Over at another CFR blog, The Internationalist, my colleague, Stewart Patrick, has posted a good piece about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Boy, did that take me back to old times.
The SCO stokes up all kinds of opinions in the United States—some informed, some less informed; some vituperative, and others merely skeptical.
Back in 2007, while serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia, I became, I think, the only U.S. official ever to devote an entire speech to the SCO. Just two years earlier, the SCO had called for a timeline to end the Coalition military presence in Afghanistan. And since the U.S. was in the midst of prosecuting a war, there was a great deal that we in the United States were forced to wrestle with as a result. For one, we sought to forestall any repeat statements from the group. But for another, we aimed to sort through the SCO’s deeper (and perhaps darker?) intentions.