By Svante E. Cornell, ed.

Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program
Silk Road Paper
July 2024

Click to Download PDF 


Silk Road Paper cover-8

When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, a sense over euphoria swept over a Türkiye that had just seen its application to join the European Community rejected. The emergence of five Turkic-majority states in the Caucasus and Central Asia provided an alternative possibility to European integration: Türkiye could look east and seek to build a new confederation of Turkic states.

The idea was vigorously embraced but soon appeared stillborn for a number of reasons. For one, the Turkic nations of the former USSR had just gotten rid of one overlord and were not in the market for another. The sometimes haughty tone of Turkish officials toward them did not help either. Besides, Türkiye was beset by internal problems – a rising PKK insurgency in the southeast, a troubled economy with runaway inflation, and a surge of Islamist politics that frightened the secular leaders of Central Asia and Azerbaijan.

For two decades thereafter, Central Asia and the Caucasus did not figure prominently in Turkish foreign policy. Economic realities forced Türkiye to look again toward the EU in the 2000s. After consolidating power, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP government turned south – jumping headfirst into the frayed politics of the Middle East, a region that would keep Türkiye preoccupied for over a decade. But a combination of internal and external shocks in the 2010s led to a domestic realignment in a nationalist direction, which also led to a renewed interest in the Turkic states of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

As this volume will detail, Türkiye has been actively pursuing its influence in the region bilaterally but also multilaterally, through the upgrading of Turkic cooperation with the creation of the Organization of Turkic States.

It is worth pausing for a minute on the ethnolinguistic aspect of Türkiye’s approach to the region. While Türkiye continues to maintain bilateral relations with non-Turkic states like Georgia and Tajikistan, there is a clear emphasis on ethnic and linguistic ties in Türkiye’s approach. In this sense, Türkiye differs markedly from Russian and Chinese approaches in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Because neither Russia nor China can appeal to common identity markers, these powers have focused mainly on economic and security issues as they have devised their regional mechanisms, such as the Eurasian Economic Union or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Whatever the faults of these instruments – and there are many – they are at least inclusive, in that they do not differentiate between regional states on the basis of identity. Türkiye’s approach, by contrast, stresses common identity markers and makes them central to its bid for influence in the region. Indeed, increasingly the language used both during OTS meetings and in bilateral meetings of Turkish and regional leaders stressed “brotherhood” of fellow Turkic peoples. This is in one sense an asset that other regional powers cannot compete with. On the other hand, emphasizing the ethnolinguistic commonality between Türkiye and Turkic peoples risks alienating the non-Turkic peoples of the region and feeding the existing sentiments in Georgia and Tajikistan – not even to speak of Armenia – countries whose own nationalist narratives have been motivated in part by enmity against Turks, past or present.

That being said, Türkiye’s renewed involvement with Central Asia and the Caucasus is one of the most significant developments in the region in the past several years. It complements the rise in regional cooperation in Central Asia, as well as between Central Asia and Azerbaijan. And importantly, at a time when relations between the West and Russia are at an all-time low and Western relations with China are deteriorating, Türkiye’s growing influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus provides much-needed opportunities for regional leaders to expand their international relations. In the foreign policy strategy adopted by regional leaders, balance is key. Their continued sovereignty and independence depends on establishing relations with other powers that help counterbalance their relations with Russia and China. Since the U.S. and EU have thus far been unwilling to provide enough of a regional presence to generate such a balancing force, Türkiye’s involvement is a welcome opportunity for regional states to build ties with outside powers that are not shy to get involved in security and military affairs.


By S. Frederick Starr ed.

Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program
Silk Road Paper
June 2024

Click to Download PDF



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Nearly all commentators on the evolution of the countries of Central Asia, Mongolia, the Caucasus, and Afghanistan, (i.e., the “CAMCA” countries) have concentrated on older adults and ignored younger men and women. This collection focuses instead on members of the younger generation whose outlooks have been largely neglected until now.

But what, we must ask, is a generation? For a century Europeans and Americans have coined cliches to describe each rising cohort of young people. Early on they defined their subject as young men and women in their late teens and early twenties. Now the definition commonly stretches further back into the earlier teen years. At the same time, the concept of a generation has itself changed. It was once commonly defined in biological terms, which meant a period of twenty or more years. Today –at least in the West— a social and political “generation” is often shortened to only a single decade.

