Why Central Asia Matters

Why Central Asia Matters

Turkmenistan, the least populous of the five nations between the Caspian Sea and the Pamir Mountains that emerged from the former USSR, is a perfect example of why Central Asia will play an increasingly important role in world politics. With new pipelines planned for Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the region will be critical to the future energy supply of Europe, as well as to China and India. The West is also determined to stem the flow of drugs to Europe via Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as to put a stop to a wave of Islamist terror coming from Central Asia. In a modern-day version of the "Great Game" of the 19th century, today's major powers are competing for strategic interests and military bases along the old Silk Road.

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