Traditional and Non-Traditional Security Threats in Central Asia: Connecting the New and the Old

Journal Article August, 2010, The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly

This article analyzes how traditional and non-traditional threats in Central Asia interact and reinforce each other. It argues that analysts need to overcome the intellectual separation between “hard” and “soft” threats and to better understand how “hard” and “soft” security issues overlap and in many ways reinforce each other. The weakness of Central Asian states seriously impairs their capacity to deal with security threats, especially non-traditional ones (including environmental threats). The result is that security problems in the region tend to multiply. The combination of weak states with old and new security threats in Central Asia weakens government structures even more and creates a vicious cycle.

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