Abstract. This article analyzes the situation that defines the place of Afghanistan in constructing of regional security complexes in Central Asia. Realities of the recent days show, that Central Asia states see a potential actor of insecurity in Afghanistan. The methodological basis of the research is mainly critical and geopolitical analysis. It allows to understand what is the significance of Central Asia and who is interested in providing its security. All Central Asian states are concerned about the security situation in Afghanistan. The future withdrawal of ISAF forces is seen as leading to destabilization, with negative consequences for Central Asia including the potential spillover of militant activities, the spread of radical Islamist ideas, increased drug trafficking and the possiblity of a refugee crisis. Global context of the situation allows to tell about necessity of join activity in Central Asia, Russia, China and the western countries in prevention of security threats in Eurasia.
All Central Asian countries are concerned about the lack of security in Afghanistan. This is a potential threat to the countries of Central Asia. The most dangerous threat is the active work of militants, the spread of Islamist organizations, the increase in illegal drug trafficking and refugee crisis related with the withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force. Despite these common fears, there are many differences in the policies of Central Asian states toward Afghanistan, and a variety of views in the region on the future of international stabilization efforts and further prospects for increasing ties and trade with Afghanistan. In order to fully understand the interconnected relationships between Afghanistan and Central Asian states, first necessary to explore the broader geopolitical context, including Central Asian states’ involvement in collective security arrangements in the post-Soviet space, the importance of ethnic affinities, and the extent of each state’s vulnerability to spillovers of instability from Afghanistan
Central Asian experts consider that the reason of armed violence in Afghanistan, are the instability of the country, ethnic conflicts, the division on religious and ethnic groups and the criminalization of society. Relying on international organizations, the Central Asian countries trying to improve their relations and to cooperate in the field of security. But nevertheless, the Central Asian countries do not have the great potential for resolving the situation in Afghanistan. Also countries amplify relations in business spheres. Central Asian states have appeared over the past several years, triggered by concerns about the implications of the future withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan as well as the search for regional solutions to the problem of stabilization in the country.
Mainly, the objective of the study and analysis of the work are the risk and growth of terrorist organizations, an increase in drug trafficking, the role of the European Union, the US and Russian influence, the financial assistance to Afghanistan . The security problems of Central Asia and their link with Afghanistan at the beginning of XXI century were mentioned in different works of various researchers, specializing in this region. Among American authors it is necessary to point out Martha Brill Olcott  and Frederic Starr, who, indicating the link of Afghanistan with the other republics of Central Asia, put forward an idea about creation of regional forum "Greater Central Asia Partnership for Cooperation and Development". It should be a union headed by Afghanistan, which might become a model for regional subjects on the issues of democratization and development under the supervision of USA .
Russian researchers such as V.V. Naumkin , D.B. Malysheva , I.D. Zvyagelskaya , E.M. Kuzmina, A.F. Klimenko conducted a study in order to consider specific aspects of the threat in Afghanistan, Afghanistan's economic cooperation with the countries of Central Asia, they also noted the factors of religious extremism, which can affect the Central Asian countries . The war between USA and Taliban and its influence to the international situation was mentioned by the authors of collective work "International relations in Central Asia" edited by A.D.Bogaturov (International relations in Central Asia, 2011) . Russian specialist on Afghanistan V.G.Korgun touches upon some aspects of the impact of the situation on the region in his book "Afghanistan at the beginning of XXI century" . Among Chinese authors apart from Tzyan’zhun , there should be mentioned the work of Zhao Huasheng, director of the Centre of Researches on Russia and Central Asia under the Fudan university in Shanghai . He regards the SCO as countering threats to security in Afghanistan. So, Murat Laumullin from Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies considers Afghanistan as a center of terrorism and drug development .
Research methods: The methodological basis of the research is mainly critical and geopolitical analysis. It allows to understand what the significance of Central Asia is and who is interested in providing its security. It also allows determining the role of Afghanistan in the possible destabilization of the region. Central Asia since the beginning of the XXI century attracts more attention of the main geopolitical players. Firstly, there are enormous reserves of natural resources, primarily energy resources such as oil, gas, coal, uranium, as well as hydro energy resources. Secondly, the region has an important transitional significance, because there are various communications on and off its territory, including the most important oil and gas pipe line. Apart from that this region is a joint in a way, situated at the junction of three civilization plates – Russian, Chinese and Islamic world.
