Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Tashkent in April, rushing in a few weeks ahead of President Vladimir Putin. Her timing may have impressed, but her goody bag was light. She brought no military aid for the ever-fearful President Islam Karimov, nor any promises of such. When Putin arrived in mid-May, urging cooperation against militant Islamic movements, Karimov was ready to abandon efforts to conduct a pro-Western security policy. “A country like Uzbekistan,” he said, “is not in a position to protect itself. This protection we seek from Russia…. A turnabout is occurring today before your eyes.” That turnabout took concrete form with the last week’s bilateral security agreement that moves Uzbekistan toward military dependence on Russia. Russia agreed to upgrade Uzbekistan’s air-defense system (which the United States had refused to do); to monitor and patrol Uzbekistan’s air space; to train Uzbek officers, cadets and air-defense forces, and to build a factory in Uzbekistan to produce ammunition for the Uzbek armed forces. Russian troops already patrol the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. That presence may soon be extended into Uzbekistan as well.