The New Silk Road aims to stimulate regional trade between
As yet, there are few details on how the
Starr has promoted a Silk Road vision  for several years. The State Department has long been wary of the plan, with officials initially dismissing it as unworkable. But it began to gain favor last year at US Central Command, and its commander at the time, Gen. David Petraeus. Since Marc Grossman became President Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, replacing the late Richard Holbrooke earlier this year, the State Department has come around to support the strategy.
Doubts remain about the strategy's feasibility. The State Department, in its public statements on the plan, has highlighted a handful of existing or proposed projects on which the New Silk Road could be modeled, including a free-trade agreement signed last year between
With US and NATO troops scheduled to depart  by 2014, the security situation is likely to decline even further, a problem that the
The Silk Road project may be making too many geopolitical assumptions, especially in the area of diplomatic relations among regional states, suggested George Gavrilis, an expert on Central Asia and borders at the
Another potential pitfall is the cost of infrastructure projects. “Unless the job is funded, it ain't going to happen,” said Juan Miranda, Director General of the Central and West Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank, which is a supporter of the project and has been carrying out a related infrastructure project, the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation, for several years. “So we have to think about that and it will be a challenge.”
Obama administration officials are mindful of a domestic political environment that is opposed to new government spending, has emphasized that it doesn't plan to allocate a lot of money on the