Results: To understand the relationship between Afghanistan and the five Central Asian countries, it is necessary to consider some factors that are the foundation of the policy of these states. These factors include the broader geopolitical context, Central Asian states’ involvement in collective security arrangements in the Post-Soviet space, the importance of ethnic affinities and the extent of each state’s vulnerability to spillovers of instability from Afghanistan. An examination of these factors also needs to be accompanied by a summary of Central Asian states’ contributions to military and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan .
It’s necessary to pay attention to the interconnection of Afghanistan with the countries of Central Asia and evaluate their place in saving peace and security in Eurasia .
Dr. Kassenova analyzed the factors shaping Central Asian policies towards Afghanistan. According to her research Kazakhstan does not share a border with Afghanistan and is, therefore, less vulnerable than some of the other Central Asian states to security threats and challenges coming from Afghanistan. This, coupled with the lack of ethnic affinity between people in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, has allowed a calmer and less biased approach to developments in Afghanistan. Kazakhstan has always been a major supporter of the 1992 Collective Security Treaty (CST) arrangements, and could be said to be reliant on the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for its security needs. Nevertheless, it has sought deeper cooperation with both the USA and NATO as part of its multi-vector foreign policy.
Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyzstan does not share a border with Afghanistan but has weak, porous borders with Tajikistan. While it is, therefore, moderately exposed to Afghanistan’s security dynamics, it is not immune to external threats, as shown by the IMU’s incursions into southern Kyrgyzstan in 1999 and 2000. The Kyrgyz population has a negligible ethnic affinity with the Afghan population. Kyrgyzstan has participated in CST arrangements and could be characterized as being dependent on Russian military and economic assistance. It has expressed an interest in further developing its CSTO capabilities and a preference for a strategic partnership with Russia.
Tajikistan: Tajikistan shares a 1200-kilo- metre-long border with Afghanistan and could, therefore, be described as the Central Asian state most vulnerable to spillovers of instability from Afghanistan. It also has the strongest ethnic affinity, with ethnic Tajiks of Afghanistan comprising more than a quarter of the population. In addition, there are significant links between Tajikistan’s complex domestic politics – including the suppression of the political opposition and drug trafficking – and Afghanistan. There remain multiple connections to Afghanistan that were developed during the 1992–1997 civil war in Tajikistan, although at the level of political elites they have been weakened by growing distrust and a decline in mutual understanding in the 2000s. Overall, in addressing Afghanistan- related concerns, Tajikistan is mostly dependent on Russian military and economic assistance and interested in developing CSTO capabilities. However, like Kazakhstan, Tajikistan is trying to maintain a multi-vector foreign policy to retain autonomy and benefit from multiple assistance sources.
Turkmenistan: Turkmenistan shares a 700-kilometre-long porous border with Afghanistan. In the 1990s Turkmenistan was the only Central Asian state that refused to officially recognize any threat coming from Afghanistan. It insisted on a policy of neutrality and attempted to develop business ties with the Taliban, primarily focusing on development of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. Over the past several years, Turkmenistan’s sense of vulnerability to spillovers of instability from Afghanistan has increased. There has also been a certain shift away from isolationism in Turkmenistan’s foreign policy and it has joined several regional cooperation frameworks, including the Istanbul Process and the Almaty Process. While there is very little affinity between Turkmens in Turkmenistan and those in Afghanistan, the Turkmen Government recently reached out to Turkmen leaders across the border.
Uzbekistan: While Uzbekistan shares a relatively short 210-kilometre-long border with Afghanistan and has considerable border protection capacities, it has also internationally publicized its concerns about security threats coming from Afghanistan. The Uzbek Government is particularly worried by the activities of the IMU and its determination to transform Uzbekistan into an "Islamic Khalifat". The government has unsuccessfully sought to draw on CST arrangements in dealing with threats coming from Afghanistan. It has twice suspended its membership of the CSTO, in 1999 and 2012, and has also sought deeper cooperation with the USA and NATO. Although ethnic affinity between Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and those in Afghanistan is low, there are well-established ties at the level of the elites. For example, the Uzbek Government has supported General Abdul Rashid Dustum, the leader of the Uzbek community in Afghanistan. In the 1990s Uzbekistan provided assistance to Dustum and the antiTaliban United Front (often referred to as the Northern Alliance), and at the same time made attempts to develop business relations with the Taliban by joining the TAPI project.