Why are the views of members of the rising generation in the CAMCA countries (Central Asia, Mongolia, the Caucasus, and Afghanistan) of importance? Very simply, because their life experience differs so starkly from that of both their parents and grandparents. Their parents were raised by people born and educated in the Soviet Union or in Mongolia, under Soviet influence. In every one of these countries the current generation of parents has also been challenged by personal contact with the modern world on a global scale and by their national governments’ efforts to respond to it. As a consequence, they sit uneasily on two stools, past and present, institutional and personal, and bravely try to seek a workable balance between them. As is clear from the essays below, they do not always succeed at this. It is no exaggeration to say that parental influence on source offspring across the region has diminished.

A second and obvious issue that distinguishes the young generation in all of the countries under study is their massive access to cellphone technology and the internet. This development, which contrasts to the experience of some but not all of their elders, gives them access to world-wide “neighborhoods” of like-minded people. This constitutes second and non-institutional forms of education, which contrasts sharply with what is offered in schools, but which is very powerful nonetheless. The scale of contact with this world among members of the young generation is immense. However, it often occurs at the price of reduced communication with their more diverse physical neighbors at home. Moreover, as is clear from the reviews included in this collection, the attention of young people is also focused as much or more on music and pop culture as on the subjects that dominate traditional newspapers, radio, and TV.

All of these pressures and tensions bear directly on educational systems across the entire region and beyond. Educational reform in a post-Soviet spirit has indeed gone forward in all the countries under study, but it has been slow, tentative, and bureaucratic. Worse, to the extent it exists at all, reform has been concentrated at the university level. In some countries the rising generation has been emancipated from Soviet-type training in lower schools by the appearance of a few private institutions, but these are few in number and accessible only to the well-to-do. For the most part, younger men and women across the region are still the product of Soviet-type lower schools. While this results in high competence in mathematics and basic science, it lags in both the social sciences and humanities, leaving these fields wide open to informal learning from the internet and other non-traditional sources.

It goes without saying that the contemporary world is full of continuities that often go unnoticed. Upbringing in the family, the impact of neighbors, religion, traditional life-cycle customs, and deep-rooted musical traditions all remain much as they were in the past. Yet, acknowledging this, it is hard to imagine three generations whose life experiences differ more radically from each other than those of a typical CAMCA family over the course of recent decades.

In a first effort to map at least the outlines of the rising generation across the CAMCA region, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute turned to its own region-wide team of experts, the 280 men and women from all ten countries who have participated in the fellowship program launched fifteen years ago by the Rumsfeld Foundation and our Institute. Now a diverse band of highly accomplished members of their societies, these leaders of business, government, the professions, and press train and hire older members of the rising generation and work closely with them on a daily basis. Many also observe the young through their own children and through their children’s friends and schoolmates.

As editors, we will resist the temptation to extract conclusions from the diverse evidence in this report or to propose implications for each of the ten societies included and for the larger region of which they are all a part. This is instead the challenge which our CAMCA contributors set before each reader. To guide such reflection, we offer the following five questions: First, is it possible to speak of this region’s rising generation as a single cohort and, if so, what are its boundary ages? Second, is it possible to speak of common generational features across the entire region, or should we focus instead on smaller groupings or even on the distinct generational identities of individual countries? Third, looking forward, what degree of discontinuity should we anticipate on a national, sub-regional, and regionwide basis? Fourth, are the CAMCA countries prepared to deal with the discontinuities and changes that the rising generation may generate? And, fifth, to what degree is the entire CAMCA region coming to participate in what French sociologist Claude Levi-Strauss called “the global monoculture”?


A presentation by the Spring 2024 CAMCA Fellows, focusing on the advancement of digital connectivity in Central Asia, Mongolia, the Caucasus, and Afghanistan. In the interconnected landscape of the CAMCA region, digital connectivity serves as a cornerstone for both economic prosperity and social progress. This event is not merely about enhancing digital infrastructure; it's about fostering deeper connections across the region. The Fellows will delve into how overcoming challenges is crucial for unlocking economic potential, ensuring equitable access, and driving regional integrati

Published in Forums & Events
Thursday, 18 January 2024 18:17

Experts' Scenarios on Russia's Future

By Dr. S. Frederick Starr, ed.

