The Future of Central Asia: A New Great Game
Ever since America went to war in Afghanistan, the vast region of Central Asia'including the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan'on Afghanistan's Northern border acquired renewed strategic significance. Washington built military bases there to supply the ongoing military effort, wooing unstable and corrupt regimes ruling the post-Soviet Central Asia. Russia, the old imperial master, has been eager to check America's influence in the neighborhood, while China has used its economic might to gain leverage throughout the region.
The big-power rivalries of the present day resemble the Great Game'the storied contest for regional dominance between the Russian and British empires in the 19th century. Against the backdrop of this strategic rivalry, the societies and political systems of Central Asia have undergone massive and often violent change. In the past six years alone, the region witnessed two revolutions, a government-sanctioned massacre, ethnic cleansing and corruption on a scale staggering even by generous post-Soviet standards.
Please join us for a discussion of the current dynamics in Central Asia and how today's developments will impact the region's future featuring Philip Shishkin, a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society and a former foreign correspondent at the Wall Street Journal who recently returned from an extended trip to the region, and Stephen Blank, Research Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute.
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