Central Asia countries (CAC) are located in a competitive neighbourhood and have had to become adept at realpolitik since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. CAC have been compelled to leverage their respective ties with China to counterbalance Russia as well as develop linkages with the Western power centres to balance against both local hegemons, Russia, and China. This has attracted the attention and interest of Middle Powers as well.
There is a fundamental disconnect between countries that utilize cognitive warfare, such as Russia, which sees themselves perpetually positioned to be in information warfare, while the West views it as only temporary. This affects resource allocation, collaboration, expanding adaptability through feedback and follow through on operations.
On April 23, 2021, Russia “withdrew” its forces, which it had built up along its border with Ukraine. After a rather rapid escalation and then stagnation of tensions, the question remains: is Russia an opportunist, taking advantage of an “opening” it found, or is this event a real, viable threat to regional stability? Is Russia trying to start an international war or is it merely testing Western waters to see what it can reap without damaging consequences?
As America deals with the realization of China’s great power rise, can the US avoid confrontation when competing against China?
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