January 18, 2024

Experts' Scenarios on Russia's Future

Screenshot 2024-01-18 at 1.16.39 PMWhat does Russia’s future hold? Of course, we don’t know. For a century 
determinists of various persuasions claimed to be able to predict future developments. They believed that a very few key economic or social indicators determined humankind’s future evolution. Nowadays all but the most diehard determinists accept that a broad range of factors contribute to the direction of change. We acknowledge that along with economic and social change, factors as diverse as the values and personalities of leaders, the dynamics of groups and bureaucracies, changing sources of energy, group and national psychology, and even changes in climate can all shape the future. 

These and many other factors could affect the outcome of Russia’s current war on the Ukraine and developments within the Russian Republic immediately thereafter.

Acknowledging that the future is indeed unknowable, it is nonetheless of great value to find out how a range of leading analysts perceive it. To which factors do they assign particular weight, and which do they downplay or ignore? Are there issues on which there exists a degree of 

consensus? And if there is consensus in any area, does it acknowledge the possible importance of what Donald Rumsfeld called the “unknown unknowns”?

To address these questions we asked many leading analysts and
commentators to set down their views on Russia’s future over the coming
decade. We made a point of asking for their views on what will happen,
and not what they believe should happen. This paper presents the
thoughts of 25 respondents from 16 countries. Of course, the list could
Experts’ Scenarios on Russia’s Futures have been extended indefinitely to assure that all of the main perspectives would be represented. But ars longa, vita brevis. We are deeply grateful to
those who found time to contribute to this compendium and acknowledge

the good intentions of the many others who were not able to do so.

Some readers may find in these pages convincing answers to their
questions about Russia’s immediate future. Others may reject them all,
while yet others—and these are our target audience—may be so inspired
or infuriated by what they find in this collection as to lead them to pen
their own prognostications



Click here to read the full article (PDF)

 S. Frederick Starr, Ph.D., is the founding chairman of the Central Asia- Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, and a Distinguished Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.



On December 19th, 2023, at 7:30 PM IST, ASIA Spotlight Session has invited the renowned Prof. S Fredrick Starr, who elaborated on his acclaimed book, "The Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane." Moderated by Prof. Amogh Rai, Research Director at ASIA, the discussion unveiled the fascinating, yet lesser-known narrative of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment.

The book sheds light on the remarkable minds from the Persianate and Turkic peoples, spanning from Kazakhstan to Xinjiang, China. "Lost Enlightenment" narrates how, between 800 and 1200, Central Asia pioneered global trade, economic development, urban sophistication, artistic refinement, and, most importantly, knowledge advancement across various fields. Explore the captivating journey that built a bridge to the modern world.

To know watch the full conversation: #centralasia #goldenage #arabconquest #tamerlane #medievalenlightment #turkish #economicdevelopment #globaltrade

Click here to watch on YouTube or scroll down to watch the full panel discussion.

Published in News





  • ASIA Spotlight with Prof. S. Frederick Starr on Unveiling Central Asia's Hidden Legacy
    Thursday, 28 December 2023 00:00

    On December 19th, 2023, at 7:30 PM IST, ASIA Spotlight Session has invited the renowned Prof. S Fredrick Starr, who elaborated on his acclaimed book, "The Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane." Moderated by Prof. Amogh Rai, Research Director at ASIA, the discussion unveiled the fascinating, yet lesser-known narrative of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment.

    The book sheds light on the remarkable minds from the Persianate and Turkic peoples, spanning from Kazakhstan to Xinjiang, China. "Lost Enlightenment" narrates how, between 800 and 1200, Central Asia pioneered global trade, economic development, urban sophistication, artistic refinement, and, most importantly, knowledge advancement across various fields. Explore the captivating journey that built a bridge to the modern world.

    To know watch the full conversation: #centralasia #goldenage #arabconquest #tamerlane #medievalenlightment #turkish #economicdevelopment #globaltrade

    Click here to watch on YouTube or scroll down to watch the full panel discussion.