On the eve of the military campaign in Afghanistan, led at first by the United States and then by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the states of Central Asia had complex attitudes towards Afghanistan. On the one hand, they were concerned about the potential spillover of already existing instability from Afghanistan, which had materialized in the form of incursions by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) into Tajikistan in 1999 and Kyrgyzstan in 2000. On the other hand, Turkmenistan – and, to some extent, Uzbekistan – had sought some kind of accommodation with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, attempting at the same time to gain economic benefits from the stabilization of Afghanistan and the building of a gas pipeline to South Asian markets [1, p. 3].
Being the part of the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), Central Asian states support NATO and US operations in Afghanistan promoting the transportation of supplies. In 2009 the USA get permission from Central Asian states to use their territories to transport non- lethal supplies . That was especially actual when Pakistan blocked the southern route in November 2011 in response to NATO attacks on Pakistani border checkpoints . In this regard, three-quarters of the non-lethal surface shipments to Afghanistan were transported via the NDN in 2011 . Next year, three Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – gave permission to use their territory as a transit zone for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Already in 2013, more than 80 percent of all traffic from Afghanistan carried out by these countries, and about 4 percent of all equipment was transported . Kazakhstan also uses the Aktau port for NDN. Furthermore, the Central Asian countries receive part of the military equipment. In August 2012, according to the report of the General Secretary for South and Central Asia, it was decided that some military equipment have been taken out from Afghanistan may remain in Central Asia [16, p. 46]. Germany and the UK also take into account the existence of such military equipment . However, in this case, the Western allies trembled about the predisposition of Central Asia countries to repressive regimes . For this reason, the list of such equipment is very limited and includes such subjects as night vision goggles, trucks, mines detecting equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles that does not change the regional military balance . Central Asian states have an important transit role, but none of them has a military part. In October 2010, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan will send several officers at the headquarters of ISAF in Afghanistan, but Kazakhstan's Senate rejected the relevant law, citing public opposition to sending troops in Afghanistan . Its decision the Senate argued by disparity of prices and costs and also attracting undue attention of Islamic extremists versus rapprochement with US and NATO. Central Asian countries have also provided humanitarian assistance and economic and technical assistance to Afghanistan. Of the five Central Asian states, Kazakhstan is a major factor. Kazakhstan financed the construction of the school in Samangan province and hospital in Bamyan province, as well as repair work on the road between Kunduz and Talukan . It also provided grain and other foodstuffs, and allocated $ 50 million in college scholarships for 1,000 Afghan students in 2010–2020 . Uzbekistan built 11 bridges on the road between the cities of Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul, providing a continuous connection between the northern and eastern parts of the country. With the financial support of the Asian Development Bank, it also built an electric transmission line and a 75-kilometer railway line linking Termez in southern Uzbekistan to Hairatan and Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan. Uzbekistan also comes to Afghanistan fuel, construction materials, metal products, fertilizers and food .
As for the case of Central Asia, the region also can be defined unique in terms of their sociocultural, traditional values. At the same time the Soviet period brought more than cultural and traditional commonness for the region, called Soviet civic and political culture. The Soviet period of Central Asia is described as one of educational advancement and modernization of society in the region, which had vital significance for political system and power structure. The Soviet past inherited the region with interdependency on Russia from political, economic, education and even cultural perspective. Therefore, it is hard to discuss security challenges of Central Asia without Russian participation. The next important fact regarding regionalization in the region is connected with the role of China as well, which has increased in economic area. Avery Goldstein wrote that "China has rapidly become a key actor on the regional scene, and even if Beijing traditionally promotes bilateral relations, it is now experimenting with new regional platforms. The CA region is today understood as a driver of China’s ensuring its "peaceful rise" (heping jueqi) in order to allay international concerns" . Therefore, while analyzing the region, one can conclude that regional institutions of Central Asia either led by Russia or China. It shows the interdependency of Central Asian countries from China and Russia on political and economic terms.
