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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Russia Alienates Yet ANOTHER Neighbor

Once again, Russians have alienated one of the former USSR slave states, which has joined the American side with a bold declaration. In the April 19th issue of the New York Times, the following quarter-page advertisement paid for by the Kazakhstan government ran on the op-ed page of the paper (the ad was emblazoned with a large closeup of the image at the left, the Freedom Obelisk in Almaty):


A Reliable American Ally

As countries of the former Soviet Union take on increasingly definitive characteristics in the post-Soviet world, one state to emerge as a stable and successful model of political and economic evolution is Kazakhstan. With a GDP that already exceeds the combined output of other Central Asian economies, Kazakhstan is becoming a powerhouse player in a sensitive region of the world, flanked as it is by Russia to the west and north, China to the east and several turbulent Muslim countries to the south.

General John P. Abizaid, the commander of CENTCOM, in his 2006 report to the U.S. Senate, said: “With a rapidly growing economy and increasingly professional military, Kazakhstan continues to emerge as a leader in the region. The pace and scale of its military reforms have been impressive. Kazakhstan’s engineering troops continue to perform with distinction in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Given the geopolitical trends in and around Central Asia, including the need for stable regional partners to help Afghanistan get back on its feet, there is much to recommend Kazakhtan as a pivotal ally for the United States. Consider that Kazakhstan:

  • Has made steady progress in its democratic development and economic reform
  • Is the only Central Asian country with troops in Iraq, and supports efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan
  • Voluntarily rid itself of the world’s fourth-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, and is a global leader in fighting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
  • Has a moderate and progressive majority Muslim population
  • Has 130 ethnic groups and 40 religions living in harmony
  • Is active in promoting international inter-religious dialogue and understanding
  • Is set to become one of the world’s top-ten oil producers
  • Has received $15 billion in direct US investment

Beyond these facts, the people and government of Kazakhstan are friends of the United States and are committed to building even deeper and stronger ties with America.

KAZAKHSTAN EMBASSY

The Kazakhstan Embassy's website states: “After the 1917 revolution Soviet power was established in Kazakhstan. Kazakhs suffered greatly under Soviet control. Due to the forced collectivization in the 1930s, hunger caused the death of 1.5 million Kazakhs, which was more than 40 percent of the nation.”

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