The Foreign Service Journal, April 2003

ew regions are more important in the war on terrorism than the newly independent states of Central Asia. The decade-old former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan form a crucial platform for ongoing U.S. and allied military efforts in Afghanistan. Moreover, efforts to transform Afghanistan into a viable, democratic state depend on redevelopment and expansion of historic transit routes and eco- nomic ties with the region. The region’s importance is reflected in a cascade of U.S. diplomatic, economic and military initiatives over the past A P R I L 2 0 0 3 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 25 F O C U S O N C E N T R A L A S I A F Josh Dorman P UTTING H UMAN R IGHTS B ACK ON THE A GENDA O VER THE PAST DECADE , U.S. PRO - DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS LEVERAGE HAS BEEN SQUANDERED . I F NOT CORRECTED SOON , THE RESULTS COULD BE DISASTROUS . B Y E D M C W ILLIAMS