Chabot: U.S. Must Pay Attention to Uzbekistan
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) wrote in the U.S. News and World Report about the potential instability in Uzbekistan following the death of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. In the opinion piece, Chabot stressed the need for the United States to pay attention to developments in Uzbekistan during the leadership transition, as it may have significant implications for American national security.
Specifically, Chabot wrote:
“We cannot afford to ignore what's going on in Uzbekistan. For many of us, Uzbekistan seems like a far away country, populated by people of whom we know nothing. Neville Chamberlain felt the same way about Czechoslovakia. We felt the same way about Afghanistan after the Soviets left. When we turned our attention elsewhere, we wound up with the Taliban, who provided safe-haven for al-Qaida. Uzbekistan is a strategically important state that, if destabilized, Putin could turn into the next Ukraine. It is a resource-rich state the Islamic State group would love to establish a foothold in in order to recruit new members, and further destabilize neighboring Afghanistan. It has been a long-time opponent of the Taliban that has opposed them since before 9/11. With Karimov gone, it would be even easier for both the Taliban and the Islamic State group to overrun Kabul, and turn Afghanistan into a sanctuary for terrorists once again.”
The entire opinion piece can viewed HERE .