Stability on the Steppes

The essay, “Stabilizing the Stans,” does not accurately depict the region and my home of Kazakhstan, and does a disservice to those justifiably concerned about the fate of our war-weary neighbor, Afghanistan.

The essay is right about one thing: the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), which offers a more secure and reliable supply route for NATO supplies to the International Security Assistance Force, is becoming more essential.

That said, the essay’s unfortunate over-generalization that all Central Asian nations are essentially failed states is ill-informed. Although five countries belong to the same region, they are each unique – with different strengths and weaknesses. If one is to truly understand the realities on the ground in Central Asia, a more country-specific analysis is needed.

Kazakhstan unlike other countries in the Central Asia has achieved a lot as economically so politically. In the 20 short years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Kazakhstan has developed into an economic powerhouse and developing democracy – or in other words – an anchor of stability in a troubled part of the world.