Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2010

Security Sector Reform in Central Asia: Exploring Needs and Possibilities

Merijn Hartog, editor

April 2010

Centre for European Security Studies


The Central Asian region faces a broad spectrum of security challenges. These range from religious terrorism, organised crime and simmering ethnic quarrels to endemic corruption, environmental decline and a disintegrating infrastructure. What is more, the danger of instability is heightened by unchecked authoritarianism in all five countries and a lurking receptiveness to religious extremism among returned migrants, mainly from Russia. How to deal with such diverse challenges in an effective and comprehensive way should be a pressing concern, not only for the five countries of Central Asia, but also for the entire international community.