As for the case of Central Asia, it has created regional institutions such as Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Collective Security Organization (CSO) and Central Asian countries also became members of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Central Asia, this region is defined as common and unique from social cultural context. However, from political and economic perspective Central Asia region is hard to define as independent. Cultural, traditional and language commonness in Central Asia is even higher than in other regions, but current inter-state relations indicate that Central Asian states are far from regional integration. The main reason is that the region is in the middle of powerful states such as Russia, China, Turkey and Iran. The history of the region is interlinked to Russia, China, Turkey and Iran and it would be also wrong to envisage independent policy of Central Asian countries in regional scope. Moreover, Central Asian cultural, economic, political and security issues are connected with its powerful neighbours. Therefore, while analyzing regional institutions of Central Asia one can notice that regional organizations SCO, CSO and OSCE include other member states which are beyond the Central Asian region
At the same time, neither Shanghai Cooperation nor CSO includes all Central Asian countries, only Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan are full-fledged members of two regional organizations. It means, both of these organizations serve as a platform only for three Central Asian countries to discuss common security challenges with China and Russia, whereas Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are left behind from regional scope. In the analysis of regional security issues in the region, one can note that all Central Asian countries acknowledge challenges such as terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, security threat from Afghanistan, migration flow, human trafficking, organized crime and drug trafficking are common concern of all Central Asian countries.
However, when one analyzes SCO annual meeting agendas, the security activities dominate. As far as Central Asia is bordered with Afghanistan, security issues connected with counter-terrorism and combating drug traffic are prioritized in regional scope. In this regard, Julie Boland emphasized that, the SCO has made progress on counter narcotics issues as well, to complement its Afghanistan-focused efforts. The RATS signed a Protocol of Cooperation with the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) on September 27th, 2010 to combat drug trafficking, trans-border drug crime, and subsequent terrorist related financing [26, p. 13]. In high security issues connected with border management, counter-trafficking counter-terrorism and radicalism, SCO can be considered more operative. In the frame of SCO countries of Central Asian countries have been participating security exercises on counter-terrorism, drug trafficking which develops capacity building of member states. Importance of regional approach in the scope of SCO also derives from the NATO deployment in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. According to Stephen Aris "SCO’s elites are increasingly focused on developing a regional approach to Afghanistan" [27, p. 6].
Afghanistan is not rich in large supplies of natural resources. Despite this, during the XIX - XXI centuries, the Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States and its allies in NATO dictate their own rules, using their policies and military operations. The reason for such interests in Afghanistan is in its geopolitical location between Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and China. Being on this territory of Afghanistan could easily manage and control other countries in this region. The situation in Afghanistan especially affects on Central Asia. At first, three out of five countries of Central Asia such as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have the common borders with Afghanistan. Secondly, among 4 largest ethnic groups two like Tajiks and Uzbeks are the titular ethnic groups of the neighbouring countries. Thirdly, the main routs of drug trafficking from Afghanistan go through Central Asia. And fourthly, Afghanistan is a firm base to spread radical Islamism into Central Asia. Therefore any changes of the situation in Afghanistan have a great influence on Central Asia. The role of Afghanistan is in the possible destabilization of the region.
In 2014, appears vigorous activity of ТАLIBAN because of the withdrawal troops and became stronger in connection with the presidential elections in Afghanistan. Only in January 2014 there were 16 violent terroristic attacks, which took the lives of 150 people, including Russian diplomat, member of UN mission on assistance to Afghanistan Vadim Nazarov. Since then the activity of militants has increased. Interrupting the presidential elections in April and in June 2014, the Taliban had planned their well-thought-out attacks for capturing cities and localities. Capturing the district of Chakhardara in 2014, the Taliban tried to create their own base in Kunduz province. At the same time, to the withdrawal of NATO troops, they have created pockets of terrorist groups with the number in thousands, where they were terrorists with Islamic organizations in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan . At the beginning of March, 2015 deputy Minister of Defence of Russian Federation Anatoli Antonov stated that groups of terroristic organization IS have already appeared in Afghanistan, they start causing threats to Russia’s allies on Collective Security Treaty Organization.
