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Cooperation of the Republic of Tajikistan and the NATO

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 14:27

Today, the security issues, being integral attributes of globalization, are one of the main aspects of cooperation in various integration formations both global and regional.
The dynamics of international security acutely raises the question of the effectiveness of transnational structures responsible for maintaining security in the world using collective methods. In this regard, for more than 15 years, NATO systematically has been changing working mechanisms of the organization, its tools and approaches to ensure security of Euro-Atlantic zone. For many years, the Alliance worked hard to define and substantiate their mission beyond the functions outlined in strategic documents of NATO. They focus on reorientation to solve new tasks, such as fight against terrorism; countering the international spread of WMD; crisis management; peacekeeping and having a dialogue with countries outside the organization which provide the corresponding changes in military preparations; ensuring a high level of efficiency of the armed forces, which, in general, leads to the transformation of NATO into an instrument of power that ensures globalization or a force project of a new world order.
The initial role of NATO underwent significant changes at the present stage, which is connected with the transformation of the geopolitical situation in the world. The geographical boundaries of the impact and the real presence of NATO changed. Today, Central Asia is a region located in an visual field of the organization. It should be noted that the countries of this region are not considered as potential members of the alliance, but for their participation in the activities of the organization a program called “Partnership for Peace” (PfP) was offered during a summit in Brussels in 1994; its main objective was to strengthen the practical relationship between the Alliance and non-NATO countries. In the same year, four Central Asian states (Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) joined the program.
The Republic of Tajikistan and one of the post-Soviet countries Belarus adhered alerted position towards NATO, preferring active cooperation in the field of political-military contacts with the Russian Federation. In this case, it should be noted that Tajikistan was the only union republic, which renounced the Soviet troops in Russia's favor. The refusal was motivated by a complex military-political situation inside the country, which was legally registered by a presidential decree of September 9, 1992 "On the transition of military forces in the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan to the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation". Since December 1997, the connection was assigned to the Volga Military District of Armed Forces of Russian federation. Subsequently, the 201 infantry Gatchinskaya division that was twice Red Banner got the legal status of military base.
But the events of 11 September 2001 and the beginning of the antiterrorist campaign in Afghanistan, which were the guarantee of getting certain economic dividends from this cooperation in future and solving problems of regional security prompted the official Dushanbe to signed an agreement on joining of Tajikistan to the program of North) Atlantic Alliance called “Partnership for Peace” (PfP) in Brussels in 2002.
Today, the Republic of Tajikistan has a list of units that are ready to participate in operations and trainings of NATO “Partnership for Peace”. These units included: an infantry platoon for PfP activities in Tajikistan, a group of staff officers and a team of military doctors.
It should be noted that the expectations which were associated with the viability of political and military cooperation of the NATO and the Republic of Tajikistan were not met, the official Dushanbe expected more. Nevertheless, it is necessary to be noted the positive side of cooperation. In the nearest future the NATO countries will provide support by organizing training courses for law enforcement agencies of Tajikistan. It is planned to open an international training center in Dushanbe to train specialists in the field of chemical expertise, dog breeding and analytics for the countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan. As for the RT there was made on an individual program, which regulated the interaction of the parties in such areas as language and military training, the fight against international terrorism, counter-narcotics, civil emergency planning. Subsequently, it will be possible to allocate funds from the Trust Fund of NATO for funding issues related to mine clearing of the border areas of Tajikistan.
There is also relationship in the fight against drug trafficking. In this regard, it should be noted that NATO is not the organization that is directly struggling against drugs, but, taking into account the issues of security and the threat posed by terrorists, that are funded by the drug, the drug problem remains relevant for all. On the 23 May 2007 during the visit of the special representative of the Secretary-General of NATO in Central Asia and Caucasus Robert Simmons met with the Director of the Agency for Drug Control (ADC) together with the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Rustam Nazarov. As a result of this meeting the parties agreed that in the nearest future assistance from the countries of the NATO would be provided in the form of organizing training courses for law enforcement officers in Tajikistan.
From the RT it is demanded to study the NATO scheme and order of work on disaster relief. Early warning systems about natural disasters were developed. Representatives of Tajikistan participated in the training of tactical and operational civil-military cooperation, which were carried out by the NATO.
Interests in providing security and stability are linked, primarily, with the dynamics of the development of the situation in Afghanistan and around this State. In Tajikistan people are well aware that stability in Afghanistan is a security not only in our country and not only in the Central Asian region, but throughout the Eurasian region. Consequently, the participation in the normalization of the situation in this country is an important part of the struggle against international terrorism and international security. Thus, the participation of the United States and Tajikistan in the antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan meets not only the interests of both countries, but it is also a factor that contributes to international security.
