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Table: Central Asia's Gamble


Five former Soviet republics--Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan--play the odds for a better tomorrow

THE THREAT

The impoverished region is a haven for Islamic militants linked to Osama bin Laden's network in Afghanistan and for drug traffickers sending heroin to Europe.

THE STRATEGY

Provide military bases and other assistance to the U.S. to eliminate bin Laden's network and produce order in Afghanistan.

THE HOPED-FOR PAYOFF

The U.S. helps to promote postwar economic development, including the establishment of trade routes and energy pipelines across Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.

Data: BusinessWeek


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