| By Andrew C. Kuchins, Jeffrey Mankoff, Aitolkyn Kourmanova, and Oliver Backes

Today, with combat operations in Afghanistan winding down, U.S. policy toward the states of Central Asia is transitioning to a new era. The United States now has an opportunity to refashion its approach to the region. In doing so, it should capitalize on trends already underway, in particular the expansion of trade and transit linkages, to help integrate Central Asia more firmly into the global economy, while also working to overcome tensions both within the region itself and among the major neighboring powers with interests in Central Asia.

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