Tajikistan plays an important role in supporting NATO operations in Afghanistan: at the airport in Dushanbe there is a limited contingent of the French Air Force. NATO member-states and Tajikistan are also cooperating in the fight against international terrorism. NATO is providing assistance to Tajikistan in organizing training courses on combating terrorism in the Military Institute of the Ministry of Defense. For example, the United Kingdom since 2001 has been funding a program for learning English in a military high school and military institutions of the republic, and every year Tajik officers have training courses in specialized educational institutions of British armed forces. Joint tactical trainings of armed forces of Tajikistan and France passed in May 2004 at the firing ground of Fahrabad. It was held in accordance with the plan of military and military-technical cooperation between the two countries in 2004.
In 2004 during the visit of NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to Dushanbe a transit agreement to support the operations of NATO and ISAF in Afghanistan was signed. In this regard the permission to use their railways and roads was given. It should be noted that attaching great importance to the geographic location of the Republic of Tajikistan, the United States financed the construction of the border bridge between Nizhniy Panj in Tajikistan and Sher Khan Bandar in Afghanistan. And they didn’t exclude the possibility of financing the construction of a new bridge across the Panj River, which was considered as one of the channels for the transfer of NATO non-military goods to Afghanistan.
There is also cooperation in science. Academic circles of the Republic also actively participated in the NATO Science Committee. Local scientists are involved in such scientific developments as "The Security through Science", "Virtual Silk Highway", "Internet at the Academy of Sciences and universities of the Republic of Tatarstan", their aim is to improve access to the Internet of academics and researchers in the Caucasus and Central Asia through the satellite-based network of NATO.
Tajik scientists were awarded with grants in several areas of the program of the NATO “Science for Peace and Security”. In 2006 there was given a grant to build network infrastructure for the modernization of the network, through which the Tajik Technical University cooperated. Also a joint work is conducted with NATO and other partner countries for uranium mining and environmental security, and new projects for the program "Science for Peace and Security" are being prepared.
NATO supported the educational work connected with security and national defense. The Summer Academy was organized in Tajikistan in July of 2006 and 2007 with the support of NATO Public Diplomacy. In July 2006 a group of MPs and journalists from Tajikistan visited the headquarters of NATO. In September 2007 a group of official workers from Tajikistan visited the headquarters of NATO. In February, 2009 there was a meeting of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Rahmon with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. During this meeting they discussed issues of separation technology and equipment for the Tajik border guards within the “Partnership for Peace” program and other programs of cooperation with NATO, interaction with the Afghan border guards, military training, conducting researches, education of rescue center in Dushanbe, the proposal to open a special center of NATO in the RT. In April of the same year there was a working visit of Secretary General of NATO Parliamentary Assembly Hobbs and representatives of the parliaments of NATO member-countries in Tajikistan. At the meeting special attention was paid to the use of NATO potential in the implementation of hydropower projects in Tajikistan.
Within the organization activity to liaise cooperation with other international structures we can select one of the major integration groupings CSTO. As we know, NATO is responsible for the situation in Afghanistan. The problem of drugs originating from this country, affects the Central Asian region, Russian Federation and the European continent. The problem of terrorism, extremism, organized crime and drug abuse is a problem not only of the space of CSTO, but also the nearest regions. Therefore, from Tajikistan and Russia there is some activity in the development of partnership relations with NATO.
Certainly, today the CSTO has a weighty position, however, considering the processes in the formation of the three structures, such as the CSTO, NATO and the EU, you can determine what each organization has its successes and failures. We should recognize that from the terms of the interests of Central Asian countries NATO contributes to regional security, promotes the development of some states in the region, the modernization of their armed forces, the adoption of advanced military technologies, etc. Today, however, threats are equally dangerous for all parties, so the balance of power of the big geopolitical players is required. Moreover, their cooperation is needed, the lack of which is a key factor in the maintenance of tension in Central Asia.
Taking into account the above aspects of cooperation, it should be noted that for more productive cooperation between the Republic of Tajikistan and NATO they need to intensify cooperation in the following aspects:
1. To pay more attention to the problem of drug trafficking. In this case, it would be the interaction of the boundary line, i.e. activity of NATO in Afghanistan.
2. The development of suitable mechanisms for transporting goods for NATO troops to the IGA across the territory of Central Asia without negative consequences for the countries of the region, in particular, the Republic of Tajikistan.
3. The coordination of enforcement agencies of Tajikistan and NATO in the exchange of operational information concerning the activities of terrorist groups in the IGA.
For further fruitful cooperation between the countries of Central Asia and Tajikistan with NATO, first of all, it is necessary to intensify foreign contacts in conjunction with the financial support. Please note that the main focus of the country's security in the region is on the Russian Federation. NATO relies on consolidating of its military and political position in the region with minimal investment in regional economic projects. In our opinion, there is a need to diversify the aspects of cooperation of the politico-military contacts and attempts to establish democracies in western style to a more pragmatic form of relationship based on mutual cooperation.

References

1. Shaymergenov, Problems and perspectives of the Central Asia strategy of NATO: the role of Kazakhstan, "Central Asia and the Caucasus, № 2 (56), 2008, 83 p.
2. Sharipov, Balance of the interests of the United States and the Republic of Tajikistan in Central Asia, Proceedings of the conference "Republic of Tajikistan and the United States: status and prospects of relations", Dushanbe, 2007, 10 p.
3. Shtoll, The Evolution of NATO in the realities of globalization, Moscow: Russian Foreign Ministry Diplomatic Academy, 2004



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