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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

South and Central Asia Region


Bureau of Resource Management
Report
April 21, 2011

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The South and Central Asia region encompasses not only one of the United States’ highest foreign policy and national security objectives—securing and stabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan—but also bright possibilities for impacting complex global challenges such as climate change, hunger, and the spread of deadly diseases. The United States seeks to strengthen stabilization efforts in South and Central Asia by investing in a lasting partnership with India, maintaining positive cooperation in Central Asia, promoting reconciliation in post-conflict countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal, and fortifying democratic institutions throughout the region while addressing the root causes of violent extremism and instability. In Bangladesh, a key ally of the United States and one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in the world, a number of strategic international development initiatives are converging—including those designed to achieve food security, improved health, and adaptation to global climate change.

Securing and Stabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan: Region-wide stability supports U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan by strengthening the capacity of the people and governments to take the lead for their countries’ future, to deny al-Qaeda a safe-haven, and to prevent the ability of the Taliban to overthrow their leadership. The U.S. Government has helped to create a healthier, more informed, and more economically stable citizenry in Afghanistan and Pakistan by focusing on high-visibility, high-impact projects in infrastructure, agriculture, energy, and health that benefit large segments of people in both countries. U.S. bilateral relationships with the neighboring Central Asian countries are usually far from the headlines, but challenges in this region are critical on a number of levels. The nations of Central Asia provide important trade and supply routes, and the Kyrgyz Republic provides an installation to facilitate troop transport and support refueling missions for Coalition forces in Afghanistan. Central Asian countries also provide sources of energy to meet growing electricity demands in the region. Cultivating broad and long-lasting relationships with the countries of Central Asia is helping to cement a common understanding and gain long-term support for U.S. efforts.

Investing in Our Strategic Partnership with India: While India emerges as a regional powerhouse, the United States will encourage its continuing role as a global partner—particularly in areas such as climate change, food security, global health, and nonproliferation—by providing resources to buttress the Indian Government’s initiatives to counter external threats, provide more economic opportunities for its population, and invest in innovative solutions to shared challenges. Through the United States-India Strategic Dialogue, the U.S. Government will build law enforcement ties with tailored trainings and increased exchange opportunities, increase two-way trade and investment opportunities, support broader people-to-people exchanges, and encourage closer collaboration on clean energy and climate change solutions.

Resourcing Post-Conflict Stabilization Activities: The United States will continue to support post-conflict peace processes in Nepal and Sri Lanka. In both countries, a successful reconciliation and healing process will help ensure an end to terrorism and open the way for prosperity, opportunity, and hope for populations that have known violence and uncertainty for decades. In the Kyrgyz Republic, while the recent change of government creates an opportunity to help establish a functioning democracy in Central Asia, the ensuing ethnic violence demonstrates the possibility of continuing instability. U.S. assistance will seek to strengthen the country’s stability by providing significant momentum to efforts to remake law enforcement, bolstering community development, and building the institutions needed for a democratic transition.

 




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