Satellite image of the Aral Sea.

Aral Sea Summit highlights water impasse.

Water Management: A Central Asian Security Concern

January 2010, Number 01.01

“The leaders of the five nations of Central Asia — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — attended the Aral Sea Summit in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in April 2009 to discuss potential avenues to save the Aral Sea. Each of the leaders seemed to agree there must be a solution found to save the Aral.

However, the meeting served as continued evidence that water management issues in Central Asia are far from being resolved as discussions deviated from sparing the Aral to frosty debate about broader water problems.

This situation is not novel. It has existed almost constantly since the nations gained independence in December 1991. However, diverging national interests among Central Asian governments have resulted in a constant inability to agree on an effective water management plan in spite of multiple agreements and concerted efforts by the United Nations, the European Union and other third parties to help settle the impasse...”

Excerpt from Steve Tyler, “Water Management: A Central Asian Security Concern,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 1, No. 1, 2010: 34-37.

Maj. Steve Taylor is currently the politico-military strategist at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. He is a U.S. Air Force Eurasian regional affairs specialist. He earned master’s degrees in Eurasian security studies and irregular warfare from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif., in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, Mass., and in telecommunications and network management from Syracuse University, N.Y.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.