  • Some Lessons for Putin from Ancient Rome
    Thursday, 04 January 2024 17:01
    By S. Frederick Starr 
    American Purpose
    January 4, 2024
    Vladimir Putin, having sidelined or destroyed all his domestic opponents, real or imagined, now surrounds himself with Romano-Byzantine pomp and grandeur. The theatrical civic festivals, processions of venerable prelates, cult of statues, embarrassing shows of piety, endless laying of wreaths, and choreographed entrances down halls lined with soldiers standing at attention—all trace directly back to czarism, to Byzantine Constantinople, and ultimately to imperial Rome. Indeed, Putin considers himself as Russia’s new “czar,” the Russified form of the Latin “Caesar.”
    But besides all the parallel heroics, Roman history offers profound lessons for today’s world. All of America’s Founders saw the Roman Republic as the best model for their own constitution. Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler, by contrast, found in imperial Rome a stunning model for their own grandeur. True, some of Rome’s ancient chroniclers, including the celebrated Livy, so admired specific politicians that they saw only their good sides and ignored the problems and failures. Yet there were others, notably the pessimistic Sallust, who not only wrote bluntly of history’s painful issues but delved deep into their causes and consequences.
    Is Putin likely to delve into the history of Rome for insights on his own situation? Unfortunately for Russia, Putin is not a reader, preferring instead to engage in exhibitionist athletic activities, preside at solemn ceremonies, or offer avuncular obiter dicta. However, if he would study the Roman past, he might come to realize that that model presents more than a few chilling prospects that he will ignore at his peril.
    To take but one example, a glance at Roman history would remind Putin that self-declared victories may not be as victorious as he and Kremlin publicists want to think. Back in the 3rd century B.C., when Rome was still a small state in central Italy, it was attacked by a certain King Pyrrhus, a rival ruler from Epirus, a region along today’s border between Greece and Albania. In his first battles Pyrrhus routed the Roman legions, and celebrated accordingly. But matters did not end there.
    Like Pyrrhus, Putin’s army scored some early victories in its war on Ukraine. As recently as December 1, Putin’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu was still claiming, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that Russian forces “were advancing on all fronts.” Pyrrhus made similar false claims, only to discover that his own soldiers were no match for the determined Romans. As the Romans drove Pyrrhus’ army from the field, he groused, “If we win one more such victory against the Romans we will be utterly ruined,” which is exactly what happened. Pyrrhus’ statement gave Romans the term “Pyrrhic victory,” which we still use today. Putin should apply it to his “victories” at Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
    Another crisis in Rome’s early formation as a nation occurred when a peasant uprising threatened Rome itself and, according to the historian Livy, caused panic in the Roman capital. In desperation, the elders turned to Lucius Cincinnatus, who was neither a military man nor a professional politician, but who had earned respect as an effective leader. It took Cincinnatus only fifteen days to turn the tide, after which he returned to his farm. George Washington rightly admired Cincinnatus and consciously emulated him, returning after the Battle of Yorktown to Mount Vernon. By contrast, Putin’s “special military operation,” planned as a three-day romp, is now approaching the end of its second year. Putin, no Cincinnatus, doomed himself to being a lifer.
    Roman history is a millennium-long showcase of motivation or its absence. In this context, Putin might gain further insights by examining Rome’s centuries-long battle against the diverse tribes pressing the empire from the north. For centuries Rome’s legionnaires were well trained, disciplined, and committed. The list of their early victories is long. Both Julius Caesar and the philosopher-emperor-general Marcus Aurelius succeeded because they motivated and inspired their troops. But over time the Roman army was increasingly comprised of hirelings, déclassé men who fought not to save the empire but for money or a small piece of the bounty. Inflation and rising costs outpaced pay increases. Punishment was severe, in some cases including even crucifixion. In the end, Rome’s army eroded from within.
    This is what is happening to the Russian army today. Putin attacked Ukraine in February 2022 with what was then an army of several hundred thousand trained professional soldiers. But after the Ukrainians killed more than 320,000 Russian troops, their replacements were unwilling and surly conscripts and even criminals dragooned from Russia’s jails. Putin quite understandably fears such soldiers. Putin’s army, like that of the late Roman Empire, is collapsing from within.
    By contrast, Ukraine’s army at the time of the invasion was small and comprised mainly Soviet-trained holdovers. Both officers and troops of the line had to be quickly recruited from civilian professions and trained. Yet they quickly proved themselves to be disciplined and resourceful patriots, not tired time-servers. True, Ukraine is now conscripting troops, but these newcomers share their predecessors’ commitment to the nation and to their future lives in a free country.
    Sheer spite and a passion for avenging past failures figured prominently in Putin’s decisions to invade both Georgia and Ukraine. Roman history suggests that this isn’t smart. Back in 220 B.C., Rome defeated its great enemy, the North African state of Carthage. Anticipating Putin, the Carthaginian general Hannibal sought revenge. Acting out of spite, he assembled 700,000 foot soldiers, 78,000 mounted calvary, and a force of war elephants, and crossed the Alps. Though he was a brilliant general, Hannibal’s war of spite turned into a disaster.
    Why did Hannibal lose? Partly because of his sheer hubris and the spite that fed it, and also because the Romans avoided frontal battles and simply ground him down. They were prudently led by a general named Fabius Maximus, whom later Romans fondly remembered as “the Delayer.” Today it is the Ukrainians who are the Delayers. By grinding down Putin’s army and destroying its logistics they have positioned themselves for victory.
    The Roman Republic fell not because of any mass uprising but because of the machinations of Julius Caesar. A victorious general, Caesar looked the hero as he was installed as imperator. As was customary at such ceremonies, an official retainer placed behind the inductee solemnly repeated over and over the admonition to “Look behind you!” Caesar failed to do so and underestimated the opposition of a handful of officials and generals who feared the rise of a dictator perpetuus. Even if Putin chooses not to read Cicero, Plutarch, or Cassius Dio, he could productively spend an evening watching a Moscow production of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.
    Turning to a very different issue, Putin seems blithely to assume that whenever Russia defeats a neighboring country it can easily win the hearts and minds of the conquered, whether by persuasion or force. This is what many Roman generals and governors thought as well, but they were wrong—fatally so. Speaking of the impact of corrupt officials sent by Rome to the provinces, the great orator-politician Cicero declared to the Roman Senate, “You cannot imagine how deeply they hate us.” Does Putin understand this?
    Finally, it is no secret that Russia today, like ancient Rome, is increasingly a land of immigrants; its economy depends on impoverished newcomers from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and elsewhere in Central Asia who fled to Russia in search of work. Yet Moscow treats them as third-class citizens and dragoons them as cannon fodder or “meat” to die by the thousands on the Ukrainian front. Rome faced a similar problem and wrestled with it unsuccessfully over several centuries. Over time the despised immigrants who poured across the Alps from Gaul demanded a voice in Roman affairs, and eventually took control of the western Roman Empire.
    Sad to say, neither Putin himself nor any others of Russia’s core group of leaders show the slightest interest in learning from relevant examples from Roman history or, for that matter, from any other useable past. Together they provide living proof of American philosopher George Santayana’s adage that, “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.” In Putin’s case, though, he seems never to have known it. 

