Since it's independance in 1991, President Nursultan Nazabayev (former leader of the Communist Party) has ruled Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has pursued a multi vector foreign policy, because of it's size and strategic position. They have been working to balance their negotiations with Russia, China, the US, and EU. The historical, cultural, and political policies by Russian influence are unequaled in Kazakhstan; however the US- Kazakh relations are expanding and deepening. A bilateral relationship resulting in an embassy being opened since 1992, the US was first to recognize the country. Since 9/11 the relationship has deepened in the areas of counterrorism, energy extraction, and logistical cooperation for the Afghan War. Legal scholars from ALU School of Law (topics of International Law, and US Intelligence), working on a metanalysis of data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies are outlining a strategy for this country for State Department brief as part of their studies. Being an economic superpower within the region with a larger economy than the Central Asian countries, is due to the countries hydrocarbon wealth (oil and natural gas), which will make it one of the top five oil producers in the next decade. The Tengiz, Kashagan, and Karachaganak fields generate 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 30 billion barrels of oil. 1.5 million barrels a day in 2009, generating a third of their GDP by the oil and gas sector. Productivity will double by 2019. Despite the economic wealth about 20% still live below the poverty line. Relying on overland pipelines, the country lacks a major seaport, making it vulnerable to regional geopolitics. Despite the positive indications by the US there is still a hint of autocratic rule which includes, 1) restrictive election laws, 2) curbing freedom of the press, and 3) corruption. US President Bush commented to Nazarbayev that Kazakhstan was a "free nation with a commitment to institutions that will enable liberty to flourish". The strategic objective in Kazakhstan as stated by the Obama Administration is to, 1) help the country develop into a stable democratic country, 2) respected regional leader, 3) engage in free market competition, and 4) demonstrate respect for the rule of law. From 1992-2008 Kazakhstan saw 1.67 billion in cumulative US aid. Attempting to call a referendum to extend his term to 2020, forced the US to side with the domestic opposition and the international community to condemn the regime. Nazarbayev sidelined the plan and called for elections to be held almost two years ahead of schedule. Kazakhstan even with repressive measures is one of the most vibrant Central Asian economies, and has a history of storybook non-proliferation success since the end of the Cold War. Kazakhstan's nuclear materials was renounced (nuclear weapons) in 1993, by and large because of US involvement to help secure them. It was a major Soviet testing and storage site (especially Seminpalatinsk) resulting in 500 nuclear bombs were detonated. One of the least secure nuclear sites in the world causes US concerns over the threat of terrorist stealing it's radioactive materials. The Cooperative Threat program between the US and Kazakhstan provided for 240 million in US funds to, 1) eliminate weapons of mass dstruction and related infrastructures, 2) eliminate transporting tons of nuclear materials (enriched uranium and plutonium) to more secure sites, 3) destroy former underground testing and storage tunnels, and 4) improve surveillance and physical security within these areas. The Kazakh military, 1) trained in the US International Military Education program, 2) obtained US Foreign Military Financing, and 3) joined NATO's Partnership for peace program. The Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan participated with the US Central Command in 45 bilateral military operations. 'Steppe Eagle' exercises saw Kazakh partner with the American, and British forces for peacekeeping and air mobile training. Kazakhstan and the United States have increased their cooperation for the combating of illegal narcotics, border security, and the prevention of money laundering and trafficking in people, because of the war on terror and the operations in Afghanistan. Logistically Kazakhstan is a strategic partner with the US for support of the US-led war effort in Afghanistan. Kazakhstan's concerns are the spillover of militant Islam. Initially holding out joining the Northern Distribution Network (NDN); the US wanted to decrease it's dependance on the Pakistani trade route, however in 2010 it became an important factor of the supply chain. The Kazakh government permitted non-lethal material to be transported across it's territory, and the use of airspace in 2010. ALU scholars have realised that the US hasn't fully recognized Kazakhstan's contributions, especially given the tensions it has created with Russia-presenting a future risk in the relationship. Kazakhstan, as an economic partner with the US has received 2.6 billion in aid (an increase of 400 percent since 2001). Foreign direct investments (FDI) have accounted for 25 percent of the country's total FDI, with American companies investing 14.3 billion in the country since 1993 (oil and gas sector). From 1992 to 2005 1.205 billion in technical assistance and investment support have been provided. Our suggestions are, 1) reframe the historical, cultural, and political policies to reflect US support, 2) logistical cooperation for the Afghan war should be in the reduction stages, 3) counterrorism and energy extraction cooperation should increase, 4) the Tengiz, Kashagan, and Karachaganak (one of these fields) should be bought by the US for outside sales (increase in our GDP), 5) for humanitarian efforts look into programs to reduce the poverty status (20%), 6) US to build up the seaports in Aktau or Atyrau (or both) in the Caspian Sea and barter for oil and gas with the country, 7) with the international ports built you will be able to stimulate the economic trade and receive a percentage from the economics (positve investment), 8) communicate with the government to add admendments to their constitution to a) stop restricting election laws, b) have the freedom of press, and c) curb corruption in it's many forms, generating a stable respectable democracy, respect for the rule of law, 9) Cooperative Threat program funds need to decrease from the Us to let them provide more funds (to the US) for consultation on the tenements of this program, 10) the strategic partner role should not decrease, but transfer to different areas of the country, 11) non-lethal and airspace priviledges should continue, and 12) a decrease in Foreign Direct Investments, and 13) alternate energy investments (wind energy, solar, etc.) . We are looking into generating a win-win situation for both countries.
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