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China, The United States, and the Future of Central AsiaU.S.-China Relations, Volume I$
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David B.H. Denoon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479844333

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479844333.001.0001

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Both Epicenter and Periphery

Both Epicenter and Periphery

U.S. Interests in Central Asia

(p.101) 4 Both Epicenter and Periphery
China, The United States, and the Future of Central Asia

Andrew Kuchins

Shalini Sharan

NYU Press

This chapter explores the relationship between the United States and Central Asia. Central Asia's strategic location at the crossroads of rapidly growing Eurasian powers, its mineral and energy wealth, and its proximity to Afghanistan have forced U.S. policymakers to develop strategies to deal with the region. Indeed, the Central Asian nations emerged as geostrategic partners in the war in Afghanistan by providing military bases and other assistance. Moreover, they provided crucial logistic support as key partners in the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) and are now important players in devising a regional long-term strategy on Afghanistan. However, the announcement in December 2010 of a gradual drawdown of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan by 2014 left the Central Asian political elites worried about the return of the Taliban to Afghanistan, and growing terrorist threats and instability crossing their borders.

Keywords:   United States, Central Asia, Eurasian powers, Afghanistan, Northern Distribution Network, U.S. military forces, Taliban, terrorist threats

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