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tapestry of silk road with Marco Polo

Afghanistan envisions a lucrative future as a regional transit hub.

Creating a New Silk Road

January 2013, Number 04.01

“For more than 1,000 years, the historical Silk Road, as related by travelers such as Marco Polo, was a multipronged trading network that linked the peoples of Europe and the Middle East with the riches of China. Spanning deserts, grasslands, mountains and seas between the Mediterranean and East Asia, the Silk Road brought wealth to the oases and trading depots along its route, including the towns of Herat and Mazar-e Sharif in Afghanistan. The Silk Road carried more than just the precious spun fabric craved by wealthy Westerners and Middle Easterners. Gold, ceramics, gems, spices, linen and exotic plants and animals also made the nearly 8,100-kilometer transcontinental journey by caravan. So valuable was the cargo transported on the Silk  Road – and so lucrative the monopoly exerted by many of its traders – that it inspired the European Age of Discovery that began in the 15th century.

The Silk Road was so consequential for world history that it has become the organizing philosophy around which the international community would like to rebuild Afghanistan. The New Silk road (NSR) is a multinational strategy that focuses on upgrading infrastructure and liberalizing trade in Afghanistan to aid its re-emergence as a lucrative commercial hub...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Creating a New Silk Road,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 4, No. 1, 2013: 54-57.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.