08.01.2015 Author: Vladimir Odintsov

Washington is Going to Rely on NGOs in Central Asia

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The United States and their satellites have been using nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) for the preparation and implementation of “color revolutions” in North Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet countries extensively, which has made numerous headlines across international media. The consequences of such “democratic activity” carried out by Washington can be clearly seen in Libya, Iraq, Ukraine, and in several other countries, where this strategy has led to the creation of uncontrolled chaos.

The tactics of Washington’s NGOs can be summed out by a famous quote of retired US Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters: “Hollywood is “preparing the battlefield,” and burgers precede bullets. The flag follows trade.”

As a rule, the target of these “cover activities” carried out by NGOs is the struggle for energy markets, or the fight against political opponents, among which the White House highlights Russia, China and Iran. This much explains the latest developments in Hong Kong. Washington has effectively created a network of NGOs there that promote American interests under the pretext of promoting “democracy”, which operate by using social networks for spreading their agenda. This same pattern has been duplicated numerous times across the globe to attempt regime change in countries that the White House perceives as a threat to US dominance.

To sponsor these activities Washington has been allocating billions of dollars annually through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – the organization responsible for countless coups around the world along with the CIA, on par with numerous private foundations. It’s no coincidence then that in Russia alone there were a total of 650 foreign NGOs back in 2012, that were receiving up to one billion dollars a year, with 20 million handed out by Western diplomatic missions directly.

So, if we are to focus on the post-Soviet region, in recent years Western NGOs have been particularly active in the states of Central Asia, desperate in their strive to trigger “color revolutions” wherever possible. The avid interest of Washington towards this particular region is caused by a number of factors, including considerable deposits of natural resources along with the possibility to control the flow of those by taking a firm footing in the region, such as in destabilized Afghanistan. But the “key” factor behind Washington’s thinking is the ability to influence the geopolitical future and stability of the entire Asian continent and Russia. That is why the territory of the Central Asian region is considered by US think tanks an area of choice for projecting political influence on Russia and China, launching military campaigns against Afghanistan and potentially Iran. In this case, the United States seeks to break the Central Asian states away from Russian influence, by extensive use of international organizations and NGOs.

After failing to achieve the redrawing of the political landscape in Central Asia after the so-called “Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan in 2005 and the consequent shift of focus of the White House to “democratic political reforms” in Ukraine and in Hong Kong, the US State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2011 have sharply reduced the funding of their ongoing “projects” in Central Asia, by dropping it to 126 million dollars from and initial 436 million. In 2013 the funding was cut even further to 118 million dollars (a 12% decrease of in comparison to 2012).

However, due to the increasing political and economic strength of Russia along with the active participation of the Central Asian states in the Customs Union project implemented by the Russian Federation and a number of other integration initiatives, the White House has made significant adjustments to its policies in the countries of Central Asia. Therefore, to “promote access to free unbiased” media, USAID has allocated an additional 3.8 million dollars to NGOs in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in 2014.

At the same time George Soros has spent a whooping total of 80 million dollars on “democratic reforms” in Kyrgyzstan over the past 11 years . A November 2014 trip by the 84-year-old investor and philanthropist to Kyrgyzstan has attracted a lot of media attention, along with the “considerable” financial assistance he has provided to non-governmental organizations to the “revolution” in Ukraine. George Soros has clearly expressed his anti-Russian position at a press conference of the International Crisis Group in Brussels, where he urged Europe to, “wake up.” That is why his visit to Kyrgyzstan was regarded by most foreign observers as an attempt to disrupt the entry of Kyrgyzstan into the Customs Union and its rapprochement with Russia. It’s no coincidence that all through his visit the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan witnessed numerous demonstrations, where protesters urged local NGOs to abstain from taking the “blood money”.

It is obvious that Washington will carry on its attempts to actively pursue its own interests in Central Asia through non-governmental organizations, by making sure to take every possible opportunity to increase its influence over the internal affairs of the former Soviet territories. Moreover, bringing loyal leaders to power in those states is believed to be a top priority.

It’s obvious that the White House will also attempt to exploit religious factors as a means of destabilization, especially since it has already tested the “Islamic State” scenario along with its satellites in the Gulf elsewhere, proving to be quite effective in spreading chaos not only in a specific region, but also worldwide.

Vladimir Odintsov is a political commentator, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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