As the Biden Administration develops policies for its relations with China, Iran, and Russia, it needs to consider how to engage more effectively its relations with the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. Often targets of ambitious neighboring powers seeking greater influence, leverage, and advantage, these countries on both sides of the Caspian Sea generally look for active, visible, and constructive engagement by the U.S. government as well as by American private-sector and academic institutions. Some of the Caspian region governments feel their ties with the United States weakened during the Trump Administration. The new Biden Administration is in a position to correct this situation and to advance U.S. interests in the region at the same time it addresses broader geostrategic questions.
The Caspian Policy Center has prepared a set of recommendations for more effective U.S. engagement with countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Looking at steps the United States could take in its diplomatic engagement with countries in the Greater Caspian region, in its information/public outreach and military-to- military programs, and in the spheres of economics and business, the Center has developed a roadmap for a more stable and prosperous Caspian region aligned with U.S. interests. In an online discussion on March 3, panelists will elaborate on the ways that the Biden administration can chart the best path forward in Central Asia and the South Caucasus in light of geostrategic trends and developments that have occurred in the region over the past four years.
- 09:00–09:05 Welcome remarks – EfganNifti,Chief Executive Officer,Caspian Policy Center
- 09:05- 09:15 Keynote Remarks – George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- 09:15–09:30 Opening Statements
• Dr. Roger Kangas, Academic Dean and Professor of Central Asian Studies, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University
- Ambassador (ret.) Richard Hoagland, Caspian Policy Center, Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs
- Ambassador (ret.) Robert Cekuta, Caspian Policy Center, Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Energy Resources
- Brianne Todd, Assistant Professor of Central Asian Studies, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University
- 9:30-09:55 Discussion and Q&A
- 09:55–10:00 Closing remarks