The following transcript is of a speech that Peter Scott delivered in Russia that addresses the role that NATO and Western oil companies play in the former USSR states that sit next to Russia.
Regions / Uzbekistan
Washington is courting a dictator in order to continue its war in Afghanistan.
After ethnic rioting erupted in Kyrgyzstan this summer, continued international engagement in the country is crucial to reduce the likelihood that violence will break out again, causing more casualties and unpredictable consequences for regional stability.
Despite some advances, the Uzbek government continues to appear reluctant to broaden civic participation in the country.
The United States has treated the region primarily as a convenient staging base for its Afghan campaign, and all regimes have felt confident enough to use the threat of Islamic fundamentalism and al Qaeda to continue in their old ways.
Uzbekistan has emerged as a key strategic partner to the United States after September 11, not only due to its frontier with Afghanistan.
For the U.S. to be visibly identified with the Karimov regime is a danger both to U.S. interests in the region and to the progressive evolution of society and politics in Uzbekistan.