In October 2014, they were formally united with the ISIS. Since then, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the insurgents appear under the banner of intellectual property and attack on civilians of the village . In connection with the strengthening of relations between the Islamists Asia Central heating and ISIS, the number of terrorists is increasing day by day, creating a new threat not only to neighboring countries but also for the whole region and Russia as well.
Unfortunately, the fight against the Taliban is not successful. The reason for this becomes the shortage of military bases to train Afghan security forces; they have to be trained in US military bases located in the territory of Afghanistan. Currently the US troops and their allies from 27 countries of NATO and 14 membercountries count for 13195 people, participating in a new operation "Resolute support mission". The reasons of US troops in Afghanistan that they might be the basis to carry out any military operations. Definitely, such fortresses would become strong leverage on some neighbouring regions and countries such as Central Asia, China, Russia, India and Iran. And, finally, the bases might be the tool to control the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India, which goes through the territory of Afghanistan and Pakistan. "Turkmengas", Indian GAIL and Pakistani Inter State Gas Systems signed the agreement about this. The definitive number and status of American troops after 2014 were not agreed for a long time, as the former President of Afghanistan Khamid Karzai refused to sign an agreement, bringing forward new terms and criticizing American policy in the region . Luckily, the new president of Afghanistan supported the initiative of America and has signed an agreement on deployment of American bases and NATO contingent in the territory of his country right. So, the threat to the regional security might be not only "Taliban" and other extremists groups, who have taken the withdrawal of International forces as signal to act, but also American bases that remain in Afghanistan without any clear purposes.
For the Central Asian countries, Afghanistan is considered as a potential problem in the region, but at the same time, each state wants to help Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism, to combat instability in this country. The purpose of such assistance, the countries of Central Asia see in future benefit in the economic, geopolitical spheres, in ensuring the security in the region. For example, the geopolitical tug-of- war between the Russia and the USA over control of the Manas airbase outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, illustrates geopolitical tensions in the region, while the controversies over the CASA- 1000 electricity grid project demonstrate Central Asian states’ own competing interests.
In addition, the advantages and limitations of the geopolitical balance between the great powers, formed the Central Asian policy towards Afghanistan. Uzbekistan has the capacity and determination to maintain an independent foreign policy, it has pursued deeper security cooperation with the USA and suspended its membership of the CSTO. Kazakhstan has sufficient resources to allow it some room for geopolitical actions, but remains intent on nurturing established bilateral strategic partnerships and multilateral arrangements, simultaneously enhancing relations with both NATO and Russia. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have been trying to conduct multi-vector foreign policies but their weaknesses in terms of state capacity make them more vulnerable to pressure from Russia.
The cause of common interests and differences in the positions of the Central Asian countries is – ethnic similarities. For example, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan support Tajik and Uzbek minorities in Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan do not support their ethnic Kyrgyz and Turkmen minorities. Nevertheless, all the countries of Central Asia supports the Afghan position that effectively affects the stability of the region .
Central Asian states have also put forward a number of initiatives worth exploring. For example, one or more Central Asian states could potentially host both an intra-Afghan dialogue and talks among important external players. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan – as countries with fewer vested interests in Afghanistan - might be suitable hosts for such an undertaking. In particular, Kazakhstan has significant experience in organizing high - level international forums and would like to raise its profile as an emerging regional power, while Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan would be appropriate choices due to their lack of regional leadership ambitions. Turkmenistan also has an officially neutral status and sufficient financial resources to provide a convenient platform for an Afghan peace and stabilization process. All three states have good relations with Afghanistan’s neighbours, including Iran and Pakistan. They are also on good terms with the USA and NATO member states. A number of other projects have been proposed, including the development of a United Nations regional hub in Almaty, the creation of a "6+3" contact group for Afghanistan, the Bishkek initiative and an international high-level meeting on confidence building in Afghanistan. Of these proposals, the UN regional hub in Almaty is perhaps the most realistic and promising, but it is subject to a time limit and it remains to be seen whether the Kazakh Government will be able to move quickly enough to make it a reality.
