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Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia, currently observers, are lobbying hard to get accepted into this club. The US request for membership was rejected two years ago. A number of American scholars view the SCO as a challenge to Western interests. It has been described as an enigma, a security organization, a regional forum, an anti-terrorism coalition, and as a Russian and Chinese-led alliance created to counter US hegemony. Some have described it as the beginning of a new Warsaw Pact-type organization (or a “NATO of the East”). It seems that the SCO is set to play a major role in the emerging geo-political fault lines in the region, and indeed, in the world.