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As Kerry Leaves, What's Next For U.S. In Central Asia?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is interviewed by Kazakhstan's Mir TV in Astana. (photo: State Department)

As United States Secretary of State John Kerry heads home after an unpecedented five-country tour of Central Asia, the U.S. role in the region remains more uncertain than it's been since the 1990s.

The mere fact that the trip happened was the biggest news to come out of it. It was the first time a high-ranking U.S. official had done this five-country tour that has of late become the standard for world leaders (though Japan, India, and China have all sent their presidents, rather than their top diplomat as the U.S. did).

The tour came at a time when U.S. interest in the region seems to be waning as a result of the (albeit now delayed) drawdown from Afghanistan, and so appeared to be an attempt to demonstrate that no, the U.S. isn't gone just quite yet. Also noteworthy -- throughout the entire trip Kerry barely mentioned the much-derided New Silk Road Initiative, which had been the supposed centerpiece of the State Department's post-Afghanistan Central Asia policy. 

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As Kerry Leaves, What's Next For U.S. In Central Asia?

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