President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan hosted U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie in October 2020 to discuss military cooperation and the peace process in Afghanistan.
Of particular concern was Uzbekistan’s desire to help its neighbor integrate economically into the countries of Central Asia. Uzbek investments in Afghanistan include a railroad spur, power transmission lines and a proposed natural gas pipeline.
Gen. McKenzie highlighted a U.S. commitment to a strategic partnership with Uzbekistan. McKenzie’s delegation reiterated that point during a visit to the Ministry of Defense in Tashkent. Uzbek Minister of Defense Maj. Gen. Bakhodir Kurbanov exchanged views with McKenzie on military and technological cooperation.
The delegation went to the Armed Forces Academy of the Republic of Uzbekistan to observe how the country educates its military officers. Among the curriculum was an online course taught by Dr. Robert Baumann, instructor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
A Russian speaker, Dr. Baumann served as an educational advisor in Tashkent in 2016-17 as part of the Ministry of Defense Advisory Program conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Dr. Baumann was hired to resume that role in Uzbekistan for the second time and will work with the Uzbek Armed Forces Academy. Source: U.S. Central Command