORE

CSTO Agreement on Foreign Bases Frustrates Tajikistan’s Ambitions

By Alexander Sodiqov

On December 20, 2011, members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) reached an agreement that makes it impossible for any individual country in the group to host a foreign military base on its territory without the full consent of all other members of the organization. The initiative empowers Russia to veto any foreign basing plans in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Hence, the move serves as a continuation of Russia’s efforts to counteract the influence of the US military and reassert its own role in its immediate neighborhood (Interfax, December 21). READ MORE

Is NATO to Blame for Russia's Afghan Heroin Problem?

By Simon Shuster

It had to be one of the weirdest displays the Russian president had ever seen. Laid out on a table were a mound of walnuts, a chess set, an old tire and an anatomically correct dummy — all stuffed with little baggies of imitation heroin. Titled "The Deadly Harvest," the exhibit was meant to show the clever ways smugglers have of getting Afghan heroin into Russia, which has become the world's largest consumer of opiates from Afghanistan since the U.S. began its war there in 2001. READ MORE

The Implications of UN-CSTO Cooperation

By Stephen Blank

Kyrgyzstan’s recent upheaval and the  war in Afghanistan have obscured the fact that other important developments are occurring in Central Asia. For example, Nikolai Bordyuzha, the secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), announced in March that the Russia-dominated security group and the United Nations would henceforth cooperate in countering terrorism, transnational crime (including illegal arms trafficking), and in settling conflicts. READ MORE

Russia Moves to Strengthen Ties with Uzbekistan

By Sergei Blagov

As the Kremlin intensified its efforts to develop relations with Uzbekistan, the leadership of the most populous nation in Central Asia appears to remain non-committal. Following talks in Moscow, Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, and his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov, hailed the bilateral summit on April 19-20 as a move towards strengthening the partnership. Russia and Uzbekistan remain strategic partners, Medvedev reportedly commented. READ MORE

US Assists Kyrgyzstan in Constructing Anti-Terrorist Center in Batken

By Erica Marat, Den Isa

During his visit to Bishkek on March 10, the Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), General David Petraeus, reiterated that by helping to build an anti-terrorist center in Batken city, Washington does not seek to open an additional military base. The Kyrgyz President, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, in turn, argued that most security challenges to Kyrgyzstan stem from Afghanistan and that his regime needs to be better prepared to resist terrorism (Times of Central Asia, March 10). The US government will invest $5.5 to build the center and construction work will begin next year. READ MORE

Kazakhstan Offers to Hold Joint Military Exercises With Turkey

By Roman Muzalevsky

On January 20, the Turkish Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Atilla Gunay, met the Kazakh Defense Minister Adilbek Zhaksybekov in Astana as part of a series of recent meetings to foster bilateral dialogue. Centered on military cooperation, it came three months after Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Ankara to sign a strategic partnership agreement that emphasized closer military collaboration between the two countries. READ MORE

Medvedev Gave the World a Phoney

Hardly Russia counts on the signing of the new European Security Treaty. Its presentation is just a well-considered step, which… should split the views within the Euro-Atlantic area. READ MORE

NATO and World Security

By Zbigniew Brzezinski

In the course of its 60 years, NATO has institutionalized three monumental transformations in world affairs: first, the end of the centuries-long “civil war” within the West for trans-oceanic and European supremacy; second, the United States’s post–World War II commitment to the defense of Europe against Soviet domination; and third, the peaceful termination of the Cold War, which created the preconditions for a larger democratic European Union. READ MORE