Naval War College Review


Alan Lee Boyer


Located in the heart of Central Asia are five weak states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Structural factors such as small populations and geographic remoteness, combined with a failure to provide ade- quate levels of “political goods,” are the sources of their weakness.1 The govern- ments’ failures are due in large part to the political and economic development paths they have followed since independence at the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The governments in Central Asia are largely authoritarian and ruled by for- mer Communist Party officials.