American troops make no difference in Afghanistan: Yerlan Karin 21 мая 2012, 19:44
Secretary of Nur Otan party Yerlan Karin. Photo by Danial Okassov©
U.S. experts share the opinion that Central Asian countries and Kazakhstan, in particular, listen to Moscow “too much”, Tengrinews.kz reports from the international conference Kazakhstan-USA: 20 Years of Partnership for Security and Development.
“Good relations between Central Asia and Russia are very important, but Moscow resorts to (hard) measure too frequently. Kazakhstan is the most prosperous country in Central Asia. But regional leadership, as well as underdeveloped legal reforms and cases of corruption hinder Kazakhstan. Russia unwisely stands against certain Western suggestions on cooperation expansion and in the long-term perspective Western interests in Central Asia will outweigh the interests they have in Afghanistan,” first U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan William Cortney said.
Another American expert, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation Ariel Cohen also has an uncomplimentary opinion of Moscow. He believes that signs of terrorist threats for Kazakhstan from Afghanistan are already manifesting themselves. And he calls Astana to cooperate with the whole world to control these threats.
“The relations between the U.S. and Russia have reeled a little: this is the fate of Manas base (in Kyrgyzstan). You probably remember that there was much pressure from Russia and China on Kyrgyzstan government to close Manas base, but it is still operating. It is very important to evacuate NATO forces, but in the long term I expect that Russian pressure will remain. Fortunately, Kazakhstan has no borders with Afghanistan, but considering that the borders are not so far away, there are security challenges anyway, especially considering the first signs of the terrorist activities. I hope that the government will be cooperating with the whole world to control this threat,” Cohen pointed out in his speech.
Secretary of Nur Otan party Yerlan Karin, who also participated in the conference, commented on American experts’ opinions in an interview to Tengrinews.kz.
“Their main message is that the American presence has played and keeps playing the key role in provision of security in Central Asia. They say that the decision has been made, the troops will be leaving and if things go sour there again, then they (Americans) will be under no obligation to deal with the Afghan problem any longer. I think that they overestimate their influence in Afghanistan. Even now, while being in Afghanistan, American troops do not control the whole situation in the region. They stay at their bases and get attacked even at their bases and even more so outside their bases. In recent years German, French and some American bases were repeatedly found in secret dealing with local tribes. They were literally paying for them not to attack. Their presence makes no difference,” Karin said but added that Russia’s actions are not better.
“I think that no one country - neither the United States, nor China, nor Russia - is able to ensure a sufficient level of security on its own. Anyway, these tasks require joint participation. Participation of Central Asian countries is also very important, but there is none of it. The countries of the region are prone to conflicts, different disputes and that stands in their way in many ways. If truth be told, neither the U.S., nor Russia are interested in getting active involved in the Afghan situation and resolve it,” he stated.
By Renat Tashkinbayev