United States foreign policy in Kazakhstan during years of independence : 1991-2002
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Dissolution of the USSR was one of the most fascinating events of the twentieth century. It altered world’s geopolitical structure and symbolized the end of the Cold War. The year 1991 was a crucial landmark for the Newly Independent States to gain their sovereign status and become equal members of the international community. Since then the United States, as a super power, kept an eye on the development processes of each exSoviet state, and particularly those of Central Asia. The US policy-makers were concerned about the appearance of unstable spots on the Eurasian continent, which could have the spillover effect on neighboring countries. Kazakhstan, as one of the leading Central Asian states, is the main focus of our research due to its crucial geopolitical location, possession of rich natural resources, its multi-ethnicity, its inheritance of the Soviet nuclear arsenal, and many other factors which make this country unique and worthy of deep investigation. Though many IR scholars believed the Unites States did not have any interests in Central Asia, having the luxury of distance, this perception proved to be erroneous. The aim of this research is to classify US interests in Central Asia, particularly in Kazakhstan, to examine the main directions of the American policy in the region, to emphasize the importance of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Kazakhstan, which could be beneficial for both, to give critical evaluation of US undertakings in the region, and to reflect on future perspectives of further collaboration. This work intends to supplement the worldwide ongoing research on Central Asian countries, and we hope that it will change the misperception that the region is an exotic and remote comer of the world. Only an accurate understanding of each country’s peculiarities may help the United States formulate clear and coherent policy, and assist Central Asian states in building stable and truly independent societies.