    ABOUT THE AUTHORSS. Frederick Starr, is a distinguished fellow specializing in Central Asia and the Caucasus at the American Foreign Policy Council and founding chairman of the Central Asia Caucasus Institute.

    Additional Info
    • Author S. Frederick Starr
    • Publication Type Analysis
    • Published in/by American Purpose
    • Publishing date January 4, 2024
  • CACI Chairman S. Frederick Starr comments on "Preparing Now for a Post-Putin Russia"
    Friday, 03 November 2023 18:30

    Whether Russian President Vladimir Putin dies in office, is ousted in a palace coup, or relinquishes power for some unforeseen reason, the United States and its allies would face a radically different Russia with the Kremlin under new management. The geopolitical stakes mean that policymakers would be negligent not to plan for the consequences of a post-Putin Russia. On November 2, 2023, CACI Chairman S. Frederick Starr joined a panel organized by the Hudson Institute’s Center on Europe and Eurasia for a discussion on how US and allied policymakers can prepare for a Russia after Putin.

    Click here to watch on YouTube or scroll down to watch the full panel discussion.

  • Central Asia Diplomats Call for Closer Ties With US
    Monday, 26 June 2023 00:00

    REPRINTED with permission from Voice of America News
    By Navbahor Imamova

    WASHINGTON -- U.S.-based diplomats from Central Asia, a region long dominated by Russia and more recently China, say they are eager for more engagement with the United States.

    Many American foreign policy experts agree that a more robust relationship would be mutually beneficial, though U.S.-based nongovernmental organizations express deep concerns about human rights and authoritarian rule in the five countries: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

    Michael Delaney, a former U.S. trade official, argued in favor of greater engagement this week at a webinar organized by the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce.

    He noted that three of the five republics are World Trade Organization members and the other two are in the accession process — a goal actively encouraged by the U.S. government.

    "I've always believed that this is a geographically disadvantaged area. There are relatively small national economies," he said. But, he said, collectively the region represents a potentially more connected market, about 80 million people.

    Key issues

    In this virtual gathering, all five Central Asian ambassadors to Washington expressed eagerness to work on issues the U.S. has long pushed for, such as water and energy sustainability, security cooperation, environmental protection and climate, and connectivity.

