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Central Asia: Can Expanded Trade Pacify an Unsettled Region?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked quietly and diligently during her recent trip through Central and South Asia to lay the groundwork for a regional stabilization plan, dubbed the “New Silk Road.” The vision sees expanded trade as the balm that can heal the region’s wounds.

The New Silk Road aims to stimulate regional trade between Afghanistan and its neighbors. At its most ambitious, it envisions Central Asia as a trade hub between Europe and Asia, as it was in the days of the old Silk Road. Clinton promoted it on her recent trip through the region, including stops in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In the coming weeks, she will continue to make a diplomatic push to enlist allies' support for the vision.

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Joshua Kucera is a Washington, DC,-based writer who specializes in security issues in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East. He is the editor of EurasiaNet's Bug Pit blog.

Central Asia: Can Expanded Trade Pacify an Unsettled Region?

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