From the thesis abstract: "This monograph focuses on a region of geopolitical and strategic importance to the United States. The region of Central Asia comprises five countries; Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Historically, this area of the Asian continent was the 'mid-point' on the fabled Silk Road trade route between the East and the West. By 21st Century standards, the region straddles the Asian continent at its mid-point, between east and west -- China and Europe and in particular Russia. Following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001 on the United States, Central Asia took on renewed strategic importance. Finally, proximity to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan necessitated staging bases and support structures to support coalition force combat operations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. […] Lastly, the monograph addresses the regional institutions that provide a venue for multilateral engagement. Each provides a mechanism to address regional concerns and those concerns that have potential global ramifications. The globalization of the 21st Century presents threats and challenges to United States interests and foreign policy that require new and innovative solutions. This monograph has attempted to address one facet, engagement at a regional level that takes into account the many variables involved and requires a multilateral and comprehensive interagency approach."
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. School of Advanced Military Studies