Bases of Debate: America in Central Asia: Being There

America has a unique opportunity to consolidate its position in an area of vital strategic importance. Despite a few tricky problems, we dare not miss it.

Issue: Summer 2002

Like a volcano bursting forth, September 11 vastly altered the terrain of U.S. foreign policy. Before that date, Central Asia was one of the most obscure places on earth to most Americans. In the weeks before September 11, Gary Condit was attracting several thousand inches of newsprint for every one devoted to Central Asia. In recent weeks, however, every mass-circulation news magazine and major American newspaper has featured photographs of U.S. soldiers in places such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan-countries that many Americans have considerable difficulty pronouncing or finding on a map.

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