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Dominant voices in the energy security debate describe the competition for energy resources as a zero-sum, realist game that will lead to future resource wars among prominent system-shaping states. However, the complex set of interlinked political, economic, and security issues that make up energy security involves “big” and “small” states. Complex interdependence provides a different lens to view power in situational and relational terms and thus a more comprehensive way to measure a state’s potential influence. This article examines the foreign-policy behavior of energy-rich “small” states in Central Asia, specifically Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, in the context of their “big” neighbors, particularly Russia and China. The goal is to begin to explain the energy dynamic within Central Asia and the bargaining process that is reshaping Central Asia’s interlinked political, economic, and security relationships.