So long as Russia and China remain the region’s dominant political and economic powers, the Central Asian heartland will remain a US and EU target for threats, bribes, and color revolutions.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan – The historical Heartland – or Central Eurasia – already is, and will continue to be, the prime battlefield in the New Great Game, fought between the United States and the China-Russia strategic partnership.
The original Great Game pitted the British and Russian empires in the late 19th century, and in fact, never got away: it just metastasized into the US-UK entente versus the USSR, and, subsequently, the US-EU versus Russia.
According to the Mackinder-designed geopolitical game conceptualized by imperial Britain back in 1904, The Heartland is the proverbial “pivot of History,” and its re-energized 21st century historical role is as relevant as in centuries ago: a key driver of emerging multipolarity.
So it’s no wonder all major powers are at work in the Heartland/Central Eurasia: China, Russia, US, EU, India, Iran, Turkiye, and to a lesser extent, Japan. Four out of five Central Asian “stans” are full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO): Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. And some, like Kazakhstan, may soon become members of BRICS+.
The key direct geopolitical clash for influence across the Heartland pits the US against Russia and China on myriad political, economic, and financial fronts.
The imperial modus operandi privileges – what else – threats and ultimatums. Only four months ago, US emissaries from the State Department, Treasury, and Office of Foreign Affairs Control (OFAC) toured the Heartland bearing a whole package of “gifts,” as in blatant or thinly disguised threats. The key message: if you “help” or even trade with Russia in any way, you will be slapped with secondary sanctions.
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