Situated between Russia, China, India, and Iran, the five states of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) have struggled to fulfill their potential as a crossroads for trade and transit. Among the challenges facing these states are mutual mistrust, poor governance and corruption, fear of extremism both indigenous and imported, and the geopolitical maneuverings of their larger neighbors. In many ways, Central Asia stands to benefit from the progressive integration of the Eurasian landmass, but only if the region’s governments can more effectively work together, lowering barriers to trade and investment and “de-securitizing” their relations with one another. The CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program keeps a close eye on economic, political, and security developments in this strategically important region and helps to ensure that discussions of Central Asia in the United States and around the world are informed by rigorous research and analysis.
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