After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the republics of Central Asia began to restructure their agricultural sectors to achieve food security and to adjust to the requirements of a market economy. Although they encountered many common challenges, their agricultural policies differed significantly. For this reason, it is important to see the results of these policies and to learn lessons from them. This paper discusses the role of and the challenges facing rangelands and livestock production systems in achieving food security among the pastoral communities of Central Asia. It analyzes the trends in livestock development during the economic transition in Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Uzbekistan, and derives policy directions for the sustainable use of rangelands and for the growth of the livestock sector in Central Asia.