CIA activities in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan became independent of the Soviet Union in 1991. See Foreign relations of Uzbekistan.
CIA Director William Casey, decided to extend destabilizing propaganda measures inside the borders of the Soviet Union. To this end, the CIA promoted the Muslim religion in Uzbekistan, by CIA commissioning a translation of the Quran into Uzbek by an Uzbek exile living in Germany, and then commissioning Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence to deliver 5,000 copies.
According to author Steve Coll,
As Yousaf recalled it, Casey said that there was a large Muslim population across the Amu Darya that could be stirred to action and could "do a lot of damage to the Soviet Union". Casey said, according to Yousaf, "We should take the books and try to raise the local population against them, and you can also think of sending arms and ammunition if possible."
If Casey spoke the words Yousaf attributed to him, without having a Presidential Finding and a notification for Congress, he was in violation of the Intelligence Authorization Act. Gates' account appears unambiguous, and Yousaf's recollections are precise. Casey had pursued covert action outside the boundaries of presidential authority, which he did in the Iran-Contra Affair.
Author Steve Coll cites a manuscript of Robert Gates as stating that Afghanistan-Uzbekistan cross-border operations were encouraged by William Casey. Most of Coll's support for the above assertions regarding the Qu'ran operation come from Pakistani General Mohammad Yousaf and Yousaf's book.
It is not clear what immediate effect these operations had. The Uzbek government is not in favor of Islamic fundamentalism, and, in 2005, took active steps to repress it.
In 1999, the CIA sought ability to operate in Afghanistan which was separate from its alliance with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence. In this period of time the predominant forces in Afghanistan were the Taliban in the south and Ahmad Shah Massoud's forces in the North. The U.S. Government policy at the time was to appease the Taliban government in the hopes that they would hand over Osama bin Laden. As a result the U.S. was disinclined to form open alliances with Massoud or with the alliance being developed by the family of Hamid Karzai. As a result, Uzbekistan offered the closest possibility for a forward operating base. Therefore, the CIA initiated an intelligence alliance with the government of Islam Karimov, in which
- CIA funded and trained a counterterrorism unit of the Uzbek military
- CIA was allowed to use Uzbek military airbases for small aircraft and helicopter flights
- CIA and NSA were allowed to install equipment to intercept Taliban and al Queda communications
- Uzbek intelligence shared their knowledge of Osama bin Laden's bases in Afghanistan
This initial opening created by the CIA led to forward basing agreements for the U.S. military: Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., Uzbekistan approved the United States Central Command's request for access to a vital military air base, Karshi-Khanabad Airbase, in southern Uzbekistan. However, in 2005, Uzbekistan demanded that the U.S. withdraw from the airbases after the Andijan massacre and the U.S. reaction to this massacre. The last US troops left Uzbekistan in November 2005. See the article on the Uzbek military.
The United States and Uzbekistan ran joint covert operations aimed at countering Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime and its terrorist allies since well over a year before the September 11, 2001 attacks, according to officials from both nations.
In an attempt to deal with the lack of linguists, the CIA, FBI and the American military are turning to the internet.
Even though Osama bin Laden has operated from Afghanistan since 1996, US intelligence organisations are badly hampered by a lack of local language experts.
Subscribers to internet servers in Central Asia and Afghanistan have received email adverts for American citizens who can speak Persian, Pashto, Dari (Persian), Turkmen and Uzbek, all languages of Afghanistan and Central Asia. Other languages needed are Urdu, spoken in Pakistan, and Arabic. Even though Osama bin Laden has operated from Afghanistan since 1996, US intelligence organisations are badly hampered by a lack of local language experts." US citizenship required for secret security clearances, positions are also available for non-US citizens," reads an email from Worldwide Language Resources.
Another US-based organisation, All World Language Consultants, wants Uzbek linguists who "must have been granted or be able to obtain a minimum of a Department of Defense security clearance with no felony record".
Some 3,000 Uzbeks belonging to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan. 
- Coll,Steve (2005). Ghost Wars. Penguin. pp. 104–105.
- Woodward, Bob (1988). Veil. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-66159-0.
- Yousaf, Mohammed and Mark Adkin (2002). Afghanistan: The Bear Trap. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-860-7.
- "October 1984: CIA Director Secretly Visits Afghan Training Camps; He Urges Spread of Violence into Soviet Union". History Commons
- "Fresh evidence of CIA torture network", by Michael Gawenda, March 8, 2005, The Sydney Morning Herald
- "Anger as US backs brutal regime" by Nick Paton Walsh and Paul Harris, May 15, 2005, The Observer
- Ricks, Thomas E.; Glasser, Susan B. (October 14, 2001). "U.S. Operated Secret Alliance With Uzbekistan". Washington Post
- Rashid, Ahmed (September 29, 2001). "CIA tries to recruit native speakers by email". Telegraph