    Kazakhstan's Ambassador Yerzhan Ashikbayev said that despite all factors, the United States does not want to leave the field to China, its global competitor, which actively invests in the region.

    "Recent visit by 20 companies to Kazakhstan as a part of certified U.S. trade mission, including technology giants like Apple, Microsoft, Google, but also other partners like Boeing, have shown a growing interest," Ashikbayev said.

    The Kazakh diplomat described a "synergy" of economies and diplomatic efforts. All Central Asian states are committed to dialogue, trade and multilateralism, he said. "As we are witnessing the return of the divisive bloc mentalities almost unseen for 30 years, it's in our best interest to prevent Central Asia from turning into another battleground of global powers."

    During his first tour of Central Asia earlier this year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, meeting separately with the foreign ministers of all five countries.

    That was deeply appreciated, said Meret Orazov, Turkmenistan's longtime ambassador, who also praised the regular bilateral consultations the U.S. holds with these countries.

    Uzbek Ambassador Furqat Sidiqov sees the U.S. as an important partner, with "long-standing friendship and cooperation which have only grown stronger over the years."

    "The U.S. has played a significant role in promoting dialogue and cooperation among the Central Asian nations through initiatives such as the C5+1," he said, referring to a diplomatic platform comprising Washington and the region's five governments.

    "This is where we address common concerns and enhance integration," said Sidiqov. "We encourage the U.S. to bolster this mechanism."

    Tashkent regards Afghanistan as key to Central Asia's development, potentially linking the landlocked region to the markets and seaports of South Asia. Sidiqov said his country counts on American assistance.

    'Possibility of positive change'

    Fred Starr, chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute in Washington, ardently advocates for the U.S. to adopt closer political, economic and people-to-people ties with the region.

    In a recent paper, he wrote that among dozens of officials, diplomats, entrepreneurs, experts, journalists and civil society leaders interviewed in Central Asia, "even those most critical of American positions saw the possibility of positive change and … all acknowledged that the need for change is on both sides, theirs as well as ours."

    This is the only region that doesn't have its own organization, said Starr, arguing that the U.S. could support this effort. "We have not done so, probably because we think that this is somehow going to interfere with their relations with their other big neighbors, the north and east, but it's not going to. It's not against anyone."

    "Easy to do, low cost, very big outcome," he added, also underscoring that "there is a feeling the U.S. should be much more attentive to security."

    "Japan, the European Union, Russia, China, their top leaders have visited. … No U.S. president has ever set foot in Central Asia," he said. He added that regional officials are left to wonder, "Are we so insignificant that they can't take the time to visit?"

    Starr urges U.S. President Joe Biden to convene the C5+1 in New York during the 78th session of the U.N. General Assembly in September. "This would not be a big drain on the president's time, but it would be symbolically extremely important," he said. "All of them want this to happen."

    Read at VOA News

  • Read CACI Chairman S. Frederick Starr's recent interview on the resurgence of Imperial Russia with The American Purpose
    Tuesday, 23 May 2023 00:00

    Why Russians Support the War: Jeffrey Gedmin interviews S. Frederick Starr on the resurgence of Imperial Russia.

    The American Purpose, May 23, 2023

    Jeffrey Gedmin: Do we have a Putin problem or a Russia problem today?

    S. Frederick Starr: We have a Putin problem because we have a Russia problem. Bluntly, the mass of Russians are passive and easily manipulated—down to the moment they aren’t. Two decades ago they made a deal with Vladimir Putin, as they have done with many of his predecessors: You give us a basic income, prospects for a better future, and a country we can take pride in, and we will give you a free hand. This is the same formula for autocracy that prevailed in Soviet times, and, before that, under the czars. The difference is that this time Russia’s leader—Putin—and his entourage have adopted a bizarre and dangerous ideology, “Eurasianism,” that empowers them to expand Russian power at will over the entire former territory of the USSR and even beyond. It is a grand and awful vision that puffs up ruler and ruled alike.

    What do most Russians think of this deal? It leaves them bereft of the normal rights of citizenship but free from its day-to-day responsibilities. So instead of debating, voting, and demonstrating, Russians store up their frustrations and then release them in elemental, often destructive, and usually futile acts of rebellion. This “Russia problem” leaves the prospect of change in Russia today in the hands of alienated members of Putin’s immediate entourage, many of whom share his vision of Russia’s destiny and are anyway subject to Putin’s ample levers for control. Thus, our “Putin problem” arises from our “Russia problem.”

    Click to continue reading...