The strategy lists areas where the United States seeks to work with Central Asian governments. To some, this recent strategy seems to echo previous U.S. strategies for the region, which is interesting since a summary of the strategy released by the State Department the same day notes there have been changes in leadership in the two largest countries in Central Asia — Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. And without mentioning Russia and China by name, the document appears to address the advance of influence of both those countries into Central Asia.
RFE/RL’s Media-Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir moderated a discussion that looked at the strategy.
Participating from Washington was Richard Hoagland, a former U.S. ambassador to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and charge d’affaires in Turkmenistan who was also deputy assistant secretary of state in the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and took part in drafting previous U.S. strategies for Central Asia. From Harvard University, but originally from Kazakhstan, Nargis Kassenova of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies took part in the discussion. And Majlis friend Steve Swerdlow, human rights lawyer and Central Asia expert, joined the conversation from California. I was happy to say a few things, too.