The never-ending power vacuum in Afghanistan continues to be the most critical factor to the security in Central Asia. This is due to two factors: the threats thriving on socio-economic and political turmoil of Afghanistan and the strategic agendas of the external actors involved in the crisis.
The resulting confrontation has defined the geopolitical profile of the region, underpinning the consolidation of the Shanghai agreement between the Russian Federation and China and the following U.S. led intervention in the region.
The anticipated withdrawal of NATO’s military mission forestalls other major geopolitical changes in the regional balance, in a conjuncture that is further complicated by confrontation around Iran and Syria. In this context, the SCO countries will have to respond to a renewal of the activities of domestic insurgent groups and criminal activities. In the Central Asian Republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz-stan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Turkmenistan, hereafter termed as CARs,), the corruption of political life creates an environment conducive to the spread of extremism which in its turn open serious perspectives of State collapse.
This paper analyses the strategic consideration of the main players and the predicaments of the CARs in the context of wider regional geopolitical implications.