Immediately following the September 11 terrorist tragedy, the United States significantly enhanced its geopolitical profile in Central Asia, establishing military bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Though American forces were never stationed in Tajikistan, President Imomali Rahmonov welcomed the rapid expansion of ties with the United States, prompting widespread speculation that Dushanbe one day might turn its back on Russia and rely on Washington to be the country's primary supplier of security assistance. In a stunning turn of events, however, Russia and Tajikistan struck a deal in early June at a summit at the Russian resort of Sochi that preserved Moscow's economic and political primacy. [For additional information see the Eurasia Insight archive].
Tajik political experts say a muddled and contradictory policy pursued by the Bush administration played a significant role in pushing Tajik President Imomali Rahmonov back into Russia's embrace. "US President George W. Bush is not as clever as [Russian President Vladimir] Putin in turning the United States into a
Kambiz Arman is the pseudonym for a Tajik journalist.