Beyond Afghanistan NATO's partnership with central asia and south caucasus: A tangled partnership?
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This article examines how the Alliance's partnership policy has changed in Central Asia and South Caucasus since the 1990s and aims to clarify to what extent NATO's new partnership policy can affect its relations with these countries. NATO-Russian relations and the Afghanistan operation are evaluated as the main drivers of this process. The target date of the withdrawal of the ISAF combat mission in December 2014, set at the Lisbon Summit 2010, as well as the shifting of the focus of long-term US foreign policy to the Asia-Pacific region and the US aim of balancing China's influence in this region increase the necessity for the Alliance to redefine its future policy towards Central Asia and South Caucasus. The article claims these developments have caused the need to treat Russia more as a partner than a potential competitor in constituting the policy towards Central Asia and South Caucasus. Furthermore the article claims there is no possibility for new Alliance expansion in this part of the world in the short to medium term. © 2013 Asia-Pacific Research Center, Hanyang University.