Central Asia and the Caucasus in the Biden Administration’s National Security Strategy Document

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The United States of America (US) published its National Security Strategy Document on October 12, 2022.[1] After the publication of the document, the Washington administration’s approach to various regions and issues has been the subject of discussion. In the document, the approach of the USA towards Central Asia and the Caucasus was also revealed.

In the article published with the signature of US President Joe Biden in the introduction part of the document, it is claimed that the need for American leadership is increasing all over the world.[2] In this respect, various criticisms can be brought to the White House’s approach to both the world and the regions. Because international relations are basically about the ties established between equal states. Central Asian states have also developed a multi-vector foreign policy understanding within the scope of mutual interest and respect with the idea of strengthening their independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unitary structures. However, it can be said that the approach of the US will cause disturbance in different regions including Central Asia and the Caucasus.

The notion of “Central Asia” was firstly mentioned in the chapter related to Russia. In the chapter where Russia’s attack on Ukraine was examined, the White House claimed that Moscow follows an imperialist foreign policy for the last ten years, and the Russian-Ukrainian War has started respectively. However, it is emphasized that the attack did not occur suddenly and that the imperialist foreign policy had also been claimed to have had several clues in the past. It is noted that Russia created instability in various geographies, especially Syria, and undermined democratization processes in various regions, including Central Asia.[3]

In the document, the second place that the notion of “Central Asia” was mentioned was in the part where Eurasia was highlighted. This chapter emphasizes that the Washington administration supports the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the countries in the region. However, the Washington administration has said it would encourage efforts to improve the democratic development and resilience of states in the region.[4]

Another issue that mentioned in the document is the C5+1 meetings between the US and the Central Asian countries. Four main objectives are noted in this context. They include climate change compliance at the periphery, energy and food security at the regional level, enhanced integration in the region, and greater engagement of Central Asia with global markets.[5]

These topics are the recent importance of Central Asian capitals. In particular, the impact of global warming on economic development, the transition to a green economy, and deepening water problems are closely related to the stability and the future of the region. In addition, this issue makes food security a serious issue. In addition to all of these, Central Asian states want to speed up integration processes by improving their relations with both regional and international organizations. This in particular helps to stabilize Central Asia, and Eurasia in general and serves the interests of both the US and Eurasian states.

On the other hand, Central Asia’s connection with different markets is in harmony with the interest of the US, which is one of the centers of the capitalist economic system. Because, the US will be able to reach new markets, and in addition, will strengthen its relations with Central Asian states over trade relations.

In the case of the Caucasus, the United States emphasizes that, in the case of Ukraine, it will increase the stability and resilience of democracies in other countries. In response, Washington said it would support Georgia’s bid for European integration and its commitment to significant institutional reforms. Because strong ties will be established due to Europe’s close relations with Georgia, the US influence in the Caucasus will increase.

In the document, another term for the Caucasus is related to the normalization process between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Because the Biden administration has underlined that they will support diplomatic efforts to solve conflicts in the Southern Caucasus.[6] Certainly, the stability of the region will facilitate the relations between Western states and capital.

As a result, the main aim of the US to prepare the National Security Document is to make its influence permanent by alienating different countries such as Russia. The importance of the Washington administration to these regions is well understood, especially given that Central Asia and the Caucasus are post-Soviet geographies. Thus, the US seeks to enact the threat perceptions of the states in Central Asia and the Caucasus, thereby damaging their relations with Russia. This policy, however, is not driven by an approach that recognizes common interests and is implemented to reinforce Washington’s leadership globally.

[1] “National Security Strategy”, The White House,, (Date of Accession: 18.10.2022).

[2] “National Security Strategy”, op. cit., p. 2.

[3] “National Security Strategy”, op. cit., p. 25.

[4] “National Security Strategy”, op. cit., p. 39.

[5] Ibid.    

[6] Ibid.

Dr. Emrah KAYA
ANKASAM Dış Politika Uzmanı Dr. Emrah Kaya, Akdeniz Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezundur. Yüksek lisans derecesini 2014 yılında Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nde hazırladığı “Latin Amerika'da Sol Liderlerin Yükselişi ve Uluslararası Politikaya Etkisi: Venezuela-Bolivya Örneği” başlıklı teziyle almıştır. Kaya, doktora derecesini de 2022 yılında aynı üniversitede hazırladığı "Terörle Mücadelede Müzakere Yöntemi: ETA-FARC-LTTE-PKK" başlıklı teziyle elde etmiştir. İyi derecede İngilizce bilen Kaya'nın başlıca çalışma alanları; Orta Asya, Latin Amerika, terörizm ve barış süreçleridir.