For more than a decade, the importance of Central Asian states to global politics and security has been largely defined by their proximity to Afghanistan, and these states have learned to draw benefits from this proximity. Decreased interest on the part of the USA and EU member states combined with a heightened sense of vulnerability due to a potentially worsening security situation – both within Afghanistan and across the region – has the potential to create a different geopolitical reality, with a greater role for regional powers such as China, Iran and Russia. Another recent game changer is the worsening of relations between Russia and the West caused by the Crimea referendum and developments in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, which makes cooperative frameworks to support regional security difficult if not impossible. It remains to be seen how much freedom of manoeuvre in terms of security cooperation with Western states and NATO Central Asian states can retain in the future. It can be argued that the trend towards greater connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia, which began with the collapse of the Soviet Union, is growing stronger. While cooperation between Central Asian states and Afghanistan - including the use of Afghanistan as a bridge between Central and South Asia – will most likely be stalled by growing insecurity, other opportunities might emerge in the form of better relations with Iran, particularly if international sanctions against Iran are lifted. The Soviet - era isolation of Central Asian states from their traditional neighbours has been broken, and opportunities for business, educational and people-to-people links will only increase. Nevertheless, relations between Afghanistan and the states of Central Asia will continue to be influenced by the broader geopolitical context, including Central Asian states’ involvement in collective security arrangements in the post-Soviet space, the importance of ethnic affinities, and the extent of each state’s vulnerability to spillovers of instability from Afghanistan. It remains to be seen whether a regional response to Afghanistan - related challenges is possible, and whether such a response in the future will increase the effectiveness of Central Asian states’ contributions to reconstruction in Afghanistan.
With the breakup of the Soviet Union, five newly independent Central Asian states emerged into global civil society. The fall of communism brought a great number of topics for research in social science area, which includes: democratization, human rights promotion, nation-building, corruption, power change in Central Asian region and others. When scholars discuss about transition period and post-soviet period of Central Asia, critics focus mostly on low progress in economic and political reforms, power structure and political system, but less attention is given to common problems of Central Asian countries and vulnerability of the region into natural and man – made disasters. For instance, all Central Asian countries have multinational society; they have territorial disputes and the same time three Central Asian countries are bordered with Afghanistan, which also represent security challenge in the region. In general context Central Asia is in the category of the most vulnerable sub-regions to natural hazards due to its geographic and climatic features, whereas the region is prone not only to earthquake, flooding, mudslides but it is also vulnerable to technological and manmade disasters. Central Asia is home to thousands of disaster prone areas and at the same time countries of the region are inherited with territorial disputes, enclaves that can turn out into interethnic conflict and other types of complex emergencies. Thus, it is equally important to take into account vulnerability of the region for natural and man-made crisis.
So, the aggravation of the internal political situation in Afghanistan, caused by the coalition troops’ withdrawal, might have destructive impact on the whole Central Asia. The possibility of Taliban victory in Afghanistan or in some provinces is getting more feasible, which increases the danger of penetration of Islamic insurgents into the republics of Central Asia. This in its turn might be a kick-start of the destructive processes that lead to the crack of state system and chaos in the region on scenario of "Arab spring". Besides, a certain pressure on the situation in the region is being made by the remained American bases and significant military contingent in Afghanistan, which from now on will not fight against Taliban. However, under agreed efforts of Russia, China and the countries of the region, who are integral parts of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Collective Security Treaty Organization, it might be possible to prevent destabilization and to provide security and stable development.
All Central Asian states are concerned about the security situation in Afghanistan. The future withdrawal of ISAF forces is seen as leading to destabilization, with negative consequences for Central Asia including the potential spillover of militant activities, the spread of radical Islamist ideas, increased drug trafficking and the likelihood of a refugee crisis. This is in contrast to the 1990s, when Turkmenistan stated that it did not perceive Afghanistan as a threat, and the other four Central Asian states could invoke their collective security treaty arrangements with Russia. The general common ground allows for regional cooperation among states, as demonstrated by the ongoing Almaty Process, which is led by the UNHCR and which seeks to coordinate efforts to manage mixed migration from Afghanistan. In addition, the Istanbul Process has focused on confidence-building measures between Afghanistan and its neighbours. The participation of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in these processes is a welcome development for regional cooperation and coordination in Central Asia.
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