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In lieu of our in-person annual gathering, the CAMCA Regional Forum organizers  are hosting a virtual e-CAMCA Week.

The June 2020 CAMCA Forum, to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, was postponed until June 2021. In its place, CACI and the Rumsfeld Foundation organized the e-CAMCA week of online events and publication. Find recordings of the e-CAMCA Week virtual events held over June 15th-19th at the CAMCA Forum YouTube Channel, as well a variety of original #CAMCAweek publications and resources for our CAMCA Forum community at www.camcaforum.org,. 

 

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CAMCA 2020 pic 2 

CAMCA 2020 part 3

E-CAMCA WEEK PUBLICATIONS

The Value of CAMCA 

A joint statement on the value of the CAMCA Regional Forum by three distinguished regional representatives: Amb. Tedo Japaridze, Sen. Sodyq Safoev and Amb. Hafiz Pashayev

Welcome Letter

Letter from Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

 and Dr. S  Frederick Starr for

e-CAMCA Week 2020 participants

Meet CAMCA Entrepreneurs

View features of some successful regional entrepreneurs from our CAMCA Network

"Caucasus & Central Asia Post COVID-19" Series- Volume I

The Strasbourg Policy Centre's Series brings together statesmen and scholars that reflect on how the current pandemic affects the economy and power distribution in the region bridging the Atlantic and the Pacific economies

Digital Transformation in the CAMCA Region

A jointly authored article by two CAMCA Network members - Mariam Lashkhi, Deputy Chairperson of Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency, and Talant Sultanov, Co-Founder of the Internet Society-Kyrgyz Chapter

Post COVID-19: Challeges & Opportunities for the Region

A comprehensive collection of brief commentaries on the short and long-term impacts – economic, political and social – of the COVID-19 pandemic on the CAMCA region.  Contributors to this unique publication include more than 20 experts and professionals from over 10 countries representing think tanks, business, academia, government and more.  Read these wide-ranging perspectives, including insights directly from the region, curated for our CAMCA Forum community.

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Click here to sign up for CACI Forum mailing list

Published in Forums & Events

Religion and the Secular State in Central Asia: The Examples of Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan

FullSizeRender

This event marked the publication of two Silk Road Papers on the state-religion relationships in Central Asia, a study of Kyrgyzstan by Johan Engvall and one on Turkmenistan by Victoria Clement. This forms part of the ongoing research effort on secular governance, religion and politics at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, and follows the publication of studies on Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Johan Engvall’s study of Kyrgyzstan’s experience is timely given that country’s experience, starting with a more permissive atmosphere that subsequently aligned itself with policies in the rest of the region. Victoria Clement’s study of Turkmenistan is the first treatment of the subject to appear in print, and sheds light on the similarities of Turkmenistan’s approach with the rest of Central Asia as well as its specificities.

Speakers:

Victoria Clement, Eurasia Regional Analyst, Center For Advanced Operational Culture Learning, Marine Corps University 
Johan Engvall, Senior Research Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute

Moderator: Svante E. Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at AFPC 

When: Monday, June 15, 2020 at 10am EDT

The Event was live-streamed on our Facebook page and is available on our YouTube page and here.

 
Published in News
Monday, 15 June 2020 00:00

e-CAMCA Week 2020

Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 9.22.34 AM

In lieu of our in-person annual gathering, the CAMCA Regional Forum organizers  are hosting a virtual e-CAMCA Week.

From June 15th-19th we will be hosting a daily live speaker session or panel, as well as releasing a variety of original content and helpful resources, for our CAMCA Forum community. We’ve pulled together a terrific collection of experts from across sectors, including members of the CAMCA Network, that will be delivering the latest on what you need to know about the region during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.  

Live video events will take place at 10 AM EST daily from June 16th-19th .

TUNE IN HERE  to our Facebook page for live video events (full agenda below) and

SUBSCRIBE BELOW to receive the aforementioned release

VIEW THE FULL AGENDA DETAILS HERE

image

 

CAMCA 2020 pic 2 

CAMCA 2020 part 3

E-CAMCA WEEK PUBLICATIONS

The Value of CAMCA 

A joint statement on the value of the CAMCA Regional Forum by three distinguished regional representatives: Amb. Tedo Japaridze, Sen. Sodyq Safoev and Amb. Hafiz Pashayev

Welcome Letter

Letter from Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

 and Dr. S  Frederick Starr for

e-CAMCA Week 2020 participants

Meet CAMCA Entrepreneurs

View features of some successful regional entrepreneurs from our CAMCA Network

"Caucasus & Central Asia Post COVID-19" Series- Volume I

The Strasbourg Policy Centre's Series brings together statesmen and scholars that reflect on how the current pandemic affects the economy and power distribution in the region bridging the Atlantic and the Pacific economies

Digital Transformation in the CAMCA Region

A jointly authored article by two CAMCA Network members - Mariam Lashkhi, Deputy Chairperson of Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency, and Talant Sultanov, Co-Founder of the Internet Society-Kyrgyz Chapter

Post COVID-19: Challeges & Opportunities for the Region

A comprehensive collection of brief commentaries on the short and long-term impacts – economic, political and social – of the COVID-19 pandemic on the CAMCA region.  Contributors to this unique publication include more than 20 experts and professionals from over 10 countries representing think tanks, business, academia, government and more.  Read these wide-ranging perspectives, including insights directly from the region, curated for our CAMCA Forum community.

Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 9.36.51 AM

Click here to sign up for CACI Forum mailing list

Published in Forums & Events

Religion and the Secular State in Central Asia: The Examples of Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan

This event marks the publication of two Silk Road Papers on the state-religion relationships in Central Asia, a study of Kyrgyzstan by Johan Engvall and one on Turkmenistan by Victoria Clement. This forms part of the ongoing research effort on secular governance, religion and politics at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, and follows the publication of studies on Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Johan Engvall’s study of Kyrgyzstan’s experience is timely given that country’s experience, starting with a more permissive atmosphere that subsequently aligned itself with policies in the rest of the region. Victoria Clement’s study of Turkmenistan is the first treatment of the subject to appear in print, and sheds light on the similarities of Turkmenistan’s approach with the rest of Central Asia as well as its specificities.

Speakers:

Victoria Clement, Eurasia Regional Analyst, Center For Advanced Operational Culture Learning, Marine Corps University 
Johan Engvall, Senior Research Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute

Moderator: Svante E. Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at AFPC 

When: Monday, June 15, 2020 at 10am EDT

The Event will be live-streamed on our YouTube page and available here.

RSVP Here

 
Published in Forums & Events
Tuesday, 18 February 2020 00:00

A New Strategy for Central Asia

U.S. Central Asia policy has room to improve, but the Trump administration is steering things on the right track.

TheHill

February 018, 2020
S. Frederick Starr and Svante Cornell

This month, the Trump administration released its strategy for Central Asia. This marks the first time in more than two decades that the United States has come up with a serious approach to a region where vast economic, geopolitical, and civilizational stakes are at issue. It follows visits by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the first trip to the region by someone in that role in half a decade.

Long seen as a stagnant land of Soviet holdovers, Central Asia has been undergoing a dramatic transition led by its two most powerful countries, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Leaders in both countries have plunged into meaningful domestic reforms that are now focused on expanding citizen rights, governmental responsiveness, and the rule of law. They have also taken some important steps toward establishing their own structures for regional cooperation, a process that could result in a kind of Central Asian version of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Other world powers have certainly taken notice. Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the behemoth Belt and Road Initiative in the capital of Kazakhstan seven years ago. Moscow, desperate not to be marginalized by Beijing, is coercing regional states to join its Eurasian Economic Union, and has also launched a fanciful vision of a “Greater Eurasia” in which all would be subordinated to Russia and China. Indian, Japanese, and South Korean leaders have all extensively toured the region. The European Union released its own strategy for Central Asia last year, focused on supporting regional cooperation rather than mere bilateral ties.

Neither George Bush nor Barack Obama bothered to think strategically about Central Asia, shifting their attention instead to Afghanistan and the war on terror. Afghanistan has been intimately linked with Central Asia for 3,000 years, but for the past two decades, the United States treated the two as separate worlds. Subordinated to concerns in Afghanistan, Russia, and China, Central Asia became an afterthought. However, in an era where great power competition is seen as the most serious challenge to national security, the United States should care about countries sandwiched between Russia, China, India, Iran, and Pakistan.

The new strategy emphasizes American support for the sovereignty and independence of the Central Asian states. It encourages the growth of regional cooperation among them, and acknowledges positive steps toward political and economic reform. It also supports the expansion of relations between Central Asian states and Afghanistan. It emphasizes the importance of partnership with regional states to achieve progress on sensitive topics such as human rights and religious freedom.

In releasing this strategy, the Trump administration makes clear that it views Central Asia as a world region where the United States has intrinsic national security and economic interests. This is an important departure from the past practice of allowing this region to slip between the cracks. We have long argued for exactly this approach to the region and have ample reason to applaud the strategy drafters. However, the task has not been completed, for several omissions must be attended to.

First, Washington has yet to grasp the key role of Central Asia as a bastion of Muslim societies with secular governments, laws, and education. The United States should acknowledge this role, and work to sustain and promote secular government in Central Asia and elsewhere. Next, the United States has yet to fully recognize that, as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has noted, Afghanistan is itself a Central Asian country. Noting this, the logical next step is for the United States to fully include Afghanistan in its mechanism for consultations with Central Asian states.

The strategy does not mention the crucial east to west corridor linking Central Asia to Europe through the Caspian Sea and the South Caucasus. Expanding the Central Asian linkages with lands to the west should be a priority of American engagement. Finally, the strategy acknowledges the security challenges Central Asian states face from Russia and China, but it offers little detail on how the United States should address them.

Central Asia, including Afghanistan, presents geopolitically important real estate. Building on their rich indigenous cultures, its countries now look to the Americans to provide a balance to other major powers in the region. They believe that such an arrangement can provide the basis for better relations among all involved. Until now, the United States has hesitated to embrace this challenge. The new strategy indicates that at long last Washington is beginning to take Central Asia seriously. Having finally taken important first steps, it should now finish the job.

 Frederick Starr and Svante Cornell are the chairman and director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of the American Foreign Policy Council.

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