SUBJECT: Assessment of the Caucasus Region
1. ISSUE. Provide the USEUCOM Commander an overview of Azerbaijan’s approach to the situation in the Caucasus Region.
a. Primary National Interest: Azerbaijan’s primary national interest in regard to the Caucasus Region consists of three sets of inter-related areas: governance, energy, and security. It is in Europe’s interest to see the states of the Caucasus develop into strong sovereign states based on the rule of law, with strengthening democratic institutions and upholding the rights of their citizens. Azerbaijan is leading the way in the region by taking deliberate steps to align with Euro-Atlantic integration and modeling its staff structure to that of NATO standards. Azerbaijan is also expanding its export of energy from and through the Caucasus with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline making it an economic power player in Europe. Finally, Azerbaijan is a large piece of the Caucus states that is needed for positioning Transporting troops and heavy materiel from Europe to Central Asia in fighting the War on Terror. Without Azerbaijan’s cooperation, coalition forces face a virtual ‘Caspian bottleneck’ therefore making it an indispensable as a US ally. b. Objective(s) in pursuit of the primary national interest:
(1) To support its interests in the Caucasus states, Azerbaijan will protect its independence and territorial integrity by quelling the sectarian conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and solidifying borders. This will be the primary goal and that will also help Azerbaijan’s quest to becoming a member of the European Union. c. Azerbaijan’s most likely actions:
(1) Diplomatically, Azerbaijan has been able to maintain an independent foreign policy while other countries such as Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and other Central Asian states have in fact adopted a kind of Finlandization (neutral) scheme. Nonetheless, a lack of progress in...